A Closer Look at FireClean and Canola Oil

If you read the first article on this blog regarding whether or not FireClean is the same as Crisco, you are aware that people became really, really upset over the results.

Lines were drawn, accusations were made, the science was championed by some and attacked by others.

A second round of testing, conducted at the Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Massachusetts, sheds more light on the controversy. I submitted eighteen samples for various tests, including gun oils, gun pastes, cooking oils, and gear oils. If you would like to read about the methodology, you may do so here – straight from the horse’s mouth. These tests included IR spectroscopy and nuclear magnetic resonance testing. Click that link to learn more about both.

In addition, separate testing of FireClean and a different brand of canola oil was conducted by a different individual (who has a PhD in chemistry) at a different lab. This testing included HPLC (high performance liquid chromatography) and two variants of NMR (nuclear magnetic resonance). I did not supply the samples for this test, but the results were remarkably similar.

Some of the people involved wished to remain anonymous after they saw the vitriol directed at various parties after the first test, but others did not. Everett, who conducted the bulk of this testing, wanted me to thank the following people:

-Professor Drew Brodeur of Worcester Polytechnic institute for advising the project
-Daryl Johnson, Andy Butler, and Professor John MacDonald of WPI for help with the methods and testing
-Curtis of The VSO Gun Channel for help with the methods

Several of these tests of the eighteen various lubricants will be of interest to those in the firearm sphere, but perhaps none will be as interesting as this one. Summarized in one sentence, here’s why:

According to every PhD who looked at the NMR results, FireClean and Canola oil appear to be “effectively” or “nearly” identical.

This was also the opinion of the chemistry student conducting the testing (Everett) and two other people with similar undergraduate degrees.

Here is the data:

NMR Sample #6 (2015 production Crisco brand canola oil)

NMR Sample #8 (2015 production FireClean)

Here is the NMR data superimposed upon one another:

 

NMR Sample #6#8 merge
Here is some additional IR data which also includes sample #16, generic corn oil:

6 v 8 v 16

Here is what people with chemistry experience and/or degrees had to say:

“For NMR, you have environment, shift, area and splitting.  Presuming these samples were processed identically, I find the NMR spectra to be effectively identical.  Each peak in a carbon NMR spectrum identifies a carbon atom at a distinct place along a molecule.  Each place reflects its local environment.  You can look up the peaks in the spectrum to referenced guides to then identify where along the spectrum the peaks correspond with molecular species in the molecule.  For instance, is it next to another carbon atom, or an oxygen or hydrogen, etc…  The important part is that the peaks overlap precisely.  I made an image attached below that shows sample 8 superimposed in the green channel of sample 6 (see above).  The height of the peaks is slightly different reflecting effectively nothing as it is the area under the peak that matters which here is negligible.  Sample 6 and 8 are effectively identical.” – PhD (Neurophysiology, BS Chemistry/Biology)

“Height from one spectrum to another is irrelevant and can vary with a slight difference in amount of sample put in the NMR tube. As one of my professors put it “NMR is the gold standard for structural chemistry.” Structural chemists that know the molecular formula of their compound can combine NMR with IR data to figure out what the structure of their molecule is. The chances of two different molecules having the same NMR spectra is almost zero.” – Everett (conducted testing)

“In terms of your data, the two 13C NMR spectra look nearly identical and are expected for a vegetable oil blend. Some differences are apparent in the ‘alkene’ region (~129 ppm), and this is likely due to varying ratios of different unsaturated triglycerides being present in different products. Wikipedia has ratios of the various fatty acid compositions for different oils (here). The minor differences between oleic, linoleic, paltimic, stearic, etc acids will result in slightly different peak patterns in that region of the spectrum.” – Anonymous, PhD (Chemistry)

Here is the second NMR test – two types of NMR, actually, proton (1H) and carbon (13C) done at a different lab, by a different individual, using different samples of FireClean and Costco brand Canola oil:

Canola v FIREClean 13C NMR jpgFIREClean v Canola 1H NMR jpg

Here is what he had to say about the results:

“The structure I pasted over the spectrum is not the exact identity of the canola or fireclean, it’s just a representative. These products contain a mix of various compounds, so the carbon chain length, number and placement of double bonds, etc will all vary between various chemical species and vegetable oil blends. The paper sums that up, for your more demanding readers. I haven’t kept up with the press on fireclean all that much, but if they are claiming any addition of anticorrosives or stabilizers, they would likely show up in either the IR or NMR spectra unless in very small quantities. I would feel confident claiming that FIREclean is just a vegetable oil or vegetable oil blend of some sort.

Some differences in the NMR spectra are apparent, but they are relatively inconsequential and easily explained by the complexity of lipids derived from natural sources. In the 13C NMR, we see some variation in alkene peaks around 128 ppm (peak b) that are likely due to di- and tri-unsaturated fatty acids, and similarly in the 1H we see changes in the relative amounts of allyl protons due to additional unsaturation (2.7 ppm, peak c) between fireclean and Costco canola oil. There’s still nothing about the NMR that would indicate that fireclean is anything but vegetable oil. 

This means that some of their claims are true. Vegetable oil is certainly nontoxic/biodegradable, and somewhat odor free. However, it would be difficult to argue that vegetable oil possesses “extreme heat resistance” when it is known to degrade in the presence of heat and oxygen. As far as conditioning the metal substrate to resist further carbon buildup, a good comparison might be that of seasoning a cast iron skillet, where oil or fat is heated to the point of degradation, leaving behind a complex layer of polymerized triglycerides. If you are comfortable with this on your firearms’ internal components, then this would be a good product to use, otherwise a more thermally stable product might be in order. The attached paper (Review of Food Lipids 2014) details the degradation of food lipids under conditions relevant to firearms use, so readers may make their own determination.” – Anonymous, PhD (Chemistry)


As I have continued to state since forming an opinion on the product, FireClean works very well as a lubricant for the AR-15. I chose it for the LuckyGunner 40,000 round ammo test because I had used it with good results – I was provided with samples early in 2012 – and wanted to give a fledgling company a chance in a crowded field. I don’t regret that decision – the lubricant worked well for the test. The FireClean folks must have felt the same way, because my work on that test is in almost every sales pitch they’ve made about their product.

That said, even the best lube can’t make a bad rifle or a bad magazine or bad ammunition function 100%. All of those items working together – a good rifle built by Bushmaster, Magpul PMags, Federal brass cased .223, and a good lubricant (FireClean) came together for 10,000 rounds with no malfunctions in that particular carbine. The steel cased carbines didn’t perform at quite the same level, but still performed remarkably well, all things considered.

FireClean is, as stated previously on this blog, a common vegetable oil, with no evidence of additives for corrosion resistance or other features. The science is solid in this regard. Questions or concerns about the limited value of IR testing should be, I would think, put to rest with two discrete tests – tests regarded as “the gold standard in analytical chemistry” – and analysis by multiple sources.

Viewed in this light, FireClean’s recent claims that using cooking oils such as canola oil on your firearm could lead to serious injury or death are simply laughable. They also claimed that it should not be used for cooking due to health concerns – but they also claim that it’s non-toxic. Well, which is it?

I have absolutely no issue with the concept of making money (I applaud those who make money hand over fist), or taking a product from one sphere and introducing it to another. I think a certain amount of “finder’s fee” is absolutely reasonable. If they discovered that the product would work as a gun oil, introduced it to the gun world, etc., then they did people a favor by telling them about something they never would have discovered on their own. There are also marketing costs, packaging, etc. We couldn’t expect them to sell a 2oz bottle of Fireclean for the same per ounce price as a gallon of Walmart brand Canola oil.

That said, I don’t think I could look someone in the eye and tell them that a bottle of vegetable oil was the most advanced gun lube on the planet, but those who can? Well, they’re good salesmen, I guess.

What I do take issue with are attempts to mislead consumers and distort the facts. There is a line between being an aggressive and effective salesman and not being entirely truthful about your product, the way it works, or what it contains. It is my belief that FireClean crossed that line long ago – and that many of their recent statements are simply egregious.

71 thoughts on “A Closer Look at FireClean and Canola Oil”

  1. Excellent article. Thank you (and those involved) for taking the time to conduct these tests and for sharing the results with us in an informative manner.

    I have yet to use FireClean, and based on how they’ve handled things since this whole thing started, I probably never will. I’m sure your data won’t change the minds of their most hardcore supporters, but hopefully it’ll start a dialog and some people might start thinking critically for a change.

    I started using CLP back when I was in the Canadian Army, since that’s what I was taught to use, and I still use it occasionally. Nowadays I tend to use Slip 2000 EWL and I’ve had good results with it. I am curious to see if it’s one of the lubricants that you have tested, since it seems to have similar application instructions, and makes similar claims of metal conditioning. Their website even mentions seasoning a frying pan: https://www.slip2000.com/slip2000_gunlube.php

    1. Since the samples yet to be discussed were “solid” grease type samples I don’t think that slip 2000 was included. But I’ll make sure to keep it in mind if I do a future round of testing.

  2. I have been using gunzilla for a couple years now and love the stuff. It is marketed in much the same way as Fireclean, what with the non toxic, biodegradable and so on. I would imagine it is likely similar, if not the same, as vegetable oil as well. Thanks for putting in the work on this Andrew, it’s been interesting reading about the process.

  3. Vegetable oils and animal oils/grease are nothing new in the firearms world. The only thing fireclean did was use fancy marketing and questionable claims to market an already established product.

  4. So I think the definitive test would be if someone whipped up a batch of fries cooked in FireClean and did a taste test.

    1. There is a video of 2 guys frying eggs with Fireclean. The amount of Fireclean needed to deep fry french fries can probably only be afforded by LAV with his employee discount.

  5. Yaaay Bruker NMR!

    But seriously I’m happy to see actual NMR data to back up the IR work previously done. It’s much better than IR for comparing things such as this. (IR does a good job but if you really want to be sure, you go to the NMR dungeon and stuff your sample in the magnet)

  6. This article says 18 different oils were tested, to include Fireclean and Canola Oil. Where are the results for the other 16? I would be interested to see where they compare with the Canola Oil.

      1. This certainly is a slam dunk on the whole issue. So much science. And then more science, twice with Doctors. The world needs more of this.

        I thank you!

        Senior Zang .

  7. canola oil will oxides and gum. Far as I know,no complaints from the gun community. It might be canola but they might found away from keeping It from oxidizing.

    1. I’ll hang on to the samples and check back in a few years, but it doesn’t look like it. the C13 NMR shows relatively equal peaks in the areas indicating C=C double bonds. A lot of the chemistry relating to oxidation and gumming up (which could also be from polymerization) would likely come from either those double bonds or the ester bonds in the triglycerides.

  8. Andrew,
    This is exactly the sort of thing I’ve come to expect from your blog and one of the reasons I’ve continued to read. Thanks for being a beacon of truth and accuracy.

  9. Here’s my take fwiw. I guess I got taken. I’ve used fireclean and it worked, but now with all this evidence and especially the video with LV, I no longer have any faith in this company or LV. I actually threw out all my fireclean and unsubscribed to LV. Let’s see if they are at next years shot show. This will also hurt other manufactures because it will cause serious doubt on any claims that are made. I also threw out my Rand CLP, Gunzilla, and Frog lube. I went back and read Grant Cunninham’s lube 101 article, and promptly bought the lubriplate kit. At least it’s honest and does what a lube should do without all the bullshit claims.

    1. I’d love to see this make people question things. I hope I don’t make you distrust lubricant companies, but question claims before you blindly believe things. I spent way too much on Fireclean at one time too. Don’t be mad about it, it still works as a lubricant, so use it for that. And when you go to buy more just know you can get it for less in the cooking section.

  10. I’ve been using single stroke motor oil on my guns for years, really cheap generic hardware store brand, the kind intended for a lawnmower that sells for $2 per jug. It works really well too. Generic white lithium grease also does a good job. People have always called me crazy, the same people who were paying $10 for a tiny bottle of Militec-1, or whatever trendy high tech space lube had just been invented.
    I can’t say I’m really surprised that a company came along and started repackaging cooking oil to sell to the gun community. Ours is an industry that is filled with disposable income, and at times shockingly little common sense. Ripe for the picking by a company with good marketing and endorsements by figure heads with questionable scruples.

    Everyone should take this article to heart and remember it well when your local gun shop starts stocking a new wonder lube. They may not all be snake oil, but 99% of the time it hissed and had fangs before they bottled it.

  11. Well, good. I’ll just keep using remoil in the spray can and 3n1 oil in the squeeze bottle, and wd40&elbow grease for cleaning.(remember, kids, wd is a water dispersion/cleaning product, not a lubricant!) I know you been taking a lot of grief over this, AT, and I say f*ck’em. I was skeptical of FC when I smelled it and it made me think of some concoction a chick would rub on her snootch before a date. ‘nough said.

  12. Oh, and AT? Now that you have put this one in its grave how about some write ups on AKs. I know, I know, AR plat is your wheelhouse, still, applying your lazer-like focus to any subject will surely improve it! Look what you did for the fast food industry.(sorry, you left that chain lying there and I had to give it a yank, since you never got around to reviewing the Primanti Bros Samich)

  13. Mr. Touhey, I have noted that you used to sing the praises of Fireclean, and now you do not. Even going back on your sentiments so much as to call the firearms which you used in your 40,000 round ammo test as a “a good rifle built by Bushmaster”. Well, originally half of them had barrel nuts hand-tight, as I remember that article. Regardless, you have shown that the weapons functioned very well in dust, rain, mud, etc. for thousands upon thousands of rounds, with little lube involved, and you praised the product heavily at the time. So, I would ask…why are you now attacking it? You have yet to produce a single failure of it to deliver on its advertised performance. You have managed to find / create NMR test data which shows FIREClean has similar signature as Canola oil. However, similar is not identical, and it may well contain Canola oil. The patent has made it quite clear that the product is a blend of various oils, yet you have set out on a path to stat that it is one specific oil, and you are pushing Canola (Rapeseed) oil, as that oil.

    Further, I would direct you to numerous research articles which expound on the film strength, heat management/endurance, and other attributes of vegetable oils, in general. Vegetable oils are indeed VERY resilient when dealing with heat, and have boundary film strengths far in excess of petroleum based products. I have found nothing wrong with Fireclean’s claims, here. A quick Google will show this to be born out on many pieces of very expensive equipment in the food and other industries where petroleum is a no-go, or where the specific attributes of a vegetable oil are better suited.

    I would then address your regression back to the realm of fact…calling Fireclean a vegetable oil. Okay…but we already knew this.

    Then you attack the product again, saying that a vegetable oil / blend does not warrant the cost, nor the title of “most advanced”, etc.

    The rub here, is you still don’t know what the product is, how it is created/mixed/synthesized, etc.

    Goose and Taaka are very similar, chemically speaking.

    So I would ask…why are you attacking a product you once championed, and using half-truths and changing your story to do so? Has Fireclean caused an issue in function? Did one of the guys who owns the company kick your dog, metaphorically? I am curious, why the about-face?

    1. I’m sorry for the butterfingered typing, Mr Tuohy. It’s been a long shift, and I did not mean to butcher your name. Apologies.

      1. No offense taken. If I had a dollar for every time someone has misspelled my name, I could buy a months’ supply of FireClean.

    2. An obvious question, I guess, but one not based on facts. My only agenda here has been to conduct research and report on it truthfully.

      You say that I used to sing the praises of FireClean and have now changed my story. Well, let’s look at my actual statements, not your recollections.

      I have been very consistent in saying that FireClean works very well as a lubricant for the AR-15 platform. I even say that in this article to which you responded (perhaps you missed that).

      However, unlike others in the industry, I haven’t quite championed it. In the LuckyGunner test article, where you claim I “praised the product heavily,” FireClean is mentioned in wholly objective terms as the lubricant used and I neither champion it nor denigrate it. I also reviewed the blog’s Facebook page from that timeframe and did not see any outstanding praise of FireClean. If you look at this article written in 2013, I say that Fireclean works very well but that I would not buy it due to cost. If you don’t believe me, check internet archives – that article hasn’t changed since publication, to the best of my recollection.

      If you can find any quote from me in which I champion FireClean above all other oils or say that it is the best oil ever or say that I’ll never use another oil or say that it made my rifles run better than anything else or say that it made all the difference in the 40,000 round test and without it the rifles wouldn’t have worked as well – the likes of which we’ve heard from others in the industry and ones which I would certainly consider championing – by all means, bring it to my attention.

      More recently, I set out to address two rumors that were going around regarding FireClean – that it was Crisco, and that it would gum up over time. In this post, you can see that I intended to address both. On the first one, gumming up an action after prolonged storage – draw your own conclusions from the video – but it was hardly an attack on FireClean. Naturally, the FireClean people loved that video.

      On the second point – the Crisco rumor – I conducted research and reported on it. I attempted to include feeback from the company, but they were more interested in misdirection.

      I then saw the obvious manipulation of the “Fireclean Lube Test” video – ridiculousness of the claims notwithstanding – and reported on that as well.

      Finally, you have this post which addresses concerns from those who say IR spectrography is not conclusive enough.

      I hope that this helps you understand that at no point have I used half truths or changed my story. I feel that I have been exceptionally consistent, considering recent revelations. I’ll repeat what I said in 2013 – Fireclean works very well as a lubricant, but I wouldn’t buy it because it’s too expensive.

      1. I suppose my largest qualm with what I’ve read on your blog is that FIREClean claims to be a blend of multiple oils. I myself have tried physically mixing it with vegetable oil, as well as canola (rapeseed) oil, and it does not readily mix. For all I know, it contains rapeseed oil as a component, I won’t argue for/against that. However, even to the casual observer, it is clearly not the same. All of the lab data you have produced/had produced also indicates that it varies significantly from pure rapeseed oil. For example, please see this: http://www.process-instruments-inc.com/images/PI_Raman_Cooking_Oils.jpg I am sorry that the image is so bloody small, but the point is made. There are AT LEAST as much variances on the spectrum analsysis you have shown of Fireclean, and yet you say that it is “functionally the same”, or at least that’s the gist, as Canola/Rapeseed oil. Well, there is Raman spectra of multiple oils with VERY different properties, and they look just as similar as your Fireclean vs. Canola graphs, yet we clearly know that Canola oil and Vegetable oil (soybean) have very different properties. So I guess what I’m asking is…why have you chosen spectrum analysis as your method to prove that Fireclean = Canola oil? I think that if you want to prove that Canola = Fireclean, you need to subject them to PERFORMANCE tests, such as falex weld point, smoke point, iodine uptake (already done by fireclean), and other things like that, because as we can see, most vegetable oils look darn similar on spectrum analysis, and I feel that using that tool is very misleading to the public at large. It would be like me trying to sell you TAAKA instead of Grey Goose and using “alcohol content” as the thrust of my sales pitch. So I would ask…why have you chosen the most ambiguous method? Why choose the only method that seems to support your views, which is also scientifically valid, instead of some of the other tests which are more in line with its intended use? A firearm cannot read a spectrum analysis any better than most of your audience, but it CAN see smoke-point, coefficient of friction, falex weld point, etc…I would like to see how FIREClean and Rapeseed oil differ on THOSE points…now if they don’t…THEN you have a case. Otherwise, you’re just selling me TAAKA instead of Goose and brandishing alcohol % by volume as the reason I should buy, IMO

        1. “why have you chosen the most ambiguous method?” Really? Repeated testing by multiple sources is “ambiguous”? Glad I was done with my coffee when I read that one.

          1. Here is NMR data for 20 distinct marine, plant, and animal oils. Would you say that they look “almost identical”? I think you’ll find NMR is rather ambiguous for some applications…

            [img]http://www.process-nmr.com/images/productspage/edible10.gif[/img]
            http://www.process-nmr.com/edible_oils_nmr_spectra_at_60.htm

            Have some more coffee. It probably doesn’t matter which brand you drink, either, as they are all “almost identical” ; )

          2. I have no clue, that’s why I relied on the opinion of people with PhDs in related fields who are paid a lot of money to analyze this stuff.

          3. So, you are one of those people who always asks the deal to hit you when you have 19. Glad we sorted that out.

          4. I think the fact that FC chose to conduct their own NMR testing speaks volumes about its importance. They probably planned to release their tests as triumphant evidence of how their product was different, not knowing I and others were pursuing NMR as well.

          5. They have fallen victim to “overzealous advertising executives”, people who watched Mad Men too much. They are not the first and will certainly not be the last. Bad thing is they had a product that appears to work as well as others in the market, could have turned it into a multi-product brand. Instead people are laughing at them.

        2. Well, AT has this to say about “tests carbines can see”:

          “I’m also happy to report that my ARs lubricated with canola oil almost two months ago are still chugging along with no malfunctions.”

          So, I bet the FC guys never did spectrum analysis or anything – probably just bought different brands of oil and tested them in their suppressed SBR. After they found one they like then talked to a lawyer for their patent who said “whoa – you can patent a repackaged product – you need to make some changes” – so the FC guys added a little something or other to their oil.

          So Andrew, running Canola oil, is doing the exact same testing if my hypothesis is correct.

        3. The very first video on this subject, the one that started all the controversy, showed that the smoke point was the exact same for the two oils. This was repeated elsewhere with the same results.

          Iodine, as I understand it, is a range. It’s not like body temperature, where if you’re not really close to 98.6 you’re in trouble. Canola oil can be anywhere in a range, and that range is very close to FireClean’s self reported value. But knowing that FireClean has been willing to manipulate testing to make themselves look good, why would you trust anything they say?

          I’m already testing the functional side.

          As for why these tests? I went to recognized experts in chemistry and asked them how to answer the question originally posed on this blog. They went with IR and NMR. When conducting their own testing to determine the same things, they used the same tests.

          You seem to have a real problem with twisting what I say and/or putting words in my mouth and I’m getting pretty tired of it. Quote me directly or don’t bother.

          1. That was MY video, and it was done on a kitchen stove. I believe I prefaced it as “the best tool I had available for the job, at the time”. Also, considering that FC may indeed contain Canola oil, in an unknown percentage, the results of it may be rather explainable/accurate. Regardless, why not have a professionally done flash-test? That would be much less error-prone. Here is another video I did with Rand and Froglube. Can you conclude that they are identical because they burst into flames simultaneously? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P_GMBvypr7M

        4. This issue first came up due to the smoke point testing. Back then the argument was “smoke point doesn’t show anything, do real chemistry before you make claims.”

          So I did, and Andrew did, and other chemists did. Now I have FireClean Facebook messaging me trying to get me to believe that their reaction based chemistry “data” somehow proves the exact opposite of what data is saying, and they want to go back to performance testing. All the while they refuse to post the entire data set from any test and claim they have their testing done by “the most respected lab in the industry” but refuse to provide the name of the lab.

          As soon as I get back to the lab I’ll be doing as much more testing as I can. I guess this is what Andrew warned me about when he said the results would piss people off either way…

          1. I do find it funny that they’re now referring to me as simply a “blogger” when before this, they were offering to pay me money to make videos for them and pushing my work far and wide as proof that their product works. Well, they’re still doing the latter, they just don’t want people to know I’m behind both the 40k test and this one.

          2. Marginalizing and silencing “bloggers” is the next big thing. Just look at the wailing&gnashing of teeth from “professional journalists” over bloggers banging their a$$es. Shutting up the rabble is going to fail, cause the harder they try the louder the “rabble” gets.

          3. Let’s get some physical property data. NMR is useless as I have pointed out and demonstrated previously here. Lets see specific gravity, flash-point, pour point, coefficient of friction modification, etc.

          4. You haven’t demonstrated anything, you’ve just thrown a bunch of crap at the wall in attempt to see what sticks.

  14. Andrew,
    If FireClean is too expensive (and, like you, I’m not a big fan of their handling of this whole thing…) what lube would you recommend?
    David

    1. If you want to buy a gun oil, I have used FP-10 with excellent results over the years. I’m also happy to report that my ARs lubricated with canola oil almost two months ago are still chugging along with no malfunctions.

      1. Hehe. And how does performance/cleanability compare to FireClean?

        My hunch is that, since there are various versions of Canola Oil (derivitives of Rape Seed Oil, with less of certain acids), that the FireClean guys found the version that worked the best. So there was, as they say in the Vickers Video, some trial and error.
        So, what kind of oil (brand/name) are you using, and how is it faring? Can you perceive ANY difference compared to FireClean?
        My other hunch (and this is based on me never having used FC) is that part of what makes FC work is their specific application instructions (i.e. strip off the old oil, etc). Thoughts?

      2. Plus that delicious chickenwings and french fries aroma after 100 rds!

        Seriously, though, there are so many effective and relatively inexpensive weapon lube options that it comes down to personal preference in the end. FC made its biggest mistake in letting a REMF advertising hack go way overboard in their initial roll out, then doubling down on stupid when people called them on it. Not uncommon in the business world, it just did not fly with the firearms using crowd and they got smacked for it.

        David? AT is right on FP-10. I am a fan of remoil spray and 3n1. Its kinda like beer, got to find one you like and run with it.

  15. So if the vegetable oil works so well then why pay any manufacturers to buy their expensive gun oils?

    AT, how many rounds have you shot in your weapons lubricated with canola oil? It sounds like with an election year coming that vegetable oil should be hard to find. 😉
    Can you do a performance write up on your results? Keep us updated!

    Everyone knows LAV is a paid and sponsored advertiser. Daniel Defense, Glock, Fireclean, Wilson combat, the list goes on.
    I found FireClean through his website and I have used one bottle for over a year and a half. It works like you said. If Crisco works exactly the same I’m eager to know before I need to purchase another bottle of lubricant. Who wouldn’t want to save money and run something cheap and so plentiful that you can find it everywhere easily.

  16. I have not “thrown a bunch of crap at the wall to see what sticks”, Mr. Tuohy. Respectfully, you have posted numerous graphs that students and professors have taken the time to create for you, based on data gleaned from FTIR and NMR tests. Every graph shows a slight difference in the signature of FC and every other oil you have used. I then posted a graph of 20 distinctly different oils, as tested via NMR, and they all look just as similar as your FC vs. Canola oil NMR test. I understand the FTIR and NMR are the only tests you have posted comparing Fireclean to other products? Am I mistaken?

    You are using tests which will not show much variance at all, as demonstrated here:
    http://www.process-nmr.com/edible_oils_nmr_spectra_at_60.htm

    Then you are basically saying “Science!” and concluding the issue, as best I can tell. Well, the issue is not concluded, as you can see, as I have data which when subjected to the same sensitivity that you are requiring, shows 20 distinct oils as being “functionally the same”. Yet we know this is, of course, not an accurate interpretation of the data.

    I see then that you’ve insulted me by saying I’m “being pedantic”, and “throwing a bunch of crap at the wall”. I think this is a perfect example of projecting, Mr. Tuohy, as I have simply countered your assertion that the NMR data and FTIR data is meaningful within context. I countered it with lab data which I sourced, and have linked you to, from a vetted and established institute, which you can readily see. For my trouble, I was told “you’re throwing a bunch of crap at the wall to see what sticks”. My interpretation of all of this? You’re slinging crap at Fireclean to see what sticks, and it’s starting to slide off, because you did not do your homework, used tests whose sensitivity you did not understand with regards to the task at hand, presented them as conclusive, and are now seeing that they support the evidence of the opposition when compared with more tests of their ilk, in context. The next insult I will dignify by addressing, is your calling me “pedantic”. What does pedantic mean? Mr Tuohy, the definition of “pedantic”, as I am sure you are aware, is to be overly concerned with details…Mr. Tuohy…this entire topic is about DETAILS…this is chemistry, science, and it might turn into law. All of which hinge upon being a little bit pedantic, although I prefer the term “diligent”.

    So, again, I would ask…why did you choose these methods to compare the substances? Why are you insisting that FIREClean is 1 substance, and not the multiple substances that it claims it is a mixture of in the patent? Why have you resorted to insulting me and my methods when you don’t even claim to understand the methods you are presenting, and are now distancing yourself by saying “I have no clue, that’s why I relied on the opinion of people with PhDs in related fields who are paid a lot of money to analyze this stuff.” That sounds very much like “I was just following orders”. It’s not a good defense, legally, personally, or even socially.

    I suppose I would close my argument in saying that I hope you can product data which shows a functional difference in FIREClean with more sensitivity than the NMR/FTIR data shows. If indeed it truly is Canola/Rapeseed oil, which I doubt, I’d be the first to cry foul, but everything your FTIR/NMR data shows indicates that it differs meaningfully, when the tests are viewed in relation to the sensitivity that is expected between two samples of organic oils (see my composite of 20 different).

    Your own data is supporting FIREClean’s assertions. I say “your”, yes, I acknowledge that this data is sourced.

    At any rate, Mr. Tuohy, I cannot say that your material is conclusive either way, when viewed objectively, except to say that Fireclean is indeed organic oil(s). I believe that an honest review of what you’ve posted, as well as comparisons from 3rd party companies to your data, regarding other organic oils and their NMR/FTIR signature similarities will lead the reader to similar conclusions. I wish you well in your en devours, and hope that the students/professors supplying data for you will be able to create a conclusive comparison that is transparent and definitive, one way or another.

    1. Several months ago, FireClean wanted to sue you. When we were still on speaking terms, I urged them not to. Maybe they still threatened to do so, and that’s why you’ve made such an abrupt about face? They certainly alluded to suing me before I ever published any of this.

      It’s funny that you were so ready to call FireClean and Crisco identical based on burning some nickels on your stove, and now you’re saying that these methods and conclusions are flawed. You must have earned the world’s fastest chemistry degree in the last two months. I quoted the PhDs because they are more qualified to look at and analyze these results. That’s a pretty simple fact.

      As to the rest of your wall of text, I do not care what you think of the data. Your past history of erratic behavior and obsession with various firearm lubricants calls into question any authority you may have on the subject. I am, however, not FireClean, and so I will not censor your responses here. Feel free to continue tilting at windmills.

      1. I call things like I see them. Mr. Tuohy. That means that my viewpoints and my opinions are subject to change as I have new data available to me. You like FP-10…you had to use something before that, right? Then you learned of it, tried it, liked it, and new data available to you created a change in habit, yes? Well, there ya go!

        As to the rest of your post, I sent you a PM because it is more appropriate as a personal conversation.

        1. No, you rush into things headlong and jump from extreme to extreme, with no middle ground whatsoever.

          “Fireclean is crisco!” a short time later “Fireclean isn’t crisco!”

          “My stovetop test is conclusive!” a short time later “Your multiple lab tests and analyses from multiple PhDs are meaningless!”

          You are welcome to continue sending me dozens of private messages, but I will continue to ignore them.

        2. Mr. Gifford-

          Butthurt much? Stop whining about the alleged “insults”. Methinks you talk too much, and may well even be “pedantic”, anal retentive, or whatever. Now hush and go play with your Legos.

  17. Once again, thank you. I don’t have a dog in this fight; I am a casual shooter and the CLP I learned to use in the Army is good enough for me.

    What is impressive to me is the rigour with which you’ve followed this up. In this day when people argue “science” based on what they think they remember reading on a web page or heard on TV, it’s refreshing to see the tools of actual science – STARTING WITH A SKEPTICAL MIND – brought to bear on a question.

  18. Well, my corrosion test between FireClean and Canola oil is pretty conclusive so far: Canola = rust spots, FC = none. Must be something to it.

      1. Well, it does appear to have discolored the crappy metal that bolt carrier was made from. Then again, DoD issued solvent and lube can do the same thing when troops don’t scrub vigorously enough. Could be a case of a little from column A and a little from column B, as it were.

          1. And in the interests of full disclosure, I love coconut oil for cooking, use it in all manner of dishes and recipes. (The CPCPC did not compel me to make this statement!)

  19. I’m still waiting for a response to my comment but I guess that’s not going to happen unless a direct argument is made lol

    1. So, you can’t read anything not directly addressed to you? Really? Here is a hint, either read through this thread or put your cursor on the name of this blog, in the upper lefthand corner, and read all the posted material. If that doesn’t clear it up for you I don’t know what else to tell you.

  20. Excellent review! I ran out of Canola oil a couple weeks back and was frustrated that I could not cook my fish & chips, but then remembered this article and the fact that I had a case of Fireclean! The fish and chips cooked up nicely in Fireclean and actually tasted a bit better! I think I have found my frying oil of choice! Thank’s Andrew! Though it costs astronomically more, that tiny bit of taste difference is worth it!

  21. Snake oil salesmen have been hawking products for decades, from quack medicines to miracle motor saviors in the lucrative aftermarket car enthusiast realm. This unfortunate saga shows they’re migrating into the gun enthusiast’s yard now.
    At least in the car zone, they’re smart enough to add dyes, or mix more than two things to credibly claim a “proprietary formula.” When hard science strongly indicates a common single constituent, unadulterated, if I were Costco, I’d simply release a “Giant Economy Size” gallon of canola oil re-labeled as Gun Lube. Fireclean embarrasses the owners as lazy, greedy hucksters only because they exaggerated product claims and ingredients, dodged direct questions with dishonest answers, then nailed the coffin by suing sincere, credible reviewers and scientists. Is that how we make America Great again?

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