Gun Cleaning products for Swords
by Jonathan Lambert
(St. Louis, Missouri)
There are several gun cleaning products available that are extremely good for cleaning the surface of a sword. Any general purpose firearm oil (aerosol or otherwise) leaves an excellent thin film of oil evenly across the surface, and many copper solvent bore cleaners (such as "Hoppe's Benchrest" or the like) make excellent wipe on crud removers, but take care not to leave these copper solvents on any brass as the metal will begin to chemically dissolve.
Personally, I prefer to use "Breakfree CLP" aerosol applied directly to the steel blade, removed by a silicon gun wipe after the oil has soaked for approximately 15 minutes. The oil will seep into the metal pores and is very resilient to drying out. It is used by American soldiers in Iraq, and for good reason. Silicon gun wipes are cloth wipes impregnated with silicon and are excellent for removing fingerprints and leave a very light oil film across anything it touches. Many firearm cleaning product company makes them, and there is no "best" kind; they all work about as well as each other. Care must be taken to reseal them in their packages as they will dry out and become a shade above useless. Both of these products can be had for under $20 dollars together and will last through many cleanings, though I can't personally tell you how long as I also clean my firearms with them too!
If you're the experimental type, try using a dry graphite lube. I have little experience using it (in either firearms or swords) but I would only apply it lightly, and would still follow up with a fluid oil. Worth a shot though!
Next time you are at Wally World, BassPro or Cabelas take a good look at the cleaning solvents there. Many will do an exemplary job keeping you blade from rusting out.