There is a relatively new product on the market for taking care of your firearm. A friend of mine wanted to know my take on it and asked me to try it out and let him know. (Thank you Jeff at Shiloh Shooting.) So I took the bottle home, and started working on thinking about how I could best test this product out and put it through the paces. I wanted to make sure it would still work in conditions that suck, like harsh environments, and neglect.
The first test I did, Was to pull out my M&P 9mm compact. My carry weapon. I hadn’t cleaned it or shot it in a while. (I know, shame on me.) It had a pretty good coating of dust and lint on the internals. When I took it apart, the slide action felt gritty, and I can’t say that it would have, but a failure of some kind was probably not far off. Most likely a Failure to Feed (FTF) or a Failure to Eject (FTE). I applied a liberal coat of the Rand CLP, put my pistol back together, and racked the slide a few times. Even with all of the crap that was in my gun, the slide action was smooth. So far so good. (Keep in mind I still had not cleaned my pistol at this point.) I shot 50 rounds, and the pistol performed beautifully. Obviously I could use improvement, but the stuff worked great so far.
The next thing I did was to try to think of the crappiest, and most likely to be seen conditions that a pistol would go through, in everyday use. Well, I had the first idea from what I saw in my pistol already; lint and dust. And not just a little bit, but enough that it would seem that a pistol had not been used, cleaned, or taken care of at all, in a year. Grabbed some lint from our dryer for that test. I live in Texas, and it does tend to get fairly hot here, but most lube will stand up to heat. Guns get hot when they are fired after all, so a heat test wasn’t really going to help much. What about cold? Lubricants tend to get thick when cold, and I wondered if this lube would turn into glue in extreme cold. (For this test my wife was courteous enough to lend me one of her Shields.) Then there is the ultimate enemy of any firearm. That really fine sand, like you see in Arizona. The stuff can act like sand paper and without a decent lubricant, a pistol action could seize up from the friction, or so I’ve been told. So how do I simulate that? Talcum powder. It will probably soak up the lube, making a thick putty like substance. My poor M&P was going to suffer this one too.) What else? Heavy Use. My wife’s FN will work for this. After the initial treatment, I will fire it until I either have a failure, (FTE, FTF, or Stovepipe) or I have fired roughly 500 rounds, without cleaning, without adding any additional lubricant. And for the final test. Just letting a pistol sit on it’s side, in a safe, for a month, allowing all the lubricant to seep out, if it does. (My wife’s other shield will suffer through this one.) You notice that it’s only my M&P that’s really going to suffer here? Yeah, I noticed that too…
The first thing I did was clean all of the pistols that I was going to use for this test using Gun Scrubber and Hoppe’s solvent to get rid of the Rem-Oil I had been using. (I never got around to putting the Frog Lube on any of the guns.) Once all of the guns were cleaned, and dry, I used a Q-tip to put a carefully measured amount that roughly equates to “not nearly enough” on all of the firearms. Just enough that there was a faint coat, and not on all of the surfaces either. Just on a few crucial ones, namely the lower rails and the sear.
Neglect – My poor, poor M&P. After I had added the CLP to my pistol, I proceeded to pelt it with the dryer lint. Lots of it. Tons of it. There was enough, dust, dander, and dog hair in my pistol that it would surely fail after two or three rounds. I took it over to the target, and fired two full 17 round magazines out of it. No failures. Now it wasn’t behaving normally, and the brass was tumbling out funny, but if your life depended on it working, you’d be okay. I took the M&P apart again to see how it looked. Cleaner. Yep, adding this stuff, and firing, was actually cleaning the gun. (There was the equivalent of a hamster worth of dust and crap in that pistol when I started out, and now it looked pretty good. It was still covered in everything, but much less of it.) That’s impressive. So, +1 for the Rand CLP. (The Rem-Oil I had been using would likely have already failed at this point, and my gun wouldn’t look cleaner after this for sure.)
Harsh Environment – It gets better for my poor M&P. After the previous test, I added a generous amount of some talcum powder and some very fine grained dirt to my pistol, to simulate a crappy environment, with a pistol repeatedly dropped in the dust and dirt. I didn’t clean it from the lint test, and didn’t add any more CLP. Just went straight from crappy to crappier for my pistol. Again, two 17 round magazines fired with no failures. The brass tumbling was getting pretty bad out of the pistol, and the last 3 shots I could feel the slide starting to short stroke. (Even though there were no failures yet, my pistol wasn’t far from it, maybe another 100 rounds or so before a failure.) But if your life depended on it, it worked well enough. +1 for the Rand CLP again. After both of these tests, I apologized to my M&P, cleaned it with gun scrubber again, and applied a normal amount of the CLP this time. I’m almost positive that my M&P is considering filing for divorce after being treated like that.
Extreme Cold – So how would you test extreme cold in Texas? Especially in the Houston area? It rarely even gets chilly here, let alone cold. I did a couple of tests for this. With one of my wife’s Shields, treated with the same amount of CLP (about the same as mosquito spit), it was placed in the refrigerator for several hours. I wanted to also see how well the CLP held up, so I placed a liberal drop each on two pieces of plastic (trays from the ammo I was shooting). I placed one in the freezer, and one in the fridge. I wanted to see the difference between “the weather sucks,” and “F— this!" I was kind of optimistic about the performance of this stuff so far, since any thing else I had thrown at it to gum it up hadn’t had much of an effect. After several hours, I took out the two plastic trays to check out the difference between the two samples. The fridge sample looked exactly like it did when it was put on. (I double checked with a new drop to be sure.) The freezer sample looked a little cloudy, but it was still viable. It wasn’t solid, which is good. It was a little thicker than the fridge sample but not like paste. After checking out the samples, my wife’s Shield was taken from the refrigerator, and as quickly as possible fired so that it didn’t have a chance to warm up. (I was standing in front of the target with a loaded magazine waiting to shoot, while my wife ran it out to me from the fridge holding it like a hot potato.) I expected the slide to be slow, and for it to short stroke some. Nope. Like it was brand new, had been drenched in lubricant, and the pistol was on vacation in the Caribbean, not frozen. After firing the slide was still cold, and there was lots of condensation on it. (It is humid here after all.) But there were no signs of moisture anywhere that the CLP was. That’s another win for the Rand CLP. My wife’s shield was then warmed up, given a liberal coat of CLP, and then treated to a spa day with a manicure-pedicure.
Abuse – The fun test. This test was simple. Using the previously mentioned measured amount of CLP (think gnat’s sneeze,), and an FN FNS-9, just shoot, and shoot, and shoot, until there is a failure, or I go through 500 rounds. Not adding any CLP during this time at all. Surely at some point, there will be a failure here. Keep in mind, I’m not looking for anything catastrophic, just a simple FTE, FTF, or a Stovepipe, is enough. Basically any minor malfunction that in a SHTF moment, costs seconds, and may cost you your life. Well any that wouldn’t be caused by something else at least. Bad ammo is bad ammo. The first 250 rounds were fired without a hitch. (My left elbow hurts, but that’s not the fault of the CLP. That’s my bad form which caused that.) I later went through another 500 rounds, and there was not an issue or hiccup at all. The FN was then treated to a massage, and a night out to dinner at a steakhouse. Yes, my wife’s pistols are spoiled.
Abandonment – Okay, this test is for the safe queens. Those pistols that you have, and are exceedingly proud of, but never take out of your safe. (Like the Cobra CA380 you have, or the ever popular Jimenez J.A.9. You know, the one that sits next to your Taurus Judge.) My wife sacrificed one of her Shields for this test. I Used the same measured amount of the Rand CLP. (I’ll let you decide on the equivalent here, whether you want to say “mouse lick”, or some other bodily function of an exceedingly small creature. Use your imagination.) The pistol was then deposited into a Gun Vault safe, where it would remain for 30 days, untouched. I’ll update the post when the time passes and let you know what I find.
So after all of this, I can say this about the Rand CLP. It’s good stuff. It’s not pricey, it’s not complicated to use, and it just works… well. Now the tests I came up with are probably nothing like the rigors that the professional labs could put it through, but I wanted to see how it would do in real world crappy situations, not lab environment crappy. It worked well for what I threw at it and I’ll probably continue to use it. What do you think?
ps: My M&P and I are in relationship counseling now…