Do I Have to Oil My Gun?

We know how essential it is to clean your gun regularly to keep it from malfunctioning. One part of the cleaning procedure also includes the oiling of the gun. 

You’d be surprised to know one of the most common reasons guns get jammed is when people try to prevent them by using too much lubrication. Yes, it is pretty reasonable to oil any moving part to avoid rust and jamming, but the quantity plays a massive role here.

How Much Lubrication Does A Gun Require?

We apply lubricant to guns to reduce the friction in the moving parts like the slide or frame so that it keeps functioning well.

Given the current manufacturing technology, guns are already designed with high tolerance and better accuracy. The materials used to manufacture them have also drastically changed. Now, guns have better lubricity, and you no longer need to bathe your gun in oil for it to function well.

Ideally, for any firearm, you should use only a drop or two of oil for lubrication. You should always check the owner’s manual before oiling any part or component of your gun. It is advisable to use a needle applicator for oiling to avoid over-lubrication and cause contaminant accumulation.

Oil or Grease?

There’s a lot of buzz about the confusion regarding what to use for your gun, oil, or grease. 

Going by the standard thumb rule, you should oil any part that turns and grease any component that slides. Although both work pretty well as lubricants, some manufacturers drop their suggestion about using either or both. 

But it’ll help to remember that any part that’s too worn due to metal-to-metal friction is better to be greased than oiled. Then again, greasing can be messy and take longer to clean compared to oiling.

What Lubricant or Oil Should I Use?

A lot of people ask if you can use olive oil on your gun. The answer is yes, but in controlled or sparing quantity.

Olive oil works well as a lube for the inner parts of pistols or rifles, as it does not dry up with heating or firing. You can combine two drops of olive oil with melted beeswax for a shiny and waterproof finish for the outside.

The best option is to use motor oil on your gun, as it has better protective and anti-correction properties than gun oil.

How Often Should I Oil My Gun?

Lubing your gun depends on the gun as well as the climate you use it in. There is no particular time frame for lubrication, and it is better said as required per usage.

If you feel your gun oil becomes dry and evaporates quickly, you should practice cleaning and lubing it after every use. But, remember not to use more than one to two drops of oil.

But if you haven’t used your gun for a while or do not notice any jamming, you can oil it again after a few uses. A light layer of grease on the slide rails and a tad bit of oil on the pivots can really go a long way.

This is me, Steve Coffman. I'm the Chief Editor of IGFA. I'm retired military personnel who is now into shooting and hunting. As an outdoor expert, I have experience in dealing with all kinds of guns, from light to heavy firearms. Currently, I'm spending my time hunting, shooting and writing on my blog.