10487246_10205167478719975_6131840037654178969_n  Testing out a new product from ZMax.  This bounced off my desk the other day and I’ve put it to the test.  I know there are some great gun products out there already, and I know we all have our favorites… So I’m pretty dang jaded when it comes to some new latest and greatest gun care product.
However, ZMax is different.  ZMax has a long history of working lubricants for the automotive industry.   And a lot of that in racing. They have some serious Lubricant Engineering chops.  So when I saw this stuff, it raised an eyebrow.  If these guys can help race engines perform better and longer… a gun oil should be real easy for them to do right.

So I’ve been testing it since I got it.  My 1911, one of my 870 Tacticals and a few other things are now lubed and coated with ZMax’s “BOLT LUBE”.    My 870 is gleaming darkly with it, and the 1911 feels like its been pampered.  I am genuinely impressed so far.  And honestly, nothing has actually impressed me since Slipstream and FIREclean.

Some of ZMax’s claims are going to take some time to sort out.  But others I’m seeing evidence that it does just as advertised.   The oil is thicker than most new gun oils.  It really does stay where you put it.  Other oils can run like water… Such MPRO-7’s gun oil.  This stuff is different… It’s slick in a way that can only be described as creamy.
You can usually feel rather quickly if a gun oil is going to work for you or not.  This stuff works.    I don’t know anything about the Micro-Lubricant part of the label.  I’ll have to talk to them about it, but there’s something to it.

The BORE Cleaner and Conditioner seems to work just fine as well.  It’s hard to test a cleaner when my guns are already clean.  But I used it on some other things and it cleaned the metal quite nicely, leaving the surface with what feels like a micro-film of some sort of lubricant.  That’s probably the “Conditioner” part.

The site talks a lot about “soaking into the metal”.   And I’ve yet to see metal soaking a fluid in like a sponge, but I know what they are talking about.  Penetrating into the microscopic nooks and crannies that are only seen under an electron microscope.  That’s where moisture can get, so that’s where corrosion starts.  Getting in there with whatever micro-lubricant they have is a good thing.

I have high hopes for this product.  It has a solid foundation and history behind it.  While it’s a new product, it didn’t just pop out of the blue.     I’ll keep you guys posted on how it tests out the more I use it.

20150316_122516UPDATE:   Tested further in my Beretta 92FS.  Let’s put it this way.  I’m sold on it.  As I said before, “I gotta talk to these guys.”  Well, I did.  I talked to them.  Zmax is HQ’d at the race track, and I met the fellas there at the 4 Wide Drag Strip.   Okay, first off… 4 wide drag racing?  That’s just bananas.  I will be getting tickets to that.  You want to see more power launching than that – You’ll have to get on an Aircraft Carrier.    In talking with the Zmax crew – I discussed this with them.  “Just what is in Zmax that makes it work different from other lube?”   Pretty much the answer was in Molecule size.  Here’s what they said, “If a normal oil molecule is, say, the size of a basketball.  Then the the size of the Zmax molecule is the size of a ping pong ball.”  It’s 80 times smaller.  That’s how it penetrates into the metal, lifts carbon off, keeps carbon from sticking.  That’s the secret.  That is legitimately impressive.  In my Beretta?  Well, my Beretta was already slick.  The feeling as I said before?  Creamy?  That’s the feel in the Beretta.  But there’s a difference.  Not only does it feel so smooth… But it’s not bleeding oil.  The oil stays put, as advertised.
Pretty much – Bolt Lube by ZMax does what it’s advertised to do.  That’s also impressive.
A bit more though that is not advertised.  It works better when it gets hot.  Which makes this IDEAL for all your Class III applications.  In and on suppressors and full autos.  Any gun that you are going to run hard… get hot.  That’s where the ZMax comes into it’s own.

29 thoughts on “BOLT LUBE by ZMAX”

    1. Bottom line seems to be within normal use and expected exposure no hazards identified according to the data sheet.

      1. Yeah, it’s a pretty stable normal oil.
        I was told that should you ingest it, the worst thing that would happen is that it could “Act as a laxative”.
        LOL… Lubes all the internals.

    1. You know, I’m still testing it out. But from what I’m seeing this is going to do well across the board.
      Slipstream is excellent, but it’s handicap is that it leaves a black smear on everything it touches. That’s just because the Nano-Lubricant is black. You don’t want to wipe down the exterior of anything with Slipstream. The ZMax stuff, that’s not a problem. So that’s a point in the ZMax’s favor.

  1. Can’t comment on Z-Max, but can on petro based lubes in firearms. I have just about gone exclusively to the same engine oil I run in my modified turbo (high boost, direct injection, very rich AFRs) Mazdaspeed 3. It is a full synthetic oil designed for modern direct injection diesel engines with diesel detergents: Shell Rotella T-6 5w40. It has become the darling of Mazdaspeeds and Subies and for good reason, based on the Blackstone oil analysis. Those engines, like diesels, run extremely rich and have issues with fuel dilution of the oil.

    The T-6 is superb in keeping carbon from sticking to the bolt face and BCG in my AR15 and other semi-auto weapons. It is designed to provide protection without breaking down at the harsh 1500 degree F. and higher temperatures that the oil reaches when passing through the bearings in the turbocharger of high performance gasoline and diesel engines.

    And, it is only $6 per quart. I expect a quart will probably last me a lifetime. I have found no reason to spend more.

  2. sounds like something to look into. I have been thinking of using slipstream for sometime now. gotta do something as I am running out of LSA oil.

    1. What you need to do – go to your local Gun Dealer – and tell them to order case in. Tell them to read this page, and then order in a case. If they have any questions about – they can ask me.

  3. MadOgre, really enjoyed your review. As the originator of the formula for BoltLube, I can tell you that your experience is typical. The origin of the product was our challenge at Georgia Gun Training, to keep the darned BCGs on the ARs clean and lubed. I am an NRA Certifed Instructor, Range Safety Officer, Glock RO, and armorer, and continually meet people needing a good lube. That sounded weird.

    As you note, most lubes are just too darned thin to stick to the four rails that surround the BCG. Our solution was to use a very think synthetic oil. Sure, lots of people take an auto oil and use it on their guns. What concerned me was the chemical “modifier packages” that they must add so the oils meet the SAE and other specs. Read the list, and you will NOT want those in contact with your skin. We handle the guns a LOT, and really want as little unnecessary chemical exposure as humanly possible. Lead is bad enough. Once the ideal “clean” synthetic was identified after two years of searching, we started doing what most of you have done. Everything from Marvel to Kano Kroil to tranny fluid was experimented with, and none helped it perform better.

    Then one day, a friend mentioned that zMAX for his car. I had just installed headers, duals, Flowmasters, K&N intake, Hypertech chip, synthetic oil, and tons more to get my 2007 GMC 3/4 ton 4×4 Yukon XL with a 6.0 to break 10mpg. Let’s just say it carries a lot of stuff… So I went to AutoZone and bought the zMAX and added it to the oil. I had been monitoring the mileage with the built in gauge and had never broken 10mpg, and I was trying. I reset the MPG gauge and after a week or so, I am over 10 mpg and headling for 11. I now can get 11.5 if I am gentle.

    So I start researching EVERYTHIG there is to know about zMAX. What an amazing story. Their site has a great history, so I won’t bore you, but let me say that two people I respect, one being Carroll Shelby, truly believe in it. The other is the owner of Speedway Motorsports, Inc., Bruton Smith. Old Bruton is what we in the South call, successful. Many decades ago, when he met the creator of zMAX in Chicago, he started using it at his car dealerships to refurb the used cars. Once he built SMI, who owns Charlotte Motorspeedway, Atlanta, and four other NASCAR tracks, he BOUGHT THE COMPANY. That is why zMAX is HQ at the SMI dargstrip down the road from Charlotte MS.

    Now I am not a chemical engineer, and lean toward mechanical things. I hold a patent on a high-clearance rear axle, for instance, so I do have a good familiarity with the need for good lubrication. But I came to really appreciate the tiny molecules of zMAX.

    We found a way to blend the thick synthetic oil and the thin zMAX so that the qualities of both are preserved. Once zMAX found out what we had done, they decided to license the formula and name.

    You have seen, really obvious on your AR, how BoltLube will seem to CREEP out of the crack between the upper and lower, and walk along the metal, coating it. This is the action of those little bitty molecules. As the metal thermally cycles, the pores open and close. This allows those little guys to seep in. In doing so, they displace anything that clings to the surface, and they prevent anything from sticking.

    What is so impressive about this evaluation is that you have independently observed exactly the qualities that we designed BoltLube to have. We have had reports from duck hunters in the firgid North, and I am in the hot South, and the lube handles it.

    I read a mention of the shipping charge from zMAX. I suggest that you visit your local gun dealer and encourage THEM to get some in their store. zMAX has a great Dealer program, and you can get the product without paying shipping! The folks at zMAX are skilled at fielding calls from gun dealers and can have a stock out the door real quick!

    Glad to answer any questions anyone may have about BoltLube! Post here and I will keep an eye out.

    1. I had a good conversation about the Bolt Lube genesis with the guys at the Raceway. They pretty much told me everything you said – Thank you for writing that all up. We may be bumping into each other in the future.

  4. Given your unabashedly positive review which is a bit contrary to your normal “ogre-ish” take on products I’ve gotta ask: are you being compensated for this review and/or do you have financial ties to zMAX (such as, maybe, a connection between them and your new job)?

    Forgive the skepticism, it just seems a bit out of character. Having the inventor chime in with a friendly wall of text was a bit odd too. I looked for the standard disclaimer that bloggers put on reviews but couldn’t find anything like that in your post.

    1. No… I am not paid by or work for ZMax. However since this went up, we’ve decided to bring Zmax into the shop and sell it.
      I was sceptic as well, but the stuff works and I like it. So yeah, we’re going to sell it.

    2. Hello, bmq. I admire and encourage your skepticism. Too many crappy products get boosted because people can be too accepting. zMAX, and I, NEVER compensate for reviews, other than providing a small and reasonable amount of product to evaluate.

      I keep an eye on all postings about the product and respond somehow to all I find. And I tend to be long-winded because the origin of the product is important to help know what it is and what it does well. Look around, we have had 100% positive reviews. I was equally skeptical about the zMAX component itself initially – until I used it.

  5. I just downloaded and studied, once again, the MSDS for Shell Rotella T6. I can see nothing in it that is harmful to skin contact, even for prolonged periods of time.

    I’m not claiming it is the be-all, end-all for lube for high performance turbo engines or for our rifles, but I am, frankly, offended by the alarmist representation above about safety. There are better ways to sell a product than to cite MSDS and not back it up. Perhaps I missed something. I have the MSDS and would be prepared to debate the point.

    At $6 a quart, and considering the pristine condition of my NiB-X nickel-boron BCG (many lubes will stain these products), and being very familiar with the ease of clean up and lack of carbon sticking to it, I am very content with what I am using.

    What in the MSDS is the basis for the alarm?

  6. Alarmist?

    Talking to people who handle lead and burn powders and breathe the results? Then wash their hands with hot water to insure the absorption of the lead sulphates? Or shoot in indoor ranges with marginal ventilation? Alarm THEM?

    I had the choice to find a base oil that is essentially devoid of unnecessary chemicals, because that is important to me. I do not know what those “harmless” chemicals in ANY oil do when heated or burned or combined. All I know is that I want to live forever, and chemical avoidance is a good thing.

    The value of BoltLube is NOT in its clean base synthetic, it is in its qualities in a variety of uses. The blend takes advantage of what you love about Rotella, and adds to that the unique properties of zMAX, as well as some other ! chemical ! magic.

    I applaud you for using R6 and avoiding RemOil, CLP, FrogLips, and the other common products. You obviously think and experiment, and I respect that.

    If you want to freak, look at the MSDS for StrikeHold, speaking of carcinogens…

  7. Went to and the page for ordering came up a 404 page not available. Found another site that referred to Amazon, but they are out of stock and don’t know when more is available. Amazon doesn’t show a price at this time.

    Will check with Basin Sports here in Vernal, UT and see if they are interested.

  8. That’s right go to the source. That’s what guys from Charlotte do. Thanks for the review and I will be in to visit the shop a couple days after Easter.

  9. Hello and thank you for the review. How does the ZMax bore cleaner and conditioner compare to FireClean? I wanted to try a new cleaner and would love to hear your opinion? Thanks in advance!

    1. That’s a good question. I like them both for different things. Fireclean is awesome at cleaning off rust and preventing rust. And it’s a good lube. Bolt Lube is a better lube, but doesn’t clean quite as well as Fireclean. And I’ve not tested the corrosion protection with it like I have Fireclean. But the Bolt Lube is slicker and runs great in AR’s and other guns I’ve tested it in.
      So… Mary Ann or Ginger? The correct answer is both. But which one to get first – depends on your need.

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