#3620501 - 03/19/14 12:45 PM
The bore butter / wonder lube scam
I found this while searching for patch lube recipes and wanted to share.|
I tried the Wonder 1000 theory, and I'd love to see someone
actually do that. I've watched 5 different guys try it, and the record
shots, same as I got. Of course, another way to look at it is: on any
given day that I am hunting deer with it and I get off 10 shots and
don't have a deer to show for it, I probably ought to go home and give
some serious consideration to what I am doing wrong.
You have no idea how much humor has come out of Ox-Yoke's claims on the
1000 Shot Plus lube. To the point where some of us now call them
Ox-Joke. With any of my three BP rifles "an historic feat" is getting the
4th ball down the bore without resorting to a bigger hammer.
I'll run you through the full story since the snow has started to fall.
Lets go back to the early 1980's.
A shooter/buckskinner by the name of Young, living in California, went
to the range one day and forgot his patch lube. In utter desperation he
whips out a tube of Chap-Stick and smears it on a few patches. Lo &
Behold it worked better than the lube he had been using. Several of his
buddies tried his idea and reported it worked well. So Young then
tracked down the source of Chap- Stick which is a common lip balm
formulation that has been floating around since the late 19th century.
Chap-Stick is petrolatum (petroleum jelly) with 5% cetyl alcohol and
water. The cetyl alcohol acting as the emulsifyer. With the cetyl
alcohol the water forms minute beads within the petrolatum. Without the
cetyl alcohol you can't get the water to mix in any way with the
petrolatum. Huge quantities of cetyl alcohol are used in the production
of PVC emulsion resins used in kitchen flooring. (My old job was as an
Tech. on these resins.) The petrolatum is the moisture barrier and
carrier for a topical agent used to soothe chapped lips. The water
emulsified into the petrolatum reduces the drag of the "stick" when you
apply it to your lips and acts as the moisturizing agent. Young then
finds a place to buy Chap-Stick in bulk and packages it as Young Country
Arms 103 Lube. That his lube and Chap->Stick are identical in every
respect, right down to the color, suggested he simply bought from the
makers of Chap-Stick in bulk quantities. Now Ted Bottomly had started
Ox-Yoke and made pre-cut patches and packs of patch cloth. He wanted a
patch lube to round out his line. He bought the first Ox-Yoke lube from
Young. When I first saw them I was at the late C.P. Wood's house in West
Virginia. Woody was looking at a 4 ounce container
of Young Country 103 and a 3 ounce container of Ox-Yoke's patch lube.
Both were identical in every respect, including color. You paid the same
price for 3 ounces of Ox-Yoke's lube as you paid for 4 ounces of Young's
lube. The logical conclusion would be that Ox-Yoke was buying from Young
and the missing ounce was Ox-Yoke's profit on the deal.
Both were advertising their respective lubes in the magazines. Young
advertised that you could fire a hundred rounds without wiping the bore
with his lube. Three months later, Ox-Yoke would advertise that when you
used their lube you could fire 200 rounds without wiping the bore. The 3
month lag time in the mags being the lag time in getting adds scheduled.
This went on, each one upping the ante, so to speak.
Those of us connected with the Buckskin Report discussed this in letters
and thought it a great joke.
The others in the field at that time were Hodgdon with their "Spit-Patch"
which was nothing more than beeswax emulsified in water with a soap.
Then there was T/C Maxi-Lube which was nothing more than the same
petroleum grease they used to grease the bearings in their machines.
Blue and Grey products was selling an automotive wheel bearing grease
that had been pigmented, not dyed, blue. I receieved several letters from
Doc Carlson. He was seeing BP muzzleloaders come into his shop with
balls or slugs stuck in the bore just ahead of the powder charge. You
could not pull these projectiles by any normal method.
He would have to remove the breech plugs, pull the charge and beat them
out of the bore, toward the muzzle with a heavy rod and a hammer. He
described the presence of a black tar-like film in the bore where the
projectiles had been frozen in place. The common thread in this being
that the shooter had used one of the "petroleum-based" lubes. I had to
explain to Doc that the petroleum greases were nothing more than
petroleum lubricating oils that had been "bodied" by the addition of
metallic soaps such as calcium or cadmium stearate. With a petroleum
lubricating oil, or grease, anytime you heat them to a high temperature
in the presence of sulfur you get asphalt. The way asphalts were
produced was to take crude oil and sulfur in an autoclave. Heat the
mixture to 600 degrees for about 8 hours
and you had road tar. Which is about what was happening in the gun.
Since the repackaged Chap-Stick was a petroleum wax it did not form
asphalt with sulfur and high temperatures. I then wrote an article for
the Backwoodsman magazine and compared the behavior of the two Chap-Stick
lubes to the behavior of sperm whale oil when it had been used in black
Well, Old Ted Bottomly jumped right onto that one. three months later
he starts advertising that his lube is "all-natural, non-petroleum" and
authentic, using what our ancesters had used. At that point I figured
his parents were to Christian to call him [censored] so they settled for
Bottomly. By about 1984, Bottomly and Young had a falling out over
pricing. The one ounce shy thing with Ox-Yoke pushed most of the
customers to Young's lube. Same thing, same price but more of it with
Young Country 103. And by this time we were up to 800 rounds between
swabbings. Technology marches on. Bottomy came out with his first Wonder
Lube. Years of research went into this lube, or so he claimed. Now at
this time Ox-Yoke was located in West Suffield, CT. A short time later I
was searching the drugstore shelves looking for petrolatum-based skin
care products or salves that I coulde repackage and become a millionaire
. I spotted this tube of something
called "Mineral Ice". Menthol in petrolatum. Made by a Dermatone
Laboratories located in Suffield, CT. Out comes the map. just by a
mere coincidence both companies were located just across the river from
each other. This of course raised doubts as to the "years of research"
comments out of Bottomly. The new Wonder Lube went into the lab. Proved
to be mineral oil, paraffin wax, a yellow dye and oil of wintergreen. A
book at work on fats, waxes and oils nailed this one down to a common
chest rub preparation for those with head colds who could not tolerate
camphorated oil. Again it was billed as "all-natural and non-petroleum".
Never mind that paraffin wax comes from paraffinic crude oils and mineral
oil comes from napthenic crude oils, the yellow dye and the oil of
wintergreen should convince anybody that it is all-natural and
non-petroleum. Given the wax and oil, I simply refer to this type of lube
as a remanufactured vaseline. With the yellow dye the rubes will swear
it is beeswax.
One thing about con artists is that they are never content to leave a
con artest for any length of time. In 1990, Bottomly comes out with a
new version called 1000 Shot Plus lube. High-technology now made
possible a lube that eliminated fouling, eliminated the need to clean and
would totally stop bore corrosion. Bottomly searched the world for this
modern technology and found it in Germany after years of searching. This
advance in this lube was made possible by this
secret micronizing agent. It gave the lube a micron particle size that
made all of this advancement possible. At that point his chest thumping
ego trip gave away the formula. This secret micronizing agent is no real
secret and has been around for over 100 years. It is nothing more than a
fossil wax mined in Germany. The same time of wax used to be mined in
Utah as Utah Wax but the mine closed for lack of business.
Paraffin wax is a hard brittle wax that forms huge crystals. When you
look at a block of paraffin wax sold for food canning you see lines on
the surface of the blocks of wax. Those are the lines denoting crystal
size. It had been found that if you added this fossil wax to paraffin
wax it would reduce the size of these crystals, though nowhere near a
micron in size. Paraffin wax was limited in which skin care and salve
formulations it could be used in because of the macro-crystallinty of it.
This made it unsuited to preparations where hardness and brittleness
were objectionable. By using the fossiol wax addition the paraffin wax
could replace more expensive waxes in these products. But when you lay
this type of Techno-Nonsense on a bunch of ignorant rube BP shooters they
will beat a path to your door, wallet in hand.
Now, to get back to an historic feat of 3 shots without swabbing the
bore. The problem with this type of lube is that as long as the surface
temperature of the bore is above the melting point of the wax, about 40
to 45 C, the fouling deposited by the combustion of the powder will slide
off the metal when pressure is applied to it. When the surface
temperature of the bore is below the melting point of the wax it will act
as an adhesive and hold the fouling to the surface. The unburned
charcaol in the powder fouling will adsorb most of the mineral oil
present in the lube. This turns it into an oily sludge that simply
builds up in the breech with repeated loading of the gun. After a few
rounds are fired in a flinter you have the oily sludge being blown out of
the vent which then coats the flint and frizzen. Lubricated flints
strike no sparks.
Now for the real punch line. With the addition of the micronizing agent
they doubled the amount of dye used so the new lube was more orange in
color, compared to the lemon yellow of the previous version, and they
doubled the amount of oil of wintergreen. Convince the rubes that it is
now even more natural. During the past few years there has been much
bitching about the quality of Ox-Joke's pre-lubed patches. I have seen
packs in the store where the lube had turned hard and brown. The mineral
oil migrates out of the paraffin wax into the low density polyethlene
used in the bags. This makes the lube hard and brittle. It goes back to
paraffin wax properties. With these an historic feat is getting the
second ball down the barrel without wiping. Ox-Joke supplies T/C with
Bore Butter which is only a slight modification
of Ox-Joke's standard formula.
Remember the dbate about blowing down the barrel on the message boards.
My off line joke was that as long as you use the repackaged Chap-Stick as
a patch lube you would not get chapped lips from blowing down a cold
Then their was Uncle Mike's Apple Green patch lube. Another paraffin
wax/mineral oil lube with methylsalicin in it. Nothing more than a
repackaged arthritis salve. I can tell you that is was very effective on
a knee suffereing degenerative joint disease. So if you are going to go
out in those North Woods in winter weather to hunt the elusive whitetail
you ought to take all three lubes along. Prevent chapped lips, take care
of chest colds and arthritic joints from all of the hoofing through the
snow. No reason for you to return home in anything less than the best of
health in spite ot the weather. Might be a good idea to take along one of
the ascorbic acid-based powders since that is vitamin C. Then Goex's
sugar-based powder might make an emergency trail food.
I joke with Dixon that it is bad enough we have to deal with the ATF,
what next with these products, the Food and Drug Administration too???
Well, time to go sit out on the deck for a smoke and listen to the snow
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