Mineral oil as lube/rust-preventative


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Vermonter
February 22, 2008, 03:54 PM
Is mineral oil any good for lubing and preventing rust?

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golfer
February 22, 2008, 04:51 PM
Mineral I beleive contains water. Not a good combination.
There are too many great oils out there to even think about it.

SaMx
February 22, 2008, 04:55 PM
I'm pretty sure my Hoppes gun oil is just light mineral oil.

takhtakaal
February 22, 2008, 04:56 PM
:what:

I shudder to think of what other questions might get asked in here.

Titus
February 22, 2008, 04:56 PM
Choji oil for japanese swords is pretty much just mineral oil, but I don't think I'd use it on a gun.

WayneConrad
February 22, 2008, 04:57 PM
Mineral oil is awfully light stuff, and not going to stick around long.

For an inexpensive light lube, mix equal parts ATF III (automatic transmission fluid) and odorless heating kerosene. Both ingredients are dirt cheap. You will end up with enough light lube to supply you and your friends for the rest of your life. Works splendedly on guns, in the shop, wherever.

Disclaimer: I live in Phoenix, AZ. In this climate, rust is not my enemy. If you're in a part of the world where the air actually contains water, you'll be looking for more expert advice, and perhaps not a homegrown solution.

takhtakaal
February 22, 2008, 04:59 PM
:what:

I shudder to think of what other questions might get asked in here.

birdbustr
February 22, 2008, 05:06 PM
I wouldn't use anything on my firearms that wasn't specifically made for that purpose. I've been seeing a lot of post about different "homemade solutions" for firearm use, and I just don't get it! It's not like something made by Hoppe's, Gunslick, Barnes or any other proven company's products are unreputable or simply unaffordable. Why risk ruining your firearm to save a few pennies?

birdbustr
February 22, 2008, 05:08 PM
The only thing I've ever used mineral oil on to lubricate was an old meat slicer in a restaurant I used to work at. Don't touch my firearms with anything not designed for that use.

Treo
February 22, 2008, 05:09 PM
I like Starret ( Machinists know) tool oil myself

Thernlund
February 22, 2008, 05:10 PM
Mineral oil is too thin. I use white lithium grease to lube after cleaning with CLP.


-T.

Beatnik
February 22, 2008, 05:12 PM
Why risk ruining your firearm to save a few pennies?

If you have hundreds of firearms, everything adds up. Also, if something works just as well as #9 and costs 1/4 the price, and doesn't melt plastic, that's savings for ammo!

CajunBass
February 22, 2008, 05:21 PM
I use some stuff I get at Wally World. It comes in a can marked "Gun Oil."

It's pretty cheap and it seems to work.

WayneConrad
February 22, 2008, 05:26 PM
I do understand being wary of homegrown solutions. However, I do have evidence on my side: A wheel gun and two autoloaders with more than five thousand rounds through them, all cleaned and oiled with Ed's Red and Ed's Lube (except where I've used Gear Oil on slides. Slides like grease or heavy oil here in hot, hot Phoenix). No undue wear, and everything functions just fine.

Got a bunch of rifles, too. Clean bores, no rust, all function fine.

One thing you have to ask yourself, is where do the companies making gun lube get the stuff they're putting into those little bottles they're selling? What makes it magically good once it's labeled and put on the gun store shelf?

Another thing to ask yourself, is what is a product like ATF III made to do? What conditions is it made to function in? Are those conditions anything like the conditions inside a gun? Are those conditions, in fact, harsher than the conditions in a gun?

Ya know, your guns aren't going to be ruined if you change from one lube to another, even from a store-bought to a home-brew. Pay attention to the gun, and it will tell you if the lube is doing its job. You can then relube, or decide that you don't like relubing that often and change to a better lube. It's not that complicated, and you don't need to pay $8/oz for ordinary, unspecialized lubrication (yes, there are specialized lube needs in guns, I'm sure. I'm betting that an awful lot of gun lube needs aren't $8/oz, also).

buttrap
February 22, 2008, 07:12 PM
Only good use I can think of for that stuff is flushing out plugged up horses.

Superlite27
February 22, 2008, 07:53 PM
I use some stuff I get at Wally World. It comes in a can marked "Gun Oil."

Why in the world would you ever try that stuff? I can't understand why anyone would attempt to put such a thing on their firearm.

I render the fat from the skin of a dead mountain lion. I then boil it for three hours, let it cool, and then skim the top layer from what is left over. Mix this with one part cod liver oil, and one part cherry flavored Chapstick. It has always worked for me.

Much better than this "Gun Oil" substance that you suggest.

Treo
February 22, 2008, 08:01 PM
Actually if I remember correctly in "The Little House" books Laura Ingalls Wilder recounted her father cleaning his gun and I think she said he cleaned it W/ boiling water and greased it W/ lard. I think it was a black powder piece ( early 1800s and all) don't know how that would work on a cartridge gun

Fburgtx
February 22, 2008, 08:34 PM
Superlite27,
With the exception of the ground-up bear claw and the prairie dog ear wax I add, that sounds like the exact same mixture I use!!!

Seriously, what's the aversion to going and spending 4 or 5 dollars on something actually made for guns?? Is that too big of an investment to use on your $600-$1000 guns??? Surely, if all these "concoctions" were so great, someone would put them in a 4 ounce bottle and sell them at a huge mark-up. Without a doubt, this is a perfect example of being "penny-wise and pound foolish".

redneck2
February 22, 2008, 09:42 PM
Industrial oils have additives for lubricity, corrosion retardants, oxidation inhibitors, etc. I would like to assume that these are in higher grade gun oils. Base oil is not a particularly good lube or rust preventative without the additives.

If you want to test your pet lube for rust prevention, coat a piece of steel (uncoated nail) with the lube and drop it water with a little peroxide and a few drops of acid. Unprotected metal will rust before your eyes.

Neo-Luddite
February 22, 2008, 10:22 PM
Actually if I remember correctly in "The Little House" books Laura Ingalls Wilder recounted her father cleaning his gun and I think she said he cleaned it W/ boiling water and greased it W/ lard. I think it was a black powder piece ( early 1800s and all) don't know how that would work on a cartridge gun


The best part is when Laura watches Pa casting bullets and can't resist touching one while it is hot even though she has been warned--but it's so shiny she can't resist it.


I'd skip mineral oil. Someone here on THR suggested using fully-synthetic motor oil (mobil 1, etc) as a low cost/high quality oil. Seems to work OK. You can put a quart in a spay bottle (a buck at any 'dollar' store) and go to town. Seems safe on just about any metal, wood or sythetic (designed to be 'good' for modern engine rings and seals at high temps and constant contact).

As birdbustr said, we used it (mineral oil) on stainless foodservice gear when I made pizzas as a high school/college kid; Hobart slicers and the 'pizzamatic' sausage dispenser (oh, a fun machine to behold); http://www.pizzamatic.com/

bikerdoc
February 22, 2008, 10:29 PM
mineral oil is the main ingredient in BABY OIL check the label.

Dave Markowitz
February 22, 2008, 10:47 PM
Seriously, what's the aversion to going and spending 4 or 5 dollars on something actually made for guns?? Is that too big of an investment to use on your $600-$1000 guns??? Surely, if all these "concoctions" were so great, someone would put them in a 4 ounce bottle and sell them at a huge mark-up. Without a doubt, this is a perfect example of being "penny-wise and pound foolish".

Lookee here: Ed's Red in a 4 oz. jar at Brownells. (http://www.brownells.com/aspx/NS/store/ProductDetail.aspx?p=19936&title=)

It's not being penny-wise and pound-foolish. Automotive lubricants, for example, are designed to endure an environment harsher than any firearm. Many experienced, knowledgeable shooters successfully use lubricants and cleaners not specifically designed or marketed for firearms.

Sometimes, gun cleaners or lubes are merely things made originally for other markets and rebottled into small containers with the price inflated. E.g., Shooter's Choice powder solvent is the same thing as GM Top Engine Cleaner, IIRC.

As for mineral oil, it's the main ingredient in Ballistol. Hoppe's No.9 gun oil (not the No.9 solvent) is mostly mineral oil as well.

Brian Dale
February 22, 2008, 10:52 PM
Is mineral oil any [emphasis by BD] good for lubing and preventing rust?The short answer is yes, but there are other inexpensive materials which will lubricate and protect firearms more effectively.

There have been previous THR threads on this topic. Here's a good example:

Mobil 1 or ATF?? (http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=262658)

THR member nplant quotes revolver smith Grant Cunningham (http://www.grantcunningham.com/lubricants101.html) at post #19 of that thread. He writes, in part:Frankly, in terms of mechanical performance most oils "work"; some are better than others, but everything will make parts move for a while. What really gets most oils is lack of corrosion resistance - in a gun, corrosion is a bad thing! There have been lots of claims, but those people who have actually taken the time to run experiments to test corrosion on steel have found that the products with the greatest hype are often the worst at corrosion resistance. Not surprisingly, plain mineral oils, such as Rem Oil, score at the very bottom of the list.


I like gun-specific, protective products such as Break-Free CLP and Ed's Red. I also like Dexron II and Mobil 1. I use Rem Oil for door hinges in the house.

THR member yonderway posted the recipe for Ed's Red at post #19 of this thread (http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=172206).

I'd keep anything that contains acetone, including Ed's Red, away from polymer gun frames and parts, though.

I don't like the way that animal fat gets rancid and smells, well, rancid. ;)

Sir Aardvark
February 23, 2008, 12:25 AM
About the only thing mineral oil has going for it is that it is a food grade oil (if so labeled) and can be safely consumed in small quantities (larger quantities will make you poop like a goose) - thus it is safe for things like kitchen knives and meat slicers, etc.

If you want something cheap that will give you state-of-the-art lubrication then get a quart of 20w-50 Mobil 1 oil. It is under $5.00 a quart at most anyplace that sells car oil.

If purely rust prevention is what you are looking for - then get some EEZOX.
It has been shown to be about the most rust resistant gun care product out there short of hard-chrome and cosmoline (do a search on it here on THR)

whatbrick
February 23, 2008, 01:07 AM
Been using Royal Purple products. No complaints so far.

SevenŠ
February 23, 2008, 08:49 AM
Dave Markowitz:
Many experienced, knowledgeable shooters successfully use lubricants and cleaners not specifically designed or marketed for firearms.

Mobil 1 Synthetic.

Works great, pennies/oz. :)

redneck2
February 23, 2008, 09:30 AM
About the only thing mineral oil has going for it is that it is a food grade oil (if so labeled) and can be safely consumed in small quantities (larger quantities will make you poop like a goose) - thus it is safe for things like kitchen knives and meat slicers, etc.
This would be correct. I sell all types of FG products, including hydraulic oils, greases, gear box oils, etc.

I would never use a FG product if it were possible to use something that has better lubrication characteristics. The reason some products are food grade is that they lack the additives (extreme pressure, anti-oxidant, etc.) that are in typical lubricants.

ATF is as much a solvent as lubricant. It has extreme detergent additives to keep the passages in automatic transmissions clean.

Greases are used anywhere oil will not stay in place. Oil is nearly always preferable if possible (think front hubs on semi tractors).

Grease thickens considerably when exposed to low temperatures. It tends to be messy. Grease traps and holds contaminants including dirt and water.

Actually, the highest performance anti rust products are sold to machine shops for finished products, stamping molds, etc.

One this is absolute. Oils are NOT all the same. Additive packages designed for a specific application make a huge difference.

Seems like if you can afford tens of thousands of dollars to fill your gun safe, you can spring for $10 for a decent oil to protect them.

Brian Dale
February 23, 2008, 09:58 AM
redneck2, I generally use greases to lubricate and oils to protect against rust.

For example, I use CRC Sta-Lube Synthetic Brake & Caliper Grease, with Teflon and molybdenum disulfide (pricey, but an $18, 14-oz. tub will last for most of my life), on (for instance) the grease points of my M1 and the sliding contact points of my 870, and I put Mobil 1, Dexron II or Break-Free CLP on all non-sliding metal surfaces.

Am I nuts? Or are we saying the same thing?

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