View Full Version : Solvent/Lube Throwdown

September 1, 2011, 02:14 PM
OK, the question is: You are allowed to have a single cleaner/lube for all of your guns. For the sake of argument, this means it must be used on a 1911, an AR, an AK, an LCP, a Ruger Vaquero, and a K98k Mauser. Which do you pick of these three: Ballistol, Hoppes No9, or ATF? Why?

September 1, 2011, 02:55 PM
That is an easy question to answer: "break-free clp"


September 1, 2011, 04:40 PM

Oh, you also asked why... My bad.

Why, because it works great, it is cheap, has a ton of research backing it under stressful conditions, and it works awesome.

Carne Frio
September 2, 2011, 09:52 AM
Breakfree CLP and any ATF would work. Gunzilla is also a CLP.

September 2, 2011, 12:47 PM
ATF. When's the last time you had to change the oil in your automatic transmission? Most of it lasts for over 100K miles in a very hostile working environment. ATF has magnificent boundary lube properties and it's inexpensive.

September 15, 2011, 04:18 PM
For long term storage Breakfree Collector. For "working" guns - Breakfree CLP. CLP is all you really need. It really is as good as they claim. For just a GOOD cheap lube - ATF. I don't feel that ATF has as good rust preventative qualities as CLP or Collector though but it is a very good lubricating
oil and dissolves carbon pretty well. And ATF in a transmission does need to be changed (along with the filter) if you drive as much as I do. When it turns from red to dirty brown it's time.

B. Lahey
September 15, 2011, 04:39 PM

I have used it on all the guns listed in the OP except the vaquero, but lots of other revolvers. Great stuff.

Silent Bob
September 16, 2011, 07:32 AM
I would prefer G96 Gun Treatment as my only gun cleaning/lubricating fluid, but could definitely get by with just Breakfree CLP. Breakfree is a better lube but the G96 suffices and definitely smells better. I think G96 cleans better then CLP and is just as good as a preservative.

September 16, 2011, 08:43 AM
CLP is tested for its ability to remove powder residue and for corrosion resistance. It is being used world wide by our Soldiers to clean and lubricate their M16's.

You should be able to find the spec on DoDiss.

So I know it works as a powder solvent, it is not a lead or copper remover, but so what, use your bristle brush, and I know it works as a lubricant.

No lubricating oil is good for any long term corrosion resistance, but if you are talking a couple of weeks with heavy humidity, CLP will do.

I hate the smell of ATF. It is first and foremost a hydraulic fluid, I don't know how good a lubricant it is, but I do know that when I change my transmission fluid, it takes days to get the smell out of my hair. It is also a skin irritant.

I have never learned the reason why transmission pans don't come from the factory with drain plugs.

September 16, 2011, 08:51 AM
If you're only giving me a choice of those 3 - I'll take ATF, because I know that a lot of quality science went into it's creation and I don't know what's in Hopps or Ballistol - my opinion is that those companies have merely mixed stuff up and it's 90% marketing - 10% actual research / science.

I don't think using a single product for both cleaning and lubricating is a good idea, they are 2 different applications that call for different substances. But if I only had one - I'd use Breakfree CLP.

I will post here once I've gone and gathered all of the germane inforamation that's already been posted on the 8 other lube threads we have going...

Te Anau
September 16, 2011, 03:22 PM
ATF all the way

September 25, 2011, 05:12 PM
Well, ATF but with a caveat. Add kerosene, acetone and naptha. Ed's Red!. I love it. Used to be exclusively Hoppe's #9 but I find Ed's far superior. Though I still prefer the smell of Hoppe's. Too many years of gun memories.

September 25, 2011, 05:53 PM
I started cleaning with just ATF and it gets everything clean, so I'm not sure what I would be gaining by adding the kerosene, naptha and acetone.

B. Lahey
September 25, 2011, 06:02 PM
I don't understand why hoppe's #9 is even mentioned in this thread. It is a solvent, not a lubricant. The stuff hoppe's sells as a lube is just mineral oil, if that's good enough for you, you can buy it at the drug store a lot cheaper.

#9 is a good solvent with an interesting smell, but that's neither here nor there...

September 25, 2011, 09:11 PM
Ballistol - the original CLP and Eezox for rust.

September 26, 2011, 04:43 AM
The acetone, naptha, kerosene, ATF mixture is Ed's Red. It more or less duplicates the old GI bore cleaner. Very effective.

September 26, 2011, 09:24 AM
My version of Ed's Red:

50/50 mix of synthetic ATF (Amsoil) and Kroil. Simple, cheap and effective.

For lube, I use the last remaining Break Free I have mixed with Mobil 1 synthetic 10W-30.

September 28, 2011, 03:58 AM
Just mixed up my first batch of Ed's Red cleaner and lubricant today. Pretty neat stuff. For the cost of a couple of 4 ounce bottles of premium gun oil, I have about a gallon of Ed's.

I left out the acetone in the cleaner and am waiting for the lanolin to arrive, so for now the cleaner is equal parts ATF, mineral spirits and kerosene. Seems to work really well. It easily cleaned off the long baked on roofing asphalt blotched all over one of my hammers. :D Tomorrow I try it on my new 20" Palmetto State Armory FN upper for a new AR15.

The Ed's lubricant is just ATF and Kerosene. Very thin but it leaves a film. Also cleans pretty good in its own right. Not sure what mineral spirits cleans that kerosene doesn't, but I am following the formula. Ed said that it is an "Ed's Red friendly" lubricant.

Still leaves a grease. Can't just clean and oil. Slides and other parts need grease to hang in there and not slip away.

I'm also getting some oil and grease recommended by Grant Cunningham, pistol smith. The oil is Lubriplate FMO-350-AW (food grade machinery oil). The grease is Lubriplate SFL-0. I should have them in a week and will see how they work as well.

Basically, if limited to one cleaner lubricant I would go with the ATF+Kerosene formula. In the field you may need one do all lube. But back at the bench it makes sense to use separate, specific products or formulas for each job: clean, lubricate, grease.

Oh yeah, and I use Shooter's Choice for copper fouling removal, and a Kleen Bore Lead Away cloth for cleaning hard fired carbon from revolver cylinder faces.

September 30, 2011, 12:21 PM


September 30, 2011, 12:26 PM
I also found that SAE 50 motor oil does a better job of staying put than I would have thought.

It really doesn't migrate as much as I expected.

I put a light coat on the recoil assembly of my Glock, expecting that it would leak out the bottom, but when I looked at it a few days later, the 50 hadn't come off the guide rod or spring at all.

September 30, 2011, 01:18 PM
Thanks for the picture of SLF-0 in action, Count! I have seen so many references to "Lubriplate" and people seem to think it is all one product. Lubriplate is the BRAND, not the product name, and they make hundreds or thousands of various oils and greases all with the Lubriplate brand name. I think the most common is the cheaper Lithium based grease that does oxidize more easily than the aluminum and calcium based greases (at least as explained by Cunningham).

Take it easy on that pistol though. :eek: I would use about 1/100 what you got on there. May function fine but don't get near a shedding cat. If attacked y a cougar your Glock could jam up with The Mother Of All Furballs. :D

September 30, 2011, 01:51 PM
I've been totally globbing grease on my Glocks.

I guess I kinda wanted to see what they would do. I had so much DP Litium packing grease on one of em that grease splattered on my firing hand on the first shot. They never failed. I also tried to get them as dry as possible, not using degreaser but just wiping off all the oil with a cotton cloth, and they fire just fine when I fire them dry too.

September 30, 2011, 01:55 PM
The other thing that I've been doing because of what I've read on this forum...

I've been taking canuba car wax and waxing the slide.

I think it puts a protective film on the slide that protects against rust, and it gives me better grip. The slide isn't as slippery as if I had oiled it and wiped it down.

October 2, 2011, 11:41 PM
CZ - I have wondered about waxing myself! I actually have some wax, can't remember the name, which is billed as good for wood and metal. I tried it on wood and it seemed a run-of-the-mill wood wax, but I didn't have the guts to try it on metal... it might be a pain to get off if it DIDN'T do the job. If you continue to use wax, please report your results! More wisdom never hurt anybody, and it just might help! :D

October 3, 2011, 01:22 PM
That Lubriplate stuff looks like TW25b, graphite cream lube. Works fantastically in a dusty desert environment!

If humidity is a factor, I still prefer good ol BreakFree CLP because it helps fight the rust

October 3, 2011, 01:36 PM
I use Dexron transmission fluid. I don't like calling it "ATF" when using it on guns. I haven't tried anything else yet, so I can't really compare them.

Someone mentioned wax. I put a little Minwax paste wax on the slide, barrel, and magazines on my newly-purchased Walther P1. They looked like they'd been degreased. The wax helped the color (what is that finish, Parkerized or just enamel paint?), repels water a little, and it's not slippery or messy.

October 3, 2011, 11:31 PM
Breakfree CLP

I used it as a military Armorer on M16's, 45's, 9mm's, M-60's, M-203's, ETC. I use it on all my Personal weapons.

October 8, 2011, 04:35 PM
I like Breakfree CLP because my gunsmith, who I respect, likes it, and because I believe there's significant hx behind it, having undergone extensive government competitive trials and apparently having won the contract for the military.