One of the most tedious and least glamorous parts of the whole hunting, fishing, and shooting game is gear maintenance. Though it can be a lot of work and will typically be the last thing a hunter or angler will want to do after a long day in the woods or on the water, it is obviously crucial to the longevity of often expensive equipment. Rust, in particular, is the most ruthless enemy of outdoor equipment, attacking quickly and silently, rotting out fishing equipment and wreaking havoc on the appearance, function, and value of firearms.
Recently, I was sent a sample of a new weapon in the battle against rust; a multi-purpose cleaner, lubricant, and rust remover/preventative called Brownpolymer, which is manufactured by Enjen Joes of Fulton, New York.
Always being eager to try out a new product, I devised a brief series of simple tests, and got to work putting Brownpolymer through the wringer.
Browpolymer is sold as a multi-purpose lubricant/cleaner that will waterproof metal and wood surfaces, remove rust from metal, reduce friction between metal parts, and will prevent copper and lead fouling inside of rifle and shotgun bores while also increasing muzzle velocity. Additional technical information on the product can be found HERE.
To apply Brownpolymer, simply dab a small amount of the product onto a cotton rag and then vigorously buff it onto a metal or wooden surface. According to product literature, Browploymer must be rubbed to a very thin, invisible, layer as allowing it to remain too thick on the surface of an object will result in the collection of dirt and debris. A very small amount of the product covers a surprisingly extensive amount of surface area. Should Brownpolymer need to be removed, turpentine is the recommended solvent.
A characteristic of the product I appreciated immediately upon opening the jar was the lack of noxious fumes. Many products designed for cleaning and treating outdoor equipment are harsh and unpleasant to work with. Brownpolymer, by contrast, had a pleasing, sweet aroma. I worked with it indoors and never once felt overwhelmed or nauseous.
My first use of Brownpolymer was on my well-worn and battle scarred Remington 870 in 20-guage. I received this gun a gift for my 11th birthday and in the 21 years of its operational life, I’ve used it to bag more game than any of my other guns combined. Inevitably, the gun’s stock bears extensive dings and scratches resulting from countless hard hikes through blackberry brambles and cedar swamps. Some surface rust had also formed on sections of the barrel and receiver, the result of a few periods of a shameful lack of cleaning and proper storage.
Vigorously rubbing Brownpolymer into the 870’s stock diminished the appearance of the scratches and appeared to form a protective coating over areas where the finish had worn off. After treatment with Brownpolymer, a small amount of water dribbled onto the gun’s buttstock beaded up and ran off as though the it had just received a fresh coat of polyurethane finish. Brownpolymer also quickly lifted and removed light surface rust that had begun to form on parts of the barrel.
Upon removing the trigger assembly from the gun, I noticed that minor corrosion had begun to form on the critical parts that comprised the assembly. Application of Brownpolymer quickly removed this rust.
I also ran a swab of Brownpolymer down the bore of my new Zastava M85. I had previously cleaned the bore using the typically harsh and noxious type of solvent found in most gun cleaning kits. Interestingly, Brownpolymer lifted fouling (presumably deposited during test firing at the factory) from the bore that had been left by the other solvent.
My final test of the product involved a use not specified in its accompanying literature. One of my favorite pairs of hiking boots had become a little too broken in. While this condition makes them exceptionally comfortable during long days afield, it also means they no longer shed water, instead absorbing it with sponge-like efficiency. A brief walk through wet grass results in soaked feet.
It occurred to me that rubbing Brownpolymer into the leather portions of the boots might help to revitalize them, allowing me to wear them for another season or two without having perpetually wet feet. After massaging in some Brownpolymer, water beaded and ran off the boots rather than soaking in.
The Bottom Line
Overall, I was impressed with how efficiently Brownpolymer removed rust fouling from my firearms and with how effectively it repels water. Additionally, I appreciated how a little of the product went a very long way. I used Brownpolymer to treat three firearms and waterproof a pair of boots, and I barely put a dent in the 2-ounce jar I had on hand. I am comfortable recommending Brownpolymer as an addition to any gun room or workshop. (23)