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How did Wyatt Earp clean his gun

Discussion in 'General Firearms Forum' started by Bernie Link, Feb 20, 2012.

  1. Bernie Link

    Bernie Link

    Aug 3, 2010
    Roswell, NM
    My wife laughs at me. She says “you go shooting for an hour and then spend 2 hours cleaning and oiling your guns.” She asks “did you ever see Wyatt Earp or Doc Holliday clean and oil their guns?” Got me to thinking, how did people in the mid and late 1800s clean their guns?” Does anyone have a history lesson for me? Thanks, Bernie
  2. Three-Five-Seven

    Three-Five-Seven Señor Mombo Millennium Member

    Aug 8, 1999
    Great Southwest
    Black powder is cleaned with water. Guns usually came with cleaning rods.

    The lubricants available to shooters in 1880 were superior to any that we have today. Whale oil, being non-petroleum based, worked extremely well with black powder firearms and kept them running for a long time. Whale oil has lubricating qualities that cannot be duplicated with synthetics or petroleum oils.

    In relative terms, guns were as expensive then as they are now. People were just as inclined to take care of them, clean them, oil them, and maintain them back in the day as you are today.

  3. method


    Mar 27, 2002
    Cleveland, OH
    Yeah, with blackpowder, you HAVE to clean your guns, there's just not an option. If you don't, you'll have a rusty, stuck, fouled-shut club on your hands in less than a week.
  4. DFin


    Mar 22, 2008
    Urine & cactus oil?
  5. MajorD


    Aug 16, 2010
    most people today are over anal about gun cleaning- if you are talking about a modern handgun with non corrosive modern ammo anything more than ten minutes and you are overdoing it. After shooting my black powder guns (I use a 1885 era colt single action army from time to time) cleaning takes about 20 minutes. never had a rust issue.
  6. JaPes

    JaPes Rimfire 1010101

    Aug 21, 2010
    NW Burbs, IL
    Oh man... I couldn't stop laughing. Zing!
  7. Spiffums

    Spiffums I.C.P.

    Sep 30, 2006
    So he didn't just spit on it and call it a saloon girl?
  8. D3S3RT_P3NGU1N


    Feb 29, 2008
    I think some folks these days worry a little too much about cleaning their guns. There are so many people who will go out and run 100 rounds through their gun and think it needs to be cleaned as soon as they get home and who would worry about running 500 or 1000 rounds through a gun without cleaning it.
  9. MrMurphy

    MrMurphy ********* Moderator Moderator Millennium Member Lifetime Member

    Jan 16, 2001
    Buried in the X-files
    Rebuttal for your wife.

    Wild Bill Hickok test fired his guns and cleaned them EVERY SINGLE DAY.

    With BP revolvers, it was his way of making sure the powder hadn't gotten wet somehow, and also practicing.

    That said with a modern pistol, cleaning takes about 10 minutes, max. I can't see taking 2 hours cleaning unless I shot about 20 of them, or maybe a M240 after a long range session of 10-20,000 rounds.
  10. bustedknee

    bustedknee Curmudgeon

    Aug 1, 2001
    Wythe County, VA
    I'll bet old Wyatt never cleaned his irons with brake fluid then lubed 'em with Mobil 1. :animlol:
  11. series1811

    series1811 Enforcerator. CLM

    I had read that in serveral places, too. Black powder, and no backup, makes you diligent. :supergrin:
  12. HKLovingIT

    HKLovingIT Resident Evil

    Aug 20, 2010
    Out On The Tiles
    Spit and bacon grease. :dunno: Be cool if someone had an article about the old ways they did things like that back then.
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2012
  13. DonD


    Dec 21, 2001
    Central TX
    Perhaps with a Glock or similar polymer but it takes more than 10 min to do a revolver, particularly if you're using lead slugs and there is any leading at all.

    I'll agree, 2 hrs is playing with it, not doing cleaning. Don
  14. 2-8 Marine

    2-8 Marine Limp Member

    Oct 30, 2009
    Didn't Jesse James accidentally shoot off one of his fingers cleaning his gun? Just saying . . .
  15. smokin762


    Apr 19, 2009
    This is an interesting Thread. I will admit, I just never thought about this before. It does make you wonder about the past.

    I think, they used a baby snake as a bore snake though. :supergrin:
  16. TN.Frank

    TN.Frank Glock4Life

    Oct 11, 2004
    Avondale, AZ.
    Hot soapy water to clean, Whale Oil or "Sweet" Oil(aka Olive Oil) to preserve and lube. That's how I use to clean my Cap n' Ball revolvers, hot, soapy water(Murphy's Oil Soap) then lube em' up with olive oil.
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 20, 2012
  17. NEOH212

    NEOH212 Diesel Girl

    Mar 25, 2008
    North East Ohio
    What, Did you see me in my cocktail dress again? :whistling: