Breaking down weapon lube options

Matt Landfair

Matt Six Actual
Staff member
The words of @Chris Taylor

I've said it before, repeatedly, some peoples opinions have a greater weight than others. Their comments are worth more. "Why do their opinions carry more weight?" you may be asking. It comes down to one word... experience.

We can't all be experts in everything. So, when we need advice or guidance, we should be asking people who know what the fuck they are doing and talking about. People that have more experience than you, or who have the experience you lack. The ModSquad here has a collective experience level measured in centuries. We may not always be right, but that's a good way to bet.

In this particular topic, we have a former Depot level armorer, firearms trainer for a .gov entity and private training facility, and recognized industry SME (all the same person BTW [ Chad]), saying that he's seen major reliability issues with certain lubes. Now, he may be wrong, but you'd better have some solid evidence, like science and shit, to back it up. If he is wrong, he'll admit it, and defend the better product with the same vehemence. I've seen him do it. He has the experience that most of us lack in this topic. If you have 1 or 4 guns, and you've had no issues with a certain brand, congratulations, you are statistically invalid.

Now, before anybody goes running off all butthurt and shit, we're glad you're here. We aren't here for our health. We don't get paid for this shit, although we need to talk to Landfair about that. We're here because we want you to best be able to defend yourself, patrol your beat, or shoot durkadurka in the face, whichever is most applicable to your circumstances. We're here to help, whether you are a grizzled old beat cop, a young LT, or John Q wanting to defend his family.

And we're not the only ones. There are plenty of people here that have long service that aren't mods. They are an invaluable resource. Reason #1846 that the fb sucks for this, is that it's hard to tell who the knowledgable folks are. The forum is a much better venue, that gives a frame of reference for whoever is running their suck.

Now, back to the topic at hand. All lubes, like opinions, is not created equal. Motor oil is not machine cutting oil is not gun oil. All gun lubes are not the same. Are you willing to drop the Mobil1 and fill your car with 3-n-1? Didn't think so.

WD40 is not a gun oil. Gunsmiths have a love/hate relationship with WD. They love it because they charge people to unfuck their guns from the application of it. They hate it because it fucks guns up. When it dries, it takes on the consistency of dried shellac and will lock a gun the fuck up. (Funny story about that BTW I'll tell another time).

Tetra and RemOil tend to fall in a similar category as WD40. They dry out, and leave a nasty film behind. Ok for long term storage, since they barrier against corrosion. Not well, but they do it. We use RemOil to spray guns down at the shop before they go in the vault or are shipped for this reason. And it's cheap. We can't afford to use Slip, even though we've tried it, and loved it. We had a serious issue with Tetra a few years ago, when it got cold (for TN), and gummed up the actions on our revolvers so bad we couldn't shoot them for test fire. Slip solved the problem.

I could go on, but I won't right now. Typing on a tablet sucks for long posts. If there's interest, and I feel like it, I'll type more later.
WD40 is fine on mosin nagants and a slightly rusty 870 in the back seat of a pickup, but for any firearm that I could suddenly NEED in a bad situation I'll keep using slip products. It lasts forever (I buy the spray bottles) and isn't $15 for a teeny tiny little bottle like the other stuff!
Has anyone plainly laid out what their favorite lube is? All i've used is mpro7 and break free for cleaning. No bueno? Better options?

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Chris Taylor

Random Factor of the K Power
@Austin Black,
WD40 isn't even the best option there. WD isn't a lube.

The "funny" story about WD40... when I was in Gunsmithing School, I was tasked with fixing/cleaning a family shotgun (Rem870) belonging to a VP of the school. It had sat in a closet for a couple of years, when grandson wanted to go dove hunting. Easy day, 870s are simple. Right? Yeah, not so much.

A wrench to remove the mag cap. Bbl should slide off now. Nope. Got to looking, and the mag hanger was bent, and showed signs of damage resembling a hammer strike... or twelve. Five burly gunsmithing students, a 2ft length of 2x4, a BFH, and a liberal dose of WD later, we succeeded, in removing the bbl. Apparently, cleaning was accomplished by a liberal dose of WD, and storage.

WD40 had glued the bbl into the receiver. It apparently had been a problem before, and somebody had beat on the mag hanger with a frakkin hammer til it came loose.

The only way to remove WD40 is application and scrubbing with more WD40, which is why you'll see bottles of it in gunsmith shops. We don't use it as such, we use it to remove old WD from guns.

One wit of a gunsmith I knew sold small bottles of it next to the register in his shop. Didn't advertise it as a gun product. Just sold it. When asked, he replied that it was cheap job insurance.


Not Pumpkin
Staff member
I havent used it. However Michael Lamb is one dude I trust that does.

Simply put, I am so satisfied with SLIP that I have honestly had no need to look elsewhere. It is good to have alternatives.

There are only a handfull I will not use. Frog lube, WD40, Militec are a big fat No.

Most importantly I try to uses products from the same company, like the slip EWL/EWG, 725, Carbon Killer. They are made to work together.

Do not mix companies products. Solvents especially have rowdy ingredients that dont play nice together.

Lane C

Rico and the Man
Chris Taylor and Borebrush.

Give me your thoughts on what i was taught years ago for waterborne operations. After we took a soaking we would;
Rinse with fresh water and shake
Spray with WD-40, was told it was a water displacement (no rusting) and shake.
Liberally apply lube (because WD-40 was not a lube and it could gum up). And then wipe.

School me on your preferred method. After reading above I'm thinking i should just skip the WD.

Great topic
SLIP is my go to, have used mpro7 with good results even tried froglube with less then optimal results. Since I control what my agency uses, it is all slip we even supply it to all officers for for use on all issued weapons. Plain and simple it works.
I have used WD and compressed air to get water out of nooks and crannies like the FSB and front sight post assembly. Not as a lube or preservative though. The only thing cheaper than one cop is 2 cops so I figured spray the cheap water displacement on then blast with compressed air rather than use Slip.

It seems like the majority of problems I have seen with WD is when it is left to sit for long periods as mentioned above.

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Looking over the MSDS for a synthetic 10-40 and comparing it to slip, there is more potential negative affect on the user with the engine oil. Toxicity wise anyway.

I'm a believer in purpose built products. That's not to say that 10w whatever won't work in most cases or a pinch but it is not the application it was designed for.

It seems like there is this odd phenomena wherein gun guys try to find the secret sauce or the cocktail of destiny when it comes to lubricant. Part voodoo, part hand me down knowledge, and part alchemy.

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Chris Taylor

Random Factor of the K Power
Motor oil, as @JD Williams said will work in a pinch.

But, it has specialty additives (surfactants, breakdown inhibitors, etc) that are designed to be used in an engine. Engine are their own beast, and need their own food feeding and care, that are completely different from guns.

Engines are a closed cycle machine. The same oil is used for a length of time, pumped through the system, filtered, and pumped back through. Then removed and changed. There are a lot of moving parts in a car engine that need lube, that are going really really fast, and that need a special lube to keep from coming unglued.

Guns are an open system machine, that allows foreign (outside) contaminants in, is dealing with inherently dirty internal contamination, and isn't filtered. The lube has to actually lube, while moving contaminants away from the important bits, and has to be removed and/or added to, so the wheels don't come off. @Pat ROGERS filthy 14 is a shining (for lack of a better term ;) ) example of this. Added lube causes all the nasty shit to move away from the important bits, new lube keeps the machine oiled and continues to move new contaminants away from where the magic happens.

If guns were a closed, filtered system, things woild be different. But as it is, we deal with what we have.

Anything will work in a pinch, but a quality specially designed lube makes the machine happy.


Not Pumpkin
Staff member
That shit sucks... It isnt shelf stable, burns off quickly, and even attacks the steel.

Its losts its NSN three times.

Its not even marked as a lube. It is a metal conditioner....

Look up Chloride Stress Corrosion Cracking.