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Old June 11, 2013, 08:57 PM   #1
Method
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Proper Lubrication for M-4

I took my new Sig M400 out for a spin tonight at the local indoor range. I only had one problem. My first round in the second mag (shot #21) didn't extract. It firmly remained in the chamber. The range operator dislodged it for me and mentioned two things:

1. AR's don't like steel cases. I was using a steel case since it was cheaper as well as the only non-FMJ I could find locally (the indoor range cannot allow FMJ).

2. My AR was way too dry. He inserted several drops of oil and cycled the bolt a few times. After that, I finished up 100 more rounds without a single problem.

I have always been afraid of too much oil since it can attract dust and dirt. That being said, should I be able to see a visible layer of oil in the main chamber and bolt of the weapon? After field stripping and cleaning this evening, I sprayed just bit of RemOil in the chamber and on the bolt, then cycled the bolt a few times. It's not dripping or running, but I could see that it was lubed up.

I'm looking for advice on lubrication and curious if others have had problems with steel cased ammo.
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Old June 11, 2013, 09:03 PM   #2
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Does the owner's manual cover lubrication?

I would not recommend spraying oil into the chamber.
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Old June 11, 2013, 09:09 PM   #3
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1) whether we like it or not, guns should run with ALL available ammo. Some steel case is terribly weak, and probably too low of pressure. Other than that crap, all ammo marked 223 or 5.56NATO must run.

2) a good CLP is what AR's seem to like. Mine also seems to like an additional drop or 2 on all sliding surfaces. That said, I like to run the trigger group a bit dryer. I flush it by throwing a few drops all over, wipe off as dry as I can get it. I leave the BCG fairly wet. They bore should be cleaned clean with solvent. Wiped dry. Then run a patch with CLP on it down the bore.


For CLP, I like Weapon's Shield. Break Free is a close 2nd. I look at all the rest with a distrustful eye. I clean the bore with Butch's Bore Shine. I forget the carbon cleaner I go after the BCG with on occasion. ...K something. I also have a tool for scraping the carrier and bolt.
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Old June 11, 2013, 09:49 PM   #4
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It hurts absolutely nothing to keep the chamber and bolt nice and wet during your shooting session.
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Old June 11, 2013, 09:56 PM   #5
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A "light" squirt of gun oil into the port will be blown out over the next several rounds, and will mitgate hard carbon buildup as firing progresses.

Once firing is done, the bolt can be disassembled and literally wiped clean. (You'd be amazed)

Bill Alexander (of the Grendel) advised me in favor a "wet-bolt" shooting -- which is the near exact opposite of what I'd normally do in combat/field/dusty circumstances. But once firing starts, it's incredibly effective at preventing stoppages and cleanup.



(postscript: I hate steel cases.)
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Old June 11, 2013, 10:07 PM   #6
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http://www.ar15.com/forums/t_3_7/548...BE_POINTS.html
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Old June 11, 2013, 11:05 PM   #7
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Thanks everyone. +1 to bfoosh006! That's a great link you posted. I also found a couple of you-tube tutorials which indicated that I've been seriously under lubricating my firearms for the past couple of years.
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Old June 11, 2013, 11:26 PM   #8
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i would not recommend have any oil what so ever in the chamber...ever. i use a bore snake or a patch to make sure all oils are out of the chamber. 50k psi next to my face is bad enough..wanna make sure that bullet leaves the barrel and not get caught up by a crap ton of oil. but the bcg and all contacting/sliding parts should be well lubed but not so much all of the carbon and dirt sticks to the interior of the gun. i too have a sig m400 and love it, although i had a streak of paranoia where i thought the barrel chrome was flaking (which i dont think it was at all now) and the bolt i swapped out for a bcm bolt. had a bad jam when i first got her where a rock and the bolt lug made some pretty sever contact so i changed it just in case. the sig m400 is a great gun. love it.
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Old June 12, 2013, 06:44 AM   #9
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Quote:
1) whether we like it or not, guns should run with ALL available ammo. Some steel case is terribly weak, and probably too low of pressure. Other than that crap, all ammo marked 223 or 5.56NATO must run.
Not true........the AR was not designed to run with steel cased ammo and yes it is because of the tighter tolerances which does make it more accurate. Sorry folks there's no free lunch. This is where I will compare it to the AK because the next person posting will point out how a AK has no problem running steel cased ammo. Well for arguements sake I will agree that the AK will go bang with every trigger pull, but its not going to be near as accurate as the AR.
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Old June 12, 2013, 07:14 AM   #10
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I don't know if they are designed to shoot steel cased ammo or not, but it has not caused me an issue in any of my AR's. Maybe in another 10,000 rounds it will, I don't know.

Anyway, back to the original question, here is a decent video on cleaning and lube from NSSF.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xW4DQ5QlwrA
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Old June 12, 2013, 08:53 AM   #11
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It's a [steel] case/shape problem, not an AR problem, per se.



The AK round is much more a truncated cone -- far less prone to stick in a chamber -- than the 223/5.56.
We could design a different case/cartridge, of course, but that's a whole new ball of messy wax.




CAUTION -- Controversial Suggestion: wipe a very, very, very light bit of case lube/Imperial wax on steel cases if you're having a persistent problem. It does not cause a bolt thrust demon to appear any more than I highly polished chamber.

For the data/model hounds amongst us, read HERE

Last edited by mehavey; June 12, 2013 at 09:01 AM.
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Old June 12, 2013, 09:18 AM   #12
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Quote:
It hurts absolutely nothing to keep the chamber and bolt nice and wet during your shooting session.
Absolutely true. I put a couple of drops of oil on my steel cases and roll them around before loading them into the magazine. This helps break the friction between the case and chamber and improves reliability of extraction.

The shooting community has totally forgotten oilers used in the early semi automatics. Oilers and greased ammunition were messy, but there were plenty of fielded machine guns that used oilers, the Japanes Nambu, all of the Italian machine guns, and the 20mm Machine guns used by the Brits in their Spitfires, our aircraft, and the Navy. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oerlikon_20_mm_cannon
My recollection about 150,000 of the 20mm gun were built and used up to Vietnam. They used greased cases or they would not cycle.

Page 106 of manual: http://hnsa.org/doc/gun20mm/part4.htm

Oilers and greased rounds went on the ash heap of history when the Allies had enough rounds fired at them by German machine guns with fluted chambers. The flutes use gas pressure to break the friction between case and chamber, don't require an oil can or grease and is the better mousetrap.

What I don’t understand why all firearms don’t come with fluted chambers as they improve extraction.

The LaRue XTRAN 223 chamber is fluted, it is a great idea:
http://looserounds.com/2012/05/11/larue-xtran/

http://www.m4carbine.net/showthread.php?t=113104

Failing flutes in an existing rifle, I don't see any reason why not to lube steel cases outside of the mess.
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Old June 12, 2013, 09:41 AM   #13
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What is the point of oiling ammo to get it to work in a rifle that is supposed to digest everything you put in it. I stay away from steel ammo in anything I shoot, and I have a friend that uses it a lot due to the cost differential. I've watched him digging the 5.56's out of his AR's on many occasions as he usually can't remember to take a rod to knock out the stuck brass. With a hot chamber and an empty sitting in it, the laquered surfaces of some of them REALLY sticks in part of the time. I've cleaned a rifle for him before and watched all kinds of black dusty stuff come out of the chamber with a vigerous brushing.
I say stick to good brass ammo and let the commies keep their cheap stuff.

Last edited by Old Stony; June 12, 2013 at 07:33 PM.
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Old June 12, 2013, 10:14 AM   #14
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I work as a range officer at a large county owned firing range.
The two things that I see continually with AR failures are:
1, Under lubrication / no lubrication.
2. Steel cased ammo.

About equal failures from each cause. Not unusually I see both together.
Some shooters are amazed what a few drops of oil will do to improve the
function of their rifle.

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Old June 12, 2013, 11:44 AM   #15
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Not trying to hijack the thread and I also wanted to commit on the OP's question, I used to use Rem oil a lot, but it didn't seem to last long, I switched to CLP and it seems to last longer and it doesn't hurt to spray a good bit ARs like to be run wet.

One more commit on the steel cased ammo, when I first got my AR I used to use Silver Bear and had no problems for about 600+ rounds then all of a sudden I started having problems with cases getting stuck in the chamber switched back and forth with brass cased ammo and never had a problem with brass, only when I used the steel cased stuff, but I will admit that if my guns ran fine with it I would use it, the cost savings far out numbers the cost of a new barrel if you shoot a lot.
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Old June 12, 2013, 11:47 AM   #16
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I believe that was the conclusion of this "study" as well. If I had some high speed, top end expensive AR I probably would avoid it. My AR's are fairly run of the mill rigs so I am not too concerned.

http://www.luckygunner.com/labs/bras...el-cased-ammo/

To the OP, sorry for the hijack.
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Old June 12, 2013, 01:14 PM   #17
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I have a s and w ar15 that I use steel and brass cases....I run my ar wet with clp..this stuff works. I was in the army from 1971 to 1974 and wet is not what was done I did have trouble with 5.56 mil ammo.juast a thought
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Old June 12, 2013, 02:35 PM   #18
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Read the Lucky Gunner article and at least get your Sig through the break-in period before you start running steel cased ammo.

You can not over lube your AR, check out the TacTV "myths" episode.
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Old June 12, 2013, 04:00 PM   #19
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...and I wouldn't worry about dust and dirt at an indoor range.
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Old June 12, 2013, 04:41 PM   #20
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Not an expert...but I'd keep the chamber and bore free of oil before you shoot, buy running a patch of degreaser down the bore with a rod, and also fire a fouler shot, to make sure all the oil is gone out of the bore; before an accurate range test. A very light film of oil in the chamber should not hurt --- but might affect accuracy; and proper fireforming of the cartridge if it is a lot of oil in the chamber.

I've not heard good stories about Rem-Oil, with the product being compared to "gummy" WD-40. I prefer a half synthetic motor oil for lube jobs on a firearm.

I use a steel chamber bore brush and rod soaked with degreaser {rotate 12 times} then clean out with a chamber mop or a cloth patch; after each shooting session. You still might have new machine marks in the outside chamber lug fin entrance in your new rifle --- Chamber bore brush rotation might solve the problem.

I prefer to have my trigger group oily...with the inside base of the receiver --- below the trigger group --- coated with a film of oil. This will give a chance for any blown primers to stick to the bottom of the receiver ---instead of in the trigger group --- which would cause a jam.

The AR's bolt carrier has two oil key holes, so you can lube the bolt. Otherwise...just keep the bolt oily, with no oil on the face of the bolt or inside the firing pin housing before going on a critical mission; unless the primers are sealed.

Keep the front of the bolt carrier lubed...with the rear half of the outside bolt carrier dry --- because you should keep the recoil spring from being soaked with oil.
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Last edited by Erno86; June 12, 2013 at 05:20 PM.
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Old June 12, 2013, 04:44 PM   #21
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[QUOTE]I would not recommend spraying oil into the chamber. [/QUOTE

I know, I used to think this was kind of foolish too. But when shooting Wolf steel cased ammo, I not only spray (small pump sprayer, not aerosol) a little Hoppes in the chamber and a very light spray on the exterior of the cartridges before I load them into the magazine. I hate to say it, but this has been working for me.

Also, since I don't want to shoot my good brass 9mm (right now), I have been using Wolf steel 9mm in my Sig X-Five as well - and yes, I spray down the cartridges with a little oil before loading them into the magazine....and a spray into the chamber as well. This keeps my X-Five and AR from knowing it is being fed crappy Wolf ammo. It's sort of like sprinkling a little sugar and butter on stale bread.
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Old June 12, 2013, 04:52 PM   #22
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NO manufacturer I've ever heard nor the US military says to oil your ammo or to squirt it into the chamber...that should be a clue

But in the spirit of open mindedness, if someone wants to provide a reference, I'd be interested in reading it.
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Old June 12, 2013, 05:05 PM   #23
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Quote:
NO manufacturer I've ever heard nor the US military says to oil your ammo or to squirt it into the chamber...that should be a clue.
But in the spirit of open mindedness, if someone wants to provide a reference, I'd be interested in reading it.
Maybe not the US Miltary today, but it was common practice in military days of yore. This was just one of the systems using a actual oil-pump system:

Schwarzlose machine gun has a device for oiling each cartridge to ease the reloading cycle.
On each stroke oil was squirted into the firing chamber to lubricate the incoming cartridge case.

Schwarzlose Machine Gun M1907

Honest, guys, it does no harm -- and can actually save the day. That said, good ammo/good chamber doesn't really "need" it. But rough conditions up and shoot marginal ammo.....
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Old June 12, 2013, 05:36 PM   #24
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Yeah but this isn't 1907 or what ever...the OP asked about his AR.
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Old June 12, 2013, 05:37 PM   #25
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Plouffedaddy's How To Video For Cleaning & Lubricating Your AR Series Rifle Link

The video above should help a lot of new folks looking to learn how to maintain the AR platform; it's a step by step guide oriented toward the beginner or new AR owner.
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