Lastly I evaluated corrosion protection and inhibiting. It’s a common claim made by the products in this evaluation so I want to evaluate that as well. Some of the products state that they meet or exceed this test and spec or that test and certification (the most common being ASTM B117 and ISO 9227 salt fog chamber corrosion test and a variety of mil specs. ) All of those tests are very good and harsh controlled environment tests but where I found them lacking was:
1. No UV component. All the tools and gear I use spend a lot of time outside and UV rays break down even the best of products . Those UV effects are not mimicked in a sealed fog chamber in a lab.
2. Constant temps. Our gear is expected to perform in subzero to super-hot temps and sometimes those fluctuations may happen all in the same day or week. A fixed 95 degree F test is certainly equitable to all the samples but not a true environmental test with real world applications for a guy that hunts in freezing temps and then brings his gun into the cabin where it sets near the wood stove to dry out and then is returned to sub-freezing temps the next day.
3. Proximity and cross contamination. Since it’s just not cost effective to test each metal plate all by itself in a fog chamber, many samples are ganged together in a small test chamber. Being that the test chamber is only so big, they are positioned very near one another and samples are misted with the same recycled salt water carrying the corrosion from products failing the test (and the products being tested) onto samples adjacent to other parts. I hope to avoid that.
4. No real life dirt or debris. The wind carries all manner of debris on it that rests on metal parts (some more than others) An outdoor evaluation more closely simulates real “in the field” situations.
For these reasons (and because I plan to sample far more products than has perhaps been done at the same time during any other evaluation conducted) and because I want to increase my confidence level in the results I get, I conducted 3 evaluations. Many of the home spun evaluations I have seen online ran only a single sample set implying the results would be the same if repeated. I ran 3 separate evaluations under a variety of conditions. A portion of this evaluation took place outdoors in direct sunlight with the fluctuations of night and daytime temps as well as UV exposure and wind, airborne debris and rain. Rain or not I planned to mist one group of the sample plates with a salt / water solution in the ratio of 1 tsp non-iodized salt per cup of tap water (and I have hard water with mineral deposits). This will be the most harsh environment meant to expedite the formation of corrosion.
All the sample plates were given a 320 grit (two direction) brushed finish to remove any rust inhibitors the steel maker placed on the steel so they don’t rust in the store. Then the plates were chemically cleaned with acetone prior to applying the product. Each product in the evaluation was applied to the metal per the product instructions on the label. Nearly all products labels direct the user to apply liberally and then wipe off excess product. I followed those instructions as I don’t care for a sloppy, wet gun where excess product is dripping or rubbing off, onto my clothing, gear or car. I left an amount of product on the metal just as I would when I store my firearms. The plates were attached to a suitable (non-metallic) holder at a roughly 15 degree angle from vertical. I didn’t want them lying flat so water would pool on them and I didn’t want them standing perfectly upright either as they would shed water and debris too easily.
All the metal samples were sheared out of the same sheets of cold rolled steel sourced at my local hardware store. Several of these sheets were purchased for this evaluation.
Here is sample board #1 after all the products had been applied to the sample plates. This sample board then sat in my shop for 5 hours to allow the products to fully dry or cure or evaporate or set a film before the board was exposed to the elements.
Here is a short video of all the samples on board #1.
Then the samples were misted with the salted water. Here is a closer view of the plates after the misting. Notice the different reactions with water. Most plates beaded the water.
Not all products beaded water. I don’t know the significance of this but observed and recorded it anyway. The products that did not bead water can be seen below.
After 2 hours I observed the samples. The controls were already exhibiting signs of corrosion. White spots are the result of the salt left behind after the water evaporated and does not indicate rust, just dried salt.
The plates spent the night outside and it was quite a night. Temps in the upper 30's, a storm rolled through with wind gusts to 30 MPH and on and off rain. 24 hours after each product was applied to the plates they were observed for signs of corrosion.
**NOTE** Before I go further I will state that during the process of applying the products to the plates, I had to hold the plates by the very edges. The last contact with the plates was along the very top edge as I pushed the sample into the foam board. Some samples took considerable force to place them in the foam. For this reason I will not count against the products that are essentially corrosion free but exhibit corrosion along the edges where otherwise the bulk of the surface is corrosion free. The edge rusting is a result of my handling the samples and removing the product.
Here is sample board #1 after 24 hours
Some of the corroded samples. (some with only light corrosion and others with significant corrosion)
Here is a video of sample board #1 after 24 hours. It’s still quite windy as you will be able to hear in the video. Pause and restart as required to get a better look at samples of interest to you.
I recorded the samples with mild rusting and major rusting after 24 hours. The samples exhibiting mild rusting were
Rem Oil w/ moisture guard
The samples exhibiting significant rusting were
Rem Oil (regular)
Ace Silicone Grease
Atsko Silicone Spray
3 in One oil
After 24 hours of exposure, 22 of the 46 products (48%) have already begun to show signs of corrosion but remember, the samples were misted with a salt water solution to speed up the process. The 2nd and 3rd group of plates will NOT have a salted water application.
After 48 hours of Board #1 being placed outside, here is a list of the products on board #1 that are still preventing corrosion.
M-Pro 7 LPX
Hoppe’s gun oil
After 72 hours (and lots of wind and rain), the un-corroded sample plates on board #1 are
After 96 hours (and a mostly rain free day) here are the remaining plates from board #1 still protecting from corrosion.
After 120 hours with a day of light rain, the remaining samples have dwindled to just 3.
Another day of on and off rains and the final three are still holing on.
A rare sunny and windy day. 168 hours (7 days) have elapsed since I placed Board #1 outside. No change from the day before.
At this point I will close out the evaluation of board #1 (but continue to monitor) Here is a picture of the entire board.
Here is a video so you can get a better look at each sample. Start and stop the video as you see fit. Despite the constant rains and clouds, the UV rays have taken their toll on the sharpie marker used to denote each brand.
The second group of plates was also evaluated outdoors and started the day after board #1. The metal samples were treated with product and then sat in my shop for 12 hours to dry, cure, evaporate, film-over before the board was placed outside. Here is sample board #2
Here is a short video close up of all the samples on board #2. Even though I crossed off Frog Lube a couple days ago because of the formation of corrosion you will see its still doing a pretty good job of protecting the plate.
The plan was to mist them with clean water but with all the rain that was not required. The duration of the evaluation was a mix of sunny and bright and heavy rains but very windy exposing the samples to UV, wind, rain, dust and all the other elements we encounter when using our firearms, bows, knives, tools, etc. It was a time to conduct such an experiment.
I’m sure everybody living in my area of the state hated this wet stormy spring weather except me. I couldn’t have picked a better set of days to do this evaluation. Upper 30’s to low 40’s, high winds, on and off showers and breaks of sunlight and cold rainy nights. Its like living in a corrosion test chamber.
Most evaluations of this nature run a single set of samples and call it good enough. I’m running 3 sample boards and already I am seeing differences in results from board #1 to board #2 so I think it was a wise move to run multiple samples. Recall that board #1 was misted with a salted water solution to expedite corrosion. Sample board #2 has only seen exposure to rain water but the results after 24 hours are showing sample board #2 is has more product failures than board #1 in its first 24 hours (something I did not expect to see). When I observed sample board #1 after 24 hours, a total of 23 samples exhibited signs of corrosion. Sample board #2 has been outside for 24 hours and already 34 of the 46 products are exhibiting signs of corrosion (74% of the products are failing)
Oddly, the controls on board #2 (which are treated with nothing) are faring better than some of the plates that are protected by product (opposite of what was observed on board #1)
Here is a photo of sample board #2 after the first 24 hours.
It’s a shorter list to name the products that are still providing resistance to corrosion on Sample board #2. They are.
Hoppe’s gun oil
Rem Oil with moisture Guard
Hornady One Shot
Here is a video of board #2 so you can see which products are failing in the first 24 hours. (don’t confuse debris with rust. The video may make it look like some plates are corroding when they are actually use dirty from all the wind blown debris and rain)
After 48 hours, the un-corroded samples from board #2 are shown below (I contend that the Hornady ‘s One Shot, edge corrosion shown below is edge contamination on my part as described earlier. I can’t otherwise explain why the majority of the plate is corrosion free expect a strip along the left edge except that I failed to apply the product to that portion of the plate.)
Its clear that if I had only used a single sample board, I would have arrived are incorrect conclusions about some of these products. Multiple boards that show products preventing corrosion on those boards increases the confidence level in the evaluation.
With a break in the rains here are the remains of Board #2
More rain and the list is growing shorter.
After 120 hrs, Board #2 is down to the final 3.
144 hours and no change from the day before. Based on board #1 and no change in board #2 I am ending the evaluation of board #2
Here is a picture of Board #2
Here is a video of Board #2 so you can get a close up view of each product. Pause and start as you see fit.
By now you may have noticed some commonality in the remaining samples of board #2 and board #1. Results would indicate that
Hoarnady's One shot
WD 40 Specialist
And perhaps Frog Lube
Have shown they outperform the others with Rust Prevent also doing a heck of a job. Running multiple boards has increased my confidence level in the results observed. But there is a third corrosion evaluation (the indoor one) that started the same day and Board #2. I will remind you that Board #1 and #2 were extreme conditions (abuse) simply to expedite the formation of corrosion under salted water and rain water conditions (as well as fog, cold temps, temp fluctuations, lots of wind and some UV rays thrown in for good measure). It’s doubtful any gun, bow, knife or tool owner is going to subject his gear to this in real life but that is the nature of such an evaluation. By design it was meant to be tough. Board 3 will more closely mimic conditions seen while storing our gear.
The third and final Board will be a combination evaluation. One portion will focus on the fingerprint issue on firearms and the other portion of the evaluation deals with longevity. This evaluation will be conducted indoors with no application of water to speed up corrosion.
Here is sample board #3 with all the plates coated in their respective products. Sample Board #3 sat in my shop for 4 hours to allow all the products to dry or cure or evaporate or skim over (some products make claims in this regard) then each was given a fingerprint on the metal. We all have different oils and acids and salts in our fingerprints so not every fingerprint will cause the same level of corrosion. I don’t have 48 fingers and washing after each sample to prevent cross contamination would only remove the salts and oils from my finger so I had to outsource the fingerprint job to a friend (we will call him "Frank" or "Oscar") because I will substitute a hotdog for a finger.
Like me the hotdog is made mostly of meat (with some fillers) water, salt and fat (in my case perhaps too much fat) to prevent cross contamination, a fresh slice was made off the end of the sacrificial wiener to provide an equitable fingerprint on each sample plate. A nice greasy and salty fingerprint was placed in the lower left hand corner of each sample.
Sample board #3 will spend its time in my dinning room and be observed for signs of corrosion.(Until my wife gets sick of it and makes me move out into my shop)
Board #3 will be observed and photographed and at the point plates begin to fail (determined as rust appearing on the surface) they will be tallied until all the samples have failed and I expect at some point all will eventually fail. It may take weeks or months (perhaps years) for that to happen to sample board #3. As of this writting its been 9 days with no signs of corrosion on any plates.
As for me, Here is what I took away from this (even though Board #3 is still being observed)
With this evaluation behind me, I an unlikley to condsider the WD 40 specialist as a gun care product because it wasnt marketed as a cleaner (not meant to be a cleaner so I cant knock for that) and it didnt rank terribly high for lubrication but I will be using it for many other outdoor applications and tools where I want to delay corrosion. The column of my drill press, the top of my table saw, my lathe, saw blades, hand tools and lots of other tools will benefit from its ability to protect from rust.
Frog lube impressed in both lubrication and corrosion inhibition but I wonder how good a cleaner it is? The mfgr website touts it as a cleaner but I am uncertain. (only speculation on my part)
Hornady's One Shot strikes me as more of a cleaner than Frog Lube and WD 40 specialist (speculation on my part) and it certainly performed well as a lube and corrosion inhibitor.
1. There are two enemies to our guns. Neglect and liberal Democrats who dislike the 2nd amendment. Do everything in your power to make sure neither are allowed to make any advances on your weapons.
2. Use these products in a well-ventilated area and wear gloves. Health is your first wealth. Protect it like you do your gear.
3. Water displacing claims don’t mean much. None of the 3 water displacers performed well in the corrosion or lubrication evaluation.
4. Don’t over lube. Its far worse than under lubing. Wipe off the lube to the point you think you may have taken off too much and you should be just about right.
5. Not all gun care products are created equal. Choose wisely. Knowledge is power. I have a little more thanks to this evaluation.
6. If you have had a preferred gun care product that has served you well for many years, there is no need to change even if your product did not fare well in this evaluation. If your outdoor gear functions well and is corrosion free and you are happy with the product and like the smell, why fix what isn’t broken. See note 1.
7. This WAS NOT an evaluation of all the gun care products on the market. It was only an evaluation of the 46 products I assembled for this evaluation. If your favorite product was not included in this evaluation, all anybody can do is speculate as to how it WOULD have performed. While seaking suggestions for which products to include in this evaluation, The recommendations I received came with comments about how I neednt to look any further than their prefered brand as it is the best of the best. In spite of asking for suggestions on multiple forums, nobody recommended Hornady One shot. I found it via a web search at Midway's web site. Frog lube was suggested by many. If there is a better product out there, I will no doubt hear about soon by those lamenting the fact it wasnt included in this evaluation.
8. Since I now have more product than any person should own, I may entertain conducting another evaluation with additional products to see how they stack up against the top 5 from this evaluation. Ive set aside the friction test bed (after coating it with WD 40 specialist to prevent rust) just in case I get the urge.
Edited May 6 9. I am In no way affiliated with or in any way attached to any of the products or companies of the products I evaluated. I am in no way compensated by any product brand name or manufacturer as a result of this evaluation. No company asked me to conduct this evaluation. All products were purchased by me and none were sent or gifted to me for this evaluation.