Can I Use Motor Oil on My Gun?

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Motor lubricant can be found in most households. When you are too lazy to get gun oil or it’s not available in your place, you’re probably asking yourself, “can I use motor oil on my gun?” In this article, I’ll discuss if this lubricant is suitable for your gun and if should you use it.

Can I Use Motor Oil on My Gun?

Yes, you can use motor oil on your gun. it’s an excellent substitute for gun oil if you run out of it. However, you shouldn’t use it too often, or you will end up damaging your gun. You should only use it for quick and temporary lubrication.

Barrels of motor oil in red cans placed on red flooring in a factory

The motor lubricant also does not have good rust resistance quality. Therefore, it’s not good to use for long time storage. In short, you should only just use motor lubricant as an alternative and not as your permanent oil maintenance for guns.

Pros of Using Motor Oil on Guns

Here are the pros of using a motor lubricant on guns:

  • It provides lubrication close to that of gun oil
  • Performs well even under high temperatures
  • Motor oil is more available in shops compared to the best gun oil
  • It lasts a long time because of its robust quality

Motor lubricants work similarly to gun lubricants. It is designed to lubricate moving parts which are usually under extreme heat. Guns also are subjected to extreme heat, so the lubrication from motor lube also applies effectively to guns.

Cons of Using Motor Oil on Guns

Here are the cons of using a motor lubricant on guns:

  • Lacks rust resistance compared to gun lube
  • Not specifically made for guns, so it won’t be as effective as gun oil
  • Motor lube gets easily caught in dirt and dust, making the cleanup harder
  • It may affect gun mechanisms when applied too much

As mentioned, the lack of rust protection makes the major difference between motor lube and gun lubricant. Rust protection is important if you live in humid areas.

A close-up black pistol handgun placed on a white surface

Other than that, the cons of motor lubricant are situational. For example, you would only want a longer shelf life if you just store your guns and only do maintenance twice a year. If you use your gun regularly, you won’t have to worry about motor lube shelf life as you would be using it a lot.

Related Questions

Is Gun Oil the Same as Motor Oil?

No, gun oil is not the same as motor oil. Gun oil is used for guns, while motor lubricant is meant to be used for motors. While they have different qualities, they also share similarities since both guns and motors have similar mechanics.

What’s the Difference Between Gun Oil and Motor Oil?

Gun lube is a highly refined petroleum-based lubricant. Motor lube usually contains additives, while gun lubricant does not. You can say that gun oil is purely petroleum oil.

Should I Oil the Outside of My Gun?

It depends on what gun you have. Some guns need to be oiled outside, while others don’t. Make sure to look at what your gun model prefers.


Motor oil is usable for guns. However, it shouldn’t be a regular thing. While you can use oils such as vegetable oils, olive oils, and motor oil as alternative gun cleaners, motor lubricant is meant to be applied to motors; guns need quality gun oil to work effectively.

James Forrester is a lifelong gun and firearms owner, and an even bigger advocate for gun safety. He created with the purpose of sharing helpful tips and educating others on how to keep guns and weapons safe and secure.