AIRGUN OIL MYTHS
It's a myth that petroleum oil is harmful or unsafe to use for airguns. This stems from the common misconception that petroleum oil and distillates are the same thing. They're not, oil is what's left after the distillates are removed from crude oil. Petroleum distillates are not safe for use in airguns for a variety of reasons. Some petroleum oils also contain distillates and those are also not safe. This subject is even more confusing to many because some distillates are commonly referred to as oil. The most common examples are heating oil and penetrating oil which are both petroleum distillates. The oil that's safe for airguns is called mineral oil also known as heavy oil. Mineral oil is non-toxic and non-flammable but it's combustible at very high temperatures. It protects against wear and corrosion better than silicone or natural oils, will not harden and doesn't become rancid. This is why all engine oils, including synthetics, are mineral oils. Many believe synthetic engine oils are made from non-petroleum substances like silicone, this is not true. Synthetic engine oils are made from mineral oil. Silicone oils are synthetic also but aren't used for engines due to their poor lubricating and anti-wear characteristics compared to mineral oil. Engine oils, natural or synthetic, will not hurt the seals in your gun. Modern airgun seals are made of materials like Nitrile and urethane which are engineered for use with petroleum oils. We've been using mineral oil (engine oil) in airguns for many years and have never seen a Nitrile or urethane o-ring swell or dissolve. It's not always safe for PCP & HPA due to the risk of rapid compression autoignition (dieseling) so the silicone oil we have listed is recommended for those applications. Silicone oil will swell and soften Viton o-rings so Nitrile or urethane are recommended.
It's a myth that engine oil is toxic. Most are not. Some do contain potentially harmful additives, these will say so on the container and should be avoided. Used engine oil is typically more toxic, combustible and can even become flammable, this is due to fuel contamination and engine wear.
It's a myth you shouldn't use detergent oil for an airgun. It actually works better than non-detergent. The "detergents" are metallic salts that reduce wear and corrosion. They also help keep particles suspended in the oil so they can be removed by a filter or exit machinery as they work their way through. Moisture is absorbed and passed through without negatively affecting the lubricating properties of the oil. Emulsification is what many fear with detergent oils, this doesn't happen to a significant degree in an airgun and wouldn't be an issue if it did, it would simply mean more moisture was present and being worked out of the gun. Moisture content in emulsified oil does not affect it's lubricating and wear reduction properties.
Crosman Pellgunoil (re-packaged Monolec GFS 8430) is SAE 30 engine oil with a high level of detergency. Because it's single-viscosity it gets significantly thicker in cold temps. Magnum Airpower's HIGH-PERFORMANCE AIRGUN OIL is full synthetic and multi-weight. It flows freely at very cold temps and maintains it's viscosity at very hot temps. It has the highest level of anti-wear and anti-corrosion additives of any oil sold for airguns.
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