History of Ballistol


BALLISTOL has been produced and sold worldwide for more than four generations. Originally developed for the imperial army as a weapon maintenance oil, BALLISTOL soon became an indispensable household remedy in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Millions of consumers have used and experimented with BALLISTOL, thus finding surprisingly many ways and cases of employing it, also with human beings and animals.

How BALLISTOL came into existence
In 1874 Friedrich Wilhelm Klever, a lawyer interested in the field of economy, founded the F.W. Klever Chemical Plant in Cologne, Germany. He began producing oils and fats on the basis of coal. To be independent of the delivery of raw materials, he bought a coal mine.Around the turn of the 20th century the imperial army was in need of a universal oil, which was not only suitable for maintaining the metal parts of guns but also for the upkeep and preservation of wooden stocks and leather gear. Simultaneously, it had to serve the soldiers as a wound oil for minor injuries, lacerations and bruises.


It was Dr. Helmut Klever, then lecturer for chemistry at the Technical University of Karlsruhe and the son of the founder of the Chemical Plant, who succeeded in finding the formula for a special oil. He coined the name BALLISTOL by combining the technical term ballistics and the Latin word for oil oleum. Only after a short while BALLISTOL managed to establish itself as a "wonder oil" due to its incredible, often miraculous qualities. It was used by the German Army from 1905 to 1945. The brand name BALLISTOL survived all the historical turbulences of our century and became a standing expression, a technical term, for hunters, shooters, anglers and many more. It is not exaggerated to claim that BALLISTOL has become a synonym for quality and versatility.

Weakened by two world wars, which only the subsidiary plant in Leverkusen, Germany, survived, the demise of the traditional brand name BALLISTOL was almost complete. Yet recognising the potential of the brand name BALLISTOL, in 1970 young Chemist Dr. Heinrich Zettler dauntlessly took over the leadership of the company. He gradually built the company up again to a profitable and internationally operating brand name manufacturer. After becoming Managing Director, in 1981, together with his wife Herta, Dr. Heinrich Zettler was able to take over the company itself and transfer its ownership to the Zettler family. Since that time, the company has continually expanded, production has increased, and the product range has expanded to include more than 50 products.


Dr. Heinrich Zettler resigned as Managing Director in 2006, handing the management of the company to his sons, Dr. Christian and Andreas Zettler. Traditional values, a down to earth approach and quality remain the company’s primary focus, securing valuable jobs at the production location of Germany.