Any tribologists or gun oil enthusiasts wanna play?


April 23, 2008, 04:13 PM
OK - I am becoming an oil/lube freak. I would like to share ideas, experiences, R/W tests, personal tests.

Object: Learn more about what's important in lubes and their ingredients, and have FUN.

Lubes are like guns, movie stars and baseball teams - it seems we all have our favorites, and in guns and lubes, we have invested in these and cause many of us to WILL that ours is the "true one".

Can we keep trolls to a minimum? Do you want to play? This is the most highly populated forum that I visit, and I think it has the highest probability of producing REAL, good comparisons and numbers.

I would like to do OIL. I would love for someone else to do GREASE. And, way down the line, maybe comparisons 'twixt the two on rails, etc.

So - Your turn here.


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April 23, 2008, 04:20 PM
I have recently been experimenting with Mobile1 Synthetic 15W50. So far, I like the results, but have only had two range sessions so far. The price is right at about $7 per quart, versus the $5-$15 I pay for a 2 oz bottle of "gun oil".

April 23, 2008, 04:35 PM
All I'ved used for the last 2-3 years is ATF and Marvel Mystery oil for my semi-auto's. CLP for everything else. Works good for me!

April 23, 2008, 05:22 PM
Try They have a decent subforum for firearm lubrication. I'm a Hoppes #9 and Remoil guy myself. :)

April 23, 2008, 06:26 PM
CLP, GunButter, Eezox, and Tetra gun grease for me.

April 23, 2008, 06:31 PM
No idea what a tribologist is?

Heres my only venture into any lube testing. Make of it what you will.


April 23, 2008, 07:33 PM
For most triggers which require very light lubrication, a gentleman named Arnold Jewell told me to use Zippo lighter fluid, and to just flush the heck out 'em...

April 23, 2008, 07:36 PM
Over 30 years as a gunsmith/watchmaker, and over 45 years as a gunnut, Ive used about everything including a home made lube made of penetrating fluid, Browning gun oil, and STP Oil Treatment.

After all those years, I've settled on two, with a third as a current experiment.

# One is CLP Breakfree.
It's at or near the top in all rust tests, and lubricates as well or better than anything else.

#2 Is Synco Super Lube.
The oil is a "thin grease/thick oil" substance, that stays put and continues to lubricate actions for years.
It's a synthetic with Teflon.
I used it for years to lube customer revolvers and autos that wouldn't be disassembled very often.
Even after several years, it's still present, clean, and lubricating.
Unlike thinner lubes, it won't run off, sling off, wick away, or dry out.

It's available in small needle-tipped oilers from Midway and direct from Synco, but the best deal is the 4 ounce bottle from Synco.

Last is an old standby that I'm reevaluating: Gunslick Graphite Gun Grease.
This used to be sold by Outers and was packed in each gun cleaning kit.
This is a black graphite grease that claimed to have a "honing action" that actually improved triggers and actions over years of use.
A buddy of mine always lubricated his Marlin 39-A he bought in the early 1960's, and today it IS glassy smooth.
I'm lubricating the hammer and trigger on the 1950 Marlin 39-A I rebuilt to test whether this actually smooths up metal surfaces.

As I've often said: WHAT you lubricate with is not important, it's that you DO lubricate.
There are no "miracle lubes" and really, one is about as good as another.

April 24, 2008, 02:25 AM
I have recently been experimenting with Mobile1 Synthetic
Ditto. I tried it out on my 1911's,bushmaster M4, and model 60 .22lr, and had no failures of any type in any of them, regarless of whatever cheapo ammo I may be firing that day. Guns seemed nice and smooth, remained well oiled even after sitting untouched for a few months in the case of 2 of them, and well oiled even after multiple heavy uses without cleaning in the case of 2 others, and clean up even seemed easier. For the price and qantity, I'm more than sold. Just broke down all of my guns last weekend for a serious cleaning (turned into a 3 day project-does that mean I have too many guns? :D), and re-oiled every one of them with Mobil 1 synthetic (ok, not my M1 Garand, I use milspec grease for it, but every other one). I see no reason any more to spend 3 times as much $$, for 1/3 the quantity, for oil just cause it has the word "gun" on the label. YMMV

side note, finally broke into my $20 shipped case of 12, 8oz USGI Rifle Bore Cleaner from the 60's to try out. Stinks pretty bad, rubber gloves probly a VERY wise idea, but it sure works great. did some informal comparasin, and it seemed to take about 1/2 the number of patches to clean a barrel compared to Hoppes #9. The first couple just come out JET black, as opposed to just really dirty like with Hoppe's.Blue/green on patches seems to indicate it's getting at least some copper out too, as opposed to Hoppe's #9, so added bonus.I hear it's real good for black powder and corrosive ammo too, but havent tried it on those yet.

Gun Slinger
April 24, 2008, 01:09 PM
Another M1 user, here.

Mobil 1 20w50(VTWIN) is my preferred gun lubricant and M1 10w40(MX4T) is an excellent alternative if the 20w50 is unavailable. Strictly a PAO based Group IV synthetic, M1 20w50 is "grease-like" (~NLGI 00) at 100˚ F, possesses excellent "detergency" (helps keep dirt/debris 'in suspension') and is loaded with EP/AW additives like ZDDP and Molybdenum (per its VOA). I use it because it is simply the best lubricant that I have ever used on my firearms, not because it is more economical, although that is nice, too.

At ten bucks a quart, you get a "lifetime" supply of it, too. Can't beat it. :)

Mobil 1 20W50 (VTWIN)
Pour Point: -59.8˚ F
Flash Point (COC): +518.0˚ F
Visc. @ 100˚ F: 130.0 cSt
Visc. @ 212˚ F: 17.7 cSt
VI: 151

Mobil 1 10W40 (MX4T)
Pour Point: -65.2˚ F
Flash Point (COC): +487.4˚ F
Visc. @ 100˚ F: 86.0 cSt
Visc. @ 212˚ F: 13.8 cSt
VI: 166

April 24, 2008, 05:39 PM
Hmm, I've never heard of using motor oil as lube.

How would you fine tribologists rate FP-10? It's currently what I'm using in my old wheel gun, but I don't think it works very well. It seems to dry out a lot faster than Hoppes. But everyone I ask bout near soils themselves singing its holy praises...

What do you gents think?

Gun Slinger
April 24, 2008, 06:43 PM

It should do just fine. Looks like pretty decent stuff.

Looks like mostly Group III basestock with some AW/EP additives where as Mobil 1 20w50 and 10w40 is a Group IV PAO with much more in the way of EP/AW/Anti-Ox additives like ZDDP and "Moly". FP-10's Flash Point is 338.0˚ F and it freezes at -49.0˚ F whereas M1 has a significantly larger operating range.

Here is a link to the MSDS for FP-10 so that you can see for yourself:

The Police Department that I retired from currently uses it for their issued weapons.


April 24, 2008, 07:00 PM
Never tried the Mobil 1 but I plan to.

I've always wondered about using actual Mobil 1 gear lube (75w90 I think it is?) instead of motor oil. Being as thick as it is could be interesting for a lube that stays where you want it.

April 24, 2008, 07:11 PM
Well - - My grand idea for starting this thread was for us to run our own tests. We can maybe, get enough stuff for many of us to test. There is currently a "Test" going on on mp-forums, but the results have failed to show up in 6 mo.

I expect that tribologists will have an ingrained worship of "OIL", and do not expect that many might be moved by non-distillate stuff.

What do YOU think are the important factors of "lubes".. lower friction? immunity to oxidation [rust]? mobility [or not]? ability to do whatever you expect it to do for months? NOT being an attractant for grit and grime? Add your's HERE----:)


April 24, 2008, 07:24 PM
Not one and never will be. If your looking for an actual tribologist you might want to try over at The Firing Line. Guy by the name of George Fennell. Creator of the original F-10. Now markets a newer product by the name of Gun Shield. The man knows more about oils then everyone else here combined. Feel free to pick his brain.

Makes the people who use WD-40, ATF, Mobil 1 look ignorant. And mostly we are ignorant of what is the difference between these things. The man KNOWS oil!

April 24, 2008, 07:33 PM
Running tests will not reveal much.

The only test most people have the equipment for is a rust test, and everyone gets VERY different results.

A good test I've never seen would be an actual lab test of how popular gun lubes actually lubricate, as well as how they stand up long term and resist evaporation, drying out, running off, throwing off, as well as rust resistance.

Unfortunately, most of us can't afford to commission HP White Labs to do it.

April 24, 2008, 07:52 PM
Last is an old standby that I'm reevaluating: Gunslick Graphite Gun Grease.

I use that stuff. It stays put real well, though the application can be kinda messy.

I even use it on my guitar's bridge pieces to keep strings from breaking. Triples the life of my high strings.

For motor oil, I choose Castrol 20/50, sticks good, not too runny. Use it for my bike as well.

April 24, 2008, 07:57 PM
I even use it on my guitar's bridge pieces to keep strings from breaking. Triples the life of my high strings.

That's a dang good idea. Never even considered that.

Gun Slinger
April 24, 2008, 07:59 PM
Originally posted by Lupinus:
Never tried the Mobil 1 but I plan to.

I've always wondered about using actual Mobil 1 gear lube (75w90 I think it is?) instead of motor oil. Being as thick as it is could be interesting for a lube that stays where you want it.


You can use M1 75w90 or 75w140 gear lube, but be aware that once it heats up it'll smell rather strongly (and perhaps unpleasantly) since they have sulfur in their "additive package". Neither have the "specs" that M1 10w40 and M1 20w50 do, but they'll certainly suffice in a 'pinch'.

Mobil 1 75W90
Pour Point: -50.8˚ F
Flash Point (COC): +347.0˚ F
Visc. @ 100˚ F: 106.0 cSt
Visc. @ 212˚ F: 15.2 cSt
VI: 151

Mobil 1 75W140
Pour Point: -59.8˚ F
Flash Point (COC): +429.8˚ F
Visc. @ 100˚ F: 179.0 cSt
Visc. @ 212˚ F: 25.3 cSt
VI: 175

Mobil 1 20W50 (VTWIN)
Pour Point: -59.8˚ F
Flash Point (COC): +518.0˚ F
Visc. @ 100˚ F: 130.0 cSt
Visc. @ 212˚ F: 17.7 cSt
VI: 151

Mobil 1 10W40 (MX4T)
Pour Point: -65.2˚ F
Flash Point (COC): +487.4˚ F
Visc. @ 100˚ F: 86.0 cSt
Visc. @ 212˚ F: 13.8 cSt
VI: 166

I'm forced to agree with 'dfariswheel' in that most tests seem not to focus on the actual lubricity of the products, instead comparing other attributes that, while not unimportant, don't really address the question of what performs the best in the task of actually reducing friction.


April 24, 2008, 08:36 PM
good point

I hadn't thought of the sulfur smell....but hey might be a good way to get an indoor range to myself.

Gun Slinger
April 24, 2008, 08:40 PM
Or you could skip bathing for a week or two... ;)

April 24, 2008, 09:26 PM
Last is an old standby that I'm reevaluating: Gunslick Graphite Gun Grease.
Just be aware that graphite is corrosive to aluminum under high-humidity conditions, so you may not want to use it on aluminum-frame pistols or AR's.

FWIW, I use Mobil 1 10W-30 on my AK, and it is much less prone to dry out than Rem Oil and seems to stay put better.

Gun Slinger
April 24, 2008, 09:41 PM

Not surprised that RemOil disappears so quickly since it is composedprimarily of mineral spirits (< 50%) and Aliphatic Petroleum Distillates (<55%) (see the MSDS link below) and only leaves a trace of dry Film Teflon Lubricant behind. Kinda "light" for my tastes, too.


Graphite is abrasive when "in suspension" against aluminum alloys and is a definite "no-no".


April 25, 2008, 07:20 AM
Stephpd - I would wonder about Georges fixed feelings on the topic, since he has irons in the fire. I wonder what historical alignment Gunslinger on this board has.


April 25, 2008, 09:16 AM
Corrosion x for easy to apply and penetrating lube.

For stainless on stainless Dupont Krytox is great to prevent gauling, which isn't very likely for the pressures mating gun parts see, but good knowledge just the same. Expensive though.

Eezox for exterior surfaces and long term storage.

Gun Slinger
April 25, 2008, 12:13 PM
Originally posted by berkbw:
I wonder what historical alignment Gunslinger on this board has.

What is that supposed to mean? :confused:

April 25, 2008, 02:58 PM
This thread has inspired me to go mad scientist.

After looking around in this thread, others, and the internet in general I've got my brain cooking on a few different strait products as well as mixtures and blends just for S&G's.

Think I'll try a few.

April 25, 2008, 08:01 PM
Lupinus - most of us do not have the equipment to do lubricity evaluations. And I don't know how to properly balance dry-lubes, like moly, and tungsten, and ptfe. This is not a thing to make ME look good. It's just an attempt to actually learn more, for many of us.

It was just an idea, if it doesn't work for me, then maybe for someone else, eh?


April 25, 2008, 08:22 PM
So as said, I decided to do my own comparison. I have 8 just standard steel plates from the hardware store, seven products and one for control. All plates were cut from the same steel bar, sprayed with a degreaser, wiped clean, had their product applied, and then the excess wiped free to leave a thin film. Sprayed two hours ago with a water salt solution.

Breakfree CLP- Looking good. Just to be clear this is the CLP in the aerosol can.

Standard Hoppe's #9 Oil- Defiantly better then the control, but showing some light rust.

Hoppe's #9 with weatherguard- Better then standard Hoppe's, but defiantly not as good as the CLP.

Gunslick Ultra Lube- Looks the best of the gun specific products, very little if any rust.

Mobil 1 Syn ATF (All they had was the multi-vehicle Mercon, says meets Dexron standards)- Defiantly better then the control and slightly better then the strait Hoppe's Oil, but not as good as the CLP or Gunslick.

Marvel Mystery Oil- Looks a bit worse then the ATF.

75% ATF and 25% Mystery Oil- Actually looks considerably better then the strait ATF or MMO, but still not as good as the CLP or Gunslick.

I went with ATF because by all accounts I read, it was better then going with Motor oil. MMO was chosen as I had seen it suggested. And a 25/75 blend of the two just for the hell of it.

Will give another update after they have sat all night, with a picture.

Currently, the gunslick looks the best of them all.

April 25, 2008, 08:23 PM

Oh I know, I'm just playing around with corrosion.

In the case of motor oil or ATF, I don't care how well it lubes if the gun is gonna rust away lol.

April 25, 2008, 09:33 PM
berkbw- granted George Fennell has his life tied to selling his product but he has produced 2 products for guns. As far as I know he is the only tribologist that will post to the gun boards. I'm sure he believes his product to be the best but when he talks oil there is no mistaking his knowledge.

I know very little about guns or oil so when I find someone who seems to know more I tend to listen. Using motor oil or transmission fluid in anything besides engines and transmissions seems wrong. They were designed for a specific purpose. Sure you can use Mazola oil as a hydraulic fluid if that's all you've got but we have better things designed for a particular purpose.

For me I'll stick to those that are designed for that purpose. And there are many products made just for guns. Hoopes #9 for cleaning barrels, a clp for wiping down the exterior for rust prevention. And a quality gun oil for the slide. I have quite a few others just for guns but those three work well for me.

Clp may be made to do it all but I like it best for the protection, not so good for lubricate or clean. Other products do that better. But clp was made for an all in one for soldiers in battle. Can't carry 3 different products.

Hoopes has been around longer then me and seems to clean barrels well. Might be something better, I just don't know.

Gun oil on the friction parts. Rem oil, Gun Shield etc. Not sure if they are actually better then Mobil 1 but at least they are designed for guns. Mobil 1 is a detergent motor oil, I'll keep it in my engine.

April 26, 2008, 09:36 AM
Camera took a dump so no pictures :mad: No one tells me these things.

In any case, CLP wins, with the gunslick following with a close second. The both showed very light surface rust that wiped away easily and left no marks.

The non-gun oils tried and the regular Hoppe's showed considerable surface rust that for the most part wiped away, but left some markings behind. The mixture of ATF and MMO did best.

So while it may lube fine, the non-gun lubes tested just didn't cut it for protection from corrosion.

April 26, 2008, 11:47 AM
now you need to test it for slickness.

A small electic motor turning two gears at no load, using 1 aa battery.
See how much current it uses.

Should also show you what stays put.

April 26, 2008, 07:16 PM
I assume you guys have seen this corrosion test? Breakfree does OK, but Eezox and Corrosion X are the ones to beat. I use Eesox after a good cleaning, and BreakFree CLP for normal everyday cleaning/lube, plus my Tetra grease for serious lube points.

April 26, 2008, 07:37 PM
My son changed his truck oil and left about 6-8 oz in the 5 qt jug-Castrol semi synthetic. Guess Ill have to get some kind of small oiler and fill it for evaluation.

Wayne G.
April 26, 2008, 08:22 PM
tagged for later

April 27, 2008, 11:35 AM
I must be behind the times. I'm now using Mobile Lathe spindle oil. It's $18.00 a gallon around here. It's similar to the old sewing machine oil.

April 27, 2008, 01:25 PM
I like this stuff ( for oil. It's thick enough to stay put pretty well, but not too thick like a grease. Works great on internal parts of pistols, etc., that might gum up with grease. Very slick. Seems to work better than the motor oil.


April 27, 2008, 01:31 PM
CLP for everything, cleans and protects.

Water for the corrosive ammo cleanup and then a thorough spray of CLP.

April 27, 2008, 03:34 PM
I like using olive oil on Carcanos and sesame oil on Chineses SKSs. I actually prefer sperm whale oil above all else, but I just hate dragging the harpoon gun out everytime I get low.

April 27, 2008, 03:47 PM
I personally like Militec-1 for lube and a silicone impregnated cloth for protection. For longterm storage I clean and then put it in a large vacuum seal food storage bag.

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