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Before using lubricant, read the sections below that relate to the application you're using it for. Lubricants containing petroleum distillates (hydrocarbon solvents) or other flammable substances may not be safe. They can end up in places where they won't evaporate before the gun is charged or fired. Combustion or explosion could result. WD40, many gun oils, cleaning solvents, silicone sprays and most similar products contain flammable chemicals. Many products intended for firearms are not safe for airguns. Substances with any significant toxicity should not be used. They could be harmful with regular contact and become aerosolized and inhaled while charging or firing. Which lubricants are safe is explained below. Section 1 covers low-pressure CO2 and variable-pump models. Section 2 covers high-pressure PCP, HPA and break barrel.
SECTION 1 : VARIABLE PUMP & CO2
Crosman recommends Pellgunoil which works well in moderate temperatures. It comes in an applicator tube that contains 1/4 oz. Magnum Airpower HIGH-PERFORMANCE AIRGUN OIL works better in all temperature ranges. It's available in 1/2 oz precision applicator bottles and 4 oz wide-mouth bottles.
SELF-CONTAINED PUMP : These models should be assembled with oil to lube all the seals and moving parts. Add a drop of oil directly into the pump chamber every couple hundred shots. You can do this more often if the piston isn't working smooth or produces inconsistent performance. If you accidentally over-oil you can fire the gun with the barrel pointed straight up, unloaded and safely away from you. In that position excess oil settles near the valve stem and blows out through the barrel. To prevent oil-lock, only use two pumps for each shot until excess oil is cleared from the pump chamber and valve. A drop of oil should be applied to all pivot points of the pump lever and one at the back of the piston seal. This will lubricate the contact points of the pump assembly. The owners manual should indicate other model-specific lubrication points.
CO2 : Like the pump models above, these should be assembled using oil to lube all the seals and moving parts.
CARTRIDGE POWERED : For models with a piercing cap or rod that threads into the front of the gas tube, the threads should be oiled to keep them working smooth and prevent rust. A drop of oil should be placed on the tip of each cartridge before installation. For 22XX this prevents the piercing pin from getting stuck in the cartridge which causes the cartridge to get stuck in the tube. It also lubricates the valve, ports and barrel to preserve performance and reduce corrosion. After installing a cartridge the gun needs to be fired once (unloaded) to pierce it. This is not a malfunction, it's how they are designed to operate. Other types of CO2 guns will pierce the cartridge automatically during installation. Those may have different lubrication requirements that are model specific.
BULK-FILL : A drop of oil should be placed in the fill nipple before each fill. This is not safe for dual-fuel PCP models, those require silicone oil instead. An explosion could occur during a rapid fill from an air tank. Refer to the PCP section below for more info.
SECTION 2 : PCP, HPA & BREAK BARREL ( spring piston, gas piston, gas ram )
Magnum Airpower HIGH-PERFORMANCE SILICONE OIL is non-toxic and highly resistant to rapid compression autoignition or "dieseling" as it's commonly referred to. With a flash-point above 586° F and autoignition temp above 900° F it's the safest on the market. It's an excellent compression chamber oil for break barrel models ( spring piston, gas piston, Nitro Piston and gas ram) that require silicone oil. It's perfect for high-pressure hand pumps, assembling PCP airgun components and can be periodically added through the fill nipple of your PCP gun to reduce corrosion and wear. Crosman Silicone Chamber Oil (RMCOIL) is recommended by Crosman for their break barrel and PCP guns. Magnum Airpower HIGH-PERFORMANCE SILICONE OIL is a safer high-performance version. Both are dimethyl, phenylmethyl siloxane, trimethyl-terminated. Our oil has a higher phenyl content which gives it a much higher flash point, better thermal stability and it's more hydrophobic to better prevent corrosion. This oil is only available from industrial suppliers for $400 per gallon and up. We list these 1/2 oz bottles at a very small markup to make it affordable for most. It has a viscosity equal to SAE 30, resists thickening in cold temps and thinning in hot.
PCP & HPA : Without lubrication, PCP components can be difficult to assemble and o-rings are more easily damaged. Tanks are harder to install and remove without lubrication on the outer threads and o-rings. Many lubricants are not safe due to the risk of rapid compression autoignition. Use only lubricants that are recommended by the manufacturer or a trusted airgunsmith who works with PCP & HPA guns.
A drop or two of oil can be added through the fill nipple of PCP guns for maintenance. It works it's way through the system to prevent corrosion, prolong seal life and lubricate the valve reducing wear. Some recommend never oiling PCP guns except during assembly. We've found over many years that these guns last much longer and perform better with lubrication. To prevent over-oiling, every 2000 shots is generally enough. After oiling, excess oil accumulation should be cleared. To do this, make sure the gun is unloaded, point the barrel straight up in a safe direction and fire it. Keep the barrel pointed up through the entire procedure, excess oil settles into the valve and shoots out through the barrel.
No oil should ever be introduced into a HPA tank, regulator or the internal threads of either. They are commonly flash-filled, an explosion could result. Scuba tanks generally have grease on the internal threads to prevent corrosion. They are filled at slower rates so there is no risk of explosion when the correct type of grease is used. Grease works better than oil for this purpose, it stays in the threads where needed instead of settling and migrating the way oil tends to.
It's not high pressure that causes lubricants to detonate, it's rapid compression generated during a rapid fill. The fill rate required for rapid compression autoignition to occur varies by the type of lubricant and size of the container. A PCP tube capacity of 4.5 cubic inches requires a rate of around 2000 PSI per second for standard airgun oil to detonate. The rate required for larger tubes and tanks is higher. The rate for smaller tubes stays about the same. Based on this it is safe to establish 2000 PSI per second as the minimum fill rate required to cause autoignition. The rate required for common silicone oil types is slightly higher, with our oil it's much higher. Most silicone and heavy petroleum oils are safe when there's no risk of accidental rapid fill. Only the safest type should be used otherwise.
BREAK BARREL : For most models ad one or two drops of oil every 200-300 shots. Some may require lubrication more or less often. Some guns have a leather piston seal that needs to be oiled regularly. Some require petroleum-based oil and some require silicone-based. It's safest to fallow the manufacturers recommendation for which type to use, for silicone this is the most effective oil in the industry and the only one that doesn't diesel at all.
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