FIREClean: ‘Rich Blogger Is Bullying Our Poor, Tiny Company!’

FIREClean courtesy cleanergun.com

We’ve been covering the ongoing drama that has resulted from Vuurwapen Blog’s analysis of FIREClean for some time now. To bring you up to speed, VB posted some analysis that indicated that FIREClean was chemically similar to standard vegetable oils such as Crisco. As it tends to do, the internet then went crazy, immediately latching onto the idea that FIREClean = Crisco and taking that idea to its absurd conclusion. Naturally FIREClean wasn’t pleased about the chain of events. As we reported earlier . . .

the company’s filed a lawsuit against blogger Andrew Tuohy and Everett Baker, the chemist. As you might imagine the internet response was generally unfavorable to this turn of events, believing it to be an attack on the press and freedom of speech by a large company trying to crush a tiny blogger.

FIRECLean has now issued a statement on the kerfuffle, hoping to turn the narrative around. From their Facebook page:

FireClean LLC has recently filed a lawsuit against Andrew Tuohy and Everett Baker, asserting defamation and Virginia Business Conspiracy Act claims against these defendants, who with the specific purpose of harming FireClean, initiated a protracted and intentional smear campaign against the company.

FIREClean’s patent application was publicly accessible online two years before Tuohy wrote about FIREClean®. The patent application, on the very first page, describes a product that is composed of at least three substances, which may be plant or vegetable-based oils, and which make up between 25 and 100 percent of the formulation. Tuohy never undertook to test this statement. He chose a test that would give him the result he wanted so that he could publish sensational headlines. An infrared spectroscopy analysis was not sufficient to distinguish FIREClean® from Crisco vegetable or canola oil, and Tuohy knew this. Moreover, even after publishing his articles, Tuohy was alerted to this fact by other readers of his blog, and he never undertook to correct his analysis or conclusions.

When Tuohy told us that he intended to publish his first article- the night before he published it- and told us what his conclusions would be, we asked him for a chance to read it first, so we could provide a proper response. He refused. In his blog post he stated, “That is not how this blog works.”

Clearly, Tuohy wanted to turn a blind eye to anything that might tamper down his eye-grabbing headlines. He wanted readership, not the truth.

Some recent public social media comments have compared our suit against Tuohy to a David-versus-Goliath First Amendment case. It is anything but that. In fact, Tuohy has as many aircraft registered in his name as FireClean has employees (two). FireClean is a small business that has been subject to an unprovoked and unfair attack.

FIREClean® is not Crisco Vegetable nor Canola oil – nor otherwise common vegetable oil. FIREClean® is a proprietary, high-efficiency formulation that yielded unprecedented results in Tuohy’s own live-fire use. Tuohy’s separate statements that are the subject of our lawsuit were false, continuous, persistent, and maliciously made. FireClean has no choice but self defense. Anyone who thinks the company is wrong for doing so has clearly never had their livelihood attacked by someone engaged in a protracted smear campaign.

The Citizens of the United States of America certainly enjoy the freedom of speech provided in the First Amendment. But just as it is illegal to run into a crowded theater and yell “fire” when there is no fire, there are limits on—and repercussions to—speech that is intentionally or negligently false, that causes harm to another. These are the rights that we seek to vindicate.

FIRECLean references the fact that Andrew Tuohy owns two airplanes, a clear attempt to reverse David vs. Goliath narrative and portray Tuohy as a wealthy individual trying to squash the “mom and pop” shop producing FIREClean. A quick search of the FAA Registration Database shows two registrations for Tuohy, a Cessna 150M (one of the cheapest and smallest certified aircraft you can own, usually costing between $20,000 and $25,000…less than a small car) and a second one for a small video-equipped drone.

[UPDATE: Andrew chimed in down in the comments and pointed out that the registration for that Cessna 150M (N66686) has expired, and what actually happened was that he reserved it for future use on another drone. So he doesn’t actually own a certified aircraft. Just some relatively inexpensive drones.]

As someone who also has a N-Number to his name, I know the costs involved, and while it definitely adds some cool points to Tuohy’s ledger, it in no way refutes the idea that FIREClean is using its considerable resources against an individual of more limited means. Reality definitely doesn’t match up with the narrative that FIREClean is trying to offer.

It appears that FIREClean has dug themselves a PR hole and they’re desperately trying to climb out of it. Tuohy may have gone a little too far in some of the comparisons he drew between FIREClean’s product and Crisco, but the underlying analysis appears accurate and the results themselves are presented in a factual manner. I get the feeling that FIREClean can see the writing on the wall — public opinion has swung against them and there’s now no good ending to this lawsuit.

Winning seems unlikely, but if they do then they will forever be known as the company that crushes negative reviews with legal action and stifles free speech. Losing the lawsuit is more probable, but even then their reputation is already tarnished in the public eye and they’ll be known for bringing frivolous lawsuits against anyone who disagrees with them. I’m not sure which outcome is worse.

The best thing for both parties would be for FIREClean to drop the matter. They have a good product…they should have let it speak for itself. People would have eventually forgotten the whole “FIREClean = Crisco” thing, but with the lawsuit dredged it all up again and has probably permanently branded the product. The Streisand Effect is real, folks.

We’ll continue to watch as this progresses. In the mean time Tuohy has started a GoFundMe account to raise money for his legal defense, which can be found here.

comments

  1. avatar Doran says:

    Freedom of speech….absolutely.
    Freedom to suffer the consequences of arrogant speech.(intentional defamation)…absolutely.

    1. avatar Shakey says:

      Freedom to sell $0.20 of vegetable oil for $14.99? Yep, we have that too!

      1. avatar Mikial says:

        We also have the freedom not to buy it, and that is the ultimate freedom because if they don’t sell their product, they go under.

        1. avatar pwrserge says:

          But how do we have the freedom to know what we’re buying if the press can be sued for letting us know?

        2. avatar Mikial says:

          I’m fine with unbiased tests. But I do like to make my own decisions through trying things out. It’s not like this was a$1500 rifle that could blow up in my face, it was just a little bottle of cleaner.

        3. avatar B says:

          They reported what it seemed to be made of chemically, in addition to saying it seems to work. Maybe you like to blow $15 on random cleaners at the store and run your own exhaustive tests, but I’d rather read an article that compares a few to give me a head start at least.

    2. avatar pwrserge says:

      No defamation took place. Nothing that the blog printed was factually untrue. These guys can go put some ice on that butthurt.

      1. avatar Drew says:

        I’m no expert and don’t exactly have a dog in this fight but I would like some explanation on why his method is disputed and how the tests should be done. with all of this verified by a third party.

  2. avatar other chris says:

    So I shouldn’t put Crisco in my gun? Cause I think with a long burst we could make fries on the barrel.

    1. avatar bobmcd says:

      MattV2099 would be all over that.

    2. avatar Geoff PR says:

      “So I shouldn’t put Crisco in my gun? Cause I think with a long burst we could make fries on the barrel.”

      Well, it has made me wonder if I should try some of that roasted garlic-infused cooking oil out there:

      https://www.tastefullysimple.com/shop-our-products/roasted-garlic-infused-oil?gclid=CLy75a6FiMwCFdcZgQodOLULWQ

      Just imagine – The heady aroma of smokeless powder and garlic.

      Mmmmm… 🙂

      1. avatar Geoff PR says:

        EDIT –

        On second thought, maybe not a good idea. The Viet Cong cooked their fish and rice with lots of garlic, I’d rather not trigger a Vietnam flashback in a veteran…

      2. avatar Desert Dave says:

        Or just bacon grease.

        Mmmmmmm ….

        Bacon and cordite in the morning, smells like breakfast!

  3. avatar Stoopid1 says:

    Baha, what a bunch of babies (fireclean that is). Fook em!

  4. avatar Johnny says:

    They are not being sued for a negative review nor is fire clean stifling free speech.

    They are being sued because they are making claims about what the product “is” and the company believes that they can prove that those claims are false and damaging.

    If they wrote a blog post saying ‘this products sucks. Nobody should buy it. You should buy Band-X instead because I think that it does a better job.’, that would never have resulted in a lawsuit. Making claims that result in defamation…. BOOM! Lawsuit.

    1. avatar PPGMD says:

      At no point does Touhy claim that Fireclean = Crisco, that was another website.

      Based on the results he said “FireClean is probably a modern unsaturated vegetable oil virtually the same as many oils used for cooking.”

      That is the closest he came to calling Fireclean Crisco. And considering that Fireclean has a patent on a blend of vegetable oils (which some are saying is an invalid patent because they never give the exact formula and the basic idea blending oils isn’t novel so without a formula it would be non-novel), that statement is probably true. Thus not libel or defamation.

      1. avatar Rachel says:

        Its broader than just the blog post. If you read the legal filing, it also includes lots of stuff they said on social media… which seems to be pretty damning.

        But hey, if not, then open-and-shut case. Counter sue for defamation.

  5. avatar John L. says:

    Never used FireClean, and likely that won’t change now.

    I do, however, use WeaponShield; I’ve done so since I bought my first firearm and haven’t long gone away from it. (I have added Cylinder & Slide Dunk-Kit to the cleaning arsenal – great stuff, and great people to work with.) Any word on the lawsuit FC filed against the WeaponShield folks?

    1. avatar PPGMD says:

      It will probably be a while before you get any news unless there is a settlement out of court or Fireclean wisely drops the suits.

  6. avatar steve clark says:

    Ever hear of “libel”?

    1. avatar Forrest says:

      Liabel does not apply to people who tell the truth, and at least one mass spectrometer has proven that he was telling the truth. FireClean is not distinguishable from other vegetable oils.

      That’s all that he said. It was other people who called it crisco.

      1. avatar Petr says:

        Both in their lawsuit and in this FB post, FireClean say that spectroscopy is not enough to “prove” this. They also provide example analysis of other quite different oils with very similar spectroscopy results. In their words, spectroscopy can’t be used like this to differentiate within one class of substance (oils).

        1. avatar int19h says:

          And the blog post in question didn’t claim that FireClean is Crisco. It claimed that its spectroscopy is not any different. Which is true.

        2. avatar JR_in_NC says:

          ” FireClean say that spectroscopy is not enough to “prove” this. “

          Then they need to hire another ‘expert’ advising them. Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry (not spectroscopy) is one of the most definitive tools that exists, especially for analyzing oils.

          Really, if it’s their claim that GC/MS can’t prove ‘vegetable oil is present,’ they are idiots.

        3. avatar JR_in_NC says:

          Ooops, my bad. They did use IR spectroscopy, not GC/MS.

          Still a generally good test overall, though. If they want to be more definitive for this type of analysis, GC/MS would settle it. IR is going to show gross similarities for this particular test, not the fine differences.

    2. avatar RandallOfLegend says:

      Libel requires intent. Fireclean has to prove that the blogger meant to injure them making KNOWNINGLY false statements. The blogger drew factual conclusions based off data. Fireclean can refute the test as not being sufficient, but it’s not enough to claim intent to harm while intentionally lying.

  7. avatar Curtis in IL says:

    This is what happens when a small, upstart company hires lawyers before it hires a PR firm.

  8. avatar Vitsaus says:

    Their brand and reputation are ruined, they are probably just trying to get some money before they fold up the company in favor of another venture. Possibly something in the restaurant field.

  9. avatar Docduracoat says:

    The writing is clearly on the wall for the end of fire clean.
    The analysis leaves no doubt that it is mainly, if not completely canola oil.
    Even in their response Fire clean admits the product is between 25% and 100% vegetable oil.
    Nothing wrong with using vegetable based oils on your gun.
    I understand Frog Lube is also a vegetable based ?(Avocado) oil.
    It is just cheaper to buy it from the supermarket.
    If they had ignored the blog, new buyers would have continued to use it
    Now Everyone Will Stay Away Fom Fireclean

    1. avatar Geoff PR says:

      “If they had ignored the blog, new buyers would have continued to use it
      Now Everyone Will Stay Away Fom Fireclean”

      In my opinion, what happened was after the review went viral, orders for it tanked.

      Had they done nothing, simply ignored it as you suggested, the narrative would have been:

      “See? They’re not denying it! It is cooking oil!”

      FC was put into ugly position for their business. Dammed if they sued, and equally damned if they *didn’t*…

      1. avatar int19h says:

        Or they can, you know, patent their formula and then publish it. The whole point of patents is that the invention can be made public, but others still can’t copy it. That would put the matter to rest.

        Of course, that is assuming that FireCLEAN has a valid claim here. If the substance really is just vegetable oil with a few additives, well, then they should emphasize why the additives make such a big difference then. And if the additives don’t actually make a big difference, then they shouldn’t be selling vegetable oil with a 900% profit margin – such a business deserves to be sunk.

        1. avatar Mikial says:

          Actually, very well put. And this would be the logical way to go. unfortunately, they opted for anger an litigation which only polarizes everyone even more.

        2. avatar Geoff PR says:

          “then they shouldn’t be selling vegetable oil with a 900% profit margin – such a business deserves to be sunk.”

          I agree, it’s somewhat akin if I were to sell for $100 a liter of what I call “The most powerful solvent known to man”.

          Yeah, it’s Hydrogen Oxide, aka H2O. Good ‘ole water. It’s a 100 percent true statement, and 100 percent slimy business practice.

          I have *zero* sympathy for FC in this affair, they made their bed, let ’em sleep in it.

  10. avatar Anonymous says:

    Their lawsuit does more against them than the bloggers crisko accusations.

  11. avatar Sixpack70 says:

    Vegetable oil, better in your gun than in your body. I would rather see it used as a firearm lubricant than in food. I think Fireclean is going to screw themselves with this one.

    1. avatar Geoff PR says:

      Fats – lipids by themselves are not bad for you, per se. You need some of it in your diet.

      Those fatty acids are necessary, especially baby brains need them for development. Just don’t drown yourself in them…

  12. avatar FormerWaterWalker says:

    THIS just makes it worse to me. Not a whole lot of “rich” bloggers out there(lol)…I’m stickin’ with Rem oil and CLP for now.

  13. avatar lew says:

    Hmm…what’s the big deal with all the special lubes…..I have been using KY for years with no ill effects.

    1. avatar SouthernPhantomn says:

      KY in firearms or “other”, (slightly) more intimate applications? Inquiring minds want to know!!

      Or maybe not know. I ain’t sure.

    2. avatar Geoff PR says:

      “Hmm…what’s the big deal with all the special lubes…..I have been using KY for years with no ill effects.”

      YouTube’s MattV2099 would agree.

      *wink*

    3. avatar Mudshark says:

      Hahahahahaha oh that is funny. lew

  14. avatar SpeleoFool says:

    The initial kerfuffle didn’t even register on my radar. After the last story I dug into the background a bit.

    I don’t see anything wrong about the original post on Vuurwapen Blog. Based on one type of test, FIREClean seems to be vegetable oil / Crisco. Yet it still apparently works and does a good job, according to the same blog. The legal complaint makes reference to how the specific type of test described in the blog is not appropriate to draw the conclusion that FIREClean is nothing more than Crisco–that all vegetable oils will have similar markers and FIREClean does have vegetable oil content, and … blah, blah, blah.

    What seems clear to me now is that FIREClean had opportunity to rebut the claims on their site and/or file an official response to Vuurwapen Blog and have them post it. I’m totally willing to entertain the idea that they have some kind of secret sauce that isn’t well-represented by the one test. Or at least I was.

    Instead of fighting this battle in the arena of public opinion, they’ve elected to make a legal case of it. Win or lose in the courtroom, filing a suit against a blogger and using blog comments as evidence comes across as a dick move. And that’s what has me thinking I can find a lot of other ways to lube my hardware. They don’t seem like a company I want to do business with no matter what is or isn’t in their product.

    1. avatar Big E says:

      Sums it up for me too. Thanks for saving me from having to type all that.

    2. avatar int19h says:

      +1. I was actually their customer, and I still have a few bottles around… but they have strayed waaay beyond the acceptability line on freedom of speech matters here. Definitely no more FC for me.

  15. avatar Ralph says:

    Okay, so FireClean works on guns. What I want to know is whether FireClean is also the secret to making great potato latkes.

    1. avatar Mookypants says:

      Google “cooking with fireclean”.

      Here’s the first result.
      https://youtu.be/lkxz8fTBn20

  16. avatar Don says:

    It sure would be nice for fireclean if the blogger made the false claim they are suing him over. I read everything pertaining to this saga after this lawsuit made news and all the blogger said was that fireclean is spectrally similar to vegetable oils, which is true.

    Firelean says as much themselves in their patent application “The patent application, on the very first page, describes a product that is composed of at least three substances, which may be plant or vegetable-based oils, and which make up between 25 and 100 percent of the formulation.”

    The same blogger also proved that Fireclean is a good decent performer!

    Frankly this lawsuit makes me think Fireclean is nothing more than vegetable oil more than the blogger’s spectral analysis. If it wasn’t they’d easily be able to prove that it either works better than common vegetable oil (and therefore is different, easy to do in a few videos) or publish a chemical test that shows the differences. I’ve got to think a few bottles of vegetable oils and a few cases of ammo are cheaper than the lawsuit, so they must know the test won’t go in their favor! On top of that they are trying to scare people from doing the test themselves. They are behaving like they are caught in a lie.

    1. avatar Don says:

      1. Strip the bolt of an AR of all lubricants.
      2. Weigh it on a precise lab scale with mg precision.
      3. Lube it with a measured volume of Fireclean.
      4. Weigh it again.
      5. Shoot 5 rounds through the rifle.
      6. Remove and weigh the bolt without wiping it off.
      7. Repeat 5 and 6 like 20 times.
      8. Create a plot bolt weight vs number of rounds fired.

      Two factors will be mixed together in this plot, weight decrease due to lubricant leaving combined with weight increase due to dirt accumulating. Using the weight from 2 and 4 and the weight after the first 5 shots (before a ton of build up happens) you’ll be able to get a sense of what’s going on. Ultimately I expect the weight will steadily increase with the number of rounds fired.

      Do the same process with vegetable oil. See if the trends are identical or different. After some settle in period if fireclean is FUNCTIONALLY different than vegetable oil then I would expect the increase in mass of the bolt due to deposits will be slower for fireclean than for vegetable oil.

      Another test to determine functional difference would be to put a measured volume of Fireclean in like 60 containers and do the same with vegetable oil. Place the containers in the same environment and test the weight and viscosity of one container from each oil once per day for 60 days. If Fireclean is functionally different from vegetable oil then it should dry out at a different rate, or maintain its viscosity over a longer period of time.

      Even if the stuff is or isn’t chemically similar to vegetable oil, if it’s functionally similar in all the ways that matter then what good is it? The manufacturer has made a lot of claims advertising their product’s functional superiority, what if it isn’t, isn’t that false advertising? Usually with functionally equivalent products the manufacturer makes claims like “4 out of 5 people prefer pepsi to coke” which doesn’t really make any false claims about functional differences, so they can’t get sued for false advertising.

      1. avatar Geoff PR says:

        “Two factors will be mixed together in this plot, weight decrease due to lubricant leaving combined with weight increase due to dirt accumulating.”

        …and there’s a third factor in the mix.

        Lubricant ‘shedding’, being flung off the reciprocating and the stationary contact points, screwing up the measured weights.

        Nice idea, probably not practical…

        1. avatar Don says:

          I think the weight increase due to the dirt build up would be dominant after a short period of time.

  17. avatar Mudshark says:

    Laws are to many unspellable words to me. Try Crisco, try Fireclean, if its the same Crisco’s cheaper. Ive used crisco to seal the chambers on a bp revolver, what a mess.This countrys got way to many sue ers, if your products good negative things said about it wont hurt. Frikkin facebook feelings, I just hate facebook. L O L facebook and Hillary go together like white on rice. I hate Hillary too, I hated her before she wanted to be our next dick tator.

  18. avatar lew says:

    I am telling yall, this KY is the best for “everything”….. Found this on Wikipedia.

    K-Y Jelly is a water-based, water-soluble personal FIREARM lubricant, most commonly used as a lubricant for boom stick cleaning.[citation needed] A variety of different products and formulas are produced under the K-Y banner. According to the company, “The origins of the brand name ‘K-Y’ are unknown. Two popular hypotheses are that it was created in Kentucky, (for the Kentucky Rifle, by Daniel Boone) hence ‘K-Y’, or that the letters represent the key ingredients used to make the lubricant, neither of which is proven.”[1] In March 2014, Reckitt Benckiser agreed to buy the K-Y brand from Johnson & Johnson.[2]

    1. avatar Mudshark says:

      Stop….yur killing me lol

  19. avatar 10mm says:

    Is there a GoFundMe for the FireClean folks, or do I just buy a crapload of their product?
    I’m sorry, but all too often you’ll see Internet know-it-alls wielding “science” like a drunken toddler who found his dad’s revolver.
    The initial article claims to say what’s in a proprietary, patented formula. Supporting said claim is experimental data in the form of infrared spectroscopy. Idk if anyone else here had to suffer through Analytical Chemistry (aka “anal chem”) as a prereq to the far more brutal Physical Chemistry (“p-chem”), but this reeks of softball smear job nonsense. Wrong test, inconclusive, causation =/= correlation, the list goes on.

    1. avatar ActionPhysicalMan says:

      Oh, definitely buy a shit ton of their oil if you just want to give them money. They are only giving you a tiny little bit of mixed, or not, vegetable or plant oil in a small container, so the portion of the purchase price going to them might even be greater than if you used GoFundMe. Check with your brother Andrew first though;-)

      1. avatar ActionPhysicalMan says:

        I apologize, I meant, your brother “Edward” not “Andrew”. Andrew is the other guy. Oops, my bad.

      2. avatar 10mm says:

        See, this is what I’m talking about. “It’s just plant oil lulz!”
        What if I told you that the proprietary Glock Tenifer coating contained organic hydrocarbons, like you’d find in a potato.
        ” OMG wtf Glock =German potatoes lulz”!!!

        While not incorrect, the information looks like dots that should be connected when they shouldn’t. Are you catching on?

        1. avatar PPGMD says:

          Except due to the tests involved his conclusions are pretty generic, and honestly aren’t a big surprise to anyone that read the patent. Most of the newer “green” lubricants/CLPs are just some existing plant based oil, or a combination of plant based oils.

          Fireclean’s problem should be with other websites like The Firearm Blog that took the conclusions that because fireclean = vegetable oil and canola oil = vegetable oil thus some websites came to the conclusion that fireclean = canola oil. A conclusion that may or may not be true.

          Now that is something that will come out, Fireclean might have to something that they’ve resisted. They might be forced to at least disclose the mixture of oils. Something that they don’t even do on their patent.

    2. avatar Geoff PR says:

      “dk if anyone else here had to suffer through Analytical Chemistry (aka “anal chem”)”

      From my years of doing industrial analytical chemistry, the term ‘anal chem’ is rather apt, since lab rats tend to be anal retentive personalities…

    3. avatar Ironhorse says:

      The point is, it doesn’t matter if it’s made from left over McDonald’s fryer grease or the tears of unicorns, VW blog never made a false statement and still attested to the lubricant’s quality. They never disparaged it once, never claimed it was something it wasn’t. Even by their own admission it contains a large percent of vegetable oil. This is purely a frivolous lawsuit because of the Internet making fun of them and they got butthurt over it. End of story.

    4. avatar Stinkeye says:

      If the conclusion that “Fireclean = Crisco” is incorrect (a conclusion that the defendant in this lawsuit never made, as far as I can tell), it seems like it would be easier, cheaper, and better PR for FIREClean to simply demonstrate that. Run some functional tests with their product and with grocery store vegetable oil, and show how their patented, proprietary formula is superior. Surely such tests must have been done during the development of the product, otherwise FIREClean would be wielding science like a drunken toddler who found his dad’s revolver…

      This lawsuit seems to me to be a last desperate cash grab before the company folds. It can’t repair their damaged image. The only way to do that is to show that the product is, in fact, not plain vegetable oil. The only reason not to show that is because they can’t.

  20. avatar JAlan says:

    My brother-in-law, who is a chemist, opined on this, knowing nothing about the case, but his opinion was that the two samples were probably identical. The variations come from simply there being organic variation from the source of the oil. This is the same case with iodine values. Organic oils have a range of these things. I don’t know if Andrew is right, and really, neither does my brother-in-law, but if an actual chemist can come to the same conclusion, then I wouldn’t call Andrew’s statements libel.

    He did mention that some tests might not pick up minerals as well, so I have to ask him more about that, but I’m going to lean on the side of FireClean being a bullshit product. As for me, I’ve stuck with CLP the whole time. It works and it’s cheap.

  21. avatar JK says:

    Labeling Tuohy’s statement of fact a “negative review” completely missed the point. If you created a product and someone published a demonstrably false “fact” which totally diminished the value of your product, you would consider legal action as well. As someone who was contemplating spending money on Fireclean’s expensive product, I can tell you Tuohy’s “study” made me reconsider. Imagine if TTAG was suddenly labeled an underground arm of X company, rather than a grassroots effort, and your viewership dropped overnight . . . Wouldn’t you want vindication? Mocking Fireclean for seeking to clear their name through the legal process isn’t fair or right.

    1. avatar ActionPhysicalMan says:

      It’s not a “false fact” which diminished the value but the knowledge that one did not need to buy it through them at such a mark-up that did. Also that smoke as evidence carbon was being removed was pretty lame.

      1. avatar JK says:

        That assumes that Tuohy’s study was accurate. In fact, Fireclean was able to produce an independent study that it wasn’t. For Fireclean to win anything, they will have to prove that Tuohy’s conclusions are factually inaccurate. If they do that successfully, they deserve to win–precisely because you continue to believe that Fireclean is just high priced Crisco in a different bottle. You can read more about the suit at http://soldiersystems.net/2016/03/31/fireclean-llc-sues-andrew-tuohy-and-everett-baker-in-federal-court/

        1. avatar ActionPhysicalMan says:

          The Crisco name is red herring. That is not what is at issue. Is the patent correct or is it not?

        2. avatar ActionPhysicalMan says:

          A well done study of the condition of identical weapons treated with both Fireclean’s mix of vegetable and plant oil and a few other mixes from the peanut gallery and much fired by a third party would be a lot more more effective way to spend their money. Unlike litigation it would actually have a chance of improving their image (if their mix works better.)

    2. avatar Nick Leghorn says:

      We are secretly the underground arm of Hi-Point Firearms, but even they can’t bring themselves to let us post a positive review.

      1. avatar JK says:

        Haha. Ask for more money. A LOT more money.

    3. avatar ActionPhysicalMan says:

      Mocking them for seeking to ‘clear their names’ through ligation is indeed appropriate since it is impossible to do so and is also counterproductive. It is like watching a guy beat himself up by flinging his body at the object of his ire.

    4. avatar Ironhorse says:

      What “demonstrably false “fact””? FC already claim that a large part of their product is vegetable oil!

  22. avatar Andrew Tuohy says:

    For what it’s worth, I don’t own a 150. N66686 is an N number reserved for potential future use for another drone. If you look at the data on the 150 formerly known as N66686, it looks like it had its registration canceled in 1989.

    1. avatar Nick Leghorn says:

      Thanks for the update, I have amended the post to include the new information.

    2. avatar mk10108 says:

      Looks as though the FC crew is not doing their homework.

      1. avatar John L. says:

        Or they’re hoping no one else will.

  23. avatar mk10108 says:

    Fire Clean Patent “describes a product that is composed of at least three substances, which may be plant or vegetable-based oils, and which make up between 25 and 100 percent of the formulation.”

    Well duh. Plant based oils include olive, sunflower, canola, corn, peanut, avocado, garlic, grape seed, cotton seed, almond, citrus and anything with seeds can be made into an oil. The bogey here is cost per unit verses performance. Canola, sunflower or any high volume process yields lowest cost per unit. Question is did Fire Clean re-badge a common item with a dye or really made a new and unique oil far superior than what’s available in the market? With years in the packaging world, me thinks not.

    Oh…the plane comment…there is no advantage to flying a C-150 over taking a car. You have to fly at minimum 150-180 mph to your destination then rent a car to make transit with light planes effective. Owning a Cessna 150 could be compared to owning
    a boat.

    1. avatar Andrew Lias says:

      Indeed, I think that’s the crux of the issue. After reading that it’s vegetable oil someone paid $15 for a small bottle of when the cost was virtually nothing it made a lot of people feel stupid and a lot of customers move on. In turn they are going with the try to suppress and disparage the source of the information.

      InRangeTV sums it up pretty well IMO and does some FireClean Cooking as well. It could be an interesting trial where the jury gets fed crisco/fireclean popcorn in a blind taste test.

      https://www.full30.com/video/799453c720195640a7b73231b0a540a0

  24. avatar mk10108 says:

    Fire Clean Patent “describes a product that is composed of at least three substances, which may be plant or vegetable-based oils, and which make up between 25 and 100 percent of the formulation.”

    Well duh. Plant based oils include olive, sunflower, canola, corn, peanut, avocado, garlic, grape seed, cotton seed, almond, citrus and anything with seeds can be made into an oil. The bogey here is cost per unit verses performance. Canola, sunflower or any high volume process yields lowest cost per unit. Question is did Fire Clean re-badge a common item with a dye or really made a new and unique oil far superior than what’s available in the market? With years in the packaging world, me thinks not.

    Oh…the plane comment…there is no advantage to flying a C-150 over taking a car. You have to fly at minimum 150-180 mph to your destination then rent a car to make transit with light planes effective. Owning a Cessna 150 could be compared to owning
    a boat.

  25. avatar Mikial says:

    IMHO both sides could have handled this better.

    Fireclean asked Tuohy if they could read his post and I can only speculate how he responded, but based on how things have gone I would wager it wasn’t very professional. What was the harm in letting them read it so they could prepare a response? Vuurwapen Blog seems to revel in writing negative articles about products and making a general nuisance of themselves. So it wasn’t all that surprising that the relationship between them and Fireclean hasn’t gone well. Tuohy is arrogant and always on the lookout for a company to flame.

    Fireclean should have done something positive like responding on their site or through other sources about the quality of their product and offered free samples. They have a patent, so it is unique enough to have been awarded one so why sweat it? Bloggers are a dime a dozen on the net. I get samples of new products like Wolfs All-in-One and EWL all the time so I can draw my own conclusions. I don’t really care what’s in a product as long as it does what I want it to and if they were confident of their oil then why not put their money where their mouth is?

    But to be blunt given the types of articles on Vuurwapen Blog, I don’t really blame Fireclean for going the litigation route and the jury is out on how things will end up. Tuohy can’t whine about the consequences of a decision to try to hurt a product’s reputation in his blog. Damaging a company without allowing people to draw their own conclusions is not the way things should be done. Yeah, free speech is a standard of Conservative thought, but so is responsibility for your own actions. He won’t be getting any money from me, and I likely won’t be buying Fireclean either.

    1. avatar Andrew Tuohy says:

      It will be very entertaining, at some point, to reveal all emails between myself and the other parties involved in this situation.

    2. avatar Stinkeye says:

      The existence of a patent is no guarantee of uniqueness. The USPTO issues ridiculous patents for common things all the time. Apple was granted a design patent on a “portable display device” that is shaped like a flat box with rounded corners. Because before that unique innovation, all portable display devices were dodecahedrons with razor-sharp points…

  26. avatar Jasonius says:

    This response from FireClean makes me think they probably had a private investigator check into Touhy to find smear ammo.

    That does not sound like a company looking to defend its product. It sounds like someone looking to shut up legitimate criticism without using substantive arguments.

    1. avatar Andrew Tuohy says:

      I was made aware in November/December that they had been looking into my background.

    2. avatar Ironhorse says:

      Bingo

  27. avatar kenneth says:

    I can see no other reason that fireclean should take such actions, other than that the truth hurts. I could care less one way or the other, I have used Hoppe’s #9 and Breakfree CLP for decades and see no reason to change.
    I do note that in the court filing Fireclean is careful to note that; “fireclean is not made from a single type of oil”, and is not “a single common household cooking oil”.
    They have quite the fixation on not being just ONE cooking oil, but a combination of sames.
    Anyone care to bet that its made of canola, corn, and soybean oils(with some preservatives and dye added) in what they will term a “proprietary blend”? And not Crisco brand oils, ofc. Why would they use a more expensive name brand oil when the cheapest of bulk oils will do? I think that fireclean knows their scam is over, and are now just transfering assets to the lawyers, who will then protect it from creditors(in return for a hefty share, ofc!) in the inevitable bankruptcy that they know is coming.

  28. avatar DaveL says:

    I see, it’s not just one cheap vegetable oil with an insane markup, it’s at least three cheap vegetable oils with an insane markup.

    This is like Richard Gere saying “Well, technically your Honor, it was a jerboa.”

  29. avatar Desert Ranger says:

    Personally, the way Fireclean has handled is this is appalling. I will NEVER buy their product nor advocate its use in any of the classes I teach. Stay Classy, Fireclean.

  30. avatar xerodown says:

    I used to use FIREClean all the time. It was my primary lube and solvent. After hearing of the lawsuit, I have fully switched to Slip2000. Our community has no place for this. The majority of good firearms information comes from bloggers and youtube. Silencing them with lawsuits is not the proper reaction. How about you craft a proper response and articulate why your product is better or said blogger is wrong?

    FIREClean has some of the worst PR I have ever seen. They routinely don’t know how to answer questions or how to put out a decent press release. They very often will enter a forum discussion with an offensive post that will later have to be deleted or work with the fourn to completely delete the thread. I get the sense they are not shooters and have seemed to have stumbled into a market they dont fully understand.

    It looks like at this point, the writing’s on the wall.

  31. avatar Mudshark says:

    Castor bean oil. Bet money

    1. avatar The Old Coach says:

      Naw. Bean oil gums up like crazy. As any old-time two-stroke race engine builder.

      And KY is just glycerine, ain’t it?

  32. avatar Lew says:

    Ponder this….fire clean uses plant based oils……aren’t all “petroleum” based oils “plant based” as they are extracted from the ground as they were once long ago prehistoric swamps and other organic matter.

    Screw that canola oil..real men fry their potatoes (Courtesy of Dan Quail grammar school) in Valvoline 10w40.

    1. avatar 10mm says:

      Bingo.
      Yep, lots of really nasty, caustic oils are plant based. People hear “plant oil” and assume “canola oil”.
      I can’t wait until this whole thing blows over and all of these overnight Internet chemists can go back to being Internet commandos.

      1. avatar JR_in_NC says:

        “I can’t wait until this whole thing blows over and all of these overnight Internet chemists can go back to being Internet commandos.”

        Says the guy that said Analytical Chemistry and P.Chem. were struggles….{rolls eyes}.

        Pardon me if your opinion on this matter carries little to no weight.

        Question: Did you actually LOOK at the IR data before spouting off about the interpretation being correct or not?

        Follow-up Question: Having looked at the spectra, what is your basis for calling the interpretation into question?

  33. avatar JoshFormerlyinGA says:

    I’m sorry but saying you’re a chemist and using infrared spectroscopy data to “prove” that two oils are similar is pretty laughable. NMR spectroscopy would maybe be a better bet for what they’re after…

    1. avatar PPGMD says:

      Actually they do NMR in a second round of testing.

    2. avatar 10mm says:

      “Prove” indeed.
      TTAG suddenly became The Trace or ShootingTracker overnight, a bunch of hysterics regurgitating information they don’t understand taken wildly out of context.

  34. avatar Dave says:

    IR scans have long been the gold standard of chemical identification. The curves between veg oil and fireclean match, and other types of oils were analyzed for comparison. Only the veg oil matched.

    Of course, we didn’t need an IR scan to verify this. The stuff has a high smoke point, is non-toxic, and is biodegradable. What type of oil does that resemble?

    I don’t think Tuohy was being malicious. If someone is buying vegetable oil at a 10,000 percent markup (2 dollar half gallon bottle of veg oil versus 15 dollar 2oz. Bottle of fireclean), it seems wrong to not say something.

    These clowns will be broke before they know it, and this frivolous lawsuit isn’t helping them.

    Piece of advice: Get a bottle of Mobil 1 or a can of wheel bearing grease. It’ll last you forever, it’s cheap, and it’s just as good as any gun lube out there. Many old timers and long-time shooters do exactly this.

    1. avatar petru sova says:

      Your wrong on this one as I did as you suggested decades ago and found that motor oil, although it is a great lubricant does not let moisture rise to the surface and results in gun rusting and pitting. I did an experiment with bullet molds soaked in various motor oils and then placed in a plastic bag and sealed and then put in a 20 mm ammo can. I also used w.d. 40 and Break Free CLP. All the bullet molds soaked in various motor oils caused rust to form on the molds. The WD 40 ad the Break Free CLP soaked molds had no rust at all on them. I do not advocate using WD 40 as a lubricant but only as a moisture displacement. Break Free does both, it prevents rust and also is one of the best lubricants out there. Even the U.S. Military uses it or once did on their M60 machine guns.

      I always recommend using a lubricant formulated for use on firearms and not going cheapy using motor oil or home brewed concoctions made up in the basement of Jethro Bodine’s Barn and thereby risking damage both from rust and excessive wear to an expensive and often collectable and irreplaceable firearm.

  35. avatar Ironhorse says:

    “But just as it is illegal to run into a crowded theater and yell “fire” when there is no fire”

    It’s not, actually. That was struck down.

    Carry on.

  36. avatar Carl says:

    No matter how the lawsuit goes for them, once it’s done Fireclean will have to completely rebrand its products to something less tarnished. Like “Baby Seal Oil”.

  37. avatar Larry says:

    Fire clean, it’ll clean your guns and make your cookies moist and flakey !!

  38. avatar JT says:

    “VB posted some analysis that indicated that FIREClean was chemically similar to standard vegetable oils such as Crisco. As it tends to do, the internet then went crazy, immediately latching onto the idea that FIREClean = Crisco and taking that idea to its absurd conclusion.”

    It was the other way around. People started calling it Crisco so Andrew had it tested. He published his results and that just added fuel to the fire.

    He also called shenanigans on the LAV video promoting it, which was made private after he called them out on using two different types of ammo during the test.

  39. avatar petru sova says:

    Even if Fireclean wins this law suit I will never buy any of their products because of their blatant attempt to crush all freedom of speech on the internet when it comes to people discussing the merits of products for sale and use. I now hate the company with a passion.

  40. avatar Will Drider says:

    FireClean has two (2) Employees? They must be the best workers in the world! They must do receipt of raw materials, bottles boxes, labels ect.., do material blending, Quality Assurance testing, despensing into bottles, bottles into boxes, shipping, order tracking, general accounting, manufacturing equipment maintenance and many more duties. Even with automation it seems unbelievable! They must be paying those two employees big, big bucks and this maybe why the cost of a bottle is so high. I guess their lawyers could be moonlighting there to make a few bucks too.

    Is another company doing all this for them? I sure would love to see a factory tour like those done for other products. We may find a person filling bottles one at a time from a food grade 55 gallon drum.

    We must also understand that if you add one gram of Teflon to 1000 gallons off X: you have changed the chemical composition of X. An infinitesimal small change but changed none the less. The real question is how much difference in performance the additive makes compared to X without it.

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