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Automatic Transmission Fluid?

Discussion in 'Gunsmithing and Repairs' started by Ishoot1st, Feb 19, 2012.

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  1. Ishoot1st

    Ishoot1st Member

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    How many of you guys use ATF on your guns to clean/lube them. I have a buddy that swairs by it, but i just wanted a few more opinions before i dunk my guns in a fluid made for automobiles! But it sure is cheap, so it sounds like a good solution to those having to clean guns often.
     
  2. asia331

    asia331 Member

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    Been using ATF as a lube in my sidearms for years without issue. Recommend Grant Cunningham's Revolver Liberation Front website for a professional gunsmith's take.
     
  3. ThorinNNY

    ThorinNNY Member

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    AtF mixed with Acetone, Kerosene,and Paint Thinner is the formula for Ed`s big red bore cleaner.Stuff works well on dark bores.
     
  4. Freedom_fighter_in_IL

    Freedom_fighter_in_IL Member

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    Some of the guys on here put me on a mix that is absolutely fantastic. Just started using it this weekend on my AR10. I was using Mobil1 and have been for a long time. This mix is half and half. Mobil1 10w 30 and Mobil1 ATF. I ran 250 rounds through it yesterday as well as 300 rounds through my Colt .45. Both performed flawlessly. No heat issues and both "rails" were still lubed afterwards. I don't clean with it nor will I, but I will continue to use that mix for a lube. Both receivers seemed cleaner after the sessions that they used to and just the oil usually performed that task well enough for me. But the mix actually performed better in my opinion. Ran cleaner, lubed well throughout a pretty hard session, seemed to run a slight bit cooler as well.
     
  5. mortablunt

    mortablunt Member

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    I've used conventional motor oil but didn't know that transmission fluid would work. Is this stuff cheap?
     
  6. JTHunter

    JTHunter Member

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    Because of the strong smell of the ATF and esp. on the ATF/solvent mixes, you might want to wipe the gun completely dry if it is a gun used for hunting. The critters can smell that junk.
     
  7. AK_Maine_iac

    AK_Maine_iac Member

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    Freedom Fighter

    I too use the same mixture during the winter months on all of my AR's. Works great at 40 below.
     
  8. owlhoot

    owlhoot Member

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    I find this post a little humorous. Fifty years ago I was a serious bullseye competitor. That was before the advent of all the current gee whiz lubricants. Our standard lub was to mix a quart of ATF, a quart of 20 weight oil, and a small can of Marvel Mystery Oil together. I don't know if the Marvel Oil is still on the market but it was mighty slick stuff. Anyway, the mix was cheap and it was effective. And everybody used it, including all the top military teams. I guess fathers just aren't passing on information to their sons anymore.
     
  9. earlthegoat2

    earlthegoat2 Member

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    Yep, it is still on the market and it is still mighty slick stuff.

    There is quite a bit of hoopla over gun lubricants but really nearly anything that is oily will work.
     
  10. Certaindeaf

    Certaindeaf member

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    I use a mix.

    Straight ATF is great for motorbike chains. The automatic oilers are designed to use it.
     
  11. Salmoneye

    Salmoneye Member

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    I can not stand the smell of ATF...
     
  12. Certaindeaf

    Certaindeaf member

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    #9 is quite aromatic.
     
  13. Sav .250

    Sav .250 Member

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    Different strokes for different folks..........
     
  14. Milamber

    Milamber Member

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    Was a time one of the ingredients of ATF was whale oil. A very durable lube before it was eclipsed by synthetics.
     
  15. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator

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    Pretty much my standard lube.

    I use Hoppes or copper solvent and/or boiling water to clean (depending on what I'm cleaning) but I've got a lot of ATF around and it seems to work just fine to keep them rust-free and slicked up.

    Guns aren't really very complex machines. They aren't terribly finicky about what kind of lube you're using. "Enough" is generally a lot more important than "how many PPM of teflon and lark's vomit, etc."
     
  16. crossrhodes

    crossrhodes Member

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    Mobil 1

    I've used MB1 50 wt on my AR's for years and pretty happy on it's performance and clean up. I always wondered about ATF but was afraid what it would do if it got onto the finish of wood stocks.
     
  17. PVD

    PVD Member

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    When I started reloading a friend gave me an armload of old books he was no longer using. One of the books was the "Pocket Manual for Shooters and Reloaders" by Parker O. Ackley. Among numerous pearls of information are several recipes for common gun maintenance fluids, gun oil, grease, powder solvent, etc. A key ingredient for nearly every one is Sperm Oil. Wikipedia and confirms Milamber's post, the original Dexron formula relied on whale oil as a friction modifier.
     
  18. jeffcooper

    jeffcooper Member

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    Its definite still out there. I have a gallon in the garage and have a pair ethanol damaged carbs soaking in it as we speak

    Posted from my 'Droid via Tapatalk
     
  19. mbopp

    mbopp Member

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    ATF has a lot of detergent in it to cut down on varnish buildup. My shop instructor said that's why the automatic transmission rebuild guys have the cleanest hands in the shop. It probably works as a powder solvent when used in guns.
    As far as Marvel Mystery Oil, I use it as a substitute for kerosene in my Ed's Red mix.
     
  20. doubleh

    doubleh Member

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    100% ATF is an excellent lube for guns. The brand I use has no appreciable odor.
     
  21. Ishoot1st

    Ishoot1st Member

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    What brand do you use that has no smell? And just apply with Q-tip after cleaning?
     
  22. jrdolall

    jrdolall Member

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    You mean to tell me that I don't have to use Hoppe's or some lubricant that cost $5 for 2 ounces? Next you will tell me that I don't have to go to the Jiffy Lube every 3,000 miles to get my oil changed.

    We have been lubing guns with anything slick since I was a little boy. I promise my grandfather never bought anything called "gun oil" if they even had it then.
     
  23. Owen Sparks

    Owen Sparks member

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    Gunzilla has a very mild smell. I have had good results with it.
     
  24. doubleh

    doubleh Member

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    Ishoot1st, it was Mopar #4.
     
  25. commygun

    commygun Member

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    I use it as a solvent. I've used it generously cleaning after shooting BP and corrosive ammo and have never had a problem with rusting. Good stuff and a whole lot cheaper than Hoppes.
     
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