Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Oil and grease and lube, oh my!

No, dammit, not that kind. For machinery.

One of the side effects of often not being able to leave things alone is experimenting. In this case, different oils, etc., for guns and knives. With a knife the main issue is protection from rust; since I sometimes have blades out for people to look over, and they handle them, this is a big issue. With folding knives(a drop in the pivot points) and firearms, lubrication is also important. And there's a lot of stuff out there.

There's Break Free, and TriFlow, and Militech, and Eezox, and Remoil, and Rig, and LSA, and the list goes on. Some say they're CLP- cleaner, lubricant, protectant- others are lube or protectant only. Cosmoline is a protectant only, it's not expected to lubricate. And it works, but unless you're storing something for a long time, you don't want it. Most of them will do some light cleaning, but if you have real copper or lead or plastic fouling in a weapon, you have to clean it out with a cleaner, then use the other stuff to finish off the cleaning and lube it.

There's Microlon Gun Juice. It's primarily a dry lube; shake it up well, wipe the parts and let them dry. Repeat four times, and it's done. It seems to slick things up nicely, and on .22 barrels it is a wonder; treat the barrel according to instructions, and fouling just wipes out. I had a pistol that fouled the barrel badly after about 50-75 rounds, and this cured it. Doesn't seem much of a cleaner compared to other things, but for bores and triggers and such, it's wonderful stuff.

I've used Break Free, and Triflow and Eezox. They all work pretty well, for cleaning and lubing (with the caveat noted above). I gave Militech a quick try. It's supposed to be a dry lubricant only, wipe it on, warm a bit, then wipe the excess off. Mad Ogre had a link to some tests that showed it did little as a corrosion preventive though, so I didn't use it much. I'm fairly chicken about blades that took a long time to make, or firearms I don't want damaged. Eezox seems pretty good. It's another 'dry' lube, you clean and lube, then let the parts sit till it drys, leaving a film of dry lube. Seems a pretty good protectant, does a decent job cleaning, seems a decent lube.

Recently I got a bottle of Corrosion-X. It's a CLP, and I'd read some pretty good reports on it. It's also supposed to be a very good penetrant, good at breaking loose frozen nuts, screws, etc. And that's what I really needed. I've been working on an old .22 rifle that was supposed to be a take-down; barrel unscrews from the receiver so it could be more easily packed when travelling. This one had probably not been taken apart for at least sixty years, quite likely more, and the barrel was frozen in place. I had oiled, soaked with different penetrating oils, and nothing seemed to do it.(yes, I did consider taking it to a gunsmith, but until/unless I had to give up, I wanted to do it myself)
So I got a bottle of this. I stripped it down to barrel & receiver and sprayed a liberal amount at the joint where barrel meets receiver, and around the breech end of the barrel where it came through the wall, then propped it up and left it for a week. Every day I'd put a few more drops around the inside seam. After a week I took it to the post vise (heavy steel vise for blacksmith work) and clamped the barrel up, with the receiver just clear of the jaws and two pieces of 1/4" plywood for barrel pads. Wrapped a piece of thin leather around the receiver for padding and clamped a 12" pipe wrench to it. Then, with a slight prayer, took a steel rod I keep for such things and whacked the wrench handle.

And it moved.

Understand, I'd done this before with no result. I stood there looking at it for a few seconds, then checked to see if the barrel had slipped in the vise- it hadn't- then grabbed the handle and swung it around a turn. The receiver turned freely, and I finished removing it by hand. Surprisingly there was no trace of rust on the threads of receiver or barrel shank, and they were oily; they'd apparently been protected from the rust that had hit the outside of the piece, and it looked like the Corrosion-X had penetrated. Close examination showed that the rust that froze it had been the bit between the barrel shoulders and receiver, and it wasn't too bad. Cleaned everything thoroughly, lubed it, and put it all back together. It now takes down and reassembles with no problem.

This may have worked due to the other stuff, over time, having an effect, but I don't think so. I think the Corrosion-X did the job. I've tried it on a couple of seriously dirty- from firing- guns and it seemed to clean quite well, taking some lead fouling out of a pistol barrel as well as the best other stuff I've tried, so I'm going to keep working with it. If it takes copper fouling out, I'll be extremely pleased with it. I'm trying some things now to see how it works as a lube, we'll see how it comes out.

And I'm sure I'll hear of some other wonder product down the road, and I'll ahve to give it a try. For now I'm going to give the Corrosion-X a serious workout.

(no, they're not paying me for this. I wish someone was)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You might want to edit this post so the font is a bit larger. It keeps getting smaller and smaller as the post goes on.