WD-40 Question

Discussion in 'Vintage Topic Archive (Oct - 2009)' started by hobo, Jun 9, 2008.

  1. hobo

    hobo Guest

    Okay maybe I'm getting old or maybe I'm just loosing it, but... During my CWP class today they briefly touched on handgun cleaning and maintenance. We were told that under no circumstances should WD-40 be used to clean or lubricate guns. Okie dokie.

    As a lifelong automotive/aircraft mechanic I'm fully aware that WD-40 is not a good lubricant and assume it probably wouldn't be good for cleaning gun powder residue. I'm still with it.

    But when the question was asked of the instructors (guess who asked) why not to use WD-40, the answer stunned me. According to them, WD-40 is absorbed by the metal parts of the gun (specifically the chamber/barrel) and will soften said metal causing the gun to KB.


    So, my question to the good members of this forum. Is this "information" correct and if you beleive it to be, can you post documentation stating such?

    Thanks guys!
  2. Intersting. Never heard that one. Can't say, but sounds like it might be BS.

  3. condition1

    condition1 Member

    not so sure about the softening or KB factor, but WD does slowly soak into metal to varying degrees, depending on the metal. I've got no documentation but all the guys I know say to avoid using it on weapons. period.
  4. When WD40 is said to soak in, doesn't that mean into rust and corosion, to loosen metal parts?
  5. condition1

    condition1 Member

    its my understanding that it actually penetrates into metal, again no documentation, slowly, but it does. If you ever use it just make sure you get all the excess.
  6. hobo

    hobo Guest

    As I implied in my first post, I'm familiar with WD-40, just not with WD-40 and guns.

    Most everything I've found so far makes mention of excess WD-40 on your firearm can seep into the primer and kill your rounds. The second most common thing said about it is that after it eventually dries it leaves a residue that will block/restrict the barrel.

    The least popular answer (one guy) is that it'll make your gun rust because it's water based. Typical of "information" off the internet.

    As said before, we all know it's not a good lubricant. And I don't personally know if it'll clean gun powder residue (but I'm gonna find out this weekend). But soaking into the metal and/or softening the metal seems a bit far fetched to me.
  7. So... Water Displacement formula number 40 is water based? Since when?
    I know it has it's limitations. Good on door hinges, removing gum, stickers, labels, and other sticky residues. I do know not to use it on any painted surfaces, or as a longterm application. Good for guns? I don't know.
    But that's why I am a part of this forum; too learn from those more learned in the way of firearms. As far as soaking in to metal and softening it, that does sound like major BS.
  8. Strangerous

    Strangerous Member

    Well, WD-40 may leech into metal, but making it weaker? That's a long shot. I was told also not to use WD 40, just for the reason that it gets gummy over time, which causes problems in the internal parts of the gun. Premium solvent with 3in1 oil is a better then WD-40... I was told a long time ago "If your gun needs something that WD-40 can do, use CLP, it hasn't failed me yet!
  9. griff30

    griff30 Member

    It's bunk. Might gum it up but it's not going to KB a gun. Never have I heard of an oil penetrate metal itself.
  10. Here's what I found on the WD-40 site.

    16 uses found.

    * Cleans and protects gun carriages
    * Cleans and protects gun linkages
    * Keeps trigger on glue gun from sticking
    * Lubricates gun strap hardware
    * Lubricates gun table rollers
    * Lubricates paintball gun barrel
    * Lubricates precision gun fittings
    * Lubricates rivet gun mechanisms
    * Protects gun parts when being stored
    * Helps break in leather gun holsters
    * Lubricates auto cocker on paintball gun
    * Lubricates bulk loading caulking gun
    * Anti-rust agent and lubricant for gun magazines
    * Protects bore and exterior of gun barrel from corrosion
    * Removes powder residue and metal fouling from gun barrels
    * Stops squeaks on add-ons to police gun belt

    I personally wouldn't use it to clean my guns on a regular basis but it sure would work great to displace water, especially in tight spots, or in a pinch when you don't have time or the proper stuff to clean your guns.

    It does tend to get a little sticky when exposed but so does oil when it's on too heavily.

    I think the key is to remove any excess to prevent buildup of gunk.

    Also check out this Article at WD-40 Company News.
  11. gaowlpoop

    gaowlpoop Guest

    WD-40 is a water displacing formula, hence the WD in WD-40. It is not a lubricant. It does tend to soften dyed up lubricants that are already present. Take a look at the MSDS on the WD-40 web site and you will find that it is basically naphtha and paraffin.
  12. Deltaboy

    Deltaboy Guest

    I have used it for years sprayed on a sock turned inside out to wipe down guns that have been exposed to rain or water. Ie duck hunting. I have 26 year old 12 gauge 870 that is still free from rust due to wiping it down with WD -40. it is also great for wiping down tools to prevent rust on wrenchs and sockets. I have also used it on the inside of 22 autos inbetween cleanings.
  13. s0b3

    s0b3 Member

    WD-40 will not kill primers. Just another old wives tale. Old Painless proved it here:


  14. I have used it for well over 20 years to lube and protect my weapons and it works fine as long as you check them every now and again to see if they have dried out and need another application.

    6 months or so is my interval, I simply spray some on a cloth and wipe them down and put them back.

    People can be anti WD40 snobs all they want, but the stuff will work as a protectant.
  15. 1863sniper

    1863sniper Guest

    WD 40 is not a very good lubricant, as far as wiping down with a wetted rag, your better choice would be to douse a rag with spray silicon and store it in a ziplok bag between uses. WD40 is VERY DRY and evaporates to leave gummy stuff behind. Hell, We used it instead of ether to start cold cars & trucks in Wyo! I DON'T want it in my babies....

    There are more specific gun lubes out there than I would want to list. Select a light weight oil like Break Free or for longer storage ' Collector ' by Break Free and just apply a dab or wipe where you need it.
    A Little bit goes a LONG way

    Just the opinion of a jack of all trades - Master of only 1, NIASE Certified Master Auto Tech
  16. Thayldt21

    Thayldt21 Senior Member Member

    I have used WD40 to bring Firearms Back from the dead Rusted beyond recognition. NOT MY FAULT I BOUGHT THEM THAT WAY>

    I use it to lube many of my firearms. I have used it for years. And never had a prob.

    AND I thought WD-40 was mostly mineral oil?????????

    If you use it youl be fine.
  17. Sorry to disagree, but I can only go by the results I have had. True there are probably better things out there these days, but I have used it since I was a kid and old habbits die hard.

    It does dry up, but a good example is a .410 Winchester shotgun of my aunts that was made in 1935 or so. Not a whole lot of bluing left on it.

    I cleaned it and put a liberal coat of WD40 on it and put it in a soft case and placed it in her closet where her hot water heater is.

    About 4 years later, I pulled it out to check it, and it was fine. Metal was dry, but not a touch of rust anywhere. Recoated it, put it back in the soft cover and back in the closet it went.

    That convinces me that it has its uses.

    I have never noticed the gummy residue you mentioned, although I will say that the spray break free CLP has me reaching for a rag when I get it on my hands. Dont like the feel of it.

    I have heard of guys using a light coat of automatic tranny fluid to preserve their guns. Never tried it but if it works for them, what the hell ;)
  18. Thayldt21

    Thayldt21 Senior Member Member

    WD-40's main ingredients, according to U.S. Material Safety Data Sheet information, are:

    50%: Stoddard solvent (i.e., mineral spirits -- somewhat similar to kerosene)
    25%: Liquefied petroleum gas (presumably as a propellant; carbon dioxide is now used instead to reduce WD-40's considerable flammability)
    15+%: Mineral oil (light lubricating oil)
    10-%: Inert ingredients

    No naphtha or Paraphin.

    this is remoil.

    | | | | | |
    | | | | TLV PEL | MM @EC |
    | | | | | | |
    | MINERAL SPIRITS | 8052-41-3 | <50 | 100 ppm | 500 ppm | 3 20 |
    | | | | | | |
    | ALIPHATIC PETROLEUM | NONE | <55 | NE | NE | <.1 20 |
    | DISTILLATE | | | | | |
    | | | | | | |
    | * Indicates toxic chemical(s) subject to the reporting requirements of section 313 of Title III and of 40 CFR 372.

    strangly similar huh???
    WD-40 Must not be as bad as the rumor mill would have it or the Marketing of other More costly products. Ford VS Chevy VS Dodge and snobbery is all I see here.
  19. Thanks for the info Thaydt.

    I figure if it shows lubing guns on the can and didn't work to a certain degree, they would have been sued by now in this sue happy society of ours.
  20. If WD-40 weakens metal, I would imagine a lot of people would have complained about their doors falling of their hinges.