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Wheel Bearing Grease

This is a discussion on Wheel Bearing Grease within the Maintenance forums, part of the Firearm Forum category; ANY product that is a lubricant will lubricate. But is it the BEST, no. Will it work, probably. But best to use items that were ...


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Old December 11th, 2016, 09:43 PM   #31
 
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ANY product that is a lubricant will lubricate. But is it the BEST, no. Will it work, probably. But best to use items that were designed for what you are trying to lubricate.

And as usual, WD40 gets brought into the discussion. While it is true that WD40 simply means "Water Displacement 40th formula" to state that it is only a water displacer and not a lube is incorrect. It is about 25% light lubricating oil and works just fine. Regardless of what is heard from some. Likely millions of guns out there never been lubricated or cleaned with anything other than WD and they are just fine. Is it the BEST, of course not, but like many other items, it works just fine.

My dad always used WD to wipe down his guns. When they moved from the city, all his guns were wiped down with WD, placed in their zippered cases and stored in the non heated or cooled attic of their new home. For whatever reason most had not seen the light of day in about 20 years, until I got them all down and inspected them a few years ago. All in pristine shape, just as they were when stored. Now do I use WD40 for long term storage? No, because I think there are better options, but it does work



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Old December 20th, 2016, 03:39 AM   #32
 
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I use Mobil 1 synthetic grease in the summer here in AZ. Cooler weather I use a synthetic gun oil.
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Old December 23rd, 2016, 03:35 PM   #33
 
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Yes, I use wheel bearing grease but only on the locking lugs and cam surfaces of my bolt action rifles. I use a tiny blob about a 1/16 in diameter on each lug. This is to prevent galling. A gummy mess is of no concern because the amount is miniscule and cold weather hardening is of no concern also because of the nature of the application. I frequently see bolt action rifles with galled surfaces on locking lugs because of forced chambering of rounds having minus head-space. A routine drill for many bolt gun users is to put tiny amounts of grease on bolt surfaces. Performing rapid fire match shooting for many years got me into the worth of grease on locking lugs but only there and in tiny amounts.

For the rest of it - I have been using the same 2 oz. of M-Pro 7 gun oil for the past 4 years and among many applications it works just fine on my 1911 slide. Small containers of various gun grease intended for lubrication can be bought for $5-$10 but I spent a tiny fraction of that for a massive amount of the stuff, by volume, for about $3.00 at Walmart. My gate hinges, yard and garden tool stuff uses up about 99% of the grease. It has a pleasant red color and mild odor but as expected rapidly turns black upon use. I would guess, wheel bearing grease is formulated for high impact applications, just what would be expected on bolt surfaces in rifles.

Last edited by BassMan; December 23rd, 2016 at 05:22 PM.
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Old December 23rd, 2016, 03:47 PM   #34
 
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Axle grease is going to smell.

It attracts dirt particles, and that's

before you actually start shooting.

Recoil is going to tend to whip it

around, so any over-lube is going

to get messy, not to mention the

powder which is going to settle into

the grease, after firing.
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Old December 23rd, 2016, 04:40 PM   #35
 
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The attached reference is provided:

http://www.accurateshooter.com/techn...ods-materials/

"Extreme pressure automotive axle grease will do" quote from the guy (expert/authority) who wrote this piece. I read most good stuff.

Thank you for your interest in the grease subject. My simple application was to place tiny amounts of wheel bearing grease on the back of bolt surfaces that contact lug recesses on simple manually operated bolt action rifles. The bolt lugs are simple structures having no moveable parts and as expected after each use are easily and completely cleaned before another minute application of grease. As the attached link shows putting grease on bolt gun locking lugs is a common practice.

I use wheel bearing grease because I am frugal. The grease is easily wiped off and I clean my weapons after every use - just pull the bolt and wipe off the lugs and re-lube with another tiny (1/16 inch diameter blob) - a real simple operation, routinely and almost automatically done. I also clean the bolt lug recesses in the receiver ring - I use pipe cleaners or paper towels wrapped around a bent bore brush to do that.

In addition to the common practice of applying grease to the back of locking lugs a small amount of grease is applied to the bolt cam surfaces, cocking and extraction. This greatly facilitates bolt operation, especially in rapid fire match use.

As expected grease use is an absolute no-go in trigger, sear, ejector, firing pin/spring, safety, cocking piece, bolt release, and any other part assembly. Be sure to keep grease out of the inside of bolts. I like to use graphite lube there but my M-Pro 7 oil has worked just fine even in cold temperatures. I don't use ordinary house hold oil. I have found Rem-Oil to evaporate so I don't use that.

I realize that common ordinary wheel bearing grease (AKA axle grease) is not exactly associated with sophisticated fire arms applications but I have found it satisfactory. There are probably other grease type lubricants that would be more acceptable to fire-arm use but their misuse would also be detrimental to weapon maintenance causing entrapment of abrasive debris, congealing in cold temperatures, stock damage, and unfortunately rancid odors.

I have no doubts that grease products shown in the attachment would be somewhat superior to my wheel bearing grease.

The attachment does show the use of grease to be a commonly used procedure in maintaining and operating bolt action rifles.

Last edited by BassMan; December 23rd, 2016 at 05:03 PM.
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Old December 23rd, 2016, 06:46 PM   #36
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I read this thread, and thought, well only 3 guns that I own ever have had wheel bearing grease. The main one, my browning 1919a4 belt fed. It states in the army field manual to use wheel, or axle bearing grease on the barrel where it goes through the front of the receiver. From what I have read in adversly cold battles the gi's would thin the grease with gasoline, to make it not freeze up, and to reduce malfunctions. I have read some maybe even used crisco, but not me, I use axle grease on that part only, per the military manual. I have also used grease on the bearing on the bolt of my m1a rifles only. The rest of my firearms, I use gun lube. I mean after all its made for guns right.. I frequent CLP, and prizm which is a teflon lubricant.
When my firearms are used they get totally broken down, and cleaned, and lightly oiled before they are placed back in the safe, waiting for the next outing.
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Old December 23rd, 2016, 09:28 PM   #37
 
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Thank you for your interesting response. My only experience with full auto weapons was with some BAR rifles kept on board ship and later the M60 used in Viet Nam. Being essentially into info gathering my combat experience was limited but not without occasional problems. M14's were the usual - some time ago.

Back into the grease(s) - they apparently are nothing more than heavy oil mixed with some compound, possibly a soap, to make them cling to surfaces and remain in place during contact - involving forceful impacts. Upon shearing stress the grease viscosity drops to that of the heavy oil. Later the grease reconstitutes its self and becomes a solid - preventing it from running off.

Think of the battering and shearing stress inflicted on action bolts - they are rotated and subjected to heavy forces and pressures to seat cartridges then upon firing up to 60,000 psi or more is forced back onto the bolt face. Then the bolt is cranked open essentially breaking the lugs loose. Being advised by various gun-smiths and up to master class hi power competitors I put very minute or extremely light coatings of grease on my bolt lugs, cocking cam, and extraction cam. The nice man who wrote the attached article thinks proper applications of grease on certain bolt surfaces are correct - both to improve functioning and prevent damage by galling hi impact metal surfaces. I want a lubricant rated for extreme pressures that will remain in place during the loading cycle. Low temperature effects resulting in coagulation are not important as the lubrication desired is limited to that small area and viscosity effects needed for lubricant transport are not needed - the grease remains in place as desired.

Usually bolt action rifles come with magazines making them repeaters. Often second or multiple firings are required such as shooting at fleeing game, multiple rodent targets, or 10 shots sitting at 200 within 60 seconds and 10 shots prone at 300 within 70 seconds. For match shooting the rifle magazine is required to be charged up two times. A slick easily opening bolt aided by grease lubricated bolt lugs, cocking cam and extraction cam is a real benefit. Nobody needs a balky rough action for that type of shooting. Oils don't stick to these surfaces as well as a high grade extreme pressure grease will. Wheel bearings are greased not oiled.

Naturally the grease is not shot by grease gun throughout the action - just tiny amounts are precisely placed to enable easy certain functioning.

In addition to using common ordinary automotive wheel bearing (AKA axle grease) for high impact spots on my bolt, I use synthetic motor oil for part of my gun cleaning procedure. I can buy a whole quart of the stuff for $10 or less and the same amount of some gun cleaning oil compound might cost $100.

I also use "Gun Slick" foam. The foam is squirted into the barrel and left for 1-3 hours. Then I push out the foam with a patch and then run a nylon brush dipped in the 0W-30 through the barrel 3-5 times followed by more patches. Carbon and other crud almost run out of the barrel but a complete clean up is necessary. Both foam and auto oil is completely cleaned off the rifle after cleaning.

Using this method and shooting high grade bullets through a high grade barrel I can get great accuracy. Those M1A bolts get battered about. Mrs. BassMan uses Crisco for making pie crusts.

Thank you again for your interesting response - no doubt you realize the benefits of limited grease applications but I thought I would go through the entire business again partially for my benefit.

Last edited by BassMan; December 24th, 2016 at 10:26 AM.
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Old December 24th, 2016, 11:54 AM   #38
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I hear you Bassman, I thought crisco was a little far out there as well, never on my firearms, but I can see where GI's in combat would use whatever worked and kept the guns running, in particular when rounds were incoming. This includes urinating on them to cool them down.
I am guessing that this could have been concocted and employed in the battle of the bulge, or korea or eastern front with the extremely cold weather. Man crisco does lend to some tasty pies doesn't it. Mrs. Tacky uses it as well.
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Old December 24th, 2016, 12:06 PM   #39
 
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I believe Iowegan's approach is the best bet.
+100
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Old December 26th, 2016, 08:07 AM   #40
 
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I believe Iowegan's approach is the best bet.
I'll see your +100 BlueMountain and raise it another +100.
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Old December 26th, 2016, 11:02 AM   #41
 
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Make sure it's wheel bearing grease for boat trailers. That stuff is thick and gooey and water will not thin it or wash it out if you get caught in a rain storm.

Also, be sure you have a plug in that Glock in case you get caught in a sand storm.
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Old December 26th, 2016, 03:03 PM   #42
 
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If SHTF happens, I think grease, engine oil, even dripped off a dip stick will keep a semi auto running. A drip or two off a dip stick will keep my revolvers spinning and dropping zombies for a ling time.
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Old December 26th, 2016, 04:04 PM   #43
 
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Originally Posted by caryc View Post
Make sure it's wheel bearing grease for boat trailers. That stuff is thick and gooey and water will not thin it or wash it out if you get caught in a rain storm.

Also, be sure you have a plug in that Glock in case you get caught in a sand storm.
Actually, the 'thick and gooey' grease may not be the best for firearms. The grease specified for use in Garand-style semi-auto rifles is Lubriplate 130-A (or 130-AA). The unique thing about this grease is that the thickening soap used in it is calcium, and not the typical lithium. Calcium soap grease has better water resistance than lithium. The Lubriplate 130-A drop point (the temp where the grease begins to run/drip) is near-perfect for the semi-auto rifle application. And with 130-A being a white grease, it makes dirt/carbon contamination easier to visualize than with dark greases.
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Old December 26th, 2016, 06:19 PM   #44
 
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Originally Posted by firescout View Post
Actually, the 'thick and gooey' grease may not be the best for firearms. The grease specified for use in Garand-style semi-auto rifles is Lubriplate 130-A (or 130-AA). The unique thing about this grease is that the thickening soap used in it is calcium, and not the typical lithium. Calcium soap grease has better water resistance than lithium. The Lubriplate 130-A drop point (the temp where the grease begins to run/drip) is near-perfect for the semi-auto rifle application. And with 130-A being a white grease, it makes dirt/carbon contamination easier to visualize than with dark greases.
I guess you just don't recognize sarcasm when you see it.
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Old December 27th, 2016, 04:41 PM   #45
 
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I guess you just don't recognize sarcasm when you see it.
I briefly recognized your sarcasm, but quickly discounted it, as firearms lubrication is an extremely serious topic. Only the best, costliest, and preferably newest, lubricants should be used. The container must indicate 'gun', 'firearms', or 'weapon' on it. The use of any other lubricant, especially one intended for mere motor vehicles or gate hinges, could easily turn your fine firearms into non-functioning conversation pieces.
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