Alternative Gun Lube

alternate gun lube

Copyright 2012 -

Marketing teams always try to fluff up their products to make them stand out from the crowd. The business of firearm lubricants is no different in this regard. There are some really creative marketing methods being used in attempt to differentiate gun lubes from one another. Honestly, I have yet to notice any added benefit to using costly gun lubes over the much less expensive automotive counterparts.

Some time ago it occurred to me that the viscous properties of my favorite gun oil very closely resemble those of my favorite motor oil. I happened to be out in the Utah desert on a fun shoot, and felt that my rifle was running a bit dry. Since I had no lube on hand that day, I simply referred to my car’s dipstick for a few drops of Mobil 1 Synthetic. After chewing through over half a case of 7.62 x 39, and a good bit of my thumb, I realized that the synthetic motor oil worked flawlessly on guns; it stayed put, it provided excellent lubricity, and best of all, it did not gunk up.

Needless to say, that was the end of my gun-oil-buying tenure. After trying a few different weights of motor oil, I finally settled on Mobil 1, 15W-50. The heavier oil seemed to stay put for longer, and as long as I wiped off the excess, it never gunked up on me.

I also proceeded to replace my gun grease with more affordable and readily available automotive alternatives. For new semi-auto break-in shoots, I usually hit the rails and friction zones with a light coating of copper-infused anti-seize. The copper will actually penetrate the micro pores of the metal rail and form a protective layer within the contact surface. This layer does not last forever, but you can re-apply from time to time for maximum results.

For really heavy-duty shoots that involve more than a couple of hundred rounds in a day, I have found that mixing a dollop of moly-graphite engine assembly grease with a few drops of Mobile 1 make an amazingly durable combo. This mixture can be applied with a pipe cleaner (or other lint-free apparatus) to the highest friction zones for maximum protection that will last for many hundreds of rounds.

I have been running my guns this way for years now without a single lube-related problem. Aside from working as well (if not better) than my old gun lubes, I get about 800% more product for the same amount of money.

Sorry marketing team… its nothing personal, but I’m not buying into the sales pitch.

The Brasstard

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  • Dan M.

    Dexron ATF is a good choice too.

    I too have heard good things about using ATF, but I haven’t tried it yet. Another good one I forgot to mention is gear oil (the stuff that goes in a final reduction/drive shaft); 75W-90 synthetic gear oil can handle some ridiculous levels of friction before breaking down.

  • middleton

    Lucas Synthetic Oil Stabilizer loves any metel surface. It is better than any marketed gun oil out there. And will not evaporate or rub off easily. I first start at any sign of rust with a coat of 3M 3 in 1 oil. Let the part(s) set overnight wipe off then apply a coat of Lucus Synthetic Oil Stabilizer. If this Synthetic can protect a engine at high tempertures for thousands of miles it will certainly protect your guns or knives from the elements. It is also good on the long gun you take on those trips outdoors and get caught in rain or snow. Forget the slick marketing of the latest fix all gun treatment and use what really work. And no I don’t work for Lucas, I am just a realist that wants what works instead of what everyone else is using.

  • DanMartin

    I’ve switched to Dexron ATF for my oil. Basically if it slides it gets grease, if it spins it get oil. Also switched to making my own bore cleaner using Ed’s Red formula.