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

WD40 and Gun Cleaning

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by wrs840, Feb 25, 2009.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. wrs840

    wrs840 Member

    Oct 18, 2008
    Brushy Mts, NC, growing feed-crops.
    I'm one of those guys that became wary of using WD40 for much of anything but a water-displacement-agent... under distributor caps and such. "Causes Rust" folks say...

    Here's an advocate of using WD40 as a gun cleaner:


    Is WD40 as a cleaner/solvent for guns a good idea? Whadda ya think?

  2. mbt2001

    mbt2001 Member

    Dec 5, 2005
    I don't like to use WD-40 and wouldn't advocate it at all. It evaporates and causes wear and rust when the gun gets hot, which can destroy a gun...
  3. fireman 9731

    fireman 9731 Member

    Nov 16, 2008
    I think its great stuff, I dont ever use it for the main lubrication in my guns because I prefer something a tad heavier. But as far as cleaning and rust prevention goes, its my go to item. All my guns get a light wipe down with it before storage and boy does it make the bore shine!

    Its a fraction of the price of other products and its very versatile. It will always have a place on my shelf.
  4. MutinousDoug

    MutinousDoug Member

    Oct 24, 2005
    THe WD in WD-40 stands for "water displacement" It does a good job of that by being, what, 60% solvent and 40% oil? Evaporation of the solvent results in a grease like crud left behind.
    Use it for it's intended purpose and you'll be fine.
    It is NOT a gun oil. Never intended to be.
  5. WardenWolf

    WardenWolf member

    Nov 11, 2008
    Northern Virginia
    In my opinion, WD-40 has no business near a firearm. It dries out, it leaves gunk behind, and is utterly unsuited as a firearm lubricant. WD-40 should really only be used for its intended uses, freeing stuck bolts and easily-cleanable mechanisms. It is a temporary lubricant, being truly effectively only for a few hours (or days if not exposed to air). For firearm uses, use a proper lubricant like Hoppes or Breakfree.
  6. GRIZ22

    GRIZ22 Member

    Nov 4, 2006
    iI've used WD40 for a solvent and would rate it okay not great in that role. I use it to displace water after the weapon has been immersed in water or out in the rain. I then clean it out and use conventional solvents and lubricants. It is very good as an exterior rust preventative.

    The only time I used it as a lubricant was in M60 machine guns in very cold weather but that was some time ago when the modern wonder lubes weren't around.
  7. jmr40

    jmr40 Member

    May 26, 2007
    WD40 is not a good gun oil. It was developed during WW-2 to displace water in electrical equipment to keep it working. As others have said it can cause a build up of crud that can be difficult to remove later. It can get into small crevices such as the trigger or safety and gum things up. It has also been claimed that it can seep into primers on self defense handguns causing them to mis-fire.

    For wiping down exterior surfaces of a barrel or action it may be OK to prevent rust or remove dirt but I would avoid getting it into moving parts.
  8. Cannonball888

    Cannonball888 Member

    Jun 7, 2007
    I found that it causes or it doesn't prevent rust. I don't use it.
  9. Buddy Rabbit

    Buddy Rabbit Member

    Jul 18, 2006
    WD40 does a great job on a great many things.
    That said (sharp lesson learned), I don't like having it even in the same room with my guns.

    My wife (God bless her) is understanding. Counseling has helped with the nightmares.

    I don't want to talk about it.
  10. warnerwh

    warnerwh Member

    Feb 14, 2009
    There's absolutely no reason to use that stuff on your guns. It will kill primers, it's useless as a lubricant because it's gone in two days and gun solvents will work better as a solvent. It's also useless for protecting metals.
  11. _N4Z_

    _N4Z_ Member

    Jun 6, 2005
    Michigander lost in... The Yonders, Oklahoma
    As already stated, use it for it's intended purpose and all is well.

    I use WD-40 in the bores of my rifles anytime they shoot surplus ammunition.
    Flush bore with water to remove salts, flush bore with WD to remove water, then clean with usual solvents to remove the WD, carbon, copper, etc.
    When lubrication is needed I use Mobile1 synthetic.

    WD is to get the moisture out, nothing more.

    Been doing this a few years now. No rust yet.
  12. Flea

    Flea Member

    Feb 19, 2009
    I have used it for years during breakdown/cleaning on my weapons with great results. REALLY cleaned up/out my Winchester 74 (which was coughing out play sand sized chunks of lead from the receiver when I first broke it down).

    I wouldn't use it as your ONLY lube or cleaner, but it certainly works as intended. I prefer a good moly dry lube as a primary lubricant before a weapon is stored or fired.
  13. jay870

    jay870 Member

    Feb 25, 2009
    "Water Displacing 40th" recipe is what the name stands for. The 40th recipe was the first that successfully worked for its originaly purpose. See above response about WWII for original purpose.
  14. fireman 9731

    fireman 9731 Member

    Nov 16, 2008
    To clarify a few things...

    Straight from the WD-40 website:

    I dont think people should be knocking it as much as they are... Sure its not the perfect multipurpose all-in-one product that we are looking for, but I'm pretty sure it wont hurt a gun at all when used within its intended purposes!
  15. X-Rap

    X-Rap Member

    Sep 23, 2006
    The makers have conspired with the Brady Bunch to destroy all firearms.:evil:
  16. Oro

    Oro Member

    Sep 22, 2007
    WA state
    Um, yest it will. And I am SURE of that. After enough applications, the distinctive yellow/brown crud residue it leaves behind works very nicely to interfere with small parts, particular revolver actions.

    I have had a few GREAT gun buys where I paid little for a gun with action problems, then found the solution was to blast out the dried WD-40 with brake cleaner, lube it and put it straight back into service. I recall specifically both a S&W 60 and 67 that came cheap because of previous owner's WD-40 abuse. The residue is distinctive and you know what it is when you see it.

    The only situation I would use WD-40 on a gun is if it got a salt water dunking, and then as soon as possible would strips and degrease it thoroughly to get the WD-40 out and return it to service.
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2009
  17. dmazur

    dmazur Member

    Apr 28, 2007
    Pacific NW
    Yes, enough WD-40 application without some form of degreasing can build a sticky residue. The "thin film" is true for one application. What about 20 years worth?

    I used WD-40 on a Ruger .44 carbine for many years before switching to a gun oil. Recently it started having feed problems. Then I got a second .44 carbine in an auction and it had the same symptoms except 10x worse!

    While I can't prove the second carbine was also exposed to WD-40, the inside of the magazine tube was coated with the same sticky film as the first one. It slowed the speed of the cartridges in the magazine enough to kill proper function.

    In fact, it was present on a lot of surfaces. I'm guessing the original owner used WD-40 like I did. On everything. (Can't hurt, right?)

    A thorough cleaning with a solvent got rid of the sticky mess. Both carbines feed reliably now, and all I use is Tetra lube.
  18. ThrottleJockey

    ThrottleJockey member

    Jan 25, 2009
    I spray it on fishing lures. Works great to attract fish.
  19. wrc376

    wrc376 member

    Feb 25, 2009
    I hear it can alter patinas as well... the ONLY firearm I use it on is the receiver of my marlin 60... it blows the gunk out and lubricates for the day

    dirty damn .22 ammo
  20. jimmyraythomason

    jimmyraythomason Member

    Dec 19, 2006
    I..oh,what's the use? WD-40 haters are convinced in spite of countless rebuttals to the "it'll gum up your gun " myth. So I'll just forget I even saw this thread and move on.
  21. renegade1alpha

    renegade1alpha Member

    Apr 28, 2007
    While serving in Iraq where fine dust permeates EVERYTHING, including weapons, I found WD-40 to be a fantastic gun cleaner and used it all the time. We used it on our 50 cal, 240 Bravos, SAW's, M4's and our M9's. With that said, once we used it to clean everything, we wiped everything down THEN lubricated our weapons with Break Free and later with MILTECH. As for my personal weapons, I will use it sparingly to clean all my guns (followed by MILTECH as a lubricant) and have not found it to be a problem yet.
  22. SIRVEYR666

    SIRVEYR666 Member

    Feb 18, 2005
    WD-40, motor oil and Auto Zone brake cleaner work great to clean my guns. I have never had any problems in the past 25 years when using these fluids. I actually shoot my guns a lot, so it might be different if I they were safe queens or only used to impress my friends.
  23. MADDOG

    MADDOG Member

    Dec 25, 2002
    Where the west begins

    'I had a neighbor who had bought a new pickup. I got up very early one Sunday morning and saw that someone had spray painted red all around the sides of this beige truck (for some unknown reason). I went
    over, woke himup, and told him the bad news. He was very upset and was trying to figure out what to do.
    Probably nothing until Monday morning, since nothing was open.

    Another neighbor came out and told him to get his WD-40 and clean it off. It removed the unwanted paint beautifully and did not harm his paint job thatwas on the truck. I was impressed! WD-40-- who knew?'
    Water Displacement#40.

    The product began from a search for a rust preventative solvent and degreaser to protect missile parts. WD-40 was created in 1953 by three technicians at the San Diego Rocket Chemical Company. Its name comes from the project that was to find a 'water displacement' compound. They were successful with the fortieth formulation; thus WD-40.

    The Corvair Company bought it in bulk to protect their atlas missile parts. Ken East (one of the original founders) says there is nothing in WD-40 that would hurt you...'It is made from fish oil.

    When you read the 'shower door' part, try it. It's the first thing that has ever cleaned that spotty shower door. If yours is plastic, it works just as well as glass.

    Then try it on your stovetop. It is now shinier than it has ever been before.

    ~ Protects silver from tarnishing.
    ~ Removes road tar and grime from cars.
    ~ Cleans and lubricates guitar strings.
    ~ Gives floors that 'just-waxed' sheen without making it slippery.
    ~ Keeps flies off cows!
    ~ Restores and cleans chalkboards.
    ~ Removes lipstick stains.
    ~ Loosens stubborn zippers.
    ~ Untangles jewelry chains.
    ~ Removes stains from stainless steel sinks.
    ~ Removes dirt and grime from the barbecue grill.
    ~ Keeps ceramic/ terra cotta garden pots from oxidizing.
    ~ Removes tomato stains from clothing.
    ~ Keeps glass shower doors free of waterspots.
    ~ Camouflages scratches in ceramic and marble floors.
    ~ Keeps scissors working smoothly.
    ~ Lubricates noisy door hinges on vehicles and doors in homes.
    ~ It removes black scuff marks from the kitchen floor!
    ~ Open some windows if you have a lot of marks.
    ~ Bug guts will eat away the finish on your car. Removed quickly, with WD-40!
    ~ Gives a children's play gym slide a shine for a super fast slide.
    ~ Lubricates gear shift on lawn mowers.
    ~ Rids kids' rocking chairs and swings of squeaky noises.
    ~ Lubricates tracks in sticking home windows and makes them easier to open.
    ~ Spraying an umbrella stem makes it easier to open and close.
    ~ Restores and cleans padded leather dashboards in vehicles, as well as vinyl bumpers.
    ~ Restores and cleans roof racks on vehicles.
    ~ Lubricates and stops squeaks in electric fans.
    ~ Lubricates wheel sprockets on tricycles, wagons and bicycles for easy handling.
    ~ Lubricates fan belts on washers and dryers and keeps them running smoothly.
    ~ Keeps rust from forming on saws and saw blades and other tools.
    ~ Removes splattered grease on stove.
    ~ Keeps bathroom mirror from fogging.
    ~ Lubricates prosthetic limbs.
    ~ Keeps pigeons off the balcony (they hate the smell).
    ~ Removes all traces of duct tape.
    ~ Folks even spray it on their arms, hands, and knees to relieve arthritis pain . (My Dad did this to his knee
    and swore up and down it worked)
    ~ Florida 's favorite use: 'cleans and removes Love Bugs from grills and bumpers.'
    ~ Protects the Statue of Liberty from the elements.
    ~ WD-40 attracts fish. Spray a LITTLE on live bait or lures and you will be catching the big one in no time.
    ~ Fire ant bites. It takes the sting away immediately and stops the itch.
    ~ WD-40 is great for removing crayon from walls. Spray on the mark and wipe with a clean rag.
    ~ If you've washed and dried a tube of lipstick with a load of laundry, saturate the lipstick spots with WD-40
    and re-wash.. Presto! Lipstick is gone!
    ~ If you spray WD-40 on the distributor cap, it will displace the moisture and allow the car to start.
    ~ Keep a can of WD-40 in your kitchen cabinet over the stove. It is good for oven burns or any other type
    of burn. It takes the burned feeling away and heals with NO scarring. Remember, the basic ingredient is
  24. jrhines

    jrhines Member

    Dec 24, 2002
    Williamsburg, VA
    There is an old saw that says "WD stands for

    water displacement, 40 is the IQ of anyone who believes kerosene is a lubricant!" That being said, I buy it by the gallon can, use it as a cutting lube for some materials on the lathe and mill. I have a gallon can with the top cut off that I have dunked entire seized up pistols in to break them free for servicing. I also use Kroil, but it is more expensive. By the way, Kroil will do pretty much all the stuff WD-40 does, but I use it mostly as a penetrating oil to break free stubborn screws. WD-40 is great stuff, I have at least 4 spray bottles around the shop, but I don't use it to lube my guns. YMMV.
  25. dirt_j00

    dirt_j00 Member

    Sep 16, 2008
    Montgomery, AL
    wrs840 - I don't use WD40 on my guns, and here's why:

    I watched my dad "clean" his guns for years with WD40. This cleaning essentially just involved spraying WD40 into the barrel and every nook & cranny, and then wiping it down.

    He has since given me most of his collection, and I have been going thru them one-by-one disassemblying them and cleaning them thoroughly.

    I have found large amounts of black gunk in the action of all of them.

    Whether this can be directly contributed to the WD40 is debatable, I suppose, but after seeing that, I will stick to products designed to clean guns. IMHO YMMV
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page