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Does the Type of Lube You Use Matter?

I’m beginning to wonder if I’m the only person who doesn’t care what I use to lube my firearms. I’ve been known to use everything from Tri-Flow (for bicycle chains), to 80W-90 gear oil, to motor oil, to whatever else I can get my hands on that is wet and slippery. I just don’t care.

There are some lubes out there that are crazy expensive, and I’ve got to wonder, are they worth it? I can’t say that I care if my firearm lube is eco-friendly, or if some people who are ultra high speed, low drag use it, or whatever. If it works, awesome, but if another lube works, and costs less, I’ll use that.

Some argue that their guns are more reliable with a certain lube, but that hasn’t been the case for me. Currently, my AR-15 has the bolt slathered with axle grease. It stays in place, doesn’t burn off, and its super cheap. I can’t remember the last time that rifle had a malfunction of any kind.

My Glock 17 has somewhere upwards of 25,000 rounds through it, and it’s been lubed with everything from RemOil to Vaseline and it’s never had a malfunction. Ever.

I’m inclined to believe that using a lubricant is a good thing, but for most firearms, what you use is much less important than just making sure you are using something. I’ve found that auto lubricants work great, because they are made to stand up to much more heat, pressure, and filth than what is found in most firearms, and they are cheap.

I’m interested to know, what do you use? Have you tried any of the ultra premium firearm lubes out there? I haven’t tried them, but I’m curious if you have found them to be worth the price.

About Lucas

Editor/Head Honcho at Triangle Tactical. Lucas is a life long shooter and outdoorsman, avid concealed carrier and competitive shooter, and a lover of pork fat.


  1. Loved, this! It’s actually refreshing to hear a gun person say they have no opinion on a specific subject! And if I get hard up for lube you have given me several great ideas. I’m using a few things I found when I was very new to shooting because either (1) it was on the shelf (2) it was a freebie from a class or (3) someone recommended it. I’m not going through it fast and I’ve stopped buying lube for now. I’ll check back to see what other folks posted the next time I need to shop for lube 🙂

  2. Not that I’m married to it but Sig recommends the TW line of lubes so I got some to try and use it on all my guns. A very tiny amount goes a long ways and it has served me well to date. I have used many others and I’m sure I would use others but TW is not that expensive and one tube of the grease and oil will last me for a year or better so until I run out…

  3. I used to use any old gun oil; I currently use Frog Lube. When I went through armorers school the instructor said he used Mobil 10W-30. As long as it is slick you should be good-to-go.

    • Have you found it to be worth the price? I’ve heard that it makes the gun a little easier to clean, but I’m pretty lazy when it comes to cleaning, and generally just blow my pistols out with non-chlorinated brake cleaner and re-lube.

      • I put it on my duty pistol which I shot the Nationals with last year…haven’t cleaned it since. I’ve got about 1000 rounds through it yet. I also put it on my off-duty pistol, an M&P 9. I wiped it off a few months ago and it did come off easily. Just remember to heat up the metal (barrel, slide, etc.) with a hairdryer prior to use.

        I bought a nice little tub of it on Amazon along with some other stuff and got free shipping.

  4. Guess you just got dumped from FrogLube’s Christmas Card list…. LOL But essentially I agree with you.

    • I’m not opposed to trying their stuff, but I’m not paying their prices. Can’t remember the last time I said “You know what would be great? If I could eat my gun lube!”

  5. I’m using Froglube as well. Before, I used Break-free and M-Pro 7. I use Froglube, because the other CLP’s I’ve tried make the skin on my hands break out. I was wearing gloves to clean until I tried Froglube. IMO opinion, that’s the big advantage of froglube. I picked up a small tub from North Raleigh Guns and once you get a gun “seasoned” with a few applications, carbon wipes off much easier and just as slick as anything else. Also, since its a solid at room temp, it stays where you put it, like a grease, but once it heats up it spreads out like an oil. When field stripping my Glocks, I like that the parts look and feel dry, so I don’t get oil on my hands. But once the metal heats up from use, or sitting under a light bulb, the lube comes out and gets nice and slick.

    Froglube is a commitment though, it works best if you strip all the dino lube off to prep the surfaces before applying, then wipe down and reapply after shooting it over the course of a few range sessions. The lube bakes into the surface of the metal and works progressively better over the first few applications. My current cleaning regimen is to field strip, wipe off carbon with paper towel, hit barrel with nylon brush and pass a patch then re-apply a little Froglube to the contact points with a Q-tip and reassemble.

    • I think the commitment is what is keeping me from using it more than the price. I like being able to use whatever I happen to have on hand.

      • i don’t really get the price argument. You go through so little of the stuff that it doesn’t really matter to me whether it costs $5 or $20 for several years worth. It’s like complaining about the price of toothpaste IMO.

        I understand the commitment bit though, I’ll just have to use the M-Pro7 to sharpen knives with and to hell with the Breakfree.

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