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#4578390 - 11/18/17 09:05 PM Dusty Environment Question
CCI Offline


Registered: 07/15/09
Posts: 132
Loc: New Mexico USA
Most of the discussions I've read so far about firearm lubricant seem to assume regular use, that is, lubricant as necessary for keeping the firearm in good condition with extended or heavy use. Like what one might expect in a combat environment or at the range.

Different question here.

Assume severely dusty, sandy, windy, dry environment with very occasional rain or snow that then turns everything to corrosive, abrasive goo. Assume the kind of dust and sand that gets into everywhere and combines with any oil to make the equivalent of lapping or grinding compound. Ordinary oil is out of the question in this environment.

Assume anticipated firearm use in this environment as hopefully never, but better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it. But if it's needed, it definitely needs to work the way it is supposed to.

In other words, we're looking for a protective coating that will not allow the weapon to rust but won't pick up dirt.

Assume that weapon will be properly cleaned and lubed before use at the range.

Would silicone spray work?

Is there anything that would work better?

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#4578521 - 11/18/17 11:48 PM Re: Dusty Environment Question [Re: CCI]
WyrTwister Offline


Registered: 01/13/13
Posts: 1488
Loc: Texas
Do not know . I have read of the military running some weapons dry , in such an environment .

We all would like our stuff to last forever , but if you NEED a gun , it is most important that it WORK .

Best of luck , :-)
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#4578539 - 11/19/17 12:23 AM Re: Dusty Environment Question [Re: CCI]
Linctex Offline


Registered: 12/31/16
Posts: 6148
Loc: Waco, TX
I remember reading in some industrial maintenance magazine (or white paper?) where tests showed that even dirty (gritty) oil is better than no oil at all.

I'd honestly look into some of the dry-moly coatings if you are that worried about it. Otherwise, just oil it and quit worrying about the dirt.
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#4578620 - 11/19/17 07:08 AM Re: Dusty Environment Question [Re: CCI]
bubbatime Offline


Registered: 03/18/08
Posts: 5619
Loc: South Florida
You add more lube in such an environment. Dump the lube on, it will likely work.
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#4578624 - 11/19/17 07:12 AM Re: Dusty Environment Question [Re: CCI]
billt460 Online   content


Registered: 03/30/15
Posts: 4379
Loc: Glendale, Arizona
This is a Catch 22 kind of question. Do you want your weapon to be dirty to the point it's operation is questionable? Or so filthy it won't work at all in a few rounds? In a dry, dusty environment ANY type of lubricant is going to attract the very thing you are trying to keep off your weapon to begin with..... Dust. Look at your car. Wash it, dry it, then drive it down a dirt road. It will get dusty. Now do the same thing only cover it with a light film of oil. Dirt will stick to it like mad.

A weapon is no different in the same environment. In Iraq many military personnel found a dry weapon to run the best. Which means it will run questionably from the get go. Because AR-15 / M-16 platform rifles like, and need to be run wet with lubricant to operate at their best performance. But it will attract more dust and dirt if it's run wet. Thereby causing even more malfunctions. So the bottom line is the gun is not going to be very dependable in that type of environment, period. But the lesser of 2 evils is to leave it dry, and hope for the best. Or else run a AK-47 any way you want, and be done with the problem once and for all.

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#4578642 - 11/19/17 07:45 AM Re: Dusty Environment Question [Re: CCI]
bubbatime Offline


Registered: 03/18/08
Posts: 5619
Loc: South Florida
Sorry billt460, incorrect. A dry dusty gun chokes hard. A wet dusty gun usually works. Many resort to cleaning their guns daily in such environments. And if they want reliability, they dose their gun extra heavy with lube. Period.

25 years ago the recommendation was to keep them dry. Now it's the opposite, after 20 years straight of desert warfare, we have learned that a wet weapon works. A dry weapon chokes. Yes, even in dusty environments.


One blurb I was able to quickly find:

By Matthew Cox - Staff writer
Posted : Monday Jul 16, 2007 17:34:05 EDT

Army weapons officials might have found a way to improve the M16 family’s performance in the desert.

“Dust chamber” tests at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md., last year show that M16 rifles and M4 carbines perform dramatically better when the weapon’s bolt assembly is heavily lubricated.

During each phase of the two-part “system assessment” at Army Test and Evaluation Command, testers fired 60,000 rounds through 10 weapon samples of each model.

Treated with light lubrication, new M16A4s and M4s, performed poorly in the extreme dust and sand conditions of the test, according to a January report from ATEC.

But when testers applied a heavy coat of lubrication to the weapons, the test results showed a “significant improvement.”

Out of the 60,000 rounds fired in each phase, the M4 stoppage-rate dropped from 9,836 with light lubrication to 678 with heavy lubrication.

The M16A4 stoppage-rate dropped from 2,124 with light lubrication to 507 with heavy lubrication, results show.

For years, Army weapons officials have preached to soldiers to virtues of applying a light coat of lubrication during weapons maintenance.

But the test results reinforce a recent change in weapons maintenance guidance Army units are practicing in Iraq and Afghanistan, said Col. Carl Lipsit, project manager for Soldier Weapons.

At the request of Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., the Army will conduct a similar dust-chamber test in August, pitting the M4 against the Heckler and Koch 416, the H&K XM8 and FNH USA’s Special Operations Forces Combat Assault Rifle.

All of the participating weapons will be treated with a heavy coat of lubrication during the test, Lipsit said.
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#4578672 - 11/19/17 08:14 AM Re: Dusty Environment Question [Re: CCI]
billt460 Online   content


Registered: 03/30/15
Posts: 4379
Loc: Glendale, Arizona
You can argue this either way. And you'll have weapons issues either way.

https://www.stripes.com/blogs-archive/th...87#.WhGPebde53E

"A dry weapon will attract dust and when you fire it, it will gum up,"

"But since then, The Doctor has talked to troops who say that using too much lubricant in a hot and dusty environment will cause a rifle to jam."

"Gunsmith Jack Landis also said that rifles need a good coating of weapons lubricant, but he acknowledged that lubricant attracts dirt and dust. He said the solution is not to use less CLP, but to clean your rifle more often."

"The debate over more versus less CLP will never go away."


So..... Who do you believe, and what do you do? The bottom line is the AR-15 / M-16 platform likes to be run clean and wet. A condition that is all but impossible to achieve in dry, dusty, desert combat. The gun is not going to be dependable in that type of environment because of it's design. Other weapons platforms like the AK-47 will be.

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#4578679 - 11/19/17 08:23 AM Re: Dusty Environment Question [Re: CCI]
Ducked Offline


Registered: 10/25/12
Posts: 4325
Loc: Taiwan
When I was in the British Army we were told to use a dry graphite lubricant in those conditions, though I never saw any. That's quite a while ago though, and a previous generation of small arms (FN-derived SLR and Sterling SMG mostly)

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#4578680 - 11/19/17 08:23 AM Re: Dusty Environment Question [Re: billt460]
CCI Offline


Registered: 07/15/09
Posts: 132
Loc: New Mexico USA
In a dry, dusty environment ANY type of lubricant is going to attract the very thing you are trying to keep off your weapon to begin with..... Dust. Look at your car. Wash it, dry it, then drive it down a dirt road. It will get dusty. Now do the same thing only cover it with a light film of oil. Dirt will stick to it like mad.

That's it. Everything I've read assumes the weapon is going to be subjected to regular heavy use, that isn't the case here. All it has to do is in the unlikely event of trouble feed a few rounds reliably one time, if that happens, we're good.

But the lesser of 2 evils is to leave it dry, and hope for the best.

I'm thinking a little dry lube of some type on the slide, if I could come up with a corrosion protectant for the bore that didn't attract dust, a can of air like what you clean computer keyboards with would probably take care of incidental dust between excursions until such time as a cleaning is practical.

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#4578724 - 11/19/17 09:08 AM Re: Dusty Environment Question [Re: CCI]
billt460 Online   content


Registered: 03/30/15
Posts: 4379
Loc: Glendale, Arizona
Originally Posted By: Ducked
When I was in the British Army we were told to use a dry graphite lubricant in those conditions, though I never saw any.


Originally Posted By: CCI
I'm thinking a little dry lube of some type on the slide, if I could come up with a corrosion protectant for the bore that didn't attract dust, a can of air like what you clean computer keyboards with would probably take care of incidental dust between excursions until such time as a cleaning is practical.


I would agree. Common sense would dictate that dry lube, (be it Graphite or some other type), would be the best bet. It would not attract any dust itself. And would at least provide some lubrication and friction loss.

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#4579481 - 11/19/17 08:33 PM Re: Dusty Environment Question [Re: CCI]
bubbatime Offline


Registered: 03/18/08
Posts: 5619
Loc: South Florida
What gun are we talking about, what environment are we talking about?

Dry lube on guns is pretty much a no-no these days. It WAS a recommendation 25 years ago, but those days are behind us for the most part.
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#4579505 - 11/19/17 09:03 PM Re: Dusty Environment Question [Re: bubbatime]
CCI Offline


Registered: 07/15/09
Posts: 132
Loc: New Mexico USA
SIG P220, high altitude desert.

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#4579535 - 11/19/17 09:30 PM Re: Dusty Environment Question [Re: CCI]
bubbatime Offline


Registered: 03/18/08
Posts: 5619
Loc: South Florida
Originally Posted By: CCI
SIG P220, high altitude desert.


Classic Sigs prefer grease. I like TW25B for that application most of the year. Its cold weather rated, used by Canadian RCMP on firearms, (or was)
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#4579547 - 11/19/17 09:42 PM Re: Dusty Environment Question [Re: bubbatime]
CCI Offline


Registered: 07/15/09
Posts: 132
Loc: New Mexico USA
Thank you, I will give it a try.

Any thoughts on something to protect the bore from rust that won't pick up dirt?

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#4580111 - 11/20/17 01:46 PM Re: Dusty Environment Question [Re: CCI]
Kamele0N Offline


Registered: 02/09/15
Posts: 2038
Loc: Slovenia




Edited by Kamele0N (11/20/17 01:48 PM)
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