Natural Lube?!?!


March 19, 2012, 08:28 PM
I had an earlier post about cleaning my newly acquired 1851... and received some good advice, thanks!

However, I need a point cleared up... I still want to know what options I have for lubing the gun post cleaning that is "all natural". I am using Rem Oil right now; however, I don't like it... the fumes mess me up amongst other things.

What natural lubes are there to use??? Please provide Brand names and such... and where to get it if possible! Details are good! THANKS!!!

If you enjoyed reading about "Natural Lube?!?!" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!
March 19, 2012, 08:43 PM
Crisco works. You can also mix Crisco with paraffin, that's the stuff I use! Two parts Crisco, one part paraffin which is essentially candle wax. What do you mean by the fumes "messing you up" do they make you feel dizzy or something? You should shoot outdoors, good ventilation is key.

Keep in mind you can use tallow from bacon or veal, I've used that before. Then again I use bacon grease for everything, sort of as an all purpose shop lubricant. It's good because when you shoot it smells like bacon.


March 19, 2012, 08:45 PM
There's mineral oil which is sold as a medicinal laxative in pharmacies:

There's Ballistol which contains mineral oil plus other ingredients for cleaning and neutralizing black powder. It does have a distinct oder, but it can also be mixed with water for cleaning.

There's Thompson Center Bore Butter which is a patch lube, over ball lube and cylinder pin lube that contains mineral oil, miconized wax & fragrance.,or.r_gc.r_pw.,cf.osb&fp=91903e14d1087164&biw=800&bih=467

Traditions Wonder Lube is the twin to Bore Butter. It adheres to metal and doesn't run as much as liquid oil does.

March 19, 2012, 08:55 PM
Busyhands... just to confirm... you use Crisco after the gun is cleaned and then store it with the Crisco/parrafin on the gun?

I REALLY like the bacon grease idea... my wife always has some around... LOL.

Even in good ventilation that stuff gives me a headache... plus I don't like using any chemicals like that...

I wonder if I could use Olive Oil as well?

March 19, 2012, 08:55 PM
Thompson Center Bore Butter is my favorite. I mix a little in when I make my bee's wax and Crisco grease cookies. I use it straight as cylinder pin grease on my Remington pistolas, too.

March 19, 2012, 09:02 PM
If you research Colonial and early post RevWar history you'll find many references to using "Sweet Oil" for firearms lubrication. This is nothing more than Olive Oil, and it was imported and dispersed throughout the settled regions. Bear oil and deer tallow were also heavily used. The olive oil you can readily buy, naturally, but the other two you'll have to collect yourself. Deer tallow is very easy to render down from fat saved when the deer is butchered. It will prevent rust and makes an OK lube, though not highly desirable. Excellent patch lube for patched round balls, however.

If the smell of Rem Oil is offensive to you, then you surely couldn't stand the odor of Ballistol. This is a "natural" lube with a mineral oil base and is one of the very best lubricating oils that you can use with black powder firearms. This is a German made lube and has been used by the German Armed Forces from the late 1800's right down to the present.

March 19, 2012, 09:18 PM
I wonder if I could use Olive Oil as well?

Folks do use the vegetable oils and they work.
But in the long term they can turn into a varnish which mineral oils won't do.
In the old days they may have used whale oil too which may have been the best.

hang fire
March 19, 2012, 09:22 PM
Equal parts of one cup (8 oz.) each melted beeswax and coconut butter with one tablespoon of Mobil 1 oil stirred in while hot.

The above also works great as a boolit lube for BP or smokeless. To lube the base pin I also use Mobil 1 grease, being a synthetic, does not have the problems relating to use of petroleum grease and does good at keeping the cylinder rotating.

March 19, 2012, 09:22 PM
Mineral oil is a petroleum product [as opposed to vegatable oil or animal oil] so remember to wipe the gun clean before shooting it. I use gun oil for storing, crisco for shooting and water for cleaning.

March 19, 2012, 09:24 PM
Mineral oil is compatible with black powder.
That's why Bore Butter is a good patch lube.
Mineral oil and Ballistol also make good patch lubes.

March 19, 2012, 09:45 PM
In a pinch try Pam cooking's mostly canola oil.

Just don't let your wife catch you...

loose noose
March 19, 2012, 10:15 PM
J-bar, I used Pam cooking oil spray when I shot Cowboy Action Shooting, on all my BP revolvers, it definitely kept the cylinders moving. In fact I kept a small can in my possibles bag. Not sure if that would be a rust preventative though. I know I used Thompson Bore Butter as a rust preventative, after thoroughly cleaning the guns with 1/3 Murphy's soap oil, 1/3 hydrogen peroxide, and 1/3 rubbing alcohol. However the thompson Bore Butter smells like a back or muscle linament.:rolleyes:

March 19, 2012, 10:30 PM
I find bacon grease to work for all kinds of shop stuff, I keep some in my oil can in the summer and in a jar in the winter. It's good stuff, it's free, and I'm going to continue using it because I like it!

I just found out how to make tiny .22 felt wads today for loading blackpowder .22 LR and short ammo, and I used my homemade bullet grease for the wads. I loaded up about 50 rounds of shorts, they shot great with the lubed wads. I was at about 10 yards and put all of them on a 2" Shoot N' See target, that's pretty good considering the dim lighting and the fact I was wearing sunglasses. I can go out about half a mile into the woods and shoot them without anyone hearing the discharge of the firearm. The lube that was on the wads kept the tiny bore clean, increasing my accuracy.


March 19, 2012, 11:29 PM
i use INOX stuff. oil and grease. tho the big aussie flag on it might mean you cant get it in the states?

i did actually have a go at using Frymasta (a vege shortening) instead of the grease and it worked just as well if not better than the grease.

why not ballistol? a lot of American BP shooters seem to be fan of it? cant get it here that i know of :(

Acorn Mush
March 20, 2012, 02:11 AM
Just a question about bacon grease. Wouldn't it be very high in salt content? If so, I would think you would have a serious potential for corrosion if used as lube prior to storage for any length of time.

March 20, 2012, 10:23 AM
When I first started on THR I tried Extra Virgin Olive Oil as a preservative. In a few weeks in an unairconditioned shop in central FLorida the Olive oil went rancid on the revolver. Your milage may vary but I will not use it again.

CUrrently a thin coat of Bore Butter is on everything as in wipe it on with a greasy rag and wipe of with a clean one.

I currently use Bore butter as the over the ball lube when shooting the revolvers so I have it right to hand.


March 20, 2012, 11:15 AM
I'm at work, so I don't have the link to the corrosion test done by some blackpowder shooters, but Ballistol was in the top two or three for corrosion prevention. However, like others have mentioned, it does have an odor. I don't find it offensive unless I really get a snootful. I'd bet a dollar to a donut that one of their ingredients is anise oil, since to me it has a licorice odor.
I use it full strength exclusively on all my guns, BP or smokeless, and use it mixed with water for cleaning BP guns.

Downside: it was used by the Germans, and they lost both wars. Maybe not as good as I think when you look at it that way.:D

March 20, 2012, 01:45 PM
why not ballistol? a lot of American BP shooters seem to be fan of it? cant get it here that i know of
Try the fishing tackle suppliers. It's very popular among people who buy and maintain expensive reels and other equipment exposed to high humidity (and salt) environments.

March 20, 2012, 04:01 PM
Actually for lube purposes, extra virgin olive oil is a waiste of money and as stated above, it will get rancid exposed to air for a prolonged time. Better results will be obtained with light olive oil, as it has been filtered to remove the organic substances that make it so desirable in cooking. It's also cheaper and will not get rancid like evoo.:evil::cool:

March 20, 2012, 04:12 PM
What you need is a bar.
“D. Boon Cilled a Bar on tree in the Year 1760.”

Grizz fat or bear grease is what some of the old timers used.

Or Whale oil.


March 20, 2012, 04:32 PM
just regular gun oil. All over and in the gun. Then before i shoot it. I run a patch through the barrel and cylinders with Jack Daniels. Then she smells really good. The Jack does a good job taking out the oil. Then she is ready to shoot.

tom e gun
March 20, 2012, 04:36 PM
jack daniels scrat? thats great! shot for me, shot for gun, shot for me.... and what was i doing again? :neener:

March 20, 2012, 05:42 PM
Here it is:

March 20, 2012, 06:33 PM
Good post Pulp. I have to wonder why people use Wonder lube after reading that report.

March 20, 2012, 10:59 PM
Just a question about bacon grease. Wouldn't it be very high in salt content? If so, I would think you would have a serious potential for corrosion if used as lube prior to storage for any length of time.

It's good chamber lube in your cap n' ball, and it's good on patches. I don't put it on my guns when I store them, being that my gun rack is literally right next to my bed when I sleep. I'd probably get sick of the smell of bacon, or I'd get hungry in the middle of the night.

I usually don't store my guns with anything but Hoppes #9 oil or whatever is leftover. I don't use bacon grease on my firearms when I'm storing them, only when I'm shooting them. Cool part is when I touch off that .44 it smells like breakfast!

March 21, 2012, 09:57 AM
What Acorn said about bacon grease. I won't cover my guns with a sodium chloride product and store them away. No bacon grease and watch the label on the crisco type products for high salt content.

March 21, 2012, 09:58 PM
I use cheap olive oil for preserving bores and coating the exterior of my black powder guns. No petroleum-based oils for me.
I live in the desert, which is usually low humidity but can get high humidity during rain. Yet, never had a speck of rust appear when using olive oil as a rust preventative.

Great-great-great-great-great (10X) Grandpa Gato used mastadon grease. His cave paintings swear by it. His later descendants used Dodo Bird grease drippings. Both are kinda hard to come by today.
I heard that one of my ancestors, long ago, used an oil rendered from the crop of velociraptors. I hear that worked good, but that's even harder to find. :D

March 22, 2012, 01:55 AM
What were the guns like back then?:neener:

March 23, 2012, 12:19 PM
I guess I'm doing most everything wrong. I scrub them with HOT, soapy water after shootng. It dries quickly but just to make sure they get a blast of high pressure air also. Then they get lubricated with the same thing I use on my smokeless guns, Mobil 1, and wax on the outside. I've been shooting blackpowder off and on for a long, long time with no problems and no rust. Before Mobil 1 I used gun oil. Of course I wipe the bore and cylinders before a shooting session.

Driftwood Johnson
March 23, 2012, 04:10 PM

If you can't find it locally, just call them up and ask for a dealer near you.

As for needing to wipe it off before shooting BP, hogwash! I have been lubing my BP guns with Ballistol for years. C&B and Cartridge, revolvers, rifles and shotguns. Never bothered to wipe it out of the barrel or chambers of a revolver or rifle, just insert cartridges and shoot. That business about petroleum products not being compatible with Black Powder is an overgeneralization. As for the chambers in a C&B revolver, treat it no different than you would any time you are shooting C&B. Wipe the chambers clean and fire a cap on each empty chamber.

Ballistol is basically paraffin dissolved in mineral oil. Not much else.

March 23, 2012, 04:18 PM
That business about petroleum products not being compatible with Black Powder is an overgeneralization.
Ok, so please undergeneralize it.

Driftwood Johnson
March 23, 2012, 09:37 PM
Ok, so please undergeneralize it.

I have been hearing for years that petroleum products are incompatible with Black Powder. It is a blanket statement that is not always true.

Ballistol is made from paraffin dissolved in mineral oil. Both of those are petroleum products. As I said, I always lube my BP guns with Ballistol and I never remove it from chambers or bores before shooting Black Powder. I never get the dreaded hard crusty fouling that is supposed to come when using Black Powder with petroleum products. That is an example of generalizing that all petroleum products are incompatible with Black Powder.

Each example must be examined on its own merits.

March 23, 2012, 09:43 PM
All you people talking about butter crisco grease has got me hungry. Now I have to go find a little bit of food and I will be right.

March 23, 2012, 10:38 PM
It's possible to specify which petroleum-based products cause the tar-like fouling and which don't based on their properties. I thought you might get into that as a part of untying the generalization.

Low distillate oils are bad, high distillates are not. The reason is that the low distillates are not fully burned by the relatively low combustion temperatures of black powder while the high distillates are, or at least are more fully burned. Partially burned hydrocarbons are essentially tars. It's that characteristic - how complete are the hydrocarbons broken down by the combustion chamber temperatures - that lets you make that case-by-case determination.

You don't need a degree to tell low from high distillates. The rule of thumb is that the low distillates are darker in color, while the high distillates tend to be lighter. Just don't confuse clarity with color and that will usually be good enough.

March 24, 2012, 12:27 AM
You can clarify the bacon grease to remove the salt.

I like to use bacon grease when cooking. I add it to hominy and corn for flavor. I also use it when making biscuits and cornbread.

I like licorice, so Ballistol doesn't bother me. It's one of my favorite gun and knife lubes.
Now Kroil, on the other hand, smells like Pine Sol.

I quit using Rem oil because it didn't protect from rust.

I've had my best luck waxing the outsides of my guns with carnauba paste wax.

March 24, 2012, 01:30 AM
.... I run a patch through the barrel and cylinders with Jack Daniels. Then she smells really good. The Jack does a good job taking out the oil. Then she is ready to shoot.

As someone that prefers Woodfords, Buffalo Trace or Basil Haydans I'd say you finally found a legitimate use for JD.... :D

For use during the "active season" I've reported here before how I found Canola cooking oil worked very well. I even ran a rust test with it against a couple of other oils. The Canola actually won out up to the point that I noticed that the sun on it had hardened it into a varnish like coating after about 10 days to two weeks. Mind you it was during the hot summer.

For use on the guns I've used the Canola and put the guns away in a cool dark place and the oil showed no sign at all of congealing or polymerizing even up to two months from application. So the key is to keep them in the dark when not shooting.

For longer term such as the winter time layover I switch back to Ballistol just so I don't need to check for the Canola hardening.

One aspect. On occasion when I notice the cylinder beginning to stiffen up from foulding during a shoot a drop or two of the Canola and spin the cylinder melts away the fouling and frees things up nicely. I've had no issue with shooting 6 stages during my CAS matches with my Uberti Remingtons lubed with Canola before and with the odd drop on the cylinder pin during the day.

I would seriously avoid bacon fat for the salting mentioned before. Actually animal fats obtained from cooking for long term storage generally have lots of nasty things in them in terms of acids, likely salt and probably other bad things. Without testing samples on raw sanded steel test pieces I would not trust any of them sight unseen.

March 24, 2012, 01:45 AM
I've used coconut oil before, it seems to work well as a patch lube. I've also used it to preserve steel, no rust at all.


March 24, 2012, 06:17 AM
Probably the best stuff is ATF as its a artifical replacement for sperm oil. 150 plus year old watches still run just fine on the sperm oil they where lubed with back in the not so civil war. Up to well after WW-2 all auto trans fluid was sperm whale oil and synthetic sperm oil aka ATF was one of the most amazing synthetics they managed to pull off for years.

If you enjoyed reading about "Natural Lube?!?!" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!