Saturday, April 20, 2013

Gun Oils

In response to my earlier post on ATF, Rivrdog says in comments:
I had a Department Armorer warn me about using anything but straight gun oil on guns kept loaded (service firearms), and he put it like this:
I understand the concern about penetrating oils and primers.  Really, I do.  However, over the last several years I've become convinced that the oils we gunnies like to call "straight gun oils" simply don't exist.  It simply doesn't make sense to formulate oils for the tiny, miniscule market that is the gun oil market.  From my very limited research, what we buy are common industrial lubricants, repackaged into small one-ounce bottles and sold to us at a premium.  A quick look at the label on my gun oil and a walk through an automotive supply store convinced me that "straight gun oil" is simply packaged for our convenience.  Even Break-Free CLP is easily purchased in one-gallon jugs, and I've seen it in the past in five-gallon cans.

I don't believe that the guys at Exxon-Mobil, or BP, or Phillips, even know that we exist.  If one of their research guys came to them and said "Hey, we need to refine some gun oil!", they'd look at him like he was crazy, unless he could convince them that they could sell it by the tanker load.  No, what we buy as "gun oil" is simply repackaged bulk lubricant, with extra hype and cool labeling.

Do I use "straight gun oil"?  Yeah, I've got a few tiny bottles on the shelf because they're convenient.  I also use 3-in-1 oil because it's convenient.  I also use white lithium grease.  The 2-ox tube I bought five years ago is just about gone and the next time I'm in Auto-Zone, it's time to pick up another tube.

I get it about primers and penetrating oil, but I don't believe that "straight gun oil" exists.  It's a figment of the marketers imagination.  And a highly profitable figment for those willing to package it.  They can repackage industrial lubricant in one ounce bottles and sell it to us for over $100.00 per gallon.  It's a heck of a deal for them.


bluesun said...

This seems relevant

Rivrdog said...

I get that you get it, PawPaw. Do you suppose the people who re-brand those industrial lubricants have tested their lubes by bathing factory ammo in them to see if lube incursion into the cartridge causes duds?

Now, how about reloads? Seems to me that after the primer pocket is worked a few times, it might get looser, and anyway mil-std ammo has swaged-in primers, and reloading those hulls reuires reaming the primer pockets, so a looser fit for primers.

This doesn't have to be an issue, just use less oil and more time. Clean the slide first, and then stand it vertical on it's face on a clean white patch. Within a half hour, all the excess oil which is going to run out will have. Upon your daily inspection of your carry and/or service gun, check for seeping lubes and wipe them away.

Jester said...

Pawpaw, as having been an armorer and a direct support repairman for many years in the Army I'll simply state what you are doing is exactly right. Try to avoid something that is specifically a penetration oil if it is likely to contact the ammunition itself. I also suggest avoiding the dry lubricants where possible as some of them can potentially attack aluminum. Most of all though be consistent. If you use whatever lubricant you feel like keep using the same stuff. If you change it out then totally clean your firearm and re lubricate. You never know what stuff will react with something.

be603 said...

In my 'yute' it was Hoppes solvent and oil with a WD-40 wipe down (keeping it clear of action parts) it being the rusty Pacific NW.

In my balding, expanding middle middle age my routine has become my homebrew Ed's Red for cleaning, a good wipe off of that make way for lubing with Slipstream oil and grease. YMMV but and dunno what they put in that Slipstream but its some slick snot and made a believer of me.

Anonymous said...

I use my own mix of Ed's Red-- kerosene, Dextron II ATF (ATF replaced sperm oil), odorless mineral spirits and acetone...and lanolin if you want to spring for it. Without the lanolin it comes to about 10 bucks a gallon.

MA Firearms School said...

Being an owner of MA Firearms School, I have never trusted the cheap product for cleaning and maintaining my firearms. I suggest every person who owns a gun or who has a firearms training center like me, use Rem oil. It extends the life of your valuable firearms.