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Oil vs. Grease?

Discussion in 'Gunsmithing and Repairs' started by G11354, Aug 11, 2014.

  1. G11354

    G11354 Well-Known Member

    Is it better to use grease rather than oil on sliding surfaces?
  2. oneounceload

    oneounceload member

    On shotguns, we always used grease on things that pivot - like the hinge pin or choke tube threads and oil on things that slide like the ejectors
  3. sage5907

    sage5907 Well-Known Member

    I think it all depends on the climate where you live, especially in areas with high humidity. I live in Oklahoma which has an arid climate and where I live firearms almost never rust if they are cleaned and wiped lightly with oil each time they are used. I also wipe them from time to time when they are stored. I do not know of anyone here that uses grease because we have a lot of dust and fine dirt that gets into everything, and who would want a mixture of dirt and grease on anything that moves. When the dust is mixed with gun oil it wipes off easily with a lightly oil cloth.
  4. Slamfire

    Slamfire Well-Known Member

    If you have forced lubrication, such as an oil pump, or a bath, oil is better. If not, use grease. Your front wheel bearing use grease.

    The lubrication requirements of fire arms are not as severe as internal combustion engines. I like the semi fluid greases, I use a lot of Mobil 1 oil. I found greases hard to wipe out of the locking recesses of a M1911 slide, so I prefer oil or semi fluid grease.

    But really, what is more important, is keeping the gun clean and well lubricated. Don't ignore it and expect it to run with dried, caked powder residue and dried, gummy lubricant.
  5. 1911 guy

    1911 guy Well-Known Member

    slamfire is right. Any lube is far better than no lube. On most guns, oil will work for everything, grease is a personal preference on some parts. I use grease on some stuff, but don't have nervous fits is all I have available is oil.

    My general rule has been if it slides, grease it. If it pivots, oil it. When in doubt, slather it in oil and forget about it.
  6. Elkins45

    Elkins45 Well-Known Member

    That seems like good advice to me. Another factor to consider is access: I can access slide rails easily so I grease them. Hammer pivots, etc. would need to be detail stripped to be effectively greased so oil is what they get in the expectation that it will flow into contact areas.
  7. Sunray

    Sunray Well-Known Member

    "...Any lube is far better than no lube..." Except in extreme cold. Otherwise, you grease moving parts and oil the rest. Said grease and oil doesn't have to have the word 'gun' in its name either.
  8. 1911 guy

    1911 guy Well-Known Member

    Said grease and oil doesn't have to have the word 'gun' in its name either.

    Amen, brother. In fact, you'd be surprised how many "gun" lubes are actually inferior for the application than common lubes. For example, a small sized tube of lithium grease and a quart of automatic transmission fluid will do a better job, last longer and cost less than a half dozen brands I can mention. Don't get me wrong, there are some very good "gun" lubricants out there. But a few are stinkers. And one of the most popular (Hoppes) used to be awesome, the brand got sold, and it now one of the stinkers.

    My personal favorites have become Shooters Choice for solvent, BreakFree for lube and hardware store brand lithium grease. But there are other good ones still out there. I have not tried the new Frog Lube, but it is getting good reviews. Slide Glide seems to be well thought of as well.

    Just don't use WD-40 as a lube. Is does not lubricate at all. It displaces water. As in (W)ater (D)isplacement formula (40). Use it if your guns get wet. Otherwise, no.
  9. 1SOW

    1SOW Well-Known Member

    As said above, dusty environments along with areas with extreme temp. changes make synthetic motor oils like Mobil 1 a good choice. It withstands the heat and friction of both sliding (pistons) and rotating (cranks and cams) in 20,000 RPM Indy cars.

    It penetrates well and doesn't collect crud. It's fluid nature stays very constant with environment temp. changes from well below zero to well above 120 degrees.

    It also works in pistols and doesn't need to be dripping to do so. It can be wiped clean and then a drop or two added strategically and it's ready to shoot.
    It's also FREE if you change your own oil and keep the "Empty" jugs and drain them. A WIN-WIN situation.
  10. Reloadron

    Reloadron Well-Known Member

    If it slides - Grease it. If it rotates - Oil it. Don't use cheap oil or grease either. :)

    Pretty much what everyone else said.

  11. sauer1911

    sauer1911 Well-Known Member

    +++111 to all the above!

    I have all kinds of grease and oil concoctions for my guns. Just search in the threads and you'll find many, many recipes.

    I lean towards synthetic oils, and greases.

    be safe

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