Avoiding Dangerous Advice from Self-Proclaimed Firearms “Experts” on Facebook (or elsewhere on the web)

Trio of .45s, clockwise from top — FNH FNX-45, Taurus PT24/7 Pro DS, S&W SW99

I only recently returned from a month abroad. During that time, I had an interesting thing happen to me; I was banned from a Facebook group devoted to a specific prestige line of firearms marketed by a higher end manufacturer. It all started when an owner asked about lubricating a specific point on his firearm. A group moderator deleted my response. My offense? Giving advice consistent with the owner’s manual. The offense that resulted in my banishment? Going offline and advising Mr. Moderator, because I didn’t want to publicly embarrass the individual, that he was substituting good advice for bad that was contrary to the manufacturer’s recommendation.

Colt SAA Clones — USFA Rodeo (top) and AWA Peacekeeper

Yep. I got banned for advising someone to follow the directions. True story. I told the new gun owner that some areas require grease, and others a high-end oil-based product, preferably a CLP (Clean, Lubricate, Protect). Are you in as much disbelief as I was? Let’s go to the Facebook Messenger Instant Replay for a play-by-play of what transpired.

Various iterations of the Colt 1911A1 and 1991A1 Government Model

Upon notification that my response was pulled, I went offline and sent Mr. Moderator the following message:

It is, of course, your right to remove my post. But to say it promoted bad usage or service is contradicted by [the manufacturer’s] owner’s manual. Under section 7.3 the list for maintaining the [model of weapon] includes CLP and TW-25B.

Mr. Moderator’s response:

Yeah. Recommendations that are clearly sponsored. After TW-25b stopped the sponsorship, it started being “use Lucas”.

That’s how money works.

Be smarter than falling for that.

A pair of Beretta 92FS pistols

Hmmm… I thought to myself, that’s an odd response. The moderator’s disagreement with me related to the use of oils rather than grease. His contention was that oil should never be used, and that the only acceptable lubricant for any firearm in any area is grease. Now, anyone versed in gun safety knows that is terrible advice, especially when given to Joe Novice, without some warnings on one specific application. More on that in a moment. Meanwhile, I responded:

We were discussing oil-based lubes. [Manufacturer] recommends CLP without mentioning a specific brand, so your dig about TW-25B isn’t even relevant to the discussion.

If you want to recommend going against the manufacturer’s recommendation, then so be it. But you might want to address in your treatise why they’re wrong and you’re right before someone else decides to check their owner’s manual and finds that passage. Take that for what it’s worth.

And if you want to ban me from the forum for recommending people follow the manufacturer’s recommendation, then so be. I was merely trying to answer the question posed without letting my personal biases enter into the discussion. I didn’t realize doing so was going to set you off to the point where my post would be pulled as “bad” information even though it clearly is not.

My apologies.

Things started heading south quickly when Mr. Moderator replied:

I’m not going to bother reading all of your reply for one reason; unless you can show me you have more engineering background and long-term materials and lubricant testing than I’ve done, your opinion is, with all due respect, utterly worthless.

Come back to me after you’ve got 25+ years doing what I do. Until then, I’ll keep editing out the bad advice given in the [manufacture] group.

From the top: Uberti El Patrón Competition, Ruger “Old Model” and “New Model” Super Single Sixes

Okay, I thought, it’s time to play the safety card that initially had me concerned. This “engineering expert” was going to destroy Joe Novice’s firearm, and potentially take out Joe as well. I sent the following response:

Except my “advice” isn’t going to potentially destroy some novice’s handgun and possibly injure him when he blindly accepts your advice, puts too much grease down the barrel of his gun, gums up the rifling, and dangerously over-pressures the firearm when firing it.

Good luck with that, and good day to you.

I had hoped that this warning might prompt Mr. Moderator to amend the lengthy diatribe he posted on oil (always bad) vs. grease (always good) after he deleted my answer. No such luck. Instead, Mr. Moderator doubled down on stupid with:

There you go. Stand behind that BS rather than appreciate experience and knowledge. Exactly what’s wrong with overly proud egos these days.

Rare pre-war (1938) Smith and Wesson K-22 “Outdoorsman”

At this point I admittedly got feisty. In my view there certainly was an ego involved, and a massive one at that, but since I had taken this discussion offline to keep from embarrassing Mr. Moderator, that ego wasn’t mine. I decided to shove his rudeness right back down his throat as I shot back with:

I’m not going to bother reading any more of your replies for one reason:

Your ego is so huge that you believe you know more than engineers at Beretta, Colt, FNH, Inland, Magnum Research, SIG Sauer, Smith and Wesson, Uberti, and Walther.

This was Mr. Moderator’s final response, as immediately afterward I was banned from the group and blocked from messaging him:

You don’t get it which I can only believe is a deliberate refusal of even wondering about how these things work. That’s worse than being dumb. That’s choosing to be ignorant.

All the best, Doug.

Inland Manufacturing M1 Carbine

You will notice one consistent theme throughout Mr. Moderator’s messages. In no instance was he able to rise to the challenge and even attempt to explain how his area of expertise overrides the expert firearm engineers in the nine companies I listed… and I could have listed far more without breaking a sweat. You may also note that not once did he address my concern that his advice might cause a novice gun owner to unknowingly exceed the pressure limits of his firearm’s chamber and barrel. I can only assume, as I no longer have access to that group, that Mr. Moderator failed to go back and amend his treatise with an admonition that any grease placed inside the barrel must be applied is a very thin layer and not allowed to clog the rifling.

1943 W+F Bern K31 “Straight-Pull” Army Surplus Rifle

This a direct copy-and-paste from the owner’s manual of the pistol in question:


  1. Soak a patch with CLP and push it through the bore from the chamber end and out past the
  2. Allow the CLP to soak for a while to loosen residue and soften carbon deposits.
  3. Wipe the exterior of the barrel with a cloth soaked in CLP.
  4. Repeat step #1.
  5. Use the bore brush and a cleaning rod to scrub heavy deposits from the bore.
  6. Repeat step #1.
  7. Push dry patches through the bore until they come out clean.
  8. Lightly oil bore and chamber if the pistol is to be stored for a period of time.
  9. Always remove any lubricant from the bore prior to firing the pistol.

And if you don’t see any reference to grease in the barrel, here’s why according to the owner’s manual for the Beretta 92FS:


WARNING: Excess oil and grease obstructing the bore, even
partially, is very dangerous when firing and may cause barrel
rupture and serious injury to the shooter and bystanders. Never
spray or apply oil to the cartridges. Use lubricants properly. You
are responsible for the proper care and maintenance of your

BARREL (Fig. 31)

  • Spray the supplied brush with a good grade gun oil. Insert the
    brush into the barrel from the chamber and scrub the chamber
    and bore thoroughly. If necessary, first clean the bore with a gun
  • Dry the chamber and bore by pushing a cotton patch through
    the chamber and bore with the brush. Change the patch until it
    emerges clean.
Beretta 3032 Tomcats on parade

In other words, don’t use grease in the barrel of a firearm. Well, I mean, you can use it, but you’d darn well better know what you’re doing and get any residual grease out of the rifling grooves. And that is no easy task, so don’t use it! Now, Joe Novice will look at Mr. Moderator’s advice and vaguely recall that he’s been told to lubricate all metal surfaces on any firearm. Listening to Mr. Moderator, Joe dabs thick grease on a patch and rams it down the barrel of his new Beretta 92FS (or whatever his first firearm purchase may be). He then runs another patch through to remove some of that thick grease, but that patch will not pick up the grease riding in the rifling grooves. Joe Novice then takes his new Beretta 92 down to the local gun range, loads it up with 9mm 147-grain +P and, after the first shot and god-awful noise, notices that his prized gun is in pieces and that he’s missing a finger. Or two. Or three. Or a whole hand. That’s if he’s lucky and his head or chest didn’t get hit with flying shrapnel.

When that happens, Mr. “Moderator Expert” is going to have some serious explaining to do.

Слава Україні! (Slava Ukraini!)


Filed under Firearms, R. Doug Wicker, Social Networking

2 responses to “Avoiding Dangerous Advice from Self-Proclaimed Firearms “Experts” on Facebook (or elsewhere on the web)

  1. Dave Williams '76

    Mr. Moderator should have manned up and thanked you for your cogent input.

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