Lever action lubricant



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  • Lever action lubricant

    What do the lever action enthusiasts like for lubes?
    I picked up a used M92 and its action is slow with built-up wax like (probably dry type) lubricant and fouling. There are so many products to choose from I was wondering what might work best.

  • #2
    Your model 92 may have had a few too many coatings of Boe-Shield spayed in there. It is good for long term storage but it sure gets dirty and gummy with firing a few rounds over time.

    Clean out the waxy junk with solvent and then lube it with Kleen Bore Formula 3 or Tetra oil. They both work really well in cold temps but still leave a good lubricating film.
    Make sure the two locking lugs that come up through the bolt are clean and well lubed. It makes working the action much smoother.

    If you are in a warmer climate you can use a thin coating of Tetra grease or Rig grease on those lugs.

    What caliber is yours?
    Float-CFI, Photo Guide, Fishing Guide, Remote Kayaking
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    • #3
      Thanks for the advice FP.
      It's a .480Ruger. I look forward to the warmer days when I can get some shooting in along with my SRedhawk.


      • #4
        I'm sure there are many good lubes but I use something called Brownells's action lube. I think it is a graphite based very light grease. It will withstand temps from -60plus to +200 and stay on the job. It is of particular use as a high friction lube such as the cocking cam not of bolts and close fitting locking lugs. I use it on the lever of my Marlins and any place where close contact is made under pressure.
        Is there nothing so sacred on this earth that you aren't willing to kill or die for?


        • #5
          My guess is that someone used WD-40 on it.

          It's commonly done. I usta do it myself, but I've never owned a 480 Ruger, so I'm innocent.

          Maybe, you could use some kind of Gunscruber or Spray Brake cleaner on it, and relube.

          Smitty of the North
          Walk Slow, and Drink a Lotta Water.
          Has it ever occurred to you, that Nothing ever occurs to God? Adrien Rodgers.
          You can't out-give God.


          • #6

            Originally posted by Smitty of the North View Post
            My guess is that someone used WD-40 on it.

            It's commonly done. I usta do it myself, but I've never owned a 480 Ruger, so I'm innocent.

            Maybe, you could use some kind of Gunscruber or Spray Brake cleaner on it, and relube.

            Smitty of the North
            Electrical contact cleaner does a great job...oil residue evaporates with solvent, and I also use G-96 Gun treatment to oil the actions. It doesn't have residue build up and good to way below zero.
            If you like getting kicked by a mule...then you'll "love" shooting my .458.


            • #7
              Grab a can of brake cleaner at the local hardware store or cart parts place and use a lot of it. It will break up all the old grunge that's built up.

              I use Mil-Com TW25B light synthetic grease and spray it inside and out. Then on contact parts I apply a small dab of the thick version of the same stuff with the syringe that it comes with. The stuff works at all temperatures and I've shot with it on guns here in Fairbanks on -25 degree days with the gun sitting in the cold car for hours before hand without a hitch.

              There are several other brands of similar stuff which probably work as well. But this is what I've settled on.


              • #8
                As for cleaning the action - use a solvent that penetrates, it helps clean the pores of the metal. But DO NOT leave these types of solvents/cleaners in your action or magazine. They can penetrate past a primer and cause a mis-fire. :eek:

                For lubing an action or magazine use ONLY non-penetrating lubes. I really like Ezoxx. May be hard to find but worth the effort, 100% synthetic and Non-Penetrating so it won't affect primers. It stays fluid to -40f.


                • #9
                  Well partner… you sure got an ear full of well meaning advice from these here fellers… but ifin you’re a real lever gun aficionado, then you will know that the ONLY acceptable lube is the age old classic from yester year…

                  Now, I don’t normally give out this recipe, but I guess I can make an exception… You’re gonna need to buy a fifth of bourbon whiskey, a pint of castor oil, some three in one oil, a block of paraffin wax and an expensive cigar…

                  First off, apply a small amount of the three in one lubricating oil to the moving parts of the rifle. Then set up your wife’s double boiler on the stove but do not apply heat just yet. Next put the paraffin wax into the double boiler. Then dump the castor oil in the trash, light the cigar, and begin drinking the bourbon whiskey… your rifle is now properly lubricated, and within an hour or two, you will also be well lubricated…

                  Ifin the wifey asks about the paraffin on the stove, just shrug your shoulders and say “dunno… some dummy from the computer told me to do it”….

                  And that my boys, is how she's done!
                  “You’ve gotten soft. You’re like one of those police dogs who’s released in to the wild and gets eaten by a deer or something.” Bill McNeal of News Radio


                  • #10
                    Advice runs the gamut, but thats what I was looking for I guess.

                    3 in 1 oil? That would be too easy (I already have some of that).

                    Anything will be an improvement over the current situation. I hope the waxy build-up is easily stripped out of the action with some of that brake cleaner and a toothbrush.

                    How much penetration can you expect with using 3 in 1 Alangaq?


                    • #11

                      I apologize… in all honestly I was only joking about the 3 in 1 oil. But it will in fact work just fine! Really when it comes to fire arm lubrication (specifically regarding bolt and lever action guns) the primary determining factor (my opinion here) in picking a suitable lubricant is temperature. Remember that we are not talking about highly loaded parts or extreme forces from rotating components like we would see in some other forms of machinery. All we really need is a lubricant that will have a low enough viscosity at the anticipated temperature to prevent it from becoming gummy. High temperatures, corrosion etc. are not generally big concerns here. The other issues regarding lubricants that are problematic in firearms i.e. solvent evaporation resulting in varnish like deposits, emulsification and water entrapment, contamination from powder residue, dust, dirt etc. are by in large eliminated or at least mitigated by frequent cleaning and re-lubrication. All we really need is a thin layer of lubricating material to prevent direct metal to metal contact of moving parts, and frankly we all tend to “over do it” when it comes to the application of lubricant, and it is this simple fact that causes the majority of issues when that excess lubricant gets into places it should not (think firing pins, sears etc.) and then sits there for extended lengths of time. So, it is not so much a problem of “poor lubrication” as it is one of “poor cleaning practices and excessive lubrication”…

                      Now when we talk about “penetrating oils” it is important to realize that they are designed primarily for their creeping, wicking and obviously, penetrating properties. They tend to be of exceedingly low viscosity in order to fulfill these primary objectives and as such tend to be of limited value regarding their lubricating properties. The intended purpose for these types of products is primarily to aid in the disassembly of close tolerance machine parts, corroded assemblies and the like. I am specifically talking about products such as WD-40, Kroil and the like, and regarding their use as a firearm lubricant, they are usually a poor choice in all but the coldest of climates. That said, they are obviously the ideal choice for removing a stuck barrel from an action…

                      For me, I have found simple lithium axle grease to be a suitable lubricant for the moving parts of my guns. On the lever actions, I take the stock off and apply a small film to the hammers spring and the spring strut with an acid brush. I will also put a small film on the sides of the hammer, lever, lever pin, sides of the carrier, breech block, and the bolt. The firing pin gets a light coat of penetrating oil as a simple corrosion mitigating measure and to displace any water that may be present. That’s pretty much it… just clean it after each hunt, or a couple times a year and re-lube.

                      Now as I stated at the beginning of my little diatribe, temperature is the main issue here, and if you intend to hunt in sub-freezing conditions, a lower viscosity lubricant will likely suit your needs better than the axle grease. If you plan on being in the field when its -20F to -40F, then you would probably want to look at dry film lubes or the afore mentioned penetrating oils to displace water (snow, ice, etc.) and mitigate the likely hood of the action freezing up on you.

                      Mind you that this is all my opinion, and may not be universally excepted as factual, but I can say that it has worked for me over the span of several decades now…
                      “You’ve gotten soft. You’re like one of those police dogs who’s released in to the wild and gets eaten by a deer or something.” Bill McNeal of News Radio


                      • #12
                        Gee wiz! I forgot to address your main question! 3 in 1 oil does in fact have some limited penetrating properties, but it is primarily a light weight, low viscosity machine lubricant that will work just fine for your firearm needs. However, just like many of the other lubricants that are available to you, it will, over time turn to a gummy varnish like film as the solvents and lighter compounds evaporate off, necessitating a good cleaning followed by another application of lubricant. So, heck, use it if you got it! Just be sure to use it sparingly and do a thorough cleaning job a couple times a year.

                        As mentioned by others, the aerosol solvent type cleaners will work to some degree in removing the waxy varnish like buildup that you are talking about, but I have found that if it is really bad, that pre-soak with a Penetrant like Kroil or WD-40 will help greatly in “reconstituting” this dried up waxy lube residue and make it much easier to flush out with the aerosol solvents. A toothbrush, acid brush and Q-tips will also come in handy and speed the processes considerably.
                        “You’ve gotten soft. You’re like one of those police dogs who’s released in to the wild and gets eaten by a deer or something.” Bill McNeal of News Radio


                        • #13
                          Follow-up question on break-down

                          Thanks for the advice on lubes.

                          I've completely broken-down the action components, and the fouling is bad enough that I'm glad I did. That said, I don't have a manual or parts schematic, and I wonder if I've lost a small part

                          Do any of you M92 (This is an LSI, but I suspect that Winchester or Legacy's are the same) owners know if a small pin exists near the end of the *hammer spring guide rod*? There's a small hole drilled near the end and what appears to be a corresponding saddle in the lower trigger assembly.


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