Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Firearms lubricants

  First off, it is not my intention to ruin someone's business with this post.  Therefore, I won't be naming the name of this lube I am recounting my negative experience with.  I will also state that it's worked for others; perhaps my friend and I that experienced the same problem just got a bad batch.

  I received a sample of HomeBrewedNanoLube in the mail.  Promptly used it to lubricate my Smith and Wesson AR15R 5.45x39mm AR15.  I went camping with some friends near a shooting range.  A buddy with a 5.56mm AR15 (active duty Marine infantryman) used some of my HomeBrewedNanoLube sample on his rifle.  We commenced to blazing away, 50 yards and in drills.  We both noticed our weapons were ejecting sluggishly, the spent brass (steel in my case, I was using Soviet military surplus ammo as always) bare making it out of the ejection port.  I broke my weapon down and found this in the bolt, under the extractor:

  See that gooey stuff?  It's roughly the consistency of drying silicone sealant.  I am not a gunsmith nor even an armorer but I don't think it's the height of arrogance to correlate this goop and my weapon's poor performance.  The exact same stuff was found in my buddy's 5.56mm AR.

  We performed a field expedient cleaning and relubed with FP-10, an excellent CLP that has proven itself to me time and time again.  The creator of FP-10; George Fennell, has an updated formula:  Weapon Shield.  Excellent stuff.  Doesn't make you, your weapon, nor your surroundings smell like a chemical factory (looks at Breakfree) and it just works.  It's very surprising how much of the "C" in the CLP Weapon Shield can do.  You can easily clean carbon out of a bore using a rod and patch soaked in this stuff.  As always, I am not being paid with product nor money to endorse this stuff......

  So, I privately forwarded the above picture and writeup to the lube's creators.  First response  was "This must be a reaction to the corrosive ammo."  Nope, it wasn't.  Same thing happened to my buddy running 5.56 non-corrosive ammo.  I got some messages about reformulation and a new sample but that came to naught.  Now I see said lube being advertised as having "nano" particles.  Talk of its ingredients being used by NASA.......  Caveat emptor.  Look for published independent testing, MSDS sheets, and.....nano particles?  Really?

  I am now testing Frog Lube on my Glock, 5.45 AR15, and my road bicycle.  It's a biodegradable CLP (Clean Lubricate Protect) kind of lube.  So far, it has performed as advertised.  Has a light, minty smell that disappears with use.  It semi solidifies into a film when the moving parts it's applied to are not in use and then becomes an oil with use which is exactly what I want it to do, what with carrying a concealed weapon every day.  My bike's chain looks perfect and I can discern no problems as of yet.  Most important to me is that it's biodegradable.  No foul odors that make me feel like Jim Morrison on acid, no worries about pets dying from licking it.  Obviously, it will become somewhat toxic with use on a firearm.  I'm sure there are better toxic lubes out there but honestly, the most important thing about firearms lube is to have some on your weapon.  In a pinch, use oil from the dipstick on your vehicle.  It will work and it will work well.  Don't obsess over firearms lube and be wary of outlandish claims.


  1. I'm always looking for a good lube for my AR. I've always used Motor oil. I'd like to use Slip2000 but the money isn't there yet.

  2. The Slip2K is good lube but not so good at protecting. I'd get WeaponShield or FrogLube.

  3. I've never been convinced of the utility of gun-specific lubricants. I spent $5 on a can of lithium bearing grease and a quart of house-brand 0W30 synthetic years and years ago at the auto parts store, and that's done pretty good for me ever since. I don't know that I'll ever run out!

  4. For the most part, I agree, pdb. However, when dealing with corrosive ammo and not being able to clean immediately after shooting (like my 5.45 AR15), I have found out the hard way which lubricants actually protect. Also, when you have little critters around (kids, pets), it's nice to be using biodegradable lube. Not to mention, no smells.

  5. Hey LL, One from M4carbine here. I've been running the Slip 2k and their "extreme" weapons lube for quite some time now with good results. Same with co workers rifles and pistols.

    If it's at all possible I wouldn't mind knowing what company this was in private so I can keep an eye out for it on work guns. Guys at work tend to use a variety of products. If so it'll never leave my keyboard.

    Short story. Couple years back a buddies Colt 6920 was dray as a bone. No one had any lube at that particular point. However one friend was driving an old Chevy truck that he had to keep oil in. We found an empty bottle of some Pennzoil in the bed and used the remainder out of it on the bolt and carrier. Ran just fine after that. Fun lesson on always checking your lube status when possible.

  6. Send me a PM at since M4c is down again, one.