Australian .455 Revolver Cleaning Rod

Like any other firearm, a revolver needs to be regularly maintained as it is subject to corrosion and wear if not cleaned and oiled regularly. One particularly vulnerable part of a revolver is it’s barrel; firing the weapon leaves unburnt and corrosive powder residue inside the barrel which if not removed can cause pitting and corrosion to the bore. In order to clean the revolver’s barrel, British and Empire forces issued a thick wire cleaning rod:

One end of the wire has been formed into a loop to give the user something with which to grip when running the rod back and forth down the barrel:

The opposite end has been flattened and had a slot cut into it to allow a piece of flannelette cleaning cloth to be passed through:

This particular cleaning rod was used by the Australian military and so has a D/|\D property mark stamped into the rod:

The 1931 Small Arms Manual gave the following instructions for cleaning the revolver:

Daily– The bore and chamber will be cleaned daily with slightly oily flannelette. The exterior of the revolver and the working parts will be slightly oiled after all the dirt or dust has been removed. Daily cleaning for a period of four or five days after firing, or when specially ordered, will be as above, except that the bore and chambers will be cleaned with pieces of dry flannelette until no fouling is present, and then immediately re-oiled.

Before firing- All traces of oil will be removed from the exterior, bore and chambers, and the action wiped with oily flannelette.

After firing-

i. Remove cylinder by unscrewing the cam-lever fixing screw.

ii. Remove the superficial fouling (particles of burnt powder and shavings of lead) with dry flannelette and the cleaning rod

iii. Clean out with tightly fitting oily flannelette, or use boiling water.

iv. Pass clean, dry flannelette through until no more fouling comes away.

v. Oil the bore and chambers with clean, oily flannelette.

vi. Oil the outside of the revolver.

vii. Pay special attention to the removal of fouling from the cylinder stop, the pawl, the hole for the hammer nose.

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