Grease vs. Lubricating Oil

Posted by Gregory Cohen, General Manager on 2nd Apr 2015

The most common question in firearms lubrication is, “Should I use grease or oil?” The answer is: using one or the other or both is really a matter of personal preference. ‘Grease’, which is a lubricant supplied in a thick paste form, is typically recommended for critical contact and wear surfaces on semi-auto pistol rails and triggers. ‘Oil’, which describes the low viscosity liquid form of lubrication, is more commonly regarded as the best all-around choice for lubricating all types of gun parts in pistols, shotguns and rifles. However, grease is not actually grease, and oil is not actually oil. Of the many brands of gun lubricants on the market, there are many different technologies at work behind these two generic terms. A material identified as ‘grease’ or ‘oil’ can be made of different ingredients, synthetic or otherwise, and have a vastly different composition and effect.

Tetra ® Gun Grease is favored by many firearm enthusiasts for its thick ‘grease’ properties, such as being ideal for high wear areas, and staying in place. Tetra ® Gun Grease is a synthetic fluoropolymer formula that performs much better than petroleum-based grease, as the particle size is so small that it bonds to metals on a molecular level, and handles the pressure and load bearing that occurs when metal gun parts slide or bang into one another. Tetra ® Gun Lubricant, however, delivers more of an oil viscosity, which is ideal for treating the bore, and can easily migrate to hard-to-reach points. In addition, many gun owners expect to see that ‘oil’ finish on their firearms, and won’t accept anything else! My personal preference? I use both Tetra ® Gun Grease and Lubricant in the different areas indicated above. And to add yet another choice into the mix, you can use Tetra ® Gun Spray, which is an aerosol lubricant that is great for spraying down the exterior of the firearm for a barrier against rust and dirt before the firearm is stored for prolonged periods.

In either case, Tetra ® Gun care offers a high performance lubricant product line that is designed to effectively minimize friction and wear while delivering smoother action. Tetra ® Gun care lubricants will also last longer than traditional lubes, and work in a wide variety of climates and at temperature extremes.

Lastly, if you want to know what not to use, stay away from wax-based products and ‘hard’ particle lubricants. Your guns deserve something better so that you can enjoy more shooting, and less cleaning.

Be sure to check out the  Tetra® Tech and Gun Care FAQs sections of this website for more information, as well as the online  Store.