Oiling Bores


June 27, 2006, 11:06 PM
No, I don't mean people who bore you by talking about oiling. My understanding has been that you don't oil the bore or the gas cylinder (if the rifle has one). But during my recent trip out of town I stored some rifles in cloth in my basement room, which I call The Library. But books and bookcases down there get a bit of mildew on them. When I looked at my new DPMS Lite, which had been stored in a cloth rifle case, I noticed some rust on the exterior of the barrel and also on a screw of the scope mount. This made me wonder whether dampness in this room may have caused some rust in the bore. I ran a number of patches through the bore and got a good bit of brown stuff. Should I have been pulling an oiled patch through the unchromed bores of my rifles?



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June 27, 2006, 11:22 PM
i usually run a patch with a bit of oil through my bores after cleaning. to much, just a bit

June 28, 2006, 01:09 PM
I oil the bore with CLP liberally unless I plan to shoot that gun in the next few days.

June 28, 2006, 01:13 PM
I lightly oil the bores with Breakfree on all my guns.

June 28, 2006, 01:48 PM
Putting some oil in an unchromed bore is the only sure way to keep rust out of a centerfire rifle (and the new .17 rimfires that use jacketed bullets). I clean and oil after each shooting, and then periodically if the gun is not used. I usually oil liberally and then patch the excess out.

June 28, 2006, 01:57 PM
keeping dessicants in your gun cases helps alot, but always oil em up good first.

June 28, 2006, 02:02 PM
As others, I always put a light coat of oil through the bores, if they're not gonna be used within a day or so.

June 28, 2006, 02:16 PM
My dad almost ruined several guns years ago by storing them in an old army sleeping bag. The guns ended up with severe surface rust.:(

Clothe has a tendency to absorb water out of the air, and then hold it. If metal is touching the clothe, rust results. The clothe holds the water and doesn't let it evaporate off. If you are going to store guns downstairs, take them out of the clothe cases. There are also special oil or silicon impregnated bags that you can store your guns in if you want to store them in bags use them. And as others have said if you aren't going to use the guns oil them. If you aren't going to use them for several months or years, you may want to consider something more like grease, or cosmoline.

It saddens me even today to look at these guns of my dad that rusted. Please don't let it happen to you.


June 28, 2006, 02:21 PM
Exactly what george said. Don't store them in cloth cases.

June 28, 2006, 02:34 PM
My understanding has been that you don't oil the bore or the gas cylinder (if the rifle has one). As others have said, definately lightly oil the bore. You're supposed to run a dry patch through right before shooting, but I never do.

You shouldn't oil the gas cylinder or piston because the hot gasses will 'coke' the oil. Basically turning the oil into a hard mass that will be difficult to clean and may jam up the piston or clog the ports.

If you were going to store the rifle the rifle for any length of time, it wouldn't be a bad idea to lightly oil the cylinder and piston. But make sure to wipe it out before shooting. This would be easy to do on a FAL, AK or SKS, perhaps less convenient on a Garand or M14.

I usually clean and oil the gas systems every six months to once a year on my rifles. However, I wipe the oil out right before reassembling them. That keeps and crud and rust in check.

June 28, 2006, 03:06 PM
After cleaning a bore, the bore will be dry. Bone dry. A film of oil is works to prevent rust as a result of moisture.

I come from the camp that prefers non-teflon based oils for bores. This rules out CLP. I like Butch's Gun Oil.

June 28, 2006, 06:19 PM
I had a "naked" SKS stored in the same room as the rifles in cloth cases and it also picked up some rust in 12 days. I have stored rifles in cloth cases for several years and have never seen rust. But they were kept on the main floor of the house and the AC or heat was on. While I was out of town, I had the AC off and this allowed humidity to build up. I now realize it is definitely unwise to store firearms in areas which might have a humidity problem. I suspect that the rust was strictly on the surface, not inside. I have seen no rust except on external surfaces. Thanks, from now on, I will pull an oily patch through the bore after cleaning and keep some oil on all metal surfaces. Actually, I tend to over-lubricate metal surfaces that move against metal or polymer.


June 28, 2006, 06:31 PM
"A film of oil is works to prevent rust as a result of moisture"

i also like a "film" of PARKERIZING to prevent rust !!:D

June 28, 2006, 08:09 PM
I had a "naked" SKS stored in the same room as the rifles in cloth cases and it also picked up some rust in 12 days. I have stored rifles in cloth cases for several years and have never seen rust. The reason for the advice to not store guns in cloth cases, or foam, or leather, is those materials will absorb the oil and leave the gun unprotected. They can also absorb moisture from the air and hold it against the gun. It doesn't mean it will rust, but it certainly doesn't help.
i also like a "film" of PARKERIZING to prevent rust !!Actually, the reason parkerizing works so well is it holds oil. Dry parkerizing will rust too.

For the same reason, it also makes an excellent base for paint on finishes like GunKote, Norrells, Duracoat, etc. (degreased of course)

June 29, 2006, 12:05 AM
My shop refinishes 50 guns at least a year that were stored in cases. We like folks that store them that way keeps us in bussiness.

Matt Dillon
June 29, 2006, 08:09 AM
I store my long guns in gun "socks" impregnated with silicone, and have a dessicant in the gun safe. The last thing I do to any arm (rifle, shotgun, pistol) before I wipe it down is to run an oily or greasy patch through the bore to protect it. Down here in humid and hot Houston,. TX, this works, and I have NEVER picked up any rust as a result.
Of course, before you shoot that weapon, you run another clean patch down the bore to remove any residual oil. This seems to work!

July 4, 2006, 04:35 AM
living on the coast of california i have a big problem with rust. long term storage i coat em with automatic trans fluid and wrap em in plastic bags with dessicants. short term i just have to clean em often regardless of if ive shot them or not. another good trick for surface rust is to use motorcycle chain wax. if you use it down the bore make sure you clean it out or you can split a barrel, i lost a ar-7 barrel to this in my early shooting years. forgot to de-winterize the barrel and it split the barrel right open. running patches doesnt cut it. you need to use a solvent to get it out. and it will gum up a automatic pistol pretty good. its awesome for preventing rust. its sold in a spray can. sprays on liquid like wd40 but sets up like wax. repels dirt to some extent as its meant to not let dirt stick to motorcycle chains. cool stuff.

July 4, 2006, 11:54 AM
I always oiled the bore fairly heavily after cleaning, let it sit a bit, then wiped the excess out. Never a bit of rust

Recently, started using Tetra grease. Soak some into a bore mop. After cleaning, pump the mop end-to-end about ten times, let that sit a few minutes, then a patch or two to wipe out the excess. Not only prevents rust, seems to make later cleanings a bit easier; Tetra is good stuff.

July 4, 2006, 12:27 PM
i oil up everything all the time. i also keep them in rifle bags, along with silicone gun socks, and bags of dessicant. I am also getting some emitter discs from K.P. ADCOR . they are about 70 bucks for 10, the emitt a vapor loc into the storage area/bag,etc. i will cut them in half, and put them in the bags. last for a couple of years. they completely keep out any moisture. Also if you can get them, get what is called "elephant rubbers" they are a very thick, long rifle bag, that is impregnated with this vapor. you put your rifle in , and no more worries.

July 4, 2006, 12:30 PM
of course, the best thing I ever did with some of my weapons, was this;

as an aside; i bought an old marlin mod 81 off an auction site, really wanted this rifle ,as it shoots all the 22 rounds, holds 25 shorts in the tube, and has a factory peep site! could not tell from the site pics how bad a shape it was in, but he had said it had no bluing, was rusty, and the action was rough. So i took a chance and bought it. when i got it , and took it out of the shipping box , IT WAS ORANGE! i was horrified to say the least. complete rust bucket. i remebered talking to the sweetshooters guy here a bunch, so i deciced to buy some at the next show and give it a shot.
took it out of the stock, stood it up vertically , and for the next week , every time i walked by the rifle, I toothbrushed it down, from muzzle to action, lightly scrubbing all the springs and stuff in the action, getting some down the muzzle , etc. had it standing in a shallow stainless pan.
after 1 week, except for no bluing whatsoever, it looked fantastic. So I decided to see if the guy was lying to me , about it totally keeping moisture away from all surfaces, and gave it a torture test. i put it in a fur type lined, 40 year old rifle bag, and put it in the back of my car, from march to the end of may. In Houston, that means you will go from cold drizzly weather, to humidity and heat in may and june being the same reading!
During this time, it rained in buckets, steamed up the inside of my car, plus when i put it in my trunk, my trunk is leaky!
I pulled it out , first week of June, and not one spot more of rust on it anywhere! I went back to the dude at the next gunshow, and showed him the rifle! he told me to write the company and tell them. Even he was pretty impressed with that one.
no rubbing or buffing of any kind, and look how shiny and clean this thing looks,after leaving it in my car, i
have fired a 1000 rounds through it , and have not cleaned it yet! look at the bolt , handle, trigger and mag pusher. remember this thing is 70 years old, and was completely pitted over , and a total rust bucket.
I just remembered one more thing, if you use this on your saiga, since they are not blued and just basically painted, let it thoroughly air dry! if you wipe it off while it is still damp, it will be under your paint, and will wipe it right off! So let it dry thoroughly, i started to wipe mine off, just a little on the rear right of the receiver, and the paint start to swirl on me! so i stopped immediately.
well i go to all the shows around houston, so i get mine a few bucks cheaper, 'cuz i know all the dealers, but man lemme tell you, it still ain't cheap! go to this site. http://tecrolan.com/ I cna get the pint cans for 15 bucks, and I got the 1/2 gal , i think it is, that comes with paste, cleaning kit, big tooth brush, with stainless steel deep pan and stainless steel grate for 90 bucks , i believe it was. you gotta put your stuff in stainless. I had a steel shop build me a trough that was 6 inches wide 3 inches deep, and 36 inches long, to dunk whole bbls and actions. cost was about 50 bucks. if you have one built , make sure to tell them to weld up the sides tight, as you are going to use it to hold in very small pore liquid.. again this will work very well as a dry lube, and you can see from the site, they use it in a ton of other apps. you can also condition your bore with it, i know that everything is super easy to clean now. and after i do shoot, i take my rifles apart, look down the bore, and you would swear i haven't put a round down it yet. i take apart my actions on my blowback rimfires, wipe them off with an old sock, they come out shiny and clean.

July 5, 2006, 09:49 AM
Dump the whole lot in a big tub o Cosmoline!
That'll hold up for 100 years!

Just kiddin, don't do that, you'll hate it.

I oil every inch of every gun I own before they go into long term storage. (More than a week) Inside and out with a thin coat of oil, just enough to bring out the shine in the finish. The metal is porous so it will soak up a certain amount of the oil you put on it and the shine will go away, but the moisture will stay out of whever there is oil.

January 28, 2011, 11:58 AM
Pick up a product called Sheath or Barricade (I think they changed their names). Rub one of these little packets on the gun and it virtually eliminates rust.

January 28, 2011, 12:00 PM
I always oil the bore, then run a dry patch through to remove the excess. It has always worked fine for me.

January 28, 2011, 12:12 PM
I liberally oil my guns inside and out. For years before I got a gun safe, I stored guns in both cloth cases and foam lined hard cases. Never had a speck of rust, because I did not store them in a humid place like a basement and I took care to make sure to never put them in a wet case. Now that I have a gun safe, I still keep my pistols in rugs. The blue ones are wrapped in a very oily piece of flannel. Of course I have a Dri-rod to ward off high humidity, but I also have a digitlal gauge that shows me the humidity level.

On a related note to the OP, I carry an AR every night a work. Nightly I bring it out of a warm building, put it in my trunk, haul it around all night, and then put it in the building. I only clean and oil it after going to the range, which is twice a year. It is stored in a soft case. I've this particular gun for near a decade and have never had any rust....A little oil goes a long way.

January 29, 2011, 08:53 AM
If you use oil in the barrel to prevent rust and leave the gun setting upright on the butt pad, eventually the oil will run down and away from the crown end of the barrel and bore. I have had guns rust in that area.

I use RIG grease in the bore anytime I put a gun up for awhile, and have never had a problem since. The RIG doesn't run and gives great protection even in humid areas such as basements etc. I use brake cleaner to degrease the bore before shooting.

RIG ("rust inhibiting grease") has been around for many years and is now being manufactured again. Brownell's has it on their web site.

January 29, 2011, 09:02 AM
I never oil any of my bores after cleaning. I clean the bores with Hoppe's and run several dry patches through them and put them away like that. Amazingly,in Alabama's humid climate I've never had a rusted bore in over 40 years of gun ownership. YMMV

Welding Rod
January 29, 2011, 03:08 PM
I always run a patch with soaked with Tetra Lube or Break Free down a bore before putting a gun away, even if I don't clean it.

Rusting can be quite a problem where I live, but the Tetra Lube seems to do an outstanding job. I have recently started using BFCLP as I like it for cleaning guns so I always have it handy. Hopefully it proves to be as good as the Tetra.

January 31, 2011, 07:26 AM
I was in the weapons testing business for the gov't and speaking from a wide experience I can tell you that before you choose something for a certain use make sure you do not cause another problem.

For instance some "miracle lubes" are great for preventing rust and that is fine. Some are great for cleaning and that is fine and some are great for lubrication and that is fine


Before you settle on one next time at the range for a long session before you leave shoot four five shot groups at 100 yards, then use your miracle juice in your bore and let it sit there while you change targets.

Next repeat the same four five shot group test and see if there is any change in your group sizes.

Some of these miracle concoctions are actually too good in the lubricant application mode and your bullets will tend to override the lands at first destroying accuracy until it is burned out to where the lands can control the bullet as designed.

If you are a tin can assassin etc you won't see the problem but if you are a serious shooter wanting peak accuracy you best take a looksee before you use some of them.

I use Ed's Red (a concoction you make yourself) which is 1/3 K1 Kerosene or off road diesel,
1/3 Mercon Dexron Transmission Fluid, and 1/3 mineral spirits (paint thinner) which is best I have found. I have left it stored for 14 months in barrel and borescoping after storage found it still wet and still in place and not gummed up. I make it two gallons at a time and have it in three one quart spray bottles I get at Home Depot and in small bottles as well.

I have found on the first shot from a cold, clean wet bore it will be slightly off but settles down quickly to business.

Anybody ever seen a bad bore in a Swiss surplus rifle as received? Never heard of one. The Swiss have used grease as their bore cleaner since 1890s. They apply grease to bronze brushes and brush their bores as soon as they get off the line, then later use patches and leave them with another greased bronze brush stored. They ran about 45 rounds a year through them if they were not a shooter and more if they were. I just got one that has been stored since about 1985 and borescoped it carefully and bore is perfect. The guy that had it issued to him was born in 35 so he would have had it issued about 1953.

I have used Grease Auto and Artillery and Grease Aircraft WTR for cleaning bores. Both are synthetic. No wild shots have been experienced. You might give this a try as well.

As soon as you fire last run run bronze brush through bore about five times till you see the carbon dust subside that comes out the muzzle. Then run greased patches (with above) through till they come out clean and leave bore lightly greased from the patch. As indicated no wild shots experienced.

January 31, 2011, 09:10 AM
With the exception of surplus rifles or zombie killers the use of break free or other lubes that have teflon in them is a mistake for oiling your bore. it's very hard to get it all out of the bore and it WILL change your point of impact the next time you shoot your rifle.

This stuff has caused many a guy to blame his rifle when he cannot maintain a zero with his rifle from one range visit to the next. I've seen a lot of ammo wasted and guys actually selling their rifles thinking the rifle was bad. Use a good "gun oil" for lubricating your bore and save the teflon products for lubing the exterior and everything else except the bore.

I personally saw one guy have to put almost two boxes of ammo through his rifle before the point of impact returned to where it was on his last trip. and I watched him push several dry patches through his bore before he started.... I had seen him out there 2 weeks prior sighting it in and this was a return trip just before deer season "just to make sure"...

Once he fired the first shot I over heard him say "S*** I can't believe this SOB is this far off. I stopped him before he started twisting the knobs on his scope and asked him what oil he'd used on the bore because I'd seen him dry patching it. He said "CLP". I told him what he'd done and to slowly keep shooting it without over heating the barrel and it would return to zero.

Sure enough it did. He then let the barrel cool for about 30 minutes and fired one more 3 shot group. They all went to point of aim without ever touching the scope.

PFTE or teflon should never be used on a rifle bore, period.

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