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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.