Anderson MFG No Lube AR-15

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I just heard about this company for the first time. A customer at my work mentioned it and how Anderson MFG treats the guns with a special coating that allows the gun to run without lubrication. I looked into the company and their marketing advertises exactly that.

The Anderson Rifle is the only rifle in the world that never requires lubrication. It is only possible because it is permanently treated with RF85, the nano technology that injects calcium into the molecular fabric of the metal. RF85 is permanent. It is INas the metal. RF85 reduces friction 85% and wears with the metal. Under heat and pressure the calcium nano particles elongate and form a protective barrier that eliminates the need for lubrication.

An ancillary benefit arises because without an oily film to catch carbon particles, the rifle runs cleaner much longer. A typical lubricated weapon traps the carbon byproducts from explosives. Under the heated conditions found in weapons, the gooey mess turns into tar which bakes into a solid mass and fouls the chamber. The result is life-threatening weapon failure.

The Anderson Rifle uses RF85 nano-technology to fire with

  • 85% Less Friction
  • 23% Faster Action
  • Never Needs Oiling
  • Cleans Up with Soap & Water

 

 

Here is a bearing test they posted on their website.

 

 

In this video, a distributor tested the RF85 Anderson firearm against another competitor. I wish I knew what gun and what distributor performed this test.

 

Here is a factory tour.

 

At face value the RF85 treatment sounds like a wonder drug. Has anyone had personal experience with an Anderson MFG AR?



Nicholas C

Co-Founder of KRISSTALK forums, an owner’s support group and all things KRISS Vector related. Nick found his passion through competitive shooting while living in NY. He participates in USPSA and 3Gun. He loves all things that shoots and flashlights. Really really bright flashlights.

Any questions please email him at nicholas.c@staff.thefirearmblog.com


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  • Clint P

    Very interesting. I hope this works as well as advertised.

  • Budogunner

    I own two Anderson MFG. Ar-15 lowers and they are superior in quality to my DPMS and at least on par with my RRA. I can’t speak to the quality of any other components or to their claim of not needing lubrication as I have no further experience than that.

    • How is one lower made by Cerro Forge better than another lower made by Cerro Forge? The rollmarks?

      • Budogunner

        That is actually a good question. Possibly variance in quality control over the years. The Anderson lowers are the newest ones I own. They lock up tighter with my uppers, but we all know how many variables are in play there, and the finish seems better.

        Other than that, no idea. I have no connection with any of those companies so I am just reporting what I see.

      • ostiariusalpha

        Nanomolecular particles, obviously.

      • MR

        The machining or anodizing, perhaps. I know there were more toolmarks on the Bushmaster lower I purchased, than on any of the Anderson lowers. From what I’ve seen, they have a decent product, they just need to reign in their marketing department.

  • BS

    I believe, but could be wrong, that only their fully assembled ARs have the lube. At a minimum I know that not all of their stuff has the miracle lubricant. I have several of their stripped lowers and they work fine for me and are very affordable.

    • Paul Epstein

      I like the stripped lowers, my first AR I built myself has one, but only the parts specifically marked on their website seem to be RF-85 treated.

  • A normal AR-15 can run just fine without lube.

    I’m gonna be hard on Anderson here, but I hope if they’re reading they take it as the constructive criticism it is. The first thing I noticed in this video is that the AR-15’s bolt does not rotate in the animation. It is simply fixed to the carrier when the carrier moves rearward. Indeed, the barrel extension the bolt would lock into is entirely missing in that render (as is the gas tube). I realize the full cycle of operation is unnecessary to promote Anderson’s product, but to me it looks like Anderson just does not know how their own products work, and that doesn’t put me in a position to want to believe their claims about the surface treatment. Couple that with the line about “nanotechnology” that, while perhaps accurate in a basically technical sense, brings to mind Michael Crichton novels and James Cameron’s Terminator 2, and I found the whole thing a bit silly.

    None of this says anything about Anderson’s rifles or their surface treatment, but it does reflect quite a bit on their marketing department.

    • ostiariusalpha

      Feh, Bro-Science does not engender confidence in your product, Anderson.

      • Giolli Joker

        Especially if we consider that there’s no such a thing as “molecular fabric of the metal”…

        • ostiariusalpha

          Well, there are woven metal fabrics. For filtration systems. Maybe they can make one to filter BS like this.

    • Esh325

      Link is broken, but alll firearms need to be lubed, even the AR15. With regards to the anderson ar15, I think it’s snake oil. If there was such thing as a coating that eliminated the need of any lube, everybody would be doing it already by now.

      • Yeah, all firearms require lube for optimum functioning, but you can run an AR-15 without it. AKs, too.

        • Esh325

          Yes, you can, but it’s certainly not recommended.

      • MikeSmith13807

        Uh… ever hear of a company called POF? But no, everybody would not be doing it just because it was possible–nothing comes without a cost…

        • Esh325

          How much do you think lube costs for 100,000 rifles over the period of their service life?

          • MikeSmith13807

            It’s not about dollars vs dollars. It’s not about cost of lube vs cost of improved surface. The first question is whether you want a rifle that doesn’t need lube. If you don’t care, then there are plenty of options for you. If you do care, then you’ll probably have to pay a little more for it because it adds to manufacturing costs, it’s an upgrade, and premium products deserve increased pricing as long as the market supports it.

    • JimBob

      Snake oil.
      If they were serious they would DLC the moving parts.

      • Giolli Joker

        Maybe snake oil is their secret lubricant…. 😛

    • BrandonAKsALot

      I like how your biggest beef is over the animation. Also, there have been a lot of fancy upgrades in the world of metallurgy in the last decade and a pretty important one has been impregnating metal with other metal/materials. It’s been something that has been attempted for a long time now and with scifi stuff like Star Wars egging on the notions of transparasteel and plasteel, it’s pretty cool. Perhaps nanotechnology is not 100% accurately used here, but it involves the manipulation of very tiny particles to serve a specific purpose. Pretty close. You seem to miss that it’s not a surface treatment if it’s actually what they are claiming.

      I have used Anderson’s stuff and am currently putting together a new AR with a lot of their stuff. I have not had experience with the RF-85, however, and am interested to see independent testing.

      • Well, the majority of the video is the animation, so…

        • BrandonAKsALot

          Well, you just railed against a company and it’s products over an animation, so…

          Plus, that’s one out of four videos above. I can’t say whether this process would work or not, because there’s not much of a way to at the moment. You just came in pooping all over a company, who, by the way, offers a lot of other good and affordable products, because you didn’t like the pictures basically. If you would like to validly detract from Anderson’s company please state the evidence why. Otherwise, you’re just spouting off non-sense and adding to the chorus of negativity that the comments of this site always seem to bring.

          I don’t personally get my hopes up without some independent testing and seeing some more detail behind their processes. There’s always a latest and greatest in the AR market and very little seems to pan out.

          • Please re-read:

            “None of this says anything about Anderson’s rifles or their surface treatment, but it does reflect quite a bit on their marketing department.”

            I didn’t say “Anderson is bad and everyone should hate them” I said “that animation is embarrassing and I hope Anderson acknowledges that and fixes it.”

            You want to take that as me taking a dump on Anderson, fine, but that’s not what I actually said.

          • Budogunner

            In fairness, a company I worked for once did some 3D animation for a firearms industry company. I was a programmer, not a designer, but I had to sit down with the designer and explain, in detail and repeatedly, how the components of the AR-15 are assembled and disassembled. He did his best, but not being a gun person there were still errors. A higher up decided it was ‘close enough’ to send on to the client.

            I would blame the keyboard jockeys for the animation more than Anderson. Fixing it was probably either too costly (additional design iterations bump up the price) or impossible to accomplish due to unfamiliarity with the operating system on the part of the design/marketing team.

            I’m not excusing the other dubiousness, just saying I have felt their pain on this subject before.

          • That sounds a lot like what I meant. 🙂

  • Vitor Roma

    The whole isse that will decide if it is something great or snake oil is the RF85 being legit or not. It is much more a matter of chemistry than weapon design.

  • Grindstone50k

    No experience with the no-lube AR, but I have a bunch of Anderson lowers I get very cheap (under $50) from my LGS. No frills, but they do what they need to do, and do it well.

    • MR

      Yes, their stripped lowers are nice. I just wish they could stop making stupid claims.

  • mbross

    I shot a 3 gun match with a guy running a suppressed Anderson with rf85. It had had many failures to function.

  • lbrty2112

    Their shipping prices are through the roof.

  • Kivaari

    A light coating of lubrication is a good thing for every gun I have ever owned. It is a good thing that quality built in to any firearm is better than junk.

  • Citizen J

    wow, is that so Anderson…. Let me know how that works out for you…

  • ghost

    If in doubt, do without. But, I like the concept.

  • nadnerbus

    Actually showing the shoot-off test instead of just claiming the results would be better for credibility.

    Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.

  • MAUSERMAN

    My anderson AR Price is really good, got a complete lower for $139, and upper for $200 without the bolt, i put a fail zero bolt in mine, so far after some long days at the range, it works great no malfunctions, i lube the gun prior to shooting but didn’t re-apply any lube on the range.
    I think the price is attractive for the quality you are getting. Cheaper than a AK these days.

  • Isaac S

    I have several anderson lowers. I noticed they have a much smoother, shinier finish than most anodized lowers. Tried to fill paint the etching on one; Actually had a hard time getting the paint to stick. Im still pretty sure if i got hoppes on the paint it would peel right off.

  • Forest C. Adcock

    You can run a car without oil too. Until it stops working…

  • Jon B

    Yep. I have plenty of experience with the Anderson RF-85 rifle. I bought one in 2012 as a backup SHTF rifle and it has been nothing but trouble. The first time I sent it back for warranty work (in 2012) it had serious feed issues and started rusting. After it was sent back supposedly fixed, I never shot it. I was already deep into my 3gun rifle build so the Anderson just sat in the safe. I recently brought it to the range to see if it actually worked and guess what … more feeding issues.

    • MikeSmith13807

      Did that gun actually have the RF85 treatment, or was it just made by the same company? Even today they offer their guns with and without RF85…

      • Jon B

        Yep. It is a full RF85 gun.

        • MikeSmith13807

          Maybe some things changed in 3 years, they are getting great reviews currently.

  • Jack

    I bought a barrel from anderson and I found out the hard way that they throat was not properly cut. 3 rounds with blown primers (factory ammo) and a round stuck in the chamber upon closing the bolt and having to use a dowel rod and hammer to clear it from the muzzle, it went straight back to anderson ASAP! Their customer service was really good though. No questions asked and they refunded my purchase and shipping.

  • Darkpr0

    Disclaimer: I have not watched the video produced by Anderson. Based on the comments, I’m not sure I want to. Just wanted to throw a couple cents into the ring here.

    This claim is actually not all that outlandish. This is a technology that is being looked at by a lot of machinery companies, and really is not all that far out. Already well-known are dry lubes (how many of you guys Moly your bullets?) which work quite well.

    An extension of dry lube is to be able to impregnate the surface of the metal with dry lube that is actually attached to, or part of the structure. This poses its own challenges, like being able to retain the bits of lube over the course of the part’s lifetime as it wears, but the theory is totally sound. It is not totally outlandish to call this nanotechnology either, although the term has sort of turned into a media buzzword more than a scientific term in the modern era. I have no idea if this is what they’re actually claiming, I’ll sit on it until someone actually reviews this product. But I just wanted to point out that despite the claim, it’s not immediately dismissable as snake oil.

  • mig1nc

    I see they sell some RF85 parts separately, but no stripped upper. RF85 uppers are only packaged with BCGs for $285. Might be interesting for a new build.

  • MikeSmith13807

    A lot of people on here who don’t know what they’re talking about. Various coatings and dry film treatments that eliminate the need for traditional lubrication have been around for a while.

  • Zachary marrs

    Its bullsh!t

  • Timothy Wahl

    Instead of posting opinions that support no factual evidence why not contact the manufacturer and ask for proof? That would make a great follow up story for the firearm blog…..instead of posting fact less opinions which seems to be the norm anymore. Personally I’ll take it one step further and actually buy one…

  • smartacus

    Calcium? Not even something exotic like Molybdenum?

  • Uniform223

    I wouldn’t call this process a lie but any process that gives the materials low friction properties would be beneficial for fire arms. That doesn’t mean I wont use lubrication.

  • Greg

    So 1000 rounds a minute? That is quite a gutless torture test, also the rifle caught on fire after 4 hours and 4000 rounds??? Did they pour gas on it, I can’t see how that low round count could have been responsible for that.

    • You mean 1000 rds an hr?
      4000 rds in 4 hrs is about 1 rd every 3.3 seconds.

  • ghost

    The military should jump on this. They always claim problems with past and present firearms are due to not being cleaned.

  • Like I said, the animation says nothing about RF-85, it just doesn’t represent the company very well.

    Almost 4300 rounds is pretty impressive, but note that they don’t say the Anderson didn’t malfunction, they said they couldn’t get it to fail. Pannone’s test resulted in no gun-related failures of any kind, and he didn’t test his rifle to destruction. So he didn’t run his gun without lube for as long, but maybe it could have done so.

    Why did “the leading rifle” – lubed up – fail at 900 rounds? What does “fail” mean? Did they get a stovepipe and just toss out the other gun? Did something break?

    Maybe RF-85 is a major improvement, but unfortunately even if we take what Anderson says in the video you embedded at face value, we don’t really learn anything.

  • Johh

    Their lowers are not 100% true milspec. The magwells are a little looser (bigger) than Colt & LMT, which are two 100% true MilSpec forged lowers I’ve seen and I’ve tested a lot of them. For $50, it ain’t bad. I have one too. It’s just 97% Milspec though.

    • Christopher Armour

      Good to know, thanks!

  • Chase

    Didn’t Patriot Ordinance factory do something similar like 5+ years ago (no lube AR).

  • Snake Oil.

  • nova3930

    Spend untold R&D hours and $ to develop a wonder coating to replace 10 cents worth of lube and 10 minutes worth of cleaning…with the latter being very much optional….

  • Parker Brown

    A friend of mine works at Anderson, it’s all true. RF-85 is nothing short of a miracle treatment for guns. Someday I’ll have them treat my SKS, no matter the cost.