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Old April 22, 2013, 12:36 PM   #1
Pops1085
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Oil, how much is enough?

I have my first handgun and I am a little confused as to what lightly lubricate means. I don't want to over or under lube my guns and have no military or law enforcement training on how to maintain your weapon so I was hoping somebody could tell me the pros recommend you do it.

So to reiterate, how much oil is enough on a 1911 and how do you apply it??
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Old April 22, 2013, 12:42 PM   #2
Carne Frio
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Here is a good tutorial that covers the topic very well:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AahroOg68g4
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Old April 22, 2013, 01:37 PM   #3
BigJimP
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1911's like to run on the "wet" side....

Don't put so much oil on it ...that it splatters back on your shirt...but in general:

a. I oil the frame - the rails where the slide and frame slide..../ oil both slide and frame.

b. I oil the inside of slide - where barrel bushing fits into the slide ..and I oil outside and inside of bushing too.

c. I oil the grooves in the top of the slide...where the barrel locks into slide.

d. On barrel, I oil the whole barrel - more toward front than back ...and the link.
------------
You don't want a lot of oil seeping down inside the frame ...but you don't want the trigger to be dry ( but you should learn how to break the gun down to a bare frame....to lube the trigger, the channel it rides in, main spring, hammer strut, other pins, etc ....and extractor (whether internal or external ) ...and the firing pin spring inside the slide.

Recoil spring / guide rod - don't need much....
-------
Then just wipe it down and shoot it ...
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Old April 22, 2013, 05:45 PM   #4
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my brother likes to lather his guns in oil...first shot feels like you just took a shower in lube, not to mention if your not wearing your eye protection you get some very painful liquid in the peepers....dont do that

the link a few posts above looks good
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Old April 22, 2013, 05:48 PM   #5
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If you think you are using too much, you likely are. Oil like mentioned above and then wipe off the excess.
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Old April 22, 2013, 06:58 PM   #6
Misssissippi Dave
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I like a light film of Brian Enos' Slide Glide Lite on the rails of my pistols and the outside of the barrel. I apply it with a Q-tip. Everything else gets a light coating of gun oil. I use a large patch folded once or twice and apply the oil to the patch for the outside of the gun. Most say if you can touch the slide with a thumb and it leaves a print you have enough. If I can get to pivot points or the sear with a needle oiler I will place one drop there as well. Sometimes just a drop or two on a Q-tip and a light wipe is all that is needed for some of those harder to reach areas. On the inside of the barrel once it is clean, I pass one oiled patch followed buy one dry patch. This leaves a very light coating of oil enough to reduce any corrosion.

I don't think I have read the above thread yet.
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Old April 22, 2013, 07:12 PM   #7
ClydeFrog
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Guides, tips...

Mpro7.com puts out a good ref guide to for gun owners & armed professionals.
See; www.mpro7.com .
Their top rated CLP; LPX is great for general cleaning/gun care.
As stated, less is more. Save the oil for your salad or your sub; .

Also see: www.brownells.com www.gunvideo.com www.nra.org www.deltapress.com www.midwayusa.com .
Midway USA, a long time source for shooters & hunters, has a cleaning video on the main website.

Good CLPs to me include: LPX, Weaponshield, Ballistol, Slip2000 & Gunzilla.

CF
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Old April 22, 2013, 07:54 PM   #8
Dfariswheel
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Also remember that lubricating a firearm is not like oil in a car.
In a car you just change the oil when it gets dirty.

In guns oil tends to evaporate, run off, wick out, dry out, and sling off.
In other words, gun lubricants go away.
People are shocked to lubricate a gun, then check it a few weeks later to find it dry.
Dry guns are not reliable.

Some lubricants are better about staying put and some people use a small amount of grease on key areas like the slide and frame rails and the outside of the barrel.
Bottom line is to lubricate the gun then check it fairly often.
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Old April 22, 2013, 07:59 PM   #9
444
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A couple drops of oil is plenty to lubricate any gun. And I mean drops spread out in the various parts that need lubrication.

Excess oil attracts dirt, lint, powder fouling............... it gets on your clothes. It gets sprayed around when you fire it..............

That being said, it is important. Even critical.
But in moderation.
Light means light.
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Old April 22, 2013, 10:36 PM   #10
Pops1085
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So keep oiling but not too much and switch to grease because it stays put. Got it but as far as applying it do you put it on the gun do you use a rag or a qtip or just your fingers??
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Old April 22, 2013, 11:06 PM   #11
ClydeFrog
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Me?...

If it were me, I'd use a light coat(and I mean 2/3 small drops) of a CLP like LPX or Gunzilla or spray a light amount of Ballistol on a clean, lint free cloth/rag & wipe off the surfaces.
Ballistol is handy because its good on wood, ordinance grade metal, rubber, etc. it's non toxic & CFC free. A can could last you 5/6 years easy.

Plus, you can also use it around your home or work shed.

CF
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Old April 23, 2013, 03:02 PM   #12
Rinspeed
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Other than getting all over your clothes and hands you can't really use too much oil. Not all gun oils are created equal either, I like FP-10 and Weapon Shield but there are a bunch of others that work well. For the rails I also am a huge fan of Slide Glide Lite just because it stays put.
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Old April 23, 2013, 03:53 PM   #13
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I tend to err on the size of "over-oiling", if there be such a thing. I use a teflon-based lube that I got years ago and cannot even read the label any more, so I can't tell you exactly what it is I'm using, but any metal surface that might ride against another metal surface gets coated - and I mean coated - with lube. Slide rails, swinging links, lug grooves in the slide, hammer, grip safety - all of these things get special attention. By that I mean they get coated, then get a few extra drops just as a precaution. By the time I am finished re-assembling the pistol, it is dripping out of every groove and orifice - but a couple of thorough wipe-downs with a microfiber towel wicks up the excess and the result is an uber-slick action that I never worry about being under-lubricated. And I don't have any issues with my pistol picking up debris in the action (though I don't drag it through laundry lint or dust either).
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Old April 23, 2013, 04:02 PM   #14
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From reading all the responses to the OP's question, I think there are as many views on lubricating pistols as there are pistols themselves. lots of good information here. The standard I go by is to use the amount that will assure proper functioning through any activity I'm intending to engage in - I lube lightly for a 30 round target match and more heavily for a 200 round practice session . I don't like dry rails especially.

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Old April 23, 2013, 04:07 PM   #15
Gaerek
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When I got my first handgun, I had the same issue. Having no idea what lightly lubricate means. Then it was explained like this. Actually, part of it has been mentioned already:

Quote:
If you think you are using too much, you likely are.
The second part to that is this:

If you think you're not using enough, you're likely using enough.

Oh, and a lot the time it really depends on the gun. 1911's tend to like more oil than most Striker fired guns. Glocks on the other hand, well, over lubrcating can actually cause malfunctions. You need very little oil on a Glock.
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Old April 23, 2013, 06:21 PM   #16
444
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I got the whole "two drop" thing from a Glock Armors class.
They made a point that you should use two drops and no more.

Over lubrication isn't an issue during "normal" plinking/target shooting. However, when I have taken formal classes where you shoot A LOT of ammo per day, when you take the gun apart, there is almost "mud" in there. I realized early on that this excessive lubrication was unneeded and IMO could present problems.

With a carry gun, you do accumulate lint and it sticks to oil and grease. In addition, you are carrying the gun underneath your clothing. Excess oil comes off on your clothes.

On most of the guns I own, I over lubricate them. That is, over lubrication from my point of view which is way less than some others have posted. I know I am not going to be getting them super dirty. I am not going to carry them. So, I figure that in addition to preventing wear and promoting smooth operation, it also provides rust protection.

I guess it depends on what you do with your guns as to whether this is an issue. If you arn't having any negative issues with over lubrication, that is certainly better than no lubrication.
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You know the rest. In the books you have read
How the British Regulars fired and fled,
How the farmers gave them ball for ball,
From behind each fence and farmyard wall,
Chasing the redcoats down the lane,
Then crossing the fields to emerge again
Under the trees at the turn of the road,
And only pausing to fire and load.
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Old April 23, 2013, 06:57 PM   #17
Dfariswheel
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as far as applying it do you put it on the gun do you use a rag or a qtip or just your fingers??

Whatever works for you. There's no "Right" way to apply lubricant.
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Old April 23, 2013, 06:59 PM   #18
Dfariswheel
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as far as applying it do you put it on the gun do you use a rag or a qtip or just your fingers??

Whatever works for you. There's no "Right" way to apply lubricant.

People use hollow needle tip oilers, artist's brushes, drops from the container nozzle, etc.
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Old April 23, 2013, 11:22 PM   #19
saleen322
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I have used ATF for years, it works great. Here is a clip from Grant Cunningham on gun oils:

Quote:
Cut to the chase! What should I use?
Let's start with oil. Most people use oils that are way too heavy; thicker is not better! Use a relatively thin oil with the correct properties, and use it very sparingly - most "oil failures" I've seen have been from too much, rather than too little, oil.

Frankly, in terms of mechanical performance, most oils "work"; some are better than others, but everything will make parts move for a while. The weakest area of most oils is in corrosion resistance - and on a gun, corrosion is a bad thing! There have been lots of claims, but those people who have actually taken the time to run experiments to test corrosion on steel have found that the products with the greatest hype are often the worst at corrosion resistance. Not surprisingly, plain mineral oils, such as Rem Oil, score at the very bottom of the list.

One product that scores pretty well in corrosion testing is also the readily available and dirt cheap. It also has good migration, a good boundary lubrication package, is the right weight (thickness) for general firearms use, doesn't oxidize over long periods of storage, and is compatible with a wide range of metals and plastics. In addition, it is recommended by at least one real degreed firearms engineer! Just what is this miracle elixir??

Dexron-type Automatic Transmission Fluid (ATF). That's right, plain ol' ATF. The kind you get at every gas station, auto parts store, and even most convenience stores. Synthetic or regular, either will work just fine. ATF is not perfect, however; it does have a slight odor to it, the red dye used to differentiate it from motor oil will stain, and it’s not non-toxic. If you find those attributes objectionable, a decent alternative that is still readily available is "NyOil." Check your local auto parts store, in the aisle where they keep the miscellaneous lubricants and additives.)

If we were to spec out a "best in class" oil, it would be one made for lubricating food processing machiner, like Lubriplate's FMO-AW oil (specifically the 350-AW weight.) Food grade lubricants have to prevent wear in sometimes corrosive environments and they have to do so even after being wiped off of the surface they’re protecting! They have good boundary protection and very high corrosion resistance especially in the presence of acids, alkalis, and moisture. They’re darned near tailor-made for our use!
http://www.grantcunningham.com/lubricants101.html
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Old April 24, 2013, 01:20 PM   #20
Skans
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Depends on the gun. I just very lightly coat areas where there is metal on metal contact. Sometimes I just put a drop on my fingertip and gently wipe it on the metal parts, swab the barrel with a lightly oiled tab after its clean - that's about it.
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Old April 24, 2013, 06:15 PM   #21
marine6680
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For me...

Do keep in mind what finish your gun has. Some finishes, like blueing, need to have oil on the whole surface, even non-contact and non-wear areas, simply for rust prevention.

A light coating for that application is just enough that if you was to touch the gun with clean fingers, you would feel just a little oil, and the metal should have a slight sheen. Basically, just barely there is good.

Areas of movement but light stress, they need just a little bit more oil than that.

Areas of movement and high stress, like slide rails, need a bit more still. Maybe the amount left when using a qtip with a few drops on it, or maybe a finger wet with oil. Its not dripping, but its obviously there. Some people like using grease in these areas. I do personally. But use a light grease if you do.


There are many ways and opinions on gun maintenance. And all guns are different with different needs.

The more you maintain the gun, the better you will understand it and how to do it well. Just be conscious of what you are doing and why, just give it some consideration and thought as you work.

Instruction is always good to prevent major screw ups and point you in the right general direction, but you gain a lot by just getting down to it hands on.

(I for one used to be OCD level with cleaning and lubing, but not any more, As I learned what works, what doesn't and what was unneeded or wastes of time.)
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Old April 24, 2013, 08:06 PM   #22
KyJim
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The single best invention for applying oil: http://www.brownells.com/gunsmith-to...prod44434.aspx
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Old April 25, 2013, 07:58 AM   #23
Skans
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Quote:
Some finishes, like blueing, need to have oil on the whole surface, even non-contact and non-wear areas, simply for rust prevention.
I stopped oiling blued finishes. I use Johnson's Paste Wax. It repels moisture better, lasts longer and doesn't get oil all over everything.
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Old April 25, 2013, 02:54 PM   #24
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Quote:
I stopped oiling blued finishes. I use Johnson's Paste Wax. It repels moisture better, lasts longer and doesn't get oil all over everything.
Floor wax? Interesting, never thought to use wax.
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Old April 25, 2013, 03:42 PM   #25
NoSecondBest
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If you stand in one spot for over a minute and leave a puddle, you used too much oil.
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