As with firearm maintenance, airsoft guns too need some TLC from time to time, and the purpose of this blog is to educate you – the airsoft enthusiast – as to when and how this maintenance should occur.
First, to clear up a common misconception… airsoft guns are NOT to be lubricated with WD-40 or gun oil. The proper lubricant for airsoft guns is high grade silicone oil. (I personally use Premium P-Force airsoft silicone performance lubricant in a spray bottle). Anything else will attract particles and dirt, foul your barrel and internals, and cause corrosive damage to your airsoft gun. Use silicone oil spray exclusively.
Cleaning The Barrel:
Airsoft gun barrels do occasionally need to be cleaned, and an indication of ‘as to when’ lies in the flight-path of your airsoft gun BBs. If the airsoft pellet is deviating vertically, then it’s time to retrieve your cleaning rod and a small piece of quality paper towel which you’ll thread through the tip of the rod (as you would thread through a needle – the strip of the paper towel should be approximately ½” wide by 3″ long), and grab your silicon lubricant. Lightly spray the strip, and then insert the cleaning rod strip-first into the barrel, spinning the rod as you gently move it first down the length of the barrel, and then back out. Following this, thread a clean strip of paper towel into the tip of the cleaning rod and repeat the procedure (this will remove any excess silicon oil from the barrel, and leave it obstruction-free).
Lubricating the Hop Up and Gearbox:
For issues with airsoft AEGS mis-feeding or jamming, occasionally an airsoft gun’s hop up needs to be lubricated. To do this, remove the gun’s magazine and fire two to three times in semi-auto to assure that the hop up is free of airsoft BBs, and then place the gun on your lap, upside down. With your bottle of silicon oil, angle the bottle and accompanying spray tube (which you’ve already inserted into the bottle’s nozzle) into the hop up, and spray one to two times. Be sparing with the oil (you don’t want to use too much), and let the gun sit for five minutes, allowing the silicone to seep into the hop up.
As with the hop up, your gearbox may occasionally need to be lubricated as well (although given that gearboxes comes from their respective manufacturers packed with industrial-grade grease or white lithium, this type of maintenance rarely needs to be performed. If your gearbox is whining, this may however do the trick). To lubricate the gearbox, the motor will first need to be removed from the airsoft electric gun, and once that task is completed, a small hole in the bottom of the gearbox will be visible by peering into the now-hollow gun handle. Place the tip of the spray tube through the handle and just into the visible gearbox hole, and spray three to four times. Again, leave the AEG upside-down so as to allow the silicon oil to work its way into the airsoft gearbox.
Lubricating Gas & C02 Airsoft Guns:
Silicone oil is a needed accessory for gas and c02 airsoft guns, particularly of the blowback variety. As gas airsoft magazines rely on rubber gaskets and O-rings to perform, they need to often be lubricated with silicone oil in order to retain the gasket’s expansion, which will assist the gas gun in properly operating (and which will keep the gas from venting or releasing prematurely). In order to lubricate a gas mag, spray silicone oil into the port at the top of the mag, and then work the valve on the side back and forth for approximately one minute. This procedure will allow the oil to seep down onto the gasket. Lubricating the gas mag’s fill port on the bottom of the magazine should also be conducted. In order to do so, hold the magazine upside down, and inserting the tip of the spray tube into the fill port, spray one to two times. Allow the oil to work its way into the fill-port gasket by leaving the mag upside-down for five minutes or so before loading the mag with gas and testing.
c02 airsoft guns and mags occasionally need to be lubricated as well. Using the spray bottle, lubricate the mag’s gasket at the point where it comes into contact with the c02 cylinder (for c02 guns where the cylinder is inserted directly into the gun’s pistol grip, similarly lubricate the gasket which comes into contact with the cylinder). You’ll want to wait a minimum of ten minutes before testing, as anything prior will prevent the oil from working its way effectively into the rubber seals (c02 is cold and will cause the oil to become dense).
The slide rails of both gas and c02 airsoft blowback guns may occasionally need to be lubricated as well, in order to allow for proper slide traversal. To do so, remove the slide, and lightly spray all contact points between the slide and the gun body, and then reattach the slide. This will provide proper lubrication and allow for an environment nearly devoid of friction.