A barrel cleaner has been recently invented, by the use of which any powder or residue remaining in the barrel is dissolved, and thus makes rusting impossible. The apparatus consists of a tin receptacle, from which the steam—generated by an alcohol lamp placed underneath—is led into the barrel through a glass tube. The principle is the same as in the inhaler used by physicians. On the inside of every barrel there are small grooves caused by the tools used in manufacturing and partly in the material; these are not visible to the naked eye. Into these, as also into the pores, the residue settles, gases form and rusting results.
A proof that the formation of rust depends upon the nature of the material of the barrel, or rather upon the existence of the tiny scratches and grooves mentioned, is that rust occurs in the same spots again and again. Even though the formation of rust has been much reduced since the use of the newer nitro powders and primers, in some powders it is still strong enough to render good rifles useless in a short time.
Farrow, Edward S. American Small Arms; a Veritable Encyclopedia of Knowledge for Sportsmen and Military Men. New York: Bradford, 1904. Print.
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