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 Anyone heard of the new Otis ceramic barrel liner product?
husker_t  [Team Member]
5/30/2008 11:44:59 AM EDT
Otis has come out with a new product called "LifeLiner", which according to descriptions of it, "provides a ceramic coating that allows the bullet to glide down the barrel on an atoms-thin liner that protects the metal from contact with the bullet."

Otis's page:
Otis LifeLiner Page
Article about LifeLiner at Police One

The idea in short is as follows:
- You coat your barrel with this liquid ceramic stuff.
- You fire a series of rounds through it, which fuses the ceramics to the bore.
- The ceramic coating provides a super-thin barrier or "liner" in your bore.
- The bore liner extends bore life, increases velocity, and eases cleaning, for 15K to 20K rounds, which is practically a lifetime for most firearms.
- One order of the stuff costs $80 and coats 6 pistols or 3 rifles.

Now I will admit that Otis's marketing people used some hype in describing this product, which tends to set off one's bs-meter. There are already a host of useless chemical products on the market, all of them described by fancy-shmancy terms such as: "Applies a polar-bonded trans-mogrified retrographic sub-atomic stratum to the...." blah blah blah. We've all heard it before, and it tends to make you cynical.

However, I do technical documentation for a living, and poorly described products do not necessarily equate to products that don't work. And they do make some very specific claims that could be tested and proved (or disproved) in a laboratory. For example: "Applied in a liquid form, atomic sized particles embed in the metal surface and form a ceramic metal fusion composite that nears 80 Rockwell hardness, effectively nearly 800% harder than the best chromium plated barrels today." I don't know if this is true or not, but their CLAIM is very clear, and IF true, it could be very useful. The ceramics really COULD be harder than a chrome-lined barrel, and IF the stuff will stay in place, it really could be effective. My single greatest point of skepticism about the product is, even if it really does "bond" these ceramics to your bore, is the heat and pressure of bullets being fired enough to bond the stuff so that it stays put? Or will it just wash out after a few weeks (like most miracle car waxes) and leave you about where you were before?

Ordinarily the Otis company has a great reputation and they make high quality products. For instance, I use their cleaning kits, and many people are extremely impressed with the ingenuity, quality, and reasonable price of these kits. Otis has spent 3 years and a lot of research on this LifeLiner thing, and I believe that at the very least, they THINK this is a great product. Their plan is actually to sell this stuff to Federal LE agencies and the military, with the pitch being to ease maintenance and extend the life of service rifles including M16's and M4's. So, hopefully it turns out to be the real deal, and not another snake oil.

Either way, I won't be the first to try this. But I can't wait to hear from someone who actually tries it, or gives a good review of the product. I hope it works, sounds really cool in principle.

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pyro6988  [Team Member]
5/30/2008 12:34:28 PM EDT

I am not buying it though.
Tempest45  [Member]
5/30/2008 12:44:51 PM EDT
The extreme pressure additives in Weapon Shield, FP10 and a few others micro-polish the bore, closing the "pores", and leave a film that reduces friction, reduces wear, and rejects fouling. All at a fraction of what this stuff costs, and in an everyday use product.

Guess which one I use.
husker_t  [Team Member]
5/30/2008 12:46:43 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Tempest45:
The extreme pressure additives in Weapon Shield, FP10 and a few others micro-polish the bore, closing the "pores", and leave a film that reduces friction, reduces wear, and rejects fouling. All at a fraction of what this stuff costs, and in an everyday use product.

Guess which one I use.

It's true that some of these products coat the bore. In fact, some LE agencies have used CorrosionX and found that it actually increased the velocity of the ammunition fired from bores that were conditioned with CorrosionX. I have used CorrosionX a lot and really like it, and Mpro-7 CLP for that matter, and I'm sure several of these better quality synthetic lubes are similar in their effects, as we discussed in another thread.

Of course, the CLAIM being made by Otis is that this stuff is much harder, and will last longer. I guess that's the part that remains to be seen.
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Blankwaffe98  [Member]
5/30/2008 2:22:51 PM EDT
Folks go off the deep end about PTFE from an oil being in a barrel and then we see all these majic ballistic treating compounds.
Man moly has been used on bullets to gain the same effect for years.Personally I dont by any of the claims,ads and have seen no advantage.I absolutely have no use for moly coated bullets either.
Fact of the matter is that you either have a good smooth bore or you dont.You can improve the bores surface slightly by polishing the bore with a specific compound.
If its hard chromed freakin forget about it.
Otherwise the surface of the bore is only as good as how well it was finished by the manufacturer.The more you use the weapon the more wear it will have.
I dont care what you put in the bore,the pressures and temps far exceed anything that you can apply other than hard chrome...which is by the way not perfect or smooth and considered by some to hurt accuracy,especially when you start to get wear in the leade as the chrome surface starts to fail.
I would not worry about trying to treat the bores with some majical solution.Just keep the bores maintained/protected and shoot the darn thing.When the barrel wears out just replace it.
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