SlowMo Galore in FireClean Testing

While the test is certainly only covering only a single facet of what makes lubricant preform in the field (how much carbon debris comes out of the gun versus stays in it), its still fascinating to watch the ultra-slow motion of a Beretta M9 and AR-15 shooting in good light. Larry Vickers spends time with the brothers who created FireClean (who he does endorse).

I’m still sticking by CLP (I am dogmatic in my respect for it after time in Corps), but that does not mean I do not appreciate the abilities of other cleaners. Personally, I would like to see longer-term (and higher round count) testing than looking at only a single facet, but chatter from other writers and companies I work with indicates FireClean is not BS.

Nathan S

One of TFB’s resident Jarheads, Nathan now works within the firearms industry. A consecutive Marine rifle and pistol expert, he enjoys local 3-gun, NFA, gunsmithing, MSR’s, & high-speed gear. Nathan has traveled to over 30 countries working with US DoD & foreign MoDs.

The above post is my opinion and does not reflect the views of any company or organization.


  • ClintTorres

    Not to discredit anyone but I’m not convinced that more smoke = less fouling.

    • Joshua

      No one is. It’s a stupid test that Larry did because like all things he does now days, he pimps his sponsers.

      This test was absolutely meaningless, smoke can be equated to unlocking speed and amount of powder burn in the bore before the bullet exits the barrel.

      • HKGuns


        • You guys are so negative…. think of the silver lining; You’re returning fire AND generating a smoke screen.

          I would be more impressed with this kind of test if they did it in an enclosed chamber with a particulate filter and showed a filter weight difference between fireclean and other lubricants to prove it’s actually carbon and not smoke caused by a low smoke point. This would require an extensive amount of ammunition however.

  • junyo

    I’m kinda thinking all that proves is that canola oil has a lower smoke point than whatever’s in CLP.

    • Jim Jones

      Canola oil for the win!!!!! “Divinely inspired” what a bunch of quacks.

  • Steve

    I’ve had mixed results with FIREClean:

    Works great in an AR, suppressed and unsuppressed – I’ve used it in 10.3″, 14.5″ and 18″ uppers with a shared lower. It noticeably smoothed the charging action after 1-2 range trips in each of the uppers. Cleaning the bolt carrier group is easier/quicker, while cleaning the barrel takes about the same time. I still use solvent prior to one final light wipe with FIREClean down the bore and chamber.

    Works great with centerfire pistols, suppressed and unsuppressed. HK45C Tactical, CZ EVO III Scorpion, among others. No complaints here, and similar results as above.

    Caused malfunctions with intergrally suppressed rimfire pistol – Ruger Mk.II. Caused the second round out of a full magazine (2 different mags) to hang up on the feed ramp about 80% of the time. Tried CLP – worked fine; tried FIREClean a second time – got more hang-ups. Tried it with both copper tip and lead nose rounds.

    With that one exception, it’s still the best lube/cleaning product I’ve used. Due to the rimfire issues, I’ll always have 1 bottle of each on-hand (FIREClean/CLP), some Hoppe’s No.9, and a bottle of Sweet’s 7.62 for bolt-guns.

    I have been wanting to try some of the Shooter’s Choice stuff, but just haven’t gotten around to it.

    One other thing I’ll have to mention – when FIREClean was new, I inquired about it’s corrosion prevention qualities (the ‘P’ in ‘CLP’) and I could never get a reply out of the company. As such, I’m reluctant to use it on anything going into long-term storage.

  • USMC03Vet

    I use to be a CLP fan too, Nathan. I use Slip2000 EWL now.

    • andrey kireev

      I alternate between the two, haven’t seen too much difference between the two other than price…

      • USMC03Vet

        Being non toxic is nice. I’ve noticed it doesn’t evaporate nearl as quickly as clp either.

        • andrey kireev

          “If it’s not toxic or carcinogenic, it doesn’t work as good” – Unknown aircraft mechanic

  • 10w30 all the way.

    • Haunted Puppeteer

      It may not be the best, but it is at least a known quantity. It works well enough.

      And it’s relatively cheap.

      And it’s not mired in gun lube fads.

    • Bill

      And available at any dipstick if needed badly enough. Motor oil, transmission fluid, gear lube and diesel fuel, kerosene or JP1 for cleaning.

    • FightFireJay

      Many of the additives in commercial engine oil are toxic and even carcinogens. Given that I can get a bottle of frog lube or Slip2000 at a reasonable price that lasts me for years… I’ll take the one that one isn’t a petroleum distillate sensitizer.

      (cue the tough guys saying they slather their bodies in motor oil and will have John Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in 7 years)

      • I am more worried about breathing in lead particles than some smoking oil. That said, my other hobbies have me inhaling gaseous motor oil already so I may need to cut down on that!

        • andrey kireev

          sooo… getting high is your other hobby ? =P

          • Naw. Unintentional deliriousness can result though I suppose.

          • andrey kireev

            Is it as bad as getting high on gasses from muzzle blast on IWI Tawor with Lantac Dragon muzzle brake on an indoor range ? Because I swear, it’s like the worst thing about that gun lol

  • Haunted Puppeteer

    What a very subjective and ultimately useless ‘test’.

    I’m surprised and dismayed at the amount of credulity from Larry Vickers.

    The FireClean guys are just there to sell a product, so you really can’t trust anything they say.

    Mr. Vickers mentioned snake oil, and FireClean’s unsubstantiated claims and wholly unscientific methods of testing have all the hallmarks of snake oil.

    FireClean may well be a perfectly serviceable gun oil, but this test was far from conclusive or objective. It was an exercise in confirmation bias.

    “Because you have to – you have to assume it’s out of the pores in the metal.” – Vickers
    “Right.” -Ed, FireClean

    Right. Pores in the metal.

    • Dave

      If my time in the army has taught me anything it is that metal has pores that fouling will get trapped in.
      Military CLP is made to draw the fouling out of the pores so that you’ll clean your weapon spotless and then two days later after sitting in the company arms room you wipe it down and it’s FILTHY despite never firing around. Our sister company would instruct troops not to use clp before long storage because it left the guns cleaner in case of inspection.

    • Joshua

      Now days Larry is all about confirmation bias if it pays his bills.

  • sean

    Seal 1 actually becomes part of your guns finish and over time wont allow carbon to stick to its surface…so i see no advantage to this

  • Black Mamba

    So it may not prove anything, but you have to admit that the slow motion is damn cool.

  • Iblis

    Different ammo could have been used for the testing. Some powders will cause more fouling than others. I don’t know of these guys or anything else about them, don’t know how honest they are. It could be the lube burning off as well, hard to tell.

  • Mrninjatoes

    That was the dumbest thing I have ever seen.

    Isn’t there a scandal brewing where Fireclean is just Crisco?

  • Dan

    Well based on this test, i am sold i am going to cash in my retirement and all savings and purchase as much fireclean as I can. Kidding, i couldn’t really tell any damn difference. Guess I’ll never reach tier .5 HSLD i was reaching for, instead I’ll spend my life scrubbing fouling out of my guns. 🙁

  • Vitor Roma

    I use slip2000 in my bycicle chains, it is pretty good. As a brazilian, I cant have guns but sure I can get guns lubes to use on my bike.

    • andrey kireev

      Slip 2K is pretty good, that’s the other lube I use, other than fireclean, they are fairly comparable =)

  • BrandonAKsALot

    Am I the only one that feels that too much emphasis is placed on minute differences in these products as opposed to just making people understand that you should just take the time to keep your firearms up? I use whatever I have on hand. WD-40 as a solvent usually, Frog grease and whatever oil I have for lube at the moment. I clean my guns and take the 60 seconds to wipe down the ones I don’t shoot often every 4-6 months. I just like the Frog products because it cuts down on the toxic crap I’m exposed to and it works pretty well.