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Would you stake your life, right now, on the condition of your equipment?
NEWS | April 16, 2020

Small Arms: Degreasing and SFL Go Hand-In-Hand

This article initially appeared in PS 792, pages 36-37.

Solid film lubricant (SFL) is a powerful tool for fighting corrosion in small arms.
When a weapon’s protective coating wears off, SFL comes to the rescue. But you must follow this SFL procedure or you may be hurting more than helping your weapon!
  1. The weapon must be thoroughly degreased and inspected for corrosion and damage before using SFL.
  2. The weapon should also be thoroughly degreased every time you change lubes.
  3. If the weapon is corroded or damaged, it must be repaired before using SFL.
To degrease, use MIL-PRF-680 Type II dry cleaning solvent, NSN 6850-01-474-2317. Unfortunately, it’s not enough to soak a weapon’s parts in the solvent. You must also scrub the parts with the solvent and a non-metallic brush to clean out all dirt and grease.
  1. Let the weapon thoroughly dry.
  2. Then apply an even coating of SFL to the areas that need touchup.
  3. Let the SFL fully cure for 24 hours before relubing the weapon and returning it to service.
See the weapon’s -23&P for the limits on how much of the weapon can be touched up with SFL.
NSN 9150-01-260-2534 will bring you a 16-oz aerosol can of SFL. You can also get a 1-gal can with NSN 9150-00-142-9361. And there’s now a paint pen dispenser, NSN 9150-01-646-0099, available that makes it much easier to touch up nicks, scratches and shiny spots. These are nonaerosol and must be applied with a brush, which will produce a more even application than spraying SFL.
Regardless of which kind you use, carefully follow the instructions on the can for best results.
You MUST follow the SFL procedure or you may be hurting more than helping your weapon!
You must follow the SFL procedure or you may be hurting more than helping your weapon!
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