Environmentally Friendly Products Vs. Demonic Possessions


Simone set a couple cups of coffee on the workbench where I was merrily cleaning a few guns, pulled up a chair and said, “We need to talk.” This sounded ominous. In over 47 years together we have never needed to talk. I mean, we do talk, sometimes at length and in complete sentences, but we’ve never needed to talk.

“I’m worried about your behavior,” she said. “You’re not yourself lately. The other day there was bacon for breakfast and you ate just one piece. Deer hunting yesterday, you watched a buck through the scope at easy range for at least 30 seconds, and let him walk. I’ve seen you blinking back tears while watching chick flicks. When I suggested a new chainsaw for Christmas you said the old one is good enough.

“And now I find you cleaning guns indoors, not even in a well ventilated area, and there’s no odor of ammonia or petrochemicals. Have you even looked at the labels? This one says ‘All natural, non-toxic, environmentally green.’ And this one? ‘Biodegradable, non-flammable.’ Are you turning into a kinder, gentler person or is it something more probable, like demonic possession?”

Those were hard words to hear, yet sometimes those closest to you have to hold up a mirror and force you to face reality. I was thinking how lucky it was she hadn’t seen me take a spider outside and release it, rather than stomping on it. It was one of those small black fast-movers, too.

Otis gun cleaning kits use a plastic-coated steel cable with various
attachments so bores can be cleaned from breech to muzzle.

Even Hoppe's?

We’re seeing a quiet revolution in gun care products. Several makers have introduced full lines of both all-around and specialized products promoted as non-toxic, biodegradable, environmentally friendly and non-flammable.

And not just new companies; Hoppe’s, perhaps the biggest name in gun care products (founded in 1903 when Frank Hoppe developed a cleaning solvent by mixing nine chemicals), has a complete line under their Elite label. To quote from the maker, the Elite line is “A complete departure from our traditional Hoppe’s No. 9 solvent; this high-tech, odorless technology outperforms the standard cleaners and oils on the shelf today.”

Environmentally friendly gun care products go back a ways too. Ballistol has been in production since 1904. Based on mineral oil, it was the first “green” gun care product, long before the term came into use. Other makers of green products include Blue Wonder, BoreTech, FrogLube, Hoppe’s Elite, Iosso Bore Paste, KG, M-Pro 7, Otis, Prolix, Seal 1. I’m sure there are others, these are ones I’ve used.

M-Pro 7 gun oil; KG2 removes copper fouling from bores without the use of ammonia
and the Otis CLP uses what they call a “bio-based formula.”

Seal 1 makes a series of gun care products using non-toxic, biodegradable formulations.


Won’t Kill You — Mostly

So what are the advantages of what I’ll call green gun care products? Most are non-toxic, relatively odorless, safe to use indoors, less likely to cause skin irritation. No, you don’t want to drink them or get them in your eyes.

They’re unlikely to remove the finish from blued guns, damage wood or synthetic stocks, or damage leather holsters. Being biodegradable they’re less likely to cause environmental damage. Many (not all) are non-flammable and therefore safer to store.

None of these things would matter if the products didn’t work, but they do work, and very well — as well as the old reliables of my youth, and in some cases even better. Maybe not all change is bad?

As for Simone’s concerns, I told her, “My feigned lack of interest in a new chainsaw was just a ploy; I love my new Stihl. I’d never watch a chick flick and if I did I wouldn’t cry. I’m no crier. I was saving the bacon for a sandwich in the field, and I let the buck walk because I wanted to kill a bigger one.”

“Riighht… says the guy who couldn’t kill a spider.” Dang, she did see me.

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