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What's A Good Gun Oil...


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#1 ghostsoldier

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Posted 09 January 2006 - 01:48 PM

I'm gonna be taking my Kahr M1A1 out this weekend for a WW2 tactical battle, and I was wondering what the best oil would be to use on the weapon to insure it's smooth operation (OK...insert smart-ass Kahr remarks here dry.gif )....I heard that 3-in-1 oil will work on the trigger internals and the frame rails, and that Rem Oil sucks royally...what's your opinion of the best oil? It's going to be around 50-60 degrees Farenheit, and I'll be using a 0.17" hole size in my bfa (not that it matters)...
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#2 full auto 45

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Posted 09 January 2006 - 03:10 PM

I use Rem-Oil in the spray can, works fine for the outside of the gun. Inside I use ClenzOil.
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#3 LIONHART

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Posted 09 January 2006 - 03:16 PM

I would have to say that FP10 is the best out there. Smells real good too.
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#4 sten guy

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Posted 09 January 2006 - 06:02 PM

Believe it or not --- synthetic motor oil

STEN
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#5 ghostsoldier

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Posted 09 January 2006 - 06:03 PM

QUOTE (sten guy @ Jan 9 2006, 06:02 PM)
Believe it or not ---  synthetic motor oil

STEN

Sten,
Really? Like a Castrol Synthetic 20W50 motor oil?
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#6 sten guy

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Posted 09 January 2006 - 06:05 PM

Yes --- thin coat only....

STEN
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#7 Jay Baker

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Posted 09 January 2006 - 06:13 PM

Use bacon grease, makes the Krauts too hungry to fight.
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#8 John Jr

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Posted 09 January 2006 - 06:30 PM

QUOTE (Jay Baker @ Jan 9 2006, 05:13 PM)
Use bacon grease, makes the Krauts too hungry to fight.

HEHE!

(I use all kinds of oils and lubes on my guns, but not WD40.)
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#9 full auto 45

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Posted 09 January 2006 - 06:49 PM

QUOTE (sten guy @ Jan 9 2006, 06:02 PM)
Believe it or not ---  synthetic motor oil

STEN

Makes it smoke real good when it gets warm. Kind of like a 1972 Pinto or 1983 Escort. biggrin.gif
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#10 SecondAmend

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Posted 09 January 2006 - 07:34 PM

IIRC ClenzOil is the official oil of the TCA.
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#11 Grey Crow

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Posted 09 January 2006 - 07:49 PM

I use Clenzoil on the exterior, and for cleaning, Mobil 1 for moving parts.

I was severely scolded buy Kimber when I used only Clenzoil on the action of my Gold Match 45.
Clenzoil alone isn't much good for guns with very tight tolerances.


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#12 ghostsoldier

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Posted 09 January 2006 - 09:46 PM

Well, I couldn't find any of the above-mentioned products in my small town, but a buddy of mine had a squirt bottle of the Rem Oil...I borrowed that and applied it sparingly to the innards...hopefully it won't gum up on me....

PhilOhio...my experience shows the Castrol doesn't hurt the callouses on your palm as bad...!! tongue.gif (I hope my wife knows I'm kidding... rolleyes.gif )

Rob
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#13 hawksnest

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Posted 09 January 2006 - 09:46 PM

Armalite uses Clenzoil on every gun they make. I love Clenzoil and use it on all of my firearms. hail.gif
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#14 21 smoker

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Posted 10 January 2006 - 12:30 PM

I`m satisfied with Mobil 1,..after many thousands of rounds thru 21ac,28s,BARs,MG34,MP34,40,STens,Sterlings,MACs,etc. the insides are very clean after a range session...no appreciable wear...and if you get synthetic to smoke out of an 83 escort,it must be on fire!...that`s the oldest used car trick going...run syn oil to stop a smoking engine... wink.gif
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#15 TSMG28

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Posted 10 January 2006 - 03:16 PM

ClenzOil was handed out by the manufacturer as freebies smile.gif at a couple past Thompson Shoots in Newark, but I don't think that qualifies it as the "official" TCA oil. As I recall from one of his lectures a few years back, Tracie's favorite for firearm protection is RIG.

PhilOhio,

I don't think I want to know what your suggestions are for an official TCA suppository.......

Roger
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#16 hawksnest

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Posted 10 January 2006 - 03:54 PM

Info at www.clenzoil.com
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#17 TactAdv

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Posted 10 January 2006 - 08:03 PM

That's a good question. Do you really want to know "what MAKES a good 'gun oil'....." or do you want a commercial endorsement?? Sometimes it helps to differentiate.

For an understanding of what MAKES a lubricant, or lubricant/preservative, product "good" you have to understand a few things. First off what are those properties of lubricity that actually contribute to the mechanical functioning *WITHOUT* causing undue harm. Many, many, commercial products offer base lubricants that simply do not hold up under.....take your pick.....thermal/adhesive/solubility, etc., problems.........some are good at one, or even a couple things, but most are not good at protecting a firearm, IN PARTICULAR, in all the unique ways they demand.

So what ARE good properties in a chemical sense? Obviously, "lubricity" is a paramount concern, that is the basic notion the a particular chemical compound provides some measure of resistance to metal-to-metal contact during physical motion events. "Oils" do this by allowing a thin film build up in between the metal parts, thereby allowing the parts to move independently, the sole physical contact being transmitted through the film. Water too can be a suitable "lubricant", but due to it's other (undesirable) properties when used with metallic objects it is not usually chosen, though can be in certain situations. What traditionally makes a petrochemical base "oil" a good lubricant are two things: it's ability to stay put and not run off (called "tenacity", transmuted into the commercial term of "viscosity", i.e., a "viscous solid") and the fact that it's molecular structure, as opposed to say water, allows the individual molecules to "slide" against each other with reduced frictional forces. "Oils" do NOT have to be composed, chemically, from a pure petroleum base.....synthetic, animal-based, lubricants are actually among the best, however petro-based lubricants are cheap and easily refined, plus their chemical base properties allow them to act as solvents for a wide variety of additives and sustainers. Thermal properties are also important.....can the lubricant selected efficiently carry away generated heat?? Heat from friction is the most common source, though in *firearms* this is often times secondary. Once exposed to excessive high heat, does this thermal exposure cause any breakdowns or failure in the base chemical constituency, causing a loss of protection in the firearm that may not be a problem in, say, an automobile where the original application was envisioned???

Next, what about exposure to uniquely firearms-related combustion by-products which may not have been expected when the chemical formulation was generated? Propellant and priming compound byproducts can be highly corrosive, and common lubricants may not be able to protect against the strong acids and other dangerous effects.

"Oils" all have a viscosity index, simply a measure of the fluidic state resistance to flow. This is effectively a measure of how well the "oil" will stay in place when subjected to either mechanical action (abrasive removal), or gravity. "Thin" oils can have better protective properties for some things, but will soon "flow", or "wash", off the treated surfaces as the mechanical actions litterally scrub off the surface coating. "Thick" oils, while more likely to stay in place in use or storage, can inhibit normal mechanical functions, or can strongly attract and hold in suspension damaging particulates such as dirt, dust, or minute metal particles......effectively creating a very strongly efficient abrasive paste. Certain highly viscous oils can "break down" over time due to exposure to heat or mechanical actions, and certain low-viscosity oils can become solidified or "sludge" over time as well. "Oils" are commonly treated with multiple additives in solution to help with all these problems.

Firearms present certain unique issues when discussing lubrication, or more specifically, lubrication AND preservative needs.

It is probably best to separate the various uses of your weapons when deciding on selecting a "good" lubricant-preservative choice.

For actual SHOOTING USE, meaning shooting THAT DAY, followed up by a complete cleaning, the "fully synthetic"(non-organic) automotive lubricants (MOBIL-1, or "SLIP-2000", etc.) properties can't be beat in terms of preventing of MECHANICAL wear. They do however react badly sometimes with propellant/priming compound byproducts and so should NOT be allowed to sit for long periods of time after shooting without cleaning. They are expensive, too. They can also react aggressively with natural or synthetic rubber seals or gasketing and can damage them in short order----some guns utilize such seals or rubber parts!! Same goes for "common plastics" used in guns......gun mfgrs did NOT envision the use of non-organic compounds in most cases. (NEVER, EVER, use synthetic lubricants intended for use in a GAS TURBINE ENGINE, i.e., "Aviation/Jet engine" synthetics!!!!)

Simple, common, pure petroleum "motor oil" is actually quite good, too. Very cheap, very available. Lighter viscosities only! Dump a cup full of 5W-30 into a Browning or Maxim gun and it will be protected all day long. Downside is it attracts all manner of physical grit and grime, so you need to KEEP slathering it on to wash off all the abrasive sludges you just made!! It cleans up well with a simple dunking in a parts-washer (using ORGANIC solvents!). There is no reaction to propellant byproducts. These lubricants may also be left on the weapon indefinitely and cleaning may be delayed or deferred. High thermal exposure causes the most common breakdown of pure petroleum based lubricants; excessive heat can "cook" these oils and render them useless as effective lubricants. When "cooked" they also become exceedingly hard to remove, almost as much as carbon residues from propellant combustion. These lubricants are best reserved for weapons with large open spaces utilizing large individual component parts......belt fed MG's with large interior openings are a good example, or any weapon that can be easily broken down into subcomponents and cleaned by full immersion and "washed out" via a solvent-spray wash.

Ultra-low viscosity compounds, or those known to have capillary-flow action functions, provide little to no lubricity; products such as WD-40, or Kano Labs KROIL/AERO-KROIL, or Birchwood-Casey "Sheath", or "Liquid Wrench" qualify here in various degrees.....yet those same products MAY provide superior oxidation ("rust preventative") properties as they can intrude into the smallest physical spaces and gaps in joined parts and subcomponents and allow a protective (oxygen shielding) film to adhere effectively.
Conversely, any commercial products that are hygroscopic (having an affinity for water, able to take up water in solution, or act as a solvent) are terrible choices as they not only can flow into areas you cannot reach, but they will retain aqueous water in suspension causing contact-oxidation reactions in all areas they are in contact with......result? Parts "rusted together".

Certain partially refined aliphatics (cycloidaliphatics) or certain aromatics, such as common "kerosene", ***MAY*** cause undue reactions with water, or water vapors, as they tend to act to displace water and in doing so ***MAY*** concentrate that water in areas that are unable to effectively "dry"; these compounds show up regularly in commercial "household wonder products". WD-40 is such a product; use of WD-40 must be done with extreme vigilance to watch for any signs of contact oxidation in areas where the product has displaced liquid water into!!!

The above covers the most basic end-user concerns of the "liquid" lubricants commonly encountered on the commercial market. Next comes the semi-fluids, more commonly known as "greases". "Greases" are actually much better, and in certain applications where film strength plays an important role, is the ONLY proven effective lubrication (read as "prevention of metal-to-metal" contact wear). Some of the more common of these specific weapons uses are the M1 Garand, M1 Carbine, M14, M60 and others that utilize substantially similar rotating inclined-plane operating actions......this to include ALL "bolt action" rifles. Greases are primarily liquid base lubricants with a thickener or plasticizer. Greases can be either fully petroleum based, or synthetic-based (esterizations through saponification of animal or plant fats), or even a mixture. Grease is primarily valuable where there may be a concern known as "boundary lubrication failure" where one or both contact surfaces have become devoid of lubrication. Greases simply increase the available protection in the boundary layer between moving parts due to their inherently better properties of film adhesion force. In areas where grease is specified, use ONLY grease, NEVER mix greases with liquid "oils" as they will reduce the adhesion properties, and thus interlayer protection. Greases are simply THE BEST lubricants, their sole problem lies in one of their best properties, that of ultra-high viscosities. Due to the extreme viscosity indices, they may actually prevent the needed mechanical motions of certain actions; excessive applications will most certainly do this, even in areas where grease is recommended. Grease applications should be limited to areas where high film strength, high adhesive forces, and exposure to excessive mechanical actions is of paramount concern. Proper application of any grease will leave only an unbroken thin film across the desired operating surfaces, with little overage. "Extra" grease will do nothing, it will simply slough off to the side and attract and hold dirts, grimes, and dusts, and other particulates. Grease is particularly indicated in areas where contact with any “washing agents" such as other liquids, or water, is common. Greases are particularly indicated where high shear forces are evident, i.e., the rotating/cammed actions of the above mentioned weapons. Greases are contra-indicated in actions where simple "sliding" actions are present, i.e., the bolt of a Browning MG or a M1 TSMG, or MG42 bolt sliding inside a receiver as the high adhesive forces generated by frictional movement may prevent normal function (NOTE: these are NOT to be confused with common "shear" forces as indicated above, though similar, they are more directly explained as frictional forces). If you can't remove "extra" grease applications, the use of a very-high-viscosity liquid oil may be the better choice, products such as BREAKFREE brand "Greased Lightening", for example, provide nearly the film strength of greases but not the full adhesive properties.

Lastly, we have the "dry" lubricants, or "molecular bonding" lubricants. Pure, simple, powdered graphite is the best and most common "dry" lubricant. Molecular applications of PTFE ("TEFLON") resins are the best and most well known "molecular bonding" lubricants. Both are similar in effects in use as they eliminate the need for common film-based boundary layer active lubricants, and replace them with "dry" layers of extremely slippery substances. The molecular bonding agents go one step further and actually bond with the base metallic forms and will (over time, PROPER repeated applications, and use) fill in the micro-porous surface structures of the metal, eventually forming a solid film of PTFE. PTFE is known to have the lowest coefficient of friction of any known substance, making it the "slipperiest" substance known. Common graphite can and will fill in surface imperfections over time, provided that they’re not cleaned off or burnished off. It must be understood though, that unlike PTFE resins, graphite has no inherent ability to bond with the underlying metallic substrate.....if you put enough on to fill in the micro-imperfections, it will only stay as long as it is not casually removed. PTFE, once properly bonded, will remain short of serious mechanical actions to remove it. There is no "improper" location for use of graphite in a firearm, save for direct ingestion into any gas-operating system, where it is contra-indicated. Things to consider are that while incredibly slippery, pure graphite really has no ability to adhere to metal in any meaningful (protective) fashion, if it stays put, it will be an effective lubricant, if it is removed (which happens easily in pure, dry form, use) you are left with virtually no effective protection remaining. For that reason, most commercial "graphite lubricants" are actually thin-film greases IMPREGNATED with heavy doses of pure graphite in an attempt at increasing overall lubricity, while providing some level of effective film adhesion. PTFE must be applied correctly to securely bind with metallic substrates and provide for effective, permanent, bonding. There are two primary ways PTFE is offered in commercial lubricants. One is to use a carrier base lubricant, in the hope that enough PTFE is mechanically applied to the metal surfaces over time and use and the application occurs through mechanical means solely; this is commercial BREAKFREE or military CLP, "MILITEC", and similar. Mechanical application results in non-uniform applications, is subject to improper bonding, and the carrier oils THEMSELVES really are not designed or intended to offer any serious measure of lubricity......if you use CLP on a gun, use it LIBERALLY, OFTEN, and clean frequently. Only with EXTENDED, and EXCLUSIVE, use can you hope to have serious protection from the PTFE applied and retained. The second method of applying PTFE is to use an alcohol carrier fluid that carries the extremely high concentrations of pure solid form resinous particulates in suspension. Alcohol is used as it is HIGHLY hygroscopic and when splashed on a firearm, the alcohol will both act as a solvent in removing remaining petrochemical products extant still on the surfaces, and will also thoroughly "dry" the bare metal to remove any and all traces of water vapor to prevent rusting during initial application of the PTFE shield. Once the carrier alcohol dries away, all you have is dry-form PTFE which MUST be worked into the metals pores as quickly and efficiently as possible to both provide lubrication and oxidation protections. For that reason, it is best to use these products in several stages, applying normal protective compounds in-between cleanings. It may take numerous repeated applications to guarantee protection; this is MILCOM TW-25B and similar products. Emulsified products containing lower levels of PTFE can be grouped the same as "graphite containing" products; PTFE greases in particular provide no meaningful lubrication under high shear form stresses without complete bonding, hence they are always used in combination with carrier greases that allow for some measure of initial protection. For greatest protections, these products must be used CONSISTENTLY to fully bond, over time and use, the PTFE resins into the metal pores. In uses where the applications of "wet" lubricants are contra-indicated, such as extreme cold or desert/sand environments, the nod goes to pure, dry-form, graphite as it provides full lubricity protections IMMEDIATELY upon application and is not dependant upon long term applications. PTFE works well, ONCE PROPERLY BONDED, and a firearm that has seen continuous use of PTFE products can simply be wiped dry and fired without concern in arctic or desert use for a considerable period of use. When choosing graphite, the weapon must be properly cleaned, ALL traces of oils or greases removed and dried completely prior to application of the dry-form graphite. Caution must be paid to the notion that the graphite will need constant re-applications to remain effective.

Products designed an intended for actually SHOOTING firearms use take all the above into consideration. For STORAGE, different problems and concerns are operative.

In long, or even short term, storage, the real concern is prevention of oxidation damages. The BEST material for this is an overall coating of an extreme viscosity ("thick") petroleum-based grease that will stay put indefinitely. Realistically though, virtually no one wants to deal with application or removal of such preparations, much less on a short term repetitive basis. People want to be able to shoot their guns straight from the safes or vaults they are stored in without excessive pre-shooting preparations.

With these considerations in mind, probably the most effective solution is application of a light, spray-on, preservative compound (Birchwood-Casey "Sheath" is a good one), with additional applications of a capillary action preservative compound (Kano Labs KROIL/AERO-KROIL) for areas that cannot be reached easily. This assumes periodic removal of the weapon and normal cleaning. Further, it must be understood these ultra low viscosity thin-film protectants offer NO effective lubrication properties, despite advertising claims to the contrary!! Prior to shooting, the weapon must be wiped off with a rag, and all operating parts lubricated correctly. These products may be effective at corrosion-protection for up to several years and beyond, depending upon proper application, local humidities, etc. Lastly, the repeated "over coating" with repeated applications of additional product are highly effective, and suffer no harmful effects in doing so. For those in areas with higher humidity or salt spray effects, these products MAY NOT OFFER effective protections for such periods. A better solution may be a liberal and periodic coating of a high-viscosity liquid protectant such as BREAKFREE brand "Collector". Commercial, non-gun industry, products are also BOE-SHIELD, or Kel-132, which are similar-effect products. Kel-132 is found in agricultural-product ("Farm CO-OPs") sales stores, and is also an an effective prime-use lubricant such that one may immediately go shooting without having to re-lubricate after removal for storage. For high-reciprocating-speed action guns, such as MG42's, Kel-132 has proven an ideal product.

For true long-term storage, 10 years or more, there is no simple "short-cut" to doing it correctly.....this is why compounds such as "cosmolene" are still so much in demand. All current long-term storage protocols call for repeated periodic removals from DRY storage and inspections rather than pure "pack and forget" methods used in decades past.

-TomH

Edited by TactAdv, 12 January 2006 - 03:06 PM.

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#18 ghostsoldier

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Posted 10 January 2006 - 09:00 PM

Uh...thanks for the info, Tom...damn, now my head hurts... blink.gif
Rob smile.gif
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#19 1919A6

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Posted 10 January 2006 - 10:34 PM

CorrosionX, smooth as silk in my Colt 21overstamp28.
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#20 TNKen

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Posted 11 January 2006 - 11:06 AM

TactAdv, sounds like lubrication was the subject of your master's thesis. Nice info.

I have started using a mix of equal parts of Mobile 1 5-30w and Slick 50. Don't know why, but it probably came from an idea planted in my head by Val that does all the work on American 180's. He has a mix using Slick 50. Works well in all my MG's.

I have found that on a day at the range, you've got to have something to clean the residue, and I usually take aeresol Gun Scrubber or a garden variety carb and choke cleaner. Both work well for a quick spray, then relube with the synthetic mix.

Ken
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