What kind of oil do you use?

This post was born out of the repeated question, what is the best lubricant to use, and what do we use at the Front Sight Gun Repair?

Many of the problems encountered in student’s weapons at the Gun repair are due to lubrication issues, either not enough or far too much for the type of gun they are running. We see the wrong type, wrong application, over applying and in some cases cross-contamination due to lubricants that are not compatible.

Just like your car’s engine requires a specific type of oil viscosity and weight to provide the maximum protection your engine components need from heat, friction, dirt and other contaminants, so do your guns! You need to think of your handgun, shotgun, and rifle as a crude engine. It has combustion, close tolerances, and moving parts that are enclosed in the mechanism of the frame, slide or receiver. Like your car’s engine, the lubrication does several things. 1. It cushions the moving parts via hydraulic action. 2. It acts as a protective film barrier from steel to

These are just some of the lubricants that have been tried and tested over the years.

steel or steel to aluminum and it allows the parts to freely reciprocate, rotate or mesh together, and carry away the contaminants, and heat,  lastly, it protects carbon steel components from corrosion. In dealing with at least 40 thousand guns a year at Front Sight, we have a unique insight into what works well and what does not when it comes firearms lubrication.

In cleaning and lubricating weapons, you have to consider how you are going to be using the gun. Is it a competition gun going to see 40-50 or 100K rounds a year? (You will need to clean it and lubricate it frequently as this like your car would be a severe duty schedule like a taxi, police car or rental car. Is it a defensive gun going to be carried on a daily basis? (If so You will need to inspect it weekly and clean it at least monthly to clear out the dust, and debris that comes with carrying a gun concealed)

Think of your lint trap after 6 loads of laundry. Your clothing sheds and it gets into every accessible place on the gun and will cause a malfunction at some point.

Is it going to be stored for long periods of time like in your safe at home?

(You will need to coat the outside and internals with more lubricant to protect it from drying out) or place it in some form of static proof or rustproof bags that are commercially available.

Where you live has a major influence on your lubrication habits. For instance, if you live here in Southern Nevada, our moisture content on a daily basis is nil, but we have an extreme cold and heat issue and you deal with the effects of sweat on your guns surface for 3 months out the year.

On the other hand, if you live in Florida or Saltillo MS, you are going to be dealing with extreme humidity and sweat almost year-round attacking the guns surface 24/7. So how does one choose a lubricant amidst all of the marketing hype? Do you go with blindly go with brand paid for and recommended by the gun magazine? Just as a reminder when did the gun magazine ever say anything bad about a product? Some of us are old enough when there was only WD-40, 3 in 1 Oil, and Hoppes # 9 so given those parameters, we had it easy, though today’s modern lubricants have far surpassed the old favorites, except for the familiar smell of Hoppes # 9.

Do you use the military standard CLP, taking into consideration that  “Mil-Spec” could be described as, a product selected from the lowest bidder who could meet the minimum delivery schedule, and standards required to last just long enough to get good value?

CLP. Cleaner, Lubricant & Protectant. Something that is multi-tasking as a lubricant cannot be effective at cleaning if it works as a cleaner well it can’t be that good of a protectant as it will dry out over time.

Do you go with a “Green product” like Frog Lube or Seal-1? We tried it and found it to be less than desirable for us and our needs, your mileage may vary and due to the complications from cross-contamination, as some well-meaning student or staff member would apply a petroleum-based oil on a rental gun to get it to cycle easier and then it would not cycle a few days later and require a complete tear down and cleaning.  It also is not a conventional application so it is not used as such and that is lost on many people who show up with guns that inside look like a slab of BBQ ribs with Froglube sauce all over the place in the striker channel and the gun is having failures to fire.

How do you get past the marketing hype, over-promising and under-performing, easy, you go to someone who has seen just about every lubricant on the planet used on a gun, including coconut oil and used motor oil fresh from the car’s dipstick.

 

Though there are literally hundreds of lubricants out there in the industry. We have whittled it down to what we use on our guns and customers firearms at the Front Sight gun Repair and what we sell in the cleaning kits or individually Lucas Synthetic gun oil.

https://lucasoil.com/products/out-door-line/extreme-duty-gun-oil

Lucas Synthetic gun oil is what we use.  Affordable, non-leak needle oiler for pinpoint application. where you need it. 

 

 

The problem arises in most cases for our students when they put too much oil in the wrong place, not enough oil in the right place or too much oil all over the gun thinking that will fix the malfunctions they have been having with the gun. It should not look like the “Exxon Valdez” ran aground inside your firearm. This will create more issues than it solves.

 

 

 

For high-pressure applications grease may be a better option, think sear and hammer hooks on the 1911 pistol, AR-15 hammer, and sear engagement surfaces or bolt/cam surfaces we use copper anti-seize from Versa Chem or  Lucas Extreme Duty gun grease.

https://lucasoil.com/products/out-door-line/lucas-extreme-duty-gun-grease

 

What’s wrong with this picture?

This is something you would not normally see because the bottles are dark and hide the dirty secret. In many lubricants that you must shake before use the reason for that mixing is the carrier and “magic dust” cost 400.00 dollars a gallon have separated and you now have the two-part mixture doing the same thing in your gun over time. If you just poured this out of the black gallon container without shaking it, you would get the carrier mostly and not the nanoparticles, or whatever they have added to the carrier to give it the lubricity film they were looking for.

 

 

Our next article will cover the where for specific guns, how much and how often, so check back next week for that post.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

But This is My Competition Gun!

You can not buy proficiency and skill at arms. It does not magically appear when you add an aftermarket part to your weapon, no matter what the product’s advertising promises, or the salesman’s recommendation, or the hype made about it in the latest puff piece in your favorite gun magazine. In fact, when was the last time your favorite gun rag ever wrote a negative article about anything? Or when did a salesman ever tell you “this thing won’t work like you expect it to”? It does not happen because they care about selling you gadgets, not making you better or more effective.

Considering what is at stake when you make changes to your gun, whatever you add or remove must be done with some logic and common sense. You must determine what it is you are attempting to achieve by changing a part. Are you trying to improve the gun’s design, to make it better than the highly-trained and experienced engineers who spent thousands of man-hours and millions of dollars on the gun’s R&D? Or are you trying to make it a little bit more user-friendly? Or are you changing it simply because a magazine article or your shooting buddy suggested it? The part you want to add (or remove) must serve a purpose greater than the stock part. If you are not getting a measurable improvement in the gun’s functional reliability and performance, you’re just feeding your ego by playing into the hype generated by advertising and the desire to impress your friends.

Many of the students who come to Front Sight Gun Repair find themselves in this situation. They have taken a gun that was 99.999% reliable right out of the box and decided to install aftermarket parts, custom coatings, or racing parts, only to bring it to Front Sight and have it fail. It costs them more money and downtime to get the gun running again. Instead of spending their time training, they are stuck in the shop waiting for us to fix the “improvements” they made to their previously reliable firearm!

Realizing the error of gun modification can be costly and frustrating when it happens on the range. The real danger, however, is that these changes could cost you your life on the street. You could be attacked and need to defend yourself but your modified gun may deliver a click instead of a bang, or may only get one or two rounds off before a stoppage or jam occurs. That moment, when the cretin is trying to jam a piece of steel into your abdomen, is a terrible time to realize your new tungsten guide rod causes double feeds, or the 1,500 lumen light and laser combo causes the slide to stall, or the lightened striker spring will not hit the primer hard enough to fire every round.

I chose this topic to write about today because this is such a common, easily-avoided problem our students experience. For example, I recently worked on a student’s Glock that was having misfires. On inspection, I discovered he had changed out all of the springs and some of the internal parts on the pistol. When I brought up to him that using the lightened springs cause the misfires in addition to a slower trigger reset of the trigger, his response was “well, that’s my competition gun.”

“Say what?” I asked.

He did not have anything to add.

“Isn’t the goal of competition to try and shoot better than the other competitors?” I asked.

“Yes,” he said.

“But now you have rounds failing to go off and you cannot shoot the gun as fast as a stock Glock. Does that sound like a plan for success on the range or in a gunfight?”

“I don’t know about that,” he said, trying desperately to hold on to his irrational belief in the magical gun parts he bought rather than face the reality of the non-functional Glock sitting on the counter.

“It doesn’t matter if it’s your competition gun. It’s broken,” I said. “Any gun could be the one you use to save your life. Saying this one is just for competition doesn’t work.”

My goal was not to embarrass my customer, though he was clearly ashamed of his error. It was just a moment of tough love. After discussing with him the problems of using aftermarket parts without good reason, I got his gun running. That said, I can’t take twenty minutes to talk to every gun owner in America! People need to come to the realization that having a reliable weapon comes first – in competition or a gunfight. It must work every time you press the trigger without exception.

My tough love and attitudes toward weapon modification exist because over the years I have made many of the same mistakes as my customers. Now, I practice what I preach. I travel the country shooting for the Guncrafter Industries IDPA team and the absolute last thing I would do to prepare for success is making the gun less reliable by sticking a bunch of after-market super parts in it. My time is valuable, travel is expensive, match fees are non-refundable and the goal is to win! My gun must work every time. More importantly, my competition gun is one of my carry guns!

When you come out to Front Sight, come see us in the Armory on Range 7. We can show you what works and get you set up for success on the range and on the streets. Most important, we will not sell you something that will foul your firearm and get you killed.