Welcome, Addicts

...to your daily stop for firearm-related news, videos, and more

Heating Up: FIREClean Under the Microscope

Photo credit: Vickers Tactical

FIREClean, one of the the most aggressively marketed gun lubricants since it hit stores in 2012, is getting the eyeball from its competitors and from some third-party industry figures. Known as a "green clean" product that lubes firearms while removing fouling, FIREClean also happens to be relatively expensive. At $7/oz average retail, it should do everything it advertises. And, by all accounts: it does seem to.

Seemingly out of the blue, a video showing a frying pan test of FIREClean versus Crisco vegerable oil went near-viral. It was shared by the Gun Show Podcast on Facebook, along with a comparison video by Weapon Shield creator George Fennell. The first video has since been removed, but Fennell's video is still available, and includes remarks about the similarities of FIREClean with Wesson oil and PAM - based on a reading of FIREClean's Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS). The Everyday No Days Off (ENDO) Blog also shared both videos, shrugging them off as typical industry drama. 

Enter Andrew Tuohy, owner of the Vuurwapen Blog and contributor at The Firearm Blog.

Andrew spent his own money to have an IR spectra analysis done on FIREClean, Crisco soybean oil, and Crisco canola oil. The results are damning; to the general reader, at least. 


What do the test results show?

FireClean is probably a modern unsaturated vegetable oil virtually the same as many oils used for cooking.


The professor had something to say about the formulation and its relevance as a gun oil. “I don’t see any sign of other additives such as antioxidants or corrosion inhibitors.  Since the unsaturation in these oils, especially linoleate residues, can lead to their oligomerization with exposure to oxygen and light, use on weapons could lead to formation of solid residues (gum) with time.   The more UV and oxygen, the more the oil will degrade.”

-- Vuurwapen Blog, September 12, 2015


The Firearm Blog took up for its oft-time contributor, inviting even more controversy among its demonstrably larger reader base. 


It is quite apparent that the results for FIREClean and Crisco are very similar. While I’d rather see a control, it is apparent to me that none of the three look more similar in this regard to other common oils than they do to each other. So, in short, to the best of my knowledge, FireClean is canola oil.

-- The Firearm Blog, September 13, 2015

As expected, FIREClean responded via Facebook...

We would like to address recent false or misleading allegations that range from simply misguided to false, defamatory, and libelous. These attacks have been made by competitors and others that paint our product in a false or misleading light. The allegations do not focus on actual performance or relevant tests, and draw a misleading picture.


FIREClean™ Advanced Gun Oil is a specifically formulated, technically superior weapon reliability solution that resists the harshest firing with enormous heat and carbon overload that seize most weapons. It is a formulation- made specifically for exceptional reliability in firearms and weapons- not a re-labeled or re-packaged product.

-- FIREClean, September 13, 2015


...which The Firearm Blog republished, with commentary. 

By all accounts, FireCLEAN works well. They have many followers who love their product. We know, based on the patent application filed by the company founder, embedded below, that FireCLEAN is likely to be 100% vegetable oils that have a high smoking point.

-- The Firearm Blog, September 13, 2015


Up to this point, the contention seemed to be contained between Vuurwapen and FIREClean. But The Firearm Blog had introduced a video from 2014 wherein Larry Vickers hosted the Sugg brothers - the developers of FIREClean - for a hi-speed camera shoot that portrayed the product as superior to CLP. It's a cool video, from which we took the header image; we've embedded it below.

Pretty neat, right? But if you're like me, questions are now going through your head about what Larry would say to all this. Turns out, he has issued a statement, as well. Via Facebook: 

At the end of the day I'm impressed with FIREClean's performance and based on the feedback I get from students and others that use it I am not alone. If you want to believe the haters and think Crisco is just as good and FC is overpriced that's fine by me; drive on using whatever you want - won't bother me a bit

As always I stand behind anything I say or post and have an official 'open door ' policy - if you see me at SHOT show or at a class or at the range and you want to discuss this or any other topic in person I'm good with that - come on up, introduce yourself and let's talk


Face to face - like men- not behind a keyboard

-- Larry Vickers, September 13, 2015


Up to this point, no one with clout had seriously called Vickers' character into question. His representation of FIREClean has been apparently neutral. 

Once again, however, Andrew at Vuurwapen has shined a light on a variable that could change that equation. With regards to the above video, he noticed the following:

In the video, the Sugg brothers are interviewed by Larry Vickers about their product. Larry then proceeds to shoot a Beretta M9 and a BCM carbine with three different configurations:

– Dry (no lube)
– FireClean

The weapons were reportedly cleaned between each firing.

The video purports to show minimal amounts of smoke coming from the firearms when dry and lubricated with CLP, but excessive amounts of smoke when lubricated with FireClean. The smoke, we are told, is carbon being pushed away from the weapon by the super effective FireClean formulation, which is composed of (redacted).

Now, Vickers Tactical has some awesome cameras and production equipment of which I am quite jealous. Don’t get me wrong, I have nice stuff. But I don’t have something that shoots high speed frame rates in 1080p, like Vickers Tactical. That’s the sort of equipment I enjoy seeing in use, especially when firearms are the subject, and I am likely to rewind and watch several times in order to see things I missed.

Things like this.

This is a screenshot of the Beretta M9 being fired, dry, at approximately 5 minutes and 30 seconds into the video. It shows minimal smoke and a 9mm case with a PPU headstamp and a brass colored primer being ejected from the firearm.

After some discussion, the Beretta is fired again with CLP applied. This can be found at about 7 minutes into the video.

Again we see a PPU case with a brass primer ejecting. There is a little more smoke and we are told it is because of the CLP. We can see the projectile of the subsequent round and it appears to be shiny, as we would expect a factory FMJ projectile to be.

Finally, at approximately 8 minutes and 30 seconds, Larry fires the M9 again, this time having been cleaned and lubricated with FireClean. Immediately upon ejection, the spent case emits quite a lot of smoke – much more than the previous two rounds. And then the case spins around and the headstamp comes into view…

That is a different colored primer. More than that, it’s a Cor-Bon 9mm Luger +P headstamp.


And when the projectile of the subsequent round comes into view, we can see that it has a more matte finish, as we would expect, say, a copper plated bullet to have (if you’re not a handloader, the projectile differences may not be as apparent to you). Alternately it could be a DPX bullet which is used by Cor-Bon in its +P line.

-- Vuurwapen Blog, September 14, 2015


Bob Owens at Bearing Arms says: "If it works, it works."

What do you say?


Latest Forum Posts

  • No posts to display.

News From Facebook