April 29, 2005, 01:17 PM
ok so i have been using WD-40 on my guns for some years now. My question is weather it is bad for it or not? i know it says you can use it but i was just wandering.

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April 29, 2005, 01:21 PM
I don't think is "bad" for your guns. I do think that CLP Breakfree is better.

April 29, 2005, 01:23 PM
Good for "Water Displacement as the name suggests. Not much long-term lubricating properties, though.

Larry Ashcraft
April 29, 2005, 01:24 PM
My gunsmith loves WD-40. He says it starts out as a pretty good oil, and then turns into a great GLUE. Keeps him busy cleaning firearms.

I suppose if you use it often enough, it may be all right, but there are better oils out there. I have used WD-40 to displace water after hunting in bad weather, but I clean it right off.

Highland Ranger
April 29, 2005, 01:25 PM
Definately leaves a film; use it long enough on stainless and you get a yellow goo . . . . .

April 29, 2005, 01:34 PM
WD 40 is good for spraying into wet distributor caps. And taking off stickers.

Come to think of it, there are better things for taking off stickers.

April 29, 2005, 01:39 PM
WD good for tires, smokey burnouts, and gumming stuff up. Kriol for guns. If you see oil on yer gun, you have too much on it. If yer going to store it for the upcoming invasion :evil: use the 55 gal barrel of 90wt.

April 29, 2005, 01:49 PM
I've got two pratically full cans of Breakfree CLP and Casey Gun Scrubber and the dang nozzles are not working. By that I mean I press down on the cans' spray button and nothing comes out. Both were not abused...used once after buying them...bringing them out for only the second time...and they don't work. I've removed the buttons and soaked them in boiled hot water to try to melt out any clog that may exist...and have used a sharp needle punch to try to clear the can opening while the button was removed. ( yea, I know...contents under pressure...and all that! )

Can anyone suggest a way to get the contents out of the can !? The CLP was better than $10 a can...the Scrubber was a little cheaper. I would sure hate to toss them...and I'm worried that if I buy more, it will happen again.

In keeping with the thread...the WD40 can nozzles have never failed...can after can. I've use it to blast filth out of the action and barrel at the range ( right after shooting )...to be field stripped and correctly cleaned and lubed when I get home. Why don't they sell this stuff in plastic spray bottles? :scrutiny:

Any suggestions ?

Larry Ashcraft
April 29, 2005, 01:54 PM
Why don't they sell this stuff in plastic spray bottles?
Actually, you can buy it by the gallon (you were talking about WD40, right?).

April 29, 2005, 01:55 PM
Isn't this one of those 9mm vs .45/.223 vs 7.62 Russian/1911 vs Glock/Revolver vs. Semiauto topics?

Do a search on WD-40 I'll bet you'll find quite a few threads exactly like this one...

April 29, 2005, 02:14 PM
I learned a long time ago to buy in the squeeze bottles instead of the pressurized cans. The squeeze bottles are good to the last drop. I used WD 40 as a kid and applied it in liberal doses to the actions of my guns. As already mentioned, the innerds developed an almost varnish like gunk that required a great deal of elbow grease to get off the parts. I moved on to other lubes after that.

April 29, 2005, 02:18 PM
Use Boar's Head 30 weight - it'll never let you down.

April 29, 2005, 02:27 PM
I prefer Ballistol. I can smell it now, nothing quite like it.

April 29, 2005, 02:29 PM
well, the breakfree cans tend to do that. I always put them in a vise and punch a small hole in the uppermost surface, letting all the propellent escape, then pour it into a useable container. However this is very messy and dangerous and I suggest you just go to walmart and buy a new can.

Mal H
April 29, 2005, 02:34 PM
foghornl is right, WD-40 is not a lubricant as such. So in that respect it is bad for your gun since you haven't really lubricated it if you only use WD-40.

If you want proof that WD-40 is not a lubricant, take one hinge pin out of a door in your house that is used often. Completely degrease it and the hinge (brake cleaner, etc.), 'lubricate it with WD-40 and replace it. Check it again in several months. You'll stop using WD-40 as a lubricant. It's great for what it was designed to do and has lots of usages, but lubricating guns for storage isn't one of them.

April 29, 2005, 02:46 PM
Even since they changed the formulation of the propellant (to prevent idiot kids from 'huffing' the stuff), it is useless as potato cannon fuel....

In my book WD-40 has but two uses: drying out electrical parts when you off-road a bit too deep and cleaning up dashboards and vinyl seats in your vehicle. For everything else, there are better products available.


walking arsenal
April 29, 2005, 02:48 PM
gunnutz 13

Wrap the can in a thick towel, put it in a vice, and using a LONG nail punch a small hole in it. then point the spray into a container to catch the oil. The towel is in case the can bursts. Then youve got an oily towel and all your fingers.

It's by no means totally safe, especially if you use the wifes good towels or if the kids see you do it, but it works. Or you could buy a new can but whats the fun in that.

April 29, 2005, 03:04 PM
I'll side with Ragged Claws on this one, Ballistol. It's something my gunsmith turned me on too. It's good stuff.

By the way Ragged Claws, where do you get your Ballistol at?

As for WD-40, It goes on nice, but tends to gum up over time.

April 29, 2005, 03:06 PM
It's a penetrant and therefore can kill primers !!!

White Horseradish
April 29, 2005, 03:18 PM
It's great as part of cosmoline removal process. I used it after boiling water. That's about it.

April 29, 2005, 04:11 PM

I get it from here: http://20-20.8m.com/newprod1.html

I also have one of their patchworms, it's great to throw in your range bag, so you don't have to bring a big long unwieldy cleaning rod to clean after shooting corrosive ammo :)

By the way, Ballistol does clean copper fouling, just let it sit in the barrel over night and the patches will come out blue the next day.

It can be ordered from here too: http://www.ballistol.com/

April 29, 2005, 06:36 PM
My gunsmith loves WD-40. He says it starts out as a pretty good oil, and then turns into a great GLUE. Keeps him busy cleaning firearms. :D Yup. Keeps me busy, too. I use Break-Free CLP for the most part, Corrosion-X inside trigger groups and really hard to get to areas that just need a light lubrication, and RemOil on the outside of the 'pretty' blued guns, (i.e., older S&W & Colt revolvers)

Never tried WD-40 as a Cosmo remover, WH. Although I usually use GunkĀ® Super Spray, it's $2.89 a 22 oz. can at Fleet Farm, and it cleans FAL's pretty good too, if you recall! ;)

April 29, 2005, 09:01 PM
WD-40 is good for flushing nasty, gritty, gunk from actions and fire control groups. It's also good for flushing fouling on bound up semi-autos at the range. It is NOT a lubricant. WD-40 is mostly kerosene with a little light machine oil mixed in. It's an excellent starting fluid for diesel engines BTW. :cool:
For real gun cleaning and lubrication ya can't go wrong with MPro-7 and Break-Free CLP or Eezox or MPro-7 CLP or FP-10, yada yada yada..........

April 29, 2005, 09:23 PM
Dittos on using WD-40 for Cosmoline removal.

The one thing WD-40 does well is to remove Water, Oil, and grease. You have to remember that it will react with oil, and leave a nasty film.

But yea, it eats of Cosmoline like the dickens. Take that old Mil Surp rifle out of its wax paper, isasemble it, and spray the poo out of it with WD-40. wipe of all the Cosmoline, and make SURE you get all the WD-40 off of it. when its all off, then use a real gun oil like Hoppes or Rem oil :)

April 29, 2005, 09:43 PM
I'm a CLP man. The smell of CLP while cleaning my M16A2 during basic/AIT has seared itself into the pleasure center of my brain as a GOOD THING.

That being said, my dad & granddad were WD40 users. My gramp's guns ( I have all of them, save the RG revo in .22 short) are all in good condition after decades of use. WD40 couldn't have been all that bad.

WD40 is not nearly as persistent as CLP & will dry up under hard use like that of trench clearing live fires & such. To be honest, I don't ever expect to use another weapon as hard as I used my M4A1 when I was in the service.

If WD40 is all you have on hand, use it. If you have the time & money to buy something better, buy something better.

April 29, 2005, 10:22 PM
I was a 12B Combat Engineer with the 25th Inf Div in Vietnam in 69-70-71, didn't use a rifle as much as many but I'd draw down and open up with less hesitation than some folks use today in picking their nose in public. All we ever had was gasoline, gun oil, and WD40. Scrub them in gas, light gun oil, then hose them repeatedly with WD40. They always worked. Being engineers we were constantly using earthmoving equipment, bulldozers, scrapers, front end loaders, dump trucks, minesweeps, demo work, nasty hot dirty eighteen hour day work, and we always had our guns right with us and used them when necessary. The dust was so bad after a day's operations you could not tell black from white folks except for the features. You can trash talk it all you want, but it never jammed up a gun as far as I can remember.


April 29, 2005, 10:27 PM
Stevelyn got it right, at lest by my way of thinking. WD40 is great as a flusher or preliminary cleaner, but not as a final. It isn't something you want as a lubericant, either. It does, however, smell better than Tetra in/on a hot barrel.

Just whatever you do, don't drink the koolaid. Lots of people HATE the idea of using WD40 anywhere near a gun. Others, like one gun store employee, have spouted gibberish like "WD40 in a hot barrel is like acid or salt water on it, you have already destroyed your gun".

Some people have mentioned CLP, Kroil, etc. I like using M-Pro 7, which is expensive, and does a great job of cleaning off hardened gunk; like, say, an SKS after 1600 rounds of Wolf ammo. (Long but fun weekend with people who were kind enough to help cleaning up.)

My standard cleaner is a variant of Ed's Red. Do a google or a THR site search and you'll find a fair bit of writing on it. I personally use a 1:1:1 mix of GM automatic transmission fluid, a petroleum-based gunk remover (Orange Goo Gone, I think), and keroscene. It's cheap and very effective. If you really want, dump in WD40 instead of the keroscene.

There are other specialized variants. Lanolin or beeswax is added as a cosmoline-like substance for long term storage, acetone is mixed in for removing plastic (for shotgunners), and high strength (~28%) ammonia is used in SMALL amounts as a copper solvent.

April 30, 2005, 09:32 AM
WD40 works in a pinch. There are better products.

April 30, 2005, 03:55 PM
remington rem oil is good stuff. i mix rem oil and automotive anti-seeze for my slide rails, works really good.

April 30, 2005, 06:44 PM
I seem to remember... many years ago 'The American Rifleman' did a test on WD-40. They took a service revolver - .38 SPL - loaded it and sprayed the outside with WD-40.

They waited a while and found that something like 4 of the 6 rounds did not fire.

Seems the stuff got into the primers and de-activated them.

Wonder if the stuff still does this...could be an answer to the recurring thread "How do I de-activate ammo that I want to get rid of?"


April 30, 2005, 07:02 PM
The NRA did a write-up a year or so ago about primers.
Two facts stood out.
1. There are no "hard" or "soft" primers.
Seems all the manufactures use the same spec metal sheet in the process, and get it from the same sources.
The NRA specifically said there was no difference in hardness on the various primers they tested, even on primers "known" to be hard.

2. You really can't permanently deactivate a primer.
Whatever you put in the primer will temporarily deaden a primer, but as soon as whatever it is dries out or evaporates, the primer mixture "comes back to life".

One of the most interesting things I ever heard about WD-40 as a gun lubricant is in the book "Good To Go" by retired Navy SEAL Harry Constance.

Constance said that during his 3 tours in Vietnam, they used WD-40 as their lube.

Constance said that when he came in off a job, he'd remove the plastic stocks from his Stoner light machine gun and drop the gun AND the linked 5.56m ammo into a cut-off barrel of gasoline.

After he took a shower and had breakfast, he'd pull the gun and linked ammo out of the gasoline, AND SPRAY EVERYTHING DOWN WITH WD-40, INCLUDING THe AMMO.

Constance said he never had a jam or stoppage in three tours.

To be fair, the SEALs were absolute fanatics about weapons cleaning, and cleaned their weapon EVERY time they went on patrol.
Under those circumstances, with the weapon being cleaned every day and fresh WD-40 being applied, WD-40 would do OK.

They seemed to have excellent luck with it, since Constance is not the first SEAL to write about using WD-40 in Vietnam.

However, I'm not sure I'd want to soak my ammo in gasoline.

May 1, 2005, 12:41 PM
why stop w/wd-40..there are folks that use 10-40 motor oil..but why stop there..lets not use "gun oil" at all...who needs it really...there are so many better oils to use..

olive oil
baby oil
castor oil
3 in one
pure diesel fuel

ill stick w/ hops..kleen bore..must be a reason they formulate their cleaning/lube oils just for guns...not the lawn-mower


May 1, 2005, 01:38 PM
3 in 1 oil has been used on guns for years.

Olive oil would work, but peanut oil has better high temperature tolerance.

May 2, 2005, 02:20 PM
Bad. Over time the solvent evaporates off and creates a sticky, gooey lacquer. It's like scrubbing baked on carmel off after about 5 years.

WD-40 is designed for water displacement and it does an excellent job at that. Most folks use it when hot-blueing when you pull the parts out of the rinse bath. Then they follow up with an oil.

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