Gun lube and cleaning oil are necessities that most shooters would rather bypass if we could. Alas, keeping your guns running and protected is essential. With a large collection of guns usually comes a large assortment of gun lubes and oils. Latest in my box-o-oils is Fireclean.
First off, let’s address the “controversy” around FIREClean, and why it isn’t actually controversial at all. A while back, a few folks began dogging FIREClean online, saying its chemical composition was very similar to Crisco cooking oil, or Canola oil. After much back and forth, including some courtroom action, all that seems to have been accomplished is both sides got a bit muddied. Here’s the rub: “Canola oil” (actually rapeseed oil) is an industrial grade lubricant. In fact, this study even goes to show how modern (2002) Canola-based motor oils performed very well against traditional petroleum-based and synthetic motor oils. So maybe FIREClean does have Canola oils, or maybe not. Who gives a shit? All I want to know is: How does it work on guns?
In a recent series of articles, I’ve been running four ultra-short barreled .300 blackouts and I’ve been running them hard. They were lubed up at the beginning of two grueling range days, where one bolt carrier group (BCG) was swapped between all four upper receivers. The blowback from supersonic rounds through a 4.75″ barrel? Significant. Far more voluminous than from a suppressed 11.5″ 5.56 barrel with cheap Russian surplus ammo. Dirt and grime accumulated and I just kept running 9 different types of ammo through these guns. Of the hundreds of rounds fired, more than half were suppressed.
Around 500 rounds, one particular barrel (with a small gas port) couldn’t overcome the accumulated crud, so I squirted some more FIREClean through the ejection port, racked the bolt a couple times and got back to it. No more issues over the next couple hundred rounds needed to finish the range day.
I took the BCG home and laid it down on a paper towel. I doused it in FIREClean and left it for 10 minutes while I set up my Ghost Gunner 2 to finish a project. After those 10 minutes were up, I just rolled the BCG in it’s paper towel and gave it a good squeeze. No scrubbing or rubbing, just making sure the paper towel made contact with all surfaces of the BCG.
No, this isn’t magic juice that eliminates the need for cleaning your guns. But it did run well as a lubricant, and it did slough off the accumulated sludge that was covering my BCG. It did so with less effort than I’m used to, as well as not leaving me with a toxic-waste sheen covering my work desk. Given that I usually get whichever solvent or lubricant I’m cleaning guns with all over my hands and work space, it’s nice to have a non-toxic option. With less than 30 seconds of paper towel scrubbing, my BCG had a shine to it.
Effective as a lubricant, effective as a cleaning oil. I’ll get some use in as a long-term storage protecting agent and see if there’s anything to report back. As it is, it works well and isn’t toxic to me and the other shooters in my household. I’d call that a win. A 2-pack of 2 oz bottles runs ~$29 on FIREClean’s site.