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Thread: atf fluid for gun lubricant?

  1. #1
    Member mainer_in_ak's Avatar
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    Default atf fluid for gun lubricant?

    I only recently started using ATF for cleaning and as a gun lubricant. I've noticed that is stays twice as long as any gun oil, it doesn't evaporate off. Weeks after being slathered all over the internals of a completely disassembled rifle......it's all still there. After two range sessions.....stuff is still there.

    Anyone else use this stuff? I probably won't buy gun oil again.

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    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
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    I think its to thick.When I oil the insides of a gun I then wipe it lightly back off and know there is still plenty of protection left even if I don't see it.JMOFO
    Now left only to be a turd in the forrest and the circle will be complete.Use me as I have used you

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    I have used ATF and I like it but I don't slather it on. I just put a few drops on a small rag and wipe the metal parts with it. As Amigo Will says, you don't need to be able to see it for it to work. If it's really cold like below -20, just one drop on a finger tip and wipe a lot of metal.

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    Member Music Man's Avatar
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    Never used just ATF by it's self for guns but ATF 50% with acetone is the best rust remover there is. It will loosen any frozen nut & bolt.
    When seconds count, the cops are just minutes away.
    '08 24' HCM Granite HD "River Dog"

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    I prefer EEZOX or Kroil.

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    Member Music Man's Avatar
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    Penetrating oil . Average load .. Price per fluid ounce
    None ................. 516 pounds .
    WD-40 .............. 238 pounds .. $0.25
    PB Blaster ......... 214 pounds .. $0.35
    Liquid Wrench ... 127 pounds .. $0.21
    Kano Kroil ........ 106 pounds .. $0.75
    ATF-Acetone mix.. 53 pounds .. $0.10

    From another thread
    **Machinist's Workshop magazine tested penetrants for break out torque on**
    **rusted nuts with significant results!**

    **They arranged a subjective test of all the popular penetrants with the**
    **control being the torque required to remove the nut from *****
    **"scientifically rusted" environment.**

    ***Penetrating oil ...... Average load***
    **None ....................... 516 pounds**
    **WD-40 ................... 238 pounds**
    **PB Blaster .............. 214 pounds**
    **Liquid Wrench ..... 127 pounds**
    **Kano Kroil ............. 106 pounds**
    **ATF-Acetone mix....53 pounds**

    **The ATF-Acetone mix was a "home brew" mix of 50 - 50 automatic**
    **transmission fluid and acetone. Note the "home brew" was better than any**
    **commercial product in this one particular test. Our local machinist**
    **group mixed up a batch and we all now use it with equally good results. **
    **Note also that "Liquid Wrench" is about as good as "Kroil" for about 20%**
    **of the price.**
    When seconds count, the cops are just minutes away.
    '08 24' HCM Granite HD "River Dog"

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    Member mainer_in_ak's Avatar
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    what advantage does gun oil have over a nice jug of fully synthetic ATF? The stuff flat-out works. It also breaks down gun powder residue.

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    I've been using ATF and also a home brew called ED's Red which is made with atf. You can google it and it will show the recipe. There is some great reading on using atf and why it works so good on firearms especially against the type of acid we have on our hands and such. I'll try to find the link for the ed red.
    http://www.frfrogspad.com/homemade.htm

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    I've been using ATF on guns for decades. Starting using the stuff after seeing how low the cold flow temperature was when i was working in a lab and then how incrediably clean an old automatic transmission I rebuilt was inside. ATF today is probably even better esp. the new synthetic or synthetic blends. I'll will have to try the acetone/ ATF mix as a penetrating oil.

    In the mid-70s I went overseas for a few years and left a metal oiler half full of Kroil in the garage. When I came back the oiler was all rusted up inside - pretty much gave up on Kroil at that point!

    As far as I know sperm whale jaw oil is still the final work in lubricants. My Father used to use it on watches and clocks. I still have few small bottles of his watch oil that must be 75 - 100 years old and still looks and smells fresh and clean - no gumming or discoloration at all.

    Still using RIG for rust protection but perhaps there is something better now. RIG has a very long and sucessfull history in any event.


    Quote Originally Posted by Music Man View Post
    Penetrating oil . Average load .. Price per fluid ounce
    None ................. 516 pounds .
    WD-40 .............. 238 pounds .. $0.25
    PB Blaster ......... 214 pounds .. $0.35
    Liquid Wrench ... 127 pounds .. $0.21
    Kano Kroil ........ 106 pounds .. $0.75
    ATF-Acetone mix.. 53 pounds .. $0.10

    From another thread
    **Machinist's Workshop magazine tested penetrants for break out torque on**
    **rusted nuts with significant results!**

    **They arranged a subjective test of all the popular penetrants with the**
    **control being the torque required to remove the nut from *****
    **"scientifically rusted" environment.**

    ***Penetrating oil ...... Average load***
    **None ....................... 516 pounds**
    **WD-40 ................... 238 pounds**
    **PB Blaster .............. 214 pounds**
    **Liquid Wrench ..... 127 pounds**
    **Kano Kroil ............. 106 pounds**
    **ATF-Acetone mix....53 pounds**

    **The ATF-Acetone mix was a "home brew" mix of 50 - 50 automatic**
    **transmission fluid and acetone. Note the "home brew" was better than any**
    **commercial product in this one particular test. Our local machinist**
    **group mixed up a batch and we all now use it with equally good results. **
    **Note also that "Liquid Wrench" is about as good as "Kroil" for about 20%**
    **of the price.**
    Living the urban lifestyle so I can pay my way and for my family's needs, and support my country. And you?
    ".. ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country" JFK

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    Music Man:
    Thanks for that post. I have been using Kroil for years thinking I had the best there is. I will be trying ATF/Acetone. $7/$8 for a 1/2 pint of kroil bothers me even though it does work pretty good. And the best part is I already have ATF and acetone in the garage.

  11. #11
    Member Music Man's Avatar
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    There is a lot of info if you Google it. Evidently the test was done with non synthetic ATF. It sounds like the synthetic won't mix well.
    When seconds count, the cops are just minutes away.
    '08 24' HCM Granite HD "River Dog"

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    warm up the part you want to lube and rub TETRA OIL into to it with a wool sock, wipe it off and never think about it again .......

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    I have a large bottle of tetra I'd give away to anyone who wants it. after a heavy coating on the internals of one particular rifle that never left the cabinet, it turned to a tan colored gum that had a consistency of dried tooth paste. This was one year sitting in the cabinet.

    Likewise, our rifle's took on heavy rust during this year's hunts, even after liberal coats of the stuff on these two guns almost every day.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by tvfinak View Post
    I've been using ATF on guns for decades. Starting using the stuff after seeing how low the cold flow temperature was when i was working in a lab and then how incrediably clean an old automatic transmission I rebuilt was inside.
    yeah, same here. after disassembling a 17 year old auto tranny myself, I was amazed to find all the hard parts in perfect condition. with the exception of normal wear to the 1 and 2 clutch packs, the dmn thing looked spotless and "like new" inside.

    In an old Toyota Landcruiser, I ran a couple quarts in the oil for 100 mile (to knock out some sludge before an oil change), dropped the oil pan, and there was four lbs of liquefied sludge in the bottom of the pan. There was another few lbs cleaned out of the valve cover. The oil has been honey colored for 500 miles. Before that, the oil would blacken in only a few days.


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    I have built way over a thousand trannies. Never saw a bit of corrosion in any of them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mainer_in_ak View Post
    yeah, same here. after disassembling a 17 year old auto tranny myself, I was amazed to find all the hard parts in perfect condition. with the exception of normal wear to the 1 and 2 clutch packs, the dmn thing looked spotless and "like new" inside.

    The appearance of metal immersed in ATF depends greatly on the quality of fluid. Older fluids would varnish up the insides of transmissions. Newer fluids don't do this except under extreme conditions, like extended run times over 300F.



    Another thing to consider is that even cheap Dexron III/Mercon III fluids don't gel up until minus 50F, much lower for quality brands. Synthetic ATF should be in the -60 to -70 range before gelling. Much better than the gun lube that froze my rifle's safety in the on position at -16 this winter.



    As for corrosion, any oil with water in it will not prevent rusting given enough time. Even while in use. I've pulled apart many GM's that had a ruptured cooler in the radiator that leaked some coolant into the transmission. During normal use the stamped steel parts would rust up. Denser metals and cast iron wouldn't rust. I suspect the cast is porous enough to hold ATF in it preventing water molecules from attaching to the metal. Newer fluids are much better with preventing rusting, but I wouldn't suggest storing your gun while omitting a cleaning after exposing your gun to rain, snow or even going from cold to warm environments.

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    I started using it this winter after hunt season. I like it so far. One pistol likes to rust easy and the ATF has held it at bay. I tried to buy the food grade Lubriplate but Jackovich never got back to me on the case order. The warning I heard was ATF MIGHT penetrate a primer easier. http://www.grantcunningham.com/lubricants101.html

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    Member mainer_in_ak's Avatar
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    maybe if you set a case head in the stuff, but i'm slightly doubtful. that would be a good test.......prime some cases, and let the heads set immersed for a day, not that hunting ammo would ever be subjected to such nonsense.

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    ATF is the routine for me too. I use it for just about anything that needs to be lubed...thread cutting is also a good use. Acetone and ATF in a bucket makes a good crud remover too. Suppressors soaked in it clean up a lot easier and it is great stuff on AR's too...but no slathering...it's not bar BQ sauce!!
    Somewhere along the way I have lost the ability to act politically correct. If you should find it, please feel free to keep it.

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    Great thread.

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