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ATF (Automatic Trans Fluid) as a firearm lube?

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Copper BB
Posts: 3
Joined: Thu Nov 30, 2017 2:42 pm
PostPosted: Thu Dec 07, 2017 10:41 am
I recently had a conversation with a guy in the local Cabelas gun vault where he was claiming the fabulous results he has had with his 11-87 after lightly lubricating it with ATF while hunting in very cold temps. More to the story: It was in a conversation about waterfowling that he claimed he had been using RemOil earlier in the season but as soon as the real cold (teens and below) hit he started experiencing slow cycles and subsequent jamming with just about any brand ammo he tried. His gun plumber recommended the use of the ATF and he claims he hasn't had a cycling problem since.

Anybody here confirm this? Ive always ran any semi auto dry when the COLD hits but I have always worried about the surfaces of mating parts w/o any lube on them at all...
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.270 WIN
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Location: Williamsburg, Va.
PostPosted: Thu Dec 07, 2017 2:28 pm
I am a retired gunsmith and mechanical engineer. Any light oil will usually work fine on a firearm. It's about the easiest duty the oil could ever get. I used WD-40 for 25 years on my 1100s with ZERO issues before I found out it was not the best lubricant. Now I use Rem-Oil unless I am at a friends and he has Breakfree or whatever handy. Just spray and wipe off the excess. Last I looked ATF is designed for automatic transmissions and only comes in quarts. Ought to lat a couple of lifetimes.
Almost any synthetic lube will be fine in the cold.
I have been running 1100s/11-87s for 54 years with no issues.
What could have happened... did.
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 10, 2017 2:34 pm
ATF is thin, which means while it does lube, it's a poor choice to use as a gun lube.

Especially in storage when at an extreme angle because it'll all leak out the back or side of the gun.
When people ignorant of guns make gun laws, you end up with ignorant gun laws.
-Me
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.270 WIN
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Location: SouthEast Alaska
PostPosted: Mon Mar 12, 2018 1:19 pm
ATF has long been considered as a lube in certain cases, and is a prime constituent of "Ed's Red" homebrew firearm lube/cleaner/transmutation agent. The recipe is all over the web, but here is one version: http://www.frfrogspad.com/homemade.htm

Frankly I tend to stay with either CLP, Breakfree, Kroil or Ballistol. They've worked forever and the time's haven't changed that much to make me change.
NRA Life, NAHC Life, Retired USN
Pain heals, chicks dig scars .... glory, lasts forever!

Copper BB
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Joined: Fri Mar 23, 2018 7:55 pm
PostPosted: Fri Mar 23, 2018 9:12 pm
ATF is a high grade oil thin but in my experience thin is better on guns it will not run off totally at least not in the time it takes to occasionally check guns,I use miracle oil works well also and you don't have to worry about it freezing up the action in winter it has a nice Odor too!
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 2018 2:14 pm
I make a version of Ed's Red without the mineral spirits that is a thicker viscosity and I used it for various wipe downs but never as a long term preservative or lubricant.

Regular Ed's Red is a great carbon cutter and pretty fair on exterior wipe downs of blued steel to get fingerprints off..

Just straight ATF would seem to be good lubricant on surfaces that turn or rotate or spin, but not so good for contact areas that glide.
An ATI stock set on a 1955 16-ga Wingmaster would make Baby Jesus cry...........

Cop
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 2018 3:40 pm
I've made Eds red before too. It works well, especially the "thicker" versions. But straight out of the bottle, ATF is far too thin.

Brownells sells a good long term preservative if you are going that route. It's essentially cosmoline. It's called Brownells Rust Veto.
When people ignorant of guns make gun laws, you end up with ignorant gun laws.
-Me

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