Monday, January 25, 2016

Microlon Gun Juice

I mentioned this stuff in the post about firearms lubrication, and thought I'd get a bit more detailed. Microlon makes several different products, but I'm going to concentrate on the one I actually know something about.

Microlon Gun Juice is a dry film lubricant, so you need to clean out all the old oil or grease out of the bore before applying it. To use it:
  1. Shake the hell out of it to put the solids into suspension.
  2. Dampen a cleaning patch with it and run it through the bore.
  3. Fire a shot. 
  4. Repeat eight to ten times. 
It leaves a permanent film in the bore; according to the information, you'd have to either heat the bore up to 775° F or above, or actually machine it to get rid of the surface steel it's embedded into.

Gun Juice can also be used on the internals of a firearm. Ideally you heat the parts, shake the stuff up, wipe on a light coat, let dry, and repeat. I cannot remember the specifics (the instructions are long lost), but the general rule was to repeat it at least five times, with eight to ten times being preferable.

I Can't Do Lab Analysis
I can, however, point you to this page which has links under Firearms to two PDF files that have more in-depth information on the stuff, including the testing done by American Gunsmith (which is where I first heard of it).

I can also tell you my personal experience with it, which started with a Sig Trailside .22 pistol. This was the replacement for the original (yes, there's a story there; another time), and it had a problem: by the time you'd fired 75-100 rounds, accuracy was going to hell as the bore became badly fouled. I wrote to Sig (pre-internet days for me, and yes, I should have called), and got no response. Then, about the time I was going to give Sig a really ticked-off call, I got that issue of AG and read the article. I checked Brownells, and a one-ounce bottle was inexpensive enough that I figured I'd try it.

Since the range I'd be firing it at frowns on you breaking out a cleaning rod for stuff like this, I did the treatment at home: I field-stripped it, cleaned the bore thoroughly to make sure no traces of lead or oil, then wiped it with a wet patch and set it in front of a fan to move air through the bore and dry it faster. I did that ten times, then took it to the range.

Success! It worked. I put a hundred rounds through it that day with the same ammo I'd been using before, and the bore looked spotless after wards with no fouling buildup. And I never had the problem again. So just on treating the bore alone, I became a believer.

As to Lubing the Entire Works of a Pistol
Call me chicken or old-fashioned, but I couldn't make myself lube the works of something like my carry pistol with it and nothing else. But I did try it on something else: I took the sizing die for my .30-30 apart, stripped all the other lube out, and gave it the treatment, heating it in the oven ('warm' only) for each coat and using a cotton swab to wipe each coat on. It made a noticeable difference in the effort required to resize cases, and I've used it on every sizing die I have. I also started using it to treat the Lee bullet sizing dies I use on cast bullets; it doesn't make it light and effortless to push a bullet through, but they do seem to slide through with no crap left behind (not counting bullet lube).

The Real Test Came From My Son
When he was heading to Iraq for the first time, I contacted the company and asked if, by any chance, I could get a deal on one of the 4-ounce cans for him. They sent me two for free ("We like to support the troops"), and  I sent him one right then

He used it on both his M4 and the M240B machine gun he was assigned to, and he did the whole routine, bore and mechanism. He never noticed any excessive wear in either one, and said it made end-of-patrol cleanup a snap: break down, wipe off the dust, reassemble; no liquid lube to hold dust really helped there. He also told me of the time he had to turn it in for an inspection, and the armorer cleared it, stopped, did it again, then said "What the @%#! did you do to it, it's smoother than the others?" 

He just said "Full and proper cleaning" and shut up. I don't think Gun Juice was on the approved list.

So if you have a firearm that tends to foul the bore badly, this may well help. It can make it easier to clean out a barrel as well, as a treated barrel tends to wipe clean quite easily*. It might even increase velocity a bit in some cases. It can help sizing dies work a bit more smoothly, and it may well work as a permanent lube for the insides (my son's testimony is anecdotal, although there are a lot of other "It works!" testimonials on the website).

*With a new barrel, I'd do any break-in stuff before treating with this.

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