What to oil? - Part 1
A guide to sealing pneumatics and CO2 guns
by B.B. Pelletier
I get many questions about where to oil certain airguns, so this multi-part report will address all the places. This information has been written in owners' manuals for some airguns but not for them all. Think of this as your universal tutorial.
Whether the gun pumps from the bottom, the side or has a rod coming straight out the front, they all need oil to seal their seals and internal o-rings. If I haven't shot a gun in a month, it gets oiled the first time I pick it up. If I shoot it often, it gets oiled once a month.
What oil to use?
Use some form of petroleum oil for most multi-pumps unless the manual warns against it. Crosman Pellgunoil is 20-weight motor oil with no additives except an o-ring preservative, making it the perfect oil to use.
Vintage Benjamin guns
Some vintage Benjamins have a warning that says, "Do Not Oil" next to the air hole located near the muzzle of the gun. Benjamin recommends removing the pump rod and greasing the leather pump head with petroleum jelly. If you don't want to do that, you can use oil, but the small hole where the warning is located is the air hole. Don't plug it with grease or oily residue.
Oiling CO2 guns
Put a drop of oil (Pellgunoil is the best) on the tip of EACH NEW CARTRIDGE you pierce. The gas pressure will blow some of the oil through the gun, where it will get on the seals and o-rings. It is impossible to over-oil a gun, if you do it this way.
When I get a new CO2 gun and want to give it a huge shot of oil, I try to put the oil directly on the cartridge piercing mechanism. More than one drop can be put there and I usually give a new gun five drops or more. This is also helpful when oiling a vintage CO2 gun. It puts a lot of oil on the internal seals, which may have dried out.
Don't forget AirSource and bulk-fill guns!
I always oil AirSource and bulk-fill CO2 guns this way. These guns shoot a lot more shots between fills than guns using 12-gram cartridges, and it's good to have extra oil available for the seals. My own bulk-fill 10-meter pistol is now about 9 years old and has fired perhaps 30,000 shots, yet it still seals well because I oil it with every fill.
Here are some topics I will cover in this series in the future:
- How to oil a spring-piston gun:
- Underlever and sidelever
- How to oil a BB gun
- How to oil a single-stroke pneumatic
- Should you oil a precharged pneumatic?
- Oiling airguns for lubrication, not sealing
Have I missed anything?