I recently had an opportunity to get re-introduced to an old product, Ballistol Multi Purpose Sportsman’s Oil. Many years ago when I first started hunting and fishing, we always had a can around the garage that I used as a multipurpose lube on everything that needed a fine grade of lubricant.
Over the years, I followed the trends of the ‘new and improved’ wonder lubes (finally settling on RemOil) and the Ballistol fell by the wayside. In fact, I completely forgot about it until a friend gave me a can to use at a gun show this past winter. I also forgot about it’s application as a bore ‘cleaner’ and cleaning agent when mixed with a bit of water. Since then, I’ve been using it on my guns, knives, door hinges etc.
It’s a non-petroleum product that’s bio-degradable, contains no carcinogens and emulsifies in water. More importantly (from a practical standpoint), it won’t gum up. This is a major consideration when you’re using it on guns and the moving parts of your knives.
Ballistol has all the lubricating properties of any other oil, but what I’ve found interesting is that you can also use it on leather and wood. It will darken leather and no doubt will have a darkening effect on wood. I definitely would NOT recommend using it on suede. Another caution that applying any time of oil to leather will keep it soft and supple but will also allow the leather to stretch. I applied it to half of an older Case sheath and you can see a slight darkening where the pen is pointing.
Another application I haven’t tried is inside of the the sheath. If there’s tannic acid present, Ballistol will bond with it and prevent interactions with metal. I have an old Buck 110 that spends most of it’s time in the sheath and once or twice a year I have to clean up the brass where it’s turned green. Interested to see how it works with the Ballistol.
It also works to polish brass and silver. I took an old round of 50 cal. and polished the neck of the cartridge to see how it worked and sure ’nuff, the Ballistol did a nice job of cleaning it up. Not as aggressive as Brasso, but worked fine and left a lightly lubed surface.
The fact Ballistol emulsifies in water has some great benefits. The first being you can use it on a wet metal surface and when the water evaporates, the Ballistol will still be on the metal. Second, use it as a lube on your oil stones for sharpening your knives and you’ll find your stones are much easier to clean with a little soap and water. If you’re a black powder shooter, it works great as a solvent and lube.
Ballistol has a great website listing all kinds of uses and application that are well worth reading: Ballistol Uses . There’s also some interesting reading on the site about the development of Ballistol and a brief history.
I had a reader email me about an experience with corrosion occurring on brass liners after using Ballistol in his knife. I haven’t encountered any issues and a little research on the net didn’t reveal any similar incidents so while I’m not discounting his experience, I wonder if there were other factors involved.
My experiences past and present have been outstanding. It has the characteristics of a penetrating oil and flows into joints, working fantastic to flush and lube pivot pins working it’s way into hard to reach places. Otherwise, I wipe down my blades and guns with a light coat for long term storage.
I’m carrying Ballistol in the store in Aerosol, non-aerosol and pre-lubed wiping pads. If you’d like to give it a try, I have a limited number of samples available. Add a note to your next order and I’ll include one of the wiping pads with your order while supplies last.