A good and simple way of cleaning and recolouring the barrels and other metal parts of a double-barrel shot gun which are quite rusty. Take the barrels from the stock, and put them in clean cold water free from gritty matters. Attach the brush to the washing-rod, and get out all adhering powder and residues; next take tow, and wash until the barrels are quite clean. If the parts have rusted, it will be necessary to use a little emery flour. Dry the barrels with clean cotton rags, rubbing until the metal feels warm. Plug the ports and muzzles securely, then cleanse the outside parts with a strong alcoholic solution of caustic potash, aided, if necessary, with a little emery flour and a soft rag. Rinse thoroughly in water, dry thoroughly, warm, and while warm rub over every part with the following preparation: pure (dry) zinc chloride 1 oz., nitrate of antimony ¼ oz., olive-oil 2 oz., well rubbed down into a smooth uniform paste. After ½ hour's exposure, rub off excess of this paste, and polish with clean soft rags. In warming the metal, avoid overheating it so as to injure the temper.
In the volunteer service there are several fluids used, which are composed of either turpentine, naphtha, petroleum, benzine, or gasoline, about one-third, or according to fancy, with Rangoon oil. But the instructions to the troops are - a damp rag, flannel or tow, is all that is required to clean the barrel out; if much water is used, it is liable to run into the action. The butt should be raised when washing out. After washing out and drying, an oily rag or flannel to be used. On many occasions the oily material will be found to be efficacious, without the previous use of water.
Easy method of cleaning guns and rifles when leaded - If a muzzle-loader, stop up the nipple or communication hole with a little wax, or if a breach-loader, insert a cork in the breech rather tightly; next pour some quicksilver into the barrel, and put another cork in the muzzle, then proceed to roll it up and down the barrel, shaking it about for a few minutes. The mercury and the lead will form an amalgam, and leave the barrel as clean and free from lead as the first day it came out of the shop. The same quicksilver can be used repeatedly by straining it through wash-leather; for the lead will be left behind in the leather, and the quicksilver will be again fit for use.
If the barrels have become leaded, wet the tow on the rod with spirits of turpentine, as the latter enjoys the property of removing any leading almost equally with quicksilver. Paraffin will also be found useful where neither of the foregoing can be obtained. Never touch the grooves of a rifle with emery, as it will dull their edges, and, consequently affect the shooting power.