Dear Mr. Rawles,
I heartily agree with the “Weapons Maintenance — A Missing Element, by Odd Questioner”. I would add that having lots of good bore cleaner handy makes maintenance a lot easier. There are MUCH better and cheaper bore cleaners around than the classic Hoppes No. 9.
Ed’s Red bore cleaner has been around for over 20 years now and has been mentioned before in your blog. Even so its a good thing to repeat once in a while.
“Ed’s Red” bore cleaner is credited to C.E. Harris. Its an excellent, easy-to-make and inexpensive bore cleaner and lube. It stores indefinitely in an airtight container. It cuts powder fouling like nothing else I’ve found. The formula and instructions for making Ed’s Red has been detailed before in SurvivalBlog, so I won’t repeat it here.
I’ve been making up a couple gallons every few years for over a decade. I give it away to new friends a few ounces at a time. Makes a great birthday/Christmas/whatever present for new preppers or shooters. Everyone I’ve given a sample to has ended up making a gallon of their own. It is that good!
Ed’s Red works for corrosive ammo as well as noncorrosive. Its an efficient short-term rust-preventative as well. Adding an emulsifiable oil + water to the mix makes “Ed’s Pink” which is specifically for black powder. Do a web search on “Ed’s Pink” and you’ll find the details for it.
Two words of advice from experience:
(1) the Lanolin may be harder to find than the other components, but its VERY worth it. Try craft stores that sell soap making supplies.
(2) Lots of folks have ideas for “improvements” to Ed’s Red, but these really aren’t needful. The original formula works great and “If it ain’t broke . . .” Just stick with a classic.
Also, I think Ed’s Red will be an excellent barter item, come to that. Every prepper should keep a hard copy of the the recipe for Ed’s Red in their reference binder.
Cordially, – John