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Is vegetable oil alone an OK lube and rust-stopper on BP guns?

Discussion in 'Blackpowder' started by piettakid, Apr 30, 2016.

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  1. piettakid

    piettakid Member

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    In one of the sticky articles, the author says he uses olive oil or crisco on the bore and chamber and even the inner parts of his BP guns. The whole gun. I've always used WD-40 or Rem-oil but i don't really like breathing such chemicals or getting them on my skin.
     
  2. rodwha

    rodwha Member

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    I can't properly answer that question, but I can say that DW-40 isn't an oil or lube. I used it at first but have since moved on to Ballistol, which isn't a very long lasting oil, but it is great for what it does, especially since it will mix with water, and once the water evaporates leaves just the oil behind. Awesome stuff!

    I had been using grape seed oil as patch lube for shooting PRB through my rifle. It likely isn't the best oil for that though, but SWMBO got mad at me for eyeing her expensive olive oil. I was merely breaking my rifle in so I wasn't too concerned with group sizes. Now I might buy cheap olive oil or try Ballistol mixed with water (moose milk?), or maybe some other oils.
     
  3. Onward Allusion

    Onward Allusion Member

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    It will gum up in the long term. Better off using motor oil in a pinch.
     
  4. 243winxb

    243winxb Member

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  5. Steel Horse Rider

    Steel Horse Rider Member

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    Since BP use and petroleum based oils may cause some cleaning problems I usually swab my BP bores with Mobil 1 after they are clean and dry. No problems yet but I have only been doing this for a little over a year. I wipe down the outside with a CLP product. I use Bore Butter for a patch lube.
     
  6. Panzerschwein

    Panzerschwein member

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    WD-40 is tops, and will remove rust and blackening.
     
  7. 4v50 Gary

    4v50 Gary Moderator Staff Member

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    I shy away from WD-40 and would rather use coconut oil as a preservative if I had to grab a household item to use.

    At the Remington Armorers' School they told us of a Rem 700 that discharged and struck the plaintiff's foot. It turned out that the plaintiff had sprayed WD-40 on his Rem for years and never had it cleaned. It developed a film that disabled the safety. Well, it took a couple of the biggest employees to separate the barreled action from the stock. They examined it and determined that the WD-40 had formed a film that rendered the safety ineffective.
     
  8. JohnKSa

    JohnKSa Moderator Staff Member

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    There are non-toxic lubrication solutions without resorting to vegetable oils.

    If all you have is vegetable oil, use it. Just make sure you clean the gun regularly to make sure it doesn't gum up.

    Otherwise, look around for a non-toxic oil. There's quite a selection.

    Dillon Snake Oil is non-toxic--supposedly it was developed for lubricating medical machinery.

    Lubriplate FMO-350AW is supposed to be non-toxic as it was intended for use in the food processing industry.

    Hoppes Elite Gun Oil is pretty benign, based on the MSDS information. Same with MPRO-7 LPX.



    Ballistol is not non-toxic, but it is advertised as "skin-safe".
     
  9. Steel Horse Rider

    Steel Horse Rider Member

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    Just a side comment I probably shouldn't make, but I don't think any of us will probably die from getting WD-40, CLP, Hoppes #9, or any other solvent or lubricant on our skin. There are far too many other ways to die without worrying about something that is a non-event. From growing up on a farm to a 10 year stint as a Tool and Die Maker to the past 35 years of working in commercial refrigeration I believe I have probably been exposed to more "substances known by the State of California to cause cancer" than most, yet at 62 I am still complete and medicine free.
     
  10. OcelotZ3

    OcelotZ3 Member

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    I was kind of wondering how Frog Lube would work for cleaning BP and patch lube... Just curious. It seems like Bore Butter is similar in some ways to Frog Lube.
     
  11. piettakid

    piettakid Member

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    Well of course, the manufacturer says the product is non-toxic. That don't mean nothin'. I know for sure vegetable oil is harmless but i want to know if it lubes and protects the gun.
     
  12. tembotusk

    tembotusk Member

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    I use vegetable oil every day in my shop to season metal for cooking such as BBQs, pans etc. Works great for that and cooking. However, it leaves a very sticky mess on any tool used for the application of the veggie oil. I have to use lacquer thinner to clean the tools and even then it is hard to get off.

    I would not put veggie oil anywhere near gun parts.

    I am a fan of Marvel Mystery Oil when in a pinch while gun cleaning. Smells good too!
     
  13. JohnKSa

    JohnKSa Moderator Staff Member

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    There are laws about such things. It definitely means something, even if only that you can recover damages in court for false advertising that resulted in injury.

    I guess you can look up the MSDS of the products you're interested in and see what they contain and the hazard assessment. Then, I guess you can look at the regulations that govern MSDS and decide for yourself whether or not the contents of an MSDS really "don't mean nothin.".

    If you want to use vegetable oil, go for it. It's not likely to screw anything up really badly, but it's not going to do the job as well a something specially formulated for gun care--or even as well as a general-purpose lubricating oil.

    By the way, you're at just as much (probably more) risk from the firing residue which contains lead, and lead compounds as from the cleaning solvents you use. Maybe the best way to solve your problem is to wear gloves when you're cleaning your guns.
     
  14. cdk8

    cdk8 Member

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    No, in my opinion, I think it's a very bad idea and in the long run because...
    • Olive oil is going to rapidly increase fouling, and can shorten the service interval to a point where the firearm may need much more frequent cleaning
    • Poor thermal resistance - poor performance in hot-hot, and so/so performance in cold-cold
    • Oil migration --> when the oil leaves the area it is needed at, this can mean damage to components not intended to be oiled, a very gunky mess, and accelerated component wear
    • Reliability concerns stemming from poor lubricant performance and/or accelerated fouling
    • Toxic fumes if the oil is heated past its smoke point, which firearms can easily exceed
    • Food grade oils go rancid over time

    Olive oil and many other food grade oils tend to provide poor rust protection at best, and rapidly will accelerate fouling. Compared to a state-of-the-art dry lubricant/protectent, the difference in functional performance and upkeep is going to be very dramatic. I would not be surprised if a firearm treated with one of these advanced products would provide a service interval 15-30 times longer than the service interval of the same firearm treated with olive oil. That is a lot of time saved on cleaning!

    Most food grade oils do NOT have the thermal stability needed for firearms, and upon reaching a certain temp these oils will be useless. In some cases, exceeding the smoke temperature can cause burning food-grade oils to release slightly toxic fumes. Olive oil has a very low smokepoint versus most other food oils. On the other end, these oils will have inconsistent performance with extreme cold.

    A huge concern is oil migration. These food grade oils are not formulated to resist oil migration, and so they can easily move away from the contact areas you wish to protect. That oil can move to areas that you do not want to have contact with oil (ex: fine cosmetic finishes, the shelf in your safe, or the inside of your gun case. As the oil progressively migrates, there is an increasing chance of accelerated component wear (however, just how big of a risk this is isn't easy to quantify.)

    If someone is worried about toxicity, there are several advanced products on the market that have a very, very low toxicity. The current product I am using is Corrosion-X. Eezox is also excellent, and it becomes less toxic once it has dried, but it still is not non-toxic. Hornady One-Shot dry lube has floored me with performance that IMO is even better than many of the current premium products on the market, but I am not sure of its toxicity as I have not seen LD50 values via the MSDS for that specific product. What is especially noteworthy is that, while it is still a dry lubricant, it provides outstanding lubrication that many other dry lubricants struggle with.

    IMHO, these newer products may carry a slightly higher price tag, but they are justifiable due to dramatically better rust protection, thermal stability, likely better reliability/consistency, tendency to reduce (even eliminate) migration. Additionally, the very long cleaning intervals they allow is a huge convenience. While the CLP I've used is certainly great, One Shot not only improves in all areas across the board, but these improvements are very pronounced. YMMV
     
  15. Noz

    Noz Member

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    I use SPG (after experimenting for several years with home made lubes) for bullet lube, Mobil 1 grease for heavy lubrication and Mobil 1 5/20 for light oil and preservative applications.
    All black powder compatible.
     
  16. au_prospector

    au_prospector Member

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    Vegetable oil oxidizes fairly quickly. This is why any container of it will have a "use by date". Leave it in the open air and within days it will develop a rancid odor. Cooking with rancid oil, and you will taste it in the food. As vegetable oil oxidizes further it thickens and gets sticky. This process is accelerated with temperature and happens faster than you think it would.

    I would certainly use it in a short term pinch, but if I have a container of multi weight motor oil I grab that first if I have nothing else available.
     
  17. frontiergander

    frontiergander Member

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    I wouldnt use at all. It turns into a hard nasty coating that takes brake cleaner to get it off.
     
  18. piettakid

    piettakid Member

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    I appreciate the many points you made but do you really think food oils go rancid quickly? They do not need refrigeration and yet most have an exp date a couple years down the road. I've had a jar for months that i use off of a little bit every now and then.

    It does appear vegetable oil is a bad choice for guns and it's surprising THR made a sticky out of an article recommending it.
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2016
  19. frontiergander

    frontiergander Member

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    I believe its around 6 months. The smell that is rancid isnt so much that its going bad as i've smelled it in new cans of mink oil after its been applied. I never got the smell after coating half a dozen rifles with it ( boy was that a big mistake)
     
  20. Steel Horse Rider

    Steel Horse Rider Member

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    Don't believe everything you read on the internet, even if it is made a "sticky" as humans are fallible creatures. Most of what is posted is either opinion or observation and either can be right or wrong for any given situation. A Fleetwood Mac once sang "You can go your own way".
     
  21. Erwan

    Erwan Member

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    Vegetables oils doesn't give anything good in the time.

    - In first they rapidly increase fouling.
    - In secondly, they become rancid.
    - And third they become acidic and make rust.

    You know how I'm sure of that ? I am going to tell you:

    Before being retired I was clockmaker and a lot of people using vegetables oils had big surprises also with large clocks: the rust, the beautiful rust brown attacking steel. I won a lot of work and money with with this kind of oil. :D

    If you take those oils you'll make happy a gunsmith.... if your guns aren't too rusty before... :(
     
  22. BCRider

    BCRider Member

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    Rape seed oil sold under the generic name of "Canola" oil was actually used as a steam valve lubricant in merchant steamers during the second world war and for a while afterwards. Apparently it resisted washing away in the super heated steam systems better than most dead dino oils.

    I have found that Canola oil does a great job of freeing up fouled cylinder arbors or base pins and keeping the guns working fine for lots of shots when used as a day use lube. I use a drop of it laid in the "V" between the ball and chamber wall instead of over the ball grease. So it's there and handy to use as a day lube as a result.

    If I know I'll be back out with the guns shooting within a week or two at the most I'll use it after cleaning at the end of the day. But a week or two is the maximum I'll leave it. And the guns in this case are in a cool and dark cabinet in the basement. Not outside in the sun and heat. So the oil doesn't go sticky to any noticeable degree for that two weeks.

    The rest of the time I use Ballistol on my BP guns since this is an oil known to work fine with BP fouling. When it mixes with the fouling it simply turns into an inky black oil that still feels like it did when it came out of the can. It is also the most commonly recommended oil here on the BP forum. So I'm not sure why the others are suggesting options that I consider to be petroleum based oils in many cases.

    The issue with Canola, olive and other cooking oils is that they do oxidize and turn sticky over time. They actually polymerize into a hard varnish like film given long enough. And Canola too will turn into a hard varnish like coating if out in direct sunlight and summer time temperatures at right around a week worth of exposure. So here again it's fine as a day use lube but not something I want to leave on it for too much longer
     
  23. Ironhand54

    Ironhand54 Member

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    Mink oil works well as does neetsfoot oil, especially if you are in a colder region as neetsfoot oil gells at a lower temp.

    Track of the Wolf sells mink oil tallow that I intend to try. Also check the ingredients in some of the milk oil leather dressings. Some are a mix of mink oil, neetsfoot oil and silicone. That might give a good coating to the inside of the barrel.

    Ironhand
     
  24. whughett

    whughett Member

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    What's the composition of Mink and or Neetsfoot oil.
     
  25. perldog007

    perldog007 Member

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    I was going to post an update to my first thread but it's too old. I let my 1851 and 1858 piettas sit for six months after a vigorous range day in hot humid weather. They of course locked up. WD 40 put them right quick. I don't recommend this but I bought four replicas on sale and did just about everything you aren't supposed to do with them.

    I have two conclusions. these replicas are real guns capable of real work. WD 40 is proof that atheists are mistaken :D
     
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