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I recently read a post discussing how often do you clean your weapon. I mentioned Grease and several people advised me not to use grease, but only oil. That contradicts what I was taught with my 1911, so I want to hear why Oil, or if someone agrees with grease. We bought a weapon each 3 years ago, a Ruger 1911 .45 for me and my wife choose a Charter Arms .32 Magnum Undercoverette 5 shot (found out its the lifetime warranty of theirs too). I made sure we both were taught gun safety again and maintenance of our weapons. I was told to put a light coating of grease instead of oil for a 1911 by this person. Later I had to replace my front sight so I asked the gunsmith to tell me if I was using enough or too much grease. He jokingly told me no such thing as too much grease. He has been a machinist and gunsmith (training with his dad) since he was 7. His dad was a navy machinist and a gunsmith, and he is still both in his 60's now. There is more bio on him, and that is why I trusted his advice too.
So when I clean my weapon I put a light coating of the grease you see in the photo, and oil you see in the barrel. I use the brushes you see too.
Don't just tell me to use one or the other please, but why. I am an old Tech myself and details matter. Thank you before hand.
 

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I use a dab of grease where the hammer strut fits into the mainspring cap, because it’s under a good amount of force. I use a thick oil on the barrel and slide rails, so the oil doesn’t creep out and make a mess. I use a thinner oil to lubricate the parts of the gun that are difficult to reach, because the oil will creep around and get to the less accessible parts. I imagine a lot of people would say I’m over-thinking things, but it’s no extra trouble and it gets the lube where I want it.
 

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I know those who build their guns to very tight tolerances recommend a thin oil on the rails. I would think grease would be a hindrance in colder temperatures. But I have been known to use a combination of grease and oil in hot weather conditions, especially with my lightweight framed guns.
 

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I grease the rails and oil the other internal parts. In my experience, both with guns and other things mechanical, grease provides superior coverage and holds up under the pressure of the slide action better. For comparison, I'll refer you to the 5th wheel on a trailer...it's greased, not oiled.
 
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as mentioned( and I have experienced this) grease is a no go in cold weather. It hinders the parts from moving

when I clean, I use a nylon brush and either Kroil or breakfree clp( nighthawk supplies gibbs with their guns--that works too). I scrub the frame and slide ares that accumulate powder and debris. wipe off with a paper towel( I used a wooden stick from a medical q tip) clean out the area of the slide that hide dirt on the slide and frame(grooves, slots...) then I apply some wilson or lucas gun oil to the same areas of the slid e, barrel and frame( areas that show signs of friction from use)


I have had zero issues with function using this method

greases tends to hold dirt in as well. oils gets shed while shooting--another + for oil

the only time I use grease is to hold a stubborn barrel link in place so I can reassemble the gun without it falling forward so easily.

some of these videos show the how and why as well



always love a good lube thread
 
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There’s nothing I hate more than getting a gun in for custom work to find it covered in caked on grease.

Use oil. Just a few drops go a long way. It’s not a Garand action. It doesn’t need grease. Grease gets hard, cakes up and can slow the action down. It can also get harder to clean up. Don’t over complicate the simple process of putting oil on gun. A couple drops on the rails, maybe a drop on the locking lugs of the slide and that’s all it really needs for lubrication. That’s it. And the rest of the gun might only need a little bit to avoid corrosion.
 

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For me, the biggest reason to use grease over oil is that grease tends to stay put. I remember field stripping a pistol I'd had stored once to check it out before going to the range. I have pretty much always cleaned and lubed every pistol after every range session. This particular pistol had essentially no lube on the rails. The oil I'd used had evaporated or run out. That's the point I started using grease for the rails and most other areas with sliding contact.

Most gun greases barely quality as grease. They have just enough thickening agent added to be termed "grease". This allows them to stay put and continually provide a lubrication boundary between the sliding parts. As someone has already mentioned, they can be problematic when the temps get near freezing. For my carry pistol, which typically resides in my car's center console when I'm not wearing it, I switch to oil for the rails in the winter, simply because it has been my experience that the slide can become very sluggish as the grease thickens up from the cold.

In the end, there are hundreds of different products and reasons for using said product when it comes to firearms. Firearms are little machines composed of tightly fitting parts. As my farmer grandpa used to say, "lubrication is cheaper than parts." That's the whole point of lubricating your firearm. I'm not sure there is a right or wrong answer so long as you learn what parts and areas need lubricated in your firearm(s) and stay on top of it. A little lubrication reduces wear. I've often said that after you've shot a new firearm, take a close look at the wear marks in the parts. THAT'S where you need to lubricate that firearm.
 

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I usually just go by the manufacturer recommendations in owners manual. For the life of me, I don't recall any of the four 1911's (that I have or had) recommending grease. You will get a wide variety of opinions and reasons why or why not but I believe in the "whatever works best for YOU" method.
 

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I know Rob @Alchemy discourages grease on custom guns because the slide fitment is so tight it just scrapes the grease right back off. As for older loose fit guns he said go for it. Actually makes the slide fit tighter.
 

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Brown Liquid Bottle Cosmetics Fluid



Font Number Electric blue


I’d say it’s more like a thick oil. Has some of the Lucas stringing properties, stays where I put it and really slicks things up. Probably won’t use it as much when it’s gets cold though I’m curious to see how it acts.
 

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I agree with @JLS1911 that in this discussion you will get a lot of differing opinions on oil v. grease, many of them boil down to personal preference. But to provide some rationale, beyond personal opinion, in this debate, I think you should start with each manufacturers owners manuals or suggestions. From my personal experience, many 'older' gunsmiths or military veterans tend to suggest grease, which is what was popular at that time. I also agree with @EvolutionArmory, one of the biggest 'knocks' against grease is the fact that it tends to trap dirt or debris and can harden over time. Firearm specific oils have become more popular due to their extreme heat and cold tolerances, lubricating ability, and they don't trap dirt/debris like grease.
 

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If I'm taking out a 1911 to shoot and it is over 90 degrees at 9:00 in the morning, I will put a little blue Harley Davidson axle grease on the slide. Everything else gets mobil one 10W-30. I can't speak to if the grease get "sluggish" during cold weather because I don't use it except when really hot out. If I forget the grease, I will over oil the slide. Once I left a 1911 out on my shooting table in over 100 degree heat in the sun for about 10 minutes, I burnt my hand picking it up. So for me grease and shade are good things.
 

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I think it was here a member recommended RIG grease, and that is what I have been using, oil evaporated on my guns, I use a fine hobby brush on the rails. been working so far.
 

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I think it was here a member recommended RIG grease, and that is what I have been using, oil evaporated on my guns, I use a fine hobby brush on the rails. been working so far.
I will say this--not all oils are created equal, some are better than others. I have 'experimented' with numerous oils that I have been introduced to over the years and through some 'trial and error' I have those that are superior in my opinion. These include Slip 2000, Gibbs, and Breakthrough.
 

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I know Rob @Alchemy discourages grease on custom guns because the slide fitment is so tight it just scrapes the grease right back off. As for older loose fit guns he said go for it. Actually makes the slide fit tighter.
Yep, I put a little slide glide lite(grease) on the upper and lower lugs, oil on the rest of the pistol (ACW Prime). On my Colt, which is fit like a typical Colt, I use a mix of slide glide/oil. And it does not get super thick. Or harden on the gun.


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