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1911 Slide Lubrication -White Lithium Grease?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by Foto Joe, Oct 24, 2013.

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  1. Foto Joe

    Foto Joe Member

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    I've been meaning to pose this question for a while now but I keep getting sidetracked. A couple of months ago I had an issue with my Gvt Model and handed it over to a gentleman in Cody that builds custom 1911's. After he replaced the disconnector I stopped by to pick it up and noticed what appeared to be white Lithium grease lubricating the slide. He was busy and I was in a hurry so I didn't get to ask him what he was using and I never got back to his shop before we migrated south for the winter.

    I use Ballistol for ALL my lubrication simply because I shoot a lot of Black Powder and RemOil is a BIG no-no on BP guns. The Ballistol has worked well for me over the years but I know that it's not exactly a heavy duty lubricant and the slide on 1911's does take some serious abuse, I'd hate to manage to wear out an alloy frame (S&W) on one of my 1911's from improper lubrication.

    So I guess the $64 question or rather the $1,000+ question when it comes to 1911's is: Can I just lay my hands on plain on white lithium grease and use it more successfully than simply just using Ballistol?
     
  2. JTQ

    JTQ Member

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    I think you can use just about anything, just so you use it.

    I typically use oil, though I've used grease (SuperLube I believe was the product) in the past. I've also used Ballistol, and I like that too. It all works fine.

    The SIG guys recommend using grease on the rails of their aluminum framed guns to protect the interface between the steel slide and aluminum frame. I think you'll be fine whatever you choose.

    http://grayguns.com/lubrication-of-sig-sauer-pistol-rails/
     
  3. el Godfather

    el Godfather Member

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    I use transmission oil.
     
  4. longknife12

    longknife12 Member

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    I've had better luck with synthetic caliper grease on the slide and frame rails. Caution, use sparingly.
    Dan
     
  5. el Godfather

    el Godfather Member

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    The only problem I can foresee with grease is that with tight tolerance 1911s it may gunk it up after few mags and cause the slide to jam.
     
  6. C0untZer0

    C0untZer0 Member

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  7. LeonCarr

    LeonCarr Member

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    Keep the slide rails well lubricated with whatever oil or grease you like, if you put on too much the excess will sling off when you shoot :).

    White Lithium Grease and Lubriplate are both excellent.

    Just my .02,
    LeonCarr
     
  8. 1KPerDay

    1KPerDay Member

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    I apply grease when disassembled/cleaned, and drip some oil down the rails and locking lugs and around the muzzle once in a while between disassembly/cleanings.
     
  9. sgt127

    sgt127 Member

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    In the good old days of IPSC Rig +P was a grease of choice along with Lubriplate. You knew when your gun had enough grease when it squished out the back when you reassembled it.

    You also knew it was well lubed because at the end of the match, the bill of your ball cap and your shooting glasses had splatters of grease all over them.

    I think the specific choice of any particular lubes is trivial. Just use something. I've used most everything on the market in 40 years of shooting. And, not really sure there is a dimes worth of difference between them.
     
  10. Sheepdog1968

    Sheepdog1968 Member

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    If I recall, I think white lithium grease was an invention that came out of Ww2 and was used for machine guns. I'm going off of my fuzzy memory.
     
  11. rockhopper46038

    rockhopper46038 Member

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    One warning on the white lithium grease - in cold weather it can get very stiff. Stiff enough that your pistol may not return to battery expeditiously, if at all.
     
  12. Mainsail

    Mainsail Member

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    I've always used Gunslick graphite on my autos.

    83012_GraphiteLube.jpg
     
  13. bainter1212

    bainter1212 Member

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    I use white lithium grease on all my 1911 frame rails. Works great and it's cheap - plus you can get it at any old hardware store.
     
  14. dprice3844444

    dprice3844444 member

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    se fla i love claymores 01/sot
    i use amsoil waterproof wheel bearing grease
     
  15. Foto Joe

    Foto Joe Member

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    This is one of those posts that has managed to mitigate my ignorance more than I expected. Given the fact that my 1911's get used a LOT I don't think that I'm hurting anything using Ballistol as it doesn't have time to migrate off too far.

    The link to Grant Cunningham's article was very useful and in the case of his opinion on WD-40 entertaining.


    This is a quote from the Grant Cunningham link provided by C0untZer0
    Graphite: (sprays, powders) Graphite is a crystalline product which is actually very slightly abrasive. It offers no appreciable benefit other than being dry; a lube with a good boundary lubricant package can be wiped dry to the touch and still provide better lubrication and protection than graphite. Save it for your keys and padlocks.
     
  16. gpjoe

    gpjoe Member

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    As many have already stated, use whatever works.

    I will point out, for what it's worth, Kimber expressly states NOT to use grease on their 1911s.

    As for me, I've been using dexron transmission fluid - a quart goes a looooooong way for 8 bucks.
     
  17. OilyPablo

    OilyPablo Member

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    I actually think Ballistol is an inferior lubricant for 1911 rails, in particular stainless steel rails, mainly because it lacks any EP or AW additives, and the strange way it dries and balls up. I use synthetic grease (sparingly as noted above) on my 1911 rails. I happen to like Amsoil Synthetic spray grease.
     
  18. steveno

    steveno Member

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    years ago I tried some of Wilson's grease on my Kimber SST Compact 45 acp and at 30 degrees temperature I might as well have used peanut butter. there was never a temperature rating that I could find on it. I cleaned it up and went back to Birchwood Casey gun oil. it works in any temperature and doesn't gum up. for clean up all you have to do is wipe it out with a patch
     
  19. JTQ

    JTQ Member

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    From the guy with everybody's favorite backyard shooting range, Hickok45 and his use of Ballistol on the 1911.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8wPPUXU3Lhc

    It is now Ultima-Lube II, and Wilson puts temp ratings on all the varieties.


    http://shopwilsoncombat.com/Ultima-Lube-II-Oil-2-oz-Bottle/productinfo/577-2/

     
  20. OilyPablo

    OilyPablo Member

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    I have actually discussed lubricants with Hickok45. He is truly a great guy and a great shooter, but he doesn't know all that much about lubrication. Plus he deleted our public discussion!

    I would never use smelly old conventional grease on a firearm, one reason already noted. Does not work well when cold.
     
  21. PO2Hammer

    PO2Hammer Member

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    The last thing you want on a full rail gun is copious amounts of heavy grease.

    Full rail guns like CZs, Sigs and 1911 need lighter lube.

    The Glock pictured above is ridiculously over lubed, but will probably run fine because those little tabs that Glock uses instead of frame rails can push through heavy grease more easily.

    There are plenty of lighter lithium lubes (TW25b) made for guns that will work fine. Avoid the heavy hardware store stuff.
     
  22. 2zulu1

    2zulu1 Member

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    Grant Cunningham's article had a number of great insights experiential knowledge. 1911s find themselves on my hip on a regular basis, lubes need to work during sweaty, dusty and extremely hot, prolonged activities.

    Remoil and Gun slick graphite are two brands that don't compare to other brands. Haven't tried Dexos ATF yet, but Breakfree SLP has held up well at very hot temps(couldn't touch the slide) and in dust storms. Dust storms like this;

    IMG_20130708_172645_144.jpg

    I also like Kroil for cleaning.
     
  23. Mainsail

    Mainsail Member

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    Gunslick is not graphite powder. The caution you quoted has nothing to do with Gunslick. Totally unrelated.
     
  24. viper7342

    viper7342 Member

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    FWIW, I use TW25b on all my firearms, from my KelTec P11 to my 1911's and AR 15. It seems to work great and a little goes a long way.
     
  25. Geno

    Geno Member

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    I tried the white litium grease on my 1911s. It wasn't pretty. :uhoh: It wasn't as-bad-as the graphite lube that some put in the ARs, but it was not reliable with the grease, even when applied very light, then wiped.

    Geno
     
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