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Thread: TriFlow lubricant

  1. #1

    TriFlow lubricant

    Does anyone still use TriFow lubricant? I thought it was gone, off the market, had not seen any in 30 years. Today, I went to a bicycle shop to see what kind of new wonder lubes might be found, and there was TriFlow. The shop mechanics all said, "Oh, yes! Beats everything else hands down."

    This stuff was developed for the M60 machinegun, in the tropics, in monsoon conditions. I used it on my HK-91s, FALs, M1 Garands, M1A, handguns, until I ran out. And I used it on my bicycle chains and gear shift levers.

  2. #2
    SD Regular
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    East Midlands M1/M69 Junction 21
    As we've always used RELIABLE bolts and rods on our machine guns there's never been much call for such a thing in the British Army...


    Joking apart I remember a Leeds dealer, John Longstaff, having card boxes of 48x green plastic flattish bottles with yellow printing (?) and black screw tops with a internal stopper like a diner's ketchup bottle. The oil was whitish grey in colour. This was early 1980s. Poor John met a sad and still unresolved demise. I don't remember if this was TriFlow but if it was it did'nt say on the bottles...but they had all sorts of USA reference numbers. Best plastic oil bottle design I've ever seen.

    I've re-visited the internet. This is the stuff. Seems folks are paying US $ 9.00 a bottle on eBay? What? Nostalgia?

    Attachment 76660
    Last edited by enfieldspares; 23-11-2016 at 12:29.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by enfieldspares View Post
    Poor John met a sad and still unresolved demise
    I remember that. And with Gaddafi now dead I guess nobody will ever find the truth, hey?

    As for oil? I find Parker Hale Express to be as good as anything else I've ever used
    A Man should be wise, but never too wise. He who does not know his fate in advance is free of care

  4. #4
    enfieldspares, that's the stuff. The bottle I bought yesterday looks just like it, except commercial markings ($5.00 ). It has a great little nozzle which permits your controlling exactly how much you dispense. Comes with a little tube which slides out of the nipple to let you reach into places and dispense even smaller droplets, should you want to do that. And you can still buy the large bottle and refill the little one from it.

    The "problem" with it was you had to clean the weapon first with a solvent, wipe it down, then apply the TriFlow. Now the military uses CLP ( Clean Lubricate Protect ), which is supposed to be a one-for-all potion. It has Teflon in it, but not like TriFlow. The CLP comes in some very small bottles which fit well into the butt trap of an M16 or the little pocket cleaning kit for the HK G3.

  5. #5
    I've used Triflow oil on old sewing machines that I restore & had mixed results. One some machines the Triflow oil didn't provide as good lubrication over time as normal commercial industrial sewing machine oil. I know Triflow allegedly needs to be shaken vigorously before use to lift the ptfe into suspension. - Maybe I didn't shake it enough, or the bottle I got has defective contents.
    Triflow does work well as a penetrating oil & is what is recommended for mechanisms that have got old lacquered oil deposits in the bearings.
    For me the high price of the Triflow oil combined with questionable performance means I won't be buying any more.
    Aparently they make Triflow grease which is supposed to stay on gear wheel mechanisms better than other grease. - I've not tried that as I have other PTFE grease which works fine.


    Tribology - The study of lubrication. Not to be confused with what I call Tripe-ology which I use to explain peoples misconceptions of oils etc.

  6. #6
    I think TriFlow is too viscuous for sewing machines. It was developed to be heavier than water, so as to not float off a weapon in continuous rain and immersions. It somewhat flashes off, so as to not hold dust and grime as much as some other lubricants, so is great for bicycle chain and lever lubrication.

  7. #7
    Interesting Southern. Many sewing machine gurus swear by it. It is about the same fluidity as other fine oils I use but I agree with you that it tends to "flash off" - mine just did that & didn't leave enough of anything to make the machines work well. The machines work well immediately after Triflow application but "dry out" quicker than with conventional oils leaving machines noisy & rough in operation.
    If I want dry lurication I have HBN (Hex Boron Nitride) that can be dusted on or mixed with alcohol & evaporated. Or if I want a "baked on" lube layer I have Microlon Gun Juice"

  8. #8
    SD Regular
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    On the banks of the Columbia River, Portland OR. USA
    Enfield, your picture is a bottle of LSA. You can just make it out on the to of the bottle. I remember that we used it on our machine guns when I was in the Army in the 80s.

  9. #9
    LSA is like ( or is ) TriFlow. Lubricant Semi-Fluid Automatic weapon. You had to use RBC (Rifle Bore Cleaner ) first, then apply LSA.

    The observation of those in the field seems to be that LSA lasts longer when you cannot strip your weapon daily, and clean it with CLP.

    In 2007, Aberdeen Proving Ground ran some tests with LSA and CLP in dust chambers and water sprays.
    I don't all the tests, so I don't want to mislead, but I did save these results, for the M16 / M4, which IIRC, compared a light oiling of CLP ( which is about all you can do, as it is thin ), vs a "wet" oiling with LSA. I think they used 10 weapons firing 6,000 rounds without cleaning, for each test. They also tested M4 carbines, and other things.

    2124 failures out of 60,000 light M16 rounds
    507 failures out of 60,000 wet M16 rounds
    9836 failures out of 60,000 light M4 rounds
    678 failures out of 60,000 wet M4 rounds

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