Gun Maintenance Myth Busted

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A quality CLP is a must-have solution for firearm care and maintenance, but if you’re not using these for your maintenance regimen, you’re missing out…

by the ShootingDaily staff

We’ll be the first to admit that gun cleaning is not a sexy topic. No one likes to do it, but it’s an aspect of gun ownership that can’t be avoided if you want your firearms to work reliably and efficiently.

The shortcut through the dreaded gun cleaning ordeal is, of course, the use of CLP—that all-in-one formula comprised of cleaning (C), lubricating (L), and protecting (P) compounds. CLP works for many applications, and we always keep a can or bottle in our gear bag. CLP is great for in-the-field cleaning­­—especially on firearms with gas-operated actions. But once you’re out of the field and ready to return your firearm to stow or daily carry mode, specialized cleaning, lubrication, and protectant solutions are key to a firearm’s long life and dependable operation.

That’s why we were excited to hear that Otis Technology had developed a new line of products billed as SMART lubricants, cleaners, protectants. These targeted products are the perfect complement to the company’s extensive lineup of firearm maintenance tools and kits, covering everything from sporting arms and defensive handguns to law enforcement and military applications. In fact, several products in the SMART chemical line were developed with an eye toward satisfying the specific needs of defense professionals operating in the kind of austere climates and conditions that wreak havoc on firearms. Other SMART formulas are familiar to veteran Otis customers, but are now available in new sizes and delivery options. What’s more, many of these new cleaners, lubricants, and protectants are bio-based or biodegradable.

Like most sportsmen and shooting enthusiasts, we run a variety of rifles and pistols, each with their own maintenance needs and cleaning schedules. Here are our top picks of the new Otis products to cover most firearm applications…

Otis NCL SL-6

Firearm Surface Prep

Every firearm has nooks and crannies that simply can’t be accessed without a gunsmith-level disassembly. It is the cleaning of carbon fouling, old lubricant, and debris from these difficult-to-access areas where Firearm Surface Prep shines. Available in a 10-ounce aerosol can, Firearm Surface Prep blasts the grunge without the need to rinse. Simply shake away or drain off the excess cleaner, then wipe the surface with a clean cloth. We found this to work well not only on our semi-auto pistols and AR receiver assemblies, but it’s terrific for knocking out grunge from bolt faces of all types.

Otis NCL SL-2

MSR-AR Cleaner

Carbon is the bane of any firearm, yet the AR platform, with its direct impingement system, is exceptionally prone to carbon buildup in all the wrong places—specifically, the bolt carrier group. The Otis MSR-AR Cleaner is designed to knock out carbon, as well as copper and lead fouling, from the bolt carrier group to the muzzle. As such, this is a one-stop cleaner for your AR or modern sporting rifle. Use this in conjunction with the Otis B.O.N.E. Tool, Locking Lug Scraper, and Star Chamber Cleaning Tool for cleaning your bolt, firing pin, and chamber.

Otis NCL SL-5

Dry Lube

This is our favorite lube of the lot because it’s downright ingenious. Otis developed its Dry Lube formula for use by the U.S. military in desert climates.

As we all know, one of the worst things you can do to a firearm is to over-lubricate it. You can try to “lightly lubricate” a rifle or pistol, but it’s a thin line between applying not enough lube and applying too much. A wet firearm, after all, attracts and holds the very stuff we aim to eliminate whenever we clean our guns. Dry Lube, however, puts that problem to rest. A single drop of this penetrating solution can get into those tight places, and covers a square inch of surface area. After 20 seconds, the solution dries to the touch so it won’t attract and hold dust and debris as conventional lubricants are prone to do. Additionally, Dry Lube seals out moisture while providing the lubrication needed for moving parts.

You may not subject your firearm to desert conditions, but for keeping dust and debris out of your daily carry rifle or pistol, Dry Lube is your ticket.

Otis NCL SL-7

Firearm Protectant

Prevention of rust, oxidation, and corrosion is a never-ending struggle, no matter whether you carry your firearm daily or store it for several weeks between shooting sessions. That’s especially true for those of us who live in moist or marine climates. Daily or frequently used firearms in these environments benefit from Otis’ Firearm Protectant.

Firearm Protectant is a safe, bio-degradable solution that uses water displacement to keep gun metal from rusting and corroding. Apply it to your firearm after cleaning to prevent damage from moisture or humidity. For hunters, this is the ideal product to take with you to camp or to leave in your vehicle. After a wet day afield, simply spray Firearm Protectant onto all metal parts of your gun to remove damaging moisture. You can even use it to prevent water from getting into those hard-to-reach areas by applying Firearm Protectant before you head into the field. Available in 2-ounce bottles or 4-ounce aerosol, we keep a small bottle in our fanny pack when hunting in inclement weather. This is also a good short-term storage protectant for guns that will be secured indoors for three to six months.

Otis NCL SL-4

Long Term Firearm Protectant

Unfortunately, not all our firearms get the same amount of love in terms of range or field time. Some may come out and play only once a year. For those unfortunate souls, Otis has the answer in their new Long Term Protectant formula.

Like Firearm Protectant, Long Term Firearm Protectant is a biodegradable, water-displacing formula that prevents rust, corrosion, and oxidation due to moisture. The difference between the two is that the Long Term Protectant adds a thin, waxy film to gun metal to minimize evaporation and better seal out moisture for long-term (up to 12 months) storage.

For firearms that don’t see a lot of daylight, this is the “put it to bed” protectant you want.


Yes, CLPs (such as the Otis O85 or the BIO CLP lines) will always be a mainstay in our daypacks and range bags, as they are a one-stop solution for quick cleaning and lubrication in the field. But when it’s time for targeted cleaning, lubrication, and protection regimens, you can’t beat specialized formulas such as we find in the new Otis SMART chemical lineup.



Otis Technology



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