FIREClean Suppressor Test: How Well Does This Gun Lube Actually Work?

in Accessories Misc., Authors, Clay Martin, Columns, Gunsmithing

When it comes to gun lube, there is a lot of snake oil for sale out there being peddled by grifters hoping desperately to separate you from your hard-earned cash.  Some of what they’re pushing is the same old cheap stuff just placed in fancy twenty-dollar packaging.  And some of it is “new” but still no different from what’s been on the market for years.

So, what is really the best option for weapons lube? I have no idea. I have used everything from WD-40 to Miltec to Mobil 5w-30. Pretty much all the lube I’ve used seems to work the same to the point that I still use CLP, the same formula that’s been around since we were preparing to fix bayonets and take on the Commies.

One thing I have found, though, is a product that works great on suppressors. Suppressors get extremely nasty over a long day of shooting, as I am sure most of you know. Through some testing, I have found that coating all the internals with FIREClean makes cleanup a whole lot easier. Lots of things don’t work. This stuff does!

To prove my point, I got my hands on two Gemtech Mist barrels. For this little experiment, one barrel was coated in FIREClean, one was left dry. Over the course of a week, I put a brick of .22 LR through each of them (It’s a rough job sometimes, I know). By the end of the week, when it came time to clean the barrels, the difference between the two was night and day.

FIREClean Suppressor Test: How Well Does This Gun Lube Actually Work?

The Hornady Hot Tub is a life-saver when it comes to cleaning. Definitely, check it out.

The one with FIREClean I could wipe the carbon off with a paper towel.  The one without FIREClean had burned on stalagmites of carbon that were a pain to break off. In fact, without the Hornady Hot Tub ‘Time Machine’ (aka the 9L Sonic Cleaner), we had on loan, cleanup would have totally sucked! The Hot Tub is an awesome tool for cleaning anything, and it is big enough to take an AR upper with a 16” barrel.

“So big deal,” you’re saying. “A lubed suppressor is easier to clean than a dry one.  Duh!”

I hear ya.  No worries, as I took my test one step further.

For the next phase of the experiment, I used the Hornady Hot Tub to completely clean the barrel without FIREClean bringing it back to what was essentially factory new condition.  I then coated it with CLP.  I left the barrel with FIREClean alone.

FIREClean Suppressor Test: How Well Does This Gun Lube Actually Work?

The difference between the two is easy to see. FIREClean works!

I then repeated the test. After another 500 rounds on the FireClean model for a total of 1,000, it was still easier to clean that the CLP barrel with 500 on it. A lot of things don’t work, but for suppressors, FireClean absolutely does!


FIREClean Suppressor Test: How Well Does This Gun Lube Actually Work?

The barrel with FIREClean.



FIREClean Suppressor Test: How Well Does This Gun Lube Actually Work?

The barrel with no FIREClean.


Thanks again to GemTech for donating the 2,000 rounds of .22LR for this test!

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About the author: Clay Martin is a former Marine and Green Beret, retiring out of 3rd Special Forces Group. He is a multi-decade and -service sniper, as well as 3-Gun competitor and Master ranked shooter in USPSA Production. In addition to writing about guns, he is the author of “Last Son of The War God,” a novel about shooting people that deserve it. You can also follow him on twitter, @offthe_res or his website,

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  • Kim June 24, 2017, 12:35 am

    Clay your the man!

  • Will Drider June 19, 2017, 8:50 pm

    Cheaper AND better: DuPont Teflon nonstick dry film lubricant. Good to 480°F, under $10! 14 Oz aerosol can or 4 oz bottle. You can clean a firearm apply to internals, let dry then lube per Mfg specs. Next cleanup will be a breeze.
    Better then vicky’s snake oil.

    • Frank June 30, 2017, 8:06 am

      Good to 480F and you want to put that in a suppressor? OK…..

  • Scotty Gunn June 18, 2017, 10:30 am

    I like the Lucas gun oil, but do find it to be a bit thick for some applications. Then I use Mobil one synthetic motor oil (usually 5-20).
    I will have to try coating my 22 suppressor. I like the idea, as it is a bugger to clean.

  • You Rong June 16, 2017, 11:15 pm

    Wrong. Try crisco, canola, whatever and report back. IR spec might tell you if an oil is petroleum, synthetic or natural etc, but little beyond that.
    It makes all motor oils look identical.

  • Sgt. Pop June 16, 2017, 9:28 am

    Hell guys, use bacon grease, after a few rounds it’s guaranteed to have you headed for a BLT and beer……

  • Inshooter June 16, 2017, 8:51 am

    If u start with a clean suppressor use Lucas upper cylinder -injector cleaner on suppressor internal parts it will keep carbon soft and will wipe off with paper towel. Doesn’t hurt metal and was told by a Lucas distributor that it’s used on cattle to lube them up and doesn’t hurt them , the last part I can’t vouch for but have used it for over 3 yrs suppressor looks like new

    • Robert June 16, 2017, 2:02 pm

      I’m honestly afraid to ask the motivation for lubing up a cow. Let’s just pretend you never said that.

  • Joshua June 16, 2017, 7:19 am

    Thanks for the interesting review Clay, must be rough having to do that job….

    I used a similar product our BCGs and found quite by accident that it held up much better under high heat and didn’t burn off like CLP tended to. But downside is it became solidified in cold weather making the action feel sluggish.

    I found Lucas gun oil at an auto parts store – it was cheap so I bought it. Now it’s pretty much all I use anymore on my personal guns.

  • KCshooter June 16, 2017, 6:19 am

    Or you can save about $20 an ounce by using Crisco canola oil. Same results.

  • Don Boss June 16, 2017, 4:25 am

    Canola oil is pretty amazing stuff… LOL. 😂

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