what oil to use?

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Howard Pippin

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I've used the stuff that Dixie sold in the late 70's/early 80's labeled synthetic whale oil. Can't say about anything currently labeled as such. It was awful stuff, and thickened in even mildly cold weather (50's) which pure sperm whale oil doesn't due.

I've read on here that Jojoba oil is a substitute- I doubt it. Can't see how a tropical tree oil could compare to an oil from the head of a Sperm Whale any more than a "veggie" burger compares ground beef. I do have shaving soap that has Jojoba oil in it though!

I think a lot of the whale oil talk is do to the myth of the unobtainable. You would have to be at least in your sixties when it was readily sold. Trapping supply houses were the last places I remember seeing it. It is a great lock and barrel oil, but not any better than many other products sold today, and it's not a great patch lube, at least not from the continuous loading/no swabbing perspective.

It can't be sold nowadays, and even possessing a bottle can put you on the fast track to Felonyville.

Frankly, any of the good gun company oils work as advertised, just pick one and go with it. And Ballistol and Hoppe's products have been around more than a hundred years at this point.
Good statement AlanG. During the 60s I had a filling station and one of my good friends was an older man that worked on railroad switches. He brought me a small container of Whale sperm oil, They used it on some small moving parts, and knowing my interest in guns, he gave me a small bottle of it. I still have some of it, fact is a friend borrowed it from me a month ago to oil an old-time clock. He told me I was the only one he could imagine that would have any of it. I haven't used it for years, I think your statement on good gun company oils is very true so why get attached to something that there's not much of. When I was a lad we used kerosene for some of them old windup clocks and it worked reasonably well but wouldn't last a long time. We use it on guns that were left out in the cold as we didn't have access to the whale oil. I don't muzzleloader hunt in extreme conditions so there's not much danger, when you're 80 years old, that you need oil that won't freeze up, when it's 20 below. Anything below 20 above is too much for this lad anymore.
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Darkhorse

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I use Mobil 1 5w30 on my locks. I apply it with a one drop dripper so I can get it just where I want it, on the tumbler and sear end. Never on the inside of the barrel.
I use grease on the bearing surfaces of my locks, sear to spring, mainspring to stirrup, frizzen toe to frizzen spring.
All outside metal surfaces are polished with a good quality wax, haven't used oil in a couple of decades. When I come in from hunting all I need to do is take a soft cotton cloth and buff away the fingerprints.
Jim Chambers once sold a lightweight lock oil and a heavyweight bore oil. If outside in the shop I use the heavy weight for the bore. If inside I use what's available mostly RemOil.
 

Kowalsk1

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There's product ( or was) on the shelf that calls itself artificial or synthetic whale oil. Has anyone tried it? If I recall it isn't cheap.I've never tried either, synthetic or real, sperm whale oil. Is there an advantage to it?
I
 

Kowalsk1

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I use 3in1 sewing machine oil for external wipe, virgin olive oil for the bores and chambers (cap and balls) 3in1 for locks and bolts other internals. Water pump grease for cylinder arbors. I do check bores a couple of times after cleaning, I use warm water so no flash rust. I will use WD40 on a patch after drying the bores with a flannel patch, then a WD40 patch then olive oil on the wool mop. I would use sperm whale oil on internals if it was still available, as I used it in the distant past.
You can get synthetic stern whale oil from Dixie Gun Works. Good size bottle is around $7.00 I like it.
 

Eutycus

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I wasn't aware that they still sold it. It looks like a good product. How big is a "good sized" bottle?
 

wshipman

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There's product ( or was) on the shelf that calls itself artificial or synthetic whale oil. Has anyone tried it? If I recall it isn't cheap.I've never tried either, synthetic or real, sperm whale oil. Is there an advantage to it?
Don't know if this is what you referring to, but jojoba (ho-ho-ba) oil is being touted, in some circles as a whale oil replacement. Try:

Note: Jojoba oil is technically a wax, albeit in liquid form as extracted from the jojoba beans.

i don't know if any tests have been conducted on the safety and efficacy of this oil on guns, black or smokeless powder.
 

wshipman

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Addendum to previous reply:

found:

https://www.dixiegunworks.com/index/page/product/product_id/2663/category/594/category_chain/578,346,594/product_name/LA0101+Dixie+Gun+Works+Synthetic+Sperm+Whale+Oil

$4.50 per 8 oz bottle

the description, in the catalog:

A synthetic oil that equals that brought by the American whaling ships to New England in the 1800s and used by early gunsmiths. It is excellent for gun stocks, as a penetrating oil and as a lubricant for percussion or flint locks, and for firing pins in breechloaders. This oil is good for muzzleloading patches and can be used in heat treating metal parts. Ideal in tempering the bright, light color of new ivory grips. 8 oz. plastic bottle. Non petroleum.

hope this helps, folks.
 

bisleyjohn

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Kowalsk1

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I wasn't aware that they still sold it. It looks like a good product. How big is a "good sized" bottle?
Eight oz. bottle on website. Listed at $4.50 Interesting, I payed $7.50 at their booth at Friendship. It doesn’t say the size on bottle.
 

Greenjoytj

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See the link on post #185 for information on a synthetic whale oil. There are PDF files on that page that further explain the qualities of the LXE additive in the Lube Gard Universal Lubricant.
 

Griz44Mag

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Miracle Air Tool Oil, of undisclosed composition, contains an anti-rust component.
I have used it for protecting ferrous tools and implements, even used it in my air tools.
I have not used it in my guns, yet. But will give it a whirl.
I do use Miracle/Colemans Camp Fuel/Mineral spirits for a general gun cleaner and it is excellent. I have been using that for decades with no issues.
 
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The absolute best oil that we have found, s(or natural) and love here in the Colonial Williamsburg Gunsmith is bear oil. Outstanding. Extremely comprable to whale oil.
Darrin
 

N.Y. Yankee

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11 Pages and 218 posts and all I really know is that a lot of people like whale oil, but that is no longer available. Otherwise, figure it out yourself.
 
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