View Full Version : Best and worst smelling solvents/protectants

December 30, 2013, 09:04 AM
After spending a little time in the loading room where I actually sprayed some G96 just for the aroma therapy value I got to looking at what was on my shelf and which ones I actually enjoyed the smell of and which one I really really didn't like.

Like: G96 and Birchwood Casey Sheath

NOT: Barnes CR10, 3-in-one oil

Unsure: Kroil, it has such an odd smell, can't decide if I like it or hate it.

When I was a kid, the only protectant I remember was G96, the gunsmith shop in my hometown always smelled like it, and its sort of like the smell of coffee perking in an old style percolator pot, just bring back the smell of "home". Birchwood Casey's Sheath takes me back to the days in college when I worked at Bass Pro, Sunday Mornings when it was slow we would start down the line of display guns and wipe them down with it, always like the smell.

Art Eatman
December 30, 2013, 09:13 AM
Back around 1939 or so, my grandfather took me along on a visit to Petmecky's gun store on Congress Avenue in Austin, Texas.

That was my introduction to the smell of Hoppe's #9. That's been better than Chanel #5, ever since. :D

Ben Towe
December 30, 2013, 09:29 AM
That was my introduction to the smell of Hoppe's #9. That's been better than Chanel #5, ever since.

I concour. Gotta love Hoppes #9. They actually make air fresheners that smell like it.

December 30, 2013, 09:37 AM
frog lube is the best smelling CLP ever made

December 30, 2013, 09:56 AM
How the heck did I forget Hoppes #9, it must have been hiding in the back of the shelf.! Never smelled Frog Lube, next time I make it to town I will try to remember to give it a sniff, reckon I'll get thrown out for sniffing the different ones in the cleaning section. :eek:

December 30, 2013, 10:19 AM
I concure with the G96 that stuff smells great! Hoppes #9 is easy on the nose to!

December 30, 2013, 03:17 PM
I think Hoppe's #9 stinx. Though #9 BR Copper Solvent is far worse, even if it works wonderfully. Absolute worst I've found is Shooter's Choice. RIG 2 smells pretty good, though it seems to have disappeared around here. Hoppe's Elite and Breakfree CLP are neutral and so are good inside products.

December 30, 2013, 05:51 PM
Just got a bottle of butches bore shine, that stuff is so strong the bottle is packaged in another bottle to keep the smell in.

Paul B.
December 30, 2013, 06:24 PM
I think they all stink. :rolleyes: Especially the stronger ammonia based cleaners. If I have to clean a gun on a hot day, the smell from some will leave me feeling physically ill.
Paul B.

December 30, 2013, 06:54 PM
^^ I agree, they all stink. Especially copper removers.

I have always liked the smell of wd-40, but I don't use it on my guns.

December 30, 2013, 08:01 PM
I wish they made a shaving cream and after shave lotion that smelled like Hoppe's #9.

I would look, sound, and smell like a gun nut. :D

December 30, 2013, 08:13 PM
I like the odor of Hoppes #9 for much the same reason I like the smell of paper shotshells when they are ejected and the smell of burnt castor oil from model airplane engine exhaust. Those smells take me back to my younger days.

December 30, 2013, 08:27 PM
Anyone who doesn't say "Froglube" obviously has never actually smelled it. It smells just like mint. That said, I find Hoppe's #9 is a much more nostalgic smell and therefore more pleasant to me, but Froglube is objectively a better smell, hands down.

December 30, 2013, 08:44 PM
Hoppes #9 is the best smelling solvent for me, has been for well over 30 years now. Also, as B.L.E. stated, I LOVE the smell of firing paper shotshells!! I buy old ones at gun shows, some times partial original boxes (I collect the boxes) and shoot them all the time. I especially like to shoot them in old single barrel shotguns. THAT takes me back to my youth.

As far as worst smelling stuff, I've never been fond of the smell of cosmoline. I've bought a lot of old military rifles, many of which were still CAKED in cosmoline, and I always disliked cleaning them.


December 30, 2013, 08:55 PM
a few years ago I used some stuff called 762 solvent (don't recall the maker) It worked great, but made me so nauseous that I stopped buying it.

December 30, 2013, 09:10 PM
I love the smell of Hoppes No. 9, and CLP. I dislike the smell of Balistol.

December 30, 2013, 09:25 PM
Hoppes #9 does always bring up fond memories. So does the smell of a fresh fired paper 12 ga she'll case. I've now acquired a fondness for eezox too

December 30, 2013, 11:24 PM
I used to like Hoppe's #9 until my sons gave me some Gunzilla BC-10 which in my experience cleans rifle barrels 3-5 times faster than Hoppes and doesn't smell as strong. Also, Gunzilla is non-toxic and, if you do a little research on the Gunzilla website, our soldiers in the field whose lives depend on functioning guns have high praises for Gunzilla.

.300 Weatherby Mag
December 30, 2013, 11:41 PM
Sweets 7.62 must be near the top of the worst smelling...

December 31, 2013, 03:24 AM
As soon as the women figure out to mix a little bacon grease with Hoppes #9 and put it behind their ears....I might get tired of being a bachaelor.

How about the smell of an old real surplus store...canvas,cosmoline,ww2 bore cleaner and mosquito juice,leather,paint,mildew,old ponchos,hemp rope....New Levi 501 shrinks...

December 31, 2013, 07:33 AM
Hoppes,always has been ,always will be. Hoppes is a smell everyone older than 30 knows. It is one of those smells that's just is in a class by itself.

December 31, 2013, 07:41 AM
RB-17 is, unfortunately, a little known but highly effective bore cleaner that is water soluable; It smells like pine.

Jim Watson
December 31, 2013, 09:11 AM
M-Pro 7 is my first choice.
Almost odorless.
Wipe Out Foam has little odor, too; although their Patch Out is ammoniacal.

Ballistol just plain stinks.

December 31, 2013, 09:18 AM
When I was kid, I always knew deer season was coming around because the house smelled like Hoppe's #9. I just wish Glade made a Hoppes #9 bathroom spray...

...bug :)

December 31, 2013, 09:27 AM
without a doubt, the worst smelling, best cleaning, ...sweets 7.62
shooters choice is the next best:cool:

Romeo 33 Delta
December 31, 2013, 02:02 PM
Worst: The "good, old, original" GI bore cleaner. Once it gets in your nose ... it wants to stay there for DAYS!!!

Best: Hoppe's #9

December 31, 2013, 02:46 PM
Best smelling firearm lube: Marvel Mystery Oil
Best smelling non-firearm penetrant/lube: WD-40
Worst smelling anything: (as I put my flak jacket on) Ballistol aerosol.

Sorry Ballistol lovers, and I know I am going against the grain on this one. Maybe in a non-aerosol form it is tolerable, but from my aerosol can, it is the worst smelling CL (not P) I have ever used.


December 31, 2013, 05:10 PM
Sorry Ballistol lovers, and I know I am going against the grain on this one. Maybe in a non-aerosol form it is tolerable, but from my aerosol can, it is the worst smelling CL (not P) I have ever used.
You're completely right! I have never used Ballistol and we don't usually use it at work, but the other day I went back to gunsmithing and it smelled like rotting, decayed mildew. I asked the gunsmith what the heck smelled so bad and he told me the owner had wanted him to use Ballistol on some guns he was restoring. The poor gunsmith was definitely NOT enjoying his job right about then!

December 31, 2013, 11:29 PM
I really like the smell of the "Breakfree Powder Blast" stuff. It has like a citrus smell to it, which I think is done intentionally.

December 31, 2013, 11:43 PM
Eezox doesn't have an unpleasant aroma, but I sure have some kind of allergic reaction to it... Though it's effective, I can't use it... Spaces me right out!

January 1, 2014, 11:43 AM
You're completely right! I have never used Ballistol [but when I did] it smelled like rotting, decayed mildew.
Thank you for the support! Believe me, there are MANY who feel otherwise, and even like the smell of Ballistol. I could not think of a good description, but your's is perfect.


January 1, 2014, 11:59 AM
Wish I could find a girl that smelled like Hoppe's #9!

January 1, 2014, 12:13 PM
Hoppes #9, wonderful and nostalgic. The g/f hates it though!

January 1, 2014, 02:07 PM
Just got a bottle of butches bore shine, that stuff is so strong the bottle is packaged in another bottle to keep the smell in.


January 3, 2014, 01:34 PM
For me, the best will always be Outer's Nitro Solvent. As my 4YO says: "Wonderful, it smells of pistol".

January 3, 2014, 01:43 PM
hoppes is pretty grody, as is winchester aresol CLP. ballistal is quite pungent but not necessarily horrible although it stays with the gun forever. everytime I smell ballistal I think of my POS AK that had to be drowned in the stuff to operate.

I like safariland CLP, no stink, no fumes, no problem.

January 4, 2014, 08:21 AM
I only use Ed's Red and I find it tolerable...


January 4, 2014, 11:01 PM
I hate the smell of all the Amonia based solvents. Montana extreme being my least favorite. Montana extreme sure works. I have switched to water based solvents for stuff I am in no hurry to get clean. If you have a couple of days, then water is the way to go.

January 5, 2014, 03:50 AM
I love Hoppes #9 too, reminds me of all the years of shooting!