Or, what was old becomes new again. Or even, “old school” is sometimes more kick-a$$ than “new school”.
First, as the R&D guy is busy doing other things than R&D right now (last time I talked to him he was mumbling something about, “his creation,” whatever that means), I figured I’d take a crack at reviewing this product. I’m sure once he finishes whatever it is that is keeping him away his assigned duties, he’ll be all over this. (But, like many people say, “you get what I pay for….”). So, on with the review.
Have you ever wondered, when viewing captured WWII film or movies using actual German footage from WWII, what those guys did to keep their rifles protected where ever they were? Or how they kept their barrels from corroding? After all, they used corrosive ammunition, and anyone who’s ever shot it out of a vintage or modern firearm knows you must not only clean it as soon as practical, you must put a protectant of some sort on the piece to keep it good to go, especially in foul, wet weather.
Think about it. The pristine example of a rebuilt K-98 isn’t too far off the mark from a rifle that was used extensively in the field and was still very, very serviceable at the end of the war. To this day, people are buying WWII German rifles that have been simply stored in cosmoline, and once cleaned, are like new, in many respects. How’d they do that and why does that have any bearing on preparedness or long term sustained security task performance by your NPT?
Simply put, they used Ballistol on everything from the steel to the wood, to their leather LBE, boots and belts. The lubricant preservative, ‘Ballistol’, according to their web site, is:
With an astonishingly wide range of applications, this environmentally friendly multi-purpose oil has become an essential tool for shooters, hunters, fishermen, and handymen all over the world.
Our mission: Develop an oil that can be used on EVERYTHING.
At the turn of the 20th century, the German Imperial Army began looking for a multipurpose oil that could be used to clean and maintain the metallic parts of a rifle, while also protecting its wooden stock and a soldier’s leather gear. To develop this oil, the Army contracted with Friedrich Klever and his son Dr. Helmut Klever, a professor of chemistry at the Technical University of Karlsruhe.
In 1904, Dr. Helmut Klever succeeded in producing the special compound, which he named “Ballistol” (from the words “ballistic” and “oleum”, the Latin word for “oil”). It soon became obvious that this new “ballistic oil” had truly amazing capabilities, and in 1905 the Imperial Army tested and adopted Ballistol, which stayed in use until 1945. By then, however, word had spread and within a decade, hunters, boaters, hikers, and outdoorsmen in Germany, Austria and Switzerland had converted to using this new “miracle oil.”
Pretty good claim, right? Almost too good to be true, but the product (so far) performs as promised. I bought a small kit for $22 from Amazon. In it is an aerosol can and a non-aerosol can with a pump trigger.
More than I’ll probably use in a long, long time…..maybe. The aerosol is in my range kit, and the non-aerosol stays in my work area, and so far, it’s doing exactly what it should. Yesterday was knife day. Touching up all the edges on my folders, combat knives, wall hangers, etc. I use the Edge Pro Apex 4, which is a superb knife sharpening instrument and well worth every penny I paid, but I digress.
After the sharpening (some of which was merely smoothing out any burrs), I procured a nice, soft piece of cloth, applied some Ballistol to it (not a huge amount) and started gently rubbing the blades, hilts and grips of every one I sharpened. I could not believe the grime and stains that were removed! From all sorts of finishes: Stainless steel, phosphate (parkerized), carbon steel, micarta, wood, brass, leather, you name it. Even used it on my Musso Bowie (long time Bowie buff) and ‘straight from Nepal’ issue Kukri. My knives haven’t looked this new since they were…well…new.
(And no, my Musso isn’t for carry; it’s a wall hanger. The Kukri? That can fit in a side pocket of my ruck because the damn thing is bomb-proof. Very inexpensive investment for the ROI of having something that has multiple uses and can take a beating if necessary.)
So, next on the test schedule is to field strip my EDC (Every Day Carry) pistol(s) and wipe them down with it and see how much crap comes out on the cloth (they’re cleaned each time they’re used, so it’ll be interesting). Same with my rifles; some of which are classic blued steel and wood (hunting instruments) and ‘painted ugly’ to blend NPT personal defense carbines and pistols.
My plans right now are to get myself a 4 to 6 ounce squeeze bottle, fill it up with Ballistol, and replace the CLP Break Free I have in my field cleaning kit. So long as possible and we remain in a ‘normal’ environment economically and geo-politically (no SHTF/WROL scenario has occurred), I’ll still use my Frog Lube, MPro-7, and other good products, especially until I get a good field test on the weapons (which means living with them in some very inclement weather to see how Ballistol does).
More to follow in the next few months; I’m taking some with me on a hunt around Thanksgiving in some very nasty terrain/weather (from what’s predicted by locals). I’ll make sure to provide follow up.
For now, though, it’s worth getting even a small bottle (less than $10) to try out on your own weapons and equipment. My kit with the 16 ounce can of non-aerosol and the 6 ounces aerosol cost $22 from Amazon. I think it was good money spent.
Make sure you add your experiences with it in the comments!