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Thread: Questions about “Grease, Rifle” history

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  1. #11
    Really Senior Member Wineman's Avatar
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    I'm not slathering the M1icon. I follow the pic from the CMPicon disassembly website. I have seen rifles at matches especially with colored grease that, you would not want in a stiff breeze as ever leaf in the air would stick to them. How they dont get grease on the cartridges during single loading is a mystery.

    Dave

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    Member cpc's Avatar
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    You forgot to mention the first type of lubricant that was referenced in the manuals, it was a particular kind of graphite cup grease. When, they were having particular problems with the rifle locking up they tried modifying the bolt etc, and even recommended adding a particular type pencil to the cleaning kit. Fortunately, they came up with the tube lubricant and eventually, lubriplate 130-A. The trials and recommendations for lubricating the garand is a story in itself.


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    Member CalTex's Avatar
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    Many thanks for all the good comments on this.

    - Bob Seijasicon, thanks for the GCAicon Journal reference, outstanding magazine. I found two mentions of the early grease from you, in V28/2 page 20 with the same picture, and in V32/2 page 28. The latter mentions a question as to which grease tubes were earliest. Not knowing any more, I assume the tubes labeled “Stano-Rust No. 3” from a Springfield MA company predate both the spec and the yellow tubes and white tubes labeled SXS-77 from two different NY companies. The markings otherwise are nearly the same. If there are other references or another article I have missed, please let me know.

    - Looking for the above, I found an article from Bill Ricca, in V27/3 page 7 that says the Army changed to the darker grease, issued in cans “as 1963 approached”, and the “older yellow grease” was no longer acceptable. He also states contract dates for the cans in ’63 and ’65, and the earliest contract that he saw for the late grease pots with the darker grease was 1970.

    - I said the only date I had seen on the darker grease cans was 11/63, but of course there are others. Looking around online, I can see at least two other manufacturers with dates including 5/62 and 10/63. I wonder if the can dates are more of a contract date, since it was more difficult to change can markings at the time.

    - I also wonder if the three or more producers gives a reason why the darker grease was adopted – to move to a grease that was either non-proprietary or that had more favorable license fees than the Lubriplate.

    - LavaTech, great point on the transitional grease pots just marked “Grease, Rifle” containing a lighter colored grease. I wonder if even this was a either a knock-off version or a licensed version of the Lubriplate.

    - CPC, I would fully agree more could be written on this. And I would definitely be interested to hear more about the earliest graphite cup grease you mentioned. The only mentions I have seen are to “Dixon’s Graphite Cup Grease No. 3” and also the pencil(!) as competitors that were tested against Lubriplate 130-A in 9/42. Hatcher’s Book of the Garand also mentions that users recommended a graphite grease for the sticking op rod cam issue, before the (non-graphite) Lubriplate was adopted to cure this issue.

    - Since my first post on this, I’ve also received Canfield’s “The M1icon Garand Rifle”. I know many people here already have it, or contributed to it, etc. but for anyone else, it’s an amazing book and I highly recommend. The book includes a quote from a 1/39 letter from GHD that is fairly disparaging towards the graphite-based grease, which apparently came over from the Infantry following their testing, and which I think is consistent with the Hatcher reference above. The SA folks didn’t seem to like the graphite grease; I don’t know if this was due to any wear concerns or what. GHD favored oil alone at the time. Per the Canfield book, the graphite-based grease in use at the time was the Stano-Rust.

    - The Canfield book also gives a reference to the later darker grease as Plastilube, from the Warren Refining & Chemical Co. They sent Garand himself a sample can of this at one point. I don’t know if Henkel bought this 1950 trademark or if it just expired, but I still doubt the current Plastilube is anything similar to the ‘50s-‘70s Plastilube.

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    Contributing Member Mark in Rochester's Avatar
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    add a pencil to the cleaning kit for lubrication



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    Member cpc's Avatar
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    At least someone read my posts from before, lol

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  11. #16
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    I still have a can of it but can bet the formula has changed since 1942. I prefer the brown as it doesn't show like the yellow or pale stuff does. Rick Bicon


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    Really Senior Member old tanker's Avatar
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    I still have an unopened can. It'll last me a while, I think.

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    Senior Member no4mk1t's Avatar
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    I cannot add to the history any more than what has already been posted. However, as a user, here are some observations:

    In my rifle team days, the Armorer used Lubriplate 130A when he serviced the team rifles, and personally owned rifles he worked on. I never liked it as it would turn runny in the summer heat and get down into the bedding.
    Plastilube was the preferred grease by the vast majority of High Power shooters at the time for the M1 and M14icon. It will not melt, and it will not get stiff in winter temps like a lot of greases will.

    You can find Plastilube on Amazon in 75ml tubes for $9 where it is advertised as a brake pad anti squeak remedy. A better deal is Champions Choice that sells it in 2.5oz jars (a lifetime supply) for $10. Get one of those little flux brushes (under $1) from Lowe's and you will have the perfect applicator. Brush on a thin film and you are GTG.

    Champion's Choice






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  15. #19
    Advisory Panel Brian Dick's Avatar
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    The best grease I've found that sticks and stays there is Permatex Super Lube Multi-Purpose Synthetic Lubricant With Teflon. Bruce Dow in Florida told me about it in the late 1990's or early 2000's and I've been using it ever since. When Peter Laidlericon visited in 2003 and 2004, he was interested to see it on my bench and was astounded to find that it came with the Dillon Mini guns that MoD received in the mid 2000's as he was in charge of the test trials for all services. He knew he'd seen it before. Pick up a tub at your favorite auto parts store and give it a try. My guess is most won't go back to the old petroleum based greases.

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    Just a little grease factoid, to keep things in perspective. Continuing up to and beyond change 2 of FM 23-5 dated 1940, (which occurred in early 1942) all of the areas which we now grease were still only oiled and the manual stated "use no grease". The M1icon does in fact run fine with oil only, but it was discovered that water and an ungreased M1 were a very bad combination and so we still grease them to this day.
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