Gunlube For The Masses: Red Oil

Gunlube For The Masses: Red Oil

Decades ago, I spent some time at the National Guard Marksmanship Training Unit Small Arms shop outside an Air Guard base in Nashville, Tenn., learning to make old Government Model pistols shoot tiny little groups. These guns were tightly fitted and required lots of lubrication to function reliably.

The resident gunsmiths at NGMTU tended to be Old School types who made their own tools and custom parts. Scattered around on the workbenches among the vises, files, hammers and general gunsmith paraphernalia were small plastic bottles of red lubricant we used as a general purpose gun oil while we fitted parts and lubed complete guns.

John Browning's finest creation seemed to thrive on this Red Oil as did the High Standard .22s, S&W 52s and other target pistols hanging around. A quart of gun oil will last most people 20 years or more. This recipe makes enough for you and four or five of your friends, so don't be stingy with it. Share the wealth.

The ingredients are as close as your nearest auto parts store. I keep a quart under my work bench and two or three small bottles are positioned at strategic locations around the shop. Take a bottle to hunting camp to wipe down those old deer-slayers when they come in out of the rain. Amaze your friend when you show him that his Remington 742 Woodsblaster actually functions better lubricated than bone dry. This sticky red stuff is the SKS of gun lubes. Cheap and effective. An oil for the masses. Enjoy.

Red Oil recipe:

3 quarts automatic transmission fluid (red F type)

1 quart 10W or 30W non-detergent motor oil

1 pint STP oil treatment

4 ounces Hoppe's #9

Recommended for You

2nd Amendment

Trump Administration Export Ban on Over 32 Round Magazines Raises Question of 'Why?'

David Codrea - June 14, 2019

It's a matter of not wanting “What do you need a magazine with that many rounds for?” to...

2nd Amendment

Tell the White House that the 2nd Amendment Was Not Given to the People by Government

Firearms News - July 02, 2019

Please sign and share the petition to get the required 100,000 signatures by July 27.

2nd Amendment

2020 is Trump's to Blow with Gun Owners

David Codrea

No one can restore receptivity to another Trump term with these disaffected gun owners but the...

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Kyle Lamb and Eric Poole talk SIG pistols

G&A Editor Eric Poole and Viking Tacticals's Kyle Lamb talks about 2 new pistols from SIG Sauer and a Lipsey's Special of the P365.

Performance Center M&P Shield M2.0

From Smith & Wesson, the M&P Shield M2.0 is a great option for a carry gun with optics option.

Ruger introduces Rifles Chambered in the All-New .350 Legend

Two Ruger American Ranch rifles and the AR-556 MPR are now chambered for Winchester's .350 Legend cartridge.

See more Popular Videos

Trending Stories

2nd Amendment

Firearms News Investigates the NRA: Part 1

Nedd Scott - July 18, 2019

This will be the first of many investigative reports about the NRA by Firearms News.

2nd Amendment

Is Red Dawn Really Just Ridiculous? If Not, Who Would Citizen Disarmament Help?

David Codrea - May 29, 2019

If you want to keep the peace, keep and bear arms. Don't give up your guns. Any other choice...


Ruger CRKT Knives Review

James Tarr - July 08, 2019

CRKT makes 17 different knife models exclusively for Ruger, from fixed hunting knives to...

See More Stories

More Handguns


Mauser's M1930 'Broomhandle'

David M. Fortier - March 13, 2019

The Mauser M1930 'Broomhandle' may not be practical, but they're cooler than Steve McQueen.


Review: Springfield Armory XD(M) OSP 9mm

David Fortier - November 05, 2018

Sponsored By
Springfield Armory

The Shadow Systems SS9F Custom Glock

James Tarr - April 03, 2019

Shadow Systems' SS9F is the Glock 17 platform tricked out in a fully configurable custom...

See More Handguns

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Temporary Price Reduction.


Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services


GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.