Cleaning APP & Lubing With Mineral Oil


April 23, 2011, 10:19 PM
I didn't have time to clean my 1858 Remington after going to the range yesterday and firing .36 shots through it. So I bought some pure mineral oil and coated the whole gun and 2 cylinders with it after I came home late. Then I let it soak overnight until I had the time to clean it this afternoon.
Since American Pioneer powder doesn't have any corrosive ingredients, the mineral oil is basically all that's needed to protect the gun until it's cleaned. Most of the APP fouling was soft, partially dissolved and fairly easy to wipe clean after it was saturated with the mineral oil. So I decided to try a new cleaning method by simply using the mineral oil and some elbow grease without using any soap & water. Thus avoiding the need to take the extra steps required to dry it off.
Then with the grips removed, I used a cotton swab to apply mineral oil to the internal workings without needing to take the gun apart. I was also able to reach in an wipe out whatever small amount of residue had accumulated since the gun was purchased used.
The viscosity and lubricating qualities of the mineral oil are very similar to petroleum based gun oil. It is clear and odorless and is compatible for use with BP because mineral oil is also the basic ingredient of Bore Butter/Wonder Lube.
I like shooting C&B revolver with the non-corrosive APP, and being able to use the mineral oil to delay and/or clean up the gun afterward is just an added benefit.
Now that I've tried mineral oil, I'll use it again to clean & lube in the future.
IMHO mineral oil may offer some advantages over using vegetable oils to lube.

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Foto Joe
April 24, 2011, 11:32 AM
Ballistol, which is coal based mineral oil has been in use for over a century so I think you're probably barking up the right tree. I wouldn't use plain mineral oil for Black Powder though as I'm not certain as to its PH level. The Ballistol is slightly alkaline and offsets the acidity of Black Powder residue.

If the American Pioneer isn't acidic then you're probably in good shape.

I've used mineral oil (Ballistol) on smokeless as well as Black Powder guns. I think it works basically as good as Hoppes #9 with the advantage of being non-toxic. I can definitely agree about having advantages over vegetable oils, those things tend to turn into a goey, sticky problem if left unused for any period of time.

And after all, if there ever comes a day at the range and you find yourself constipated, you'll have the perfect cure right in your range bag.:neener:

Dave Markowitz
April 24, 2011, 01:53 PM
I've been using mineral oil to lube and protect against rust for a couple months now. I figured that since it's the main ingredient in Ballistol it should work. So far, so good. I like that it's (a) cheap and (b) completely odorless.

I have not used mineral oil for cleaning.

Foto Joe
April 25, 2011, 11:53 AM
I got to listen to my wife and daughter give me a hard time yesterday afternoon while cleaning three guns in my daughters garage. I was being polite, the garage door was open and I was actually sitting right in the open doorway. Unfortunately, neither of them has ever developed a fondness for the smell of Ballistol. There just isn't any equality here. I have never once complained about the odor of any of the cleaning products THEY use!!

So having mentioned the above situation, mineral oil would definitely have its advantages at times. Have either of you tried mixing it with water say 1:1 like Moose Milk to see if it stays in suspension?

Dave Markowitz
April 25, 2011, 01:43 PM
I've done a 1:2 mix of water:Ballistol but haven't yet tried it with mineral oil. It's on my to-do list.

Foto Joe
April 25, 2011, 01:48 PM
Let us know if it works. It would provide a "less offensive" way to clean up when it's called for.

April 27, 2011, 01:45 AM
Mineral oil is a great lubricant, coolant, wood preservative, etc, but it absolutely will not mix with water without the addition of an emulsifier such as Polysorbate 80 (

April 27, 2011, 03:00 PM
Foto Joe, it's actually very simple - just use Balistol everyday for about 4 - 5 years. Eventually they will get used to the smell. Maybe...


April 27, 2011, 06:48 PM
I use APP Gold FFF for 45 Colts and FF for 12 Gauge Rounds in Cowboy Action Shooting
Windex with Vinegar to Clean . Ballistol to Lube.
Vinegar and Water to Soak the Brass.


April 27, 2011, 10:23 PM
I'm a big fan of Ballistol and it must be a man thing to like the smell of it. Like Foto Joe's women My wife doesn't like the smell. Ballistol must have a great emulsifier in it because it readily mixes with water and the emulsion is more stable than milk. I use the emulsion to clean powder residue and the straight to get rid of moisture and lubricate and protect.
I read on Ballistol's website that it's also used as a topical medicine. I don't know what it will cure maybe the galloping crude,mange, lyme's disease,polio, creeping esmine.........

April 28, 2011, 01:25 AM
[QUOTE=Foto Joe
And after all, if there ever comes a day at the range and you find yourself constipated, you'll have the perfect cure right in your range bag.:neener:[/QUOTE]

lol, that is both hilarious and convenient too! I'll keep this in mind because you can't do that with Hoppes #9

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