Most firearms owners want only the best when it comes to their maintenance kit. The logic goes that every cent spent on the tools used in the upkeep of a firearm amounts to a dollar of care spent on the firearm itself-the industry is all too happy to cater to these individuals with notions like $40 gun oil or selling enough cleaning solution to immerse a rifle.
While manufacturers have no problem catering to this need to pamper, most guns are nowhere near as fussy as their owners. Anyone offer a game-changer is usually funding their marketing team more than their engineers; the same cleaners and lubricants that have been on the market for decades still work. Copper and powder residue easy dissolve and most firearms can go long stretches without lubrication, so long as they stay clean. Lubricant's purpose is to smooth out operation and serve as an anti-corrosive agent. Excess rust or grease will only make things worse for a firearm.
While every marksman is going to have his own go-to brand of maintenance kit, this list is simply going to assess what is needed of good cleaners and lubricants. Listed below will be the most popular product for each purpose and an explanation as to why it is such a big hit.
When it comes to cleaning a firearm, you need to remove metal fouling and powder residue from its bore. Beyond the obvious need to remove fouling, the ideal cleaner is also safe to use on steel, be it stainless or carbon.
Top Pick: Hoppe's #9
Hoppe's is a simple, trust product with easy instructions. Just remember that bores do not absolutely need to be spotless unless you fire corrosive ammunition. All you need are a few passes with some brushes and rages, some time for the firearm to dry out, applying some oil and you're done.
Note: Hoppe's #9 is a mild cleaner for casual shooting. Iff you plan on maintaining an old firearm or one that has been used for a prolonged amount of heavy shooting, you may need to resort to something stronger.
Cleaning the Rest
The barrel is not the only part of a firearm that can become dirty. You need a product that clean clean away powder residue, dirt and grime from the rest of the firearm's parts.
Top Pick: WD-40
WD-40 is a great solvent and water repellent. While Hoppe's #9 is what you want for cleaning tough fouling in the bore, WD-40 can easily rid the rest of your firearm's parts of any fouling or dirt.
Best Lubrication Oil
A good lubrication oil can easily penetrate, has a good deal of slickness, does not chemically react with steel or polymers and has just the right amount of viscosity to stay in its place while also flowing evenly.
Top Pick: 2:1 Ratio of Fully Synthetic Motorcycle Oil and Automatic Transmission Fluid (ATF)
Motorcycle oil is uniquely designed to lubricate a cycle's engine and clutch, meaning that is works just fine with the resulting products from combustion and grit. This profile matches the same needs as gun oil. ATF may not be tolerant of dirt but it is a quality lubricant that spends all of its days in high-heat, high-pressure environments. A single quart bottle of this combination oil will yield enough gun oil to last you a century.
Best Penetrative Oil
Penetrative oil is what you need when looking to free up stuck components and to safeguard the finer mechanisms of a firearm like its trigger assembly.
Top Pick: A 1:1 Blend of Full Synthetic ATF and Acetone
We have already explained the benefits off ATF but mixing it with acetone yields an even better substance. Once your ATf/Acetone blend has penetrated the components, the acetone will swiftly evaporate, leaving the ATF to do its job.
An ideal grease is slippery, non-reactive with steels and polymers, keeps in place, maintains its consistency and is not moved around in a high-friction zone like a slide rail.
Top Pick: White Lithium Grease
This product has every feature on the list, is cheap to buy and easily found.
The ideal anti-corrosive is easily applied and highly protective.
Top Pick: WD-40
While WD-40 has some competition in the world of rust protection sprays, our research indicates that WD-40 is as good a product as any of those single-minded products. The last step in any sort of firearm cleaning routine should be a quick application of WD-40 over every metal component, followed by a wipe-down with a clean piece of fabric. Remember to saturate a suitable cleaning jag with WD-40 and run it along the length of the bore to keep the bore rust-proof; pistol barrels only need one pass, while rifles need two.