Another controversy is brewing in the firearms industry, this time over the alleged nature of a firearms cleaning and lubrication product. Andrew Tuohy of Vuurwapen Blog ("Firearm Blog") reports.
If you have been on the internet and have visited a sampling of firearm related blogs or social media sites in the last few weeks, you have most likely come across reports or claims that FireClean is nothing more than Crisco vegetable oil.
. . .
I did not – and still do not – believe that FireClean is Crisco, but not for the reason you might think. Although such statements make for shocking arguments, it wouldn’t really make sense to buy a name brand product at a high price if the goal was to resell and make money.
Still, the claim that FireClean is nothing more than Crisco is not one to be taken lightly by anyone ... I sought to undertake my own testing to determine whether or not these claims are true about FireClean. Trust, but verify.
. . .
I contacted a professor at the University of Arizona – a very nice man with a Ph.D. in organic chemistry – and he agreed to help with an infrared spectroscopy test of FireClean and two types of Crisco.
. . .
What did the tests show?
FireClean is probably a modern unsaturated vegetable oil virtually the same as many oils used for cooking.
There's more at the link, including an interesting and useful analysis of the product. I think all of us who are firearms enthusiasts owe a debt of gratitude to Andrew Tuohy for arranging these tests and clarifying the situation.
In response to Mr. Tuohy's article and other speculation, the makers of Fireclean have issued their own statement. In part, it reads:
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™ has been proven in combat in Afghanistan by US Special Operations Forces, and is in use by Army, Navy, Marine Corps, and Air Force Special Operations. It is also in use by elements of the FBI, DHS, DEA, CBP, Secret Service, Department of State, various intelligence agencies as well as numerous State and Local Law Enforcement Agencies.
. . .
We offer what we and many others regard as the best, highest performing product on the market. We have not commented on the formulation, nor will we do so now. We have focused on performance, and we will continue to do so.
Rest assured that we will defend our good name against false, defamatory and libelous allegations using the full measure of remedies available to us.
Again, more at the link.
I can't help but notice what Fireclean does not say in their statement. They don't address the results of Mr. Tuohy's tests at all. They merely make (unsubstantiated) claims about who is using their product (which have nothing whatsoever to do with the nature or technical details of their product), and refuse to comment on its 'formulation'. They also state their intention to defend against 'false, defamatory and libelous allegations' - but they never identify Mr. Tuohy's findings (or any other claims about their product) as actually being 'false, defamatory and libelous'. In other words, they're saying nothing at all of any substance to actually address the controversy. To say I find that very strange is an understatement. Their inexplicable failure (so far) to address the specific issues involved gives rise (in my mind, at any rate) to serious concerns.
In an earlier article, I referred to manufacturers who make extravagant claims about their ammunition products.
A word of warning: do not, I repeat, do not be taken in by wildly extravagant claims about bullet performance made by certain manufacturers or their dealers! Two current examples of the breed are Extreme Shock USA and RBCD Performance Plus. These and similar vendors offer [extremely expensive] ammunition, advertising it in high-blown, pseudo-scientific language as if it were the best thing since sliced bread. However, independent testing and analysis of such ammunition has produced disappointing results, to put it mildly: so I can't recommend it. Stick with conventional hollow point loads, as used by local, State and Federal law enforcement authorities. If anyone tries to sell you something that they claim is umpteen gazillion times better, ask them why, if it's so great, the cops or the armed forces aren't using it. If they claim that they are, insist that they identify the agency(ies) concerned, and verify their claims. Odds are they'll refuse to name their law enforcement or military customers “because we have a confidentiality agreement with them”, or something along those lines. If you believe that, there's a bridge in Brooklyn, NYC I'd like to sell you. Cash only, please, and in small bills.
More at the link.
I respectfully suggest that similar claims may have been made about firearm cleaning products (not just Fireclean), and that therefore, similar caution should be exercised concerning them. I've never used Fireclean, and based on the information currently available about it, I see no reason to start doing so. I'm happy with the cleaning products I currently use. There are many good choices out there that are publicly endorsed by their users (with no mysterious, or anonymous, or unsubstantiated claims about who those users may be). American Mercenary points out that there's an even cheaper solution available - one I've used myself from time to time. He's right.