Gear Review: Rand CLP

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CLP stands for Cleaner, Lubricant and Preservative. It refers to a liquid substance that’s designed to be the “one gun fluid to rule them all,” something you can use to clean the gun and then leave in place to keep it from rusting and make sure everything slides around properly. Most CLP formulas result in a watery and runny fluid that quickly evaporates or disappears after a few days in the gun safe. Rand CLP, on the other hand, is not “most formulas” . . .

The Rand CLP fluid is without a doubt the most viscous CLP I’ve ever tried, but despite looking for all the world like a glop of glue it is slippery as all heck. Squeeze a little out onto a cloth cleaning rag and it forms a bubble on the surface instead of soaking into the cloth, and then as you apply the fluid to the gun you can feel how slick it makes the surfaces.

That viscosity is a double edged sword, though.

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On the positive side, it sticks around. Normally when I clean my less often used guns, the CLP evaporates or leaks down into the stock within hours of setting it in the gun safe. But with the Rand CLP, it stays lubed for ages. I last cleaned this 5.56 upper about two months ago and then popped it in the safe, and the shiny surface of the bolt carrier proves that the CLP is still present and ready to keep the gun lubed.

For guns that don’t get a lot of use but still need to be lubricated (like concealed carry guns) this might be a great product to use. White lithium grease used to be my default recommendation, but the ease with which you can use the Rand CLP and clean it off afterwards edges out the WLG option. Plus, since the stuff is made from vegetable oil it’s eco-friendly and you can happily throw the used rags in the trash without worrying about killing the environment.

On the negative side, the viscosity of the CLP leads to some reliability issues.

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I had used the Rand CLP on my competition rifle this year, and in general it worked really well. The exception was when I went to a competition that was particularly dusty, like the Fallen Brethren match in Texas at the end of the year (which I still need to write up, lazy me). It was dirty and dusty and windy, and the Rand CLP I had applied lightly to the bolt carrier of my SCAR turned it into a Chia Pet, adding some drag to the cycling of the action and eventually causing a double feed (well, failure to eject followed by double feed) during a stage.

That viscosity also makes cleaning a bit strange. Normally, the standard CLP acts like a solvent on the carbon build-up on the various parts and the texture of the cleaning rags I use lifts the dissolved carbon straight off. But since the Rand CLP is so viscous and slippery, it was harder to wipe off the carbon when I applied some of the CLP to the rag beforehand. Then again, there was usually enough of the stuff left on the surfaces of the gun even after a hard day of use that I could get away with using a dry rag and just wiping the carbon off without any added fluid.

That said, you really can’t deny that the fluid is excellent at its intended job. When applied liberally to the bolt of a SCAR, it keeps the whole thing perfectly lubricated for hundreds of rounds. Same thing for the slide of a FNS-9 handgun, and it doesn’t disappear as fast as the other CLP offerings I’ve tried. So for me, I’ll keep using it on my competition guns — I just need to make sure to replace the fluid after every day of competition to get rid of the accumulated dirt.

Rand CLP

Available Volumes: 2 oz., 4 oz.
MSRP: $14.95 / 4 oz.

Overall Rating: * * * *
It’s a viscous yet slippery concoction that works great for keeping things lubed over long periods of time, but the viscosity also means that it’s a dirt magnet.

comments

  1. avatar Chris says:

    It seems good but I don’t think I will stray from frog lube paste

    1. avatar Alpo says:

      ^This.

      This stuff sounds like it’s almost everything that Froglube already is.

      1. +1

        Been using Frog Lube almost exclusively for about a year now. Its the only thing that touches my guns, with the exception of my mosins. I don’t trust frog lube to deal with corrosive ammo, so I stick to hoppes and rem oil on my mosins.

    2. avatar Jeremy says:

      I was the same way until I pulled my pistol out of the safe after two months of none use and the lube had dried out so bad the pistol wouldn’t function. Rand clp is great but I also realize the need to clean my weapons better.

    3. Doesn’t Froglube attract dirt in windy dirt environment ? Ie. Hunting in a ranch ?

  2. avatar Colby says:

    Nick,

    Do you also use this instead of WLG to lube your Sig P226, or is some other fluid better for that application?

  3. avatar BDub says:

    ” It was dirty and dusty and windy, and the Rand CLP I had applied lightly to the bolt carrier of my SCAR turned it into a Chia Pet, adding some drag to the cycling of the action and eventually causing a double feed (well, failure to eject followed by double feed) during a stage.”

    Would this have been any different with traditional lube applied before the match? It seems to me the results would have been similar, with the only difference being how much earlier (days/weeks) you could apply the Rand lube. I cant imagine if you where still using a non Rand lube, that you would simply take the rifle out of the gun case and straight into the match, without a wipedown and re-lube.

  4. avatar Ralph says:

    For lubrication alone, white lithium grease still cannot be beat. It even lubes well when it’s dirty.

    If WLG can handle all the friction, muck and grime that a bicycle chain has to face, it can handle the soot from a gun.

    1. avatar Roll says:

      Hm…I may try the white lithium, I’ve been using high temp grease (red kind). It works wonderful in my M1A, and doesnt leak everywhere.

  5. avatar Henry Bowman says:

    I definitely see the utility of this product and similar products like Frog Lube, but I just can’t get away from the fact that I can get a pound of wheel bearing grease from Autozone for less that $5. And, in all probabliliy, that tub will last me a lifetime.

    Of course, it’s not a cleaner… but as a lube, it’s my go-to.

    1. avatar ErrantVenture11 says:

      Yup.

      I work for a driveline company, and we use something like 2% of the world’s commercial grease supply. I figure there has to be something in the grease lab that I can get for pennies that does the same job as the $14, 5 oz. bottle of magic stuff.

    2. avatar uncommon_sense says:

      Henry,

      How well does axle grease work on firearms in cold temperatures? Obviously we use vehicles in extreme cold so I would tend to think that axle grease would work well on vehicles. But what about firearms when the outside temperature is 0 degrees or even -10 degrees F. ?????

      1. avatar William Burke says:

        Or in Alamosa, at -25?

        1. It would come in handy to shoot down the invading ………”Frost Giants” !!!

    3. avatar ErrantVenture11 says:

      I know we do a test of the sealing system (includes the grease) at temperatures down to -40 °C. Is that cold enough for you?

      1. avatar Bob Wall says:

        -40 C is -40 F. Yup, that’d cause Uncle Johnson make like a scared turtle, for sure!

      2. avatar uncommon_sense says:

        But what exactly do you test? Viscosity, lubrication, friction, etc. on axles????? More importantly, how well does axle grease work as a lubricant on firearms when the temperature goes to -10 or even -20 degrees F.? My concern is that axle grease would be too thick at something like 15 degrees F. and colder and do a poor job lubricating the working parts of a firearm.

      3. avatar ErrantVenture11 says:

        We have many different formulas, if I ever have enough money to buy ammo again maybe I’ll start testing them on my firearms to see how they work. But if you can use lithium grease (rather thick, no?) on firearms I see no reason why you couldn’t use the kinds of grease you might find in CV joints. If you’re playing soldier in weather that would make Jack Frost go put on his puffy-jacket boxer briefs and you want the official sweat of John Moses Browning in your gun, be my guest. Otherwise, if it is slippery and non-corrosive, use it.

        1. avatar Mark N. says:

          y father’s experience in northern Alaska in the winter of 1946-1947 (where he had involuntarily volunteered for duty testing US military equipment), not much of anything works at minus 40 F. If you turned off a motor, it would freeze solid in 15 or 20 minutes–and that include diesel tank motors. Everything had to be kept running,or it had to be towed to a heated hangar for defrosting. (Which made it very easy to spot tanks hiding in groves of trees–a steam cloud would form overheard.) I don’t remember him talking about small arms, but I remember the pictures of howitzers missing half their barrels–it got so cold the barrels would shrink just enough to prevent the shells from successfully exiting. He concluded that it was fortunate that Patton did not get his way, because there wasn’t a whole lot of equipment that would have worked any better than the German equipment in the deep freeze of a Russian winter.

  6. avatar nature223 says:

    BREAKFREE CLP….it’s around, it’s good, used it since I got introduced to it in the MARINES…
    still using it.
    END OF LINE

    1. avatar William Burke says:

      I’ve been using Mil-Tec, a very similar product that seems to work even better, to me, than Break-Free. Very good at normal temps. And I don’t plan on shooting at -25F, unless I’m a refugee or asymmetrical fighter… 😉

      1. avatar Mikeee says:

        I recently read that mill tech has chlorine in it, not good over time. Is this true ?

    2. avatar Accur81 says:

      Break Free works for me, as does Otis Ultrabore 085. I’ve heard nothing but good things about Froglube, though.

  7. avatar dlj95118 says:

    What are your guy’s opinions about using graphite for lubrication?

    1. avatar Anon in CT says:

      That’s definitely the way to go in extreme cold. Breakfree CLP, which I generally like, will eventually seize once you get below minus 40.

      1. avatar Leadbelly says:

        I’m pretty sure my stainless steel heart valve would seize if I went out at minus 40 degrees.

        1. avatar Stinkeye says:

          I think my regular meat heart valves would seize at that temperature.

      2. avatar peirsonb says:

        At minus 40 C you need to worry more about the steel becoming brittle….or your fingers becoming brittle. Whichever happens first.

        I like Breakfree CLP, but I got thinking about it one day and did a comparison. Beside the Teflon in Breakfree, is there any real difference between it and Blaster?

        1. avatar H.C. says:

          +1 on bigger problems than the lube freezing. Been in -20 to -30 C and was so cold after 10 minutes that I couldnt write on a clip board… So to the hell with fighting in that… I’m deserting… 😉

        2. avatar Anon in CT says:

          Cowboy up already!

          No problems with the steel or plastic on my C-7 at minus 40, you just have to remove the trigger guard to allow the use of mittens. Minus 40 isn’t high arctic or anything – just northern Alberta in winter.

        3. avatar peirsonb says:

          Plastic may not be a problem, depending on it’s composition. At -40C in low carbon steels you are getting dangerously close to the ductile-brittle transition. And it’s not the crack you see…..

          Coming from the (relatively) cold region of Northern Michigan, it never ceases to amaze me how many times I have the conversation: “It’s so beautiful” “Yes, it is. Come back in January.”

        4. avatar William Burke says:

          As long as you keep shootin’, I don’t think gunmetal should become brittle. Keep that steel warm, you’re good to go.

        5. avatar mike says:

          Great question I’d also like to know the answer to !!

      3. avatar Mikee says:

        I would never go out in that kind of weather ! Haven’t you heard of ordering in ??

      4. avatar Mikee says:

        Sorry. If it’s minus 40 I’ll be indoors ! Ordering in !!!!?

  8. avatar Really want to keep it private says:

    The best lube is the one I can score for free or at a deep deep discount. Grease (in non-super-cold conditions) or synthetic motor oil are fine too. The marginal performance gain from the latest $5/2oz super lube is not worth the time you will spend researching it on the internet. Just clean it, lube it and shoot it.

    1. avatar William Burke says:

      My Inner Shooter, unpracticed as it is, says, “UH-UH!” at the cheapest lube available.

  9. avatar Skyler says:

    “… applied lightly …”

    My policy is that if I need to be shooting a lot of rounds, such as in combat, then I want to have a whole lot of lubricant on that weapon. Light applications are for a perfectly clean weapon that you stick in the safe, or that you carry every day and only expect to shoot one, maybe two magazines in extremis. The practical matter of keeping your clothes clean is important for concealment and for etiquette.

    There’s a limit to how much oil should be used. I haven’t reached that limit yet. If I were in a shooting competition involving a lot of rounds with little opportunity for a thorough cleaning, then no light applications need apply.

    1. avatar Anon in CT says:

      Would that apply even very dry dusty conditions? On the prairies with fine, wind-borne dust I always found that rifles did better with a very light lube. MGs were different – lots of oil was the way to go.

      1. avatar Mark N. says:

        I’ve read that lube traps dirt. So if you slather on a lot of lube, not only do you trap all the carbon from firing, but anything else blowing around in the wind. There really is no need to have the lube leaking out all over the place.

  10. avatar Quinn says:

    FIREClean. That is all.

    1. avatar Leo Guy says:

      Rand CLP works nearly as good as FIREClean, for the price of 2 ounce bottle of FIREClean can get 4 ounce bottle of Rand CLP. FIREClean not worth it’s price for the size. With both still need a brush to remove carbon on heavy build up. Anyone test the difference between the older and newer formula of Rand CLP? Bottle shown above is the older formula?

  11. avatar Stinkeye says:

    These kinds of products remind me of the black-and-white, “before” parts of infomercials or as-seen-on-TV product commercials. You know, the part where they show someone pulling their hair out trying to cook eggs or clean their floor “the old fashioned way”, and it’s just impossible! There’s got to be a better way!

    Is it really so complicated and difficult to use a separate cleaner and lube? Sure, lithium grease isn’t “nano” like this stuff, but it sure lubricates well, and boy, do I like the smell of Hoppe’s No. 9…

    1. avatar Andrew says:

      “Tired of not using NANO cleaners on your precious rifles? Take the next step towards ultimate tactical operator status with this NANO- based NANO cleaner with NANO particles.

      This sh*t is seriously NANO!”

      JFC – really? NANO lubricant? As in all other lubricants use macro-molecules?

      *Facepalm*

      1. avatar jsallison says:

        Not just any NANO, TACTI-NANO. It’s for the children.

  12. avatar H.C. says:

    “It was dirty and dusty and windy, and the Rand CLP I had applied lightly to the bolt carrier of my SCAR turned it into a Chia Pet, adding some drag to the cycling of the action and eventually causing a double feed (well, failure to eject followed by double feed) during a stage.”

    Nick, im sure you’ll cover this when you write up the match, but if youre willing to give a quick answer, at what round count was this and with what ammo? Im sure it couldnt have been that high. Just curious. Ive never had a weapon malfunction from the dirt and grime sitting on the TOP of the bolt carrier and It just seems unreasonable for a SCAR, or any quality firearm, to malfunction under those circumstances, and if it did, i would call it a fluke and not the lube. I say this after firing my M4 covered in Afghan moon dust and shooting my DI AR in central texas covered in texas dirt and dust.

    so we dont start any flames I understand any mechanical device can malfunction. Oh and am not a huge fan of the SCAR-16 for the record, but seems like a cool gun if someone wanted something a little different.

    And thanks for the review of the lube, something new to check out (CLP and M-Pro 7 user)

  13. avatar Roscoe says:

    I have been completely satisfied with the M-pro7 clean/lube products I’ve been using since 2007.

    That said, based on the review this Rand CLP sounds like a great follow up final coat for firearms that do not see regular use which is of concern for any large collection even if stored in a dry environment with the externals silicone covered . The internals would clearly benefit from the more viscous coat of this Rand product.

    An advantage over something like grease is that the Rand CLP may be more easily removed and may take with it any residual shooting grime left after the previous cleaning. If that works out, this product is well worth the price.

    I’m willing to give it a try.

  14. avatar jwm says:

    I live in a mild climate and my guns go from the safe to the range and after a side trip to the garage for a cleaning they go back to the safe.

    Never a problem with Breakfree CLP under these conditions. Not even when cleaning my commie guns after corrosive commie ammo.

  15. avatar anonoymous says:

    I don’t know. I worked at a large facility and vehicle maintenance was contracted out. To do a good job the employees used to wash the floors with Simple Green. After a year or two, we had to dig up the oil interceptors and lines because we could not get rid of the smell, called in consultants, chemists, the works. Simple Green is advertised as environmentally friendly but for this stuff:

    Here is their MSDS:
    http://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0196/0282/files/Rand_CLP_SDS_US_10-25-13.pdf?2970

    back in 2011, the Europeans wanted to move one of the smaller component types to 1A H350 (Don’t know if they did). That is a more stringent classification for carcinogenic material. On the other hand California has labeled everything a carcinogenic, except probably cancer.

    These folks don’t want to list anything, it’s all proprietary, most will list the main ingredient as it’s usually a water based or petroleum based product.

    It can’t be that that environmentally friendly if it has to be used with hand protection, etc. Not being a chemist, my guess is they have some form of petroleum or coal tar based ingredient.

    I will stick with Hoppes, which I think is FAR more dangerous.

    Take care, and by the way, some guys in my gun club swear by Simple Green.

    Just sayin’.

  16. avatar Lauderdale Vet says:

    Count me among the fans of Frog Lube. Great stuff. Wife doesn’t hate the smell, so I can clean things in the home office.

  17. avatar Tyler Kee says:

    http://www.agscompany.com/lubricants/automotive/168

    This is my go to grease for my AR, pistols, and everything else. I worry much less about cold, and a lot more about heat. This will stay put on BCGs and is easy to clean off.

  18. avatar tacticaldad says:

    Rick Taylor uses Snake Oil. The only lube endorsed by the ghost of Jeff Cooper.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9tj7ytiqxx8

  19. avatar VSN says:

    I received a sample of Rand from an LGS and found it to be lacking in the cleaning department (compared to Break-Free); seems like a good lube, though. I was actually thinking of trying some of this for lube:

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001HWC1MK/ref=s9_simh_gw_p328_d4_i1?pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_s=center-7&pf_rd_r=0T8A501AFEZC8B1QYJHP&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_p=1630083482&pf_rd_i=507846

    Right now, I’m using Hoppe’s Elite Oil, and it burns off too quickly at the range (~100 rounds).

  20. avatar KenW says:

    I tried to like Froglube but, anything that smells as rancid as it does after a few weeks on the guns is not for me. Yes it was slick and cleans well but the smell of rancid cooking oil is not pleasant.
    I did try contacting the maker but was told I must be doing something wrong with it. The gun I use all the time did not have a problem, it’s the ones I clean put up and use once every few weeks that stink.
    Since I read the new fangled slickum has vegetable oil in it damn if I’m trying it.

  21. avatar Jay Dunn says:

    The best CLP has been around since the Germans invented it in 1908. It’s called Ballistol–get it in the large spray can because you’ll use it on everything, not just guns.

    1. avatar LuLu says:

      it kept the Wermacht fighting in the harshest of conditions

  22. avatar Orton Fallswell says:

    Been using Tetra Lube products since it came out, no issues ever.

  23. avatar PW in KY says:

    I use Hoppes #9 for some cleaning, and then FP-10 for all other cleaning & lubricating. Still on the first bottles I bought 4 years ago 🙂

    1. avatar William Burke says:

      Good old Hoppes #9. Fresh, manly scent that drives the gun girls wild!

  24. avatar LibertyToad says:

    I wonder if it as good as the M-Pro 7 products….

  25. avatar Justin says:

    I started using a fishing reel lube called Hot Sauce, lasts every bit as long as Hoppes and I gotta say that cleanup after a shoot goes quicker than ever. I figure if the stuff is meant to protect a high end fishing reel from salt water corrosion it oughta provide me some decent coverage for my use. It also doesn’t have any issues in the cold (0 degree) weather we’ve had lately here in Minnesota.

  26. avatar Anyone says:

    blah..using it on a piston rifle?? what’s the point?

  27. avatar LuLu says:

    I have found the best cleaner to be the one I get free samples of…not being a member of the I clean my firearm after every trip to the range or every match; I have found Hoppes and Ballistol work just fine for my semi-annual cleanings. After my years in the military I learned to hate that you can eat off that bore theory. My training AR has gone in excess of 5K rounds between cleanings with just a shot of Ballistol on the BCG and it keeps running and if I do my part it still does sub 2MOA at 200m; which is as good as I can shoot.

    1. avatar William Burke says:

      Actually, your cleaning habits are an extreme version of mine, and it’s the best argument for CLP yet.

  28. avatar Leo Guy says:

    Like Rand CLP have had no issues with it, what I seen in videos, people are using way to much of it in their firearms, try using less!

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