Period Sharps cleaning kit
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Author:  Ethan Whitehall [ Tue Feb 28, 2012 12:14 am ]
Post subject:  Period Sharps cleaning kit

Wondering if anyone knows if there was an "issue" cleaning kit. If so what did it contain. Im trying to make a correct cleaning kit for my persona.

Author:  Bill Skillman [ Tue Feb 28, 2012 9:25 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Period Sharps cleaning kit

Greetings Ethan, welcome to the website.

Ordnance reports for the USSS show that the 'basic' cleaning kit for a Sharpshooter would be:

1 brush tip
1 combination screwdriver/cone wrench

These would be stored in the implement pocket of his cartridge box

For every squad/10 Sharpshooters (These were carried in the amorer's wagon until the regiment went into camp for a couple days and details could be detached to the QM wagon train to retrieve them)

1 wooden cleaning rod with ferruel (to attach the brush to).

S&S Firearms still has original wood cleaning rods for Sharps carbines for sale. Unfortunately, these won't clear a rifle's barrel.

Wyman White talks about trying to find cleaning patches for his fouled Sharps rifle during the Overland campaign and came across the body of a stout looking CSA officer and cut patches from one the pairs of pants he was wearing. While I try to follow historical references I doubt I'd have much luck these days holding down a CSA 'casualty' while cutting patches from his 'kewl uniform'. I use old flannel shotgun patches from my grandfathers stash (circa 1950) and rewash them. I bought a segmented wood/brass ferrul shotgun cleaning rod I used to take with me on campaigns-but last few years I leave it at home and just fill the barrel with hot water and wash out the worst of the crud.

When I get home I do the 'big clean' by plugging the muzzel with a damp piece of paper towel (slightly larger than the diameter of the barrel) and twist it half way into the bore. Then fill the barrel with boiled water and let sit for a few minutes to break up the fouling. Then pull out the plug to let the water drain. The first 'wash' comes out like india ink and smells like the devil's bathwater. I do 2-3 more washes. I then roll and dampen a few plugs and push them with the cleaning rod through the barrel until clean (always start at chamber and push to bore). the nice thing about the paper is that it compresses and grabs the rifling better than flannel. If going to put the rifle up for awhile, I put a couple drops of oil on a dry plug and push it through.

Hope this helps.

Bill Skillman
Hudson Squad-USSS

Author:  Ethan Whitehall [ Wed Feb 29, 2012 2:22 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Period Sharps cleaning kit

This helped immensely. Thank you.

I also sent you a PM out the cartridge packages.


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