GUN CLEANING

Bill Harriman

I have used WD40 on a variety of guns without any apparent damage to their finish.

I find it particularly useful for dealing with blackpowder fouling if it is sprayed down the barrel immediately after use.

It seems to form a barrier between the corrosive fouling and the metal.

The fouling then comes out very easily in the form of a powdery grey residue rather than the usual sticky, sooty mess.

I don?t generally use oil as a preservative because it attracts dust and makes a gooey mess.

It also coagulates and can impede the mechanism if left for long periods.

Oil also has a damaging effect on woodwork and once a stock is oil-soaked it is hard to remove it.

I find conservation-grade wax polish such as Renaissance Wax a far better preservative.

This forms a hard coating that sheds both dust and water and is used by all professional conservators on arms and armour.

  • andrew hughes

    hi,ive used wd 40 on guns, both rifles and shotguns, for years and ive never had a problem. i find it better for flushing dirt and grime than most expensive gun oils and sprays hope this is of help andy

  • Phillip Bradshaw

    Regarding the potential WD40 issue I was given to understand the matter is not whether it harms the metal but whether long term usage to clean the exterior blacked finish of the barrels might be a problem. I have been told that the blacking on the barrels is a form of rust and, as WD40 is often used to deal with rusted metal surfaces, it might possibly affect the barrel blacking if used over a long period of time. I too find WD40 very useful on firearms but I have only ever used the good old oily rag method to polish the exterior of the barrels.This might well be totally incorrect and WD40 might be entirely inert against blacking but the oily rag method has been around as long as the guntrade and for my money can’t be bettered.

  • Simon Mansell

    I have also been told not to use WD40 and if this is wrong then it is an urban myth generally held in the gund trade. The explaination given to me was that WD40 “lifts” the bluing. As you will know bluing is in fact rust! I do not doubt WD40 is effective inside the bore but for the above reason I would not use it on external parts that are blued. Perhaps the techicions at WD40 could be asked to comment?