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Ballistol (meaning 'Ballistic Oil') is a mineral oil-based chemical which advertises that it has many uses. It is manufactured and distributed by Ballistol GmbH in the Bavarian village of Aham and 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.
According to a specification from December 2002:
- pharmaceutical white oil: CAS RN 8042-47-5
- Oleic acid: CAS RN 112-80-1
- C-5 alcohols: CAS RN 78-83-1; CAS RN 137-32-6; CAS RN 100-51-6
- different essential oils to perfume Ballistol
- Mineral Oil (liquid paraffin)
- Potassium Oleate
- Ammonium Oleate
- Benzyl Alcohol
- Amyl Alcohol
- Isobutyl Alcohol
- Benzyl Acetate
- Isohexane (aerosol only)