B.B. was wrong: The story of Crosman Pellgunoil
by B.B. Pelletier
Today, I will explain all that went on with the Pellgunoil incident, as it will forever remain in my memory.
First of all, I have always believed that Crosman Pellgunoil is a synthetic silicone oil. I had no reason to believe otherwise, and I never questioned why I believed it to be so. All the advice I have given about using Pellgunoil over the years has been based on that belief.
Yesterday, one of our readers brought to my attention that there has been a discussion on the Yellow Forum about me telling you readers that I introduced Pellgunoil into the BAM B51 precharged pneumatic rifle through the fill nipple to coat the inner seals. I did give that advice, and those on the forum were saying that was wrong and dangerous. They said I should not have done what I did and certainly not told others about it in print. I answered the reader who told me about the forum discussion that Pellgunoil is synthetic and poses no problem.
Was I sure?
Then, my wife asked me whether I knew that for sure. The two things wrong with that are:
- I didn’t know it for sure – I thought so, but I wasn’t certain, and
- whenever my wife asks me this question, I am invariably wrong
So, I called a friend who is very knowledgeable about airguns – someone in the business who is in a position to know about Pellgunoil.
He said he didn’t know for sure what it was, but that a mutual friend of ours (another very knowledgeable guy) had once purchased some Pellgunoil that was accompanied by a spec sheet that revealed it is just non-detergent 30-weight motor oil and nothing more. My friend didn’t know whether that was correct, but he suggested I conduct an ignition test to see if Pellgunoil burns.
A call to Crosman
Right there I knew I had a problem, because something I had believed to be true for decades was quite possibly not true at all. I called Crosman and talked to a company official I know. He told me he doesn’t know what Pellgunoil is for certain, but that he does believe it is a petroleum-based product. At Crosman, he told me they refer to it as “Red Oil.” I didn’t ask this guy for an official company response. My call was simply precautionary, so don’t think for a minute that Crosman doesn’t know everything there is to know about Pellgunoil. Just not the guy I happened to buttonhole on the phone for five minutes.
The right stuff
He also told me that Crosman RMCoil, which the company now calls Silicone Chamber Oil, is 100 percent synthetic silicone with a high flashpoint. That is the stuff I should have used on the BAM B51.
Then, my friend called me back to say he had tried to ignite Pellgunoil, and it did. So, it is flammable, and probably petroleum-based, at the very least.
Pellgunoil forever – for the right jobs
Here’s the deal. Crosman recommends Pellgunoil for all their CO2 guns, and I will continue to recommend it for all CO2 guns. Crosman also recommends using Pellgunoil on the pump piston heads of their multi-pump pneumatics (in the Benjamin line), so I will continue to recommend that, as well. I know it works wonders in those applications.
What I will not do again is recommend the use of Pellgunoil in precharged pneumatic airguns. Perhaps you’re wondering what is the difference between a precharged pneumatic and a multi-pump pneumatic? A multi-pump builds an internal pressure of up to 1,200 psi (approximately…some may be less and some may even be more), while many precharged pneumatics develop internal pressures of 3,000 psi, and some even more than that. The two multi-pumps I still wonder about are the Daystate Sportsman Mark II and the Titan multi-pump that it was derived from. Those guns may develop a pressure over 2,000 psi, because they perform like precharged pneumatics. Since I don’t know, I will only use silicone oils to lubricate their pump heads.
Now you know everything I do about Crosman Pellgunoil. It’s a great product, and I’m very sorry that I told you about using it in an unsafe application.