Firearm owners purchase handguns for a myriad of reasons, be it hunting, protection, sports, or they just enjoy collecting guns.
However, with the ownership of a gun comes the responsibility of maintaining a gun that not only looks good but is also safe to use. As the maintenance of a gun is essential if you own one, properly lubricating it is necessary to maintain a safe, functional weapon.
All the parts of a gun, whether small or large, are susceptible to wear and tear, especially the parts that rub against one another.
So this means that parts such as the hammer, the action, and other parts need to be cleaned and lubricated regularly or the parts will wear down much faster due to heat during usage and metal friction.
Gun lubricants are very different from other machine or metal lubricants as they must perform very complex duties. These weapon lubricants must be able to perform under very hot temperatures and still provide a good pressure buffer between the moving parts.
Guns can reach temperatures of up to 392F, so it’s important that the lubricants used provide a good buffer between moving parts under adverse conditions including intense temperatures, humid conditions, and extremely cold weather.
So the question remains, gun oil vs grease – which is the perfect lubricant to use? Let’s find out!
Benefits of Cleaning and Lubricating Your Gun
Over time, using guns can lead to buildup, corrosion, and frictional wear and tear of rubbing parts. Regular maintenance will stop your gun from jamming, keep your gun clean, free of corrosion, and provide rust protection.
Here are three benefits of cleaning and lubricating your gun on a regular basis.
1. Increased Reliability
A well lubricated and maintained gun has far fewer chances of misfiring or leading to an accidental or negligent discharge. This means safer gun use for all involved.
2. Greater Accuracy
When a firearm is used, tiny particles of lead, copper, carbon, steel, and plastic are released inside the chamber of the gun or bore called fouling.
These particles can lead to buildup which will affect the accuracy of your gun when fired. A gun with well-lubricated parts will have higher accuracy when you take shots.
3. Longer Lifespan
By maintaining a firearm, you reduce buildup, corrosion damage, and friction leading to a much longer lifespan.
Gun Oil vs Grease
Now that we know the importance of lubricating our guns, it’s time to choose what kind of lubricant we want to be using.
When you move from cleaning your gun of buildup and debris, you must lubricate the firearm, especially the parts that rub up against one another to prevent wear and tear from friction. You’ll be presented with the options of gun oil or gun grease.
In order to pick your more preferred lubricant, let’s look at the pros and cons of using each kind of lubricant.
Gun oil should be used only after cleaning with a dedicated solvent. Lubricating a gun that hasn’t been cleaned will lead to a greasy residue and thick buildup which will affect the overall condition of the gun and its performance.
It’s a good rule of thumb to never store a gun without first giving it a quick wipe down with some lubricant oil.
Pros of Using a Gun Oil
1. It’s Not as Viscous as Gun Grease
This means that the gun oil is of a thinner liquid consistency than its grease counterpart and so leaves less of a buildup when applied to guns.
2. Gun Oils are Easier to Apply
Because of their thinner consistency, it’s much easier to apply an even coat of gun oil to the necessary parts and to hard-to-reach spots than it is when using grease.
3. Anti-Rust Abilities
Serves anti rust properties, protecting the metal components from corroding when it comes in contact with moisture which could form rust and damage the firearm.
Cons of Gun Oil
1. Over-Application Can Occur
Because of the thin consistency of gun oils it’s easy to apply more than needed to gun surfaces, clogging parts and making it prone to jamming.
2. Oils Trap Dirt
Oils unfortunately are a dirt magnet, trapping tiny particles and other debris within the gun which could affect its performance and accuracy.
3. Low Quality Oils Can Thicken
Low quality gun oils tend to thicken after only a few uses. This breakdown of the oils in the gun can also lead to jamming and poor performance.
When using gun grease to lubricate your gun, the same precautions taken when applying gun oil should be observed here. This means that you should only apply gun grease to a clean gun to prevent a greasy residue and buildup on its metal surface.
Gun grease is a synthetic formulation specifically designed for lubricating guns. It’s viscous enough that it doesn’t shift within the gun, but can also withstand the high pressure and temperature of the gun parts while firing.
Pros of Using Gun Grease
1. High Viscosity
For certain gun parts, it’s a better option than the gun oil. Its viscous nature makes it adept at handling the high pressure of moving gun parts during use.
2. It Prevents Corrosion From Moisture and Other Extreme Conditions
Due to the thicker nature of gun grease, it provides stronger protection against the elements which may cause corrosion or damage to the body and parts of a firearm.
3. Buffer Against The Elements
It can provide some water resistance and act as a buffer against the elements.
Cons of Using Gun Grease
- It’s difficult to apply to hard-to-reach areas of the gun.
- A low quality grease can freeze in cold conditions making the gun unusable.
- Its high viscosity makes it difficult to apply evenly to parts of the gun.
Taking in all of the advice from the gun oil vs grease debate above, you may still be wondering which of these lubricants is best for your gun.
In reality, it comes down to a matter of personal preference.
Both of these lubricants can be used for your gun depending on the needs of your gun or depending on the differences between your guns. Any firearm manufacturer whose product you’re interested in will have more information on their website.
Gun grease should be applied to areas with a very high load-bearing during gun use and it’s more suitable for high-pressure areas.
Gun oils should be applied to hard-to-reach areas and generally to the surface of the gun.
The choice of which option to pick from between gun oil vs grease boils down to personal preference. They both have their pros and cons and it all depends on the job you want them to perform.
You should, however, make sure to avoid waxy lubricants or all round grease that contain hard little particles because those can really do damage to a gun’s components.
A healthy mix of both gun oil and gun grease will probably serve you best, depending on the variety of gun you possess, and will help you maintain a functional gun that’s safe to use and performs smoothly.