Cleaning and Lubrication

Over the last month, I’ve had an abundance of questions regarding Weapon Lubrication, Cleaning, and about what oils I’ve been using as of late, and what CLP I recommend.

First off, I don’t recommend any CLP product. Because the functions of Cleaning and Lubrication tend to be at odds with one another so any single product doesn’t do both of those jobs well. Some products do one job better than it does the other, and other products the opposite. I favor using the right tool for the job. So I like a dedicated cleaner, and a dedicated lubricant.

MPRO-7 Cleaner is my cleaner of choice. In fact, I’m due to grab another bottle as I am getting low. Anyways.

For a Lubricant, I still have some Slipstream, but as supplies run out and production is stopped, I’ve been using something else more and more. Mobil 1. And here’s why. Oils designed for engines have a lot of other additives than just the base oil. These additives increase the lubrication properties, and they help break down carbon and helps prevent carbon from sticking to the metal. The additives in the oil keep that carbon emulsified and as those particles are in a solution, helps move it away from friction points. A firearm works a lot like an internal combustion engine. Heat and carbon are a result of a cartridge’s Combustion. And no matter how slick the surface is, carbon is going to want to stick to it, build up, and cause problems. This is why Crusader started recommending using the Slipstream oil on top of the permanent application process and eventually stopped doing permanent lubrication altogether. While a lube free coating sounds like a good idea at first, like Socialism, the actual use of it causes its own set of problems and eventually, it’s just a bad idea.

Guns can be Hot. Guns can be Dirty. Guns can be Dry. But they can’t be all three and keep having fun. If you want it to run Hot and Dirty, it’s got to be Wet. Just like a weekend in Vegas.

17 thoughts on “Cleaning and Lubrication”

    1. I’ve never found ATF or “Ed’s Red” to be all that great. I’ve also seen it cause problems with some materials. But a lot of guys swear by it. If you like it… *Shrug* That’s just fine.

      1. Just poking fun. ATF fails your lubricate it OR clean it test. Although I have recommended ATF to poverty cases when I was being a gun store clerk.

        I agree that lube is lube, and that cleaning products should be cleaning products.

      1. I know one gun lube that actually uses Motorcycle engine oil because it stays in solution with their other oil they mix with it. It’s actually pretty dang good and I like it. “BOLT LUBE” by ZMax.

  1. While they certainly can do the job, keep in mind that ATF and motor oils are designed to collect debris which is then trapped in filters as the lubricants circulate through your vehicle. This is not the case in your firearm. Residue will probably build up quicker than other lubricants, which could cause problems if you’re shooting particularly dirty ammo.

    The additives in automotive fluids may not be great for leather holsters either.

    1. Having run guns lubed with automotive oil through full weekend tactical firearms courses without cleaning… You would have to shoot a whole hell of a lot more for that to become problematic. Because what you are talking about is a benefit and not a problem. Actual problems and Theoretical problems are two different things.

  2. I found that CLP over time will form a hard gum like substance and had to do a complete disassemble and clean on a Glock that had sat in a holster for several weeks or months. The gum build up was to the point that I could not rack the slide, locked up solid.

    1. Especially if it’s “Organic” based. Fireclean, Froglube, Stinger, and some others out there. There’s a reason we don’t use organics in engines… Makes zero sense to use them in our firearms.

      1. yeah well the froglube hype was real. I did enjoy that video on youtube that tested it vs tons of other lubes that were applied to sheet metal and left outside to the elements.

        anyway, there was one gun store / firing range in Oregon where the owner’s son was talking about how he loved froglube. I actually bought one small bottle for 18 tax free but never used it to this day. smells good tho

        1. Froglube shows problems in 3 places.
          1. It doesn’t play well with others. Everything that’s not Froggy needs to be stripped out completely, or odd chemical reactions can happen.
          2. If you leave it in the gun after some time, it goes through some evaporation and the residue that it leaves behind is sticky and gummy, requiring you to apply more. This is okay if AR’s and Handguns that see frequent and regular maintenance. But in a Shotgun that sees more Rack Time than Racking time, it can become a substantial problem. One of my personal 870’s lubed with Froglube seemed to be practically Glued solid and required a great deal of effort to detail strip and clean to get it reliably functioning again. Shelf time of that was 3 Months before I noticed the issue.
          3. Organic compounds literally burn up and burn off when they heat up. Not a problem so much in some handguns or shotguns, but in an AR type rifle that can see high round counts and thus high heat cycles… this can be a bad thing when your gun gets hot and dirty and then suddenly dry and wishing it was still wet. I’ve seen AR’s cycle rate slow down to the point you can watch the bolt carrier opening and closing.
          Smells good. Tastes Tactical. But you are better off brushing your teeth with it than putting it in your guns.

          1. Froglube has proven to be a bust here in Arizona. As you point out, evaporation leaves a nasty residue that picks up dust and dirt. Not cool. The only thing sold as a commercial cleaner/lube gun specific product I’ve tried that actually seems to work as advertised is Hornady’s “ONE SHOT”. The airgun guys around here use a product called Napier’s . Gun oil/ pellet oil – whatever it is – seems to work pretty well in the lube dept. Not really better than Slipstream or even Mobil 1 but it absolutely refuses to gum up over time even in hot, dry, dirty conditions under load.

  3. Been a while since I’ve visited, I’ve been using Slipstream for a few years now, and although I’m not out, I’m getting low enough I’ve been looking for more. Any particular reason production was stopped? I know I’m behind the times here, but I was curious.

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