View Full Version : Best lube for AR-15

April 7, 2011, 06:21 PM
Just got my first AR-15. Being a gray beard i lubed my M-16 with LSA.

What is the best ie most effective lube for use with an AR-15.

April 7, 2011, 06:35 PM
I like Militec-1. It's a dry lube/metal conditioner. I have been using it for over a year and it works great. Easier to clean the weapon then when I used CLP.


April 7, 2011, 07:37 PM


Pat Rogers of EAG has been known to have student use Vagisil (when said student didn't lube his weapon), and it keeps the rifle working.

I just use Mobil 1 5W-20. Use Militec-1, FP-10, Break Free, Rem Oil, Machine Gunners' Lube, whatever motor oil is on sale, just lube the gun. IMO, all the discussions about finding the perfect lube are much ado about nothing. So long as you use some kind of decent lube, the gun will shoot.

April 7, 2011, 09:27 PM

April 7, 2011, 09:51 PM
Bad info abounds on this forum lately.

Here is a link that describes what it means to lubricate.


April 7, 2011, 10:02 PM
most effective lube for use with an AR-15.

Conservative use of most anything. You really don't have to drench an AR to get it to run well.

April 7, 2011, 10:16 PM
I agree that anything is better then nothing. But somethings are better than others.

April 7, 2011, 10:34 PM
Per TM9-1005-319-10 Army M-16 Manual

CLP - Cleaner, Lubricant and Preservative - does three things at once:
ONE - It contains solvants to dissolve firing residue and carbon.
TWO - It lays down a layer of Teflon as it dries to provide lubrication.
THREE - It prevents rust from forming.
Use CLP as follows:
Always shake bottle well before use.
Place a few drops on a patch or rag.
Clean your rifle with these patches and rags until they come out clean.
Take a clean patch or rag and apply a fresh, light coat.
Don’t “dry clean” your rifle. DO NOT use hot water or other solvents or
you will wash away the Teflon lubricant that has been building up as
a result of your using CLP.
full PDF of manual at


April 7, 2011, 10:51 PM
Breakfree CLP works well and is probably the most used lube on the market

I use Breakfree, but plan on moving to Slip 2000 once I've used up what I have.

April 7, 2011, 10:56 PM
I suggest you guys check out Militec-1. I'm not trying to be a know it all. Just asking you to check it out for yourself. Good stuff.

April 7, 2011, 11:14 PM
Slip 2000 EWL it's what kept the filthy 14 going to 31,165rds even so when the bolt carrier was caked with grit.

April 7, 2011, 11:46 PM
Mobil-1 10W-30 as a lube for semi-autos....ARs and pistols. Breakfree CLP on most anything else.

April 8, 2011, 12:09 AM
Is that fully synthetic?

April 8, 2011, 12:40 AM
Mobil 1 used to be fully synthetic, not sure if there is a blended product.

Breakfree CLP is a good compromise product, but is not a great lube and not a great cleaner. I carry it to the range as a single product in case I have to clean out there, but at home, Hoppes to clean and Mobil 1 oil to lube. That is AR, AR in 308, handguns, revolvers, etc, everything except M1 rifles, which is lubed with grease.


Big Av
April 8, 2011, 01:30 AM
Another vote for Slip 2000 EWL

April 8, 2011, 01:43 AM
What I mix up when I teach classes (in which a high volume of fire is the norm) is a quart of Mobil-1 Full Synthetic mixed with 1/2 pint of Automatic Transmission Fluid.

I have the students wet the bolt carriers with a few finger dabs, and squirt about 2 drops into the exhaust holes in the bolt carrier about every 200 rounds.

In most of the classes we can expect to fire 1000 rounds in 4-5 days. Using this brew it's common for the ARs to go the full 1000 rounds without a need for cleaning, and as long as they are lubed with a bit of this stuff a few times each day they just keep firing.

After the first 2 days most students clean their ARs, but some don't. If they keep the bolts and carriers a bit "wet" they keep running.

I have not seen any failures because of lube issues, as long as they use this mix. I have seen "dry jams" using other lubes.

I don't have any scientific "proof" of the quality of this mix, but from about 7 years of experience using it, I can say it's very good.

April 8, 2011, 02:05 AM
I'm a firm believer in BreakFree CLP. It's what we used in the Corps, seeing it utilized range after range and during deployment I will stand by it forever (knock on wood).

April 8, 2011, 02:22 AM
My AR works best on the aforementioned Pat Rogers recommended Slip 2000 EWL.;)

April 8, 2011, 04:45 AM
I also use Slip 2000 EWL

April 8, 2011, 05:31 AM
My preferred choice is Militec-1.

April 8, 2011, 07:16 AM
Compared to Rem Oil at $32 a quart, or the other water based lubes, a $5 quart of Dexron is cheap. Lubes for automotive use are very much the same thing - high heat, sliding friction surfaces, high spin off forces, long term suspension of carbon residue.

If you happen to sell an expensive alternative, of course, nothing else will do. :rolleyes:

It's up to you to be informed and see who's merchandising you.

Bartholomew Roberts
April 8, 2011, 08:21 AM
I'd echo what Technosavant says - pretty much any lube will work just fine. The major area where I see a difference is some lubes (RemOil, Hoppes) burn off faster than others and need to be reapplied more frequently. However once you work out how often to reapply, you can keep an AR running on a suprising variety of lubricants.

In my opinion, LSA is a very effective lubricant and preservative. You can check out the dust tests NSWC Crane did back in the 1990s - Militec hosts a copy of those tests as part of their marketing; but LSA was actually one of the top performers (along with CLP).

I've been using Slip 2000 (non-EWL as I started using it around 2003-2004 and EWL wasn't out then - still haven't worked my way through the initial supply of the older stuff). I apply it generously (enough that the first few shots sling off the excess) and so that there is a visible coat on the wear areas. This doesn't meet the current MIL-STD for CLP (I believe EWL does); but it is working for me and isn't petroleum based - which are the two big things I like about it.

April 8, 2011, 12:36 PM
Here is a link that describes what it means to lubricate.


I read this article ~two years ago and use plain ol' ATF.

April 8, 2011, 03:25 PM
Just the tiniest drop on the bolt after dry cleaning.

Nowadays, I'm not afraid to use solvent to speed cleaning, but I think a tiny amount of CLP; one drop on the bolt, and one on a patch that goes down the barrel; is enough. More than that, and you're just going to attract dirt.

April 8, 2011, 03:41 PM
Pat Rogers of EAG has been known to have student use Vagisil (when said student didn't lube his weapon), and it keeps the rifle working.

Stay away from the sex lubes. Anyone who's used them knows they dry out and get sticky/gummy. :eek:

I use Militec-1 on my 92FS, but WeaponShield CLP on my AR-15. Militec is a good lube ("metal conditioner") with some detergent in it for cleaning, but I hear it lacks an anti-rust component...

You'll find others using synthetic motor oil, automatic transmission fluid, WD-40 (yikes!), BreakFree CLP, among others. The thing to remember about the AR-15 platform is: don't run it dry. Use lube, any lube.

The general rule of thumb is:

Clean + Dry = Weapon might run
Clean + Wet = Weapon will run
Dirty + Dry = Weapon won't run
Dirty + Wet = Weapon will probably run

What it boils down to is lubrication is more important than cleanliness...

Have fun!


Bartholomew Roberts
April 8, 2011, 04:45 PM
More than that, and you're just going to attract dirt.

You know, I used to think the same thing - and you can find posts of me saying as much here on TFL probably - but I've been steadily increasing the amount of lube I use until the bolt carrier group flings off excess the first few shots and I have had zero stoppages from fouling or dirt in the last 6 years (I had 8 prior to that during my "Use minimal lube" phase).

My experience has been that not only is it easier to clean the rifle afterwards if I keep it wet; but that I don't have problems with fouling either. In the dust tests I referenced earlier, NSWC Crane reached the same conclusion - the dry lubes atttracted less dust/dirt; but they performed worse because when they did attract dust/dirt, it didn't move. The wet lubes attract more dirt; but they also allow the dirt to migrate away from critical areas.

Double Naught Spy
April 8, 2011, 06:11 PM
More than that, and you're just going to attract dirt.

Unless you have some insights into positively and negatively charged lubricants and dirts, lube does not attract dirt. Lubes may hold onto dirt that comes in contact with them and the more lube you have the more dirt that can be trapped, but lube does not attract dirt.

People often does think it attracts dirt, but that is because they just know that dirt appears in a place where it was not previously.


I am a fan of SLIP 2000 EWL as well. It is pricey, but seems to work great, especially for guns being used infrequently.

April 8, 2011, 06:47 PM
You guys have got to slow down. We have lost the OP:eek:

Best lube for AR-15 IMHO is ATF.:cool:

April 8, 2011, 08:23 PM
Thanks for the comments and advice. I allways like a good discussion.

As SFC Burnell used to say, Push On.

That'll Do
April 9, 2011, 12:25 PM
I use BreakFree CLP or M-Pro 7 Gun Oil LPX. Both work just fine.

With an AR, you are much better off with too much lube than not enough. It doesn't need to be swimming in lube, but don't be stingy.

I've found that the following thread is an excellent guide to proper cleaning and lubing of the AR-15: http://m4carbine.net/showthread.php?t=35490

Sometimes I think people spend waaaaaay too much time thinking about what lube to use when they'd be much better off just shooting the gun. Keep it simple: use a good lube, apply it in the proper places, and shoot the gun!

April 9, 2011, 12:29 PM
I just use EEZOX on my AR. Never had any issues yet. When it gets TOO dirty, I throw the BCG in the parts washer at work for the day.:rolleyes: Then let it dry... coat it with EEZOX and slap it back in the gun. Dry or wet mine never lets me down.

April 9, 2011, 07:12 PM
On my regular ARs I usually spray the bolt carrier and the inside of the upper receiver down with some dry lube and put a super thin coating of Enos's Slide Glide on the bolt.

I have a Fail Zero nickel boron plated bolt in my "light" carbine and it amazingly requires zero lubrication. I've run it very hard over the course of a weekend and has never hung up on me. Cleaning it requires nothing more than a paper towel.

April 9, 2011, 07:30 PM
A guy on AR15.com ran this test (http://www.ar15.com/forums/topic.html?b=3&f=7&t=502758) last spring and summer trying to evaluate the protective properties of various lubes on the market. Personally, I just use whatever I have on hand at the time. :D