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Which Rust Preventative Prevents Rust the Best?

By Keith Wood

The Question: Which rust preventative best prevents rust?

As a lifelong resident of the South, I’ve fought the battle against rust for years. Dodge truck jokes aside, corrosion is an issue for all of us when we're afield in the elements and it’s important that we do what we can to protect not only the value, but the function of our firearms on the hunt. 

The Test: We started with a bar of 4140 steel and polished it to 400 grit to replicate the surface of an unblued rifle. After dividing the steel into eight sections, we treated each with a different product and left it out in the humidity and rain of North Florida for two weeks. 

The result: The photo speaks for itself, none of the products were perfect on the unfinished steel, but some certainly faired better than others. 

The products are, from left to right:
control, no protection
Break Free
Miltec
M-Pro 7
Rem Oil
WD-40
Hoppe’s No. 9 Powder Solvent
Renaissance Wax  

The Conclusion: Renaissance wax appears to be the winner with Break Free and Miltec tied for second place. (Of course wax is used as a preservative and not a cleaner/lubricant, so it's hardly an apples to apples test.) WD-40 was nearly as good, while M-Pro 7, Hoppe’s Solvent, and Rem Oil barely beat the unprotected steel. Friction-reduction aside, a picture is worth 1,000 words when it comes to which product is best for protecting your firearm from the elements.

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7 Responses to Which Rust Preventative Prevents Rust the Best?

Raff wrote:
July 27, 2011

How about RIG Universal (rust inhibiting grease)? I bought some in 1976 and haven't needed any since. A little goes a long way.

kurt barhydt wrote:
July 22, 2011

try sheath barricade for rust by birchwood casey! best stuff on the market. works equally well on blued guns as well as stainless steel!

KW wrote:
July 21, 2011

Thanks for the comments, this test was not intended to be comprehensive- I used the products that were available locally. I can also appreciate that the small photo doesn't do the results justice. Soon we'll be doing another test on blued steel, stay tuned.

Dave Wurz wrote:
July 20, 2011

Try Brown Polymer Super Lube by Enjen Joe's Products. EnjenJoesProducts.com

JR wrote:
July 20, 2011

Always heard that car was was good on firearms, not a surprise that the wax did well.

mike wrote:
July 20, 2011

try Rust Proof in a jar or military oil, both are heavy.

Dave Price wrote:
July 19, 2011

Try vaseline -- It is far more effective than most commercial products. Do not use it inside your bore unless you use a solvent to remove it before firing.