I get asked all the time what lube I use on my AR15s and other guns. I doubt I’m the only one that gets this question. It’s a topic all over the gun forums with people arguing the virtue of their favorites. I don’t usually don’t feel a need jump in this discussion except when the topic turns to bore solvent. I see a lot of people declare hoppes9 the end all be all of bore solvents. Folks. That just ain’t true. I suppose if you just like to swab the bore a little it will work ok for your needs, nut for a real deep true cleaning, you have to use something else. But first let me talk about the lubes I use.
There it is. I could probably end this post right now and say nothing else and I would have said enough. Truth is though, the slip2000 product line is great. It’s not snake oil. its nor cooking oil or whatever. It’s just good stuff. it doesn’t stink, it won’t poison you and it stays put and works. The bore cleaning carbon cleaner solvent with the green color even works well. I like to soak parts in it then tooth brush them clean.
The EWG is a grease as you can see and It is just a thickened version of the lube . It stays in place no matter what. If I’m going out in conditions where I know it’s going to likely really rain or be wet for several days, I slather it on.
I also like to dab some on the inside of a M1911 or other lesser pistol if its a really hot day and we are going to be doing some major round count shooting. The gun can get too hot to hold and it can be 100 outside but this will still be on the gun at the end.
The other lubes are my day to day workhorse lubes. It seems to not be well known, but slip2000 oil is actually a CLP, that combo much beloved by many who are always looking for a magic bullet answer. The truth is, it works really good in that role. Like all CLPs it doesnt do all three things perfectly, but it will lube and protect excellently. And like regular CLP, it will make cleaning much, much easier when you are using it as your main lubricant.
The SLip200EWL 30 is a thicker version of the regular EWL. It stays put and doesn’t spread out and run off like a thinner lube. I like to use it in tight spots and hard to get to areas. I especially like it on my CCW pistol in summer when it gets really hot and I don’t want my clothes ruined. It’s also a great choice for storing your guns away for a few months. It’s not what you would want for years long storage in a back room or underground tin foil bunker, but if you are needing rust prevention for a few months, this is good stuff and it can be left on and used on a weapon without needing wiped off like something much thicker used just for long term storage.
Now here are some lubes I consider my 2nd choice. These are not bad because they are not my first choice. They just do not have the same level of performance in areas I feel are important to my needs. The CLP is a classic, you know what it does. It is toxic though, they tell me anyway, and it is a pretty crappy cleaner in all honesty. Not that I would ever use it for that as long as I have a better choice. But it’s a reliable lube that works even if you need to apply it often.
The other is the classic military lube, LSA. Not a cleaner and a so so long term rust preventive. You can not mix it with other lubes you may have on the gun. so you have to commit to it like a marriage if you are going to use it on a gun. It was developed for the M16 and other automatic weapons I have read in some TMs. It does work really well as a lube only. I have heard it is still in use in military stocks and some really love it. It is getting harder to find though it seems. But if you have a huge back stock of it like me bought over the years its a good 3rd choice. Its mainly the lube I hand out for friends or strangers who come to shoot and aren’t smart enough to have their own lubricant.
Every other lube not mentioned above is all fine and well. I would use any and all of them if you handed it to me when I needed oil but just not what I would pick if I had choice of my favs. Some are snake oil however, and some just are marginally decent but I suppose better than nothing.
Here is something I first read about in Precision Shooting Magazine years ago and though it was a gimmick.
Hey, its legit. BreakFree makes a copy of it you can get at walmart but it’s really not the same. I have tried it and it takes a lot of the breakfree foaming bore cleaner to start to get some where, and to really truly clean you still need a brush and some elbow grease. Thi stuff is the real deal though and I think what the breakfree brand tried to copy. Its pricey but if you are like me and get really lazy sometimes or you are away from home and need to some what clean a bore over night in a hotel room or just need or want to clean during a break in shooting , this is really good.
Now the real cleaners for serious bore cleaning for precision rifles and match rifles there are only 3 I take serious. I have used all three over many years and have absolute faith in them for real bore cleaning.
- Butches Bore Shine
- TM Solutions
- Shooter Choice
Now the first two are almost interchangeable in quality. Third is still great though not quite as good as the other two. TM has the real benefit of having almost no smell
Hoppes9 is not on the list..
Some older military bore solvents can be effective but hard to find and very toxic though.
Now the products that are more specialized but sometimes can be needed.
Sweets 762 solvent. For heavy copper fouling. It is safer than some say. I soaked a blued barrel and SS barrel section in sweets for 6 months one time in the late 90s at my old job site . No damage was done to the barrel steel sections. Though I wouldn’t use it on a chrome bore AR.
JB Bore paste. A very abrasive paste that is very messy and a lot of work but it can clean an old rifle bore that hasn’t seen a rod and patch in 50 years or was owned by an idiot. Don’t go crazy with it because it is abrasive.
Brake Cleaner. What is better than spraying crud off and out of semi autos or anything? Make sure to get the non chlorinated.
There is some other car solvents that I sue but, I am still testing and making sure they are not too damaging to guns and stocks etc before I recomend them publicly to people.
That is about it. That is what I use and recommend. You may and can use whatever else you want but this is just what I use and it has not failed me.