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Ballistol (meaning 'Ballistic Oil') is a mineral oil-based chemical which advertises that it has many uses. It was originally intended for cleaning, lubricating, and protecting firearms. The product originated from Germany before World War I, after the German military requested an 'all-around' oil and cleaner for their rifles and equipment. The German military used it from 1905 to 1945.
The chemical is a yellowish clear liquid with a consistency expected of a light oil. However, when it comes in contact with water it emulsifies, becoming a thick creamy white substance. It has a sweet and mildly pungent smell similar to black licorice. It is distributed in liquid and aerosol forms. The aerosol uses butane or propane as a propellant.
It advertises it has no carcinogens. Some other similar chemicals contain petro-chemicals which can pollute the environment if improperly handled, and can damage the 'seasoning' developed on the bore of a black-powder gun.
(according to a specification from December 2002)
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