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There are a lot of gun oils on the market these days. Many are very good. But, none that I know have the range of uses that Ballistol has. This may be important for SHTF situations. Personally, I run red lithium grease on some weapons, like my Ar15 and Aks. My 98K gets Ballistol...

Here is some info from their website:

Ballistol was invented in 1904 in response to a German Army requirement. it was engineered to be usable on all metals, leather and wood and as a wound disinfectant for the treatment of minor cuts and infections. After testing it for one year Ballistol was type classified and fielded by the Wahrmacht and remained in use until 1945. In today’s German Army, the Bundeswehr, Ballistol is used by several Special Forces units, such as the "Kampfschwimmer", a unit similar to the Navy Seals. The name ‘Ballistol’ is a Greco-Latinism. It means ‘Ballistic Oil’.


In 1913 Messrs. Kolb, a Philadelphia corporation submitted Ballistol to the "War Department's" Springfield Armory for T&E. Ballistol was tested on several firearms and Ordnance Captain Ramsey notified Messrs. Kolb by end of April 1914 that Ballistol had been found to be far superior to the Cosmoline used at the time by the US Army for firearms maintenance. Kolb was encouraged to submit a proposal in response to the Army's next RFP. However, in the Fall of 1914 the Austrian Army marched into Serbia and WWI began. Since January 01, 1993, Ballistol has been marketed exclusively by the former Washington Trading Company, now called Ballistol, USA. In 1993 the Navy’s Seal Team 6 tested Ballistol and adopted it in 1994 for weapon maintenance. The US Coast Guard began using Ballistol in 1994. Today Ballistol is used by numerous state and local law enforcement departments and departments of correction throughout the US. For Federal Agencies, Ballistol is available through the Defense General Supply Center (DGSC) of the Defense Logistics Agency. The CAGE Code for Ballistol is "OZKM2". Inquire about the NSN,s for Ballistol sizes.

Lubrication

Ballistol is a far better lubricant than most, if not all, other so-called gun oils. Test it by putting Ballistol on your right index finger and another product on your left index finger and by rubbing your index fingers against your thumbs. You will find that Ballistol is significantly slicker than competing products. Then clean your hands and again rub each index finger against the thumb. You will find that the finger which had the Ballistol is still slicker. Now wash both hands with soap and rub again. The finger with Ballistol will will still be slicker. This proves that Ballistol lubricates not only better but also more long-lasting than other products.

Even if you mix Ballistol with water, for example one part Ballistol and ten parts water, Ballistol will still be slick. Ballistol is the only gun oil which does not lose its capability to lubricate in the presence of water! Ballistol can be used on dry and wet metal, leather and wooden stocks. If you are out hunting and you get caught in that torrential downpour and you do not have the opportunity or time to take your gun apart and dry and clean and lubricate it, do not worry! Just soak it with Ballistol, lock, stock and barrel. Wipe off the excess oil and carry the gun home. Water will not affect metal, wood or leather in the presence of Ballistol for quite a while.

One of the worst sins of most common 'gun oils' is that they gum up and harden relatively fast. They become sticky and gluey and can dangerously interfere with the proper mechanical function of a firearm. Ballistol will positively never gum up or harden. In 1952 a bottle with Ballistol, with the cap only loosely attached, was found in the attic of a deceased German hunter. Also the purchase voucher was found. It could be established that the Ballistol had been sitting there for over 30 years. Yet, it still had the consistency of freshly produced Ballistol. It is fairly obvious but not too well known that if a gun oil gums up or hardens inside the bore and/or bolt mechanism, this may not only interfere with the proper mechanical functioning of certain components but it might also throw off the gun’s zero.

For hand loaders: Ballistol is an excellent case sizing lubricant. Cases won’t get stuck in the re-loading dies and when you wipe them off, they will be cleaned of dirt and oxide.

Corrosion Inhibition

There is more than one type of corrosion. Common corrosion is oxidation, a chemical reaction between ferrous metals and the oxygen contained in air and water. Rust is the best example for this type of corrosion. But there are also other types of corrosion, such as acidic corrosion, galvanic corrosion and stress corrosion. Salt water corrosion is a combination of oxidation and acidic and galvanic corrosion. It is virtually impossible to stop corrosion completely. Corrosion happens, albeit very slowly. It is, therefore, more honest to speak about inhibiting corrosion rather than stopping or preventing it. Ballistol is mildly alkaline (pH between 8.5 and 9.5). Therefore, it is capable of neutralizing mild acids and acidic residues such as hand sweat (no fingerprints etched into the soft damascus steel of the old collector gun) or residues from black powder (which are acidic). Ballistol not only protects against normal corrosion (i.e. oxidation) but also against acidic and galvanic corrosion, against which non-alkaline corrosion inhibitors are completely useless. Due to its low surface tension Ballistol creeps and penetrates. It will actively propel itself and reach areas inaccessible for the applicator. It will even creep upwards against gravity.

Ballistol neutralizes bluing salts and flux bleeding out around soldering seams thus preventing damage to and the discoloration of the bluing of your gun.

Cleaning

Another problem found with many gun oils is that they are not good cleaners. The gun owner has to use a cleaner first and then a lubricant. And then there is no guarantee that the lubricant is a good corrosion inhibitor. Ballistol fulfills all three functions: it cleans, lubricates and protects against corrosion!

Ballistol has the capability to dissolve traces of copper, zinc, tombac and lead. It can actively eliminate residues of these metals from the chambers and bores of firearms. Test it by sticking a dispensed and slightly corroded brass shell into Ballistol so that the Ballistol covers approximately half of the shell. Leave the shell in the Ballistol for approximately 30 minutes and wipe the part exposed to Ballistol with a dry cotton cloth. You will see it become shiny again.

Ballistol dissolves the inorganic residues from black powder In black powder guns, it also neutralizes the acidic residues from black powder.

Wood

Most common gun oils, solvents, cleaners or corrosion inhibitors are not good for your gun’s wooden stocks. Some attack the high gloss varnish, some will bleach the wood, some will wash the oil out of your oil stocks. Ballistol is good for wood and wooden stocks. It was designed to protect even untreated gun stocks against humidity, insects and fungus and to be compatible with all sorts of paints and varnishes, even those on most antique guns. Ballistol can be used to re-treat oil stocks. It penetrates into the wood and inhibits the growth of fungus and mildew in the wood. Of course, you can also use Ballistol on modern and antique furniture or to protect external wooden structures against decay. Ballistol will also prevent insects from attacking wood.

Caution: It is sometimes uncertain which type of paint, lacquer or varnish was used on antique guns or furniture. Test Ballistol on a small spot first!

Leather

There is virtually no gun oil around that you would also want to apply to leather. Good leather is processed with tannic acid of which residues remain in the leather. There is an ironclad rule in chemistry: whenever an acid and an alkaline substance interact, they form a salt + water. When the alkaline Ballistol is applied to leather, which has been processed with tannic acid, Ballistol and the tannic acid residues in the leather interact forming a salt from tannic acid, called tannate, and water. While the water evaporates, the tannate remains in the leather making it water impermeable and protecting it against destruction through fungus, bacteria and insects. Ballistol also keeps leather water impermeable. (Do not use Ballistol on suede. It might spoil its look.)

Emulsifiability

Most general lubricants and gun oils claim to be so-called water displacement oils. WD-40 is the typical example. The principle of water displacement works fine - but only under certain circumstances: the surface must be smooth and flat or convex and there must be an area to where the water can be displaced. By contrast, in a confined space such as a bolt hole or a countersunk hole or an area with a concave or cylindrical configuration the principle of water displacement does not work. Convince yourself: fill a test tube or small glass half an inch high with WD-40 or with the gun oil of your choice. Then add water about half an inch high. You will see that the water displaces the WD-40 or other gun oil, which will end up floating on top of the water. The area which you wanted to protect will no longer be protected. But the oil on top of the water will prevent it from dissipating and so corrosion will set in underneath the oil. Now do the same experiment with Ballistol. When you pour water into the Ballistol you will see the Ballistol actively emulsify with it. Test the lubricity of this mix. Stick your index finger into it and rub it against your thumb. You will feel that Ballistol still lubricates. You will also see that the area where the water was, will now be protected by a mix out of Ballistol and water. Just as this mix can still lubricate It can also still inhibit corrosion. The fact that Ballistol emulsifies with water can be used to lubricate and protect even wet firearms, wet leather and wet wood. Since the Ballistol does not cover up the water, the water can dissipate and the risk of rust is diminished. No other product can do this.

Other uses for Ballistol

In addition to being a uniquely capable gun oil, Ballistol can be used for many other purposes. To name a few as an octane booster and top engine oil in combustion engines; for the winterization of motors; at a polish for car paint when added to rinsing water or to beautify faded gel coats of old fiberglass boats. Ballistol maintains and cleans plastic dash boards and vinyl seat covers. It eliminates oil and rubber stains In carpets. Due to its low electric conductivity it can be safely used In electrical equipment.

User Safety & the Environment

Most general lubricants and corrosion inhibitors and most gun oils and gun cleaners contain rather aggressive chemicals. They contain substances such as Teflon (PTFE), silicone, tar, trichloroethane or tetrachloroethylene, which are all listed cancer causing agents. Or they contain petroleum, kerosene, benzene or chlorinated paraffins, all of which are toxic ('harmful or fatal if swallowed') for warm-blooded organisms and fish. Some are 'skin and eye irritants'. Others emit toxic vapors. Very few are biodegradable. Ballistol does not contain anything known to cause cancer. Ballistol is non-toxic for warm-blooded and aquatic organisms. Ballistol meets the criteria of the Federal Trade Commission for the claim of biodegradability and Ballistol sprays do not contain any CFCs.

The Odor of Ballistol

Ballistol has a distinct odor. It comes from a medicinal oil contained in it, which is called Anethole. Anethole is derived from a plant called Pimpinella Anisum L. The odor fades away after approximately 20-30 minutes of contact with the air. After approximately 60 minutes Ballistol becomes a practically tasteless and odorless substance. Ballistol has been approved by the USDA for use in the Federally Regulated Meat and Poultry Industry in areas with no direct contact with food. Some people like the odor of Ballistol, some don’t. Just like beauty is in the eye of the beholder likewise, what is a good or bad odor, is in the nose of the sniffer - so to speak. If you like the smell of licorice, anise cookies, Uzo, Pernot or Aguardiente you will probably also like the smell of Ballistol.

Ballistol has been around for over 90 years. Three generations of hunters, shooters, outdoorsmen and soldiers have tested this product. They may not all have liked its odor but they sure found it to be the best!

Warning: Although Ballistol has been engineered not only to be a gun oil but also to serve as a medicinal drug and in spite of the fact that it is approved and used in Germany for veterinary and human medicinal applications, Ballistol is not approved as a medicinal drug in the USA. Therefore, do not use Ballistol as a medicinal drug! Ballistol is not for human or animal consumption.

Caution: Although Ballistol is non-toxic for people, warm-blooded animals, snakes, reptiles and aquatic organisms it may kill small insects such as aphids, mites, ants, termites, fleas, ticks, chiggers, wasps, spiders, flies, bees or similar.
 

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I can definitely vouch for how slick Balistol will make your hands. Unintentionally took the bolt on my M44 apart one night and had a hell of a time getting it back together because my hands and bolt were both slick with it. Wiping stuff down didn't really help much.

My only real complaint is that noone local sells it.
 
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