For over two years now my go-to gunsmith and I have been conducting structured, methodical, documented tests of cleaners, lubes and protectants. Yeah, I know: you wouldn’t expect “structured and methodical” from me. Neither would I. But that’s where K comes in. With an extensive background in design engineering, metallurgy, precision machining and 40 years of gunsmithing, well, if you have an infestation of nits that need pickin’, he’s The Man. K will inspect, mike ’em, tune ’em up and arrange nits in neat ranks. I’m sworn not to reveal his name, because he already has to turn business away; says he can’t do any more without lowering his standards. As long as he makes time for my guns, that’s cool with me.
We’ve focused on new and “emerging” products, and even that has proved overwhelming. Some don’t take much time. If we quickly determine a product performs in the, “OK but nothin’ to write home about” range, we drop it. Real attention-getters, those producing immediate noteworthy results, then get hammered, put under the microscope, subjected to hard runnin’ in varying conditions, and proven positively. There’s far more data than we can pack into this article, and even the deep-cleaning process preceding each test would make an article of its own, but here are some highlights on our champions.
Top performers in the “New & Emerging Products” category:
FIREClean, FrogLube and SLiP2000.
The Big Three
If any product we tested rates the word “amazing,” it’s FIREClean Advanced Gun Oil. The advertising says “Cleans, Lubricates, Conditions,” and it does all that extremely well. But the big bottom line is, following the instructions, once treated and then maintained with FIREClean, carbon caking and buildup on your worst carbon-magnet firearms are eliminated. Cleanup is quick and easy, and you should never have to scrape carbon again, or even have to use a harsh solvent. Carbon residue simply wipes off.
If you have problems with hardened lead fouling—on semi-auto .22’s or centerfire guns shooting lead slugs—what would be tough lead fouling instead manifests as a soft gray moosh. In FIREClean-treated weapons, the worst lead fouling we’ve encountered could be cleaned with a cotton swab using light finger pressure.
FIREClean is non-toxic, non-flammable, odorless and biodegradable. It is expensive by the ounce, but after initial treatment only very small amounts are needed for continued excellent performance. Every DGI carbine, .22 semi-auto and the piston systems of semi-auto shotguns coming through K’s shop are now treated with FIREClean (250 per year on average). His customers have been unanimously pleased—and so have I. K calls it “a liquid tune-up for 10-22’s.”
Tip: If you run select-fire weapons and suppressors hard, FIREClean is your magic juju.
FrogLube in its original paste and liquid gel forms performed impressively from the start of our project. This went up several notches when the product family was rounded out with FrogLube CLP Spray, Solvent Spray and pre-soaked FrogLube Wipes. Now it’s a complete system, and an excellent one. Thoroughly cleaned and then FrogLube-treated arms should need nothing else for long lives of hard service. Endurance testing with single applications of FrogLube exceeded all expectations. Our tests on carbines and Glock pistols were astounding.
As you might expect from a product developed by a former Navy SEAL officer, it’s a great all-around performer but turns in its best performance on weapons subjected to wet, even salt water conditions. Even with sand and grit introduced, its residual lubricating and anti-corrosive properties are tenacious. All the FrogLube formulations are “food-grade,” and completely non-toxic and biodegradable.
Initial application and occasional refreshment treatments are best done on warm or even hot components, and you should let it soak into the metal for hours or overnight. Bores and chambers should be soppin’ wet. Just wipe off the excess, dry the bore and chamber, and you’re ready to rock. You’ll have little need to refresh it through thousands of rounds, but when you do re-apply, use the liquid where it needs to migrate, and the paste on chatter-and-bash points where you want it to stick. FrogLube will not harm any known polymers or rubber compounds.
Many of K’s shotgunning clients hunt the marshlands, both saltwater and fresh. Regardless of what CLP’s he uses on the innards, he treats the exterior metal with FrogLube. Customers praise it.
Tip: Take FrogLube Wipes and cleaning gear with you when shooting. When you’re finished, while the weapon’s still hot, cut wipes into patches. Wipe the bolt face, run the patches through the bore and chamber, then run dry patches through later or the next day. You’ll be ready to rock again.
My intro to SliP 2000 EWL (Extreme Weapons Lube) came in testing a Barrett REC-7 5.56mm carbine on a morning dawning at 23 degrees F below zero, continuing into wind chills to minus 40 degrees F through the day. The weapon was lightly lubed with EWL and it ran flawlessly. On that day and on another sub-zero session, without refreshing the lube, the REC-7 was repeatedly shot too hot to hold, left with the receiver open to blowing ice dust until cold, then fired smokin’ hot again. We have since torture-tested it on several other rifles and pistols of various types and calibers, with uniformly superb results.
This is some of the slipperiest, most highly lubricious and long-lasting stuff we’ve ever used. In fact, small parts lubed with EWL are hard to hold onto and will squirt right outta your grasp. It does not thin out or gum up, and it’s very tenacious when used on components cleaned of other formulations. We highly recommend it on hot-running weapons with tight tolerances used in extreme heat and cold. K also uses it extensively inside shotgun receivers and trigger groups, especially when the user shoots notoriously dirty-burning ammo.
The SLiP 2000 lineup includes their 725 Gun Cleaner Degreaser and Carbon Killer Bore Cleaner. Both have worked just fine—no fireworks—but if you’re using EWL, keeping your chemicals in the same family is smart.
Tip: SLiP2000 EWL has become my default “add-to” lube on weapons when I don’t know what they’ve previously been treated with. I haven’t found a petroleum-based or synthetic sauce that EWL doesn’t play nice with. No gumming, separation or varnishing under load. Great stuff!
Established winners that keep on shining: The Mil-Comm family and Militec-1.
Established Goops SHARE TOP Honors
SIG SAUER uses only Mil-Comm products, from their heavy manufacturing through every firearm rolling off the production lines. It’s a huge product family, but all you need is their TW25B Light Grease, Mc2500 Oil Lubricant/Protectant (AKA “TW25B Oil), Mc25 Weapons Cleaner/Degreaser and TW25B Weapon Wipes to fill your needs. I’ve run seven SIG’s—three rifles and four pistols—on nothin’ but Mil-Comm with consistently superb performance.
Just a note: Mil-Comm is the only lubricant/protectant authorized for use on certain naval automatic weapons systems. Now that’s a recommendation!
Established winners that keep on shining: The Mil-Comm family and Militec-1.
All Kahr firearms are lubed and protected with Militec-1 synthetic liquid lubricant and metal conditioning grease from the factory. It’s a high-tech formulation called “dry impregnated lubrication,” essentially, micro particles in liquid suspension. Throughout our project, I’ve run five Kahr pistols hard on Militec-1 with outstanding results. One thing I’ve found is if you clean and maintain with nothing but Militec-1 you should never need to use a solvent, and it is particularly good for break-in work. In the tropics, Militec-1 earns praise for its retained lubricity and anti-corrosive properties under hot, steamy conditions.
A 1/3-ounce tube of the grease, a 4-ounce bottle of the liquid, and a 1-ounce bottle with their 3-inch syringe applicator makes a great initial setup.
There’s much more, but that’s all for now. The GS&S Project goes on; shootin’ cool guns and stackin’ up hot brass. It’s a tough job, but… You know the rest. Ha! Connor OUT
By John Connor
P.O. Box 192
Ashburn, VA 20146
P.O. Box 327
Wellington, NV 89444
SLiP2000 / SPS Marketing Inc.
4697 Fairway Dr.
Rohnert Park, CA 94928
Mil-Comm Products Company
2 Carlton Ave.
East Rutherford, NJ 07073
11828 Pika Drive
Waldorf, MD 20602