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Old time gun oil

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by jim357, Mar 16, 2011.

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  1. jim357

    jim357 Member

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    Back in the days before petrolium based oil was common, what was used as a gun oil?
     
  2. VA27

    VA27 Member

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    Whale oil. It was also burned in lamps.
     
  3. ReconRelic

    ReconRelic Member

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    As a guess, I'd say whale oil, it was used as lubricant and lamp oil for centuries. Away from civilization, probably 'bear grease' (lard)
     
  4. ultradoc

    ultradoc Member

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    I would guess some type of animal fat - grease.
     
  5. Smokey Joe

    Smokey Joe Member

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    A thought...

    It occurs to me, reading this thread, that lubricating a gun with butter would make a fine historical/political statement! :D
     
  6. robert garner

    robert garner Member

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    whale as previously noted,not too far back coal oil(is that kerosene?)
    The Brits used "sweet oil" (olive oil)not sure which grade qualified.
    Once you get past he smokeless era(it's a fad) mainly animal fat and very little at that mostly for lubricating patches. Smokeless and petrol pretty much came up as siblings. Sergeant York,then a recruit exclaimed "They gave me a greasy old army rifle", having been raised with a muzzle loader which was clean and dry.
    robert
     
  7. Loosenock

    Loosenock Member

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    This could sound a might gros, but. I remember my grandfather lubing many fishing pole ferrules and gun parts with nose oil. Yep, the oil off his nose.

    'Loose
     
  8. Geneseo1911

    Geneseo1911 Member

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    Make sure you clarify that butter first...it's about 50% water/protein. Even then, IIRC it will get hard enough at room temp to not be an effective lube.

    Guns & Butter....seems like I heard that in an economics class....
     
  9. Smokey Joe

    Smokey Joe Member

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    From Wikipedia...

    Geneseo 1911--Yeah, that's what I was referring to...In macroeconomics, the guns versus butter model is a simple example of the production possibility frontier. It models the relationship between a nation's investment in defense and civilian goods. In this model, a nation has to choose between two options when spending its finite resources. It can buy either guns (invest in defense/military) or butter (invest in production of goods), or a combination of both. This can be seen as an analogy for choices between defense and civilian spending in more complex economies. I wondered if anybody'd "get it"...
     
  10. earplug

    earplug Member

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    Late 1950's Banana based oil

    My Dad used a Banana based oil on his Browning Superposed.
    Smell was incredible.
     
  11. jerkface11

    jerkface11 Member

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    You sure about that? Remington has/had a solvent that smelled like bananas.
     
  12. jcwit

    jcwit Member

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    Remember also butter for the table contains salt.
     
  13. M ammo

    M ammo Member

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    Blueing,, is controled rust,,, in the end,,, old oil gave those guns that,,, finish,,

    these days,,,, mobil 1 is on my guns,,

    Jim
     
  14. Carl N. Brown

    Carl N. Brown Member

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    My copy of the 1897 Sears, Roebuck & Co. Catalog lists:
    The postage of 18c per bottle for "Paraffine Gun Oil" three 2 oz. bottles for 15c is either a typo or a early example of haz mat fees.

    To give a perspective on those prices, "the Winchester Rifle, Model of 1894, in new .30 Winchester smokeless cartridge", was $13.98, while the rival "Marlin Repeating Rifle, Model 1893, in .30-30 smokeless caliber", was $13.21. (A decent month's wages would be about $25 to $40.)
     
  15. rodregier

    rodregier Member

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    You can get unsalted butter too:)
     
  16. SharpsDressedMan

    SharpsDressedMan member

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  17. PRD1

    PRD1 Member

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    Various animal and vegetable oils...

    have been used for the purpose. The U.S. government for many years used sperm oil (derived from the head case oil of the Sperm whale), which is NOT whale oil (derived from the boiled-down blubber of various whale species). Ned Roberts (The Muzzle Loading Cap Lock Rifle), recommended bear's oil as the best for the purpose, and other animal oils, including skunk and, believe it or not, rattlesnake oil ( per Major Townsend Whelen) were considered good.
    'Banana oil' is amyl acetate, and has been used in a number of gun cleaners and preservatives - it is not derived from bananas, though the smell reminds most folks of them.
    PRD1 - mhb - Mike
     
  18. burley

    burley Member

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  19. GCBurner

    GCBurner Member

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    In the Napoleonic War series of Sharpe's Rifles, one of the riflemen mentions keeping his rifle in good shape with "paraffin oil", which I believe is what we call "mineral oil" here in the US, as opposed to the paraffin oil used in lamps, which is kerosene.
     
  20. Slamfire

    Slamfire Member

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    Kerosene was also called “Coal Oil”. The Sharpe's series was written written by a modern author.

    Through ads and the literature, I am aware that the term mineral oil came about when petroleum was discovered and distilled in Oak Creek Pennsylvania in 1859.

    This term was used to distinguish “mineral oil” from the oils derived from the fats of animals and from plants.

    Terms like paraffin mean different things to different people, but in organic chemistry "paraffin is a term that can be used synonymously with "alkane", indicating hydrocarbons with the general formula CnH2n+2"

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paraffin
     
  21. tryNto

    tryNto Member

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    I remember this also and continue the practice with my Fishing Rods...

    Probably a pain in the face to do any type of Gun... :rolleyes: :)
     
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