2023 Best Gun Oil Buyers Guide: Clean & Protect

Maintaining your firearms goes beyond just appearances; it’s about ensuring their peak performance and longevity.

While preventing corrosion and rust is crucial, hidden components like slides, bolts, and levers also rely on proper lubrication for smooth operation. Some gun oils even double as bore cleaners, optimizing your accuracy with each shot.

In this comprehensive Best Gun Oil Guide, we’ll cut through the overwhelming number of options to help you make an informed choice. Drawing from our experience and personal testing, we’ve compiled a list of the best gun oils that guarantee your firearms stay reliable whether you’re hunting or hitting the range.

With countless choices promising various benefits, it’s easy to get lost in the sea of overpriced gimmicks.  This guide is meant to demystify the purpose of gun oil, explore the different types available, and ultimately assist you in finding the perfect one for your specific needs.

The Best Gun Oil for Maximum Performance!
U.S. Marine Corps Sgt. Tyler Neel, the platoon sergeant of the Parris Island armoury, performing a weapons check on a weapon on June 21, 2019. The armory is in charge of over 10,000 rifles on Parris Island.(U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Ryan Hageali)

We understand that maintaining your firearms is crucial to ensuring their longevity and reliability.

Over the years, we’ve tested and evaluated some of the best gun oils in search of the right one.

RELATED – How To Make Homemade Gun Oil Lubricant

Summary of The Best Gun Oil

Radcolube CLP Shooters Pack$20.00 @ RadcolubeCLP
Break-Free CLP$19.95 @ Amazon
Hoppe’s No. 9 Lubricating Oil$11.99 @ Amazon
Ballistol Multi-Purpose Aerosol CLP – 3 Pack$36.95 @ Amazon
Lucas Extreme Duty Gun Oil$18.35 @ Amazon
Militec-1 Gun Oil$16.99 @ Amazon


We want to share our insights and pass on any valuable knowledge that we can to help you decide which is the best gun oil for your firearms.

Why You Need Gun Oil

Many people say that there are only two things that can harm guns – politicians and rust. However, some beginners might think that gun oil is just for lubrication purposes, similar to how motor oil works for engines.

While gun oil is indeed excellent for lubricating gun parts, it serves other important functions too. It is useful for cleaning guns after shooting and can protect them from corrosion and rust.

Therefore, if you want to keep your guns functioning well and in good condition, it’s crucial to use high-quality gun oil. But with so many options out there, how do you know which type of gun oil to choose?

Types of Gun Oil

There are a few different types of gun oils on the market, and you need to be aware of the differences before throwing down your hard-earned cash.

First, you have dedicated products that do just one job, such as a dedicated solvent or a dedicated oil.

Oils for function/lubrication: These oils are typically synthetic and they have the ability to withstand the high pressure and heat of shooting firearms while improving the function and reliability of your gun. Hoppes #9 is a great example of this type of gun oil.

Oils that clean/preserve: These oils may not give much in the way of performance and lubrication, but they have the added benefit of protecting your firearm against corrosion and they can also be used to help you clean your firearm.

Then you have three-in-one oils that act as a solvent, protective oil, and lubrication all in one. Break Free CLP and Ballistol fall into this category.

Note: I know of a few former Tier 1 military guys who all swear by 5W-20 motor oil as a field expedient lubricant.

RELATED – How Often Should You Clean Your Gun

Homemade Gun Oil

A homemade gun lubricant, made by mixing Mobil 1 Synthetic Grease with Mobil 1 10W-30 synthetic motor oil, has proven to be an effective alternative for maintaining various firearms like Glocks and AR series rifles.

homemade gun oil

This DIY mixture yields a substantial quantity of lubricant, potentially lasting for years, making it a cost-efficient option when compared to commercial firearm lubricants, even with an initial investment of $20-$40.

While the homemade lubricant may lack the rust and corrosion prevention capabilities of some gun-specific lubricants and contains chemicals that could be harmful if ingested, for those in dry climates such as Colorado, these disadvantages may be negligible.

To create this lubricant, one can easily source the necessary ingredients from auto parts stores or large retailers like Walmart. The recommended ratio is 3 parts motor oil to 1 part synthetic grease to achieve a honey-like consistency.

homemade gun oil

After mixing, the lubricant should be stored in a container – options range from simple home-use containers to more specialized dispensers for ease of application. This lubricant is then ready to be used in the same manner as any other gun lubricant on the market.

For more information on this recipe, check out our full article on How To Make Homemade Gun Oil Lubricant.

Another recipe we’ve found that is easy to make comes from the Army Marksman Shooter team. Check it out!

What is The Best Gun Oil

Now that we’ve got some of the basics out of the way, it’s time to get into some specific gun oils that we recommend.

Radcolube CLP Gun Oil

Radco Industries, based in Batavia, IL, has created Radcolube® CLP GUN OIL 3IN1, which is widely considered to be the standard for cleaning, lubricating, and preserving both small and large caliber firearms. This product is relied upon by the US Military, Law Enforcement, and Competitive Shooters worldwide.

Additionally, Radcolube® CLP GUN OIL 3IN1 is the top choice for firearm maintenance by various shooting organizations including The Tactical Games™ (TTG), Multi-Gun Competitors, Extreme Long Range Shooting Organization™ (ELRSO), and King of 2 Mile™ (KO2M).

Break-Free CLP

Break-Free CLP was what I used in the Marine Corps. We used it on all our weapons systems. Everything from the Beretta 92 to our M4 rifles, M60 Machine Guns, and even the 81mm Mortar Tubes.

The best thing about this product is that it works at damn near any temperature without gumming up, which means you can use it in a gun that gets hot during full-auto without any issues.

Moreover, this product has been trusted by military forces worldwide for many decades, which means it has an excellent reputation and has been tested in some of the harshest environments possible.

Break-Free CLP-2 Cleaner Lubricant Preservative 4 oz Aerosol

at Amazon
Prices accurate at time of writing

Hoppe’s No. 9 Lubricating Oil

This is the gun oil that probably everybody’s grandfather had back in the day. It was the standard.

Hoppe’s Traditional Lubricating Oil is a high-quality oil that has been carefully refined to provide excellent lubrication. It has a thick consistency, which makes it long-lasting and prevents it from hardening or becoming sticky.

Ballistol Multi-Purpose Aerosol CLP

I keep a few cans of this on my workbench. It’s also easy to throw into a range bag and not have to worry about it spilling everywhere. The only real downside I have noticed is the smell and that is the sole reason it mostly stays on my workbench.

Additionally, it’s not a copper or lead solvent, so you’ll need a different solvent to remove any copper or lead left behind in your barrel. All that said, Ballistol is a battle-proven solvent that will work when you need it to.

If you’re on more of a budget and want something you can get at most hardware stores, then this is your ticket. The following 3 pack is handy. Throw one in your range bag, keep one on the workbench, and keep the other in reserve for when the apocalypse arrives.

RELATED – Ballistol Gun Cleaner Review

Lucas Extreme Duty Gun Oil

Lucas Extreme Duty Gun Oil is a unique combination of oil and petroleum-based additives, carefully blended to create a lubricant that’s ideal for firearms that undergo high volumes of shooting and experience high heat and friction.

This gun oil is specifically formulated for use with semi-automatic rifles, shotguns, pistols, full-auto firearms, and suppressors. It’s designed to resist burning off quickly and provides excellent protection to metal from rust, and moisture, and reduces wear and tear under all shooting conditions due to its polymeric film.

If you’re looking for a gun oil that can handle the intense heat and heavy use that many firearms and NFA items undergo, then Lucas Extreme Duty Gun Oil is an excellent choice.

This lubricant is specially formulated to work effectively under extreme conditions and is ideal for use on firearms that experience high levels of use and heat.

Lucas Extreme Duty Refill 4oz Gun Oil & 1oz Needle Oiler

at Amazon
Prices accurate at time of writing

Militec-1 Gun Oil

One of the biggest advantages of MILITEC-1 is that it has an extremely low evaporation rate, unlike other Mil-Spec lubricants such as CLP, LSA, and similar products.

This means that firearms treated with MILITEC-1 remain lubricated for a much longer time, and won’t dry out or “disappear" over time. Firearms that have been treated with MILITEC-1 can even be taken out of extended storage and fired immediately, without any additional maintenance.

It’s a sad but true fact that sometimes the proper care of weapons is overlooked. However, with MILITEC-1’s long-term lubricating potential, even poorly maintained firearms can fire without jamming.

Once properly applied, MILITEC-1 ensures that a weapon will fire smoothly and reliably every time it’s used.

Militec-1 4oz Lubricant

at Amazon
Prices accurate at time of writing

Gun Oil vs Gun Lube

Gun oil and gun lube are both essential components of firearm maintenance, but they serve slightly different purposes. Understanding the difference between the two is crucial for keeping your firearms in optimal condition.

Gun Oil

Gun oil is primarily designed for long-term protection against corrosion and rust. It’s formulated to provide a thin, even coat that adheres to metal surfaces, creating a barrier that prevents moisture and air from reaching the metal.

This helps safeguard your firearm’s exterior, especially in humid or wet environments. Gun oil is excellent for preserving the finish and appearance of your firearm.

Gun Lube

Gun lube, on the other hand, is designed for lubrication and reducing friction between moving parts within the firearm.

It has a thicker consistency compared to gun oil and is often used in areas such as slides, bolts, triggers, and other components that require regular lubrication to ensure smooth operation. Gun lube minimizes wear and tear on these parts, contributing to improved reliability and accuracy.

In summary, gun oil is primarily a protective barrier against rust and corrosion, while gun lube is a thicker lubricant used to reduce friction between moving parts.

Both are essential for proper firearm maintenance, with their distinct roles in keeping your firearm functioning reliably and looking its best.

If you want to kill two birds with one stone, Break Free CLP is known for its cleaning AND lubricating properties, making it a versatile choice.

Gun Oil [FAQ]

What is the best gun oil for extreme cold?

When it comes to choosing the best gun oil for use in extremely cold conditions, it’s important to look for a lubricant that is specifically formulated to withstand low temperatures.

Some of the factors to consider when selecting an oil for use in cold weather include viscosity, lubrication properties, and ability to resist freezing.

One of the top choices for gun oil in extreme cold conditions is synthetic oil, which can maintain its viscosity and lubrication properties even in temperatures well below freezing.

Other oils that may be effective in cold weather include mineral oils and specialized arctic formulations.

What gun oil do Navy SEALs use?

The specific type of gun oil used by Navy SEALs is not publicly disclosed. However, they likely use high-quality lubricants that are specifically designed for use in harsh and demanding environments.

Some of the key factors that are likely to be considered when selecting a gun oil for military use include reliability, durability, and resistance to extreme temperatures and environmental conditions.

There are many different types of gun oils on the market that are formulated to meet the needs of military and law enforcement professionals. That said, Mil-Comm TW25B is used by US/NATO forces.

Is WD 40 good for oiling guns?

WD-40 is not recommended for use as a gun oil, as it is not specifically formulated for firearms and may not provide the necessary lubrication and protection for the moving parts of a gun.

While WD-40 is a popular multi-purpose lubricant that can be used for a variety of household and automotive applications, it is not designed to withstand the high pressures and temperatures generated by firearms.

Additionally, WD-40 may contain solvents that can damage certain gun finishes or plastics.

WD-40 can be used in conjunction with something like Hoppes 9 oil as shown in the following video.


In the end, choosing the right gun oil isn’t just about keeping your firearm in top shape – it’s about unlocking its true potential.

By using the best gun oil for maximum performance, you’ll experience smoother operation, improved accuracy, and greater overall satisfaction.

So, whether you’re a seasoned shooter or just starting out, don’t settle for anything less than the best.

Find the best gun oil for your specific needs, and let your firearm reach its full potential.

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Table of Contents

  • Summary of The Best Gun Oil
  • Why You Need Gun Oil
  • Types of Gun Oil
  • Homemade Gun Oil
  • What is The Best Gun Oil
  • Radcolube CLP Gun Oil
  • Break-Free CLP
  • Hoppe’s No. 9 Lubricating Oil
  • Ballistol Multi-Purpose Aerosol CLP
  • Lucas Extreme Duty Gun Oil
  • Militec-1 Gun Oil
  • Gun Oil vs Gun Lube
  • Gun Oil
  • Gun Lube
  • Gun Oil [FAQ]
  • What is the best gun oil for extreme cold?
  • What gun oil do Navy SEALs use?
  • Is WD 40 good for oiling guns?
  • Conclusion

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