"The Care and Cleaning of Firelocks in the 18th Century: A Discussion of Period Methods and Their Present Day Applications."
George Edie, A Treatise on English Shooting (London 1772) (7-8) "When a person is master of a good Piece, the keeping it in proper order is a main article in the doing execution with it: it is necessary the inside of the barrel, the touch-hole, and the lock, be kept clean; and the springs and moving parts of the lock properly oiled. The barrel should be washed at least after every eighteen or twenty fires, where the best sort of powder is used; but if the gun-powder is an inferior sort, then the barrel will require oftener washing. The best method of washing a barrel is, by taking out the britchpin; but as this can seldom be conveniently done, take the barrel out of the stock, and put the britch- end in to a pail of warm water, leaving the touch-hole open; then, with an iron rod, with tow or a bit of linen rag at the end, draw up and down in the syringe manner, till it is quite clean; changing the water, and rinsing the inside, as the foulness requires: when this is done, it will be proper to put in a red-hot iron, of six or eight inches in length (which any blacksmith will furnish), and move it up and down to dry any remaining damp: the outside of the barrel should be well dried, and a little oil rubbed over every time of cleaning." ________________
Thomas Simes, The Regulator: or Instructions to Form the Officer and Complete the Soldier (London, 1780) “How to clean the Barrel. After every firing day the barrel is to be washed, by taking it out of the stock, and putting the breeching into water, leaving the touch hole open: then with an iron ram-rod and worm, with a piece of tow or rag, draw up and down the barrel till it becomes quite clean; when dry, rub it out with another piece of dry rag, and the outside of the barrel with buff leather. The lock not to be taken to pieces but when necessity requires it – and that is, when the trigger or hammer goes stiff, or sounds unpleasant to the ear.”