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How to get rid of Gun smell?

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by YeagersClaw, Jun 5, 2015.

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  1. Cee Zee

    Cee Zee member

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    I can smell metal pretty easily. Different metals have a different smell too. Most of the smell probably comes from the chemicals used to produce the metal but I can smell iron ore pretty strongly. The smell and taste of blood (I don't eat blood but I have had a tooth pulled or two) is from the iron in the blood. It smells just like iron. I can smell blood a few feet away. Just like some people see better than others (I'm not one of those but I was 30 years ago - I didn't have the sense of smell then) some people can smell things better. Trust me that isn't a good thing. Most smells are not pleasant. As we lose one sense we gain another. So people that start losing their hearing and sight (like me) often start being able to smell things better. It runs in my family too. My dad had a nose like a blood hound. Oh yeah. Some dogs certainly have better noses than other dogs. Anyone that hunts with dogs will tell you that.

    Probably the Glock smells like the lube they used on it or the cleaning solvent. A person could clean the gun with something like mineral spirits to get rid of most of the lube smell but you'll get rid of the lube too. It just sorta goes with the territory that guns are going to smell if you take care of them right.

    It could be the synthetics on the Glock that smell too. Plastics definitely have a smell. Any kid who ever owned a beach ball will know that. In fact almost everything has some kind of smell.
     
  2. Valkman

    Valkman Member

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    I have never noticed a gun having a smell, just the stuff I put on the gun to clean it and lube it. Just tried Ballistol and it's great stuff but definitely has an odor some don't like.

    To CeeZee's post, I have never smelled anything from metal and I was a knifemaker for 5 years. Weird!
     
  3. Cee Zee

    Cee Zee member

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    I think people go what they call nose blind to stuff they're around a lot. But my wife can't smell much of anything. She hates it but I keep telling her that 90% of the stuff I smell is a bad smell. Count your blessings. Metal doesn't have a strong smell at all though. I don't think most people smell it but I do know others that can. Still I smell metal dust every time I sharpen a knife. I get a lot of smell from the stone I'm using too but I know some of what I smell is from the metal.
     
  4. ku4hx

    ku4hx Member

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    I love the smell of gun metal in the morning. In fact in the evening too. And afternoon. I even still love the smell of Hoppe's #9 after 56 years of using it. I guess I just enjoy the aromas of my hobbies and interests. Sort of a comforting, nostalgic thing maybe, but if I didn't love them I'd suspect I need to get a different hobby. Pig farming maybe ... smells like money I'm told.
     
  5. btg3

    btg3 Member

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    Given that the odor transfers to your hand, I don't think it's the metal.

    I suggest:
    Take down the gun and verify that it is the metal parts that you smell.
    If so, clean the barrel or slide -- first with WD-40 to degrease and then with hot soapy water (Dawn dish soap). Rinse thoroughly with hot water.
    Now, there should be nothing left on the metal that would transfer to your hands.

    It does need to be wiped down with oil or silicone, so pick what you can tolerate.

    Good luck!

    FWIW, certain odors linger with me for 2-3 days. It's a strange sensitivity or allergy and is sometimes triggered by what I've eaten.
     
  6. bannockburn

    bannockburn Member

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    All I know is that Hoppes No.9 pretty much trumps any other smell my guns may be giving off.
     
  7. SwaneeSR

    SwaneeSR Member

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    This is not your standard thread that is for certain.

    So it seems reasonable that some persons have an increased ability to smell. Same as eyesight, hearing, taste, etc.

    I also think some people tolerate smells better and a person can become conditioned to tolerate a smell. It seems reasonable that if you are a dairy farmer, you would become accustomed to all the smells of the farm. If you are a machinist, you become accustomed to the smell of metal, oils, etc.

    I would think as a Glock owner, you would become accustomed to the smell........... eventually. The same way you get used to the ugly look.






    BTW - my Glock 23 shoots great.
     
  8. Ohen Cepel

    Ohen Cepel Member

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    Put the Glock in an ultrasonic cleaner or hose it down with some Gunscrubber. Then, apply a lube which doesn't bother you. Should fix it.
     
  9. chicharrones

    chicharrones needs more ammo

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    Like CeeZee mentioned, cast iron smells the strongest to me when it comes to metals. It smells like rust is about to happen. Then I oil it and that smell goes away, replaced by the smell of oil of course.
     
  10. BSA1

    BSA1 Member

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    WOW!

    As RC says you must have the nose of a bird dog to be able to ignore the smell of the burnt powder residue, the partially burnt powder, the primer and the oil from the friction of the gun operating.

    The two choices I can think of are;

    Do a sniff test of the different gun cleaning products and pick one you like. There are a lot of products made so it will take you a while.

    Totally strip all of the cleaning solutions and oils of the gun. Maybe with alcohol which has a odor itself. Put the gun in a sealed plastic baggie with squirt of your favorite man or women's perfume. The gun will smell nice when you take it out of the bag. Of course it won't work very well when you shoot it as bare metal will be rubbing on bare metal.

    If this is a carry or home defense gun you will also need to deodorize the ammunition.

    Good luck and keep us posted of your results.
     
  11. dmurdach

    dmurdach Member

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    Frog Lube

    Degrease it really well and use Frog Lube. I like the smell of Hoppes and Rem oil but my wife doesn't. She doesn't object to the smell of Frog Lube though.
     
  12. Jackal

    Jackal Member

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    You dont get rid of the gun smell, you wallow in it.:D
     
  13. Tinpig

    Tinpig Member

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    Interesting article about the "smell" of iron:

    http://phys.org/news/2006-10-iron.html

    Tinpig
     
  14. Krogen

    Krogen Member

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    I have to put this thread on the notion of "gun aroma" right in there with the myriad threads on "dirty powder." In short, I just don't get it. Fooling around with firearms, you're bound to encounter dirt and aromas. Heck, guns might even taste funny if one were so inclined. I grew up working on cars, playing in the dirt and just plain getting filthy and stinky. It does wash off with a little soap and water. So..... I just don't get this sensory impact thing. YMMV.
     
  15. Cee Zee

    Cee Zee member

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    As I said before blood smells exactly like iron. I'm sure it's the iron in the blood that smells so much in fact. I have no proof of that but it smells so similar it has to be iron in the blood.

    BTW I can certainly relate to certain smells being offensive. The stuff some people like will make me run outside and throw up. Strong perfume or aftershave is the worst. That's actually a common thing in people who have had chemotherapy (which I've had). They put signs up all around the treatment centers about no perfume allowed. It makes me puke if I get more than a slight whiff of it. If I take a full breath smelling it forget it. I'll be gagging for half an hour or more. I can't go a lot of places because of that. Heck people that use a lot of after shave, I can't even use their phone. It (the smell of the after shave) rubs off and sticks to the plastic like glue. I can't put a phone like that anywhere near my face.

    I can see people being irritated by the smell of gun oil. It's a strong smell and it has heavy metals in it. Those metals are bad for humans. If you don't know that certain gun oils cause cancer you should. I've seen lots of threads on other boards about such things. It's no surprise that humans are geared to avoid those smells. They will hurt you. Heavy metals gave me the cancer I had.
     
  16. LiveLife

    LiveLife Member

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    OK, my Sig 1911 smells similar to my Glocks after being cleaned/lubed with Hoppes #9/BreakFree CLP with the same powder/primer loads so I do not believe it's the "polymer" thing.

    Like taste, I believe smell is very subjective and different from person to person. We actually smell by "odor particles" making contact with olfactory sensors inside our noses so we are essentially "tasting" what we smell. Food will taste bland if we cannot smell them (remember eating when you had a stuffy nose and everything tasted bland?) ;)

    I had a friend who was a FFL the past 20 years and I got to smell a lot of new guns, including Glocks. I do agree that Glocks or polymer guns put out slightly different odor than all metal guns but most of the times, I think we are smelling volatile fumes the solvents/oils the guns were treated/packed with.

    Another facet to this is the gun powder residue. Since I reload, I can tell you different powders will put off different smell after being fired. I use Hoppes #9 to clean my guns and BreakFree CLP to lube afterwards indoors and most powder/primer combinations will leave a pleasant to nose odor (to me) after being cleaned/lubed but on rare occasion, offensive odor (especially older surplus ammo/corrosive primers). Thankfully, my wife likes the smell of Hoppes #9 so I use it liberally on my guns and to me, BreakFree CLP also has subtle odor that is on the pleasant side.

    I have used other solvents but they do not put off as pleasant odor as Hoppes #9 so I only use them outdoors.

    If you shoot lead bullets, be careful about using vinegar as it can produce lead acetate which is toxic that can absorb through skin. Also, vinegar/hydrogen peroxide combo will eat aluminum so be careful with aluminum based firearms.

    If you need to resort to hydrogen peroxide, consider using break cleaner as it leaves no residue on the surface of metal/polymer after it dries. Then you can lube with whatever oil you want to use that's compatible with your nose.

    After several thousand rounds and being cleaned/lubed with the same Hoppes #9 solvent and BreakFree CLP, different metal/polymer guns end up smelling the same to me. So I don't think it's the metal you are smelling but the solvent/lube.
     
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2015
  17. P5 Guy

    P5 Guy Member

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    Maybe it is the plastic outgassing you're smelling?
     
  18. btg3

    btg3 Member

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    Ok. No problem with folks being able to smell iron. But how does the odor transfer to the OP's hand?
    Clue: It's not the iron.
     
  19. Lman57

    Lman57 Member

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    I never noticed the smell.
     
  20. LiveLife

    LiveLife Member

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    Ding Ding Ding!!! :D
     
  21. Zeeemu

    Zeeemu Member

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    "... the metallic tasted I get in spaghetti if I twirl it in a spoon with my fork ..."

    Like you, I can often smell metals. Various types of rocks and minerals also exhibit distinctive olfactory signatures. At home I avoid stainless steel cookware and eat using pure silver plated silverware.

    After awhile silverware becomes heavily tarnished but that also has no taste that I can detect, which seems strange to me since silver is a highly reactive metal.

    Richard
     
  22. YeagersClaw

    YeagersClaw Member

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    Maybe....I was imagining it on my hands and I was still smelling the gun? Like others have pointed out, this smelling and tasting of metals is largely a psychological thing.
    The only thing I'm going to do now is clean the gun and lubricate it with Tri-Flow.
     
  23. Cee Zee

    Cee Zee member

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    I don't know who said that but it isn't true. Too many people think that because they can't do something no one can.

    Not many guns are made of iron. They're made of steel, aluminum and plastic and some alloys but not since the days of the musket has there been actual iron guns. Maybe a cannon here or there. As for smelling stuff like iron it could be things in the iron that we smell. Or the way it reacts with stuff like skin. I've seen people make that claim. But I can smell keys a foot away without touching them. Maybe it's leftover oils on the metal causing the reaction. I'm no expert on the subject. I just know I smell something when I'm close to iron. Whether it's actually the iron I'm smelling I can't say for sure. But I do smell something, it's the same smell that I get from blood and it's distinctive. Other metals like copper also have a distinct smell. Open a jar of pennies someone has been saving and take a whiff before the trapped air mixes too much with the outside air. I think almost everyone smells that. Again who knows whether it's the metal or something on the metal. I just know I smell something.

    I just had my wife help me with a test. She picked up some things around the house and brought them to me. I had my eyes closed and she put them close to my nose. I identified plastic and metal right off the bat. And to be honest this is a bad time of year for smelling things because of the pollen in the air. It makes my allergies act up and my sense of smell isn't as good. The winter is the best time for smells.
     
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2015
  24. frogfurr

    frogfurr Member

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    Buy some of the scent blocker they are selling to deer hunters these days. Deer have a pretty sensitive sense of smell.
     
  25. X-Rap

    X-Rap Member

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    I've tasted that copper taste when given a hard blow to the head more times than I care to remember but aside from that in a lifetime of metal working I can't say as I've tasted or smelt metal unless it was melting and then it was probably a compound of flux or the gases used to weld/braze/cut the metal.
    As for wanting to get rid of gun smells, would you want to get rid of the smell of a woman?
    Not me!!!
     
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