Review: NEW Strike Industries AntiVenom Extreme Penetrating Lubricant and Cleaner

Cleaners, Lubricants and Protectants are another one of the topics that will invoke a religious war in our industry. You have shooters that will swear by everything from butter to motor oil to powdered unicorn horn.

I am personally a fan of Slip 2000, ever since I was turned on to it a couple of years ago.

When I was approached about testing a new product, I was a bit skeptical. Especially given how “prickly” people get over such items. But I am willing to try nearly anything once, so I agreed, and a few days later, the super “hush-hush” can of Strike Industries AntiVenom showed up at my door. Clever name and branding for sure, but would it live up to the hype?

What Is It?

Strike Industries has been doing some research and development on a “gun oil” product for a while, and finally approached release time. They wanted to get the product into the hands of some people ahead of the release so we could try it out.

It functions as a protectant, lubricant and cleaner. Per instructions it will perform better when given time to soak in. You don’t need any sort of weird bake-in-the-oven-after-soaking-in-platypus-entrails procedure. It is safe on polymers, optics, weapon lights, and other accessories.

Protection

Strike did a pretty interesting test with their product comparing it to their competitors (obviously not done by an independent third party, but should be repeatable by anyone interested). They took a number of steel ingots, glued them to a board after hitting them with a grinder to get a fresh surface. Then they cleaned each blank with acetone to remove chemical contaminants and applied all of the protectant coatings to individual blanks taking care to not cross contaminate. Over the course of seven days they sprayed each with salt water and left them to the elements. After the fifth day the Anitvenom XPLC was the most unblemished, though it finally succumbed on the 6th day. On day seven they cleaned each blank using it’s original treatment.

Overall it is pretty impressive. I did a similar experiment with my vehicle axe (which I was done with for the season). I cleaned and polished the blade and then treated only the sides with the AntiVenom XPLC, leaving the back untreated. Then I sunk it in a log outside and let it sit for a month (I did not apply salt water treatments). My results were not as dramatic as theirs, but you can clearly see the blade is fine and the back has begun to rust.

Rust on the back, but not on the blade.

Rust on the back, but not on the blade.

With regards to guns it is hard to say. You want the protectant to have a high degree of adhesion without attracting debris, and not adding bulk (or being so gummy that it interferes with motion). Think of cosmoline. It is a great protectant, but holy hell is it a pain to remove.

For long term, I have put the axe in the shed (and I have not handled the blade). I’m going to pull it out next spring and see what has happened and how well the XPLC has protected the metal over the months. Maybe I’ll hit a follow on post with some pictures. I imagine that a gun coated with the AntiVenom and placed in a storage bag and put away in the safe will do just fine.

Lubrication and Cleaning

So, how do you demonstrate the lubricity of a firearms focused product? The best test we could think of was to fire a bunch of .22LR through a suppressed Sig Mosquito as fast as we could with no cleaning or additional lubing. This was by no means a scientific test but we felt it was probably one of the better examples of a way we could induce failures due to fouling in a somewhat repeatable way. All rounds were from the same brick.

Who will be the winner? Strike Industries AntiVenom XPLC? Or Slip 2000 EWL?

Who will be the winner? Strike Industries AntiVenom XPLC? Or Slip 2000 EWL?

To get a baseline we stripped and cleaned the Mosquito and treated it with Slip 2000 EWL, which has been my goto for a couple of years now (and is the goto at BMC Tactical, who kindly donated the Mosquito, suppressor and 700 rounds for the test). We had seven magazines to start and just loaded and shot as fast as we could.

After 175 rounds we started having our first failures. We started having failures to eject. Around 230 rounds we started to see stove pipes. As we got closer to the 350 the failures were a little more frequent. We never had a complete stoppage though. At 350 we called it, and took the pistol to the bench to break it down, clean and strip it. It was pretty fouled, but it wiped totally clean from the Slip 2000. We stripped off the lube with solvents (the ultrasonic was busy), and then prepped for the AntiVenom XPLC.

The AntiVenom applied very easily. Aerosols are like that… 🙂 We gave the Mosquito a good solid coat, hit all of the internals, function checked, and started the test over.

The XPLC definitely has a different feel than any other product I’ve used–I can’t really come up with words to describe it. I think it is also one of the lightest. And it doesn’t smell horrible (at least it didn’t until we rapidly fired a couple hundred rounds with it; we had a pre-release version, the new formula has a pleasant almond scent). In any case the slide racked smoothly and there was no sense that anything was not properly lubed–and it really didn’t take much of the XPLC, though I think I applied a bit too much.

This time we didn’t have our first failures until a little after 225 rounds, and they were failures to eject. We continued getting those through the end of the test, though not nearly as frequently, and we never had a stove pipe.

Again, the weapon was nasty. Cleaning was just as easy as with the Slip 2000.

This was the suppressor after the shoot was over. Note the progressive fouling on each of the baffles.

This was the suppressor after the shoot was over. Note the progressive fouling on each of the baffles.  The act of disassembling the gun cleaned enough of the fouling that it wasn’t a worthy picture…

It has not been cold enough yet this year to test it in those conditions (out here, at winter 3-Gun matches, I bet you can guess the lube people are using when the have stoppages during the match). I was hoping we would have a cold snap before the article had to be released, but no such luck. I’ll report back on the cold weather performance when I report on the updates for the axe.

We did not check its ability to clean fouling from copper in the barrel either.

Strike Industries published a video demonstrating a friction test:

Conclusions

Overall I think the AntiVenom XPLC did well, based on the limited testing we did. Generally single products that try to do it all, do none of it well. In our limited (totally unscientific) test it did outperform the Slip 2000.

I know Strike Industries has done a lot of testing (and invested in significant research) with it, and despite the name, is not trying to sell “snake oil”… 🙂 I am interested to see how this product performs over time and in heavy use in all of the ways it will be used. We all know that releasing a product to the community at large is going to expose it to infinitely more scenarios than can be demonstrated in the lab.

I’m going to run AntiVenom on one of my Glocks while another Glock will continue running Slip 2000. I’ll add my observations to a post in the spring when I look at the axe.

And to top it off, Strike Industries is willing to put their money where their mouth is.  They are offering a bounty of $20,000 to the first person or company that can prove there is a better performing multi-purpose oil product available in the firearms market.  They will be listing details on their website soon.

From Strike:

Strike Industries AntiVenom-XPLC $20,000 Challenge Award to the first person or company that can prove there is a better performing multi-purpose oil product available in the firearms market!

If you are interested in trying AntiVenom XPLC out, and I recommend you do, pick up a can for $20 at: http://www.strikeindustries.com/shop/index.php/products/weapon-maintenance.html

UPDATE: The TFB Editor says …

Gun oils … where do I start? A while back I banned the TFB team from blogging about new gun oils. I personally had reach a state of “peak oil”. The industry was being flooded by oils claiming to have all sorts of wonderful properties. These companies filed dubious patents and any criticisms were met with legal threats or lawsuits. I did not want my team promoting more “snake” oil.

A few weeks ago Strike Industries emailed me to tell me they were announcing a new gun oil and that it would change the industry. I did not know what to think. On one hand I trust the company. I trust them not to sue me, and I trust them not to deceive their customers. One the other hand … Yet Another Revolutionary Gun Oil.

The company assured me that any distrust was unfounded, that this is legitimately a revolutionary new product. They have compared it to all the popular competing products and found it to provide better corrosion protection and is a better lubricant.  If their claims are true, the multi-million dollar gun lubricant/protection market has just been turned on its head!

While competing brands might (would) threaten to sue us if we proved their product was less than perfect, Strike have gone as far as offering a bounty on anyone that can find a better gun oil on the market.

Like Tom, the author of the above post, I am optimistic. We will continue testing this product and will give you updates over time.





Tom is a former Navy Corpsman that spent some time bumbling around the deserts of Iraq with a Marine Recon unit, kicking in tent flaps and harassing sheep. Prior to that he was a paramedic somewhere in DFW, also doing some Executive Protection work between shifts. Now that those exciting days are behind him, he has embraced his inner “Warrior Hippie” and assaults 14er in his sandals and beard, or engages in rucking adventure challenges while consuming craft beer. To fund these adventures, he writes medical software and builds websites and mobile apps. His latest venture is as one of the founders of IronSights.com; a search engine for all things gun related. He hopes that his posts will help you find solid gear that will survive whatever you can throw at it–he is known (in certain circles) for his curse…ahem, ability…to find the breaking point of anything.


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  • Scott Wagner

    Maybe it’s just the round counts and my cleaning habits (or lack thereof. I buy guns to shoot them, not clean them), but I’ve never been especially impressed with oils in general as a lubricant. Sure, if you’re going to shoot a little bit every few months, and you don’t mind re-lubing the gun every time, go for it, they’re easy. Serious round counts in single sessions and no cleaning between range trips? Give me grease for the guns any day of the week.

    • Doc Rader

      Agreed. I’ve gone months without cleaning before. But shooting 2-3 times a week….

  • Marcus D.

    I live in a very dry climate where corrosion has never been an issue for any of my guns. On the external metal parts, I use KleenBore’s silicone gun & reel cloth, which works wonderfully. For the internals of semiautos, I haven’t settled on anything. I have always used Hoppe’s gun oil, but I find that it evaporates relatively quickly.

    • Doc Rader

      Same here. I’m not as concerned about corrosion either. You can see what a month of exposure did to the axe. In Florida it would have been a mess I think.

    • Strike Industries

      Marcus,
      Corrosion due to environmental factors may be a very low concern where you live, but there are many types of corrosion that may take place on and inside of a firearm. The acids carried in the oils from your hand and perspiration are detrimental to firearm steels, albeit at a very slow, turtle-like pace. Our lubricants also help prevent galling of internal parts, and conditioning your parts with our AntiVenom will ensure that should you take the firearm to another clime or place, you will not have to worry about doing so then. Our lubricants create an ultra thin shield around your weapon, invisible to the naked eye. There is no need to keep the weapon wet in order to protect it from friction, which is particularly helpful for those in arid, dusty environments, who tend to run their weapons more dry so as to avoid premature accumulation of debris.

  • DanGoodShot

    A mosquito ran that long without a malfunction??? Holy crap you must have the Holy Grail of mosquitoes. I dont think I’ve ever seen one reliably get through a single mag out of the box no matter what lube was used. Not without a but ton of work done to it anyway. What a pos. If you got one that works hold the heck on to it. A mosquito that works… now thats a unicorn gun.

    • Doc Rader

      Ha! That is exactly what I told Walt. In all fairness it is an early Mosquito with literally countless rounds through it. It’s just well broken in.

      • DanGoodShot

        I guess so! Usually they don’t get broke-in they just get broke-en.

    • Jeff Smith

      I was thinking the same thing. A suppressed rimfire known for not being entirely reliable might not be the ideal test platform for any lube.

      • Doc Rader

        Or it could be the perfect platform. We knew it would generally run a couple hundred rounds before fouling started causing problems.

        If I tried the same test with my AR, I’d still be shooting with the first lube.

        • Jeff Smith

          Touché, but it’s being asked to make an unreliable gun reliable. I’m not sure if that’s a fair test of a lube’s ability. If it works, it’s a miracle worker. If not, it’s still an unreliable gun.

          • Doc Rader

            Fair enough. Though in this case the specific gun is known to be reliable. The overall line may not be, but this one performs well.

            And the cost to shoot 700 wasn’t break the bank hideous… 🙂

  • Jacobs

    The corrosion test video is amazing! Hope this is just another cooking oil! 😀

  • USMC03Vet

    I use slip ewl too. One of us, Doc.

  • it’s just Boris

    It’d be nice if it came in a non-aerosol can. With the sprays I always wind up getting more lube / cleaner / whatever on my bench, me, the dog, etc., than on the part I’m trying to work on.

    • Doc Rader

      The spray tube really helps a lot. And it doesn’t take much.

      • it’s just Boris

        That was with the tube…

    • Strike Industries

      Boris: We are working on a non-aerosolized, zero VOC formula. The aerosolized formula happens to offer a very deep, rapid penetrating action, and an additional cleaning additive that allows it to be used as a general purpose cleaner in many, many applications. It can also reach deep into tighter toleranced areas that a thicker squeezable lube may not. The heavier, more viscous Ultra will provide a heavier film tenacity that many shooters prefer. It visually remains behind much easier). However, it is important to note that our Anti-Venom (yes, we know the technical Herpetological term is “antivenin”) is a true penetration lubricant, not a flowing lubricant. This means that, even if there is no lubricant left to the naked eye, the substrate is still protected by a thin shield measured in mere microns. Our lubricant line will not offer the same film strength as some of the CP-based, high EP additive formulas on the market, but those additives do nothing once the lubricant is physically washed off the surface. They also do not adhere under high temperatures, such as those seen in suppressed and select-fire weapons. Not relying on mere film strength alone, our penetrating formula is able to condition steel, magnesium, and aluminum alloys (and to some degree Titanium and copper based alloys), so that each consecutive use provides a stronger and stronger barrier between your firearm and the environment. Each additional treatment must be activated by heat and friction. This is a rather paradoxical phenomena, but we don’t mind 🙂

  • stephen

    Jokes about vegetable oil in 3, 2, 1…

    😉

  • Dougscamo

    LMAO….especially the YouTube comments….

  • Doc Rader

    Interesting. I wonder if there is a way to make it more scientific. I would think if you started with a new blank for each product and had a way to apply a steady increase of pressure over a constant time, you could approach a test that has merit.

    The test needs to be consistent and repeatable.

    The machine is valid; the tester can impart variability.

    • Dougscamo

      I think that having different reservoirs and bearings for each product would be a great start….but debunking the test bed…as manipulated by companies….was their point….I guess….and maybe I’m Captain Obvious on this one… 🙂

      • Doc Rader

        Sure. Anything a company puts out is always going to be viewed with suspicion. As well it should.

        However, Strike is ALSO offering a pretty decent cash bounty to disprove it. I don’t think they would do that if they were trying to “pull the wool” so to speak.

        If someone could develop a set of standard tests that meet standards for scientific method for assessing Protection, Lubricity and Cleaning, I think the industry as a whole would win.

        I’ve had disagreements with Strike Industries’ products in the past. This is not one of them. So far it seems to do what it says. I am however in the “trust but verify” mode with regards to use over time–which is the real test.

        At the end of the day, if the product meets your needs and expectations, then it is the right product for you.

        • Dougscamo

          Agree on the standards….would put everyone on equal footing….as well as your conclusion….if you like it and it works well, use it….Lord knows I use stuff that works well for me that others will tell me is garbage….but it works for “me”…whoever “me” is……is the most important element…

  • Bill

    Like ARs and 1911s – another one for the collection.

  • lostintranslation

    “I am willing to try nearly anything once”,…………..but, but, surely you wouldn’t try folk dancing?

    • Doc Rader

      Okay not “anything”. But maybe folk dancing? Depends on the folks and the kind of dancing… 🙂

    • Robert Harper

      You really don’t want to know what most Corpsmen will try at least once. 🙂

  • junyo

    Super extra cleansing smoke out of the ejection port in slo-mo or NO SALE.

  • RSG

    CLP and Slip 2000 ewl for me.

  • Toxie

    So, who were the competetors? Valuable information to know since they could be 10 samples of WD-40 for all we know.

    • Strike Industries

      Toxie: You may email us at Product@StrikeIndustries.com for more information. We will not publicly mention names. However, the point of our videos is that we encourage consumers to come up with their own repeatable test metrics, and compare our products against their favorite go-to’s in a way they deem fair. We don’t want you to “just take our word for it.” In today’s day and age, that type of sales tactic just doesn’t fly.

  • Graham2

    So these guys really are snake oil salesmen!

  • MikeSmith13807

    Guessing these guys didn’t include Weapon Shield in their testing. They’ve been doing this demo for years.

    • Strike Industries

      Hi MikeSmith,
      As a matter of fact, we included every big name (and some not so big name) firearms lubrication and preservation solutions on the market. We chose not to publicly call out names as an aid to civility, as we are not inclined to want to start a blog-and-social media based war just for the amusement of a certain type of interwebs-lurking individual. We respect several of the lubricants mentioned by readers of this blog, including WS, and would rather our product do the real talking.

      • MikeSmith13807

        That’s cool, the two of you are obviously in a class of your own when pressure is introduced.

  • MikeSmith13807

    The point is not to find anything (like shampoo) that can beat the test. The point is to compare competing products with the same test, so the demonstration has value.

  • Strike Industries

    Absolutely correct, Mike C. The test fixture we used serves as a base for comparative purposes, but is not intended to replace a controlled laboratory test OR real world testing with FIREARMS. We didn’t spend an absurd amount of time and money to develop a product line that works well on the “One Armed Bandit.” We did so developing a weapons lubricant line specific to the needs of modern firearms, that happen to display decently well in this kind of Falex style fixture. There are still lubricants that pull harder on this type of fixture, and there are definitely ways to “game” the results. But we are concerned with keeping an automatic weapon going longer under harsh conditions, and reducing the wear and damage done to the firearm each time it is used. We are concerned with drastically reducing friction based wear, as well as corrosion based wear, and in any operating climate a firearm may find itself in.