Reviews

CherryBalmz Black Rifle Balm

It pains me to say it, but it looks like CherryBalmz is no more. I wish this wasn’t the case because I became really fond of their Black Rifle Balm gun grease as my go to lubrication for the firearms I run hard.

Debates about which firearm lubricant is best are some of the most heated debates I’ve been involved in second only to cartridge debates. I find it fascinating seeing how polarizing the discussions can get. Folks certainly have their favorites and they aren’t shy about letting you know it. Dissenting opinions are considered blasphemous. To make matters worse, new gun owners are often on the quest to find the best of best for their new mechanical devices and are often overwhelmed by what seem to be dozens of religious proclamations until they are discouraged enough to settle for whatever is on sale at their local big box store or local gun store. And then there are folks like me who want to try different things to see what works better for certain applications and seem to catch gazes that suggest such behavior is adulterous or promiscuous since we haven’t loyally committed ourselves to a lifelong relationship with a singular product. It’s absolutely wild.

Now I’m not a lubricant expert. My knowledge of mechanical engineering and chemical engineering is limited to that of a layman and a hobbyist. That said I’ve been lubricating firearms and sending lead downrange with them a fair bit over the past several years. I’d venture so far as to say I’ve done more of that than the average person but certainly less than top tier professionals. With that experience, I’ve formed two arguably educated opinions. The first is that there is no magical lubricant that is best for all applications and environments. The second is that well established brand name lubricants work sufficiently well for the average person with the exception of some edge cases which leaves plenty of room for personal preference.

Black Rifle Balm from CherryBalmz is a grease that came highly recommended from a few trusted sources, some of which are firearms instructors. Given I had noticed that the firearms I used in high round count courses appeared to be pretty dry following a full day of training, my curiosity for a well recommended grease was piqued and I decided to order some and give it a try. This was a little over a year ago. 

My first impression was that the grease was a little overpriced compared to other gun greases in the market in terms of price per ounce, but there were other greases that were even higher priced. Nevertheless, I gave it a try and I’m glad that I did. The H&K VP9 and the Daniel Defense DDM4 were the first firearms I tried the grease on. They both ran flawlessly and I found to remain well lubricated even after a full day of training in high round count classes. In fact, the VP9 has made it through several multi-day classes without a problem and was far from dry afterwards.  It didn’t take long before I was running the Black Rifle Balm exclusively on firearms that were getting frequent high volume use and, as of writing this post, I still do.

Is it truly a superior secret gun grease formula? Or is it a decent well known grease formula with added coloring and scents that some folks have accused CherryBalmz of manufacturing and selling? I don’t know. All I know is it has worked well for me and I’ve been impressed by it. So much so that I wholeheartedly recommended the product until a few months back when the manufacturer started doing some fishy things.

What things?

On April 29th, 2022, CherryBalmz sent out an email blast indicating that supply chain problems were going to impact production of the Black Rifle Balm and remaining stock was all that was left until they could reformulate the product. I jumped at the chance of stocking up on the product and placed an order on May 10th, a few weeks after the announcement, since their website made it seem like there was still stock available. Three weeks followed without a shipping notification. I figured they were getting slammed with orders and were backed up, but I decided to inquire on the status of my order via email just to be sure there wasn’t some other problem. The very next day I received an email indicating they ran out of bottling supplies and a supply chain issue on those was delaying order fulfillment which they expected to be resolved in another six weeks or so. Okay, fine. This was inline with what I suspected and kept on waiting. Two months later I sent a follow up email. Crickets followed. I sent yet another email about a month after that, but the radio silence continues. Sadly I now suspect the rumors of the company closing up shop while the website still appears to be accepting orders might be true. This is admittedly speculation on my part, but in my opinion is the most likely conclusion.

As much as I would like to recommend Black Rifle Balm to others given how well it has worked for me, I can only suggest that folks do what I’m doing now and look for an alternative. Unfortunately at this point, unless my conclusion is wrong and there is a good explanation for the radio silence and shipping delays, I don’t think I will use the product again once I run out.

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