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Gun Grease Evaluation

This is a discussion on Gun Grease Evaluation within the SIG Sauer Gunsmithing forums, part of the SIG Sauer Forum category; I have been using Mobil 1 20W-50 grade motor oil almost exclusively for most all of my gun lubrication and rust proofing requirements for quite ...


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Old 10-04-2012, 08:16 AM   #1
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Gun Grease Evaluation

I have been using Mobil 1 20W-50 grade motor oil almost exclusively for most all of my gun lubrication and rust proofing requirements for quite some time now where oil is required. About the only supplemental oil I use along with it is ATF, (Automatic Transmission Fluid), and Mobil 1 Synthetic Gear Lube, where I require a little more viscosity.

I have also been using the Mobil1 Synthetic Grease. It comes in a one pound tub and is an excellent product. The only negative I’ve found is that it doesn’t have the “tackiness” I like when you apply it. You more or less have to “work it in”, then it works very well. I decided to experiment with other greases that are readily available in an attempt to perhaps find something a little more suitable for firearms lubrication purposes. There is an old saying in general lubrication that says, “If it rotates oil it, if it slides grease it.” I don’t follow that to the letter, but it does have some merit.

Over the last couple of months I picked up several different greases from various auto parts stores. These products are not very expensive, and come in a very wide range of different types of lubricant content. Most come in a large enough size that if someone only used them for lubricating firearms, one purchase would last several years. The products I decided on were as follows.



1.) CRC White Lithium Aerosol Grease

2.) CRC Industrial Aerosol Red Grease

3.) LPS “Red & Redi” Aerosol grease

4.) Lucas Oil “Red-N-Tacky” #2

5.) Super Tech Moly Lithium Grease

6.) Super Lube Synthetic Grease With Teflon, (PTFE)

7.) Mobil 1 Synthetic Grease

8.) Rig Grease

CRC White Lithium Aerosol

& CRC Red Aerosol Grease


Both the CRC White Lithium and Red Aerosol Greases were unique in the fact they were aerosol products. I found out about these from the maintenance guys that I work with in our company. Because they are an aerosol product they were the easiest to apply, and allowed for a very non messy application. The small application tube reaches into hard to get at places, and being careful you could dispense as little, or as much as you wanted.

Another plus these aerosol greases offer is as they are dispensed they come out very thin. Almost like a motorcycle chain lube product. Then after several seconds the dispersant evaporates, and the product becomes very thick and tacky like regular grease.

Both of these greases were extremely good for auto pistol slides and frames, as well as AR-15 bolts and bolt carriers because of this. On AR-15 bolt carriers you could “lay a bead” of this product along the 4 areas of contact, then smear it around with your finger very easily. In about one minute it will thicken up and really stay put. The White Lithium Aerosol was the easiest to see on blue or black firearms, so you know exactly where you’ve applied it, as well as knowing when you might need to reapply it.

LPS “Red & Redi” Aerosol Grease

The LPS “Red & Redi” Aerosol Grease was very much like the CRC Red Aerosol Grease. In fact I couldn’t detect much, if any difference between the two, except I thought the CRC product had a better smell to it. Other than that I would call them pretty much identical.

Lucas Oil Red-N-Tacky

The Lucas Oil “Red-N-Tacky” is by far the stickiest grease of all the ones I tested. It certainly was correctly named. This grease stays put the best of all. It is easy to apply with your fingers, or else one of those stamped metal handled “acid brushes”. I found this product to last the longest of any grease I tested. One application should last an entire range session for all but the most demanding high round count shooters. It also remained the thickest on hot parts like AR-15 and AK-47 bolts.

Super Tech Moly Lithium Grease

The Super Tech Moly Lithium Grease is black in color, and not as tacky as any of the above products except for the Mobil 1 Synthetic Grease. It is also the messiest if you should get any on your clothes, gun case lining, etc. It does however, have excellent lubricating qualities, as most Moly type greases do. It also lasted very long once applied.

Super Lube Synthetic Teflon Grease

The Super Lube Synthetic Grease With Teflon, (PTFE), comes in a tube, and is transparent in color much like Vaseline. The tube makes it vary easy to apply. It helps to have some toothpicks handy in your gun cleaning supplies to move this stuff around the area you want it. In fact it’s not a bad idea to have some toothpicks in your gun cleaning kit for applying most any of these greases. This grease really adhered well. The one thing I did notice with this grease is after you apply it with your fingers, it is very difficult to wipe completely off. Even after washing my hands with soap and water, water would still bead up and roll off my skin where it made contact.

I think this grease would be excellent for applications where rain or wetness of any kind would be encountered. Some of it lightly rubbed on to the external metal areas of a firearm would really help in preventing any long term rusting issues in humid, rainy climates. The fact it’s clear in color is also a plus for this type of application. It wouldn’t stain the inside of a gun case like the black Moly Grease will.

Mobil 1 Synthetic Grease

This product I’ve been using for some time now with excellent results. This grease is the least “tacky” of any that I tried. Once applied however, it does provide excellent lubrication. It does not seem to last as long as several of the other products tested, which is why I decided to test other products to see how they would compare to the Mobil 1 product. I think a lot of this is due to the fact it isn’t as “tacky”, and because of that it doesn’t adhere quite as well to the surfaces it’s applied to.

Rig Grease

This product has been around longer than most of the people reading this, including myself. Rig is a very oily grease that provided excellent protection. It almost has properties a lot like Cosmoline in that regard. I’ve found it’s best applied with a Q-Tip. When you open the jar there is usually a small puddle of oil sitting on top that you can easily blend in with a toothpick before you apply it. This will occur if the product sits too long, or is stored in a warm environment.

I’ve read several articles that state this grease is one of the best for use with Stainless Steel firearms, because it has properties that greatly reduce the chance of galling. Galling is a problem with Stainless Steel because it’s “gummy” because of the Nickel content of the metal. When like stainless Steel surfaces wear against one another, (like the frame and slide of a Stainless Steel 1911), Galling can result if the surfaces are not well lubricated. Rig is one of the best products for this. The original company that produced Rig went out of business not too long ago, but it was purchased by another company, and fortunately this product is back on the market.

Conclusions

It was a lot of fun doing this test, and I enjoyed the time I spent evaluating these products. While none of these products could be considered unsatisfactory, some were better than others. The aerosol greases were quite unique. They are not an easy product to find, as CRC is more of an industrial supplier. They can be purchased from W.W. Grainger Co., who is a major industrial supplier that sells to the general public as well. They were the most expensive of the products I tested, running around $11.00 a can. Again, one can would last the average shooter for years, if not a lifetime.

All the other products I tested are available from most any of the better known auto parts franchise stores. Pep Boys, O’Reilly, Auto Zone, etc. all stock them. And none cost more than a few bucks each. All are a much better value than these super expensive “gun greases” that can cost over $10.00 an ounce. You can purchase a hypo type applicator for any of these products at any drug store. They are easily filled with your finger, and are much handier to keep in your shooting kit when you go to the range, or clean afterwards.


 
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Old 10-04-2012, 09:51 AM   #2
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so if i'm reading you correctly you reccommend RIG for stainless, Mobile 1 for others? and one of the aerosols for the internals??
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Old 10-04-2012, 10:17 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vetteguy904 View Post
so if i'm reading you correctly you reccommend RIG for stainless, Mobile 1 for others? and one of the aerosols for the internals??
That would be a good assessment. A lot of this is personal preference. I really don't think a firearm is that difficult of a piece of machinery to lubricate. I think what's important is where, when, and how much to apply, more so than what type. The Aerosol greases are very easy to work with. I found that to be one of the most attractive features about them. They are also very thick when they bind up after application. But to be perfectly honest, I doubt one could go wrong with any of them. I would stick with the Rig for Stainless guns though.
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Old 10-04-2012, 10:21 AM   #4
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I should also add that over the years I've tried several of the popular "gun lubes". I really didn't find any of them to be superior to any of the automotive or industrial greases or oils I now use. I doubt anyone could even ascertain what makes a "gun lube", in the way of actual ingredients, over any other type of industrial or automotive type of similar product.
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Old 10-04-2012, 10:28 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by billt View Post
That would be a good assessment. A lot of this is personal preference. I really don't think a firearm is that difficult of a piece of machinery to lubricate. I think what's important is where, when, and how much to apply, more so than what type. The Aerosol greases are very easy to work with. I found that to be one of the most attractive features about them. They are also very thick when they bind up after application. But to be perfectly honest, I doubt one could go wrong with any of them. I would stick with the Rig for Stainless guns though.
Yep. Any can be used, especially if cleaned out and replaced frequently. IMO, though, hard to go wrong with Rig or Rig +P. Not expensive either. And a little jar like that one will last way longer than anyone would expect.
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Old 10-04-2012, 10:30 AM   #6
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I've also used white lithium from a syringe and SuperLube on my shotguns. They'll certainly get you by for a given outing.
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Old 10-04-2012, 10:38 AM   #7
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Just an idea but i remember when I was in school that fifth wheel grease for tractor trailers sticks to anything and is almost permnent when it comes to clothing. Has anybody tried that at all??
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Old 10-04-2012, 01:03 PM   #8
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I use Super lube. Shoot all day and most of your carbon foul just wipes off.
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Old 10-04-2012, 01:06 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by jcraven View Post
Just an idea but i remember when I was in school that fifth wheel grease for tractor trailers sticks to anything and is almost permnent when it comes to clothing. Has anybody tried that at all??
I think that would be a tad too thick for a slide. Too hard to remove and probably would collect too much grit.
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Old 10-04-2012, 01:10 PM   #10
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And thats why it was just an idea.
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Old 10-04-2012, 01:30 PM   #11
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nice writeup. i have been using the mobile 1 grease for the rails of my pistols and i did wish it was a lil sticker and stayed in place better. i like that its red in color and really get a good view of dirt/grime buildup. i think i might try the red and tacky grease from lucas! *thumbs up*
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Old 10-06-2012, 12:05 PM   #12
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Very informative thanks for taking the time to help us as there seems to be a "New" this or this is "the best" at every gun show and shooting range!
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Old 10-06-2012, 12:42 PM   #13
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Yes, thanx for the nice post. Since I got into SIGs I have read about their affinity for grease vs oil. In the Gray P226 video he recommends "Slide Slick" (I think that was the name he mentioned) but he did state that "sticky" grease was what one should look for when greasing SIGs. That makes me want to pick up a tube of that Red Sticky you mention.

I used Outer's grease on the P220 ST (all stainless) and, as you say, these "gun greases" are very pricey and I would add, are probably just rebranded grease that one can pick up for a fraction of the price. My 556 came from the factory with what appeared to be white lithum grease in the receiver, so I have followed suite with spray White Lithum when relubing the gun after cleaning.

My only concern/question is the use of RIG as a lubricant. I know that RIG stands for "Rust Inhibiting Grease" I have only ever used it as a preservative, which it has done a fine job of.

After reading your post I went and read a VERY old can of RIG that I still have (stuff lasts for years). Nowhere on the can does it mention using it for lubricating purposes but only mentions using it as a rust preventative. As I said, this is a very old can (over 30 Y.O. I'm sure) So, perhaps the new containers recommend it as not only a rust preventative but also as a lubricant.

Anyway, thanx again and I will be doing a search for the "red sticky" today !
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Old 10-07-2012, 11:05 AM   #14
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Old Duckman,
I would not be concerned at all with using Rig as a rails lube. Works like a charm. For stainless, I'd recommend Rig +P grease.
I shot with a some very good 1911 men who were range masters, range officers, entry men for SWAT or naroctics. Some, but not all, were also competitors. All of them had their guns tuned by Brown or Wilson and all used Rig or Rig +P on their .45 ACPs.
I also use Rig on my break-open action shotguns (trunions, knuckles, locking bar, etc.) Has never failed me.
Also very nice is STOS from Posness Warren. ProGold from ProShot in Taylorville, IL, is another good one.
I keep Super Lube in all my shooting bags for "just in case" use. It, too, will get the job done.
Shoot well and be well.
Mark
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Old 01-28-2013, 02:21 AM   #15
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This has been the best I've read on Gun lubricants/Oils etc.
+1 should be a sticky..... imo

I know it a bit older but this comes up by newer members, regularly. So here ya go, Newbies

Last edited by Downtownv; 01-28-2013 at 02:23 AM.
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