Patent application title: FIREARM LUBRICANT AND METHODS FOR USING
Kevin W Gay (Beverly Hills, FL, US)
Sherry L Gay (Beverly Hills, FL, US)
IPC8 Class: AF41A2904FI
Class name: Firearms implements
Publication date: 2014-03-27
Patent application number: 20140082986
Embodiments of the invention thus provide an improved lubricant, methods
for applying such a lubricant to a cartridge or other surface, and a
container for the lubricant. In embodiments of the invention, the
lubricant includes hydrophobic component and a hydrophilic component.
1. A lubricant for metal surfaces, the lubricant comprising: a
hydrophobic component; and a hydrophilic component blended with the
hydrophobic component, the hydrophobic component being 85%-98% of the
lubricant by volume, the hydrophilic component being 2%-10% of the
lubricant by volume.
2. The lubricant of claim 1 wherein the hydrophobic component includes a grease.
3. The lubricant of claim 2 wherein the grease includes 60%-100% white mineral oil by volume.
4. The lubricant of claim 3 wherein the hydrophilic component includes glycerin.
5. The lubricant of claim 4 wherein the hydrophilic component is 3%-5% glycerin by volume.
6. The lubricant of claim 1 wherein the lubricant is odorless.
7. A method for using the lubricant of claim 1, the method including: applying a thin film of the lubricant to at least a portion of a cartridge to produce a lubricated cartridge; and loading the lubricated cartridge into one of a magazine and a chamber of a firearm.
8. The method of claim 7 wherein the portion of the cartridge includes exposed portions of a projectile.
9. The method of claim 7 wherein the applying includes: a) dipping the portion of the cartridge into a contained volume of the lubricant; b) pressing the cartridge into a top surface of a foam pad; c) twisting the cartridge; and d) removing the cartridge from the top surface of the foam pad.
10. A method for using the lubricant of claim 1 including brushing the lubricant onto at least one internal mechanism of a firearm.
11. A method for using the lubricant of claim 1 including brushing the lubricant onto at least one external surface of a firearm.
12. A container for the lubricant of claim 1, the container including a foam pad.
CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS
 This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Application No. 61/703,782 filed on Sep. 21, 2012.
 (1) Field of Invention
 The invention relates generally to the field of firearms. In particular, but not by way of limitation, the invention relates to an improved firearm lubricant and methods for using same on a handgun, rifle, or other firearm.
 (2) Description of Related Art
 Firearms require periodic maintenance. A failure to properly maintain a firearm can result in a jam, misfire, or other malfunction. Depending upon the type of malfunction and tactical situation, serious injury or death to the firearm operator could result.
 As an example of a necessary maintenance item, consider a semi-automatic pistol. Such a firearm stores multiple cartridges in a magazine, which is typically contained in the pistol grip. A slide mechanism advances a cartridge from the top of the magazine to the firing chamber of the gun barrel. To facilitate this transfer (or feed), the pistol typically contains a feed ramp as a component of the magazine, frame, and/or barrel. A failure-to-feed jam can occur if there is excessive mechanical friction between the cartridge and the feed ramp. Such friction can be caused by the type of cartridge. For instance, a cartridge with a hollow point tip might cause more friction than one with a rounded or pointed tip.
 Maintenance can minimize the likelihood of feed failures and other types of malfunctions. But conventional maintenance protocols require a partial or complete breakdown (disassembly) of the firearm to access feed ramps and other internal mechanisms. It would be desirable to maintain the firearm with a reduced breakdown frequency.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
 Embodiments of the invention seek to overcome one or more limitations described above. To achieve this objective, embodiments of the invention provide a firearm lubricant that is adapted for use on a cartridge or directly to a firearm component. A lubricated cartridge lubricates internal components of the firearm when the cartridge is fed into the firing chamber and when the projectile travels through the firearm barrel. Embodiments of the invention also provide methods for applying the lubricant to the cartridge or other surface, and a container for the lubricant.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
 Embodiments of the invention are described with reference to the following drawings, wherein:
 FIG. 1 is a sectional view of a cartridge;
 FIG. 2 is a process flow diagram of a lubrication method, according to an embodiment of the invention; and
 FIG. 3 is a perspective view of a lubricant container, according to an embodiment of the invention.
 Embodiments of the invention will now be described more fully with reference to FIGS. 1-3 and Appendices 1-3. The invention may, however, be embodied in many different forms and should not be construed as limited to the embodiments set forth herein.
 FIG. 1 is a sectional view of a cartridge, presented to define some terms used in this specification. A cartridge includes a projectile (or bullet) 105 that is secured by the casing (or case) 110 of the cartridge. Typically, the projectile 105 has a soft lead core and a copper shell (or jacket), and the casing 110 is brass, although other materials may also be used. The casing 110 contains gunpowder (or propellant) 115. A primer 120 is disposed in a base (or cup) 125 of the cartridge.
 According to embodiments of the invention, a firearm lubricant includes a mixture (blend) of lubricating grease and glycerin (aka glycerine or glycerol).
 The lubricating grease preferably includes white mineral oil as a majority component. A suitable lubricating grease is known by the trade name of McGlaughlin Petrol-Gel and is manufactured by CITGO Petroleum Corporation. Appendix 1 includes a Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) for McGlaughlin Petrol-Gel. The table below summarizes the composition of McGlaughlin Petrol-Gel.
TABLE-US-00001 Component Concentration (%) White mineral oil 60-100 Aluminum Complex Soap 7-13 Polyisobutylene 5-10 Proprietary ingredients 1-5
 The glycerin may be or include, for example, a product known as Glycerin--USP (USP referring to United States Pharmacopeia grade) distributed by Essential Depot, Inc. Appendix 2 includes a Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) for Glycerin--USP. In alternative embodiments, another lubricating grease and/or glycerin product could be used.
 The concentration of glycerin in the firearm lubricant may be in the range of about 2-10% by volume, and is preferably approximately 4% by volume. The remainder of the blended lubricant is all, or substantially all, lubricating grease. For example, the blend may include approx. 4.9 ml of Glycerin--USP and approx. 118.3 ml of McGlaughlin Petrol-Gel. In embodiments of the invention, the firearm lubricant may also include a relatively small concentration (e.g., 5% by volume or less) of dye, fillers, and/or other minor components. The composition of the firearm lubricant is summarized in the table below.
TABLE-US-00002 Component Concentration (v/v %) Lubricating grease 85-98 Glycerin 2-10 Minor components 0-5
 The resulting firearm lubricant has many advantageous properties. For instance, when applied to a cartridge or directly to internal portions of a firearm, the lubricating grease component reduces friction between the cartridge and firearm components and/or between adjacent surfaces of firearm components; the glycerin component acts as a thinning agent that further reduces the coefficient of friction (COF) in the target application.
 Lubricating grease, by itself, is sticky (tacky). By contract, glycerin is slick. Empricial data has led to the conclusion that, in a firearm lubricant, 2-10% glycerin by volume, and preferably 4% by volume, best facilitates the application of a thin layer of firearm lubricant, for example using the process described with reference to FIG. 2. In concentrations above 10%, the glycerin works against adhesion of the firearm lubricant to cartridges or other target surfaces. In concentrations below 2%, it is difficult for a user to apply a thin layer of firearm lubricant. A firearm lubricant having 85-98% grease and 2-10% glycerin results in a gel with optimized tactile properties.
 In some respects, the combination of lubricating grease with glycerin, in any proportion, is an unlikely combination. This is because lubricating grease is hydrophobic (water hating) whereas glycerin is hydrophilic (water loving). The firearm lubricant described herein is both hydrophobic and hydrophilic.
 Glycerin is used in certain skin moisturizers because of its hydrophilic properties. This same property extends product shelf life because it draws moisture from the environment and prevents the firearm lubricant from drying out. Due to corrosion risk, it may be counterintuitive to include such a component in a firearm lubricant. But the hydrophilic property of the firearm lubricant actually prevents corrosion by drawing water molecules off treated metal surfaces and into the gel.
 There is also an unexpected synergy in the components of the firearm lubricant with respect to dirt removal from treated surfaces: the oil-based properties of the grease weaken bonds between dirt and the treated surfaces, and the hydrophilic properties of the glycerin use water absorption to channel the dirt into the firearm lubricant and suspend both water and dirt in the bulk gel.
 The resulting firearm lubricant is also odorless (which can be especially beneficial when hunting, for example), has a low freezing point (glycerin is a principle ingredient in some anti-freeze products), and is not considered hazardous for the application disclosed herein.
 FIG. 2 is a process flow diagram of a lubrication method, according to an embodiment of the invention. The process illustrated in FIG. 2 may be used to apply the firearm lubricant described above to a cartridge. After beginning in step 205, the process requires dipping a cartridge into a container of lubricant to coat at least a portion of a projectile component of a cartridge in step 210. Step 210 could include coating only a portion of the exposed projectile (or all exposed portions of the projectile). Step 210 could also include coating a portion of a cartridge casing in addition to some or all exposed portions of the projectile. But, preferably, step 210 involves coating all or substantially all exposed portions of the projectile component and no portion of the cartridge casing.
 After removing the cartridge from the lubricant in step 215, the process continues by pressing the cartridge into a top surface of a pad in step 220, twisting the cartridge to remove excess lubricant from the projectile component (and from the cartridge casing, if applicable) in step 225, and removing the cartridge from the pad in step 230. The process also includes loading the cartridge into an ammunition magazine or chamber of a firearm in step 235 before terminating the process in step 240.
 A cartridge thus processed will lubricate internal mechanisms of the firearm as the cartridge is chambered and as the projectile is fired from the barrel. The application process described above with reference to FIG. 2 may be performed manually, although automated or semi-automated means could also be used for one or more steps described with reference to FIG. 2 according to application demands.
Other Application Methods
 In an alternative embodiment, a user could apply the firearm lubricant directly to a slide, bolt, feed ramp, magazine, or other internal firearm mechanism or surface, for instance using a brush (e.g. a small paintbrush) to reduce the incidence of jamming and/or to achieve other benefits described above.
 The firearm lubricant can also be used on exterior firearm surfaces to prevent corrosion. Again, a user could apply the firearm lubricant disclosed herein with a brush (e.g. a small paintbrush). Alternatively, the user could use a firearm lubricant with a concentration of glycerin in the range of about 8-10% by volume to apply the firearm lubricant with a spray applicator.
 FIG. 3 is a perspective view of a firearm lubricant container, according to an embodiment of the invention. The container may be used, for instance, to perform the cartridge lubricating process described above with reference to FIG. 2. As illustrated in FIG. 3, a cylindrical container 305 may encompass a firearm lubricant 310 and a pad 315. The firearm lubricant 310 may be as described above under the heading of the same name. The pad 315 may be or include, for instance, an open-cell/urethane-ether foam as described in Appendix 3. The container 305 preferably also includes a lid (not shown).
 Variations to the configuration illustrated in FIG. 3 and described above are possible. For instance, in alternative embodiments, the container 305 could have a different shape. The pad 315 could be manufactured from solid foam not consistent with the one described in Appendix 3. In addition, the size and shape of the pad 315 could also be varied, according to design choice.
 Embodiments of the invention thus provide an improved firearm lubricant, methods for applying such a lubricant to a cartridge or other surface, and a container for the firearm lubricant.
 Embodiments of the invention provide many potential benefits. For example, consistent firearm lubrication as disclosed herein may reduce friction on feed ramps and other internal firearm mechanisms and/or to resist corrosion on external firearm surfaces. The firearm lubricant may also reduce fouling by providing a barrier between the projectile jacket and the inside surface of the barrel. Advantageously, the after market lubrication of cartridges may reduce the frequency of breakdown that is necessary to maintain a firearm. Empirical results also indicate that the disclosed lubricant and application method improve projectile velocity to the target (to a varying degree, depending upon projectile caliber and other factors).
 Those skilled in the art can readily recognize that numerous variations and substitutions may be made in the invention, its use, and its configuration to achieve substantially the same results as achieved by the embodiments described herein. Accordingly, there is no intention to limit the invention to the disclosed exemplary forms.
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