You know that saying “better living through chemistry?” Well, Modern Spartan Systems (MSS) brings it to life with their environmentally friendly cleaning and lubrication products.
At SHOT Show 2017, the company participated in a range event sponsored by Anteris Alliance. That’s where I met company rep Marcus Kahn, who took time to orient guests to the company’s products. MSS isn’t just into gun maintenance. The company makes a range of industrial products for the engines and machines that help people get things done. Gearheads, especially diesel buffs, should take note of that side of the business.
But my main interest, of course, is guns. The Starter Kit, a snap-lid case with the company’s primary gun maintenance products, was supplied for review. While my sampling of the product on a striker-fired pistol plus a riflescope can never compare to the company’s demos showing reduced smoke and muzzle flash from belt-fed machine guns, I did my best to give it a chance to show what it can do to a common person’s firearm that had some accumulated carbon.
I fired approximately 350 rounds through the H&K VP9 used in this review prior to the test. However, thanks to my usual three-minutes-and-it’s-done cleaning routine, the barrel interior hadn’t been cleaned in, well, probably the last 1,000 rounds. Maybe more. Maybe I shouldn’t admit that.
Starter kit contents and evaluation
The kit contains four liquid products in two-ounce squeeze or spray bottles, and one small container resembling the old Carmex lip balm ones with a screw-on lid.
This clear liquid is designed to be applied liberally to any surface of the gun that has carbon buildup, soak there for a few minutes, and then be wiped off. It’s a very penetrating application that lifts gunk from both easily seen and deeper surfaces.
I could see the results right away when dirty liquid seeped off the locking lugs as soon as I applied it. And that’s both the good and less desirable about this product for hand-cleaning. It’s hard to soak something when you don’t want to spill out the $10 worth of contents to clean one gun. A company rep clarified that it simply shouldn’t be allowed to dry in several minutes — but even that can be a challenge if one is to clean more than one part at a time. MSS also states Carbon Destroyer is good for removing tar and bugs from automobiles, as well as for cleaning cooking grills.
This product is obviously made for the breech and barrel. It also dissolves salts and chlorides. MSS states it’s safe for all metals and won’t cause pitting.
Results here were quite similar. the lands appeared to be extra-shiny and smooth after brush and cloth treatments following exposure to Carbon Destroyer. Here again I encountered the same frustration of trying to follow the recommendation to let it stand on the part for 3-5 minutes, now with agitation, when hand cleaning. I compensated by running a patch, dampened with the product, through the barrel every minute or so. I do think it cleaned the barrel fast and well.
Spartan Accuracy Oil
This looks to be one of the company’s flagship products. It’s decidedly non-viscous as oils go, with a consistency somewhere between water and olive oil. MSS claims the oil improves accuracy, virtually eliminates friction-related malfunctions, performs as promised in any environment, makes future cleaning easier and faster, and extends barrel life. Phew! Tall order.
It’s not every day one sees instructions to oil the inside of their barrel. It was with a bit of trepidation that I swabbed not only the usual surfaces, but also the interior of the barrel, with the oil. Instructions are clear: make sure there are no visible droplets left in the bore.
Still not entirely comfortable with this, I asked my company rep how it works. It’s a molecular fix, he said, for any irregularities in the barrel surface. The oil bridges any microscopic gaps while not being penetrating. This gives the bore a more consistent surface, molecularly speaking. I presume this is why milspec rifles have shown in other tests to perform markedly better in the accuracy department after Accuracy Oil treatment.
Also of concern to me was the potential for Accuracy Oil to soak into and damage any ammunition that lives in the chamber. A couple of my firearms live like Little Caesar’s Pizza, hot and ready. To have a click and not a bang in the moment any of them is needed is something to avoid. There are no accounts, said the rep, of ammo being damaged by Accuracy Oil. He followed that with a reminder that oiled surfaces should not have any oil visible.
Instructions for achieving Spartan Accuracy Oil’s optimal effect are specific and require some on-range labor. After cleaning and applying it, including in the bore, three to five rounds are to be fired before the next bore application. The bore lube process is to be repeated thrice more, a total of five applications, for what the company calls optimization.
The application process recommended is probably more suited to bench-shooting riflemen. Long-range firing seems the ideal civilian application for Spartan Accuracy Oil. An impressive display of smaller shot groups in their promo materials, after rifles are treated with Accuracy Oil, says they’re onto a good thing. Thanks to the drills I’d planned for the outing following this treatment, I was unable to follow the protocol this time around. But there’s plenty of product left for rifle testing.
Having been unable to perceive any new effects of the oil firing from 1-25 yards with my 9mm, I sat down with the bottle and pondered what to say. “Hey, it’s nontoxic,” I thought, “why not put it on your hand and see what happens.” A single drop thoroughly covered the back of one dry, late-winter hand. And then something surprising happened. It disappeared into the lines of my skin. There was no shiny, oily appearance. Funny enough, that hand was palpably smoother, but not at all greasy, compared to the non-oiled one for the rest of the evening. These MSS people might be giving Oil of Olay some competition after gaining a foothold in the gun market!
Spartan Accuracy Grease
Spartan Accuracy Grease is a lightweight, reddish grease for very high-friction areas, and definitely is suited for military-grade full auto firearms. My humble VP9 got a dab on the slide rails. As with the other products, I found a little does go a long way. What I thought was a good amount to spread itself out turned out to be too much, and I had to wipe a bit of ooze off the frame. I fired 168 rounds the next morning, and the spot where I’d wiped never became slippery, and amazingly to me, never attracted dust, something present in abundance here in the desert. The VP9 functioned flawlessly, but that is what it normally does.
Spartan Crystal Clear
Crystal Clear is a spray-on glass cleaner. I used it on my not-very-clean riflescope after shooting a course of fire that included prone and thus, a bit of dust. It cleaned the lenses and left no streaks, even using a lens cloth I know is sweat-contaminated. Like the Carbon Destroyer and Copper/Lead Destroyer, I’m wishing it came out of the bottle as foam and not liquid, for better coverage and manageability.
Impressive torture tests
MSS shared some impressive military test videos of Spartan Accuracy Oil being used in grueling conditions, including side-by-side comparisons with competitors’ products. Reduced smoke and muzzle flash were evident advantages of Spartan Systems as a number of turret-mounted, fully automatic rifles spit out thousands of rounds.
In another test, three handguns, including a Beretta M9, a Springfield XD 45 with more than 15,000 rounds of use, and a Walter P-22 that had never worked in extreme cold before, were cleaned, treated with Spartan Accuracy Oil, and left to sit on outdoor shooting benches at -58F in Fairbanks, Alaska. With the Spartan oil, each one, including the Walther, functions without a hiccup when picked up to run two full and rapid mag dumps.
Due to copyright issues, I’m unable to share these videos. Hopefully MSS will make them publicly available at some point.
Innovation is here
Ammunition has benefited from engineering innovations in recent years. Now is the dawn of innovation in gun care. It’s quite astounding that Modern Spartan Systems has created products that are environmentally safe and—get this—have nearly no smell whatsoever, and work better at full industrial strength than many legacy products used in comparison tests.
In the $50 kit, the company supplies what looks like small doses but is really a wealth of gun maintenance resources. The super-strength nature of the products means very little product is required for them to work. I do feel the internal cleaning products are better suited to sonic cleaning devices where the recommended soaking can occur. If there’s a way to make them leave the bottle foamy, they’d be more practical for the cleaning rag/elbow grease crowd.
Modern Spartan Systems is an American, veteran-supporting company, so it’s easy to feel good about buying their products. To expand on their strong background of testing with military weapons, I think the products should be very appealing to gun owners who don’t want the entire floor of their apartment smelling like cleaning products, or whose family members who are sensitive about the odor of traditional products. There is virtually no smell and, with the regular use of accuracy oil to repel build-up, less mess over time with these products. Their high-performance effectiveness, along with being non-toxic to the user and the earth, is a winning combination.
Modern Spartan Systems is showing us the wave of the future. Might as well grab your surfboard, it’s going to be an enjoyable ride!