WD40 in Guns


May 23, 2007, 11:19 PM
Howdy folks. I was at work today and the topic of WD40 for cleaning and lubricating came up. I was under the impression that WD40 would cause siezing, and nasty in your guns. Who uses WD40? Who used WD40 in their guns and never will again? Who actively uses WD40 in their guns? Pics would also be nice if you can.

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May 23, 2007, 11:22 PM
Never again. it dries to a sticky, hard film that is difficult to remove. :banghead: For rustproofing, use CorrosionX. It's the closest to perfect I've ever seen...

May 23, 2007, 11:23 PM
When I was in Iraq WD-40 was all we used to CLEAN our weapons. Afterwards we would dry it off and lube them with MIL-TEC oil on all the moving parts. As for using it as a lubricant, I have used it with no problems. The thing with WD-40 is that it is too thin in my opinion to be used as a lubricant on moving parts. I always keep a can handy for cleaning my guns.

Il Duca
May 23, 2007, 11:24 PM
WD40 does not make for a good lubricant. It tends to gum up. Great for removing surface rust though. Breakfree is the way to go.

May 23, 2007, 11:25 PM
Oh, no, you didn't say WD40???

You're going to find some people who say that WD40 is nothing but the work of Satan. Others will tell you it's all they've used on their guns for years and their guns are 100% reliable.

I recommend Break Free CLP. But if you like WD40, use it.

May 23, 2007, 11:32 PM
I highly suggest Crown's "All-4" liquid lube over WD-40. Definitely doesn't gum up like WD-40 and has excellent rust preventing properties. Most machine shops utilizing CNC gear prefer it over WD-40.

May 23, 2007, 11:45 PM
Never understood why some people have WD40 gum up on their guns. Whenever I spray a lot of it on my guns, it just drips and rinses away, leaving no kind of gum or any solid substance behind.
Rather the other way around, no matter how much WD40 I use, I find it to be too light as a lubricant, so I use it to clean everything, bore frame, slide, dry it all out and then add a few drops of oil where needed. Thatís it, works for me and my guns function without any dirt related problems, bores look clean too.
Just make sure you dry all that WD40 away, you donít want any of it even getting near your ammo, ruins the primers.


May 23, 2007, 11:47 PM
It's a decent solvent, but too thin for a lubricant.

May 23, 2007, 11:57 PM
Wd40 was created by the GODS:D It is good for cleaning but is too thin to lube mose gun parts. Thats what 90-110 weight is for.:evil: Nothing like the smell of gear oil cooking off.

May 24, 2007, 12:25 AM
Get a firearm soaked in the field and hit it with WD-40. It will be just fine. It is not the best lube, but will displace water faster than politicians from a lie detector test.

May 24, 2007, 12:35 AM
but will displace water

Actually, I think "WD" stands for water displacement. I always thought it was invented and intended only as a means of preventing things from getting wet. :confused:

I use cleaners to clean, lubricants to lubricate, and WD40 on bike chains.

May 24, 2007, 01:22 AM
I think that all WD40 is is kerosene with some color and scent added to it.

Go ahead and lube your guns with kerosene if you want to.

May 24, 2007, 01:23 AM
WD-40 = Water Displacement formulation number 40. It's made primarily from fish oil with some other additives and some sort of solvent as the carrier.

It's wonderful stuff without a doubt, but I use it for fishing (spray your bait with it, no kidding) and household stuff. The only time I would put it on one of my guns is for short term corrosion protection, and run any moisture off of it.

May 24, 2007, 01:25 AM
It's not a lubricant, but it is flammable. We used to use it for starting generators at work before we got Hondas. :)

10 Ring Tao
May 24, 2007, 01:38 AM
Well, considering the fact it was never meant to be used in guns, and no other gun maintanence products are similar...

WD stands for water displacing. Do you go swimming with your guns?

But really, it basically comes down to the fact that there are better products available for the same price.

May 24, 2007, 01:50 AM
I'm with Liberty 100% here. WD-40 is trouble if left in guns. A large percent of gunsmith income is undoing WD-40. I also use CorrosionX. Outstanding product.

May 24, 2007, 01:57 AM
Take your prized gun. Lube it up with WD40 and let it sit for 3-6 months. Let us know how well it does.

May 24, 2007, 03:28 AM
WD40 is not for firearms. Not a lube, a water displacement chemical. Use firearms cleaners and lubes only and you will be much happier and firearms cleaner/better lubed.

Ala Dan
May 24, 2007, 07:18 AM
I do not use WD-40 anywhere near or on my weapons; as I rely on
Break Free CLP and Eezox~! ;):D

May 24, 2007, 07:50 AM
Only time I would recommend WD40 on a gun is right after it came out of a parkerizing tank. Then I'd blast it off with brake cleaner and apply RIG.

May 24, 2007, 08:54 AM
I'm a big fan of Break Free CLP. I started using it in the Army and have continued to use it on my personal weapons. CLP stands for cleaner, lubricant, protectant and in my honest opinion it does a fine job of all three.

May 24, 2007, 09:12 AM
I do keep WD-40, or it's Advanced Auto clone in-house. But prefer to use Muscle Product's (maker of FP-10) Moist-Out (M0-10) with a spray-trigger on larger areas; aerosols like WD-40 are good for targeted purging applications - just keep the dang stuff out of your eyes as it can bounce back at ya unexpectedly!

But frankly, WD-40's use has been relegated to FLUSHING only. That is, to make a mess where and when significant quantities with some application force are required to float foreign solid or liquid intruders off of surfaces or out of recesses. Beyond that - forget it.

Then apply a more useful and effective agent such as a legitimate spray cleaner for guns/metal or electrical contacts, followed with a good lube/protectant such as FP-10, Boeshield T-9, CorrosionX or EeZox depending on your immediate usage or storage expectations.

There are certainly other methods, but in reality anything - even WD-40 - will pretend to work in a pinch. Just don't rely on it until you see a WD-40 TV commercial showing jet engines running at 50% greater efficiency and doubling your car's gas mileage... then you'll "know" it's an overlooked MIRACLE. ;)

May 24, 2007, 09:50 AM
Good to use IF your firearm got "Dunked in the drink" Works best at displacing water (WD part of WD-40).

Also used to be used to remove water from car ignition parts...distributor, wires, plugs, etc. After one of the famous "intersection flash floods" in Houston, I saw tow truck guys have the flooded car drivers pop open hoods, would spray around under the hood, then cars would usually start. Then charge driver $40-$50 for "emergency ignition repairs".

May 24, 2007, 09:57 AM
I prefer Breakfree CLP to most anything...but I have used and will use most anything in the future, too.

WD40 does OK as a solvent/blaster and somewhat less OK as a lube. As a protectant, it is no great shakes, but better than nothing. It most definitely not the tool of Satan some will tell you.

If you want to use a more commonly available (then gun-specific stuff) lube & preservative, synthetic motor oil and synthetic grease do pretty well. Avoid lithium grease in cold weather.

I used it almost exclusively before I went into the service and discovered CLP. Never had a problem, but I clean & lube my weapons on a regular basis.

WD40 will dry up under heavy/rapid fire much faster than CLP. BTDT with my M4A1 when I was in the service.

May 24, 2007, 10:10 AM
Even as a cleaner it's less than ideal. But I have used it before, when nothing else was available.

For several months now, as an all purpose cleaner/lube I've been using a mixture of Mobil1 (for diesel engines), Marvel Mystery Oil, and a small amount of CLP. Seems to work pretty good, and the Marvel cuts through the buildup in a barrel faster than just CLP. I like Mobil1 because that stuff just does not cook off like the CLP does. Which means the lubricant lasts longer, which means longer shooting before a failure.

May 24, 2007, 10:14 AM
Just to repeat, but in extremely clear terms:

WD-40 is a water displacer, not a lubricant!!!

It was created for the express purpose of getting water out of where it ought not to be; water causes rust. It does have some short-term lubricating ability, but once it dries out, the lubing ability goes away. If your gun goes for a swim, sure, WD-40 is great to get the water out of the nooks and crannies, but then you need to use a real lube/protectant afterwards (like a CLP, Rem Oil, Mobil 1, etc.).

May 24, 2007, 12:17 PM
Before I went to a Glock for LE, I used to use WD-40 to flush the crud away from the slide rails when it built up to the point I had to smack the slide back into battery during long training sessions.

The other thing it's good for is as a starting fluid for diesels.

May 24, 2007, 12:52 PM
WD-40 is a water displacer. I use it to clean water off the chain and gears of my bike. I guess if my guns got wet I would use it there too. It did leave a slipper film all over the garage floor, but it wore away quickly. I've also used it as a waterproofer but there are better things for that.

May 24, 2007, 09:18 PM
I like TriFlow (teflon-based) instead of WD40. It penetrates and rinses out crud very effectively. Back when I could ride a bicycle, I'd use TriFlow on chain and gears, and it got all the mud and gunk out and kept everything working very smoothly.

I was first introduced to it by the guy who sold me my first revolver, when I asked him what was good for a gun lubricant.

I don't use very much of it now, since I've treated my guns with Microlon Gun Juice, they simply don't get dirty in the first place, and what's there is a dry film that wipes off very easily.

May 24, 2007, 09:25 PM
About once a year someone starts a thread about WD40 on the Bullseye mailing list. Usually after 100 people or so respond with their opinions, the owner of the list steps in and kills the topic.

I don't use it myself on guns. i am not convinced it is going to harm your gun any, and as a light cleaner it probably will work, although maybe not as well as other cleaners. I don't consider it a very good lubricant though.

Kurt S.
May 24, 2007, 09:30 PM
I use WD-40 in my field expedient cleaning method after firing corrosive ammo in my milsurp guns:

I pull the bolts.
Liberally squirt Windex with ammonia down the bbl till it runs out.
Run a boresnake through.
Do another Windex and boresnake run.
Spray a big dose of WD-40 down the bbl.
Let it run out.
Another boresnake application.
Light spray of aerosol Break-Free down the bbl.

May 24, 2007, 09:59 PM
Penetrates. If you get enough of it on your ammo, that ammo is undependable afterward. Joe

May 24, 2007, 11:29 PM
The best use I've found for WD40 is "burn relief". :what:
Any time you burn your hand, fingers, arm, etc., just shoot
a little WD40 on it. It's a miracle fix. It soothes the pain,
and facilitates healing much more quickly than any other
"burn relief" medicine I've ever used. :scrutiny:
I know this sounds goofy, but I've been a welder for almost 40
years, and I heard about this not long after I started in the
trade. And believe me, I've burned myself often enough to try it,
and it works. :D
But I never use it on my guns, it just evaporates and leaves a
"gunk". :(


May 25, 2007, 12:53 AM
Let me just say that I have some guns that were treated with WD-40 and now I'm having a H311 of a time getting the actions open.:uhoh:

May 25, 2007, 09:13 AM
Take your prized gun. Lube it up with WD40 and let it sit for 3-6 months. Let us know how well it does.
Did just that some time ago.
Had a SMG that I didnít care enough to disassemble, so after several hundred rounds I just hanged it over an opened trash bag and sprayed WD40 into every hole. Repeated the operation every hour or so until I used up Ĺ the can.
I could see that the liquid poured out of the gun almost black, full of powder residue.
Several months later I took the time to disassemble it expecting to find a mess inside. Surprise, Surprise, it was almost clean , with a very thin layer of well lubricated powder residue, that easily came off wiping it with paper. The continuous soaking of WD40 had removed almost all gunk residue, and the gun was lightly lubricated, not one bit of gumming or solidifying.
I use WD40 to clean my guns, dry it out very well, and then add a few drops of oil.
It doesnít just displace water, it cleans and lubricates lightly (too lightly).
My brother used WD to clean a carpet that had been step on with tarred boots. The WD removed all tar easily.
Not perfect but it works well for me.


May 25, 2007, 10:53 AM
I have used wd-40 to cut cosmoline but never to actually clean dirty firearms. Several weeks ago i was at the cove campground range during the 4-wheeling ice breaker event when several guys showed up with machine guns. I watched them spray the linked belts of a 1919 down with wd40 and the internal workings however it did seem to be having some problems, they were also spraying down the insides of an m-16 with no problems. Maybe this is some magic lube in the full auto world i don't no about and the problems with the 1919 jamming and such could not be linked to the wd-40. I thought in the past i've read that it will leave some kind of "varnish" behind.

May 25, 2007, 11:43 AM
I think WD-40 actually changed their formula a couple years ago so it may or may not have problems anymore.

Ian Sean
May 25, 2007, 12:36 PM
WD-40 is good for oiling parts after parkerizing, also for general cleaning of parts, decent penetrating oil, after the windex for cleaning corrosive ammo a few shots of WD is good to flush the bore.

It is not a good lube in my opinion but has many uses for me.

I watched them spray the linked belts of a 1919 down with wd40 and the internal workings however it did seem to be having some problems, they were also spraying down the insides of an m-16 with no problems. Maybe this is some magic lube in the full auto world i don't no about and the problems with the 1919 jamming and such could not be linked to the wd-40.

Never lubed links on my 1919...what are these guys doing?:confused:

Internals of the 1919 run best on 10W40, not WD 40.

May 25, 2007, 01:54 PM
I like WD-40 for a "light" cleaning and lube. I also spray it on a rag an use it to wipe fingerprint oil off.

I use Break Free for heavy cleaning and lubing.

May 25, 2007, 02:58 PM
One of the most hair-raising cases of using WD-40 on guns, and one that flies in the face of everything people believe about it was written in the book, "Good To Go" by retired Navy SEAL Harry Constance.

Constance was a multiple Vietnam tour SEAL, and is one of the most respected in the SEAL community.

Constance used a Stoner light machine gun as his favored weapon.
In the book, Constance says that when he returned from patrols, he'd remove the plastic stock and drop the gun AND the linked 5.56mm ammo into a cut-off 55 gallon drum of gasoline.

While the gun and ammo soaked, he'd get cleaned up and have breakfast.
He'd then remove the gun and linked ammo, dry it off, then he'd spray the gun AND AMMO with WD-40, and he was ready to go out again.

Constance said that in three tours, he never had a stoppage.

May 25, 2007, 03:06 PM
WD stands for water displacing. Do you go swimming with your guns?


May 25, 2007, 03:18 PM
I don't use it on my guns except if it's handier than anything else. I used to use it on my lathe beds and drill press columns if I wasn't going to be around for a while, and it leaves a brownish stain on bare steel which resembles rust.

Almost fainted dead away when I first saw this stain. But it did not impair the machines' operations, nor did they rust.

Good for what it's good for, not for what it's not.

WD40 and Duct Tape and Baling Wire are the world's three greatest man-hour savers.

Oh, and large battery/terminal spring clamps.

Make that four.

May 25, 2007, 03:27 PM
WD is Water Displacer formula # 40, used on the tips of intercontinental ballistic missiles. If its good enough for thermo nuclear anti commie warheads, it'll do fine on my lever 30-30.

As noted, not for lube, for water displacement. Use a tool correctly, get good results :)


texas bulldog
May 25, 2007, 03:33 PM
WD40 and Duct Tape and Baling Wire are the world's three greatest man-hour savers.

amen, brother. i have a catchy phrase related to duct tape, but i'm not sure it's high road material.

on the WD40 topic, i won't argue that it can't ever be useful as a gun care item. but i couldn't see myself using it on any of my guns unless they got dropped in a creek. some combination of CLP and RemOil would seem to solve most problems better.

May 25, 2007, 04:27 PM
just looked-up the contents of WD-40.
50% mineral spirits/naptha
25% CO2 as propellant
15% mineral oil (light lubricant capabilities)
10% aromatics & inert materials

It originated as a product to resist corrosion by displacing moisture from electrical circuitry. There is no need to lube circuitry.

The fish oil as ingredient is just an urban legend.

It may have been useful from the 1950's thru Vietnam, but there are much better and specific lubes available nowadays.

May 25, 2007, 04:33 PM
I won't use WD-40 on my guns. If I need a water displacer, I'll use CorrosionX or even Ballistol. They also act as lubricants and don't gum up.

May 25, 2007, 05:52 PM
Take your prized gun. Lube it up with WD40 and let it sit for 3-6 months. Let us know how well it does.I have for for periods a lot longer than that.Just pulled my 1894s out of storage[10 years] looks and shoots like new.For cleaning bores Berrymans B-12, then a protective coat of WD40. The only thing you shouldn't use it for , is cleaning battery posts. Don't test me on that ,you will regret it. Among it's properties is that it is an insulator.

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