gun oil vs grease

Ultimate Guide for Gun Oil Vs Grease, Plus Top 2 Gun Oil & Grease Reviewed in 2024

Interestingly, gun lubricants can perform much more complex duties that significantly benefit your gun in many aspects, especially when protecting guns from hot shooting temperatures and providing a dependable buffer pressure between the moving gun parts. That's why the question remains, which in gun oil vs grease can be the most impressive and excellent gun lubricant to rely on. Of course, you don't need to search for the answer elsewhere. Let's figure it out by exploring more relevant information regarding the topic.

Table of Contents

Sure enough, many factors are at stake with gun cleaning and overall maintenance. A huge part of it includes gun safety and performance. That’s why the topic of gun oil vs grease is among the popular debates when it comes to excellent gun cleaning results as for lubrication. Of course, it is highly important for you as a gun owner to know which one in gun oil vs grease is more reliable in working so your gun looks good and makes it safer to operate. 

In short, proper and efficient gun lubricating is a necessary step in gun cleaning and maintenance to keep a safe, functional gun effectively. Fundamentally, you can’t miss the gun lubrication as your essential task to complete for preventive care and safety to your gun. After all, you must know that the great power of owning a gun comes with much more responsibility in caring for and maintaining it. 

Besides that reasoning, you must also be aware that all gun parts, be they large or small, are highly susceptible to daily tear and wear, primarily if they rub against one another when in use. Thankfully, preventive caring that includes gun cleaning and lubrication can solve the issue. Hence, you need to if you need to have gun oil or grease aside from your gun cleaning kits. It is highly crucial because gun lubricants are unique from other typical lubricants you can see at hardware stores. 

Interestingly, gun lubricants can perform much more complex duties that significantly benefit your gun in many aspects, especially when protecting guns from hot shooting temperatures and providing a dependable buffer pressure between the moving gun parts. These gun lubricants are especially needed because guns can often reach a high temperature of up to 392 F. Apart from intense shooting temperatures, they are also handy against extremely cold weather, humid conditions, and many more, proving that they are worthy of having. 

That’s why the question remains, which in gun oil vs grease can be the most impressive and excellent gun lubricant to rely on. Of course, you don’t need to search for the answer elsewhere. Let’s figure it out by exploring more relevant information regarding the topic. Thus, let’s get this started with the advantages of cleaning and lubricating your gun. 

gun oil vs grease

Top 5 Benefits of Cleaning and Lubricating Your Gun

Eventually, with consistent use over time, your gun can experience several issues, such as firing residue build-up, corrosion problems, frictional wear and tear of rubbing gun parts, and many more troubles that need your special attention. Luckily, these different issues are highly preventable with practicing regular maintenance. 

There’s no doubt that regular maintenance, including cleaning and lubrication that are properly done, can reward you with incredible advantages, including stopping your gun from experiencing malfunction and jamming, controlling corrosion, providing rust shield and protection, keeping your gun spotlessly clean, and many more benefits. 

Generally, you don’t have to practice strict regular maintenance sessions each time you use your gun. In particular, you can even get away with doing proper maintenance even after a few days of using your gun. Not immediate cleaning and lubrication is completely fine, as long as you won’t fully neglect your gun and store it while it is dirty. 

Wondering what more benefits you can get by cleaning and lubricating your gun on a frequent basis? Indeed, there’s more than you can enjoy working on your gun, leaving you no complaint with its preventive care tasks. Take a look at the primary advantages below as the best examples: 

gun cleaning and lubrication

1. Improve gun reliability

Doubtless, only a finely lubricated and maintained gun can offer you the best reliability when it comes to shooting performance. In contrast, a dirty gun from firing residue will never give you outstanding and satisfying results. What you can expect from it are only problems. That’s why it is undeniable that only a well-lubricated and maintained gun is the only impressive choice for any shooting application. Basically, more work is required to achieve that kind of excellent gun. 

What makes a well-lubricated and maintained gun an ideal choice is that it has a lesser probability of misfiring or leading to an accidental or negligent discharge. More often, the cause of malfunction issues in a well-lubricated and maintained gun is not the dirt-related functionality issues brought by firing residues. After all, the gun is excellently cleaned, so there’s no spot for dirt and contaminants. 

Truly, when you practice regular cleaning and lubricating of your gun, you are not just looking forward to an aesthetically clean gun. But, you are also ensuring a gun that is practically safe to use in all shooting applications, featuring improved reliability. Straightforwardly said, having a cleaned gun will surely not let you down with your shooting expectations. 

2. Enhance gun accuracy

Over time, when a gun is constantly used, it is a common scenario that it accumulates tiny particles and remnants of different components, such as steel, lead, carbon, copper, and plastic. These damaging elements are primarily released to the inside of the gun chamber or bore. Of course, it doesn’t end there because these damaging elements or fouling can also reach other gun parts and even go to your hands and clothing. 

The fouling can eventually result in the stubborn and unwavering build-up with the gun parts when you let them be. This situation will surely lead to a negative impact on the gun’s accuracy. Now, when the gun’s accuracy is unfavorable due to the fouling, you must expect that you will not be satisfied with how your gun will perform when fired. Conclusively, you can experience trouble with dirt-related functionality issues. 

Contrastingly, when you apply preventive care like cleaning and lubrication to your gun to remove the fouling and provide protection against tiny particles, you are guaranteeing enhanced accuracy to your gun. You can mostly notice that effect of accuracy improvement when you take shots. Truly, when you get to see the difference between a finely lubricated and maintained gun and a neglected gun, you will know that it is highly advantageous not to be lazy with gun caring and maintenance. 

While taking care of your gun, your gun will reward you with outstanding shooting power and results afterward. That’s why you must always seek the right gun cleaning supplies and other tools. 

gun lubrication

3. Preserve long lifespan

At an initial point, any gun is built to last long, and so is yours. Thanks to its high-quality materials and designs, your gun has an initially long lifespan. However, it soon varies, depending on how you take care of your gun. Luckily, you can preserve its long lifespan by cleaning and maintaining it. Even though that solution is simple as it might seem, the result is immensely significant with the gun lifespan, leading it to last even for generations and not just for years. 

Just think of it, have you ever seen gun owners who are still using an old yet functional gun? More likely, an old gun like that lasted for a long time because the owner took care of it with regular proper cleaning. In particular, if you compare old guns with new yet filthy neglected ones, you will often choose the old ones because they will not perform badly and even have no filthy appearance. 

Moreover, it is a great thing that you don’t have to spend anything huge as an impressive way to preserve your gun lifespan— regular cleaning and lubrication is enough with the use of the right tools. That being said, you must know whether gun oil vs grease is the right option for your gun maintenance needs. 

4. Avoid major gun issues 

Fouling is the primary cause of dirt-related functionality issues, such as failure to fire, feed, rust, and many more. Basically, when there is no fouling in your gun, nothing can affect the gun condition, leading to major gun issues. 

Unfortunately, there’s no escape in acquiring fouling as gun firing is originally a dirty process. Therefore, rather than waiting for the fouling to build up more stubbornly, the right approach is to apply preventive measures, such as cleaning and lubrication. By that, you can ensure a safe and functional gun. 

Now, discussing the immediate gun cleaning solution, the best option is the bore snake kits. You can carry them along with you and clean immediately and quickly the newly accumulated fouling without the need to disassemble your gun.   

5. Increase knowledge of gun lubrication

Unquestionably, regular practice can make things easier, and frequent cleaning and lubrication is no exemption. When you make them a good habit, you will eventually notice that you will have increased knowledge of gun lubrication. The more hands-on and thorough you are with the proper lubrication process, you can learn the balance of utilizing lubrication. Frequently cleaning and lubrication is crucial for removing dirty lubricant and replacing it. 

gun lubrication

Now it is highly evident that there are several benefits of cleaning and lubricating your gun— be it improving gun reliability or increasing knowledge of gun lubrication. Therefore, let’s dive into uncovering more relevant gun oil vs grease information. So, let’s discover them. 

Gun Oil Vs Grease: What’s the Difference?

Of course, what comes after knowing the importance of regular cleaning and lubricating your gun. It is now time to discover more about gun oil and grease. It is no secret that you will see overwhelming choices, whether gun oil or grease. Practically speaking, it is not the best decision to have too much gun oil or grease to use. Instead, the best approach to gun care and maintenance is to find the most suitable gun oil or grease for your needs. 

Hence, let’s dive into the pros and cons of using each type of lubricant, starting with gun oil. 

Gun Oil 

The right way of using gun oil is to use it after the gun cleaning solvent. Strictly speaking, as a gun lubricant, gun oil must go after the cleaning process. In addition, you should never use gun oil when you don’t clean your gun because the lubricant can result in a frustrating greasy residue and stubborn build-up because of the contaminants you didn’t remove. Eventually, the greasy residue from gun oil will negatively impact your gun’s overall condition and performance. 

Not only that it will be useless to apply gun oil without thorough gun cleaning, but it will also work as a damaging component that will only give you troubling issues. Of course, there’s nothing to fear about using gun oil as a lubricant if you will guarantee a proper gun cleaning first. You might be wondering about the primary purpose of applying gun oil, right? Certainly, the best oil for guns is dependable for lessening the friction between the gun parts and mechanical components present inside the gun. 

Failure to lubricate your gun to prevent friction can cause it to jam and malfunction. See, these gun parts constantly coming into contact with each other require gun oiling to reduce the friction. As mentioned, friction only leads to issues, primarily the dysfunction of your gun, which is a concern you need to have preventive measures on. Otherwise, you are creating a non-satisfying gun shooting experience for yourself. 

Technically, the dysfunction of your gun is highly likely to occur because the friction has the power to slow the operation of the gun parts, leading to a decrease in gun efficiency. That’s the primary reason that even though selecting the best gun oil can be a daunting task, you still need to do your best to find what works almost perfectly to offer your needs. Only the most suitable oil for guns can make your work easier, proper, and adequate. 

As simple as the quick application of gun lubricant oil will save you from catastrophic instances of gun friction and more. Now, let’s further your knowledge by discovering the pros and cons of using gun oil. 

gun oil

Pros of Using Gun Oil

Truth be told, there are several pros of using gun oil. However, you only need to see the top important things to be convinced that using one can positively benefit you, like: 

  • Gun oils only need a minimal effort for application 

Interestingly, gun oils are formulated with a much thinner consistency than gun greases. With that being said, gun lubricant oils have the edge when it comes to application. In particular, if you choose to utilize gun oil, you won’t have to worry about coating your gun with it as it is easier to apply with only minimal effort required. Thus, it will save you time and effort. 

Aside from reaching the necessary gun parts, gun oils can also go through the hard-to-reach gun spots. That’s why you can be assured that there will be no left behind gun areas that are supposed to be protected. So, you can make the most out of the best results by using gun oils. 

  • Gun oils are not as viscous compared to gun greases

Since gun oils are not as viscous as gun greases, they will be less likely to be sticky or gummy when you apply them. Technically, it is all possible because of the incredible thinner liquid consistency than their counterpart, the gun greases. As already mentioned, gun oils feature more fast-acting results just because of having a thinner consistency. 

Moreover, if you apply too much gun oil, you will only have to deal with less build-up because they leave a lesser quantity of residue, leaving only the right protective coating to your gun. 

  • Gun oils are formulated with anti-rust abilities

Primarily, gun oils can serve you with the incredible power of anti-rust abilities, thanks to their excellent formulation and properties. With the protecting coating of gun oils, you can ease your mind by shielding the metal components of your gun to prevent corroding and friction when it comes that your gun will have contact with moisture, resulting in rust formation that could lead to rust inevitable damage to your gun. 

Cons of Using Gun Oil 

It is an unfortunate fact that there is no perfect lubricant. That’s why gun oils also have their fair share of flaws. To determine that, explore the cons of using gun oil below: 

  • Over-application is highly possible 

Although the thinner consistency is the primary edge of gun oils, it can also be their flaw because these lubricants tend to be over-applied. Since they are easy to apply, they can quickly go through the needed gun surfaces. However, they can also reach the other gun parts due to their consistency. When you apply too much gun oil, you can experience some issues with the clogging parts. With the presence of clog parts, your gun will be more prone to jamming and malfunction. 

  • Low-quality gun oils can thicken

Low-quality gun oils are highly likely to thicken after only a few use times. When they eventually thicken, they can significantly impact the gun’s performance. These thickened consistencies can only lead to jamming that causes poor shooting performance and malfunction that can require replacing parts in the worst-case scenario.

The trick to escape the catastrophic instances above is choosing more high-quality gun oils with an excellent and safe formulation. Keep in mind that high-quality ones are the most reliable options if you don’t want any bad outcomes after applying them.  

  • Gun oils can trap dirt 

Unfortunately, gun oils are formulated with characteristics that can inevitably attract dirt. Basically, gun oils tend to be a dirt magnet in some ways. At the same time, gun oils can trap tiny particles and other debris within your gun surfaces and parts without proper application or over-application. With the presence of trapped dirt and other contaminants, your gun will ultimately get affected and will have poor accuracy and performance. 

It is best to remove the application residue to prevent the bad outcomes above from happening. Even though gun oils are great, putting too much or improper application can switch its benefits to a danger on your gun. So, always be mindful of using gun oils to avoid their cons. 

Top 2 Gun Oils

Truly, you can avoid the flaws of gun oils, wherein are primarily caused by low-quality ones. Still, if you want to try them out, here are the top two recommendations that can inspire you in finding yours: 

1. Lucas Extreme Duty Gun Oil 

Lucas Extreme Duty Gun Oil 

The Lucas Extreme Duty Gun Oil is formulated with premium components for high volume, high heat, and friction lubrication of guns. That being said, it is available at a competitive, reasonable price. What makes it an ideal choice for high-quality gun oil is that it offers a polymeric film coat which helps shield your gun from daily wear, tear, and rust. 

Moreover, this gun oil is made with burn-off resistance, which adds to its incredible effect and superior performance. Also, it stays where you put it very nicely, and it’s silky smooth. The viscosity is highly impressive because it is not too thin or thick so that you won’t make an extreme mess with it. But, to keep everything organized and mess-free, it is best to utilize a gun cleaning mat

To top it all, the Lucas Extreme Duty Gun Oil is contained in a convenient bottle for easy application. At the same time, the bottle is highly secured and sturdy enough to bring it along with you to the shooting range. Take a chance to see its pleasant performance. 

2. HOPPE’S No. 9 Lubricating Oil

HOPPE'S No. 9 Lubricating Oil

The HOPPE’S No. 9 Lubricating Oil is among the most advanced and versatile gun oil that you will see out there. It features a refined perfection and is a traditional lubricant with high viscosity and impressive penetration with a super long-lasting lubrication effect. As already mentioned, it works for a long time, and you have nothing to worry about. After all, it will not be an issue because it doesn’t gum or harden over time. 

Moreover, this gun oil is highly affordable despite its excellent quality that performs well in reducing wear and tear while simultaneously protecting your gun against further moisture and corrosion damage. Aside from that, it does not leave behind huge gunk and residue, guaranteeing you no problems in jamming and malfunction. 

To make things better, HOPPE’S No. 9 Lubricating Oil comes in a compact and sturdy bottle that you can effortlessly carry around without any hassle. It is a great product you can trust for years and features less odor for outstanding application. So, take this chance and add it to your gun cleaning box, together with other cleaning supplies. 

Gun Grease

Gun grease is applied the same way as gun oil. With that being said, you must apply it after securing a proper gun cleaning. By that, you can avoid issues with left behind greasy residue and build-up on your metal gun surfaces. Hence, you can avoid negatively impacting your gun’s overall condition and performance. 

What will make you choose to apply gun grease in your gun? Well, there are many good reasons. First, gun grease is amazing in providing resistance to guns in severe and extreme conditions. Besides that, it can deal with harsh environments and severe conditions. 

Generally, lubricating your gun with grease can provide protective coat layers for the compartment and different gun parts. Therefore, your gun can stay protected from nasty and rugged environmental conditions. When utilizing gun grease, one thing to remember is never to choose petroleum-based gun greases.

gun lubricant

Now, let’s go through knowing the pros and cons of using gun grease. Find them out below: 

Pros of Using Gun Grease

Gun greases can be genuinely helpful in keeping your gun work at the optimal condition and superior performance. Let’s take a look at the pros below: 

  • Gun grease features high viscosity

Due to the different gun parts, you will discover that gun grease is better to apply than gun oil in some circumstances. Thanks to its high viscosity in nature, gun grease offers incredible adept performance in dealing with the high pressure of the moving gun parts during use. With lubricating your gun with grease, you will have less problem shooting or storing your gun, not worry about harsh environments and severe conditions. 

  • Gun grease buffer against the elements

Primarily, gun greases are formulated with water resistance properties that can also work as a buffer against severe and harsh elements. Thus, you don’t have to deal with damaging components that can cause problems with your gun. 

  • Gun grease prevents corrosion from moisture and other extreme components

Crediting it again with the high viscosity in nature, gun grease can efficiently prevent corrosion from moisture and other extreme components. Compared to gun oil, gun grease offers superior protection against the elements. These elements are the primary contributors that can lead your gun to corrosion or damage to the gun parts and components. Conclusively, with the shield from gun grease, you can avoid any issue with corrosion or damage. 

Cons of Using Gun Grease

As already mentioned above, there is no perfectly formulated lubricant. That’s why there are also cons to gun grease. Discover them below:  

  • Challenging to apply in certain gun areas

Even though the high viscosity is a good characteristic for gun grease, it can also be a flaw at some point, mainly when you fail to control applying it. That’s why it can be challenging to apply in certain gun areas without careful action. Hence, to prevent messy and challenging applications, learn and remember the tricks that make lubricating easier for you. More importantly, choosing suitable grease in compact and sturdy bottles is more reasonable. 

  • Low-quality gun grease can freeze

Unsurprisingly, low-quality gun grease can eventually freeze overtime under cold and nasty conditions. The instant effect of frozen low-quality gun grease can make the condition and performance of your gun poor and unstable. Basically, you will not find pleasing the results of applying low-quality gun grease. 

Obviously, the solution to avoid experiencing frozen gun grease is to choose high-quality options because they have a more outstanding formulation that spares them from resulting in negative outcomes. 

  • Difficult to achieve even application

What is to blame for the difficulty in achieving even application of gun grease is its high viscosity. That’s why you must know how to control it better to avoid creating a mess. Nonetheless, there is nothing that consistent practice and constant application can achieve. As the saying goes, practice makes perfect, so you can eventually attain an even coating of it.  

Top 2 Gun Greases

Despite having several flaws, many gun owners still choose to utilize gun grease because they see more of what the lubricant can benefit them. If you are like them and also considering that gun grease can come to your advantage, take a look at the top two recommendations down here: 

1. Lucas Extreme Duty Gun Grease

Lucas Extreme Duty Gun Grease

It is no secret that some gun owners don’t like gun greases that much because they can be messy at times—  it is for a fact, and many even find gun oil a more outstanding solution. However, it is undeniable that greases for guns are better for heavy-duty use. For that, the Lucas Extreme Duty Gun Grease is a great choice with unmatched effectiveness.

In addition, the lubricant grease features an exceptionally smooth, tacky consistency. That being said, you can trust that it will only stay where you apply it. Aside from that, the Lucas Extreme Duty Gun Grease provides a long-lasting all-weather lubrication effect. Also, it is great with its saltwater corrosion and rust protection. 

Moreover, it is essential to note that this gun grease is more practical to use for high heat than in cold weather conditions. Conclusively, this can be your favorite gun grease because it offers an incredible shield coat for guns against daily wear and tear. By that, you can make the most out of its cost without feeling any regret. 

2. HOPPE’S Gun Grease

HOPPE'S Gun Grease

Another great contender for high-quality gun greases options is the HOPPE’S Gun Grease. According to the packaging itself, it is particularly meant for preventing rust build-up on metals. It is highly possible because it can displace metal sweat when you apply it to your gun bore and exterior. With that being said, it is highly useful for lubricating guns that sit idle longer than they come in use. Nonetheless, it is still helpful for lubricating guns that you also frequently use. 

With the presence of HOPPE’S Gun Grease, you will not worry about maintaining your stored gun without having issues with any flaw. What makes you like it more is that it offers a soft butter-like consistency. You can be confident while applying it because it is not liquidy or runny, unlike other low-quality brands. However, you must be careful with too much heat because it might come a little liquidy. Worry not because you can take off the grease residue with a cleaning swab when you are done. 

Overall, the HOPPE’S Gun Grease can deliver you optimal lubrication and protection against decaying components for months. Plus, you can be confident with its smooth and less sticky consistency. Of course, you can appreciate it better when you try it out, so grab this chance now. 

Final Thoughts

With all the relevant details about gun oil vs grease, including their pros and cons, the decision to select between them now boils down to your personal needs and preferences. Indeed, no matter how impressive the other lubricant is, there is no use if it doesn’t fit your standards. That’s why you must know what job you want your lubricant to perform to pick between gun oil vs grease. 

If you can’t choose between the two lubricants, you can always decide to have them both. In fact, a healthy mix of both gun oil and grease will often deliver you the best lubricating results. That’s the primary reason why kits, such as Hoppes 9 Gun Kit and Lucas Extreme Duty Kit offer both gun oil and grease as a set. With the use of both, you can efficiently keep your gun highly functional, safe, and smoothly perform at all times. 

On the flip side, another thing that you must remember with using lubricant is that don’t ever use all-around grease or waxy lubricants that already have hardened little pieces of particles because they can only damage your gun. Always be aware of whatever gun care and maintenance items you are using—  want to learn another guide like this and shooting accessories reviews? Well then, feel free to take a tour of the Survival Gear Shack website

Frequently Asked Questions

Learn more about gun oil, grease, cleaning, and many more relevant topics with the frequently asked questions below: 

Are gun cleaning oils toxic?

Admittedly, you will see some gun cleaning oils formulated with slightly harmful components that can be toxic in some ways. Fortunately, you can still see some harmless gun cleaning oils that you can apply to your gun without any fear. Of course, there’s no need to settle with toxic gun cleaning oils when you can buy safe options at trustworthy online and local stores. Remember to only choose the gun oil that can pass your standards. 

What are home solutions for effective gun cleaning?

You can opt for effective home solutions when you have no accessible gun cleaning supplies to utilize with home gun cleaning. Given that you have no other choice, you can utilize a bottle of hydrogen peroxide, commonly found in the bathroom, with a bottle of white vinegar, usually in the kitchen. When you already have the two components, you can mix them with an equal 50/50 solution ratio. 

Moreover, the mixed hydrogen peroxide and white vinegar are enough as a decent cleaner and an alternative for gun cleaning solvents. In addition, they are ideal because they come with an incredible ability to clean the burned particles of metal and gunpowder residue. More importantly, the mixed solution is a much better option than hard scrubbing with the gun cleaning brush, which is often a sure way to damage your gun. 

How important is oiling your gun?

Surely, lubricating your gun is highly important because the oil can ensure a protective coating on your gun that helps shield it from the build-up of moisture which causes rust and corrosion that can damage your gun. Without lubrication, your gun will have nothing to rely on when it comes to protection. 

Do you still need to clean and lubricate a gun that you don’t use?

Even though your gun is properly stored, it is not impossible that debris, dirt, and dust can still get inside your gun at some point. With that being said, it is still ideal that you clean and lubricate it. The only difference is that you don’t need to do it as regularly as when shooting it. Basically, the quicker your gun acquires dirt, the more often you need to clean and lubricate it. 

Is it bad to lubricate a gun too much?

Unfortunately, as lubricating a gun can be highly beneficial initially, it can also be bad to think that it will be a good solution. As a matter of fact, it isn’t good to lubricate a gun too much because it can cause messy residue that can trouble the operation of a gun, decreasing the quality of performance. Therefore, always clean up the excess oil or grease. 

Who makes the best gun oil?

Admittedly, it is too tough to name the best manufacturers that provide premium gun oil. Of course, there are popular names, such as Hoppe’s, Lucas, and Militec-1. To know more, you can visit trustworthy online stores. 

Can I use vegetable oil on a gun?

Certainly not; the primary reason is gun oil is not made for lubricating a gun. On top of that, guns often fire rounds at high pressure and high heat due to extreme friction, and it is extremely dangerous to use vegetable oil. Besides that, vegetable oil will only cause malfunction and damage. Using that, you will not be doing your gun a favor. 

What happens if you don’t lubricate your gun?

Without using gun oil or grease for lubrication, there is a high possibility that your gun will corrode. Also, your gun will be much more vulnerable to rusting. You will not like it because it can be too late to fix rust issues. Truly, forgetting to lubricate your gun will only surprise you with troubling consequences by the time that you will use it. 

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