Sunday, March 3, 2013

Italian Gun Grease Review

Back in January, a bunch of locals went out to Vegas for the SHOT show.  I was invited, but due to several scheduling conflicts I wasn't able to attend.  I did get a text message from one of the guys at the show asking me if I had ever heard of Italian Gun Grease (IGG), and that they were bringing me back a sampler pack for me to test/review.  Since I was now interested in IGG, I Googled it and discovered a bit more about the company and their products.

IGG is manufactured in Spring Hill, Tennessee by the ECO Solutions Group.  I took a quick look at ECO Solutions Group and they cover a vast array of businesses with Cleaning and Lubrication listed as areas of expertise.  

I was provided with a 3 component cleaning system.  The first piece of the kit is the Carbon Eliminator, which is used to remove all residuals left in the pistol after shooting.  This includes loose material like unburned powder and also the carbon buildup in the breech area.  Step two is deep cleaning the barrel bore with with Copper/Lead Eliminator.  Finally, Advanced Weapons Lubricant and Protectant is applied for lubrication prior to reassembly.

I put a drop of each product on a piece of lucite and snapped the picture above.  All three components of the cleaning system are clear and nearly odor-less.  This was particularly interesting to me because every copper cleaner I've ever used has reeked of ammonia.  That's not the case with the IGG Copper/Lead Eliminator product.

I wanted to give the IGG Cleaning System a good cleaning challenge so I decided it was time to clean my Kahr PM9.  The PM9 is a real work horse for me with my ballistics testing.  I use it for nearly all of my 9mm short barrel testing.  I've also been known to shoot the remaining 44 rounds of a box after finishing up a test that requires 6 test shots.  Let's just say this pistol gets shot frequently and cleaned infrequently.  This PM9 is one of the older bull-nose models that has never failed to feed or fire anything I've put into it.  I can't remember the last time I cleaned it and it was pretty dirty.  Much dirtier than anything I carry frequently.  The series of picture below are the before cleaning shots.

For the actual cleaning process, I just followed the instructions on each bottle.  The Carbon and Copper cleaners were applied, left to sit for a minute, and then removed.  I use Q-Tips, flannel patches, and a child size nylon toothbrush to get into all the nooks and crannies of small pistols.  I used a copper brush with the Carbon Eliminator to remove bore fouling.  I followed that with a proper sized nylon bore brush and the Copper Eliminator.  The Copper Eliminator was an extra step that I usually don't include in my cleaning process.

Results were as expected for any product sold as a "gun cleaner".  The barrel cleaned up quite well as did the magazine, frame, slide and recoil spring.  I did one other test of the Carbon Eliminator on the face of a revolver cylinder.  I think all revolver shooters are looking for that magic product that removes carbon rings from the cylinder face and forcing cone as easy as Tarn X removes tarnish from silverware.  Unfortunately, Carbon Eliminator isn't that product.  If you know what Tarn X is, don't bother watching the video below.

The PM9 cleaned up really well. 

The Advanced Weapons Lubricant and Protectant is an interesting product.  It's advertised to reduce friction by 85% allowing weapons to run smoother and cooler while delivering better accuracy.  Touted to contain Heat Seeking Molecule (HSM) Technology, the product requires re-application every 3 to 5 rounds during your first outing with the treated firearm.  As I understand it, this process of reapplication allows the Advanced Weapons Lubricant to fuse with the bore under heat and pressure.  After 5 re-applications you are done with the "seasoning" process and only need to follow the typical reapplication after cleaning regimen.  After seasoning, the subsequent cleanings are supposed to be easier since carbon attaches to the lubrication layer and not the metal.

I decided that the best way to test this stuff out was to follow the seasoning process to the letter and see if it made a difference in cleaning.  It did.  After 75 mixed rounds of defensive JHPs and bulk pack FMJ, I field stripped the PM9 when I returned from my range trip.  Using no cleaning agents, I just used a few Q-Tips, a flannel patch, and a paper towel to give the pistol parts a wipe down.  Happy to report that all the gunk was easily removed with no scrubbing or cleaning agents required.  When I was done, I had a nice clean gun and some very dirty Q-Tips.

The dry patch down the bore came out pretty clean. I loaded a bore brush with Carbon Eliminator and ran the brush down the barrel a few times.  What you see on the patch is what came out of the bore after scrubbing.  Not much gunk from the barrel at all.

I think the Advanced Weapons Lubricant and Protectant is a solid product.  This PM9 runs well and continued to do so with AWL used as sole lubricant.  I really liked the 5 minute inside and outside clean up when I got back from the range.  I've never had residue lift so easily from the chamber and under-slide areas.  I usually have to use a cleaning product of some type to clean these two problem areas.

The Carbon and Copper Eliminator products work fine.  I think one of their main selling points is their lack of any significant odor.  If you have pets or family members that give you the evil eye because they don't like the smell of conventional gun cleaning products, they may give you a pass if you use the IGG cleaning products.  If the smell of traditional products isn't a concern, you can probably stick with your usual cleaning products and just purchase the IGG Advanced Weapon Lubricant for the reduced cleaning time benefit.

If I have a gripe, and I do, it's the dropper bottles that the Advanced Weapons Lubricant and Protectant ships in.  When you need a drop of lube you will usually get two drops or one very large drop.  Since I deal with the smaller pistols, I found that the lack of a precision lubrication applicator caused me to apply much more lube than was needed and I ending up removing some of it and wasting it.  A container with a precision applicator would be a big improvement for my needs.

I didn't see IGG products listed at the big name online retail stores yet.  If you are looking for IGG products, your best bet would be shopping on their website.  You may also be able to find the IGG products at your local shooting emporium.


  1. Just a suggestion for you for the revolver carbon rings. did you try soaking the cylinder overnight? I did just that with my 44mag super blackhawk with the carbon cleaner and it seemed to knock the crud out just fine.

    1. Hey Zack. I didn't try an extended soaking with the Carbon Eliminator. My wipe it on, and wipe it off is an unreasonable cleaning expectation that has not been met by any product I've tried over the last two decades of shooting. I personally find revolver faces and forcing cones to the the most difficult cleaning challenge so I did want to try your product in that capacity.

  2. J B bore cleaner will easily remove carbon deposits from the front of revolver cylinders.