Do I Have to Use Gun Oil?

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Some people are not a fan of gun oil, it can be messy when you apply them to your gun. Sometimes it even makes you uncomfortable using your gun. This is why some people often ask themselves, do I have to use gun oil?

Do I Have to Use Gun Oil?

You have to use gun oil if you want to effectively clean your gun. Gun oil is essential to lubricate your gun. Gun oil ensures that your gun is protected after removing residue and dirt.

A man using gun oil to clean his gun

I use solvent and other chemicals to remove rust, dirt, and grime on my guns. The solvent makes the metal of my gun vulnerable to rust. If you fail to apply gun oil, parts of your gun will likely corrode.

Effects of Not Using Gun Oil

Lubricating your gun is part of the process of gun cleaning. Therefore, it should not be left out. Here are some of the things that can happen if you don’t use gun oil on your gun.

  • Rusting – if your gun is dry, it will be prone to rusting since the metal is exposed and without protection. If moisture and some solvent leftovers were to interact, your gun could likely corrode.
  • Residual fouling buildup – the traces of carbon, lead, and copper on your gun after applying solvent could just sit inside your gun. Gun oil, makes sure to remove this residue and avoid fouling while applying protection on the surface.
  • Clunky mechanism – if you don’t oil your gun, the gun’s mechanisms could be clunky. Gun oil helps lubricate the gun parts so that they function smoothly.
  • Wear and tear – if the gun parts are dry, they are prone to friction. Remember that most of the gun parts are metals that could be damaged by friction. Lubricants like gun oil help reduce friction when the gun is used.
  • Faulty firearm – since the gun parts will be affected by some of the problems, your firearm could end up not firing when you need it the most.

What Gun Oil to Use

It depends on your gun and your personal preference. People also debate between using grease or gun oil. Gun oil is thinner and is great for all-around use. They won’t leave behind a greasy mess.

Grease on the other hand is a thick paste. It’s commonly used in extreme climates. The thick property also means that it won’t evaporate easily making them favorable for hunting in hot climates.

A man using gun oil

Related Questions

Do You Need to Oil a New Gun?

You don’t need to oil a new gun. However, I recommend you apply a little gun oil over the top of the new gun’s slide. If you feel the new gun is clunky, apply small amounts of oil into the contact points of the gun.

Can You Clean Your Gun With Just Oil?

You can’t clean a gun with just oil. You also need to use tools to be able to reach gun parts that can’t be reached with your hands.

If you mean you can skip using a solvent and go directly with gun oil, yes you can. However, make sure the gun oil is CLP and safe to use. CLP means clean, lubricate, protect. Otherwise, your gun oil will do a poor job of dissolving carbon, copper, lead, and other residues.


Gun oil is essential to gun cleaning. Hence, you should use it every time you clean your gun. The effects of not using gun oil are harmful to your gun and could make your gun useless.

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.