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Lubricants Viscosity Aviation and Automo

Discussion in 'Shooting Gear and Storage' started by Gator Weiss, Feb 24, 2019.

  1. Gator Weiss

    Gator Weiss Member

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    I found this in an article about Aviation engine oil. Many of us use alternatives to standard gun oils:

    "Multi-vis oil simply does not provide as effective protection against rust as single-weight oil. The defining characteristic of multi-viscosity oil — the fact that it doesn't thicken up at cool temperatures — makes it a lousy corrosion inhibitor. During periods of disuse, multi-vis oil strips off cylinder walls and cam lobes much more readily than does thick single-weight oil, leaving those parts vulnerable to corrosion, followed by spalling and eventually destruction."
     
  2. Gator Weiss

    Gator Weiss Member

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    Does this mean we should consider a single weight oil to protect surfaces of bores and exteriors?
     
  3. doubleh

    doubleh Member

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    I'm curious as to why if this is true all our automobile manufactuers recommend multi viscosity oils today. Look at the service life of engines today compared to yesteryear when single viscosity oils were all that were available. I''ll give improved metals part of the credit but strongly suspect that better oils is a major factor.
     
  4. FL-NC

    FL-NC Member

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    I keep it pretty simple: I lube internal moving parts with white lithium grease, as it sticks well and doesn't fly off or evaporate. A tube of this from auto zone is about $3 and lasts about a year, and I shoot at least once a week, and I have more than a couple guns. External steel only needs a rust barrier, for this I use whatever motor oil is on sale. It is applied with a small paint brush. A quart of this lasts over a year.
     
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  5. BigBlue 94

    BigBlue 94 Member

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    Part of it is improved lubrication science. Part of it is marketing ploys, and part of it is that most engines of the last 2 decades have used much more aluminum in their construction, making rust prevention less of an issue. Many engine blocks and heads are aluminum now, leaving only the camshafts and crankshaft as the main iron components left. Pistons have been aluminum for 40 years or more.
     
  6. rbernie
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    rbernie Member

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    The issue being discussed is the shedding of lubricant from metal bits over time due to gravity, in the absence of forced oil movement / replenishment. Most automobile engines are run more frequently than most aircraft motors, so I while I believe that lubricant migration -can- be an issue for aircraft motors I also believe that it is not a significant problem for automobile motors. It is also worth repeating that the issue is confined to ferrous metals, as noted above.

    Now, whether this applies to guns is the question in the OP. Since most gun parts have some form of corrosion resistance (stainless steel, bluing, etc.), the parts are -usually- not dependent upon oil alone for their corrosion resistance (unlike ferrous engine bits). So, while the issue technically can occur on a gun in the same way that it can occur on any other object, it's less relevant to guns as it is to piston aircraft motors (as an example).

    As an aside - I would wager that lubricant evaporation or mechanical removal (by wiping / rubbing) is far more relevant a concern to guns than lubricant shedding.

    And as another aside - multi vis oils may shed more readily, but their 'thinner' nature is also what allows them to pressurize the oil system faster and reduce spalling during initial engine startup. That's why multi-vis oil is so prevalent across the auto industry - spalling during startup is much more of an issue than long-term corrosion resistance.

    And as a final aside - the issue noted in the article is not restricted to aircraft motors. Many 'intermittent use' motors, such as outdoor equipment, routinely specify single-vis oil and not multi-vis oil, for precisely the reasoning noted in the OP. That is also a large reason as to why these types of motors / equipment have more stringent start-up / warm-up requirements.
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2019
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  7. doubleh

    doubleh Member

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    Synthetic oils have been around for much longer than two decades and have been working their longevity magic before aluminum became popular as an engine block material. Aluminum pistons have been around for much longer than 40 years. I'm going to keep giving most of the credit to improved lubricating oils and greases. Two stroke engine makers have been recommending synthetic oils for many year and those engines have seen greatly improved life also which reinforces my opinion. Think like you want and I'll do the same.
     
  8. BigBlue 94

    BigBlue 94 Member

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    Whoa now, I was agreeing with your statement...
     
  9. doubleh

    doubleh Member

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    I took it as you giving the materials most of the credit and schooling me on material usage and time frames. Sorry if that wasn't your intent but it certainly read that way to me.
    I'm willing to call everything good and drop the subject thought with no hard feelings.
     
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  10. Zendude
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    Zendude Member

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    So for long term storage of a firearm, would something like an 80 wt gear oil be preferable?
     
  11. rbernie
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    rbernie Member

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    In general, heavier oil is good for long term storage largely because it's less likely to evaporate, and less so because it's less likely to migrate. Just be aware that the heavier the oil, the more that it will trap dust / dirt. I have found that heavier oils / grease can cause semiauto pistols like 22LR blowbacks to misfeed/jam if they're not removed before shooting. For real long term storage - I use regular ol' gun oil and VCI bags. (I have had pistols stored in VCI bags now for almost two decades, and when inspected last year they had zero corrosion.)

    Also note that most 'heavier' oils are designed for use in gearboxes and other applications, and may have additives (usually anti-wear / EP stuff like sulfur phosphorous) that are unhelpful to gun storage. Always read the MSDS.

    In the end - maybe just using Hornady OneShot lube or FrogLube would be all that's needed.

    http://www.dayattherange.com/?page_id=3667
     
  12. Drail

    Drail Member

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    Try some air tool oil or Dexron. Cheap, effective and available everywhere. None of my guns have ever rusted even when shooting matches in the rain. Specialized "gun lubes" are nothing but marketing puke.
     
  13. rbernie
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    rbernie Member

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    The linked test results suggest that the answer is not so clean-cut; ATF and auto motor oil, for example, fared far worse for both friction and corrosion resistance than did some specialty gun oils (even as they did better than other specialty gun oils).
     
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  14. icanthitabarn

    icanthitabarn Member

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    I came across these today, but had to find this pic. A salesman item, I guess. All unopened but one. The guy who gave them said one was used on an axle to get him home.
     

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  15. Varminterror

    Varminterror Member

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    Automobile engine oils used in automotive engines aren't meant for rust inhibition, they're meant for lubrication. Pretty straight forward.
     
  16. doubleh

    doubleh Member

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    I posted that in response to the part of the OP about multi-vis oils stripping off cylinder walls and cam lobes. I really believe that automotive manufactures have a pretty good handle on what works and what doesn't compared to we key board experts.

    I have been using multi-vis 100% synthetic engine oil for firearm lubrication for many years now with not a bit of corrosion while doing so and will continue it's use. Pretty straight forward.
     
  17. luzyfuerza

    luzyfuerza Member

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    As noted above

    An example of this from personal experience: a friend and I were taking a carbine class in very warm conditions (sunny with peak ambient temps around 100F). His AR experienced periodic cycling issues. He was lubing his upper and BCG with an aerosol gun oil. The gun would cycle fine for an hour or so after this stuff was applied, but no longer.

    When he switched to a heavier, slower-to-evaporate oil, his cycling issues ceased.

    More viscous oils may cause problems in cold conditions, though.
     
  18. luzyfuerza

    luzyfuerza Member

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    I had never thought of relying on One Shot for corrosion prevention. Rbernie, thanks for posting those results!
     
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