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Should a wax be applied after cleaning?

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by carsonbm, Sep 5, 2007.

  1. carsonbm

    carsonbm New Member

    Apr 3, 2006
    Reminderville, Ohio
    Is it all right to wax a blued gun after cleaning, if so what kind of wax?
  2. Moonclip

    Moonclip Senior Member

    Apr 27, 2005
    If for storage just to look pretty it might be ok but I do believe if you shoot a gun that is waxed, the pretty wax finish will turn brown when it gets hot.
  3. sm

    sm member

    Dec 22, 2002
    Between black coffee, and shiftn' gears
    Johnson's Paste Wax has been used forever to protect blued guns used for daily carry and use while in the elements hunting.

    Be sure to remove stocks and protect under there.

    Carnuba Car wax has also been used this way for a long long time.
  4. 1911 guy

    1911 guy Senior Member

    May 5, 2005
    Garrettsville, Oh.
    Not required.

    A protective wax such as sm suggests won't hurt and will in fact help you keep the finish on your piece. It's not required, however, and I must confess to have never used wax on any of my firearms. I must also confess that the most heavily used of my pistols look very heavily used.
  5. Geno
    • Contributing Member

    Geno Senior Member

    Jun 11, 2005
    1911guy makes a great point that heavily used pistols look heavily used. Mine are no exception, and it is that appearance that I find attractive. JMHO.

    Too, it would give me great pause to apply any water-based wax to steel. Steel is porous at a microscopic level, and I would be concerned about opening the door to deep rust.
  6. The Bushmaster

    The Bushmaster Senior Member

    Jan 29, 2005
    Ava, Missouri
    If you are after protection from the elements just wipe them down with a gun oil saturated T shirt once or twice a day when in the elements. I have never had a problem with corrosion in the woods using this technic. And I hunted the Nortwest most of my life. It's even worse here in Missouri and it still works.

    I agree with Doc2005. I have a Colt SAA that I bought in 1966 that has been carried as a hunting backup and for handgun hunting. It shows the wear to prove it. I have grey hair and I'm proud of it. I earned every one of them. My Colt SAA has earned the right to look well used, but cared for also...
  7. lance22

    lance22 Member

    Apr 12, 2005
    Minn Uh So Tah
    Just a thought ... if the coating rubs off in the holster it could produce grit / deposits that could contribute to increased wear on the finish.
  8. skeeter1

    skeeter1 Member

    Jul 30, 2006
    Northest Ohio
    I wouldn't wax any of my guns. I've never even heard of the practice. If I want to protect them, that's what Breakfree CLP is for, and I know it won't hurt anything. You might be able to use wax on the hardwood furniture, but I'd keep it off of the blued steel.
  9. sm

    sm member

    Dec 22, 2002
    Between black coffee, and shiftn' gears

    Ain't no only way to go something, just one needs to be open minded.

    Blue Steel and Wood stocked guns have been around a long time. Somehow these guns worked, stayed functional, and are still being used and can be viewed in Museums.

    Renaissance Wax being one of the more favored protections used by the way in Museums. :)

    Blackpowder Guns have been around for a bit now, and with corrosive concerns, these guns are still being kept up and maintained as they were in yesteryear.

    I mean let us face it, BP guns and petroleum products don't get along well.
    There was no CLP back in the day, heck there was not even a Flathead Ford to steal the oil from a dipstick to "oil one down".

    Natural Products worked then, and still work today.

    Duck Capitol of the World and it gets wet, cold, sleet, rain, and Folks used Wood Stocked , Blue Shotguns to fell Ducks.
    Johnson's Paste Wax, protects Wood and Metal.
    Mentors were protecting guns before I was born in the mid 50's with the wax in the yellow can, the same can used to protect wood floors and other uses n the home.

    This is mirrored all over , using Johnson's Paste Wax,which if memory serves come about circa 1900, or similar product under another name.

    Police were issued blued Model 10s back when I was a kid.
    If I have seen it once, I have seen it a thousand times.
    Police officers applying Johnson's and if you asked them they said that was what they used on their sidearms and shotguns.

    It gets real hot and humid here in the South. Like 105* F then add the heat index, and bump it up to 111* F.
    It gets cold, maybe not as bad as some places, still to us, 15* F in the rain, sleet and snow hunting ducks, deer and whatever else, is cold.

    See that long gun on the tractor? The wood and blue one? It has either Johnson's Paste Wax or RIG [Rust Inhibiting Grease] which come out in 1935.

    Both of these products have been successfully used forever.

    Want another "wax" product? How about Ballistol.
    Interesting history and this product is non-toxic, had Medicinal Grade Mineral oil and the extract of Anise in it. It gets a "waxy" appearance, and protects wood and blue - This is what the German Army was issued, as it was designed to do so.

    "Wax" gets used out of context. Not all "wax" is like B-Day Candles.
    I do not know why it gets a negative response as it does.

    Carnuba wax comes off the leaves of Palm trees, and is the hardest wax, harder than a brick.
    Hence the reason many folks use Kit, or some other car wax with carnuba to wipe down and protect guns.

    Beeswax, goodness, so many uses. BP folks use this and seamstresses use on needles.

    See blue guns have some advantages over "stain"-"less" guns.
    Your Grandpa's old Model 12 is still blue and rust free pretty much, it has some wear.
    How many posts do we see about "My Stainless gun has rust!"

    One the metallurgy differs, to get that deep blue, means a craftsman that knew how to polish , which is real important in the preparation to bluing , finished out the metal - proper.

    Bluing is a form of controlled rust. My gunsmith prefers stainless from a gunsmiths perspective for customers.
    Easier and less hassle to finish out, and if a customer needs work done, just sandblast or whatever.

    "Textured finishes hide a lot of sin". Less money for the customer wanting gidgets and gadgets done, if on a steel gun.
    Customer is not out his time, skill, prepping the metal, finishing it out, and re-bluing.

    Sandblast over a imperfection and done.

    Leather, just like back in the day, are going to give holster wear, just a fact of life. Stainless "resists" but they get wear just like blue ones.

    Acids in leather , just a natural thing. Tanning hides been going on forever.
    Ever worn a new pair of boots and noticed your socks were stained?

    Well when chemicals mix, like the acids from leather and some oils, chemical reactions occur. Ever seen a stainless gun with a newfangled gun oil turn orange and there is rust?

    Ever seen a synthetic holster do this as well? Oh yeah, plastic is made from petroleum as well.

    Just because something is "old" does not mean it is "bad".

    Blackpowder folks use hot water, soap and on guns, and natural oils - never petroleum.

    Just because something is "new" does not make it "better".

    The pie for firearm related stuff is only so big, and everyone wants their slice of their pie to be bigger.

    Marketing is a huge tool to alleviate folks from their money.
    Buzzwords mentioning Police and Military, or "Figures" like a Gun Smith, Shooter, or Competitor.

    Wheaties tm - The Breakfast of Champions
    All sorts of sports and sports figures on that box over too many years.

    Stick a 3 Gunner , a Trap Shooter, Lady Bulls-Eye Shooter , Bench Rest shooter, Little Lady with a Pink Crickett, young man with a Henry Golden Boy...etc. On that box and folks would want a "Wheaties Forum" on THR

    Wax on a gun?

    Go ask some old timers about this.

    One of our best Natural Resources are the Older Members of Society.
  10. AndyC

    AndyC Senior Member

    Mar 21, 2006
    DFW, TX
    Now that was a fascinating read - never knew all that :)
  11. bhk

    bhk Senior Member

    Jun 17, 2006
    Wooded acreage in rural midwest
    Johnson's Floor Wax is the ONLY thing I have found that has prevent my Sako 75 barrel from turning red in a month or so of storage, even when kept in a dehumidified safe. I don't think the bluing process was properly 'stopped' at the factory and it is the only gun I have this problem with. No other recommended rust preventative seems to work, and I think I have tried every one of them. Wax on this Sako made the problem disappear, even when the gun is hunted hard all winter long. I just put a couple of new coats on once a year.
  12. CWL

    CWL Senior Member

    Jan 6, 2003
    What sm said.

    Wax will turn brown if it gets hot? You mean it is bad for all those millions of cars that have been waxed and left in the sun for months at a time, not to mention the hoods which have to endure the combustion heat generated by car engines? Somebody better alert the car wax companies that their product doesn't work.

    Folks, wax is good for protecting metal from the elements as well as your greasy fingers. Car wax is great, never tried floor wax, but I also use Renaissance Wax on all my guns & knives. If the Winchester Museum uses it on the thousands of guns in their collection, I think it's safe to rub onto my guns and knives.

    Oh yeah, I rub melted beeswax into my leather holsters and knife sheaths (let soak into both outside and inside). This makes them outright waterproof. Be careful about pooling water into closed-bottom holsters though. If done correctly and fully absorbed into the leather, I don't think that they would hold any more grit than unwaxed leather.
  13. sm

    sm member

    Dec 22, 2002
    Between black coffee, and shiftn' gears
    Thanks for the kind words.

    Now there is more to life than guns. :eek:

    "Boy about half crazy"
    Maybe so, still shut up - we liable to learn something else"

    Now that the guns have been inspected and maintained, with whatever product you choose. Get off the Internet for a bit.

    Got your yeller can of Johnson's Paste Wax ?

    "YES! But now what?"

    Got a nice hardwood floor and pair of really soft cotton socks?

    "Told you the boy was a whole lot off plumb"
    "Shut up- I got my yellow can, hardwood floor, and socks".

    <mind picture>

    Sweep floor, get on knees and hand rub the wax into floor. Buff the haze, slip on the sock and in Sock Feets, Slide-baby-slide!

    Listen, you have to get the kids in on this, this is being a responsible firearm owner by passing forward.
    Ain't a darn thing in the "Passing Forward Book" that says everything you pass forward has to be about guns.

    IF the wife comes in, and catches you and the kids having a good time.

    Kids : We were helping daddy polish the floor.

    Dad: Just parenting the kids honey, passing forward you know! They are big enough to understand and appreciate inspecting, maintaining hardware floors, which includes Johnson's Paste Wax being applied and buffed to a nice polish.

    Wimmin usually don't know what to think, much less what to say.

    Best to keep the wimmin still reeling about all this, I suggest you get her on her butt, on the floor and pull her around the floor some...

    If momma is sliding on the floor, she can't fuss!


    The things I do around here to ejumacate you folks...;)

    Oh, you guys have a problem with the wimmin folks sneaking around in the wee hours, maybe thinking about taking one of your guns for her own?

    That waxed floor is a Great Security system. Wimmin get up to pee in the middle of the night, got them fuzzy slippers and slide into door facings and walls.

    You catch where she hides the chocolate, and her sneaking in to get that cute Model 36 you just bought.

    You are welcome kids and dads.
  14. 45ACPUSER

    45ACPUSER Member

    May 17, 2007
    Some people need to get enlightened. I have used wax on guns before and I will continue to do it. Hunting sticks need all the help from the elements they can be afforded. Going from cold to heated truck cab can creat a lot of condensation. I got tin of paste wax in amongst my cleaning gear.
  15. W.E.G.

    W.E.G. Senior Member

    Sep 26, 2006
    all over Virginia
  16. Ala Dan

    Ala Dan Member in memoriam

    Dec 24, 2002
    Home Of The First Capitol Of The Confederate State
    On blued guns that I shoot in all kind's of weather conditions, I simply apply
    a light coat of Blue Wonder Armadillo; after cleaning each weapon. Not as
    shiney as wax, but it sure helps protect your investments~! ;):D
  17. novaDAK

    novaDAK Senior Member

    Apr 16, 2006
    Hmm maybe I'll try this on a few of mine. Right now I just wipe 'em all down (two blued, two black phosphate type, and three stainless) every week or two with either a rag of breakfree CLP, Outers gun oil, or Gunslick gun grease (an old tube but it still works :) ) Now that I'm away from home (damn college :D) and I had to leave them all back home (no evil guns on campus) I only make it home every few weeks so I'll see if I can try the wax sometime :)
  18. strat81

    strat81 Senior Member

    Oct 6, 2006
    Wax is a type of lipid and does not dissolve in water and I have never seen a wax that contained water. The separation you might see when you come across liquid wax that has been sitting is a type of oil. Most waxes are mixed with petroleum distillates, not water. Carnauba wax, one of the most common automotive waxes, is incredibly hard in its pure form and even the best waxes use only about ~30% carnauba in their formulas. Anything harder and you wouldn't be able to apply it. A water-based wax is analogous to water-based motor oil: no such thing.

    You should not be using that much wax to begin with. The layer of protection wax offers is microscopic. If you are chunking it on, you're doing it wrong. "Dusting" that occurs on freshly waxed vehicles is the excess that was buffed but left on/near the car. Go to a Concours-level car show and see how much wax is left on a car to rub off. None. I'd be more concerned about lint, hair, dust, and deodorant dust ending up in my holster.

    :what: :scrutiny: Where do people come up with this stuff? Thousands, if not millions, of people have waxed white cars. You know what happens when they park them in the sun? They get hot. They do not turn brown. If they do turn brown, whatever you're using is NOT wax. I'd be more concerned about chunking it on and getting too much in roll marks, grooves, or other textured surfaces. Some waxes dry white when chunked on.

    That being said, be VERY careful what product you put on your guns. There are dozens of automotive waxes out there.
    Some are "pure" waxes... Meguiar's #16, S100 and P21S, Pinnacle Souveran, and Mother's Carnauba Wax (NOT cleaner wax). These waxes can generally be layered, creating a deep luster.
    Most waxes are cleaner waxes, meaning they have chemicals in them to help remove paint oxidation and leave a layer of wax protection behind. Some also contain minor abrasives in addition to or instead of chemical oxidation removers. They generally cannot be layered since the cleaners will remove any wax that's already there. Many of these have silicone fillers in them to fill minor swirls and scratches.
    Then there are sealants. Regardless of what's on the label, detailers generally consider natural products to be waxes and synthetic products to be sealants. Both form a microscopic layer of protection on top of a surface to resist oxidation and even fingerprints. The side effect is that this layer of protection has certain refractive qualities that give a surface that pleasing "just waxed" look. Of course, the best results are from proper surface preparation, not the final product.

    For more on wax and auto detailing: www.autopia.org. They love shiny cars as much as we love guns.
  19. tkendrick

    tkendrick Member

    Feb 28, 2007
    Wittmann, Arizona
    Been using Johnson's on my guns since my first gun back in '62.

    Didn't know you could use it on floors till I joined the Army!!!

    Seriously, I build black powder muskets and rifle-guns and such for fun in my spare time. Once the linseed goes on the wood and the browning on the barrel, the whole gun gets 4 or five coats of Johnson's.

    The Renaissance is nice stuff, use it some of my smaller wood working projects, and it'll really shine up with a terry towel on a lathe at 3000+ rpm. But it's incredibly expensive and not much better than the Johnson's IMHO.
  20. Robert Hairless

    Robert Hairless Senior Member

    Oct 11, 2003
    I've used Johnson's Paste Wax (in the yellow can) since about the time SM was born. (That fact does not make me feel good, by the way.) It doesn't turn brown or any other color when the gun is fired nor does it attract holster grit or do any other wierd things. It does protect the metal. As someone else said, it's also useful under the grips of a handgun. I also use it on wood stocks of rifles and shotguns I want to protect. Good stuff.

    Renaissance Wax is a product I've heard much about from knowledgeable people for some time. Each time I hear about it I intend to get some and try it. And each time I forget.

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