3-in-1 oil

3-in-1 oil

This is a discussion on 3-in-1 oil within the Firearm Cleaning & Maintenance forums, part of the General Firearm Discussion category; I've been using the same can of 3-in-1 oil for at least 30 years. And it wasn't a new can when I acquired it - ...

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    Distinguished Member Array TRX's Avatar
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    3-in-1 oil

    I've been using the same can of 3-in-1 oil for at least 30 years. And it wasn't a new can when I acquired it - it has "1968" on the side.

    Some time back I ran out of military-surplus gun oil and tried the 3-in-1, liked it better, and kept using it. I finally ran out, and my wife brought home a new plastic bottle from the Wall-Mall. I carefully pried the applicator off the old metal fan and refilled it from the new bottle.

    Oddly, the 45-year-old oil had a very strong odor; the new stuff has only a very slight odor. 3-in-1 used a lot more citronella back in the old days, particularly for it to be that pungent after 45 years...

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    Quote Originally Posted by TRX View Post
    I've been using the same can of 3-in-1 oil for at least 30 years. And it wasn't a new can when I acquired it - it has "1968" on the side.

    Some time back I ran out of military-surplus gun oil and tried the 3-in-1, liked it better, and kept using it. I finally ran out, and my wife brought home a new plastic bottle from the Wall-Mall. I carefully pried the applicator off the old metal fan and refilled it from the new bottle.

    Oddly, the 45-year-old oil had a very strong odor; the new stuff has only a very slight odor. 3-in-1 used a lot more citronella back in the old days, particularly for it to be that pungent after 45 years...
    Let us know how it smells in 2059, when it's time for refill #2.
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    Member Array Seneca's Avatar
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    I guess I must have been in a coma for 4 or 5 decades, but I did not know 3 in 1 oil was still available! I grew up with a can of 3 in 1 that we used for everything around the house. I'm going out and buy some today; thanks for the tip OP!!!
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    I used 3-in-1 oil for years before I started using Frogube and Fireclean, more as an experiment rather than finding a better product. 3-in-1 oil is not a great rust preventitive compared to other gun products but is a fine lube.
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    When I was still a kid, I started using 3-In-1 oil for lubing my guns after I had filched all the Singer Sewing Machine oil out of my mother's sewing machine cabinet. I can still smell that strong 3-In-1 odor in my mind which reminds me of fooling with my guns in my bedroom at home.

    Actually, I didn't much care for the odor. It did lube well though. I like light oils.
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    Distinguished Member Array cn262's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seneca View Post
    I guess I must have been in a coma for 4 or 5 decades, but I did not know 3 in 1 oil was still available! I grew up with a can of 3 in 1 that we used for everything around the house. I'm going out and buy some today; thanks for the tip OP!!!
    It's funny how some of the "old standards" have been forgotten. I was looking for Naval Jelly a month or so ago and nobody - not even the guys at the hardware store. I finally Googled it, saw that it was still around, saw a picture of the package and then found it. It used to be that everyone had a clear bottle of the pink gel, just like they had at least one red and white 3-in-1 oil can and one can of WD-40 (which is the only thing that most people still seem to have). Another sign of getting old I guess.
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    VIP Member Array denclaste's Avatar
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    I still use 3 in 1 oil on my firearms as well as sewing machine oil. Its inexpensive, no fancy super duper do everything blather, and it works. Soaks into my parked 1911's and stays there. It works as designed, its a lubricant, not a bore cleaner.
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    I use it too. Works fine for weekly/monthly lube jobs. I wouldn't recommend for long term (use Vaseline for that).
    Use it for resizing rifle brass too. Wipe on, wipe off, resize.

    Best thing about it, clings to bare metal really well!
    I tend to use isopropyl alcohol as a final cleaner/degreaser, then lube.
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    Once I figured out that WD40 was not worthwhile as a lubricant (about 30 years ago) 3-In-1 has always had a place on my workbench.
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    Considering the length of time it takes to turn dinosaur poop and leafs into oil 30 to 50 years doesn't sound like a long time.

    The can will probably dissolve before the oil is no longer good.

    Oops, I forgot they changed to plastic bottles now for 3in1 so the bottles will last half the life of the oil.

    3in1 is a mainstay in home ownership.
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    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bmcgilvray View Post
    When I was still a kid, I started using 3-In-1 oil for lubing my guns after I had filched all the Singer Sewing Machine oil out of my mother's sewing machine cabinet.


    Did much the same thing, myself. The Singer oil was first, then the little bottle of 3-in-1. Ahhh, the memories ...
    msgt/ret likes this.
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    Pretty sure 3 in 1 is mostly 30 weight auto motor oil, but can not remember the brand at this time. I have been pleased with Aeroshell 50 weight drippings out of the airplane oil changes.
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    I have always loved the way 3 in 1 oil smelled as far back as when I was about eight years old. I used to use it on my locomotives.
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    Distinguished Member Array Oldpsufan's Avatar
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    I'm old but not old fashioned, I use Mobil1 for lube.

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    Senior Member Array Donn's Avatar
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    Like the OP, I've got an old can of 3 in 1 I still use occasionally. Not very often, as it does stink to high heaven. Never used it on my weapons, but would if that's all I had.
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