Canadian Airgun Forum

Lube? What lube?
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Author:  ezplnkr [ Fri Apr 14, 2017 12:59 pm ]
Post subject:  Lube? What lube?

I'm just a newbie at this hobby and have been trying to read and learn as much as I can regarding the maintenance of airguns. I'm the type of person who likes to maintain a item to prolong its working life; whether that's a lawn mower, smart phone/tablet or in this case, airgun.
On lubricating airguns, it seems that there are several different types of lubrication; most often referred are moly, white lithium grease, 30w-nd (and pellgunoil) and silicone grease. I am a bit confused on when these different types of lubricants should be used. Nor am I quite clear on which parts of an airgun must be lubricated; presumably all moving parts? I have tried Google but it only gives general recommendations like 'use in high pressure/temperature' or 'use when you want to seal out contaminants' but these recommendations are not too specific to airguns.
I read that I should be avoiding petroleum based lubricants to prevent dieseling and I assume this applies to the o-rings (or anything else) in the compression piston or barrel.
I have read recommendations of lubricating o-ring areas with 30w-nd. I have also read that you should use silicone grease on installation of o-rings. Can it be assumed that these two types of lubricants can be used interchangeably with respect to o-rings? Would it be better to use silicone grease for initial installation and 30w-nd for on-going maintenance?
I understand from my Beeman P17 instruction manual to lubricate the compression piston with white lithium grease. I started to use the Permatex white lithium grease purchased from CT. I have noticed, however, that the piston is showing a minor bit of scarring? Is this a problem? Is white lithium good for the o-ring on the compression piston? Should I be switching to a different lubricant or a different type of white lithium?
I got the impression somewhere that moly is used for metal to metal contact? Is this generally true? I have also read somewhere that it should not be used in the trigger assembly; although they did not say why. Can other lubricants be used in places where moly is recommended or are there parts of an airgun where moly really is the best lubricant to use (eg. springs on spring piston, hinge pins)?
I neglected to mention graphite lubricants; but I assume its use is similar to moly, if at all, and there seems to be a preference to moly.
There was a link in another forum ( on a test of 46 different types of lubricants for rust inhibition. The lubricant that seemed to come out on top was Frog Lube. But I have not seen any other follow ups or comments on this lubricant. I understand that it requires a special type of application to be used properly. I have not seen any comments on whether this lubricant is appropriate for airguns. It would seem that given its performance in the test, that its use would be ideal for the more expensive metal guns (eg. HW45, HW75, FAS6004, etc). Comments?
Is it correct to say that one can use 30w-nd (since it is cheap and plentiful) on any/all moving parts of an airgun and that it will perform adequately and that use of the other types of lubricants are optional?
Ultimately, what I am trying to figure out is what is the best lubricant to use in the different situations. I would appreciate if anybody has an opinion for each/any/all type and more importantly, what is the basis for the opinion.
I understand I am asking for quite a bit of information here and I appreciate the time anyone may take to answer or refer me to other web sites that may have some answers.

Author:  ITGUY [ Fri Apr 14, 2017 4:10 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Lube? What lube?

I do not have a lot of time right now, but the long and short of it is "never" use anything combustible in the compression chamber or on TOP of the piston. Bad things can \ will happen. Dieseling, damage to the seal, damage to metal components as the piston, spring etc get slammed at 3 times the force they were meant to (detonation), and so on.

Silicone oil is pretty much the accepted standard for compression chamber lube. You can buy it much cheaper in an R\C hobby store as it is used for shock dampening...and there are a LOT of larger RC cars today that have massive shocks, so they sell it in couple ounce bottles.

Even an aerosol silicone spray is bad because the carrier agent is flammable.

Parts that incur friction (piston) are always going to wear, no matter WHAT you put on them, so the best you can do is try and mitigate it.

Moly is pretty much accepted as about the best you can do, short of sending your components out for dry film lube or Teflon coating, which by the way I've considered in the past.

Everything else, I use grease. Pick your may get 20 different replies on that one :) Some folks use a "tar" on the the way, you can actually reduce the power of a springer by gobbing too much gunk on the spring. I've not just read that, I've done it myself.

Wish I had time for more right now, sorry.

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