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Fingerprint oil - How bad is it??

This is a discussion on Fingerprint oil - How bad is it?? within the SIG Sauer Pistols forums, part of the SIG Sauer Forum category; Hey all, From your experience, how bad is it to leave a fingerprint on a piece of metal? For example, if you're cleaning off your ...

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Old 05-29-2011, 08:10 PM   #1
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Hey all,

From your experience, how bad is it to leave a fingerprint on a piece of metal? For example, if you're cleaning off your gun and miss a print.

Also, why is oil from a fingerprint bad, but yet gun oils are good? Whats the chemical short-bus terms please.

Thanks in advance!
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Old 05-30-2011, 07:36 PM   #2
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I'm no chemist, but the general consensus seems to be that gun oil works better than your skin's oil at preserving the metal surfaces on a gun, and as a general rule you want to keep those metal surfaces protected if you are storing it for long periods of time or exposing it to adverse weather conditions.

Oh yeah! I don't think it's the oil from your finger that's the main enemy, but moisture in the form of sweat! Excessive salt-watery contact is supposed to be rough on metal.
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Old 05-31-2011, 08:43 AM   #3
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Guns these days have very tough finishes, unlike the beautiful blue finish on guns in the past. The bluing on those old guns was not particularly tough and the guns would rust easily and had to be oiled regularly to prevent these corrosive effects. I remember a fine old Winchester 94 I used to have developing a fine coating of rust after one summer afternoon spent hanging on my sweating shoulder.

JackSauer is correct. Your skin oils contain acids that are corrosive to metal. These days, with stainless steel and various metal treatments and surface coatings, rusting and corrosion is less of an issue. It's still a good idea to wipe down your guns after handling.
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Old 05-31-2011, 09:42 AM   #4
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Just an illustration of what skin oil can do to, and damage, some valuable metals...

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Old 05-31-2011, 01:37 PM   #5
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Thanks guys. I kinda had a brain fart on that one. I guess i kinda forgot about the salty sweaty parts of the fingerprint oil. When your hands are dry and clean it's easy to forget theres still minute quantities of that harmful stuff in the oil. I didn't realize the oils we emit are acidic though. I guess that explains the possible etching if left uncared for.
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