Author Topic: How do you lubricate your AR-15  (Read 6702 times)

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Offline bubbas4570

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Re: How do you lubricate your AR-15
« Reply #30 on: September 14, 2023, 08:30:48 PM »
First I've heard of Gunfighter -- first blush, looks to be rebranded Slip or Weaponshield or Lucas...

I was actually using Weaponshield before I switched to Gunfighter Lube. I don’t think it’s rebranded Weaponshield, but not sure about Slip or Lucas. I switched from Weaponshield because I found it was thickening and becoming slightly tacky over time. It seemed to work well at first tho. I am diggin the Gunfighter Lube so far. It seems to soak in really well. When I do a complete tear-down and full strip of my guns, I like to toss the metal parts in the oven or toaster oven on low to warm them up before I do a final lube. I shift work so they tend to sit for longer periods of time than I’d like them to, so I want that lube to soak in good and deep. Helps me sleep better at night knowing my babies are taken care of. ;D

I found the same with Weaponshield, also.

Offline bubbas4570

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Re: How do you lubricate your AR-15
« Reply #31 on: September 14, 2023, 08:58:11 PM »
Now I had to go and redo my research on the Bel-Ray No-Tox USDA H-1 grease tube that I have...... 8)

https://www.belray.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/No-Tox-HD-Food-Grade-Grease.pdf

Mine is an older tube that does not have any part numbers on it, just the name of the contents, so I cannot truthfully say which one it is, but the feel/thickness is much like any other #2 grease (if not even a bit thicker) that I have ever seen.  Just for reader info, I run heavy equipment for a living, and I have seen/used alot of greases over the years. ;)

Looking at the pdf in the link, this seems to have mineral oil as one of the base stock materials....so here is one for JMWalker to look at.

I have not extensively tested this grease out for my needs, as I quit using grease within my firearms as per previous discussion, so I cannot speak to how it would actually perform. 

On the tube(tube is all white color with a blue ring around insertion end:
Bel-Ray
No-Tox
USDA H-1
FOOD MACHINERY LUBRICANT

contains bactericides

and then on the other side of the tube is Bel-Rays' address

Offline RSR

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Re: How do you lubricate your AR-15
« Reply #32 on: September 15, 2023, 12:52:57 AM »
First I've heard of Gunfighter -- first blush, looks to be rebranded Slip or Weaponshield or Lucas...

I was actually using Weaponshield before I switched to Gunfighter Lube. I don’t think it’s rebranded Weaponshield, but not sure about Slip or Lucas. I switched from Weaponshield because I found it was thickening and becoming slightly tacky over time. It seemed to work well at first tho. I am diggin the Gunfighter Lube so far. It seems to soak in really well. When I do a complete tear-down and full strip of my guns, I like to toss the metal parts in the oven or toaster oven on low to warm them up before I do a final lube. I shift work so they tend to sit for longer periods of time than I’d like them to, so I want that lube to soak in good and deep. Helps me sleep better at night knowing my babies are taken care of. ;D

Interesting -- they just all use similar packaging w/ similar claims of formulation and performance so figured all to be incrementally different, generally speaking, sort of like how fuel companies/gas station brands or engine oils of same weight have different additive packages but similar base specs.

Looking at Gunfighter, it appears their products are similar to Slip's EWL 30 (since their oil claims it stays wet), grease, and water-based gun cleaner.  I'm sure there are differences -- I just don't know that I would be able to notice actual ones in performance and also don't know that potential incremental performance gains are currently worth it to change from Slip. 

Offline M1A4ME

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Re: How do you lubricate your AR-15
« Reply #33 on: September 15, 2023, 08:45:02 AM »
Does oil on a carry gun actually "dry up" or does it get so loaded with dust, pollen, lint, etc. that stick to the lube and appear to dry it out more than it really is?

I can't forget, several years ago I pulled my old rifles out of the attic.  03A3, M1917, 03 Mk1, 03A4, etc. which had been lying in a pile in one corner inside zipped up soft rifle cases.  They'd been there for about 8 years.  110 F and humid some summer days.  Just above freezing most of the time in the winter with dips below freezing a few nights of the winter.  The oil I used to use to lube/wipe down guns for rust prevention was 3n1 oil (grew up using it).  Some places on the rifles the oil was still wet.  Eight years and the oil had not dried out.

My dad used 3n1 oil as well, as his dad did.  One trip home my dad said his little pocket pistol had started jamming and he wanted me to look at it.  I got it out of the desk drawer and it had funny sort of yellow/brown stains on the outside finish (nickel plated).  I took it apart and it was kind of cruddy inside.  Not like a powder residue build up, but something hard/thick.  I got out the Hoppes#9 and bore patches and started wiping the outside down first.  With solvent and elbow grease the yellow/brown stains started coming off the outside surfaces.  I got an old tooth brush and started scrubbing the rails, inside of the frame, etc. and wiping with bore patches and that stuff inside was the same color on the patch as the stuff the solvent removed from the outside.

Once I'd gotten it all good and clean I lubed it up, took it out back and it functioned fine. 

I came to the conclusion that, over time and handling, the lube had gotten thick/gooey/hard/built up on the surfaces of the pistol inside and outside.  I've never seen that happen before.  I got his revolver out of the closet and it had the same build up on the outside and the Hoppes#9 removed that as well.  A half can of carb cleaner cleaned some crud out of the inside of the revolver (I didn't remove the side plate on his S&W, just the grips).  I let it dry, sprayed some lube inside as well as I could, a few drops of 3n1 oil on the parts I usually oil on S&W revolvers and then wiped it down with an oily rag to protect the surfaces from rust/corrosion.

Never seen that happen before but that was 3n1 oil, had to be, that's what dad used on his guns.  So, sometimes, some oils, under some conditions can (in my experience/opinion) get thick/gooey/appear to dry out.  I think it's a how you use it, how often you clean it/how well you clean it, how you carry it, etc. issue.

As they say, your mileage may vary.
I just keep wasting time and money on other brands trying to find/make one shoot like my P07 and P09.  What is wrong with me?

Offline jwc007

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Re: How do you lubricate your AR-15
« Reply #34 on: September 15, 2023, 09:20:02 AM »
Bolt Assembly gets dipped in Mobil 1 5w30.  Bolt Carrier Rails get a very light coating of Mobil 1 Synthetic Bearing Grease.

Barrel Bore gets a light coating of Ballistol for Storage, but dried with Brake Cleaner for Range use.

Trigger Assembly gets Mobil 1 5w30.  Hammer Hooks get a light coating of Mobil 1 Synthetic Bearing Grease.

Never a problem!


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Offline Wobbly

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Re: How do you lubricate your AR-15
« Reply #35 on: September 15, 2023, 09:48:24 AM »
Does oil on a carry gun actually "dry up" or does it get so loaded with dust, pollen, lint, etc. that stick to the lube and appear to dry it out more than it really is?

Older types of non-synthetic oils tend to oxidize much faster. This oxidation turns the lubricant into a gummy, pasty, near-grease that may actually keep some mechanisms from functioning at all. Items with light weight springs, like those within the trigger group, will have trouble well before things like the hammer. However, even the hammer and firing pin may be slowed enough to cause light strikes.

WD-40 goes through a similar transformation as well, but usually at a faster rate.

This is why if you're using motor oils to lubricate a gun, you'll usually see the word synthetic included. This, or the mention of a brand of oil that is only available as a synthetic, such as Mobil-1.
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Offline RSR

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Re: How do you lubricate your AR-15
« Reply #36 on: September 15, 2023, 06:27:00 PM »
Does oil on a carry gun actually "dry up" or does it get so loaded with dust, pollen, lint, etc. that stick to the lube and appear to dry it out more than it really is?

I can't forget, several years ago I pulled my old rifles out of the attic.  03A3, M1917, 03 Mk1, 03A4, etc. which had been lying in a pile in one corner inside zipped up soft rifle cases.  They'd been there for about 8 years.  110 F and humid some summer days.  Just above freezing most of the time in the winter with dips below freezing a few nights of the winter.  The oil I used to use to lube/wipe down guns for rust prevention was 3n1 oil (grew up using it).  Some places on the rifles the oil was still wet.  Eight years and the oil had not dried out.

My dad used 3n1 oil as well, as his dad did.  One trip home my dad said his little pocket pistol had started jamming and he wanted me to look at it.  I got it out of the desk drawer and it had funny sort of yellow/brown stains on the outside finish (nickel plated).  I took it apart and it was kind of cruddy inside.  Not like a powder residue build up, but something hard/thick.  I got out the Hoppes#9 and bore patches and started wiping the outside down first.  With solvent and elbow grease the yellow/brown stains started coming off the outside surfaces.  I got an old tooth brush and started scrubbing the rails, inside of the frame, etc. and wiping with bore patches and that stuff inside was the same color on the patch as the stuff the solvent removed from the outside.

Once I'd gotten it all good and clean I lubed it up, took it out back and it functioned fine. 

I came to the conclusion that, over time and handling, the lube had gotten thick/gooey/hard/built up on the surfaces of the pistol inside and outside.  I've never seen that happen before.  I got his revolver out of the closet and it had the same build up on the outside and the Hoppes#9 removed that as well.  A half can of carb cleaner cleaned some crud out of the inside of the revolver (I didn't remove the side plate on his S&W, just the grips).  I let it dry, sprayed some lube inside as well as I could, a few drops of 3n1 oil on the parts I usually oil on S&W revolvers and then wiped it down with an oily rag to protect the surfaces from rust/corrosion.

Never seen that happen before but that was 3n1 oil, had to be, that's what dad used on his guns.  So, sometimes, some oils, under some conditions can (in my experience/opinion) get thick/gooey/appear to dry out.  I think it's a how you use it, how often you clean it/how well you clean it, how you carry it, etc. issue.

As they say, your mileage may vary.

Yes, light oils will evaporate -- that why RemOil, which is super light includes teflon.  WD40 gets tacky over time, which is why it shouldn't be used in locks.  Most aerosol oils have at least some carrier components designed to evaporate.

Also mineral oils evaporate faster than synthetic/blend oils.  Usually higher temps mean faster evaporation.  Older gun oils use the mineral/refined oils as their base and often times were less refined than they are nowadays.

A lot of time the hard stuff left behind is whatever thickeners or additives the oil originally contained, with lithium probably being one of the most common. 

I've found fresh WD40 is best for removing dried out and tacky old WD40, and that light gun oils work great at removing/displacing storage grease from surplus items -- and then if wanting to fully remove oil, you can then give the item a scalding hot water bath if you don't have a parts washer; simple green is also an option too though IMO less effective than these other two.

Offline RSR

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Re: How do you lubricate your AR-15
« Reply #37 on: September 15, 2023, 06:34:25 PM »
Does oil on a carry gun actually "dry up" or does it get so loaded with dust, pollen, lint, etc. that stick to the lube and appear to dry it out more than it really is?

Older types of non-synthetic oils tend to oxidize much faster. This oxidation turns the lubricant into a gummy, pasty, near-grease that may actually keep some mechanisms from functioning at all. Items with light weight springs, like those within the trigger group, will have trouble well before things like the hammer. However, even the hammer and firing pin may be slowed enough to cause light strikes.

WD-40 goes through a similar transformation as well, but usually at a faster rate.

This is why if you're using motor oils to lubricate a gun, you'll usually see the word synthetic included. This, or the mention of a brand of oil that is only available as a synthetic, such as Mobil-1.

Yes the oxidation is big factor,  but non-synthetic oils also evaporate faster than synthetic.
And a lot of the really light gun oils also do evaporate, with a large portion of what you're spraying out aerosol cans being carrier liquids that are supposed to evaporate shortly after application by design.

Offline Rcher

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Re: How do you lubricate your AR-15
« Reply #38 on: September 15, 2023, 11:08:25 PM »
A lot of interesting stuff, thank you everyone for your thoughts!

(1) What is your opinion and experience with RIG Universal grease? Is it only good for long-term storage or can be used for lube?
(2) Also, coming back to the original video - did everyone have experience with mixing grease with oil, like SOTAR did? (Doesn't matter which oil or grease).

Speaking about cleaning and degreasing BCG I use odorless mineral spirits Klean-Strip from Homedepot (~$20 per gallon) and long jar from olives. I disassemble BCG and soak it for 24 hours. Almost all residue is going out. The bottom of the jar is covered by carbon, but I use same solvent up to 10-15 times. After that I do final cleaning with any CLP available and lubricate the whole BCG well.

Offline RSR

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Re: How do you lubricate your AR-15
« Reply #39 on: September 16, 2023, 04:52:41 PM »
(2) Also, coming back to the original video - did everyone have experience with mixing grease with oil, like SOTAR did? (Doesn't matter which oil or grease).

He mixes them b/c neither the auto oil nor the auto grease is ideal for all applications in an AR in all environmental conditions...  Gun greases such as Slip's offering typically are not nearly or anywhere approaching the thickness of automotive greases -- if you're potentially facing cold then you want a thin grease, and anyone whose changed gear oil in cold weather without first putting bottles in a hot water bath understands why (and why I think Amsoil's synthetic gear oils or their premium direct competitors pay for themselves in fuel savings, but that's a different matter).  To be clear -- purpose made gun greases have a similar consistency to his goop concoction and I have no concerns with their performance in cold conditions I'd be outside in, without the mess and potentially better performance across all aspects of performance one wants in a gun lube, not just keeping the weapon lubricated and running as economically as possible.

One good thing w/ greases is that they do provide a buffer between metal parts rather than just reducing friction, which reduces wear of bearing surfaces vs oil.  Grease can also provide additional buffering recoil reduction as bonds between the grease on two surfaces must first shear before the bearing surfaces separate (arguable if noticeable to shooter however), which doesn't really apply to oil.

It used to be only the AK guys who were proud to lube their guns from auto supply stores, but the budget everyman builds and austerity torture tests and perhaps also some minimalism seem to have popularized such for the AR platform in recent years too...  I can't wrap my head around why anyone would want to use ATF fluid on their weapons however from smell, mess, stain, etc., perspectives -- though wouldn't necessarily object to using motor oil or grease if it was all I had at my disposal.

FWIW, I do use vintage Swiss grease (Waffenfett) on some older rifles, and also do have a few VZ58 cleaning kits with whatever OE oil they were shipped with but don't use that on my Vz58s as I think the modern synthetic commercial lubes are unquestionably superior, though would be interested if anyone had any testing capabilities to determine composition...  The auto version (Automatenfett) of the Swiss grease is also something I wouldn't hesitate to use in the present day.  YMMV.
« Last Edit: September 16, 2023, 05:00:03 PM by RSR »

Offline Joe L

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Re: How do you lubricate your AR-15
« Reply #40 on: September 16, 2023, 07:56:28 PM »
I've mixed Enos Slide Glide Lite grease with oil.  But it was at the range, usually when I took a pistol lubed for the warm climate of Central Texas to a cold range in New Mexico in the Fall.  I always have to add some oil to the grease to get the pistols to cycle reliably.  And I stopped using even the light grease on the Kadet because it would barely cycle below 60F with any grease on the rails.

Since I don't shoot my AR very often, I just add a few drops of oil to the BCG before heading to the range, assuming I put it up cleaned and wet last time out. 

Joe L
CZ-75B 9mm and Kadet, 97B"E", two P-09's, P-07, P-10C, P-10F, P-10S, MTR

Offline RSR

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Re: How do you lubricate your AR-15
« Reply #41 on: September 16, 2023, 11:35:21 PM »
I've mixed Enos Slide Glide Lite grease with oil.  But it was at the range, usually when I took a pistol lubed for the warm climate of Central Texas to a cold range in New Mexico in the Fall.  I always have to add some oil to the grease to get the pistols to cycle reliably.  And I stopped using even the light grease on the Kadet because it would barely cycle below 60F with any grease on the rails.

Since I don't shoot my AR very often, I just add a few drops of oil to the BCG before heading to the range, assuming I put it up cleaned and wet last time out. 

Joe L

Joe -- pretty sure I've seen posts from you re: tuning recoil springs and loads for competition use, etc.  Where you're fine tuning things to such extent, then yes, it might affect function, but for general use/OEM setups intended to function with a wide range of ammo, then it really shouldn't make a difference...  Feel free to speak if that's the case here.

I've amateur cold-tested via freezing handguns and ammo and haven't seen an issue in fairly stock guns -- if anything the grease seems to help provide a greater buffer between frost seizing between protected surfaces than oil for at least greater first shot reliability, but YMMV.

Offline Gunnerdad80

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Re: How do you lubricate your AR-15
« Reply #42 on: September 17, 2023, 12:11:50 AM »
Does oil on a carry gun actually "dry up" or does it get so loaded with dust, pollen, lint, etc. that stick to the lube and appear to dry it out more than it really is?

I wouldn’t say the oil dries up as much as I might say it wicks away. I don’t really worry too much about lint and dust buildup either. I tend to clean my carry guns more frequently. At the very least, wipe’em down and re-oil them regularly.

Offline Joe L

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Re: How do you lubricate your AR-15
« Reply #43 on: September 17, 2023, 09:37:02 AM »
Joe -- pretty sure I've seen posts from you re: tuning recoil springs and loads for competition use, etc.  Where you're fine tuning things to such extent, then yes, it might affect function, but for general use/OEM setups intended to function with a wide range of ammo, then it really shouldn't make a difference...  Feel free to speak if that's the case here.

I've amateur cold-tested via freezing handguns and ammo and haven't seen an issue in fairly stock guns -- if anything the grease seems to help provide a greater buffer between frost seizing between protected surfaces than oil for at least greater first shot reliability, but YMMV.

Good point that I forgot to qualify.  In my pistols, I tend to use lightly loaded ammo and heavy recoil springs to guarantee consistent lockup on the semi auto pistols.  This means that the pistols will just barely cycle when clean and lightly lubed, so the combination is more sensitive to any increase in viscosity than, say, a self defense pistol with hotter ammo and the factory recoil spring.  Your point is well made--stock pistols will be less sensitive to oil/grease viscosity. 

I am guilty of forgetting how a box stock pistol operates on average! 

Joe L
CZ-75B 9mm and Kadet, 97B"E", two P-09's, P-07, P-10C, P-10F, P-10S, MTR

Offline Xmarksthespot

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Re: How do you lubricate your AR-15
« Reply #44 on: October 24, 2023, 10:11:30 PM »
A product named Eezox which cleans, lubricates, and protects.
Well ventilated, wash hands afterwards, and I'll never look for another product.
« Last Edit: October 24, 2023, 10:16:46 PM by Xmarksthespot »