Re: Gun Maintenance Supplies to put back……..

[Note from Rourke: This is in response to Gun Maintenance Supplies to put back……



Motor Oil on firearms? Please not unless it is a life threatening emergency. Back in the dark ages when I was young, I used motor oil on a fine hump back original Browning shotgun that was not used much. Several years later the action wouldn’t open (I live in a low humidity area where a coat of oil may protect for years). The oil had congealed into a dark brown mass. I had to remove the furniture and soak the receiver in acetone. Never made that mistake again. Car oil is formulated differently than gun oil. Please never use motor oil on nicely machined firearms.


Forward three decades to my first East African safari. The PH had me take a handful of Masaai cross country in one of his Landcruisers. En route, I ran over an acacia thorn and punctured a truck tire. The head man said, “Oh, bwana, not good, not good.” We had two mounted tires and a high lift jack. I didn’t see the problem and pointed to the jack. Head man replied, “No bwana, jack no work. Send warriors nearest camp (to bring back enough help Aggie style to manually lift the Landcruiser),”


Most ranchers are well familiar with high lift jack troubles that tend to concentrate around two steel pins and associated too weak actuating springs (some day, I shall machine stainless steel jack pins and flog those on the market). I ordered the head man to have the high lift and a tire removed anyway. He manipulated the lift lever and demonstrated how one could jack and jack and the lift never rise. Oh ho! I thought, realizing the pins were frozen with the African dust just like they do with Texas dust. I asked the head man if he would like to see white man magic and he danced back a little not knowing what unexpected thing might happen. I had him gather the warriors in a circle around the broken high lift and then he and I joined the circle for some real witchcraft. I told him, in order to produce the magic, everyone must do just like me. I pissed on the offending jack pins and nodded for everyone to join me. One warrior couldn’t piss and I later awarded him a can of Tusker beer in consolation. When the jack was well awash, I had the head man take it over by the bonnet and prop it against the bumper. I raised the hood, removed the dip stick and dripped engine oil on the jack pins. I replaced the dipstick into the engine and dripped it onto the pins several times. Next I took a lug wrench and beat the high lift around the pins all the while loudly chanting “Work offending jack.” Thereafter I demonstrated a working high lift and the power of white man magic.


So Rourke, motor oil has non-engine use but only on non-precision machinery, like high lift jacks.



Panhandle Rancher


PS note:


Nothing said here intended to demean. Masaai usage was echoed. I have the utmost admiration for these brave and hardiest of men and have put my life into their hands many times. We all could learn brush craft from them. Their tracking abilities are the very best. Civilizations tend to concentrate knowledge in different areas. We so called Judeo Christians worship much on the altar of technology. Masaai worship a two part Ngai. Ngai Narok which is good and benevolent and is black and Ngai Na-nyokie, which is angry and red (like the British perhaps?). Masaai are consummate survivors, woodsmen all, trackers unexcelled.





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  1. Excellent story and very good use of old fashion ingenuity. I have found that a little pee and some oil fixes a lot of different things. Over my life time it has always been the old way that ends up fixing things while the new technology sit by and watches. Great post.

  2. Before the British forced them to give up their native ways of doing things, the Masai were the baddest of the bad. They used to raid their neighbors and fight them and steal their stuff. Pretty impressive when you consider that their neighbors used bows and the Masai spears. No lack of guts there. You had to kill a lion with your spear to be a man, kinda weeded out the sissies.

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