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Old June 12, 2013, 06:06 PM   #26
Slamfire
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Yeah but this isn't 1907 or what ever...the OP asked about his AR.
Did the laws of physics and strength of materials change a couple of decades and no one told me? Did steels get weaker and cartridges get more powerful?


I have been going through Col Chin's book of the Machine Gun noting which machine guns used oilers. One day I will consolidate the list. But here are a few well know examples.

Section 11 of the Swedish manual for the Model 42B Ljungman is quite explicit, lube your cartridges, when the chamber gets dirty, clean it and lubricate the chamber and the cartridges.

http://pdf.textfiles.com/manuals/FIR...ann_ag_42b.pdf

http://forums.gunboards.com/showthre...ne-And-Offhand

http://www.surplusrifleforum.com/vie...p?f=47&t=11436

The Japanese Nambu used an oiler:



The Italian Breda 30 used an oiler



The basic problem with the 223 is that it was not a well developed cartridge. It was a wild cat. The guys who came up with it did not analyze different materials, different powders, different tapers, dimensional tolerance stackup, hell, they did not even have pressure data. This immature wildcat becomes the service cartridge for the US, and guess what, it does not work well when the case changes from brass to steel.

By the way, when the M16 was first choking in Vietnam, Colt told the troops to lubricate their ammunition.

Something, if anyone might have noticed, steel is not a problem in the AK47. The Soviets spent a lot of time and money making sure to wringe all the problems and issues before they issued their cartridge and rifle to their troops.

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

The US Army warnings about not to lubricate cases all come from an Army coverup of their single heat treat receivers. Prior to WW1 everyone was greasing their bullets because the bullet fouling was just horrible. I shot a case of Iraqi 303 Ball that copper fouled the barrel. It took weeks of soaking with Sweets and other bore cleaners to reduce the lumpy fouling. Then I started greasing my bullets, and no pressure problems and no fouling. Greasing bullets was very common all the way up to 1921 and talked about in the Arms and the Man magazine of the period. These are on Google Books. From 1906 to 1918 the Army had a systemic quality control failure at their Arsenals, over 1 million single heat treat receivers were made and these receivers were so structurally weak they literally exploded in front of shooters. Instead of admitting that their rifles were weak, recalling them and fixing the problem, the Army blamed the practice of greasing bullets. The logic was, there was nothing wrong with the rifles or ammunition. The rifles could not be blowing up due to faulty design, manufacture so it had to be a practice of the shooters. No one outside of the Ordnance Department knew the true extent of just how dangerously weak were single heat treat receivers, because this information was kept out of the public domain until the 1940’s. The Army Ordnance Department knowingly issued defective single heat treat rifles to civilians and service men even after an Army Board, in 1927, recommended destroying all 1000000 single heat treat receivers because they were too dangerous. Since all shooters were greasing bullets up to 1921 the Army publically claimed that grease created pressure problems and that was the cause of rifle blowups.

When you get to 1921 national matches, rifles are blowing up all over the line. The Army issued 1921 “Tin Can” NM ammunition where the bullets were coated in tin. This was to reduce bullet fouling but they had not counted on the problems of dissimilar materials. Given time, the tin cold welded to case necks, formed a bore obstruction, and rifles blew up. This was highly embarrassing as this entire process had very high visibility at the time. The Army conducted tests and published the results where their Tin Can ammunition beat out commercially made ammunition for the National Matches. Commercial manufactures would not have been amused to find that their donated ammunition lost out in Army tests, to Army ammunition that just happened to blow up Army rifles. They might have had a legitimate compliant about the partiality of Army testing, never mind the technical competence of Army Ordnance staff.


The Army, instead of admitting that they had designed, manufactured, and issued dangerous ammunition in structurally deficient rifles, the Army denied there was any problem with the Tin Can ammunition. Previously the Army published bogus studies blaming pressure problems on greased bullets and this earlier work dovetailed perfectly in the coverup of the 1921 ammunition problems.

And that is why the Army acts the way it does. When any Army weapon blows, the first thing the Army looks for is an oil can.

The Swiss were not the only country to issue greased bullets to their Armies but I only have pictures of Swiss greased ammunition:



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Old June 12, 2013, 06:58 PM   #27
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Butch's Bore Shine
That stuff stinks something fierce. I could not leave any patches used with it inside the house. Had to take them outside to the garbage can.
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The AR's bolt carrier has two oil key holes, so you can lube the bolt.
Ok, the bolt-carrier does indeed have those two holes, and you actually can (and should) put oil into them. But that is not the primary reason those holes exist.

They are to let the excess gas out of the bolt carrier after it has expanded and pushed the bolt and bolt carrier in different directions. Then the bolts rotates, unlocks and is carried along as the bolt carrier moves back in the receiver. Along the way, the gas has to be vented and it exits out those holes. You can plainly see this in slo-mo video of the weapon firing, but I have no link to offer. Sorry.

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Old June 12, 2013, 06:59 PM   #28
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OP,

NOBODY I have any faith in has ever advised me to lube AR ammo or to squirt lube into the chamber. I would advise you simply to follow the manufacturer's instructions and to call them and ask your questions. Don't just take my word for it, do your own research...after all it's not only YOUR safety on the line but OTHERS around you.
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Old June 12, 2013, 07:09 PM   #29
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Those old machine guns needed the oiled cartridges because they had more violent (swift and strong) extraction due to the type of lockwork. Some were only retarded blowback

With other machine guns, such as Maxim, Browning gas (Colt - Marlin), Browning recoil (M1917) and many more, the extraction was slower and the brass case had time to contract. So no oiling needed.

And that is why some did it. H&K solved the problem by using the fluted chamber concept but I think they were not first. I just can't remember who was first to use that.

Steel just doesn't contract back as much after firing so with some ARs, which might be on the smaller side of allowed chamber variations, the steel can possibly stick. Or, as mentioned, some chambers may be finished a little rougher.

OBTW, not a good idea to fire US steel cased .45 ACP (from WW2 - they made billions of those) in revolvers such as the S&W or Colt M1917 models. Extraction often goes at the speed of three hands using dowel rods and a small mallet. Learning occurred that day.

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Old June 12, 2013, 07:32 PM   #30
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...the OP asked about his AR....
Not much has changed in the basic internal ballistics and chamber mechanics of cartridge-fed weapons in the last 115 years. (I'm continually impressed/in-awe of that fact.) Eugene Stoner's is probably the last of the unique designs -- and that was 60 years ago.

And so I recommend the OP polish his chamber to (slightly) smooth out any superficial roughness, and if/when still having problems w/ steel-cased ammunition, run a slightly lubed thumb&finger over those cases.

post: I've got (several) Stoner-design weapons. I wouldn't suggest something I haven't already at least looked at with some caution. However (to keep the lawyers happy), the OP should research this for his own peace of mind.
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Old June 12, 2013, 07:59 PM   #31
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i have never shot steel through my ar but thousands of rounds of the stuff through my ak with no issues. i personally wouldnt shoot steel case ammo through an ar nor would i leave any abundant amount of oil in the bore or chamber. leave just the right amount and your gonna be picking pieces of your barrel and receiver out of your face.
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Old June 12, 2013, 09:17 PM   #32
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Those old machine guns needed the oiled cartridges because they had more violent (swift and strong) extraction due to the type of lockwork. Some were only retarded blowback

With other machine guns, such as Maxim, Browning gas (Colt - Marlin), Browning recoil (M1917) and many more, the extraction was slower and the brass case had time to contract. So no oiling needed.
It is not just the action was old, any high pressure machine gun based on the principle of blowback, or delayed blowback, requires case lubrication. As Col Chin’s said:



You can download all of Col Chin’s Machine Gun books here:

http://www.germanmanuals.com/Links.html

Or here:

http://ibiblio.org/hyperwar/USN/ref/MG/I/.

Or here:

http://www.milsurps.com/content.php?...ge-M.-Chinn%29

The trend in automatic weapons has been to increase the cyclic rate. While slow firing weapons worked well in infantry applications, in the role of aircraft or anti-aircraft guns, designers had to get the cyclic rate up to ensure enough rounds hit a fast moving aircraft. The use of small arms calibers in anti aircraft applications was basically at an end after the Germans armored the Gotha bombers in WW1. Post WW1 funding for R&D in automatic weapon design was concentrated in large caliber automatic weapons with blowback or delayed blowback mechanisms. Blowback or delayed blowback designs inherently cycle faster than locked breech mechanisms. As you can read in LTC Chin’s Vol 1, The Machine Gun, Chapter 14 “Birkigt Type 404 20-mm (Hispano-Suiza) Cannon”, cyclic rate was a primary factor for the US in adopting the 20 mm automatic mechanism. The US went though WW2 with this mechanism and greased rounds, post war oilers were added, to eliminate the hand greasing of rounds, and even more experiments were run with ceresin wax coatings, Teflon coatings, and fluted chambers.



The most modern of blowbacks require case lubrication in one form or another: all the roller bolts require fluted chambers:



And the PS 90 uses a “polymer coated” cartridge and if the polymer coating is removed damage to the mechanism or shooter will result.

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Old June 12, 2013, 10:04 PM   #33
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Once again, I'd just like to say thanks for all the inputs and discussion. The allure of cheap ammo just isn't worth risking my AR. Granted, it's not the most expensive one out there, but it pretty darn expensive to me and I want it lasting a lifetime. Better to spend a little more on ammo than break and extractor or do more significant damage to the rifle. Brass cases for me from now on.

Additionally, I'll be doing a quick re-clean of the AR this weekend to make sure I don't have residual oils in the barrel.
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Old June 12, 2013, 10:35 PM   #34
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....any high pressure machine gun based on the principle of blowback, or delayed blowback, requires case lubrication
The AR isn't any of those things.

Furthermore, while case lubrication may have been more common in the early days of semi-automatics, that doesn't mean it was viewed as desirable. The Johnson semi-automatic rifle lost out to the Garand primarily because it needed lubricated ammunition to run properly.
Quote:
And the PS 90 uses a “polymer coated” cartridge and if the polymer coating is removed damage to the mechanism or shooter will result.
The PS 90 does not use a gas-operated action like the AR does, any case lubrication provided is put there by the ammunition manufacturer and the rifle is designed around that lubrication being in place.

Not at all similar to a squirting lubricant into the chamber of a gas-operated gun designed run with a dry chamber and unlubricated ammunition.

Maybe it's not really a safety issue with the AR design--I don't know one way or the other in this specific case although I have heard many warnings against lubricating chambers--but it is certainly safe to say that it shouldn't be required.

If an AR won't run with a dry chamber either there's a problem with the gun, the ammunition or both.
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Old June 12, 2013, 10:47 PM   #35
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If someone can point to even one documented case of an oiled chamber damaging a firearm or causing any kind of severe malfunction, I'm all ears.

The reason we don't oil ammunition is because it will, over a long period of time, eventually work its way into the case and possibly cause a misfire - NOT because we're worried that exterior oil on the surface of the ammo will create some sort of malfunction when chambered. Any excess oil will be squeezed into the leade or the barrel or, in the case of the AR-pattern barrel, out the back of the chamber. And no one is talking about loading the chamber such that an obstruction is possible, let alone likely. This is oil, not grease we're talking about.

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Old June 12, 2013, 10:56 PM   #36
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The reason we don't oil ammunition is because it will, over a long period of time, eventually work its way into the case and possibly cause a misfire...
That's one reason, there are a number of others.
  • It tends to attract and hold dirt & grit.
  • It's just messy--the less you have to use and the fewer places you have to put it, the less of a problem oil tends to be.
  • Because it tends to carbonize when it gets very hot and then it's hard to clean up.
  • Because it's just one more thing to do.
  • And in the case of ARs and other modern, gas-operated firearms, we don't do it because it shouldn't be necessary--if it is, there's a problem with either the ammunition or the gun or both. The solution is to fix the problem, not to mask it by squirting oil where it shouldn't need to be.

The title of the thread is "Proper Lubrication for M4". Proper lubrication for an M4 (or any other modern, gas-operated firearm) does not include squirting oil in the chamber.
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Old June 12, 2013, 11:16 PM   #37
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Wow. So there is one and only one way to lubricate an AR-15 in all conditions and with all ammunition?

Interesting. So if I'm out in the wilderness, my barrel's hot and fouled and ammo not extracting easily, I should comfort myself that since my chamber isn't lubed, everything's groovy? And I should religiously avoid that shot of Breakfree into the chamber that will move things along?
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Old June 12, 2013, 11:59 PM   #38
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So there is one and only one way to lubricate an AR-15 in all conditions and with all ammunition?
Not even close to what I said.

There are many ways to lubricate AR-15s. There are even many PROPER ways to lubricate AR-15s. So no, there's not "one and only one way".

But that doesn't mean that every possible way to lubricate an AR-15 is a proper way. Squirting oil in the chamber is not recommended as a proper way to lubricate a modern, gas-operated firearm by any firearms manufacturer, established firearms expert or respected gunsmith that I am aware of.
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So if I'm out in the wilderness, my barrel's hot and fouled and ammo not extracting easily, I should comfort myself that since my chamber isn't lubed, everything's groovy? And I should religiously avoid that shot of Breakfree into the chamber that will move things along?
If your gun is screwed up from lack of maintenance, use of improper ammunition or for some other reason, and you know how to get it up and running and have the means at hand, then by all means get it up and running. You do what you have to do in a situation like that. But when you have the choice, it's better to handle things the way they really should be handled.

The OP's question was about something that happened at indoor range on the 21st shot of the shooting session starting with a clean gun--not quite exactly like the extreme scenario you use as support for your arguments. What might make sense in the wilderness under harsh conditions with limited available resources is one thing--what is proper is another thing entirely.
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Old June 13, 2013, 07:01 AM   #39
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I've loving this thread:

Old Wives Tail: Lube the case
New Wives Tail: Don't Lube the Case

Old Wives Tail: Shoot the bolt dry
New Wives Tail: Shoot the bolt wet

Old Wives Tail: Run oil-dampened patch through chamber/bore & don't worry about it upon first shot
New Wives Tail: Any oil in the chamber/bore will cause immediate explosion

Both camps say the other will die -- either from the bad guy killing you when the rifle jams; or from the gun blowing up in your face. I'm just loving it.

My solution that's worked for many years...
- In dust/field/combat: use a drying lube like MiliTec, pull the bolt every night and wipe down with a MiliTec-dampened patch; run that same patch through the bore and out; shoot good/brass-cased ammunition.

- At the range and for fun: Shoot the bolt WET and fugedabowit.
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Old June 13, 2013, 07:50 AM   #40
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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.
My source is me. It works.


Quote:
I would advise you simply to follow the manufacturer's instructions and to call them and ask your questions. Don't just take my word for it, do your own research...after all it's not only YOUR safety on the line but OTHERS around you.
I don't care what some Lawyered-up gun maker says I can and can't do. Once I hand over my hard-earned money for the gun, it's mine. In fact, on one gun I had, I hated the lawyer logos so much I sanded and polished them off the slide. Anywhoo, Hoppes has been used for longer than I've been alive to lubricate guns, including bores and chambers - standard practice in cleaning any gun.

It's 2013 - there's a severe ammo shortage. I can't afford to shoot anything but Wolf steel cased ammo. Steel cased ammo + AR is not the best combination. If this was 2003, I would solve the problem by buying brass ammo. Sometimes, you just have to make do with what you've got. I've found that lubricating the cartridges before loading them in a magazine cuts way down on failures to extract. Like I said, it works for me - you paid your hard earned money for your gun, you are free to do as you please with it and run it bone dry.

Last edited by Skans; June 13, 2013 at 07:55 AM.
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Old June 13, 2013, 08:57 AM   #41
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Oilers and greased ammunition went on the ash heap of history for all the previously stated reasons.






Greased ammunition was also manpower intensive, it took an extra person to apply grease during the linking process.

You can see at exactly 2:14 on this WW2 video a Sailor hand painting grease on the 20 mm ammunition loading machine for the Oerlikon anti aircraft machine guns.

http://www.youtube.com/watch_popup?v=9dR3h2HdnBQ

Get rid of that guy and you have one extra person to do more, or one less person to pay.

Gas lubrication took the place of oilers and greasers and the quickest way to gum up a roller bolt is to let the flutes get dirty.



But I was providing advice for a rifle, the AR15, which was neither the rifle or the cartridge was designed to function with steel cases, and providing a suggestion to increase function reliability on the range. I hope no one ever gets into enough trouble that a hot, dirty rifle with steel case ammunition becomes a life threatening situation. I don’t think an oil can is going to do much to improve that bad day, but it might. I am thinking of the people who want to shoot cheap steel case ammunition at the range and are not interested in dropping the magazine, locking the bolt back, and pressing the push pins to clear constant jams caused by sticky extraction with steel cases.

I am of the opinion that oil is a good thing for steel case and lacquered ammunition, it will solvate to an extent lacquer and powder residue and keep things running a bit longer. I would only apply it prior to loading the mechanism, long term I don’t know what the consequences are if kept on unfired ammunition. Probably something bad. Oil is not a substitute for a proper cleaning because in time, breech friction will overcome any mechanism’s ability to extract a round. Even though the M16 was sold as “self cleaning”: and Grunts were not issued cleaning kits, it is poor practice to allow a semiautomatic mechanism to gum up to the point it malfunctions.
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Old June 13, 2013, 12:29 PM   #42
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....long term I don’t know what the consequences are if kept on unfired ammunition.
While I just lightly coat the cartridges, I do not store loaded magazines with oiled cartridges. I just lightly coat them as I'm loading my magazines at the range.

I have noticed that the poly coated steel cases are more prone to rusting than the older 7.62 copper-washed steel cases - I can't offer any explanation, just what I've observed. I have no experience with true lacquer coated ammo. I do not know if it is advisable or not to lightly coat Wolf ammo with oil i if you intend on storing it in loaded magazines for any length of time. Things that come to mind would be: seepage, oil turning rancid, corrosive, or sticky. On the other hand, I wouldn't want magazines full of rusted Wolf Ammo, especially where steel cases are coming into contact with aluminum magazines. Perhaps oil on Wolf (long term) isn't a bad idea??? I don't know.
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Old June 13, 2013, 01:18 PM   #43
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Use TWC25 or the equivalent on the sliding parts

Use Mobil1 on the lubed parts (much better heat tolerance than oil which burns).

And how much sand do we see in our day in day out use?

Attracting goo is a non issue for all practical purposes we generally don't roll in the sand and dirt (the we have to train till we die crowd excepted)

And in combat they run them wet to the fight is over. Keeps it flushed and they keep working. Clean the crud when done and go on.

Best system, no but they have found a way to make it work in the worst conditions possible.

And I have yet to have issues with steel cases. Gun specif, some run them and some don't

If yours don't, then don't use it but don't make a blanket statement.

Gun specific and apply as or when proven.
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Old June 13, 2013, 01:33 PM   #44
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New Wives Tail
Oh this is not the right forum to be talking about the tail end of somebody's new wife

Now, New Wives Tale would be an acceptable subject.

Loved that pic of the roller locked HK cut-away mechanism. I ran across one of those at a gun show several years back and played with it several times, to see how the parts work.

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Old June 13, 2013, 05:13 PM   #45
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My Freudian faux pas,sir.
But now that I think of it....
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Old June 13, 2013, 10:42 PM   #46
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"Wow. So there is one and only one way to lubricate an AR-15 in all conditions and with all ammunition?

Interesting. So if I'm out in the wilderness, my barrel's hot and fouled and ammo not extracting easily, I should comfort myself that since my chamber isn't lubed, everything's groovy? And I should religiously avoid that shot of Breakfree into the chamber that will move things along?"

...If your barrel is fouled, you're a negligent ar owner and need to clean your gun more often.
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Old June 13, 2013, 10:46 PM   #47
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Both camps say the other will die...
I haven't said any such thing--I even acknowledged it might be a safe practice in my first post on the thread. I can't say one way or the other for certain if it's dangerous or not. Fortunately that's not the question posed on the thread.
Quote:
My source is me. It works.
I haven't said it won't work. Again, there's a difference between what's proper and what "works". Lots of things work. Some because they're good ideas, some in spite of the fact that they're bad ideas, some fall somewhere in between.
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I don't care what some Lawyered-up gun maker says I can and can't do. Once I hand over my hard-earned money for the gun, it's mine.
You're certainly welcome to do what you want with your guns, but that's not what's at issue here. There is no possibility nor intent that anyone on this forum is going to somehow prevent you from oiling your chamber if you want to.

This thread is about what is proper lubrication for a modern gas-operated firearm. There is no official source that recommends lubricating the chamber of a modern gas-operated firearm, and given that no one is even debating that fact, it's not really possible to argue that such a practice constitutes proper procedure.
Quote:
Use TWC25 ...Use Mobil1 .... how much sand ...Attracting goo ...And in combat ...Best system, ...And I have yet to have issues with steel cases. ...If yours don't, then don't use it but don't make a blanket statement. ...Gun specific and apply as or when proven.
None of that even attempts to address the point.

If it's proper practice to oil the chamber, it should be child's play to come up with some kind of authority--manufacturer, respected firearms expert, professional gunsmith--who endorses the practice. In the absence of ZERO endorsement from any official sources, claiming it's proper practice is nothing more than unsupportable personal opinion.

The bottom line is that a modern gas-operated firearm should run without having to lubricate the chamber. They're designed to run that way or the manufacturers would tell us to squirt oil in the chamber. They DO want their guns to work, after all. If the manufacturers knew their guns needed oiled chambers to work it would make zero sense for them to keep their customers in the dark about how to make their guns work.

So given that modern gas-operated firearms are designed to run with a dry chamber--if you have one that WON'T then that means there's either something wrong with the gun or with the ammo or both.

A person who can't or won't, or doesn't want to get the gun fixed or who can't or won't or doesn't want to try better quality ammunition can certainly try to fix the problem by squirting oil in the chamber to mask the problem--no one's stopping them.

But if someone asks what is the PROPER way to lubricate a modern gas-operated firearm, that's an entirely different question and should garner an answer not based on reasoning along the lines of "what I figured out would work and hasn't caused any major problems so far" but rather based on what gunsmiths, firearms experts and firearm manufacturers recommend.
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Old June 13, 2013, 10:59 PM   #48
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Old June 14, 2013, 06:28 AM   #49
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The allure of cheap ammo just isn't worth risking my AR.
I would worry more about unknown-sourced gun show brass reloads than I would factory steel cased ammo. The OP's AR should work with steel cased ammo. The original issue was more likely due to lube (or lack thereof) and need for some breakin.

Keep the ammo clean, keep the bolt and carrier well oiled; I use Mobil 1. The excess will blow off.

That said, I hope the OP finds a range which does not care about ammo.
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Old June 14, 2013, 08:29 AM   #50
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If it's proper practice to oil the chamber, it should be child's play to come up with some kind of authority--manufacturer, respected firearms expert, professional gunsmith--who endorses the practice. In the absence of ZERO endorsement from any official sources, claiming it's proper practice is nothing more than unsupportable personal opinion.

The bottom line is that a modern gas-operated firearm should run without having to lubricate the chamber. They're designed to run that way or the manufacturers would tell us to squirt oil in the chamber. They DO want their guns to work, after all. If the manufacturers knew their guns needed oiled chambers to work it would make zero sense for them to keep their customers in the dark about how to make their guns work.
This comes down to reliance on authority versus observation in the physical world.

Ever since the Army coverup of the problems of tin plated bullets in 1921 all of the American “authorities” have been claiming disastrous problems with lubricated ammunition even though all evidence in the physical world shows that no such problem exists.

I have shown legacy designs that used oilers and those designs were made in quantity and used in combat world wide. Literally trillions of greased and oiled rounds were fired prior to the introduction of chamber flutes. You have people here who oil their steel cases and claim improved function without deleterious effects.

You can stick with authority but understand all of the dogma those authorities preach is based on Hatcher and his account of the 1921 Tin Can ammunition coverup, or you can see through all the inconsistencies of that dogma, observe what happens in the physical world, and realize oiled cases are not a problem as long as you keep dirt off the cases.

And lubing the heck out of your AR15 is not a problem, even though for decades the same Army has advised keeping the rifle dry, because observation in the physical world shows the mechanism works better wet.

I use Mobil 1 5w-30 or 10W-30. Works great.
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