Quantcast
  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Can you use 3 in 1 oil on guns?

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by stchman, Jul 28, 2009.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. stchman

    stchman Member

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2009
    Messages:
    1,892
    Location:
    Saint Louis, MO
    I was looking through my garage and I have a pretty big bottle of 3 in 1 oil.

    It would seem that it would lubricate guns.

    Any thoughts?

    Thanks.
     
  2. ArmedLiberal

    ArmedLiberal Member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2008
    Messages:
    324
    Location:
    Sacramento, CA
    3 in 1 is a poor lubricant for guns. It has little corrosion protection.
     
  3. Deltaboy1984

    Deltaboy1984 Member

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2008
    Messages:
    6,306
    Location:
    Johnson County Texas
    I used to until they came out with CLP. I still use it on my fishing reels and locks.
     
  4. benEzra

    benEzra Moderator Emeritus

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2002
    Messages:
    8,575
    Location:
    Down East in NC
    Yes, but compared to modern lubricants, it does a rather poor job. It is really too thin and volatile for firearms use.

    If you are looking for something inexpensive to buy in bulk that is a fantastic gun lubricant, pick up a quart of Mobil 1 10W30 (full synthetic PAO oil, not dinosaur derived). It's a little too thick for putting on the gun's exterior, but on slide rails and such, it is superior to a lot of
     
  5. Deanimator

    Deanimator Member

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2006
    Messages:
    10,696
    Location:
    Rocky River, Ohio
    I wouldn't. It gums up badly. I once used some on a clock when I was a kid. Result: dead clock.
     
  6. jimmyraythomason

    jimmyraythomason Member

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2006
    Messages:
    7,388
    Location:
    Alabama
    Maybe this will help<http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=462452>
     
  7. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2007
    Messages:
    59,082
    Location:
    Eastern KS
    If you look at a few dozen old guns notice all of the oil soaked stocks with dark oil stains and cracks next to the actions.

    Most of that is due to 3 in 1 Oil being the universal firearms lubricant back in the day.
    It's so thin it runs out one end when you put it on the other end!

    And it offers almost zero rust protection.

    Use it to oil the wheels on your lawn mower and buy some modern gun care products.

    rc
     
  8. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Member

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2002
    Messages:
    18,502
    Location:
    Deep in the Ozarks
    Yep. Growing up in the Ozarks, 3-in-1 oil was the standard for guns, so much that when I smell it, I think "guns!" And you can see the dark stains around the wrist of many an old .30-30 where the 3-in-1 oil drained down and soaked the wood.
     
  9. Ky Larry

    Ky Larry Member

    Joined:
    May 22, 2003
    Messages:
    3,526
    Location:
    Ky
    It stays wet and attracts dust and dirt that produces gum.IIUC, most modern gun lubes are two parts: a carrier-penetrant that goes on wet and evaporates and a dry lubricant. If I'm wrong on this, someone please correct me.
     
  10. benEzra

    benEzra Moderator Emeritus

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2002
    Messages:
    8,575
    Location:
    Down East in NC
    Some of them are (the various Teflon and molybdenum disulfide dry lubes come to mind), but a lot of them are just very, very good wet lubes. Modern synthetics don't turn to gum even when exposed to dirt and dust; on the contrary, they keep the dust and dirt suspended and loose so that the operation of the firearm can clear it out. Some wet lubes do have solvent carriers to allow them to be sprayed on and then thicken to a thicker viscosity that is better for lubrication when the solvent evaporates (e.g., Rem Oil, CLP).
     
  11. searcher451

    searcher451 Member

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2007
    Messages:
    2,516
    Location:
    Oregon
    The question is somewhat reminiscent of the old line about whether it's possible to can catch VD on a toilet seat. The answer: Of course you can, but it's quite uncomfortable. So sure, you can use 3-1 oil in a lot of settings, guns included, but there are plenty of better products out there.

    Here's a link to an article in The Gun Zone that is worth a read, detailing some serious testing of lubricants and rust preventatives; perhaps it will help folks sort through some of the issues:

    http://www.thegunzone.com/rust.html
     
  12. Tinpig

    Tinpig Member

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2009
    Messages:
    896
    Location:
    SE Massachusetts
    Of course you can. It works fine. I've been using 3-in-1 for 55 years on my guns, reels, and the carpenter's tools I make my living with....and I live 200 yds from salt water.
    I can't abide rust. If the stuff didn't work I wouldn't still be using it.

    Tinpig
     
  13. Oro

    Oro Member

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2007
    Messages:
    3,496
    Location:
    WA state
    In a simple answer: yes, you can use it. There are better things out there. But it will provide protection, especially if you are not carrying the firearms daily or leaving it on a boat, etc. You will need to-reapply it more often than some other more modern products, and thus the added run-off and more mess. I still use it in some limited applications when other lubes aren't right near by.

    For sliding surfaces and those with a lot of shear, like a frame rail or a sear, etc., I still don't trust it enough to have the film strength to not migrate away. I would still use some grease on spots like that. No need for anything crazy - get some white lithium grease from NAPA for that if you want. Works great in other non-gun applications, too.
     
  14. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Member

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2005
    Messages:
    11,379
    Location:
    TN
    I use it sometimes if that is what's handy.

    Bought a Daisy Red Rider BB gun in the last month and they recommend against using it. Manual says use 20W oil.... who sells 20W oil?
     
  15. Oro

    Oro Member

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2007
    Messages:
    3,496
    Location:
    WA state
    As a 30+ year Red Ryder owner and shooter, amateur machinist and professional physical science student, Let me say:

    1) I believe their recommendation is based on what base stock petroleum product will supplement and not degrade the rubber seals on the air piston, not what is the best lubricant or anti-oxidant

    2) Red Ryders make awesome air guns for practice - accurate and above all consistent. My RR shoots with the same ballistic characteristics it did in the '70s. Remarkable.

    3) Don't confuse what an air gun needs with what a center-fire handgun needs. Just not comparable.

    To your point: if you can't find 20w oil, just use straight 30w. Or use 20w-"X" blend where "X" is as small as you can find. It will work fine.
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2009
  16. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Member

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2005
    Messages:
    11,379
    Location:
    TN
    I mostly mentioned the Daisy to make a point that there must be a difference. Been using RemOil, but I didn't understand why the manual stated this. Not trying to change the subject on this thread. I just thought it interesting that a BB gun manual would actually state NOT to use it. It is for some young kids since I know their mother won't provide that kind of training. I was pleasantly surprised at the power level as my old one never had much umph.
     
  17. Sav .250

    Sav .250 Member

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2007
    Messages:
    3,402
    Location:
    Central Fla
    A little dab will do ya..........:)
     
  18. Owen Sparks

    Owen Sparks member

    Joined:
    May 27, 2007
    Messages:
    4,524
    There used to be a gunsmith in my town (dead 20 years now) who had a bottle of 3in1 oil prominently displayed under a warning sign in his shop. It has been so long ago that I can't remember exactly what the warning said but it was either that it damaged bluing or wood. I do remember the head line of the sign said "Do not use 3 in 1 on guns."
     
  19. thebigc

    thebigc Member

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2005
    Messages:
    220
    it works ok i have been using 3 in one for a long time on my guns i like to mix it with rig to dilute the rig then use that to wipe of my stuff works really well i wouldn't trust it on slide rails or anything i use white lithium grease for that.
     
  20. alistaire

    alistaire Member

    Joined:
    May 22, 2008
    Messages:
    278
    Is Brylcreem a good gun lubricant? :)
     
  21. DeepSouth

    DeepSouth Member

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2009
    Messages:
    3,148
    Location:
    Heart of Dixie
    I'm one of those strange folks that like to use gun oil for guns. Call me crazy.


    I really like Gun Butter, it seems to the best I've found.
     
  22. LemmyCaution

    LemmyCaution Member

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2008
    Messages:
    890
    In our Free Market Democracy® the consumer is putatively king. You can use peanut butter to lube your gun, if you like.

    But it isn't necessarily a good idea.

    Nor is 3 in 1 oil.
     
  23. jimmyraythomason

    jimmyraythomason Member

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2006
    Messages:
    7,388
    Location:
    Alabama
    3in1 oil,peanut oil,corn oil or even water has some lubricating characteristics. Any of them are better than none.
     
  24. Joe Demko

    Joe Demko Member

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2002
    Messages:
    6,523
    Location:
    Just two minutes from sanity.
    Using too much oil, regardless of what brand, is what causes oil-soaked stocks.
     
  25. Arkansas Paul

    Arkansas Paul Member

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2009
    Messages:
    7,388
    Location:
    Central Arkansas
    Why use something that wasn't intended for firearms when you can get a small bottle of Rem Oil for $2
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page