View Full Version : oil bottle for weapons maintenance?
03-12-2010, 09:37 AM
We know that several different types of oils have been used to oil our period firearms, sweet oil, mineral oil, but I have yet to find any information regarding oil being issued to the troops.
Stiving to make my impression better.... can anyone direct me to a source or picture of and oil bottle/can issued to the troops for used specifically for weapons maintenance.
I assume the tools were being issued so why not the oil.
Any help would be great.
Ross L. Lamoreaux
03-12-2010, 09:41 AM
http://www.heritageleathercw.com/cart/cart.php?m=product_list&c=27 An excellent reproduction, well researched by the folks at Heritage Leathers.
03-12-2010, 09:54 AM
Hmm...British. I assume issued with/for the Enfield?? Anything similiar issued with the Springfield?
bob 125th nysvi
03-12-2010, 09:55 AM
carried oil in their inventories as to why the army didn't issue it (or enough of it) is anybodies guess. They also carried other items that you would normally think of as 'army issue' such as other cleaning and polishing agents. But come to think of it when I was in the army didn't issue me polish for my boots, that what the PX was for.
My guess would be that in the pre-war army soldiers were kept so busy cleaning and polishing their weapons (what else did they really have to do in a peacetime army that they couldn't find a couple of hours a week for polishing) that the need for oil to protect it was not considered important.
Another option as far a container is concerned would be to find a period container used for other fluids and clean it out. If I was a sutler I would have bought the oil in larger containers and then 're-packaged' it in small quantities for resale.
I don't use oil at the reenactments (although I do carry it). Generally I just clean the monster with hot water every time I use it, elbow grease clean the outside and save a through breakdown and maintenance for when I get back to the 'barracks'.
03-12-2010, 11:38 AM
FWIW, W. S. Lincoln mentions oil sold by the 34th Mass's sutler in small glass "vials" and if you root around antique stores you'll see that 3 in 1 oil was sold in glass bottles until well into the 20th century. But the Enfield oiler is nice and authentic, too, and I imagine that on the march many soldiers followed Mr. Sandusky's practice.
03-13-2010, 12:45 PM
Thanks guys...good info.
Edwin Carl Erwin
03-14-2010, 08:59 AM
Regarding the P1860 zinc oil bottle: if the reproduction oil bottle doesn't come with a leather gasket at the top of the application rod (below the cap), make one. Prior to filling the bottle with oil, saturate the leather gasket with a high quality, fine oil (like sewing machine oil). This will serve to prevent the oil from within the bottle leaking out. Allow time for the bottle cap to properly seat atop the oil saturated leather gasket.
Even at that, you may initially find anything adjacent to the oil bottle well lubricated. The cloth I use for a final wipe down (after cleaning) of all the exposed rifle musket metal parts is kept wrapped around my repro P1860 zinc oil bottle.
03-14-2010, 01:18 PM
I keep an oil soaked rag in the implement pouch on my cartridge box. I use it to wipe down the weapon at every opportunity, but especially before going to sleep. I also have a small tin of grease, I keep in a tote bag, along with a cone wrench/screw driver and some cleaning patches. After field cleaning, the bore gets a final rub-down with a greasy patch. My grease of choice is Thompson-Center's "Bore Butter".
That oily rag holds a lovely mixture of WD-40, Ballistol, Hopps #9, Break Free, mineral oil, olive oil, Liquid Wrench, and motor oil. At least, that's all I can remember. I believe the EPA would consider the rag a toxic waste site. :)
03-15-2010, 07:54 AM
yeah...I basically do the same. I carry an oiled rag in the flap of my cartridge box and a small....real small glass bottle filled with armor's oil (Mineral oil). my set up works well....but was wondering if there was an issued container perhaps similiar to what the Brits issued. Guess us Yanks just were not that civilized in the 1860's
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