Do you mean the 'banjo' type...? Or the larger square type tin with either the brass or steel nozzle...? Banjo type was usually in the M1912 .45 pistol cleaning kit. In WW1 they were brass...WW2 were steel.
They are out there. I picked up 4 cans (all they had) of light oil ("PL") at a gun show right before Christmas for $2/can. Sorry, but my find isn't for sale.
PL viscosity is about like sewing machine oil. There is also medium oil ("PM") with a consistency like manual transmission oil (75 to 90 weight) at room temperature which was probably for high climatic heat areas and possibly (?) there is a heavy grade ("PH"???) although I've never seen it.
The cans that I have are WWII vintage because the contract info on the can is '44 (PL) or '45 (PM) dated. Presumably they were to fit into a ctg bandoleer along with bore cleaner.
It's good oil to use although more modern lubricants like LSA are probably better for their given use. LSA is difficult to wash off (try getting it off of your hands after oiling a firearm with it. Takes a lot of soap and scrubbing.) So, LSA is better for rainy/damp conditions which was the original Vietnam era purpose. Of course there's the ultra modern stuff like "froglube," tetra-grease, teflon based stuff, etc., etc. but for my money LSA is cheap, available and most importantly proven. The only place I don't use LSA is where lubriplate is called for on M1/M14 type arms. BTW, LSA is actually a "flowable" grease and you need to shake the container well before use.
Thank you for the great info, will be checking gun shows and the up coming military vehicle show in April.
Did the can show up in the Korea era ?? If so, they would work for me, till I find some WWII cans.
Got some more homework to do.
Thank you for your answers
They may have showed up in the Korean War era. I have not seen pictures of them in WWII manuals but there is so much to learn about that stuff. We had cans like that in the National Guard back in the 60's. I looked around but couldn't find any. I did find cans that are exactly the same 2oz cans but for bore cleaner, labeled "Cleaning Compound Solvent Rifle Bore Cleaner" dated 9/59. There was also a can slightly taller but still 2oz that was oval shaped on the top and bottom. No date but it has ORD-2217(52). Maybe the "52" was a date. The oil we got back then was mostly in 8oz cans or 4oz cans labeled (0-190) PL-S Lubricating Oil General Purpose".
Sorry didn't read the previous post looks like they did show up in WWII. I remember seeing cans of bore cleaner that contained Hoppes #9 rather than the later bore cleaner I always assumed they were WWII issue
Someplace I heard that those smaller cans were designed to fit in the soldiers cartridge belt. pockets. Maybe maybe not.
A forum community dedicated to Browning 1919 A4 firearm owners and enthusiasts. Come join the discussion about performance, gunsmithing, restoration, troubleshooting, reviews, accessories, classifieds, and more!