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Modern AR-15 rifles have come a long way. But they still haven’t figured out how to make them run reliably without at least a little bit of lube.
Most gun oil works on an AR-15. Everyone has their favorite lube for AR-15 rifles. But, in reality, once you put the oil on the gun, you generally can’t tell one from the other.
But, it can’t hurt to get good oil for your AR-15. And most lube for AR-15 rifles costs about the same. So why not get some good stuff?
SPOILER—if you want to get the good stuff right away, get some Shooter’s Choice FP-10 Lubricant. It’s affordable lube for AR-15 rifles with a great track record. And you can get it in large quantities, if you need a lot of lube.
If you want more affordable or slicker lube, read on. We’ll get into all the best lube for AR-15 rifles. So you can get what slides best in your rifle.
Top Lube for AR 15 on the Market Today
Best Lube for AR 15 Reviews: Slippery When Wet
The best lube for AR-15 rifles is up first. All the other lube will get spilled in order of price.
The most affordable lube for AR-15 rifles is reviewed first.
If you want to pay-per-drop, check out the reviews toward the end.
Time to get all oiled up.
Also, the main reason lube doesn’t work is because it’s in your range bag instead of on your rifle. There’s not a ton to say about lube. So we’re going to cover a bunch of lube here.
1. Shooter’s Choice FP-10 Lubricant - Overall Best Lube for AR-15
Shooter’s Choice FP-10 Lubricant has been around for a long time. And it works. That’s why it’s been around so long.
The main reason this lube has persisted for so long is because it’s got excellent heat tolerance. It retains its lubricity up to 500 degrees fahrenheit. So you can shoot a lot and get your run really hot without losing your lubrication.
Also, this is conventional oil that won’t gum up or get sticky while your rifle is in storage. That way you never pull your AR-15 out of the safe to find that the bolt slides like molasses.
One more thing: this lubricant also works as a cleaner.
This lube does everything from shooting to cleaning, which is exactly what you need from a good lubricant.
2. Outers Gun Oil Rust Preventative - Rust Prevention Lube for AR-15
Most gun oil has some sort of rust prevention capabilities, even if it’s just because a coating of oil simply keeps water from coming in contact with metal surfaces. However, the Outers Gun Oil Rust Preventative is especially good for protecting your rifle from rust.
The main thing is that this oil is a tad thicker than most gun oil. So it stays on your gun a bit better than most others. That way the protective oil film that keeps rust away stays intact for longer.
And, even though it’s more viscous than standard gun oil, it doesn’t gum up or anything. It even retains its viscosity down to -40 degrees fahrenheit. So it’s also a decent cold weather lubricant.
As you may have guessed, it works fine as an active lubricant.
However, it’s not a great cleaner. The best application for this oil seems to be cleaning with solvent, then applying the oil to your clean AR-15.
Even so, this Outers Gun lubricant is still an outstanding AR-15 lube that will keep your gun ready, no matter how long you keep it in the safe. It’s an excellent option for those who live in moist climates where protecting your gun from rust is important.
3. Hoppe's Precision Lubrication Oil - All-Purpose Lube for AR-15
Hoppe's Precision Lubrication Oil has probably been around longer than almost any other gun oil in this article. I’ve been seeing the orange Hoppe’s bottle in gun cabinets since I was a kid. And some of those bottles were pretty old.
But, old or not, this oil is a proven lubricant that works on any firearm, including AR-15s.
It’s also nice because it doesn’t gum up into that sticky goo that looks more like grease than oil. So you can leave it on your rifle for as long as you’ve got it stored. Your AR-15 will be ready when you need it.
And you can use Hoppe’s on just about anything that needs oil: fishing reels, clutch pedal hinges, and anything else that you might otherwise put something like 3-in-1 oil on. Hoppe’s is handy oil to have around the house and at the range.
The other thing about this lube is that it’s affordable, as far gun oil goes. So it won’t eat into your ammo budget.
The only thing that I have noticed about this oil is that it seems to attract dust more than other oils. However, I’ve never actually tested this side-by-side with other oils. It just seems that any Hoppe’s oil that’s left exposed gets dusty fairly fast.
That’s why your AR-15 has a dust cover, though. So, overall, this Hoppe's oil is an affordable and effective AR-15 lubricant.
4. Castrol Conventional Motor Oil - Budget Lube for AR-15
I like talking about this one because it triggers a lot of people. But here’s a story to go along with using Castrol Conventional Motor Oil as lube for your AR-15:
Several years ago, I was assisting with a carbine class. And one of the students’ rifles started malfunctioning terribly because his gun oil was at home instead of on his gun.
A friend of mine who was also assisting with the class pulled out a bottle of the cheapest engine oil you could find. I think it was Pennzoil or Quaker State.
He dumped it on the student’s rifle. And his rifle worked flawlessly for the rest of the weekend, through about 1000 rounds of training.
This friend of mine had about thirty years of experience between working on tactical teams for the DEA and as an air marshall. And he’d been putting engine oil on all his guns—starting with his old 1911 that wouldn’t work with anything else—since before I was born.
I bought a quart of engine oil (the good stuff, not that dollar store oil that my buddy had. Go big or go home, right?) and have been using it on all my guns ever since. And I’ve never had an issue.
That makes sense.
I doubt any gun oil company has invested more time and money figuring out how to lubricate metal surfaces than an engine oil company. Most engine oil companies invest more in research and development than a gun oil company generates in total revenue.
Also, engine oil is designed to hold up for DAYS. Not minutes or hours, but days at temperatures above 250 degrees. For reference, steel becomes too hot to touch at around 150 degrees.
The worst thing about using engine oil on your gun is all the people that lose their minds when they see you putting engine oil on your gun.
Now, this Castrol oil is not ideal for cleaning. Use proper solvent for cleaning your AR-15.
But, as a lubricant, there’s no way that you’ll get anything better for $5 per quart.
5. M-Pro 7 Gun Oil LPX - Value Lube for AR-15
M-Pro 7 Gun Oil LPX is one of my favorite gun oils. The main reason is that very little goes a long way.
With most gun oils, I apply them rather liberally to my bolt and bolt carrier. However, I find that this gun oil works very well when applied in just a thin layer.
And according to the manufacturer, you only need a thin film. I’ve found that a bit more than a film is best for AR-15 bolt carrier groups. But, this gun oil still does more with less than many competing oils.
It also seems to work better in dirty environments than many gun oils. It’s not perfect. But it doesn’t attract as much dust and dirt, since you don’t need to put so much of it on your rifle. So it’s a good lubricant for those who shoot on outdoor ranges.
It’s not a dedicated solvent. But it works pretty well as a cleaning agent, too. If your gun does get too fouled, you can use this M-Pro lubricant to knock the carbon off for a quick field clean.
6. Lucas Oil Extreme Duty Gun Oil - High Performance Lube for AR-15
Well, well, well… If it isn’t an engine oil company making gun oil. All jokes aside, the Lucas Oil Extreme Duty Gun Oil actually works quite well, especially if you’re shooting your rifle a lot without cleaning it much.
Both the flash point and boiling point of this gun oil are very high. It’s designed to operate in temperatures from -38 degrees to 400 degrees fahrenheit.
And it holds up. We’ve slapped some Lucas Oil on our full-auto rental guns down at the range. And it works like a charm, even when we let the guns go several thousand rounds between cleanings.
I’m not sure if it helps keep carbon from sticking. Or if it just works better despite carbon fouling. But it seems that we get fewer malfunctions when a rifle is dirty when we use this oil, compared to some other lubricants.
And, when we add more oil to a full-auto gun, it seems to stay on the gun, rather than splattering.
It’s anecdotal evidence. But it’s all I’ve got. And it seems consistent with the manufacturer claims.
So this Lucas oil works as advertised, in my experience, which is solid performance.
7. Slip 2000 Extreme Weapons Lubricant - CLP for AR-15
Slip 2000 Extreme Weapons Lubricant is the only “natural” lube that I’ve found to actually work.
First, it works as an active lubricant in surprisingly low volumes. It’s not quite good enough to work with just a very thin film. But you don’t need to get your bolt carrier group dripping wet, either.
And it works well as a protectant for storage, as well. You can just apply the oil and wipe it off if you need a protective film for storage, without oil running all over your gun safe.
This lubricant also makes a decent cleaner. It’s not as strong as a dedicated solvent. But, if you’re committed to being non-toxic, you can use this oil for cleaning.
My only complaint with this oil is that you do need to reapply it a bit more often than other lubricants. I suspect that’s because there’s no actual oil in this gun oil. It’s petroleum free. So it tends to cook off a bit more quickly than a conventional oil.
Other than that (and the price), this Slip 2000 is an excellent lubricant for those who want to keep their AR-15 in tip top shape without using any chemicals or petroleum products.
Pretty much all the internal parts in your AR-15 need lubrication. So you definitely need to have some sort of lube on hand whenever you head to the range.
Heading to the rang right now? Get some Shooter’s Choice FP-10 Lubricant. It’s proven lubricant that you can also use to clean up your rifle when you’re done shooting.
You probably already knew that you needed lube. But now you REALLY have no excuse to let your AR-15 bolt get dry. Get some lube and spend less time clearing malfunctions.