View Full Version : Oil(s): What's IN it/them? What's "Acceptable"?

February 1, 2011, 12:29 PM
Ladies and gents ... I've been thinkin' ("uh-oh", they collectively sigh...)...

I saw a link in a thread - either here or another F/A Forum, RE: Cleaners/Lubricants etc., for our babies.

Now, as mentioned...I got to thinking; "just exactly WHAT is "IN" these gun oils (or what "roughly" for that matter)?

Are they really much different from, say, motor oils?

I have some hi-quality, Synthetic MOTOR OIL'S sittin'-around...some in fairly recently opened bottles...some in UN-opened bottles from years ago.

What's in our gun oils guys (and/or gals)? In a pinch (or for regular use) would a motor oil...especially a Mobil 1 or Castrol "Edge" (Full Synthetics) oil "work"?


Thanks in advance (if this is too ridiculous of a question I'm sure someone will inform me...but I SURE WOULD like to know, as money is tight, and using these oils I already have, as well as not buying anything I don't need to buy, sure would be a BIG BONUS, for me it would be anyway).

February 1, 2011, 01:39 PM
Sure, they will work in a pinch. OTOH, a can of Triflow costs about $7 and lasts for years. Not sure it's worth the trouble.

February 1, 2011, 04:37 PM
Thanks natman ... however $7 is a couple gallons of fuel "+" (plus) to me (or almost 2 packs of smokes) my man...so it's something (I'm on disability, so-called - "pay").

Thanks again sir...

February 1, 2011, 05:24 PM
Mobil 1 will work just fine. Oil is Oil it all comes out of the ground. It's just how the crude is refined and what aditives are added during a blending process.

If Mobil 1 is good for NASCAR then it should be good for the slow moving parts in a firearm.

One of the best bore cleaners is Ed's Red just do a search for it, it's a blend of different solvents and oils. The best part you make it yourself.

February 1, 2011, 09:32 PM
not all synthetics oils come from petroleum oil

mobil one is a PAO synthetic ( a true synthetic IMHO)

Esters can be derived from vegtable oils

most others (castro, ) are based on petroleum oil that is highly refined.

Mobil one works very well as a gun lube. get their tranny fluid and you have a great gun oil

February 1, 2011, 10:03 PM
Are they really much different from, say, motor oils?Yes and no.

The base lubricants can often be very similar, identical even. For example, Breakfree CLP and Mobil 1 both have the same synthetic PAO base.

However what makes one oil a motor oil and another oil a gun oil is the additives. What makes a great motor oil isn't necessarily the same thing that makes a great gun oil even if the base lubricant is the same in both cases.

For example, even given the similarities of Mobil 1 and BF CLP, CLP does tremendously better in corrosion resistant tests than Mobil 1.

Can you use a motor oil for a gun lube? Sure you can and the odds are it won't cause you any problems although you should be aware that some motor oils contain compounds like sulfur and phosphorus that aren't all that good for some gun parts and possibly benzene compounds that aren't all that good for you. But is it as good as a decent quality gun oil? No, it's not. It may lubricate just as well but it won't provide the other features of a good gun oil (like better corrosion protection) that you'll find in a specific purpose product.

The key is in understanding what you won't be getting by using a motor oil and being on the lookout for any possible negative effects so they don't "sneak up on you".

Here's some reading on the topic that looks pretty informative.


February 1, 2011, 10:15 PM
Hey thank you all very much...so, are we saying the ATF is better than the motor oil? I have an old (unopened) quart of Mobil 1 ~ 15W50 (in addition to a couple of other synthetics 5w30, 10w30, and a 5w20 Motorcraft "Synth Blend"), but also have a couple of quarts of synth blend (I think?) ATF fluids...when I run-out of my Outers brand of gun oil, I am seriously thinking about using some of these other oils I have just sitting-around, as they are just taing-up space, and going to get "old" on me - PLUS, buying a new container of gun oil is an expense I can skip for awhile...I think.

And JohnKSa, per your post/info, I realize I won't be getting as much corrosion protection from the "other-than gun oil" ... I'll just oil them more often, I suppose?

February 1, 2011, 10:29 PM
Grant Cunningham seems to think ATF is better than motor oil.

Depending on the humidity of your area and other factors, it may turn out that motor oil will serve your purposes just fine if you pick the right motor oil.

February 2, 2011, 12:06 AM
Read (on another F/A forum) that the ATF is indeed great with/on/for the metal, but "could" damage "some" polymers...I can't afford the chance on my Kel-Tec polymer.......

Perhaps I might mix/blend a bit of ATF into my Oil and apply it slow, careful and with a small rag dipped (or "dabbed" : ) in the blend, but I can't risk wholesale cleaning of the piece with straight ATF (tempted, though I am).

Thanks, and I'll need to take a peek-around to learn about "Grant Cunningham" -


Ideal Tool
February 2, 2011, 01:35 AM
Be careful what you put in your gun. The ASSRA forum had a post of someone using regular kerosine he got at filling station to mix up a batch of Ed's Red. few months later, he checked bore..full of rust & pitted. The cheap stuff has acids in there. A few years ago, I left some parts submerged in Kroil oil..forgot about them for few months..when pulled out..light freckle rust starting.

February 3, 2011, 02:43 AM
"I. T." - thanks for the warning man...something such as your paragraph here could very well save me (or whomever else might read this) some expensive damage some day down the road ... and a bit of Heartbreak too.

Thanks again - Aim HI!

February 3, 2011, 06:23 AM
Whatever is in my bottles of BreakFree CLP.

Artic to desert.....