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Discussion Starter #1
I'm new here, hope this is the right place for this type of question. I read the whole thread where DIY_guy did a test of commercial made oils. I was wondering, has anyone ever did such testing of homemade or DIY brewed oils? Example, I've seen people say they use Mobil 1, someone else may add some ATF oil or something else they think helps. I was just curious if anyone has actually tested these sorts of homemade oils and if so, are they as good or better than commercial made oils? That would be with actual testing not just 'I've used this for years and it works' testing.

One reason I'm asking. Everyone wants to be prepared. I'm a bit of a prepper. I would like to have gallon(s) of lubes and cleaners for my guns because if something bad happens, no matter the cause, guns will likely be as important as food. One may have to be used to protect the other. It would be nice if I know for sure, and it is based on actual testing, that I could make and store some homebrewed oils and them work very well. I'm planning to do this with Ed's Red cleaner since it has been tested and survived many years of use. Now for oils, greases and such.

Anyone know of any such tests?
 

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No one is likely to have laboratory equipment to do the kind of testing you are asking about. That sort of leaves us with the "I've used it for years and it works" method.
To my mind, the second method has some real practical advantages for the information you seek. Just can't assign numbers to it.

What tests are you planning for Ed's Red? What tests have you looked at in regard to Ed's Red?
 

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That is a good point. That's what I like about Ed's Red cleaner. It's been around a long time and even some military people have used it and says it works great. To me, that is pretty well tested in a real world environment over many years which is better than just a lab test of a days, weeks or even months. Plus, it's a cleaner so it's just on the gun for a short time frame while it is being cleaned. Oils/greases on the other hand are meant for long term needs. However, using Mobil 1 seems to be a more recent thing. Another thing, engine oil formulas change a lot, sometimes without notice. What may work now may not work as good later on after some changes are made. That may be where testing comes in. Does those changes alter what we should use in our guns??

My comment was more about how well Ed's Red has been tested already in the real world and survives even today. I don't have testing equipment either. If I did, I'd try to do some testing like DIY_guy did. That was a test.

Right now I have EWG and have some EWL on the way. I have Hoppes and a couple others in the cabinet. From what I've read, Slip 2000 supplies the military, which says a lot. Thing is, those are pricey. I was just looking into Royal Purple motor oil as a possible stand by lube. A gallon jug of that would last long enough to be included in a Will to leave to whoever's left. Mobil 1 is a option too. Thing is, is one better than the other?? That I don't know because no one has really tested in a way that shows the differences. Plus, even if a person tests it, has the formula changed since then?

Once you start asking questions like this, it seems to never end. True gun oils while pricey likely doesn't have formula changes like engine oils do. It just makes one wonder, is engine oils just as good as true gun oils?? Has anyone really tested to see? I've googled, been all over youtube but haven't found where someone did some actual testing and compared engine oils to gun oils. I was hoping maybe it was my search skills were lacking but maybe not. lol
 

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The Shadow (Moderator)
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1)
I read the whole thread where DIY_guy did a test of commercial made oils.
I've seen people say they use Mobil 1, someone else may add some ATF oil or something else they think helps.
That would be with actual testing not just 'I've used this for years and it works' testing.

2) t Now for oils, greases and such.
1) Let's consider for a moment what you just said.
Someone online, leaving chunks of metal outside in the rain for a few days, or seeing if a McDonalds cup will instantly dissolve is "Real Testing" as it applies to guns. But someone else online that actually uses a product on their guns, for years, that doesn't count as real testing.
DIY did a good job on his thread, and I'm glad he shared. To me, those tests don't constitute what would approximate real world. Do you leave your guns outside, specifically directly in the elements for a few days? Are your guns made of styrofoam? Should they be able to slide down a hill? I know I'm making light of testing points, but how applicable are they to you? Are those better data points than someone who cares everyday, or shoots everyday?

2) Grease. Why on Earth would you not use a regular automotive grease? Ed's Red will cost say $20/gallon, where a cute little 5oz bottle of any other cleaner will cost the same or more; I get that. Grease isn't expensive, like cleaner is, and you don't need gallons of it to keep a weapon lubed. If piling up stuff you'll never use is your game, they sell grease in 35 & 55-gal drums. Buying enough canola or coconuts to press them out will be very expensive.
 

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"Gun oil" is pure mineral oil with common oleic acid added.

Look up the military rust test using sandblasted steel in a hot salt vapor atmosphere. My buddy and I set up such a thing in my blueing area in 1970. The oils that do the best have the largest proportion of oleic acid. Young's 303, Rust Pruf and Rig did well. I use nothing but Young's 303 (in a premium maker's can) for rust prevention.
 

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Only thing I can add here is I too have used Ed's Red since Ed Harris introduced me to it about 15 years back. Only thing gun related it has not worked for is case lube before FL sizing. I only use three parts of Ed's formula. Mercon Dexron, Mineral Spirits and either K1 kerosene or off road diesel.

I had a chemical engineer friend run analysis on the above with K1 and he said it should be good to about -50 below zero.

I have a two gal Blitz can and I make up 1.5 gallons at a time and have about four quart spray bottles strategically located in my shop and others with tilt spouts here and there.

guess the best part is when my Ruger MK IIs gets cruded up I just spray ER into mechanism and it went right to working. I just got called to kill a snake in a chicken house about two months ago with my Nylon 66 and malfunctioned so I got home, sprayed it down (still assembled) and it everything freed right up.

Now here is something you definitely need to see. For yawl good ole boys (primarily in the South) go out and find a fire ant mound, kick it and when they all start swarming and screaming (translation act like snowflakes) spray them. No need to soak the mound just spray the largest mass with Ed's Red and come back in 30 minutes and kick mound again. It should be dead. Mine are.
 

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Only thing gun related it has not worked for is case lube before FL sizing.
Actually humpy, I was punching some old LC brass down to Creedmoor and in fact used it for case lube. Not the best lube I've used, certainly not the worst.
 

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That last is sure interesting Humpy. I would suspect good or better results on the lesser ants here in Iowa then.
Wonder about rattlesnakes? There is another thread for that though.
 

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I use this for rattlers.


It weighs 9.2 lbs and I carry it 5 in mag on empty chamber, striker down and a 5 round stripper in my pocket.

It has Ed's Red on it though. It is my walking rifle still in 303 w/ stainless medium heavy barrel with min dimension 303 chamber altered to a 30.06 throat. Sunday morning before last I was out doing my 5.5 mile walk and found a rattler laying in road (first cool morning and he was getting warm from pavement) and I sent him on his way.
 
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Welcome Dalek, look forward to more of your posts.

First.....are you asking about rust protection...OR cleaning?

I've used #40 motor oil for case lube, bore cleaning, and rust protection. No experiment needed; it works fine. For case lube you have to understand how much to use.

Hoppe#9 sell for less then $25 for a quart.......should last a preper his lifetime.

I bulk these standard chemicals are inexpensive; and have a LONG shelf life. Who knows what the shelf life and stability are for "internet concoctions". Just get what you like in a quart quality and 'relax'.
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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Yup. A quart of decent motor oil or ATF will last practically forever. The chemical companies figured this stuff out a long time ago, with R&D budgets in the millions if not billions of dollars.

It isn't complicated. A can of paste wax, too, will keep the rust at bay. Simple stuff.

Firearms maintenance is remarkably simple, compared to the demands on the internal parts of an engine or transmission.
 
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As a professional lube formulator (and physicist) acquaintance has told me before: The demands of a firearm lube are relatively simple and few, but they're different from those of an engine or transmission (paraphrased). Too, most gun lubes are not actually gun lubes, mainly because the people marketing them have no idea what a gun lube needs to be. They're mostly off-the-shelf products, generally from the automotive realm (again, paraphrased). So, if you want something optimized for firearms, you need to be able to figure out who is doing that and buy their product. Or, you can go to school and to work to learn how to formulate and blend your own products, or find a friend who is a shooter who has done all that. :)

If you just want 'good enough,' which is the very best that most products are anyway, then over 100 years of firearms use history reveals that's it's not really that important what you use, so long as you use _something_.

How about if you do the testing, OP, and make a nice thread like DIY guy did? Or put some vids up on YouTube?
 

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Discussion Starter #13
1) Let's consider for a moment what you just said.
Someone online, leaving chunks of metal outside in the rain for a few days, or seeing if a McDonalds cup will instantly dissolve is "Real Testing" as it applies to guns. But someone else online that actually uses a product on their guns, for years, that doesn't count as real testing.
DIY did a good job on his thread, and I'm glad he shared. To me, those tests don't constitute what would approximate real world. Do you leave your guns outside, specifically directly in the elements for a few days? Are your guns made of styrofoam? Should they be able to slide down a hill? I know I'm making light of testing points, but how applicable are they to you? Are those better data points than someone who cares everyday, or shoots everyday?
Let's consider my example of Ed's Red cleaner. It's been around for ages. It, from what I've read and heard, was used by military people in military rifles. That is some real world testing. They shoot a lot in a wide variety of weapons in ways that most civilians can't. They also test things before it is put in the hands of people who need that product to work to save their lives. Dead solders don't fight well. For me, Ed's Red has three things going for it. Length of time it has been used. Used by the military for a long time as well. Plus, it only cleans so is only in the gun for short periods of time. It really only cleans but could lubricate I guess to a point.

Mobil 1, SuperTech engine oil from Walmart or other engine oils hasn't been tested in the same way and I would strongly suspect that the formula is not the same today as it was 30 years ago, or maybe even last week. For a car engine, I would argue that those oils are likely better but as to using them in guns, I'm not sure.

As to the DIY_guy tests, things like that could happen. I've had tree limbs fall on the house and had leaks, some pretty good size. It seems when it rains here, it does it sometimes for several days which makes repairs interesting. So, if a limb falls on my roof and the rain leaks onto my guns, I would like to have something that I could rely on. As I sit here, I have one tree that I'm worried about. I'm not just worried about a limb but the whole tree.

2) Grease. Why on Earth would you not use a regular automotive grease? Ed's Red will cost say $20/gallon, where a cute little 5oz bottle of any other cleaner will cost the same or more; I get that. Grease isn't expensive, like cleaner is, and you don't need gallons of it to keep a weapon lubed. If piling up stuff you'll never use is your game, they sell grease in 35 & 55-gal drums. Buying enough canola or coconuts to press them out will be very expensive.
I may do that. I'd like to know if anyone has tested it and knows it works the same or better as a gun grease. I've read about a Shell grease 33MS that seems to have been used by the military in their guns. Thing is, the name changed since then and I don't know if the formula did as well or if the name change was it and the grease is the same.

Welcome Dalek, look forward to more of your posts.

First.....are you asking about rust protection...OR cleaning?

I've used #40 motor oil for case lube, bore cleaning, and rust protection. No experiment needed; it works fine. For case lube you have to understand how much to use.

Hoppe#9 sell for less then $25 for a quart.......should last a preper his lifetime.

I bulk these standard chemicals are inexpensive; and have a LONG shelf life. Who knows what the shelf life and stability are for "internet concoctions". Just get what you like in a quart quality and 'relax'.
I wish there was a overall test result, somewhere. For me, I would like a gun oil to prevent rusting, lubricate, prevent wear and anything else a gun needs. Some of the tests done by DIY_guy was interesting for the test performed but as usual, you improve one thing but take away from something else. There is likely a additive that can be put in that will prevent rust no matter what. Thing is, that may make it not lubricate well or even make it wear faster. Balance, just have to balance.

In all honesty, if something bad happened, I'd use what I have, engine oil if needed, but would like to have something that would make my guns last as long as possible. I try to buy as good a gun as I can afford, as good a ammo as I can afford and would like to get as good a gun cleaning/lubing product(s) as I can buy.

As a professional lube formulator (and physicist) acquaintance has told me before: The demands of a firearm lube are relatively simple and few, but they're different from those of an engine or transmission (paraphrased). Too, most gun lubes are not actually gun lubes, mainly because the people marketing them have no idea what a gun lube needs to be. They're mostly off-the-shelf products, generally from the automotive realm (again, paraphrased). So, if you want something optimized for firearms, you need to be able to figure out who is doing that and buy their product. Or, you can go to school and to work to learn how to formulate and blend your own products, or find a friend who is a shooter who has done all that. :)

If you just want 'good enough,' which is the very best that most products are anyway, then over 100 years of firearms use history reveals that's it's not really that important what you use, so long as you use _something_.

How about if you do the testing, OP, and make a nice thread like DIY guy did? Or put some vids up on YouTube?
I see the point and that is one reason I am asking the question. I believe that gun oils are at least similar to other oils. I mentioned above the Shell grease. If it is the same that was used ages ago with no change in the formula, wonderful. I'd buy a tube of it and use that for things that need grease. The whole deal of engine oil being used for a long time is pretty convincing but my question was, has anyone tested them and shared the results? Is any one thing better than others?

If I had the tools to do one, I'd do it for sure. I'd first get ideas on how to do the testing, what should be tested and then try to test as many different oils as I could. Thing is, I don't have the tools to do it.

Thanks to all for sharing ideas/thoughts. If no one else knows of any testing done on this then I guess it wasn't my searching skills that were lacking, just a lack of any testing and their results being public.
 

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Dalek2.0- The military has run rust preventatives test since the Continental Army used polished barrel muskets. There were thousands of test done in the late 1930s using every alloy and every grade of steel, protected in more than a hundred different ways. I don't care about zinc plated bolts or bronze ship propellers so I concentrated on chrome-moly alloy steels with black oxide finishes and sand-blasted finishes protected by petroleum products suitable as 'gun oil'. (Nobody wants to deal with cosmoline in a sporting gun)
I accessed that study in a dozen or more volumes through the Florida State Library and I assume you can still get it. Digital form, I don't know. I read it in about 1960.

ALSO, test run by military standards were run by Remington in the late 1930s. For fear it's still protected in some way, I wont post it, but Remington's conclusion was exactly the same as the military study---Mineral oil and oleic acid. Add your own flavoring, coloring, scents and special markers, but THAT is what gun oil is.

I use English gun oils that is dark brown and smells like low tide. If I wanted to make it I'd use ATF or Compressor Oil and oleic acid bought on ebay. A small kit of oil scents from India is ten bucks and any gun oil on earth could be duplicated with enough experimentation and a very sensitive proboscis.

Peppermint Patties Gun Ungeant has a special ring to it and nobody would mistake your gun for theirs!

Oleic acids 'harden' with time which further prevents rust. It is NOT to be squirted in the innards hoping it cleans something!! Wipe it on and wipe it off.

"The proper amount of gun oil, if applied to a shot glass, wont ruin good whiskey."
 

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You mention Mobil 1 dalek2.0. I bought a quart of it rated 0W-40 some years ago based on a member on this boards recommendation. Using the "I've been using it for years" method, I like it. I recommend that you consider it for your own evaluation. In particular, if you tend to hunt in cold temperatures. I don't so much any more, but used to a lot. Pheasant season opened in January for me. Rabbit in February. Then it was time for fishing season.
Anyway 0W-40 sure implies great operation at sub-zero temperatures.

I remember the magazine on my Ruger 77/22 would slow to about a two-count to carry a fresh round up when it was cold like that (was probably using 3 in one oil or similar at the time).
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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If you want an amazing cleaning product, get the Bore-Tech offerings. I don't know what they make it out, but low odor and it just flat-out WORKS. My typical cleaning routine is to push one wet patch through when I get home from the range, and then one more each morning and evening (and sometimes lunchtime) from then on. Typically, a dozen or so patches and the copper fouling, and everything else, is gone. No mess. No smell. No brushing the bore. Did I mention there is no smell? If you like to clean guns in the house.... keep that in mind.

I don't doubt there are a hundred other things that will clean gun bores. Some of them, maybe even better. But I am pretty lazy about it and if something works in a dozen patches, then someone is going to have to work hard to find a replacement that will work in only 10 or 11 patches. I have a bottle of Hoppe's and some other stuff, that I haven't opened in I don't know how long, and no plans to use it again, either. Emergency backup I suppose.

Rust isn't that difficult to prevent. Anything that keeps moisture/oxygen away will work just fine. Wipe everything down once in a while, and certainly if you come in out of the rain, the gun needs an inspection/wipedown.

Moving parts? I can't think of a single thing in a sporting gun that moves very fast, nor with near as much pressure as, say, a wheel bearing on a car. The basic task of a grease is to keep sliding parts from galling each other, which happens when there is enough heat/pressure to overcome the film strength of the grease. At least that is my understanding.

Personally, I like a light (very light!) wipedown of the 'innards' of a gun with Break-Free, and also the outside surfaces. Nothing but plain oil in the bore, and VERY little of that, then one dry patch afterwards.

If gun maintenance was as complicated as most folks made it out to be, most wars would be over in a week because both sides would have non-functional weapons.....

I'll defer to those with advanced degrees, especially those in chemistry and petroleum fields, as to all of the why's and how's. There is always a better mousetrap, but do we need better than what we have?

My humble opinion.....
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Dalek2.0- The military has run rust preventatives test since the Continental Army used polished barrel muskets. There were thousands of test done in the late 1930s using every alloy and every grade of steel, protected in more than a hundred different ways. I don't care about zinc plated bolts or bronze ship propellers so I concentrated on chrome-moly alloy steels with black oxide finishes and sand-blasted finishes protected by petroleum products suitable as 'gun oil'. (Nobody wants to deal with cosmoline in a sporting gun)
I accessed that study in a dozen or more volumes through the Florida State Library and I assume you can still get it. Digital form, I don't know. I read it in about 1960.

ALSO, test run by military standards were run by Remington in the late 1930s. For fear it's still protected in some way, I wont post it, but Remington's conclusion was exactly the same as the military study---Mineral oil and oleic acid. Add your own flavoring, coloring, scents and special markers, but THAT is what gun oil is.

I use English gun oils that is dark brown and smells like low tide. If I wanted to make it I'd use ATF or Compressor Oil and oleic acid bought on ebay. A small kit of oil scents from India is ten bucks and any gun oil on earth could be duplicated with enough experimentation and a very sensitive proboscis.

Peppermint Patties Gun Ungeant has a special ring to it and nobody would mistake your gun for theirs!

Oleic acids 'harden' with time which further prevents rust. It is NOT to be squirted in the innards hoping it cleans something!! Wipe it on and wipe it off.

"The proper amount of gun oil, if applied to a shot glass, wont ruin good whiskey."
One thing about my guns, they mostly sit there. I have a few guns that I've bought in the past few years. Most likely, not of them has had 50 rounds through them yet, maybe the .22LR, maybe. I use a .44 magnum single shot for deer hunting, S&W M&P 45 for when I'm out and about, a el cheapo Hi-Point 45 for inside the house. I also have a Rem 597HB .22LR for critters. Most likely, the .22LR has had more rounds than the others, combined. We have a lot of critters.

One thing about whatever people use, engine oil included, I've never seen anyone claim their gun blew up because of it. That's a good thing. I just wish someone had tested these sorts of oils so we can compare say Modil 1 to say Hoppes Elite or Slip 2000 EWL etc etc. That's what I was hoping for. If I had the test equipment, I'd test Mobil 1, ATF fluid and then something common like Hoppes Elite and Rem Oil. Then we could compare true gun oils to some of our homemade oils and see how they compare. Is one better than the other, cost not being a factor. I wouldn't be surprised if engine oils tested as good or even better but without someone doing it, we don't really know the answer to the question.

You mention Mobil 1 dalek2.0. I bought a quart of it rated 0W-40 some years ago based on a member on this boards recommendation. Using the "I've been using it for years" method, I like it. I recommend that you consider it for your own evaluation. In particular, if you tend to hunt in cold temperatures. I don't so much any more, but used to a lot. Pheasant season opened in January for me. Rabbit in February. Then it was time for fishing season.
Anyway 0W-40 sure implies great operation at sub-zero temperatures.

I remember the magazine on my Ruger 77/22 would slow to about a two-count to carry a fresh round up when it was cold like that (was probably using 3 in one oil or similar at the time).
I've read that Royal Purple may even be better. Honestly, I wish I could afford to run that in my car but that's another topic. Anyway, I've read and watched lots of videos where people use Mobil 1 and I don't recall seeing/hearing a single complaint. Since you use it and have for a while, does it seem to attract dust/dirt or anything? I got EWG and have EWL on the way. One thing I like about it and Hoppes Elite, it says it doesn't attract dust and dirt. Just curious on your experience with that, if you have noticed.

@MikeG All excellent points. Still, I was hoping someone had tested this sort of thing so we can compare the different kinds of oils. Given the simple nature of guns, I'd be surprised if plain old cheap as dirt engine oil wouldn't be more than adequate. I just wish there was some testing to show that is the case and just what if any difference there is.
 

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Somebody mentioned Shell 33 Grease, if you are actually referring to Aeroshell 33 Aircraft Grease it is the same thing as Grease Aircraft Wide Temperature Range WTR and it is excellent. You can all clean your barrels with it. Tan in color.
 

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Somebody mentioned Shell 33 Grease, if you are actually referring to Aeroshell 33 Aircraft Grease it is the same thing as Grease Aircraft Wide Temperature Range WTR and it is excellent. You can all clean your barrels with it. Tan in color.
That was me. Thanks for the info. I have a Shell store, actually know the guy that owns it, was friends with my Dad. Anyway, I may can go buy it locally and get a good price too.
 
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