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Frequently Asked Questions
01 How much shooting will I get out of 1 jar of your grease?


A lot.  Roughly 1 dip of a cotton swab, or 4-6 dips of a small paintbrush, is enough to completely lubricate a handgun.  This is a tiny amount of lubricant – far less than shooters are accustomed to when using oil – but like anything, having the right tool for the job makes everything much more efficient and effective.  Because of this, if you were shooting a handgun once per month, and completely cleaning and relubricating it with one of our greases, one jar will last you 3-4 years.

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02 What's the difference between grease and oil?

The short science: Oils suspend contaminant, and flow. Greases trap contaminant out, and stay put.  Outside of the gun world, machines that use oil almost always have seals, reservoirs, pumps, and/or filters, and they take advantage of the way oils pick up contaminant to transport it to filters. This flow also causes it to thin out and dry out if it gets outside of seals and into the air.  Machines that use grease, however, are commonly unsealed, often have sliding motions, and may often sit for days, weeks, or months without mechanical operation. Greases are designed to stay put and work without seals, even when exposed to the air and other environmental hazards for long periods, also doubling as a 'poor-man's sealant', trapping friction contaminant out of friction surfaces.  

Bottom line: in guns, greases stay put and stay fresh even after months of sitting, and will help trap friction contaminants out of your gun's friction surfaces.  Oils may thin out, dry out, and may actually help migrate friction contaminant into your friction surface. 

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03 Do your greases attract dust?

Anything wet will interact with dust or sand differently than dry surfaces – but the relevant issue isn’t dust, it’s friction.  Running your gun dry, without lubricant, will allow friction contaminants to apply a lot more friction to your friction surfaces than they can possibly apply in the presence of lubricant – instead of grabbing, they slip more readily off your friction surfaces.  That said, choice of lubricant matters: oils suspend contaminant, and have a strong tendency to migrate that contaminant into a gun’s friction surfaces.  Greases will trap friction contaminant on contact, and help keep it out of friction surfaces. Dry lubricants give a false sense of security - they usually get ground through fairly quickly, leaving metal-to-metal friction, resulting in malfunctions. 

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04 How thick or heavy of a weight are your greases?


Our Ma Deuce Juice and our Arctic Balm are both roughly the consistency of mayonnaise, only much smoother/creamier, and stringier - on the NLGI scale, they're around a #0 consistency, and have no immediate flow if you tip over a jar of it.  By comparison, standard automotive and industrial greases are most commonly a #2 NLGI grade, roughly the consistency of peanut butter.  Our Black Rifle Balm, which is a lighter grease designed to have just a little flow and to be able to be applied in extremely thin coats for tight surfaces, is about the consistency of a heavier maple syrup, and is around an NLGI #00.  Keep in mind that greases loosen up as soon as they’re worked, so the ‘sitting weight’ is different from ‘working weight’. 

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05 How do I apply it? Any special procedures?

Our engineers were given fairly simple operating parameters for designing our greases:  

The most rookie 18yo E-1 in the most austere environment on the planet should be able to apply it without any special tools, preparation, or 'conditioning' of the metal, in the immediacy of a combat environment if necessary.  Consequently, you could use your finger and put our greases over the top of any other gun lubricant, even on a dirty gun, and it'll work with excellence to keep that gun running.  

The simplest application method is to either use a small paint brush, or a cotton-swab. However, the corner of a rag or paper towel will work too.  As with any firearm, you should only lubricate the friction surfaces - generally, the shiny spots, places with rub wear, or places you know slide against each other. The core purpose is to minimize friction.  Take a small dip of the brush, and lay an even layer over your friction surfaces. Unlike oil, a little excess grease will actually help serve as a 'poor-man's sealant', helping trap friction contaminant out of your friction surfaces.  In extremely cold weather (below 10°F), the colder it gets and the tighter your gun, the lighter the coat.  After you've applied the lubricant and reassembled your firearm, cycle it a half-dozen times, and wipe away the excess grease you see. Rub this into your gun's surface if you want a little rust protection.

For new or 'finicky' guns, there is an especially effective benefit with our lubricants - with a little friction, our additives will embed into and across the friction surfaces of your gun, minimizing friction even after you clean our grease off. To get the most out of these additives, clean your gun completely, lay a relatively thick coat of grease on the friction surfaces, reassemble, and start cycling the action, 50-100 times.  While cycling, try to 'grind' the surfaces against each other, left/right, up/down, trying to apply friction.  Some of our additives adhere on contact, others require a little friction and/or friction heat to activate.  This process has worked very well on making 'finicky' guns much more reliable, by laying a low-friction series of additives across the friction surfaces.  

Note: Do not use our greases in your barrel or chamber. Testing has shown that any oil or grease in your chamber will increase chamber pressures, sometimes dangerously so. In the barrel, excess lubricant can actually block the bullet as the bullet squeezes it away from the surface during its travel, and may cause high-pressure gasses to damage your action or even cause a barrel detonation. Most oils, because they thin out and dry out, have been forgiving of this, but always run a dry patch through your chamber and bore before shooting to minimize this danger. 

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06 How well does it work in preventing rust?

With excellence.  The two key anti-rust properties are one of our additives, a form of ZDDP, and the physical properties of our greases themselves.  

ZDDP, a type of zinc phosphate, is an anti-wear, anti-friction, and anti-oxidant compound.  It's amazing at the tribological level as an all-around additive, and was common in motor oils until the advent of higher environmental regulations and catalytic converters, which it clogs. It has since been largely removed from most motor oils, but as a rust inhibitor, it's excellent.  It also lays down a sacrificial wear layer over your gun's friction surfaces.

The physical properties of our greases are another major factor in rust-prevention: "wash out" is a key concept, in how water will get underneath a lubricant and separate it from your surfaces, allowing both friction and oxidation.  Most gun oils will get washed away in the presence of water, especially in rain or during cycling, fairly quickly. Our greases, however, even during cycling in littoral or maritime environments, will stay put, keeping salt water/spray and sweat from separating our grease from your metal surfaces. As long as standard maintenance and care are conducted after maritime operations, anywhere our grease is still located will have little to no rust present, and they'll still be lubricated. 

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07 How do I clean it off my guns?

Any common gun cleaner will work fine, used in the same manner you've likely always used. We use a toothbrush, a few paper towels, and a few cotton swabs. Use a towel or cotton swab to wipe away as much grease as possible. Then apply solvent to tool, and scrub. That's it.

Because of the way grease traps contaminants, and a little of our chemistry, we've noticed that they seem clean up a lot quicker than other lubricants we've used in the past.  

One of the particular benefits of our greases, is that because you need so little, you have a lot less to carry in your rucksack or field kit (it also won't get all over your gear if it leaks, because it doesn't flow like oil - even a smashed bottle will stay localized). And because of the chemistry, pretty much any solvent can be used to clean them off in an emergency or a field-expedient situation - including things like kerosene, white gas, auto gas, acetone, brake cleaner, or even soap and water.  You still need to scrub a little, but no specialized cleaning products are necessary. Bear in mind that these solvents may react differently to your gun's materials, so we don't endorse using anything other than traditional gun cleaning solvents. But in an emergency, they'll clean your gun and get our grease off vastly more efficiently than a "CLP". Remember, always use the right tool for the job - lubricate with lubricants, clean with cleaners, and need less of both.   

While we don't advertise our greases for their cleaning properties, there is a small amount of detergent/dispersant in them, designed to help keep carbon and other deposits from adhering to your metal surfaces, thereby helping minimize friction. What you may experience, is that even on an extremely clean gun, after you put our grease on it, you can come back a few weeks later having not shot it, run a cotton swab down the length of a slide-rail or locking lug, and find that it will come up with a little black. This is the dispersant/detergent helping pull up carbon and other fouling that was adhered deep in your metal asperities before you were using our lubricants. 

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08 Can I use it as a CLP?

No.  Our greases are engineered to be the best lubricants possible - they maximize reliability by minimizing friction.  Most people instinctually question the validity of the whole concept of a 'CLP', with good reason: the "C" chemicals in a 'Cleaner, Lubricant, Protectant' generally run counter to the lubrication capacities of the "L" chemicals. Putting solvents into lubricants actually keeps either from working with excellence. It's been our experience, regardless of field, that it's most effective to use the right tool for the job at hand. Lubricate with lubricants, clean with cleaners.  Mix the two, and do neither well.

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09 Can I eat it?

No.  Friends, when questions of edibility, toxicity, or whether or not our lubricants are ‘green’ come up, it always leaves us a little mystified, because every time you pull the trigger on your gun you’re putting lead downrange – about 20% of the lead on a gun range comes from the Lead Styphnate in the contact explosive found in your primers.  The rest is from exposed bullet lead.  So no matter how ‘green’ a lubricant is, your first round contaminates it with toxins. 

Additionally, most CLPs contain solvents which are toxic, even if their marketers claim they’re “non-toxic”.  It has also been our experience that, while as admirable as it may be to try to make any product from any industry “green”, it’s just a simple reality that most of the time they just don’t work as well. It’s also worth questioning just how well any ‘biodegradable’ gun lubricant will hold up under the harshness of the realities we expose our firearms to. Hemlock is 'green', and too much water can actually be lethally toxic to a person by creating an electrolyte imbalance.  Buyer beware, use your judgment, and keep your priorities straight.  Bottom line: we don't use gun lubricants for their green benefits - we use them to keep ourselves alive. 

Obviously, toxins are dangerous. And because of both toxicity and lubricity issues, it's for these reasons we have no solvents, and no Teflon/PTFE in our products, all of which are extremely common in other gun lubricants or CLPs.  

All this said, because of our chemistry, our greases are no more toxic than grease or oil you'd get for your car. Don't eat it, cook with it, bathe in it, use it for hair gel, snort it, or use it for an eye wash, and you'll be fine.  It's not meant for people, it's meant for guns, but if it comes into contact with your skin, just use soap and water to wash it off.  

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10  Why did you choose to call it CherryBalmz?

Eh...because “Tactical Elite SpecOps Tier-1 Mil-Nano Pro-Seal Frog-Tec Intrepid Spear Operator-Grade Bio-Hippie DevGruGoo” was already taken?  

Joking aside, our firm is a science-based organization that values competence and professionalism. The reason we went with CherryBalmz is largely because we have little appreciation for the hype that seems so unfortunately common in the industry.  It's been our experience that the most competent and professional people put forth little hype or ego - they're called Quiet Professionals for a reason. It's also been our experience that those hyping themselves the loudest are often the least...effective. And while it's a balancing act to market an excellent product while holding the values of quiet professionalism, we just don't feel the need to hype our product with an uber-tactical name to try to make it sound better.  The science and engineering stands on its own. The grease feels like a balm and has that effect on healing finicky guns, while smelling like cherry. That's where the name comes from. 

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