Effectiveness of Hoppes 9: Old or New Blend?


July 19, 2011, 11:00 AM
My first post here. THR is a great resource for finding out stuff, and I would like opinions on this. Let me say first off that I have years of experience working in laboratories and mixing/formulating chemicals. I am finishing a Ph.D. in metabolics, biochemistry and ruminant nutrition. I am not a back yard chemist.

Which, if you are old enough to remember, worked better? The original Hoppes or the newer blend of Hoppes 9 for sale? I am trying to decide if mixing a batch of either the old Hoppes (I think I have found the original formula) or mixing up Ed's Red is worth the time and trouble.

If you have experience with either the original Hoppes 9 or Ed's Red, in comparison to the new formulation of Hoppes 9, I would really like to hear about it. I am weighing the pros and cons of this project, including chemical exposure risks. Please, tell me what you think vis-a-vis the effectiveness of the solvents.


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July 19, 2011, 11:34 AM
I used the original for years and I can't tell the difference in effectiveness with the new stuff. Both work for me.

Wil Terry
July 19, 2011, 09:59 PM
I have used all three that you mention. Can't hardly tell the difference. You should try to re-make the old HERTER'S bore cleaner, DETROTHAL.

July 19, 2011, 10:33 PM
I shoot too much to hoard any kind of cleaner hehe. It WILL be used in short order.

July 19, 2011, 10:55 PM
First let me answer your question. No there is no discernible difference for me between the original Hoppes 9 and the new stuff. They both work well for me.

KaibabMD, with your qualifications you may be able to answer a question for me. Would it be possible to make a Men's cologne that smells just like Hoppes No. 9, but that had no problems with shin contact. You see over the years I've come to equate the smell of Hoppes with feeling happy.

Owen Sparks
July 19, 2011, 11:27 PM
What about the health risks of exposure to the chemicals in these gun cleaners?

July 19, 2011, 11:34 PM
Hoppe's has always been the gun cleaner of choice in my family. I can't tell any difference between the old and the new.

I do use two different cleaners in the barrel though. I use Hoppe's and go through the whole procedure. When the last patch comes out completely clean I do it again with Birchwood Casey synthetic cleaner. It usually gets about another four more patches worth of dirt out of the barrel.

July 20, 2011, 12:40 AM
I have used Hoppe's new and old, and presently have some #9 and a batch of Ed's Red.

In my formulation of Ed's Red, I use Marvel Mystery Oil as a substitute for the ATF, works fine. MMO is an excelent degreaser and carbon remover.

I have had all of the above fail to do what I wanted, (properly clean a very pitted barrel to see if I could lap it...didn't work, I just replaced the barrel) and all of the above work fine for normal cleaning, preservation work.

July 20, 2011, 08:43 AM
KaibabMD: For an interesting research project check the Nitrobenzene levels of the old Hoppes vs the new formulation. The manufacturer has reduced the quantity of Nitrobenzene considerably because of the suspected carcinogenic properties of this particular organic chemical. I'm sure you have worked with Benzene before and that is a known carcinogen.

July 20, 2011, 09:08 AM
I don,t like to use solvents personaly.Hot water and a drop of dawn dish liquid works just as good .Followed by a few patches of Hoppes elite gun oil to keep the rust out.

July 20, 2011, 09:13 AM
You mean to tell me, I might want to stop using Hoppes 9 as aftershave when I'm done dry shaving with strop razor, while smoking a cigar, in the morning? Ok, wimp. :D

I guess it's true.... Guns don't kill people...... Gun cleaners kill people.

Next, you're gonna tell me not to put Jack Daniels on my Wheaties too! Whatever happen to being a REAL man? Sheesh... LOL

July 20, 2011, 09:31 AM
I guess I better quit using it--after 60 some years it may turn out to be bad for me.
I still am using the old stuff but I do have 2 bottles of the new stuff.

July 20, 2011, 09:39 AM
"including chemical exposure risks."

You might want to look into Ballistol, if this is a concern.



July 20, 2011, 10:29 AM
I don't notice any difference between the old and new formula. The new stuff doesn't smell as strong as the old. I have a bottle of the old formula that I use for aroma therapy now and then when I am feeling down. I go through about a quart of No 9 a year because I shoot alot of milsurps with surplus ammo.....chris3

July 20, 2011, 11:07 AM
Save your time trouble and health - use gunzilla - been shooting and reloading for 50 years - used it all and gunzilla is the best - look it up on the internet - troops in the desert beg for it - sent 3 cases over so far

July 20, 2011, 11:48 AM
I know Hoppes makes makes the expensive air freshener, but wouldn't it be cool if Yankee candle made a Hoppes scented candle? hmmm!

July 20, 2011, 11:52 AM
I've never been impressed with either. It takes too many applications before patches stop coming out blue.

July 20, 2011, 12:08 PM
Hoppes has always smelled awful to me. Can't stand the smell, which I believe comes from Banana oil, I hate fresh bananas. I wonder if it would piss off wasps or hornets.

July 20, 2011, 01:26 PM
"including chemical exposure risks."

You might want to look into Ballistol, if this is a concern.




Wow. :uhoh::eek:

July 20, 2011, 01:27 PM
Hoppes has always smelled awful to me. Can't stand the smell
You must be a communist. :D

July 20, 2011, 01:37 PM
I think the old formula with nitrobenzene was much better. Or should I say is better, because I still have some.


Seems it's not too hard to make your own nitrobenzene.


July 20, 2011, 02:03 PM

A friend of mine introduced me to Ballistol. I have actually been rather pleased with it, although I don't recommend that anyone consume it.:eek:


From: http://www.firehawktech.com/Ballistol/index.html

"At the turn of the century the imperial German Army (the Wehrmacht) began to look for an all-around oil. The idea was to maintain the metallic parts of the soldier’s rifle but also to protect the wooden stocks and his leather gear. The soldier was to use the same oil for the treatment of minor wounds, sores and scratches."

"The decision is in your hands: you can choose to continue to use toxic products or you can begin to use Ballistol... now. Ballistol is a lubricant which is non-toxic, non-carcinogenic and biodegradable."

From the MSDS information sheet:

Hazardous Ingredients Information
Ballistol-Lube does not contain any components classified "hazardous" by OSHA

Ballistol-Lube contains only one ingredient with TLVs:
Ingredient - Isobutyl Alcohol

"Acute and Chronic Health Hazards: No LD-50 oral could be determined for Ballistol-Lube with rats and rabbits.

Manufacturer classifies product as non-toxic. BALLISTOL-Lube does not contain Benzene or Kerosene.

CarcinoQenicitv: No NTP publication. No IARC monograph. Ballistol-Lube is based on medicinal grade mineral oil (CAS# 8042-47-5), which has been classified "Class 3" by the IARC, This means that there is insufficient evidence for this substance to cause cancer in animals or humans.

BALLISTOL-Lube does not contain any substance currently known to be a carcinogen.

Signs and Symptoms of Exposure None known.

Medical Conditions Generally Aggrevated by Exposure None known.

Emergency and First Aid Procedures: In the event of contact with eyes, flush with large quatities of water. If ingested, consult with physician.

Here is the address for the MSDS for Hoppe's#9, if anyone is interested:


July 20, 2011, 02:13 PM
I just don't use petrol based cleaners.

Standing Wolf
July 20, 2011, 02:41 PM
Wait. You mean you don't just run guns through the dish washer? How come nobody ever told me?

July 20, 2011, 02:45 PM
Wait. You mean you don't just run guns through the dish washer? How come nobody ever told me?
Cascade with Lemon works best! OH!!...the spot free kind!!

July 20, 2011, 10:25 PM
I know Hoppes makes makes the expensive air freshener, but wouldn't it be cool if Yankee candle made a Hoppes scented candle? hmmm!

I hope that they are reading this. :cool:

Friendly, Don't Fire!
July 20, 2011, 10:34 PM
I know I used to wipe my firearms down after cleaning them with a clean rag with Hoppes 9 on it. It would leave an oily-finish that was like a real thin oil, making the bluing look real dark. The gun metal could go a year or two and still have that thin oil coating on it.

Not any more.

With the Hoppes 9 I use today (I buy it by the quart, cheaper that way), when I wipe my guns down with it, they end up being covered with a sticky substance, almost as if I tried to shellac the parts wiped down with a thin shellac that never quite dries properly.

All my life I have wiped my guns down with Hoppes 9, in fact, I think it used to instruct one to do that on the bottle instructions if I am not mistaken!

July 20, 2011, 10:36 PM
I hope that they are reading this.

Can you imagine the clientele change at Bed, Bath, & Beyond when Yankee Candles go on sale?

Be almost as interesting to see how many bought the #9 scent, and called it "hopps" or even "HOEps" instead of "haw PEES" . . .

<gonna grin, duck, 'n' run now>

July 20, 2011, 10:37 PM
This thread has made me realize I am not the only one that absolutely loves the smell of Hoppes #9 ... thank you all ... and I really want them to make a cologne of it

And FWIW ... I haven't noticed any difference ... Hoppes #9 for cleaning up and then some spray silicon for wiping down/protection

July 21, 2011, 09:26 AM
"I used to wipe my firearms down after cleaning them with a clean rag with Hoppes 9"

That's all we did through the '60s and '70s. It worked just fine on guns stored in a zippered case in the closet. No AC until later years, no special care , just the humid air that comes with living in Baltimore and D.C.

My '63 Mountie still looks great, too.

Cop Bob
July 21, 2011, 02:15 PM
:what: They Changed the formula to HOPPE'S ?????

That is downright un American !... I'm still working off of a 5 gallon jug I bought a long time ago..

Your right, the OLD formula was a great gun lubricant.. It was good for storing guns.. It DID NOT attract dust and dirt like some others... It did not harden or change viscosity over time....

I have not seen or tried the new formula, if I did, I didn't know it.. But if it changes viscosity, or collects dust and dirt... heck I got WD-40 for that...

Thanks for posting the links to the Tech info and MSDS sheets on Ballistol..

I recently bought some for cleaning and storing my BPCR guns.. It seems to be the lube/cleaner of choice in the BP world..(and it is a whole different world) ... it does a fantastic job.. now after reading all the info on Ballistol... I can see it's use around my place expanding... I already use it to lube my fishing reels.. as it's ability to prevent, and neutralize rust is well known... From what I read on the link you posted, it can be used for about everything except a Dessert Topping... However, in Europe, they are using it for Flea and Tick control on pets.. I had no idea how versatile that stuff is... I know it knocks the BP crud and residue out of and off my Sharps, and it shines her up pretty.. go back and reinspect a weeks later.. still shining like a new penny... Were good.. now I find that it can clean and restore fiberglass, and control aphids and cutworms in the garden.. Help remove water from diesel fuel, and increase octane in gasoline... waddelseyawant?

July 21, 2011, 03:03 PM
Good to know that the information is helpful, Bob.

I have found that Ballistol does seem to work well when I want to run a patch through the bore quickly - I don't need to swab out the solvent, then reapply oil.

I also like the fact that it shouldn't damage the wood stock:

"Most common gun oils, solvents, cleaners or corrosion inhibitors are not good for your gun's wooden stocks, Some attack the high gloss varnish, some will bleach the wood, some will wash the oil out of your oil stocks. Ballistol is good for wood and wooden stocks. It was designed to protect even untreated gun stocks against humidity, insects and fungus and to be compatible with all sorts of paints and varnishes, even those on antique guns. Ballistol can be used to re-treat oil stocks. It penetrates into the wood and inhibits the growth of fungus and mildew in the wood. Of course, you can also use Ballistol on modern and antique furniture or to protect external wooden structures against decay. Ballistol will also prevent insects from attacking wood.

CAUTION: It is sometimes uncertain which type of paint, lacquer or varnish was used on antique guns or furniture. Test Ballistol on a small spot first!"

In hickok45's video about his new Ruger SR1911, I noticed him using Ballistol, so I decided to try out my can of the stuff.

I'm actually beginning to enjoy the odor!:eek:


Smokey in PHX
July 22, 2011, 04:54 PM
Never noticed any difference between the two. One advantage with Hoppe's is that it is an aide to your memory. Within minutes of taking the lid off the bottle you can immediately recall in great detail all of your wonderful hunts in prior years.

July 25, 2011, 09:04 PM
FWIW Midway has Hoppes on sale in pint and quart sizes at decent prices. I'm stocking up.

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