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Thread: WD40 for cleaning, lubricating and protecting a rifle or shotgun.

  1. #1

    WD40 for cleaning, lubricating and protecting a rifle or shotgun.

    Is there any good reason (i.e backed up by evidence / personal experience) why you shouldn't use WD40 to clean, lubricate and protect all parts on a gun or rifle?
    After all it is quite a magic product with many proven benefits and uses.
    Yes, I know, I know, the traditionalist (and traders selling expensive branded gun oils) will be horrified, but is there any evidence that it may damage any part of a rifle or shotgun?
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  2. #2
    I use it on mine and have done for many years without any issues whatsoever - I think its great stuff!

    I've had my S/S Ugartechea for over 10 years and always give it a wipe down with a WD'd rag before it goes back in the cabinet, and I do the same with my Beretta now. Just avoid the wooden parts because it can soak into the grain over time as its a pretty thin oil. I also use it on rifles APART from down the barrels and also take care to avoid any wooden parts there as well.

    So cleaning a shotgun would be;
    - Piece of kitchen roll sprayed with WD pushed down each barrel which removes most of the gubbins and avoids heavily soiling the wire brush.
    - Clean with wire brush plus solvent.
    - Piece of dry kitchen roll down each barrel.
    - Spray swab attachment with WD and run that down the barrel (fine to leave a thin layer of oil in a shotty barrel, no zero to be affected).
    - Clean remainder of gun and wipe down metal parts with WD on a rag before it goes in the safe, avoiding wooden parts.

    On a rifle I'd skip the WD in the barrel completely and just use the dedicated gun cleaner on a patch/jag to clean, and then leave the barrel dry. Again other metal parts can be protected with a wipe down from a WD'd rag and avoid wood.

    It really does seem to help protect your guns, especially if you've been out wildfowling in the hammering rain!

    As a complete aside, those little packs of silica gel you get in the boxes of electrical kit are great in the gun safe too - really keep the humidity down.

  3. #3
    I used to use it on my .22 lamp gun, a BSA sportsman 5, wd stripped the blueing!! I have a friend who did the same to his Holand shotgun!!!!

  4. #4
    Experience says use it to clean but remove it all afterwards, it made a semi auto 22lr inoperable.
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  5. #5
    WD 40 is a water repelling fluid and long term will not prevent rusting and in fact will actually gum up intricate parts.
    Fine for initial clean of a shotgun barrel as described above though. Would be better to use just plain 3 in 1 oil or any gun oil.

  6. #6
    WD40 is not a lubricant, it's a water displacer. It will not prevent wear between moving metal parts. Use a grease instead.

  7. #7
    A gun would be better with some oil on than none but in my experience WD40 very good at removing bluing, although initially repels water will turn milky if exposed to a lot of water. no use at reducing friction oil just to light might stop a squeak
    Last edited by .25-06; 11-04-2016 at 17:40.

  8. #8
    Used it on my rifles & shot guns for the last 30 years no problems so far
    cleaned actions, barrels etc only thing I don't do is let it soak into the stocks so store my guns barrel down in the cabinet

  9. #9
    There seem to be some misconceptions about WD40; how it works and what it does . . .

    It was designed to coat the outside of ballistic missiles to impart some additional weather (albeit temporary) resistance. It does displace water, as many organic compounds will. Simplistically it comprises a relatively viscous oil or grease fraction, dissolved in a 'lighter' spirit. It's low overall viscosity makes ideal for penetrating between metal parts. The light fraction will evaporate-off after application leaving the 'thicker' fraction to protect metal surfaces, that layer will then protect metal at least as well as most mineral oils would, this explains why repeated use in some applications can gum parts up.

    It probably isn't as great for lubrication as a gun oil or 3 in 1, but it is good for driving out moisture and leaving a protective film.

    I use it for wiping over the external metal surfaces of any firearm; best avoid the woodwork, as you would with any mineral oil; and I think it's fine for the interior of shotgun barrels, although as already suggested here, I wouldn't use it for the insides of rifles barrels and I'd be wary of spraying all over trigger mechanisms.

    You could probably knock up something similar by dissolving some '3 in 1' in a bit of petrol or lighter fluid if you really had a mind to; although I understand the original has some fish oil or other in its composition

    it's good stuff, and very versatile . . .
    Last edited by adriandavidb; 11-04-2016 at 19:53.

  10. #10
    Official. WD stands for Water Dispersal. As a retired mechanic I've used gallons of the stuff. Mainly on rainy nights getting vehicle electrics to dry out at the side of the road. Also good for rusty cables etc..... After a wet foray I have used it on my firearms too. However I have always wiped it off with a soft dry cloth, and then lubricated the action with a light machine oil. My 40 year old Walther .22 still groups and works well. As has been stated, not good on wood.
    Just my two peneth.

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