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Old March 24, 2013, 02:41 PM   #25
Dan Newberry
Senior Member
Join Date: October 3, 2012
Location: Wytheville, VA
Posts: 216
I'll reprise a short article I put together some time back, re: WD-40... I don't expect to change many folks minds, but here's what I found on the issue:

I have an acquaintance--okay, it's a family member--who is, shall we say, hell on his guns. Over time, either his brother or I have had to spend time cleaning up and/or fixing guns that he has abused in one way or another, often just leaving them to sit around and rust... sometimes horribly... rust up in a crying shame sort of way I'm sayin'...

Recently I saw a can of WD-40 sitting in the window sill of this fellow's home, not six feet from an old shotgun that was leaning against a pie safe. The shotgun was bubbling out here and there with surface rust, and a good coating of dust had settled on it. The poor gun looked like it hadn't seen a drop of oil in years.

What if... what if... he had on occasion taken all of 10 seconds to grab the WD-40 and spray down the gun? And spray a 2 second blast down the bore? Good idea? The naysayers like to put down WD-40, which we can talk about in a moment, but in the case of the horribly abused guns I've seen in the aforementioned guy's custody, these would have drunken up WD-40 like drought stricken land drinking rain...

The truth is that the overwhelming majority of gun owners never purchase any sort of gun care products. Many of these folks never even think to clean their guns. If they'd at least use some of the household oils they have on hand, it would sure be better than nothing... Wesson oil is better than nothing I'd say.

I perused the 'net a bit for info--real info, not hearsay--regarding WD-40's usefulness on firearms.

"They" say it gums up, turns to varnish after a while supposedly. I found the following piece regarding that, which is an interesting read-->

That link is from a locksmith who states emphatically that WD-40 does not gum up, whereas he says 3 in 1 oil does. He says he's used WD-40 on locks for over 30 years with no problems. And if it won't gum up lock tumblers, it's a real safe bet that it won't gum up gun lock-work, as is commonly alleged.

I'm thinkin' that some of these internet myths about cheaper, more easily obtainable oils (like WD-40) have been started by the makers of more esoteric gun oils, and parroted by folks who really haven't experienced problems with any of these common oils themselves--they just repeat what they've heard. The internet has a way of perpetuating lies...

Another thing commonly reported is that WD-40 will attract dirt and cause problems that way... but so does virtually EVERY petroleum based product out there--regardless of marketing claims. In fact, if you want to be sure you don't attract and hold dirt with your lubricant, silicone is the better option--but it doesn't lube well at all, and it's not a rust preventative. So the "attracting dirt" rap on WD-40 is undeserved, and also likely spun by the marketing department of some company that gets 15 dollars a 12 ounce can for their "wonder lube."

My uncle, a clock and watch repairman for most of his 93 years (before he died), kept about a dozen to 18 clocks running, hanging on his living room wall. I asked him what kind of lubricant he used on those clocks, and he told me WD-40--no kidding, common old WD-40. I told him that I had heard it would gum up and attract dirt, et al. He said he had never experienced that, and the running clocks didn't seem to be complaining... (by the way DO NOT oil your watch with WD-40... I know a guy who did that once and it didn't go so well for him). :mrgreen:

Okay... confessions...

I've used WD-40 for years. I've used it to clean my Glocks, as well as other handguns, and I never think twice about rubbing down the guns in my gun cabinet with it.

But it evaporates, they say... Yes it will, but so does any other oil you're likely to find useful for coating your firearms. Unless you want to smear cosmoline on your guns, you are going to have to resign yourself to routinely, once every two to four weeks or so, wiping down your guns again. It's just what any responsible gun owner will do.

I do use other oils and products to clean the bores with, of course. But I really don't think that WD-40 is as far from useful as many would have you believe.

Certainly the overwhelming majority of us just cannot bring ourselves to even think of putting WD-40 on our guns... and so, we don't. We pay the big bucks for for the go fast stuff, and that's fine--to each his own. Besides, putting WD-40 on your guns would just seem so... pedestrian... it would be almost as bad as going deer hunting with a (gasp)... a 30-06. And we can't be havin' any of that boring old relic stuff pollutin' up all our preconceived notions about what works and doesn't, now can we?

Additional links regarding WD-40, for any interested... you might be surprised to learn it's not as bad as "they" say...

The first link is a Brownell's test that will amaze a lot of folks... (read Piper Chuck's posts) (I know it's WD-40's own site, but there it is, FWIW)

The cases for and against using WD-40 seem to divide along the lines of those who have used it for years with no problems of any kind, and those who parrot marketing hype from the makers of the high dollar gun lubricants. Is it really that simple? It sure does seem to be...

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Last edited by Dan Newberry; March 24, 2013 at 02:54 PM.
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