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Army looks for DSL Permanent Lube

Kit Up! is reporting that the U.S. Army intends to make the venerable issue lubricant CLP (Cleaner, Lubricant, and Preservative) obsolete. Evidently engineers from ARDEC (US Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center) are working at the behest of the Joint Service Small Arms Program to develop a “permanent” durable solid lubricant (or DSL) for such weapon systems as the M4 and M240 MG.

Says defense reporter Matt Cox,

DSL…uses a dry surface treatment that’s applied during the manufacturing process and has the potential to improve performance on any number of small arms while decreasing maintenance, according to an Army press release.

The Army maintains that if all goes well, DSL will make CLP obsolete.

“The intent of the DSL (durable solid lubricant) is to eliminate the need for CLP (cleaner, lubricant, and preservative) in all environments,” said Cassandra Mainierol, a spokesman for Picatinny Arsenal.

So far the DSL has been applied to small and medium caliber weapons, such as the M4A1 Carbine and machine guns like the M240 to demonstrate the technology capability, said Adam Foltz, an experimental engineer at ARDEC.

Army engineers compared two M4 bolt and bolt carriers, one treated with DSL and one with CLP. The standard lubricant showed a complete loss of phosphate on approximately 75 percent of the bolt carrier and 90 percent of the bolt. However, the one treated with DSL showed less than 5 percent wear on the bolt and bolt carrier.

This shows a lot of promise, but weapons experts say that’s it’s highly likely that DSL will applied mainly to bolts and bolt carriers and not to charging handles, buffer springs and other weapons parts.

Weapon lubricants are frequently as much a point of contention as the weapons they’re intended to service. Arguments about Fireclean, Slip 2000, Froglube and good old fashioned motor oil are damn near as common now as the tired old Glock vs. M&P debate, and often more rancorous.

It will be interesting to see if the hoped-for DSL Permanent Lube actually works, and if so whether its efficacy will impact the civilian lubricant market. Read the original article in its entirety right here.


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