Marvel Mystery Oil On Guns

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244
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Occupied California
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I'm reading an interesting new book titled "Hemingway's Guns, The Sporting Arms of Ernest Hemingway". In the chapter on his Winchester Model 12, a 1928 manufactured 12 ga. with a 30" full choke and solid rib barrel, it mentions that Hemingway was a big fan of Marvel Mystery Oil as a lubricant. The well used pump gun was said to be so slick that the corncob forearm could be worked back and forth with one finger ! Hemingway literally wore it out before trading it in on a newer Model 12 in 1958. Marvel Mystery Oil seems to have a pretty big following here on BITOG and while I would use more modern lubricants on my firearms, it seemed to work well in that application back in the 30's though 50's.
 
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8,937
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SC
The MMO probably had little to do with how slick the action was on that Model 12. The Winchester 12, along with the Remington 31 and the JC Higgins 20/High Standard Flite-King, were famous for their incredibly slick actions right out of the box. No modern day pump action can even come close (with the possible exception of the Ithaca 37).
 
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3,048
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the Sandhills of Nebraska
Originally Posted By: G-MAN
The MMO probably had little to do with how slick the action was on that Model 12. The Winchester 12, along with the Remington 31 and the JC Higgins 20/High Standard Flite-King, were famous for their incredibly slick actions right out of the box. No modern day pump action can even come close (with the possible exception of the Ithaca 37).
Myth Busted! Cha Ching! Big fan of Hemingway. If you have not read the "The Short Happy Life Of Francis Macomber" than you have not read anythang at all...
 

Al

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18,949
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Elizabethtown, Pa
Originally Posted By: G-MAN
The MMO probably had little to do with how slick the action was on that Model 12. The Winchester 12, along with the Remington 31 and the JC Higgins 20/High Standard Flite-King, were famous for their incredibly slick actions right out of the box.
If you got a good one you could point it up in the air and depress the Slide release and the Action Slide would drop all the way down. Dad's 20 Ga. Model 12 never quite made it but his Model 12 Gauge did.
 
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8,756
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RI
My neighbor took his kids to the range a couple months ago. Went through 100's of round of ammo in multiple rifles. When I went over a couple weeks ago, he still hadn't cleaned them. All he had was MMO in the garage. It did a great job of cleaning/lubing his bolt and lever action rifles, along with some wheel bearing grease in the higher load/wear areas. MMO is a great basic cleaner and lubricant.
 
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8,937
Location
SC
Originally Posted By: Al
Originally Posted By: G-MAN
The MMO probably had little to do with how slick the action was on that Model 12. The Winchester 12, along with the Remington 31 and the JC Higgins 20/High Standard Flite-King, were famous for their incredibly slick actions right out of the box.
If you got a good one you could point it up in the air and depress the Slide release and the Action Slide would drop all the way down.
That was true of all three of the guns I mentioned. Take a look at the blue highlighted section of this old High Standard ad:
 
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348
Location
TN
I see no reason to use MMO on any of my firearms. Google will tell you want is in MMO, and its not what I would or have ever used to clean/lube firearms with. There are just too many quality and gun specific cleaners to start trying to experiment in my garage.
 
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8,756
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RI
Most of those quality and gun specific cleaners ARE garage experiments. Many are grossly overrated and seriously overpriced for what they are.
 
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47,393
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Duvall WA - Pacific NW USA
Originally Posted By: unDummy
Most of those quality and gun specific cleaners ARE garage experiments. Many are grossly overrated and seriously overpriced for what they are.
I dunno about MOST, but I agree with you. Up until now, all I ever used for cleaning and lubing my guns for 25 years: Hoppe's #9 Military Surplus (1969) "Rifle Bore Cleaner "MIL-C-372B" Military Surplus "Weapons Oil, Light" And more recently maybe a little Amsoil grease and Amsoil MP. My guns look pretty nice.
 
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689
Location
Wisconsin
I do like a little Royal Purple 5w-20 synthetic lightly applied on my AR bolt when operating in a high round count SD dogtown. It sticks around longer & keeps things running. I do have a years old container of MMO in the garage looking for a use though.
 
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2,500
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Dallas, Texas
Also please remember that there is some Marvel Mystery Oil that is out there that is a Lubricating Oil. For some reason I don't see it often. The last time I saw it was at Northern Tool, which actually has a decent supply of lubes along one of their back walls.
 
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3,252
Location
Florida
I've used Marvel's lubricating oil from an aerosol can. It stinks, but it works great for lubricating nuts/bolts/etc. They also make one in a bottle. Doubt I'd use it on my weapons.
 
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34,442
Location
NY
MMO is a good lube and does a pretty good job cleaning powder fouling. It does not work as a stand alone product. It does well with carbon fouling and as a gun oil. You still need a good solvent for cleaning copper fouling, etc. It works well at preventing rust. I've removed rust from bluing with it too, which BTW is a form of rust IIRC.
 
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165
Location
Maryland, USA
I have an older Remington 572 fieldmaster pump .22 and the owners manual for that vintage gun recommends varnolene or kerosene for cleaning and light machine oil for lubrication. Under extremely cold conditions some powdered graphite can be used in place of the oil.
 
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8,756
Location
RI
There really isn't much that doesn't clean with kerosene, and white or mineral-spirits. A quart of Hoppes #9 is $20. A quart of paint thinner is $5. A gallon of kerosene or biodiesel is $7. A gallon of mineral spirits is $13. Lamp oil? Add a little acetone to your brew of MMO/kerosene and say bye bye to overpriced #9. Using some synthetic motor oil or ATF as a lube, along with a little bearing grease, and some spray can lube/penetrate.... will eliminate the over-hyped overpriced gun "margarines", fancy acronym'd xyx22 abc10..., and weapon "protective covers".
 
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10,611
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Las Vegas NV
The MMO of that day will be MUCH different than it is today so the comparison really isn't valid. It does contain AW adds but I believe the standard version has little if any corrosion inhibitors (saw this some place). The MMO for air tools is supposed to contain inhibitors. It's mostly naphthenic oil with some solvents so it should clean pretty well. There is better and there is worse. I highly doubt the "slickness" of the action had much to do with the MMO, but rather use. The gun wore out so it couldn't have done all that much.
 
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