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How to clean and lubricate my polymer gun without any brand name products?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by SmA SiG, Feb 24, 2009.

  1. SmA SiG

    SmA SiG New Member

    Feb 22, 2009

    Where I live, we don't have any gun specific products for cleaning. People use all kinds of things like Diesel, Gasoline, etc to clean the gun and then lubricate it with something supposedly made to lubricate the gun, this has worked fine for my AK and Makarov.

    My main carry gun is a Sig Pro 2022, which is a polymer gun, I usually clean it with a cloth and qtips after every time I go shooting, I'm worried about using diesel or anything like that on it cause of the polymer part. I am forced though to use the lubricant that is regularly used here.

    I wanted to know what everybody here recommends I use, bare in mind we don't have any brand name cleaning products.

    So I'd like to know what can I confidently use to clean my Sig, then lubricate it.

    thank you,
  2. JImbothefiveth

    JImbothefiveth Senior Member

    Aug 24, 2008
    Can you order something from the U.S.?
  3. Canuck-IL

    Canuck-IL Participating Member

    Feb 15, 2005
    For lube...mix,
    one pint of STP, one quart of Marvel Mystery Oil,
    one quart of Automatic Transmission fluid, and
    one and half quart Detergent Motor oil (any weight will do, I usually use 10-30).
    Vary the STP proportion to allow for temperature changes and your preferred viscosity of the mix.

    To clean, the classic Ed's Red...
    1 part Dexron II, IIe or III ATF, GM Spec. D-20265 or later.
    1 part Kerosene - deodorized, K1
    1 part Aliphatic Mineral Spirits, Fed. Spec. TT-T-2981F, CAS #64741-49-9, or substitute "Stoddard Solvent", CAS #8052-41-3, or equivalent, (aka "Varsol")
    1 part Acetone, CAS #67-64-1.
    (Optional up to 1 lb. of Lanolin, Anhydrous, USP per gallon, OK to substitute Lanolin, Modified, Topical Lubricant, from the drug store)

    I've never bothered with the lanolin. This stuff is as good as Hoppe's #9, doesn't do much for copper.
  4. sm

    sm member

    Dec 22, 2002
    Between black coffee, and shiftn' gears
    Canuck-IL shares good advice.

    Many Military manuals share using Automatic Transmission to clean, and using motor oil to lube.

    Lamp oil works for cleaning and if you have some light machine oil, such as Singer Sewing machine oil that will work as well.

    Lighter fluid, such as Zippo, or Ronsonal has never affected my Kel-Tec P-11 when used with cotton swabs, or pipe cleaners, to clean.
    Yes I have used Singer Sewing Machine oil, Super Lube Light machine oil http://www.gunk.com/item_details.asp,
    I never have been a fan of 3-in-One, but yes I have used it as well. I just prefer Super Lube.

    Turbine oil is very very good, so if you can obtain some from a airport, consider that.

    What about Military Surplus?

    I wish I had some RBC (rifle bore cleaner) though I do not know how safe it would be on Polymer.

    LSA (lubricant small arms) is very good and that is what my Kel-Tec P-11 is lubed with.

    [I really need some of that LSA that is floating around for $5 a quart].

    Lamp oil and Singer's is one combo I know others have used in far-a-way places, going back many decades.

  5. sophijo

    sophijo Member

    Aug 3, 2008

    Mobil 1 ATF; automatic transmission fluid
  6. possum

    possum Mentor

    Oct 12, 2005
    Concord, N.C.
    for lube that is easy, go to napa, wal mart , anywhere that sells it. look for high temp grease. it is about $2.5 for a 1lb tub, that will last you a long long long time.
  7. Pulse

    Pulse Member

    Nov 27, 2008
    Zurich / CH
    the substitutes noted here are all good, but since i read your other Topic about the prices of western firearms, you might want to consider importing a real gunlube/cleaner combi product, just to be sure.

    you could make a group buy, Gunlube is not a restricted item in any country i know, shiping should not be a problem.

    if you get ~20 people and each of you buy ~5liters of a Cleaner/lube combi and use a import/export company that ships that stuff by Sea, the shiping cost for each person will be very low.

    airmail for a single 100ml or 500ml Can would probably be more expensive then the product it self.
  8. Zoogster

    Zoogster Senior Member

    Oct 27, 2006
    Be cautious.

    I once cleaned a polymer firearm with some Rem Oil, an actual gun specific product and it temporarily softened some of the polymer enough that the recoil spring cut right into it when it was reinstalled.
    Surprised I removed the spring and was able to dent the affected area with my fingernail. It was softened significantly from the solvent in the spray.
    I let it sit for awhile and it returned to normal. Though it kept that permanent minor cut from the spring. It was no big deal because there was metal reinforcement in the polymer frame right at that point, which was then visible.
    It was clear the liquid had also disolved a little polymer as there was a black liquid than could be wiped up at the touch near the gummy polymer surface.
    The firearm never had any problems and fired thousands of rounds while I had it after that point. It was merely an internal and very light cosmetic thing, but one I won't forget.

    I had never read any similar stories so didn't think much of it prior to use and figured with the wide number of polymer parts a gun specific oil would not be harmful. I am assuming it was the carrier solvent in the product which is meant to evaporate and not the coating itself.
    Since then I do not even trust gun products, nevermind random solvents with polymers.

    You also do not want to dry it out causing it to crack over time with harsh detergents or soaps. I have not seen that with polymer firearms, but I have seen it with other nylon and similar polymer recipes after years of weathering especialy when combined with UV exposure.

    Just remove the barrel and slide and clean them seperately with the solvent mixtures. Most of the actual polymer parts of the firearm can be wiped clean with cloth or papertowels dampened with oil and then dried. They won't suffer from light amounts of oil or high temp grease alone, but be careful of oil/solvent combination products or recipes. Such recipes are common for metal firearms.
    If you use corrosive ammo a light cleaning product is a good idea. Then it is best to remove any and all residue with a safe cleaning product.
    Such ammo is rare in the US.
  9. SmA SiG

    SmA SiG New Member

    Feb 22, 2009
    Thank you so much for all the great advice,

    I'll try and follow Canuck's recipe, but as someone mentioned that since western pistols cost a fortune here, it wouldn't hurt to pay a little more to have some of the more designated cleaners shipped over to here.

    I'll definitely check out all options,

    thanks again,
  10. hankdatank1362

    hankdatank1362 Senior Member

    Aug 5, 2006
    Myrtle Beach
    I've never encountered anything that windex wouldn't clean.

    Or duct tape wouldn't fix.
  11. Sam Adams

    Sam Adams Senior Member

    Jan 28, 2003
    South Texas
  12. Canuck-IL

    Canuck-IL Participating Member

    Feb 15, 2005
  13. Lightninstrike

    Lightninstrike Member

    Dec 1, 2008
    Eastern Kansas
    All good ideas. Hot soapy water works well to clean about anything and is pretty much guaranteed not to damage a firearm. I've used dish washing detergent in the past as it has grease cutters in the formula. Not very sexy but it works. Just got to be sure to get all the moisture out and lube well afterward. FWIW when you can't get "brand names".
  14. HatFried

    HatFried New Member

    Nov 19, 2006
    One thing about Automatic Transmission Fluid and plastic/polymers is to try to limit the amount. I've had a bad experience where pure ATF rendered some plastic I was trying to strip some paint off of into a brittle, crumbly mess.
  15. saltydog452

    saltydog452 Participating Member

    Aug 1, 2004
    For lots of years, a few drops of Momma's sewing machine oil was used to lube guns. They were'nt cleaned or lubricated very often though.

    Dang near anything was used as external protection, including canning parafin, beeswax, coal oil, lard, etc.

    I was a kid and don't remember a bunch. I do remember coal oil, lard, and snuff spit having near magical qualities.

  16. Kind of Blued

    Kind of Blued Senior Member

    Sep 7, 2007
    Rocky Mountains
    I use higher viscosity motor oil for lubrication, even though I have access to any and all gun-specific lubes.

    I've had great results.
  17. rojocorsa

    rojocorsa Member

    Oct 9, 2008
    PRK, People's Republic of **********
    Mar Haban :)
  18. Gun Slinger

    Gun Slinger member

    Jul 25, 2007
    Keeping this as simple as possible and considering your situation wherein you can only obtain the "absolute minimal essentials"; I'd go with 91% Isopropyl Alcohol (also known as "rubbing alcohol") as a cleaner and degreaser since this is what most of the commercially available "polymer safe" gun-specific degreaser formulations use with a CO2 propellant.

    Try to obtain the 91% in preference to the more common 70% concentration since less water is always desirable when it comes to avoiding rust and corrosion. The polyamide material that composes the frame of the SigPro 2022 should be chemically stable enough to tolerate the isopropyl alcohol although you might wish to test it out in a small inconspicuous spot just to be "extra sure".

    Lubrication can be best accomplished by using any available fully synthetic automotive oil like Mobil 1, Amsoil, RedLine, Eneos or Royal Purple followed by a semi-synthetic blend or if nothing else is available plain old minerally derived ("Dino") motor oil. Go with something in the 10w40 to 15w50 weight range for increased viscosity and reduced migration (less oozing) in warmer climates. Apply in the smallest possible quantities to avoid unnecessary messes.

    If you have a phosphor-bronze bore brush and cleaning rod available, you can also mechanically remove the vast majority of any copper fouling by using kerosene, diesel fuel or even motor oil as a "cleaner" with the bore brush. Its "mechanical action" won't remove all of the copper fouling from the bore, but it should remove enough of it to alleviate any deleterious effects that its accumulation might cause.

    Good luck.
    Last edited: May 5, 2009
  19. PT1911

    PT1911 Senior Member

    Feb 27, 2009
    3 in one oil.. works well for me when I run out of break free...
  20. CWL

    CWL Mentor

    Jan 6, 2003
    Folks, please note that SmA SiG is in Yemen...it is located in the Arabian peninsula just south of Saudi Arabia. I doubt that there are any Napa auto stores or Walmarts handy...

    In your situation, I would imagine that any good quality motor oil would work as a lubricant. I don't know how much dust and sand you may have, but white lithium grease may be applied sparingly to moving parts with any excess wiped off. As long as you use a thin application of grease and clean your pistol often, it should function.

    I would also imagine any gun oil manufactured for your AK should work.

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