There are two jobs for firearms lubrication. The first is to lubricate the moving parts of a firearm so that it continues to properly function after it get hot and dirty. The second job is to protect the metal parts from rust and corrosion.
Do not use WD-40 to lubricate and protect your firearms.
Do not degrease your aluminum firearm parts with Simple Green. It is corrosive to aluminum.
Be very careful using brakes parts cleaner to degrease a firearm. It may ruin or remove some spray-on firearms finishes. It may remove the lacquer finish from firearm furniture. It may harm some types of polymer. As a rule, don’t use it on wood or plastic, and always test in an inconspicuous area to ensure product will not harm surfaces.
Gun Scrubber brand degreaser is the safest product to degrease your firearms, although the solvent may still harm some finished surfaces, plastics, laminates, composites, rubber grips or other materials used in the construction of today’s firearms. Use caution and always test in an inconspicuous area to ensure product will not harm surfaces.
If you choose to lubricate your firearms with grease, be sure to use high-temperature wheel bearing grease (intended for car and truck wheel bearings that get very hot from the brakes). It is okay to use “marine” trailer bearing grease, but it will not have the heat resistance of high-temperature wheel bearing grease. DO NOT use white Lithium grease.
The hotter your firearm gets, the slicker and better performing that high-temperature wheel bearing grease becomes. Conversely, the colder that the grease gets, the less viscus it becomes. At cold enough temperature it will actually impede firearm function and reliability until the firearms is fire a few times and warmed up. To be safe, don’t use grease in weather temperatures below 40° F. Use a synthetic motor oil instead.
Gun oils and CLP type products are great to help break down gunshot residue and clean dirty firearms. They can be used to lubricate a firearm, however during high round count, extended shooting sessions (such as a firearms class or SHTF scenario) the product will quickly blow out or cook away from the firearm’s moving parts and leave nothing to lubricate and protect. During firearms storage these products will weep away from the desired location on moving parts. During extended storage they will eventually turn into a varnish-like goo that will gum up a firearm and impede its function the next time that you try to use it. Use these products to help clean the firearm, but wipe the parts dry and lubricate the moving parts with high-temperature wheel bearing grease or synthetic motor oil.
If you choose to use Frog Lube, remember that the directions state that you can not use any other lubricant with it. This means that if you need to reapply lubrication during an extended shooting session (shooting class or SHTF scenario) you will have to make sure that it is Frog Lube.
If you don’t have the patience for a detailed explanation, then you will still be well served by the information above. If you want to know more, keep reading.
- Simple Green
- Brake parts cleaner
- Gun Scrubber brand firearms degreaser
- WD-40 LTCI (Long Term Corrosion Inhibitor)
- Breakfree CLP
- Hoppes Gun Oil
- Lubrication Heat Test
- Long Term Corrosion Protection Test