• Welcome to the Receipts of the Blue & Gray. - The receipts you will find here are original Antebellum, and Civil War period receipts, as originally published between the years 1796 and 1880. One exception, is: Newspaper Clippings & Periodical Receipts are limited to a publishing period from 1858 to 1866.

    Some receipts from this era attempted to give medicinal advice. Many dangerous, and in some cases, deadly, "cures" were given, reflecting the primitive knowledge of that time period. Don't assume everything you read here is safe to try! Recipes and Receipts posted here are for Historic Research Purposes, enjoy them, learn from them, discuss them!

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Useful Cleaning Gun Barrels

cleaning gun barrels
(from the Civilian & Telegraph, of Cumberland, Maryland , September 12, 1861)



quicksilver (mercury)​


We see in the Scientific American and other papers recipe for cleaning gun barrels. They are all open to the objection that they involve the use of water, thus requiring time to dry the barrels and incurring the danger of rust. We give the method used by scientific sportsmen in England with success; get a quantity of quicksilver, which can be kept in a strong pill-box, and when the barrel is foul, place the thumb on the nipple, pour the quicksilver in at the mouth, and then run it up and down for a few moments. Turn it back in to the box, and the barrel will be perfectly clean. The mercury forms an amalgam with the lead and removes it. The lead can be taken from the mercury by straining.​