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4754 Views 23 Replies 19 Participants Last post by  neothespian
So what do you think??

Is it ok or not ok to use WD-40 to clean your firearms??
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Been using it for about 35 years and it's been working great so far.

Ive been using it for my entire shooting life.... about 6 years no problems, Of course I live in AZ so the rust is not really a problem Ive never had a gun rust after using WD-40 And ive used it to clean up after shooting corrosive ammo out of my Mosin Nagant, Turk 8mm Mauser and 3 Cz-52s (before Treating it with WD-40 I use a nice bath of windex) I have never had any problems
Well, they haven't rusted for me in the last 35 years. WD-40 is an oil based product; it can't make a gun rust by itself. If a gun rusts after it's cleaned with WD-40 then it probably wasn't stored right.
I had a friend of mine that SWORE by WD-40 as a gun cleaning solvent. Granted, he didn't shoot that much, just what he needed to do to keep his deer rifles sighted in, and of course when hunting. He had an awsome .30-06 that he cleaned with WD-40 and put it away in the safe. About 3 months later he went in there for something and it was totally ruined. After he got the surface rust off of it and out of the bore, it was so badly pitted it was unusable. His gun safe has a DE-HUMIDIFER in it so that moisture can't build up inside which runs constantly, he installed that on purpose to keep the guns rust free. Needless to say, he doesn't use WD-40 anymore.
Though I wont use it I use nothing but Tri-flow

Here is some history on them

n 1953, a fledgling company called Rocket Chemical Company and its staff of three set out to create a line of rust-prevention solvents and degreasers for use in the aerospace industry, in a small lab in San Diego, California.

It took them 40 attempts to get the water displacing formula worked out. But they must have been really good, because the original secret formula for WD-40â€"which stands for Water Displacement perfected on the 40th tryâ€"is still in use today.

Convair, an aerospace contractor, first used WD-40 to protect the outer skin of the Atlas Missile from rust and corrosion. The product actually worked so well that several employees snuck some WD-40 cans out of the plant to use at home.

A few years following WD-40's first industrial use, Rocket Chemical Company founder Norm Larsen experimented with putting WD-40 into aerosol cans, reasoning that consumers might find a use for the product at home as some of the employees had. The product made its first appearance on store shelves in San Diego in 1958.
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No problems here. I've used it for over 43 years.
It's time to use it in the Car door locks. Keeps them from icing.
I have always carried WD40 when I hunted . When I was out dog driving for deer once I got caught in a real good rain storm and could not leave my stand till the truck came for me . When I got back to the deer camp and got out of the rain I took my shotgun ( Remington 1100 ) apart and wiped the water off of it and then sprayed it with WD40 and wiped off the excess , and put it back together and when I returned home I took it apart and cleaned the WD40 off and put a good grade of gun oil on it . The WD40 will displace water and is a good help in the field .
The WD in WD-40 stands for Water Displacement.

...It took them 40 attempts to get the water displacing formula worked out. But they must have been really good, because the original secret formula for WD-40â€"which stands for Water Displacement perfected on the 40th tryâ€"is still in use today...
Oopps Sorry ARI, I didn't see that you had already pointed that out. I need to read more carefully.

Its good for getting water out of places that it should not be, and will dispel water. It also is a decent solvent. It does have some short-term lubricating ability, but once it dries out, the lubing ability goes away and it tends to gum up; which could be very bad for your firearm. I've read where you don't want to get it on your wood stock as it will damage them.

I would not use WD-40 for firearms unless I had little other choice. i.e. If I was in the field as temp fix until I could get home for a proper cleaning. I only use things that were made to clean/lube/protect my guns.
While in the army we always used weapon oil (it appeared to be hoppes #9) However while in training my supply sargent did inform us that in a pinch wd-40 will work. The big reason behind people saying not to use it from what i gather is the oil is to thin and does not coat well. I do carry a little bottle on me in the truck and yes i have used it before when my weapons have gotten wet but my personal prefrance is a bottle oh Hoppes #9 thats just my two cents
I can answer this from a car guy hobbiest point of view: It works, yes, to lubricate, and even clean some...but nothing to rely upon as a one thing to fix all. In fact, somepeople reccomend that for cleaning and storing engine blocks...no bueno. And that is from personal esperience. The lubricant is very light, and lasts for a short while. Cleaning wise, initially, it is good. Make sure, as others have stated, to properly clean and lubricate any firearm after such a spray cleaning.

Firearms have different properties totally, with the stuff that the chambers produce. It cakes on, rather than lays like oil related, as in an engine. I myself would never use WD40 to clean any of my guns....as a "Fixall" and leave it be. Short term, its ok.... but clean it as soon as you get home.
Myself? I use spray cans of Break Free CLP.....and for lubrication on my AR, is real gun oil.
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check out "the box o truth" he ran extensive tests on this and several other producta and their effect on ammo.
really interesting results for the hearsayers adn the naysayers.
+1 on the great water displacement.
I used to take it with me to the spray car wash when washing / degreasing engine on my 1968 VW Bug.
If water would get in the distributor, a quick spray of WD-40 and a wipe would "dry out" the points, rotor and cap. Worked every time.

BTW, it must be "good" for your firearms, it says so right on the can. :wink:
WD-40 is primarilary a water displacing agent but does have some lubricating properties as well. WD-40 is not a protecting type lubricant and this is why a lot of people end up with rusty equipment after using WD-40 as their sole lubricant and protectorant.

The chemical properties of WD-40 is a trade secret, but its primary composition is kerosene and several water displacing solvents. The solvents are used to thin the product and displace moisture on metal. The solvents are also the reason folks end up with rusty equipment. Not only does the solvents displace water it also displaces oils leaving the metal bare and exposed to the elements.

A couple years back a member on one of the muzzleloading forums I visit did a corrosion test on some 15/16" barrel sections. He had some in the white and some blued and his test used WD-40, RemOil, Ballistol, a home brew non petrolium based protectorant and TC 1000 Bore Butter. The corrosion results were pretty amazing because Ballistol and TC 1000 came out with zero corrosion after two weeks of sitting in the open air garage. WD-40 and RemOil showed signs of corrosion after just a few days and by the end of the two weeks the barrel section treated with WD-40 was pretty bad.

I will look for the corrosion test link and post it later.

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It's not going to promote or cause rust. It is chemically impossible with WD40 present. However, it is not that great for firearms being STORED, since WD40 will dissipate over (short) time.
I'd recommend a gun oil before storing your firearm.
The chemical properties of WD-40 is a trade secret, but its primary composition is kerosene and several water displacing solvents.
Interesting. However, I read an email passed around on the net that the basic ingredient in WD-40 was fish oil.

It's good stuff, smells good but not as good as Hoppes #9, but I've never used WD-40 on my weapons.
Its pure petrolium distilates. no fish oil. fishermen used to spray WD40 on their fishing lures to attract fish, but it is illegal to use for fishing in Minnesota because it is petrolium based. (toxic to marine life) I have never and will never use it on any gun. Many good products on the market that are designed for guns.
always found it best not to take the bargain basement approach to caring for the weapons that i defend my family with, so no wd-40 for me at all.
I've used it for years. There might be "better" stuff on the market, but I've got WD-40 at the house. The "better" stuff is at the store.

If you spay it on your guns, handsaws, drill bits, tools, etc., and just forget it, they will rust. It evaporates. If you sprayed them with something else and forgot them, they'd probably rust too, but it might take longer. You're not supposed to just "forget" stuff. Look at it once in a while.

You'll hear that WD-40 will kill primers. It will. So will Breakfree, 3 in 1 oil, carb cleaner or most anything else if you spray your ammo with it. The cure is DON'T SPRAY YOUR AMMO. What in the devil are you doing cleaing a loaded gun anyway? Take the ammo out.

You'll hear that WD-40 will collect dust and gum up your guns. It will. If you just spray it on and leave it on there. So will most anything else you just spray on and leave there. You're supposed to wipe it off. Buy a rag, find an old T-Shirt, get some paper towels for goodness sake. This isn't rocket science.

WD-40 is not evil incarnate. It's not the best product in the world. It's a pretty good, solvent, light oil, water displacement agent, squeek stopper, and who knows what else. And you've got a dozen cans around the house somewhere I'll bet (Is a can of WD-40 ever really empty?). That other stuff is still at the store.

Oh, it's cheap too.
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