There’s a bit of hoopla going around at the moment based on some test results that were posted. They sent a sample of the popular FIREClean firearm lubricant off to be tested in a lab, and the results indicate that the much beloved lubricant is actually nothing more than common cooking oil. In the same way that Evian water is still just water, I really couldn’t care less — the stuff works. The FIREClean guys aren’t quite as sanguine about the allegation, and are firing back. But that isn’t the only thing the Vuurwapen Blog dug up . . .
From FIREClean’s response:
We would like to address recent false or misleading allegations that range from simply misguided to false, defamatory, and libelous. These attacks have been made by competitors and others that paint our product in a false or misleading light. The allegations do not focus on actual performance or relevant tests, and draw a misleading picture.
FIREClean™ Advanced Gun Oil is a specifically formulated, technically superior weapon reliability solution that resists the harshest firing with enormous heat and carbon overload that seize most weapons. It is a formulation- made specifically for exceptional reliability in firearms and weapons- not a re-labeled or re-packaged product.
It goes on to illustrate how well the product works and flashes some credentials. But the one thing that the statement doesn’t contain is an unequivocal denial of the accusation that FIREClean is actually just canola oil. They simply state that FIREClean is not a re-labeled Crisco knockoff, not that it isn’t made from canola oil.
In short, myth probably confirmed. Personally I couldn’t give a toss. The stuff works, and I use it liberally on my competition guns. Even if it were made from George Carlin’s proverbial zebra semen, I’d still keep using it. That might not be the case for everyone, but I prefer to trust results.
What’s more interesting is that the Vuurwapen Blog has come across some interesting video from Larry Vickers. Vickers Tactical did a test in which they compared the exhaust coming from the chamber of a handgun during the extraction phase of the firing cycle on guns lubricated with nothing, with CLP, and with FIREClean. The claim that went up was that the extra exhaust gasses coming from the chamber with FIREClean is evidence that the solution repels carbon better than the other options.
There’s just one problem: two very obviously different cartridges were used, one for the FIREClean and one for the “losers.”
I’m dubious as to the idea that FIREClean actively repels carbon better than anything else on the market, especially from that specific area of the firearm. I’m open to that being possible, but when you ignore basic principles of scientific testing I tend to see the “test” as more of a paid advertisement than an actual demonstration.
The basis for scientific testing is eliminating as many variables as possible and only changing the one you’re interested in testing. If you’re testing the lube then you’d damn well better keep the ammunition consistent, especially if the exhaust gasses from those cartridges is being directly measured for the results.
Differences in powders, projectile weights, and even the primer being used (very obviously a different color – see the Vuurwapen post for close-ups) can throw the “test.” Changing something so critical to the “experiment” being run is extremely suspicious, especially when the test itself is on shaky ground to begin with. Seriously, who looks at a lube and thinks “I know! The best way to show the durability and lubrication this provides is to measure the exhaust gasses!”? That might actually be the very last thing I would ever consider testing.
The moral of the story here seems to be twofold.
One, don’t take any test on face value. That includes those we do here. Question everything, and look at the methodology to ensure that what they are showing you actually matters for your purposes. Being able to bake a GLOCK 19 into a cake may be a great way to demonstrate reliability, but tells you nothing about accuracy, for example. If the methodology doesn’t make sense to you, don’t trust the results.
Two, documentation is everything. Don’t trust results where the documentation is shoddy. For example, if there are visibly different components being used to illustrate something unrelated to those specific components. Changing ammo types in the middle of a test like this is like changing barrels when comparing the accuracy of two ammunition brands. It doesn’t make sense. At the very least it shows an ignorance of basic scientific principles, and at worst it could point to deliberately skewed results.
Maybe I’m the odd fellow out these days, but my oiling collection is just Hoppes, Outers, Remoil and some milsurp stuff. Probably not tacticool enough for most but it seems to work.
Nope, I use CLP to clean and bearing grease to lube.
CLP for cleaning, full synth motor oil for lubrication here.
The motor oil works well enough that I have no doubt the firearms it’s used on will outlive me and it’s considerably cheaper than branded gun lubes. Also if I was a betting man I would bet that right now the petty cash box at say BP’s oil R&D department equals about 20% more than all the money ever put into R&D by the gun lube companies.
I prefer Mobil 1 gear lube. It’s a bit thicker than the synth motor oil and it comes in a handy squirt top bottle.
Well good thing LAV has done that test too.
And look at all that smoke/carbon coming out….
Even if the carbon doesn’t harden to the surfaces of the metal you still have all that carbon that’s not stuck to anything coming out of the chamber On a direct impingement ar-15 platform rifle you’re going to have a serious glob of crap going right down into your trigger group. I’d like to see a test on how long the rifle functions forWhen using this lubrication.
3 in 1.
Yup, the auto industry has spent more on lube research than the gun industry. If rocker arm tips last 30 years in an engine that see’s daily use at millions of movements. your firearm will be fine.
but hey, if paying out the wazoo for a lube makes you warm and fuzzy, take comfort in the fact that you’re buying that feeling.
I know nothing about the stuff, but: “myth probably confirmed”? Not hardly. Either this is a lie, or it is not mere canola oil:
It can’t be both canola oil, and a specific formulation for lubricant.
Perhaps they add in a drop or two of Hoppe’s or some similar substance to make it a gun-specific formulation. Maybe like a dry martini, they just bottle the oil in close proximity to Hoppe’s to affect the transformation.
It’s a specifically formulated Canola oil. A spectrometer doesn’t lie. If there was extra formulations in there, the analysis would have shown it.
Sounds like we need to start a movement for ethics policies in firearm journalism…
Yeah, I know how IR spec works. It’s not a matter of the peaks lying or not.
Is it almost certain that FireClean is formulated from rapeseed oil? Yes. Does that prove that it is Crisco? No.
Rapeseed oil is used both as an industrial lubricant and a biofuel. Are those applications also “Crisco”? Of course not. Neither is FireClean.
Might the makers of FireClean be blowing a whole lot of marketing smoke up people’s rear ends? Absolutely, they might be. Here’s a primer on the use of vegetable oils as industrial lubricants.
That’s just semantics. Calling it crisco is more of a tongue in cheek thing, if anything. The real question is whether or not it is veggie oil or rapeseed oil, not a legitimate product of the Crisco company.
I get that. You get that. But when someone poses to the company the specific question, “Is this Crisco?”, they have given the company a legitimate opportunity to avoid the underlying question by saying, “No, this is not Crisco.”
Besides: as has been said, there’s nothing at all inherently wrong with rapeseed oil as a lubricant. It is the questions/claims beyond the base that really matter – all of which is lost in the snark of accusing the company of bottling Crisco.
Yeah, a lot of it is snark. Mostly I see the snark relegated to the title, in order to attract attention, probably. The guts of the “study” (I don’t want to really dignify a single reading as a study, but still), is that it is vegetable based oil. But my own interest in the story is people realizing that even mundane cheap garden variety oil will do the job JUST as well as high dollar boutique oils. I use 3 in 1 or marine grease. Veggie oils have limited corrosion protection, and in this application the Home Depot brand grease does a better job on your rails and bolt.
Canola oil can be a specific formulation if they specifically chose canola oil for it’s specific properties of keeping carbon from sticking to metal gun parts just like it keeps eggs (carbon) and spam (carbon) from pans (metal). Ahhhhh the art of rhetoric.
Well yes actually. Yes it can. Simply compounding a lubricant which uses a Canola base stock doesn’t mean it is or is not canola oil anymore. It’s canola that’s been either added to or tinkered with but the base stock is the massive majority of the contents of each bottle so define it as you wish. Lubricating oils usually have additives included with the base stock in varying amounts which perform various functions and dramatically change the performance characteristics of the resulting product: anti-foam agents, anti-corrosion agents, detergents, viscosity index improvers, etc…. The Canola can be just the base stock or it could actually be the whole kit and kaboodle. What we saw from the spectroscopy was that there is so little difference between plain canola oil and FireClean that yes, the company may just have been founded over a barroom conversation something like:
Douche 1: “Hey, you know you can use vegetable oil as gun lube?”
Douche 2: “Yeah. So?”
Douche 1: “Well gun nuts are so stupid and mal-educated they’d buy my ball sweat if I labeled it as gun lube so why not pour some good frying oil into little tiny bottles, set the price point for 8000% profit margin and get rich with the dollars of the credulous and ignorant. It’s like a tax on dummies. Given the education system in the US we can’t lose.”
Douche 2: “What about when they figure out it’s just crisco and we’re hucksters and charlatans? Won’t they flip out? I mean they might get real mad. Maybe find a way to take their money back.”
Douche 1: “So. We’ll have their money by then and it’s not like the product didn’t work. Maybe not as well as we said it might but it does lubricate. Buyer beware right?”
Douche 2: “Sonny boy we are made!”
And the two walked out of that bar and into a lifestyle beyond their wildest dreams.
First, mea culpa, as I misspoke a bit. When I said “canola oil”, I really meant “Crisco(r) brand Canola Oil”, but wasn’t specific.
Canola oil is just a marketing name for rapeseed oil, which is a perfectly valid industrial lubricant base. So, saying that a firearm lubricant is “just canola oil” really isn’t saying much of anything, because there’s nothing inherently wrong with using canola oil as the base for a firearm lubricant.
1. Asking the wrong question yields a non-responsive answer. Asking the makers of FireClean, “is this just really Crisco?” is going to get a denial that is as correct as it is irrelevant. The question should have been, “does FireClean use a rapeseed oil base?” would have been far more useful.
2. The criticism that FireClean is blowing marketing scope with their “specially formulated” talk is perfectly valid. Vegetable oils used as a base for industrial lubricants have both advantages and disadvantages – the latter of which can and usually are mitigated by certain additives. The IR spec apparently showed no such additives.
Well put, good point, and a useful clarification so thanks for that.
There actually is a problem with using rapeseed oil as a base as discussed in the story that broke the news. It’s polyunsaturated which means a lot from a chemical perspective. The lack of additives is an issue which exacerbates the problems of using polyunsaturated veg oil. As it’s exposed to oxygen it’ll form gummy crosslinked stable films, those films will be able to hold grit and can actually cause malfunctions. And it’s not just that it forms a gummy film but it forms a chemically stable gum which is thence hard to break up and clean out. You might as well use tar, at least you’ll be aware ahead of time how it’ll perform down the road. This is the same problem FrogLube had and I can’t help but wonder it the issues may source in a common place. If they’d have put all the additives in it necessary to get the performance one might expect (I’ll skip the list) then what they’re actually doing is saying, “Hey the base stock sucks for this by this much so if we add this stuff over here it’ll fix that.” You’re looking for something with the least necessary amount of additives ideally. If they’d have used enough additives to make the rapeseed oil perform like say, Mobil-1 or CLP for that matter, they’d have promptly found out that there are better base stocks to use.
Base stock is cheap. Additives are expensive. Performance characteristics are a mandate. Of course you’re going to look for a base stock that’ll do most of what you want without being fiddled with. In this case they didn’t fiddle with it seemingly at all and it thence performs just as you might expect. Those that clean constantly will probably never have any trouble with it. Those that leave their guns alone till they need them would definitely be better served by an actually formulated lubricant that’s suitable.
I use Redline Assembly Lube on things I use more often and Redline Red Moly grease (very thinly applied) for those times where I leave it alone for a good long time. Those are designed to work in the way that I use them and they’re made by a company that actually knows what makes a good lubricant. They are not meant for cleaning, just lube.
Most likely they can say “specially formulated” as it may be refined more / less / differently than Crisco-brand canola. Doesn’t mean the actual ingredient is different – typical lawyer speak. The patent says something about this.
Works great on ARs, but I went back to EWL for everything. An absolutely tiny amount keeps a Glock or 1911 running a long time. Doesn’t keep an AR as “clean” as FireClean but I go far longer in between lubes, it’s way more cost effective.
Sure it can.
A formulation is an ingredient list and a process. It may have only one ingredient.
I’m not saying this is the case here; but as Nick points out above, the FC response never actually says it’s not mostly Canola oil. If you follow the link to the blog, however, you’ll see FC did say it’s not soybean oil.
Personally I don’t give a fig one way or the other. I’ce more or less settled on FrogLube cleaner/degreaser, and WeaponShield CLP to lube. Occasionally I will try something else, but it seems to me that thoroughly cleaning and lubing is more important, for the most part, than what actual product you use.
I’d be interested to see the same test done on Frog Lube, as there have been rumors since the very beginning that it’s nothing but vegetable shortening. Some of that came from Frog Lube’s own statements that it’s a lube that has been used since way back in the day for greasing cannon bores and roller coaster tracks (and when you research that you find that shortening was often used for this), it’s plant derived and food grade safe (and the owner always eats some to prove it), and that its natural state is as a room temperature solid and they modify it to create the liquid lubes (which used to require shaking as white chunks of fatty solids would settle out of it if it sat, but they’ve since fixed this so it truly stays in liquid form without shaking needed).
The lube I’ve been using for a while now is a modified soy bean oil. I’m happy with that knowledge, as soy bean oil has been used as an industrial lubricant for machine equipment for a long time and it’s great at it. The company that makes the gun lube I use modifies the soybean oil through heavy purification and an additive package to stabilize it and increase its performance (such as temperature resistance, ideal viscosity, ability to maintain a protective film under higher pressures, remain effective longer, not go rancid ever, etc). Despite the additives, it remains biodegradable and safe for the user.
Would you mind sharing the brand name? As my shelves (note plural) of lubes and cleaners will attest to, I’m always willing to try a new one.
It’s the Slip Mist lube from this review: http://www.thetruthaboutguns.com/2014/02/jeremy-s/ttag-exclusive-tactical-triad-cleaning-kit-300/ …been using it for close to two years now and have been very happy.
On the downside, it actually doesn’t look like it’s available on its own but only as part of that entire cleaning kit (on Amazon HERE). I mean, not a horrible thing since the cleaning kit is pretty awesome and the cleaner is great stuff (I’m still using it diluted in a spray bottle on my workbench plus there’s one in my range bag, and I use it in my ultrasonic tank), but it’s sort of annoying it apparently can’t be bought on its own.
It’s non-toxic, right? Seems like we’re about due for a taste test.
The Myth Busters guy! I knew it!
Makes cooking bacon on the barrel much more palatable…
It means your cats (and dogs!) will hang around your guns more…
Guns covered in cat hair?
Throwing out my FireClean after seeing this and never buying more. No way that was an accident. I don’t give money to companies that trust their own product so little they go out of their way to be highly deceptive in their “product testing” videos.
Does it work well enough for my uses? Yes, but so do most products on the market. I don’t live by the ocean, I clean my guns after every use, and store them with humidity controls.
lol. You’re just throwing it out because you plan on replacing it with Walmart’s Great Value brand canola oil.
But, is Walmart’s Great Value brand canola oil better than Crusty Imitation brand canola oil?
Not buying more of the product in the future, absolutely, I get that. But why throw out the stuff you already paid for, if it works well enough for your use? Use it up, then buy something else. I don’t think the FIREClean people are monitoring your trashcan to know how dissatisfied you are with their business practices.
Yes you’re right. It’s just wasteful to throw it out. Thanks for pointing that out.
At the very least, you can have it on hand just in case you run out of cooking oil…
Re-fill the Fire Clean bottle from the kitchen bottle and spend the money you save on ammo.
I call bullshit, presumably you bought it and used it because it did what you wanted it to? Does the new revelation of what one of the primary ingredients is suddenly make it not do that? I’m confused?
Products “specifically formulated” for use in firearms are by and large snake oil and overpriced. But you know what? Who flipping cares! if you had to dump 7 quarts of it into your AR every time you cleaned it then the price would matter. I only just finished off my second bottle of CLP and I have been shooting guns for 17 years. So big deal I spent what? $1 per year to lube my guns as opposed to 5cents? Give me a break, if it works keep using it, if it doesn’t then don’t but enough with all this faux righteous indignation because you found out it had vegetable oil in it.
I don’t get all the outrage either. Did you guys buy it based on the claim that it was NOT vegetable oil? I assume not, since the manufacturer, at least, is not making any such claims. If you bought it, it was because you liked the promises they made, and (hopefully) because you’ve read the reviews. If you tried to use it and found that it does not live up to the claims and the reviews, now that then would be a legitimate reason to be annoyed. But those who were using it all this time and happy with it, including the price… and now suddenly you guys are pissed when you found out what it consists of?
Seems simple to me, try canola oil on your gun, apply it in the exact same way you apply and use fireclean. If you get the same results, then just use canola oil. If the canola oil doesn’t perform as well, then there is something different about fireclean that makes it work better.
Common ingredients rebranded with graphics and marketing a value add. Sums up just about everything business I’ve worked with.
Eh, if it works for you…
The Fireclean guys are in a pickle. They can’t prove libel unless they divulge their formula. And even if they do, it doesn’t mean it isn’t a substantial component of it. And if they rattle the sabers too loud, they’ll tick off customers.
The article doesn’t say the product is ineffective. Just that it has the same chemical signature as canola oil. Their data backs up their claim. Libel requires the author to intend to causes harm with false statements.
I’ve been a professional Gunsmith for the last 25 years, and have used every type of gun oil grease lubricant you could possibly think of.
One night while watching Larry Vickers show on TV or DVR late at night I saw that he was doing for this product and decided what the heck, I’ll buy some. I bought a bottle The same size as the one you have advertised on the top of this blog and it was very expensive.
I never use the stuff its been sitting on the top of my gun shelf Workbench aka 40 year and a half. I’ve been using lately for the last few years slip 2000 And it seems to do a pretty good job at keeping fouling to a minimum.
However I am quite interested and giving this stuff a whirl finally now that this article has come out.
After all these years of using products to clean and maintain and lubricate Firearms I still now I’m starting to go back to break free CLP in a product I’ve been using for 20 years
Made by G 96 gün treatment Its a real high quality lubricant that comes in an aerosol can with a little spray tip like the break free But seems to magnetically stick itself To working parts on an automatic pistol like the Extractor ejector on an AR 15 Stays where you want it to stay doesn’t drip and go all over the damn place
And like I said I’ve been using this product for 25 years and I’m starting to go back to it just because I know it prevents rust just as well as CLP and seems to stay where you put it instead of drip all over the place like COP.
I’d be a little pissed if I spit and if I spend my hard earned money on a tube that was nothing more than Crisco. And you when you really think about Crisco as a lubricant In reducing carbon buildup that’s what it was originally designed for cooking oils where designed to cook food at high temperatures without carbonizing the skillets and plates They were cooked on.
Basically a clean running oil And one that can handle extreme temperatures without grease fire. I’m going to run a thousand rounds Through one of my house this weekend coming up And I’m going to have It completely moved With Fire clean And see exactly what everybody is bragging about with this stuff I can’t imagine it working any better than slip 2000. But we will see
I apologize for the unlegible statements in that last blog. My voice text on this phone is really bad this phone’s been run over by a pickup truck and a deuce and a half And is barely functioning I’m just too cheap to replace it because I know how to use it Lol. Basically what I was saying Is I’m going to give this stuff a try this weekend when I put about a thousand rounds through my AR And do a thousand rounds to one of my other cars that are exactly the same caliber Barrels bolts everything is the same And we’re going to see how it runs against slip 2000 And I will get back to you all on this update.I still think That its most likely Cooking oil Even kind of smells like it when you rub it on your fingers and sniff it. But like I said before cooking oil was designed to cook food at high temperatures without leaving carbon residue behind in the skillet or frying pans Or deep fries for that matter
“I’m going to run a thousand rounds Through one of my house this weekend coming up”
Is your house semi-automatic, or bolt-action?
Seriously, you might want to check to see if there’s an update available for your voice recognition software.
For some of us we’d need to upgrade our voice.
Most speech recognition programs don’t work well for deep voices, I’ve found. Some of the transcriptions can be amusing, but it makes voice-only phone help lines very frustrating (I’m looking at you, United!).
Monotone voices as well – I just shout “agent” into the phone over and over until I get assistance, robots don’t seem to understand a word I say.
Be advised, FireClean has a shelf life of one year.
Sometimes the best solutions are right at your fingertips…you just never knew.
Lots of response from the…producer. Almost like there is something…slippery going on.
I’d upvote this pun if I could. Well done!
Looks like I’ll have to try canola oil.
“In short, myth probably confirmed. Personally I couldn’t give a toss. The stuff works, and I use it liberally on my competition guns.”
So why not just buy the Costco-sized jug of Canola and save some $$ ?
You can use it as a lube. But not as a protectant. Canola oil becomes gummy when exposed to UV light and oxygen. So long term storage is not advised.
Soap and hot water clean Canola just dandy, so lube and shoot with Canola, give it a bath and protect with Dino oil…
So it seems to me…
Because he’s a rich guy that needs to prove to himself how rich he is.
Well, actually the base could be a vegetable oil and the stuff might be better than everything else. It’s all about the additives.
Beer, wine, milk, coffee and RC cola are all basically water with different additives and processing techniques but they all supply your body with adequate hydration to sustain life although I personally recommend wine.
Over half of branded motor oil companies buy their base from Exxon/Mobil and start blending (my info is nearly 20 years old on that). Marvel Mystery Oil is mineral oil based. Find reasonably priced lubricants then relax and enjoy life.
Except the spectroscope readings don’t seem to indicate any additives at all.
Love, love is the secret ingredient (Love(tm) Branded rat p***). Also the knowledge that once a consumer spends $$ on a product they will more often than not justify that purchase no matter what and continue to buy.
If the sales dry up they don’t care, they managed to sell canola oil for a 10000% markup of whatever it was for a decent amount of time. They can always rebrand and sell Mobile One for a 5000% markup.
I think we need to take to Twitter and push Vickers to respond to this information. I propose #gunnergate and #canolagate should keep things interesting.
He’s been actively defending it on his Facebook page lately, and the LAV ain’t playing around when it comes to FireClean. Dawg.
If you’re admitting you believe that fireclean is, in fact, soybean oil, but that it works, then tell us flat out that you will be using grocery store bought soybean oil as gun lube. Anything less (by your own standards in this article) is proof that you either don’t actually believe the accusations or you are FLAME DELETED that you are still willing to buy soybean oil at 10 bucks an ounce in a designer bottle.
Soybeans and rapeseed really aren’t the same thing.
Not even close.
I guess it’s possible i just don’t have enough money to throw around. I suspect that, by the ounce, Crisco and/or canola oil is a heckuva lot cheaper than FireClean (I’ll happily be corrected on this if I am wrong). If I found out I was buying canola oil at a significantly elevated price just because someone called it “gun lubricant” and palmed it off on me that way, I would care quite a bit. I felt kind of silly once, actually used some vegetable oil to lube my pistol when I didn’t have anything else handy. Who knew I was on the leading edge of gun-maintenance technology?
Seems most things these days from product to politics is form over substance.
At least the Pet Rock was honest.
#gunnergate #canolagate #TTAG tag-team hashtag
Let us say for discussion that FIREClean is canola oil. How well does it perform at extremely cold temperatures? Does it get too thick when the firearm is 0 degrees F. or colder?
Furthermore, why not use an oil with a much higher flash point? I cook in cast iron all the time and quickly discovered that olive oil begins smoking at relatively low temperatures. Canola oil was better. Most recently I tried grape seed oil and it seems to be spectacular on cast iron at high temperatures. Should we be trying grape seed oil?
And what about clean up? What is a good solvent for canola or grape seed oil when you want to clean your firearm?
peanut oil has one of the highest smoke points of any easily obtained cooking oils. It is also thicker than canola and would be an obvious starting point… course it’s also more expensive, and there’s that whole allergy thing.
Would it smell like a fried peanut butter and ‘nanna samwhich when hot?
Not in my experience in using peanut oil in my deep fat fryer and my beloved now-dead cast iron frypan.
Peanut oil just might make a kick-ass gun lube…
A product I use is very effective and ultra cheap – 10w-40 synthetic motor. If you think about it your guns do not approach the repeated and sustained temperatures or cycles of motorcycle or automobile engines. The synthetics last 7000 miles before breakdown which equates to a lot of rounds; and if at the range you need to lube up a bit more just drizzle some of your truck dipstick onto the 1911. Only drawback I see is if you are in temps of say -25F or less?
Not saying synthetic 10w40 wouldn’t work, but guns don’t have oil pumps to constantly squirt the stuff onto wear surfaces, don’t have oil filters, and are not machined with the tolerance of engine bearings. Guns don’t operate inside a sealed crankcase. They are designed with a certain amount of “play” between parts so they can keep working after they get dirty.
It says right on the bottle: Safe and non-toxic. That rules out petroleum-based oils and means it’s something natural. Argue all you want, but I’m pretty impressed with the stuff. It works and I feel better about it not being petroleum based. Plus I suspect there’s some other additives in it that make it more than just canola oil. Don’t know for sure, but it stands to reason they’d improve upon basic canola oil.
Probably food coloring for marketability.
FireClean is basically transparent, so there doesn’t seem to be any color additives.
Or, it might also stand to reason that canola oil by itself is a pretty darn good gun lubricant, and these guys found a way to market it at a 1000% markup.
“That rules out petroleum-based oils and means it’s something natural.”
In keeping with the semantic theme of the story and comments, I thought I’d point out that petroleum-based oils can certainly be “natural.”
And to really piss that crowd off, remind them Mercury, Lead and Arsenic are also natural….
I did a test and review of Fireclean..got it completely wrong, as it is not a CLP..and TTAG took the review down because I blew it.
However, one of the complaints Fireclean alleged was that my test platform, a 1911, did not get hot enough get the advertised results from Fireclean.
If you dig a little deeper, Fireclean’s claim to fame is built around the AR platform being used in competition scenarios and that Fireclean does not break down like other gun oils at high temps and therefore prevents buildup, on the AR platform.
Bottom line: Fireclean probably works as advertised, on the AR Platform, if said platform is used competitively, but for the regular Joe who may go through a couple hundred rounds a year? Not worth it.
If you watch the ‘test’ video showing how good FIREclean is, at the beginning one of the creators with a smirk on his faces jokingly says it was created from ‘divine inspiration’. Yeah, he knows what it is and he can’t believe he suckered so many people into buying it.
Makes sense to me. Sitting at the hotel after day one of competition, cleaning and lubing the guns, only to find you ran out of lube. While digging through your gear hoping to find more lube, your eye glances over to the fry-baby and bottle of canola oil sitting by the coffee maker, and “bingo”, an idea is hatched.
I just want to know what hotel chain puts deep fryers in the rooms, because I will be staying there exclusively henceforth.
You gotta bring her own fryer, they supply the coffee maker.
Aw, man, you really had my hopes up there. Not cool, man.
I think I just found a use for that deep fryer that we don’t use any more.
Putting my GunDaddy hot oil treatment gun cleaning tank with 100% FireClean on Gunbroker right now.
So, what we are saying is that the most expensive component of FIREClean is the plastic bottle?
The printing/labeling probably costs more than the bottle.
Well, the guy who built an AK receiver out of a shovel drunkenly claimed to have used cat turds for lubrication. Had anybody tried that yet? : D
Results are highly dependent on the cat’s diet.
It’s the insanely awesome AK receiver made from an old shovel…the cat’s diet may matter less than one would imagine.
Why am I not surprised it’s Nick jumping in to defend it all the while hedging his bet. Like literally a few paragraphs in and I’m like I bet I knew the author… scroll up sure enough.
Nobody is morally against canola on it’s face bro, the problem is at such extreme markup for something readily available is shitty. If it had been “George Carlin’s proverbial zebra semen, “, then at least that would be something not readily available that people could proudly buy no matter how weird it was.
If it’s stupid and it works… it ain’t stupid. Seriously, if you store your firearms in a Marine Ford 460 oil pan loaded with AMS Oil and don’t get jams etc, who cares. A lot of hey is made about firearms lube, but realistically, as long as it stays lubed and functions properly, hundreds of tricks work.
Apparently Safflower Oil might be just the ticket (I have no idea what I’m talking about, but it’s fun to consider it) 🙂
I like to use turbine meter oil.
very light, doesn’t absorb water, non corrosive.
I got tired of all the hype from the different gun lube products. I started looking for test videos that didn’t really conduct an actual test – just more hype and how the shooter ‘felt’ it was better. That was until I ran into these videos…
This video has an actual friction test against lots of other CLPs and lubes (unfortunately no against FC). With that said, the Liberty Gun Lube seems to work better than other products and works down to -80 degrees. I hope someone does a test with FC against Liberty Gun Lube.
If I’m not mistaken Crisco was originally sold to the Navy as a lube used on submarines and it was only after the manufacturer lost it’s contract that it was repackaged and sold to the public as a cooking oil. I’m not sure if this is entirely true but I’ve heard it from several different sources and it really doesn’t surprise me.
Forgot to add that I use a mix of 80% ATF and 20% 20w50 race oil (any brand). My dad bought some 1911 parts from an old gunsmith and he said he’s been using it for decades, I’ve been using it for a while and it seems to do the trick. My dad mixed up a batch and gave me a 24 oz. bottle with a refillable precision dropper, so I have enough of the stuff to last 10 years or more and it also works great on everything else you want to lube.
I’ve been using automatic transmission fluid on bike chains for years. That’s another industry awash in magic lubricants that are “specially formulated”. ATF works better on chains than any other lube I’ve tried, and it doesn’t collect dirt and grime the way heavier oils do. Makes sense it would work well in guns, too. As others have said in this thread, the automotive industry probably spends more on lubricant research in any given year than the gun industry has in the past hundred years.
Specifically, it was sold to the German Navy, after being developed for them at request. But there was no loss of contract; the problem was that the inventors weren’t getting paid enough for it to even recoup their development costs, so they went looking for someone, anyone, they could sell it to and actually make a profit. They hit the jackpot in 1911, ten years after they began, when Procter & Gamble decided it could be marketed.
This knowledge comes from asking one day just where the heck the stuff I was using for baking pies came from.
Since when does anyone believe Larry Vickers tests? They’re all bogus. Like his dual wielding pistol test where he used two different .45 pistols or his full auto AK demonstration where he makes no attempt at all to manage recoil at all. The only thing missing from his videos is a big red nose and floppy shoes.
I threw out both of my bottles of Fireclean two weeks ago when I took some older firearms to the range. I clean and oil every firearm after shooting and the ones that sat for a while were sticking so bad I questioned if they’d even operate. I stripped off the Fireclean with alcohol, cleaned it with Hoppes, and lubed it with Hoppes oil. Fireclean is a liability so I’m done using it. Given its lackluster performance I’m not surprised by these claims.
SO if I start selling new specially formulated paper patches specifically engineered for gun cleaning that may or may not resemble Kleenex cut into 1×1 squares, will y’all pay me 15x what my cost is and what gun community personality will line up to shill them for me?
Just spray some Pam on it.
I really could care less what the stuff is made of ( I just buy Rem-oil at wall-mart). As Hackathorn always says “the best lube is free lube (or in my case, cheap lube).” I don’t doubt Larry likes the stuff, and thinks it is a good product. And he should know. I also doubt he did any fudging. Hell, I am sure the footage is edited by somebody to make it look super cool on TV. Folks are so over-the-top accusatorial these days.
(full disclosure: I have take a few Vickers classes so I like and respect the guy).
There are two points to be made here.
First, even if FireClean is basically vegetable oil, it is at least vegetable oil that has been specifically tested as a firearm lubricant, and which many people (myself included) have found to be working great in practice. Suggesting to just buy any random oil in bulk from your local Wal-Mart is fine, but then it’s on you to do the tests and figure out what works and what doesn’t. Whether the time and hassle is worth the extra money you’d pay for FC is up to you.
Second, regardless of any ethical or economic aspect here, it’s a good thing to know if true because it means that in a pinch, you can indeed use vegetable oil as a gun lubricant with good results. Again, the effectiveness will likely vary depending on the type of the oil, but if canola is what works really well, then others might be worse but still “good enough” for practical purposes, especially in the absence of anything else. And this is handy because vegetable oil is literally something that can be made at home with just a small garden, so it’s good news for all the preppers and survivalists out there (and small-scale oil production is already a well-researched field because it has many other uses – notably, it can be used by itself as a fuel in specially converted diesel engines, or as a source ingredient for biodiesel that is usable in pretty much any diesel engine out there).
biggest problem many have with this canolagate is Larry Vickers.
public don’t have time to do its own research or test to find quality products, whether it is gun lube, ammo or engine oil. We count on “experts” to tell us what works, what don’t. His bogus test is what pisses a lots of people off.
For the longest time I was a religious Hoppes guy. Now I don’t care. Looking around it appears that best pure lube for tight guns turns out to be cheap 10W30 motor oil and loose guns equally cheap white lithium bearing grease. Fireclean is at least 95% vegetable oil. Which also appears to work just fine, though the other ~5% is probably some solvent or something for sub freezing temps. For cleaning, cheap spray can break cleaner.
So FIREClean uses a rapeseed oil base, and rapeseed oil is cheap. So? Does anyone think supermarket Crisco canola oil will work as well as FIREClean? I’m sure FIREClean does not get rancid or gummy like natural oils. They have formulated their oil to work better for cleaning and lubricating (but not preserving) firearms. What, just because it’s expensive you expect it to be made of moon-rock juice? It’s probably inexpensive to produce, and you’re paying for the research and formulation that went into getting the recipe just right for maximum effectiveness. Just like medicine.
I use Froglube on my knives as a rust preventative. My second choice would be mineral oil. But I’d rather use a vegetable oil or shortening, since I think it’s healthier to consume, and I think Froglube is better in this regard than petroleum-based mineral oil. But if I just put cooking oil on my knives, it would get gummy and potentially rancid. Froglube has been formulated to not do that, so it’s worth paying 10x as much for it. It’s not like it costs an arm and a leg, one bottle of premium gun oil can last years for a regular shooter if used carefully.
I’d like to see more natural oil-based lubes and CLP. Maybe science is finally able to correct the drawbacks of old-school natural oils that caused us to go to petroleum and synthetic toxic oils. In the meantime, if people are wondering about natural oils again perhaps they should be tested against modern gun oils and old standards like white lithium grease. Jojoba (which was used as a lubricant and proved superior to sperm whale oil in many applications), rapeseed or canola, soybean, peanut, tea seed (Camellia sinensis), Japanese camellia (tsubaki) oil, which is probably a decent rust preventative since it’s the traditional oil for Japanese swords, etc, etc. Some of these can probably be thrown right out without testing, I don’t know much about the properties of oils when used in firearms. And not only vegetable oils, I’d be willing to try animal-based oils, especially if they can be made from common agricultural animals or waste products.
But yeah, if my life was on the line in extreme cold temperatures I would definitely reach for Liberty Lube, that toxic shit, because believable apples-to-apples testing and reports show that it actually works. However, I’m usually not at risk of getting shot, temperatures are relatively mild, and I’m able to do basic maintenance. In those cases, I perceive a greater risk in regular exposure to unknown harsh chemicals than in harm that could come from a non-toxic lube like FIREClean or Froglube failing me. I continue to believe in keeping both, until a non-toxic CLP from an honest company not secretive about their product comes along that works better than all toxic CLPs.
I’ve read enough negative reviews of the product on Amazon to give it a wide berth.
And every one said the same thing: that FIRECLEAN turns gummy after awhile. I’ll stick with POWDER BLAST, followed by an application of STRIKE HOLD, clean patches and a final, generos re-application of STRIKE HOLD.
Canola oil will gum up if it sits. Once used it in my Stihl chainsaw as a replacement for bar and chain oil. Came highly recommended as an eco-alternative and actually worked fine initially. The problem was it gummed up and seized the chain sprocket so much after sitting in the shed for six months that I thought the chain brake had been activated. Had to completely tear the saw down and used up a whole bottle of carb cleaner getting it off. Just my experience.
It looks like there are no additives at all so no testing, no formulation, most of the work appears to have involved finding Internet Gun Experts(tm) who are good little whores to promote them, and the bottle design.
The product does not state it’s to be used for rust proofing or long term storage which would fit with that. People have claimed the product turns gummy after longish (6 months) periods sitting on the firearm, keep it in a dark safe will take longer, keep it in a dark, kept-closed safe with desiccants even longer.
Appears if it’s used on stored AKs, higher end ARs, or just any firearm that likes to run and run whatever you throw at it, you may not notice it. Use it on cheap 1911s or anything ammo sensitive you will.
This all fits in with what you’d expect from Canola oil. If your worried about health risks and believe the marketing you should be worried about all lead and other gunk being thrown into the air by the product. I’d rather that stuff was contained in an oil I can just clean after firing with good gloves on.
I would in an emergency use this product over Mobil 1 to cook food with, so it has that going for it.
Fireclean, you sons of *itches. I’ve met this “inventor” several times including at Quantico and I swear I will tell every Marine and Soldier I know who were snookered into buying their garbage.
Snookered? I guess the same goes for top shelf liquors, beers, etc? Same ingredients as the cheap stuff, right?
If it does what you want for a price you deem reasonable, where is the problem?
well… I own one nearly empty bottle and one full bottle. I admit I like the stuff in my AR and my EDC for different reasons. In my AR, the cleanup is damn near magical. I don’t like the smell of hydrocarbon based lubricants and cleaners. 3 in 1 oil gives me a splitting headache if I get a drop on my hands. I can smell it everywhere. Ditto brake cleaner.
On my EDC I like it because it stays where it’s put and what little does run out from body heat doesn’t permanently stain clothes. I clean the EDC about every 2 weeks even when it’s not being shot, so I haven’t noticed it getting tacky.
All that being said- I’m going to give Fluid Film a try next. pure lanolin. Anyone tried it yet?
Coffee, it you’re applying lubricant in a quantity sufficient to create a stained clothes issue, sounds like you’re making the mistake many of us did before we knew better by squirting on an excessive amount of oil. The proper amount of lubricant on most firearm surfaces is a thin coating applied with a finger tip, patch, or swab, and by thin coating I mean no visible residue of liquid oil or grease, the only residue should be film of lubricant on the surface of the metal. The only areas of a firearm that require a more generous application of lubricant are high wear surfaces such as slide and frame rails and one big drop on for each rail surface with any excess wiped off an assembled gun is plenty. Excessive oil on the outside of the gun usually means there’s excessive oil on the inside of the gun which acts a dirt and lint magnet that creates gummy gunk on internal parts and surfaces.
The guy is trying to blend vegetable oils that have an extremely high smoke point.
I bet anything he’s using a blend that includes avocado oil which has a smoke point of 520°F
I actually too the time to read his patent application.
I’m imagining a paunchy Vickers fast rope crashing through Leghorns skylight(do you have a skylight?) in his now ill fitting commando garb to get at ya for the diss.
New Liberal Tears formula: firecleen remarketed as Tuohy Tears
LOL suckers arent born theyre sold. On hype, BS, flashy packaging and catchy branding. Canola oil for 10.00 an ounce thats a good one. After your Kimber SOLO jams up with it you can toss it in pan and make potato pancakes.
And the runner-up is Ballistol being 75% mineral oil with the rest of the potion being essentially a light cleaning solution.
Another non-toxic rust inhibiting penetrating lubricant is the lanolin based Fluid Film, for farm and ranch use I use it exclusively because it doesn’t break down or dissipate like other petroleum based or synthetic lubricants, so just a little bit goes a long way. At around 10 bucks for an 11oz aerosol spray can that for farm and ranch use will usually last me a year or more, it’s a bargain compared to other lubricants. The reason I rarely use Fluid Film on firearms is because the stuff really stinks, I’ve only used it sparingly a few times to tackle serious gun rust problems. I suspect it might work great for carbon build up applications and if used sparingly, the smell might not run you out of the house. My go to firearm lubricant is a quart of Mobil 1 synthetic I bought years ago that’s looking promising as lifetime supply.
Outside the box thinking, is dino oil environmentally unfriendly where canola oil is nature friendly. However; Could an animal smell the vegetable oil? mrpresident2016.com
Vickers doesn’t fudge tests, he tests fudge.
I guess all of the butthurt comes from the realization that, as a Tier-1-high-speed-low-drag-death-machine-operator, your choice of Tacticool cleaner for your beloved WMDs belongs in the kitchen and has rendered you impotent as a result.
I guess I’ll just keep on slathering mine in Ballistol and motor oil, because I can still get it up on-demand.
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