July 2010

Anti-Rust Test: Boeshield T-9, Slide-Glide Lite Are Our Picks

Ten years later, Boeshield works as well as it ever did at keeping oxidation on metal at bay, but Slide-Glide Lite also warrants a look, our testers learned. We prefer Rangoon oil for fine guns.

In the July 2000 issue, we tested several rust-preventative compounds by preparing a bare, degreased steel sample and then anointing it with a selection of oils and other compounds that were supposed to provide protection against rust. We then left the steel sample outdoors in the rain, added some salt water to speed things up, and reported the results. The upshot of that test was that Boeshield T9 was the winner, providing essentially perfect protection against salt, rain, and odd water samples.

Small job or big, the Boeshield T-9 is a great rust preventative. At left is the test sample, a 4-ounce bottle (pictures are obviously not to scale). But the fluid comes in sizes up to a gallon container.

Reader Jeof Bean asked in February, "Can you test gun cleaning and lubricating products for what they claim, efficiency and how effective they are? I think this would be very helpful and believe that you are one of the very few trusted sources that can do it in an unbiased way." Reader Gordon Fleisher seconded that request, saying, "Itís been more than five years since you last tested those kinds of products. Since then, there has been a plethora of new products to come on the market. There is now a bewildering array of cleaning, lubricating, and rust-preventative products on the market. I believe it would be a real service to all of your readers to conduct tests on the commonly available products one sees in catalogs today."

To satisfy these inquiries, we acquired seven samples from Brownells and tested them in the same way as before, by preparing a single sample of mild steel with enough surface area to provide the same steel source for all the test fluids. The steel was ground and degreased to give a clean bare-steel surface, which was then divided into seven areas, with another three smaller areas for control. One of those smaller areas was left bare for a control, and the other two were anointed with Boeshield T9 and with Parker Haleís Rangoon oil, the winner and one of the runners-up from the earlier test.

This is the Lite version of Slide-Glide, but there are also standard and heavy formulas that are thicker, and suited for warmer temperatures. Use the Lite version down to 30 degrees.

All the compounds were put on relatively thinly. Two of them were essentially greases, and while they could be gobbed on so that nothing would get through them, that was thought to be nonproductive. Instead we made every effort to provide a light but thorough coat with each product, to keep a level playing field, as it were. We made every effort to avoid cross contamination when we anointed each area.

The steel-bar test sample was placed outdoors with the anointed areas upward to catch any rain or dew. We had light rain the first night, and in the morning there was only a light rust showing on the bare-steel control area. After two more days of relatively dry weather and no further rusting of the control sample, we sprinkled the steel with salt water. This gave us much faster results. We left the steel outdoors for well over a week before we drew our conclusions. In fact, the sample is still outdoors, continuing to provide long-term verification of the results given here.

The Products

All of these products are available from Brownells, (800) 741-0015, or www.brownells.com. The first was Slide-Glide Lite ($7.99, 1/2 ounce or a 2-ounce tub for $11.95). Next up was S&W Premium Lube & Protectant, $10 for a 4-ounce spray can, and Brownells Rust Veto, $14.45 for a 1-pound container of Cosmoline-type soft grease. Then we had MILITEC-1, $10 for a 14-ounce tube that appears to be suitable for a grease gun. We also tested Slip 2000 EWL, $12.50 for 4 fluid ounces in a closeable container, and Brownells Friction Defense Xtreme Gun Oil, $7 for 2 ounces of a thin, pinkish synthetic oil. And rounding up the newer products was KG4 Gun Oil, $5.95 for 2 ounces of thin brown non-synthetic oil. Pitted against these newcomers was the gold standard, Boeshield T-9, which sells for $9 for 4 ounces of liquid.

Here are the results:

Boeshield T-9 4-Oz. Bottle, $9

Gun Tests Grade: A

Slide-Glide Lite 1/2-Oz. Bottle, $7.99

Gun Tests Grade: A

At the end of a week, the bare control area was

heavily rusted. Of the other areas, only two remained unscathed. One (no surprise) was the control area with Boeshield T9, and the other was a new product for us, called Slide-Glide Lite. Those two areas alone showed zero rust.

Weíll get into the details on the new entry, Slide-Glide, first. Its full name is "Brian Enosís Far Superior Slide-Glide Lite." Itís reddish in color, and slightly stringy. There are also standard and heavy Slide-Glide formulas that are thicker, and suited for warmer temperatures. Choose the one that will work best in your temperature zone. The maker suggests use of the Lite version down to about 30 degrees, and he notes that the products can be thinned with gun oil as needed. The most cost-effective way to buy it is the 2-ounce tub, for $11.95. Thereís more info at www.brianenos.com.

The Boeshield T-9 again stood the test of time and proved itself to be superior in our test for rust prevention in a nasty salt-laden environment. It is also available from Brownells in two sizes of aerosols, or by the gallon ($110).

Weíre not sure how good a lubricant is Boeshield T9, though its makers claim that it dries to a waxy film that lubricates. We have not yet come up with a way to test lubricity, nor the durability of a given product in a given application. However, as a rust preventative, itís tough to beat. We put Boeshield onto some bolts on a tractor some years ago, and today are able to remove those bolts with ease. Those bolts without Boeshield are generally rusted to some extent, and are more difficult to remove.

S&W Premium Lube & Protectant 4-Oz.

Spray, $10

Gun Tests Grade: B+

Brownells Rust Veto 1-Lb. Can, $14.45

Gun Tests Grade: B

MILITEC-1 14-Oz. Tube, $10

Gun Tests Grade: B

Four areas showed very slight films of rust here and

there. These areas were our control with Parker Haleís Rangoon oil, and three of the new products. All four of these products had the slightest trace of surface rust where the salt had pooled and dried, leaving a touch of dry salt on the surface.

With the S&W Premium Lube, you get 4 ounces of what appears to be light oil in a spray can, with an extra tube applicator for getting into tight or specific areas. This product is made by Radiator Specialty Company, which also makes Liquid Wrench. Because it sprays everywhere, you can waste the product unless youíre careful. One of the clever marketing ploys is the can and removable lid look like a really big, totally serious cartridge, including serrations around the copper-colored lid. There are some nasty chemicals in this and in all the products, so exercise caution when using them, and keep them away from kids and animals. We always use nitrile gloves to clean any gun (except black-powder firearms) because the chemicals in the cleaning products and oils are not good for the skin. Of the seven new items, the S&W product was the only non-grease that performed well.

Rust Veto was a Cosmoline-type soft grease designed for long-term storage of firearms, etc. As noted, we wiped a very thin coating on, which is not the best way to use this fine product. It is good to know the average gun owner can buy something like this that permits hot dipping of guns, etc., for maximum protection. Itís cost effective, too. It is not designed as a lubricant.

MILITEC-1 in a tube appears to be suitable for use in a grease gun. This is grease, designated "Ultra-premium extreme pressure multi-purpose lithium-complex grease." Itís designed for serious lubricating where pressure might be extreme, as in wheel

bearings, rock crushers, and the like. It has rust inhibitors and is supposed to resist water washout very well. It did a good job of keeping rust off our test sample.

Slip 2000 EWL 4-Oz. Container, $12.50

Gun Tests Grade: C

Brownells Friction Defense Xtreme Gun Oil

2-Oz. Bottle, $7

Gun Tests Grade: C

KG4 Gun Oil 2-Oz. Bottle, $5.95

Gun Tests Grade: C

Three products failed to the extent that about half the test surface was badly rusted. Please note that this does not mean these products are no good. We tested only for anti-rust protection, with a light but thorough wipe of each product. We did not test for anti-friction properties, nor how well they may have worked with a heavier coating.

In the Slip 2000 EWL, EWL stands for Extreme Weapons Lubricant. While it did the worst job of rust preventing in our test, it may just be an excellent lubricant. Itís a synthetic oil, and thatís its main selling point, not particularly rust prevention. It exceeds several mil-spec designations, and like all the products here is made in the U.S.

Brownells Friction Defense Xtreme Gun Oil is a thin, pinkish synthetic oil that has its best application as a lubricant, not necessarily as an anti-rust product. We found it didnít perform well in the latter capacity. If you want to coat your guns against rust, we suggest there are better choices than this product.

KG4 Gun Oil is a thin brown non-synthetic oil that is the least expensive of the products tested. It didnít work all that well for rust protection, though it might provide excellent lubrication. We liked the package, which had a capped, thin spout you could trim to give a tiny drop of lubricant. One label on the bottle made us chuckle. It said, "Keep out of reach."

Sadly, Brownells no longer handles Parker Hale Rangoon oil. However, we found Rangoon oil by other makers at several sources online, so it is still available for those of us who must have it. For what itís worth, we still prefer to use Rangoon oil on our collectible guns as protection and lubricant. Old habits die hard.