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Anyone use gear oil for pistol lube?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by wbwanzer, Aug 9, 2012.

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  1. wbwanzer

    wbwanzer Member

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    I used to use oil (like CLP) to lube my pistols. I generally clean my guns shortly after shooting so that they're ready to go the next time I want to take one to the range. Then after a while I decided that oil can move and probably does as the gun sits in it's case for possinly months.

    So for the last few years I've been using a synthetic grease that is good to +450 degrees F and -45 degrees. It seems fine except that I apply it with a Q-tip and don't seem to be able to get an even application applied to the rails.

    So now I'm thinking, what about a heavier weight oil, like gear oil. I just saw some in the auto store. There were weights like 80W-90, 80W-115 and one even went to 135. Some of these were synthetic also. These should cling better than the CLP, I would think. So does anyone use gear oil or some other type of heavy weight oil on their pistols?

    Thanks.
     
  2. M7

    M7 Member

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    Gear oils have a lot of sulfur in them. When it heats up, it stinks. A lot.

    I'd just go with something like regular 20w50. It is a lot less smelly and will do just as well.
     
  3. wbwanzer

    wbwanzer Member

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    Thanks M7. I did not know that.
     
  4. JTQ

    JTQ Member

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    I have a set of these bottles from Brownell's

    http://www.brownells.com/.aspx/pid=44434/Product/NEEDLE-OILER-BOTTLES

    One is filled with Break Free CLP, one has SLIP 2000, and the third has Mobil 1, 5W30. The Mobil 1, even at 5W30, is a whole lot thicker than the other two.
    When you rack the slide, the grease should spread evenly.
     
  5. surfinUSA

    surfinUSA Member

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    Light viscosity mobile one is excellent. Dextron ATF is also supposed to be an excellent lubricant.
     
  6. 19-3Ben

    19-3Ben Member

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    I've had very good experience with Eezox. the stuff doesn't seem to migrate, or ever go anywhere. I sprayed it on a Mosin bolt and left that gun in the safe for about 2 years. When I took it out, the lube was still nice and evenly distributed.
     
  7. bluethunder1962

    bluethunder1962 Member

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    M7 I was going to say the same thing. Even not hot gear oil stinks.
     
  8. pearsonm

    pearsonm Member

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    For what it's worth gear oil is an old school motorcycle chain lube. It flings but if used sparingly (one dab per roller) it's not bad. I've tried expensive stuff in cans but none work any better. Plus it's easy to clean with only kerosene, a brush and a rag. It definitely has a strong odor.

    If I knew anything about chemistry I'd try the same stuff on my guns. I'm guessing kerosene may be a little aggressive on polymer. As with guns, WD-40 is controversial. I can't say I've had a problem with it, but it's still more expensive and doesn't do as good of a job so I only use it when I'm away from my garage.
     
  9. Ditchtiger

    Ditchtiger Member

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    I use gear oil to coat my rifle bores that have shot corrosive ammo.
     
  10. M7

    M7 Member

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    Yes, it is stinky stuff.

    Another concern that I have is that all that sulfur, if subjected to high humidity and heat, could form sulfuric and/or sulfurous acid in small amounts. Over time, that could really mean disaster. I can't prove the chemistry behind my suspicions because I don't know all of the compounds that are used in gear oil and I am not willing to take the gamble that I am wrong.

    If I use motor oil, it is usually a synthetic 5w30- Mobil 1, Pennzoil, Castrol- it's all good.

    Of course, it is best to play it safe and just go with Break Free CLP or LP. It's more than enough.
     
  11. wbwanzer

    wbwanzer Member

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    I'm the OP. I agree with the above, I was just looking for a little heavier oil that would not migrate when not being used.
     
  12. berettaprofessor

    berettaprofessor Member

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    The grease you're putting on the rails will be better distributed after you rack the slide a few times upon reassembly. I use Super-Lube grease on rails too; various oils (CLP, Rem Oil, etc) for triggers and mag release buttons and safeties. I save the EEzox for long-term storage (smell makes the Mrs. mad and it's one of the few chemicals that I'm really afraid of long-term contact).
     
  13. ApacheCoTodd

    ApacheCoTodd Member

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    Generally too smelly for me and damn ear impossible to get outa clothes.
     
  14. wbwanzer

    wbwanzer Member

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    Bingo! That's the one I have been using. I just need something a little narrower than a Q-tip to apply it.

    I was thinking of using a light application of the heavier weight oil first and then a little Super-Lube.
     
  15. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator

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    That's pretty much what I use for cleaning and lubing every gun I own.
     
  16. el Godfather

    el Godfather Member

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    Sam
    You mean the transmission fluid?

    I do use motor oil in guns and was thinking to use transmission oil instead. Perhaps, I should.
     
  17. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator

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    Yes, I use store-brand Automatic Transmission Fluid (Dextron) for cleaning and lubrication. I don't believe it is any better than the various CLPs and special gun products on the market, but it works very well and costs almost nothing, comparatively speaking.

    If I was using my guns under very harsh conditions, perhaps I'd want a more premium product, but I do shoot a lot of competitions and have run many of my guns over 1,000 rounds between cleanings and I've never had one fail due to poor lubrication.

    (Well, I did once run a 1911 without doing anything to it at all, until it stopped returning to battery. The slide rails were so gummed up that the slide was very slow. But a few squirts of ATF oil got it back running again without taking it apart and cleaning.)
     
  18. vba

    vba Member

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    For grease I use bicycle bearing grease. It is teflon based and "will not thicken when cold". This or sometimes white lithium grease. Though I like the former better. Both come in large tubes and are therefore economical.
     
  19. el Godfather

    el Godfather Member

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    Sam,
    The tolerance on my Dan Vbob is very tight. It needs to be well lubericated to work flawlessly. Do you think ATF will work on it?
     
  20. kcshooter

    kcshooter Member

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    I use two parts ATF to one part 5-20 synthetic oil (with 2oz of lanolin per quart) for lube, and mix that same mixture (without the lanolin) 50/50 with kerosene for cleaning.

    For carry, I use stuff designed for guns.

    Gear lube? Too stinky. No way.
     
  21. el Godfather

    el Godfather Member

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    Isnt kerosene too rough?

    How do we lessen the density of ATF so its not too sticky?
     
  22. cuba

    cuba Member

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    Interesting how many ways there is to skin a cat.

    For year I used straight Dextron ATF to clean and lube, but recently I have been trying a mix of Mobil 1 and Marvel Mystery Oil, seems to work just as good.

    shoot safe, shoot straight, and have fun
     
  23. kcshooter

    kcshooter Member

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    No, and I believe it's CZ who's manual says use straight kerosene for cleaning. The very high detergent content of ATF works well with it. Kerosene really isn't harsh at all. I mean I wouldn't drink it or anything...

    For years, I was one of those who would only use gun products too. But when you're cleaning 3-5 guns a week, sometimes twice a week, that stuff adds up fast.


    I now mix my stuff using 2 qts of ATF and a qt of synthetic oil (I used to use 30wt but now use lighter 5-20), splitting that mixture in half, and then mixing the lanolin with the lube half and kerosene with the other half. That's about a year to a year and a half worth. I also buy the hardware store kerosene, not the stuff at the gas pump with the odor additive. Much lower odor, and when mixed, not at all offensive.

    It's basically a version of Eds Red without the mineral and white spirits and acetone, which I do think might be getting towards the harsh end of the spectrum.


    I've heard others using STP in the mix too, to thicken it up. I haven't gotten around to trying it yet, but I will be experimenting with a 50/50 ATF/STP mix soon.


    I also mix a smaller amount of ATF and kerosene 50/50 to cut thru heavy carbon, like on AR bolts. Its very thin, but it brushes off the gunk in no time. None of the buildup thats usually on the tails of AR bolts on any of mine.

    I've had an 8oz bottle of 50/50 ATF/oil in my range bag 2 years or more for lube on AR's when shooting hundreds and hundreds of rounds in a day, bet it's still half full.

    If you're looking for a good grease but find wheel bearing grease too heavy, there is a Teflon-silicone lube made by Ford that is simply amazing. It was used a few years ago on my Ranger to pack the splines on the driveshaft yoke where it slides onto the transmission tailshaft to eliminate a clunking. It's sold by the pound which is about a pint, maybe a little less, and it was like $25, but it's got to be like a 10 year supply. I use it in a small syringe. If anyones interested, I can dig out the can and get a part number.

    Wheel bearing grease is too thick for many peoples taste, but just to see how it would work, I mixed ATF into red hi temp bearing grease until it got to a thinner, more workable consistency, and that stuff actually worked really well too.
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2012
  24. Drail

    Drail Member

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    Gear oil is for....gears. It is designed for metal to metal wear with very high shear force loadings. Guns don't work like that. Gear oil is also a lousy rust preventative, as is motor oil. Kerosene is a very good solvent (yes it smells like kerosene) and Dexron ATF is a VERY good lube. I've used it in my shop for many years on all kinds of mechanisms. It will stay on an exterior door lock cylinder for a long time without turning into varnish. All of my 1911s run 100% on nothing but Dexron.
     
  25. rjrivero

    rjrivero Member

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    I use ATF on all my junk too. I thicken it up a bit with some STP OIL treatment.
     
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