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All Weather, All Condition, All Weapon Lubrication System
1911 Pistol (and clones) Instruction Set
By Gregory Pond
The following instructions detail the products and procedure for a proven, field strip level firearm lubrication process. The recommended lubrication products are as follows, and can be purchased at Brownell’s firearms accessories company (www.brownells.com, toll free 800-741-0015). These products are specifically formulated for use in firearms. Do not substitute non firearm grade lubricants.
Part# 965-361-010 Wilson Combat Ultima-Lube Universal Part# 965-000-008 Wilson Combat Ultima-Lube Universal Grease/Oil
The universal grease is a white lithium-complex, extreme pressure grease. The universal grease/oil product is a higher viscosity, synthetic oil, formulated from a mixture of synthetic oil and grease. ________________________________________________________________
This field strip level lubrication system’s procedural steps are listed below, followed by pictures showing the actual application areas in a sample Colt® XSE Government Model pistol. The field strip level lubrication system utilizes a mixture of two compatible lubrication products. The use of both products provides the specific benefits of both a low and high viscosity lubricant, at the same time. This process has been thoroughly tested in AR-15 style, semiautomatic rifles. The process has been thoroughly tested in 1911 type, Sig Sauer®, Glock® and Browning® Hi-Power pistol platforms. Testing, competitive and duty use weather conditions include extreme cold/snow, plus 90 degree heat and high humidity and rain. Thousands of test rounds have been fired in each platform. To date, no field strip level lubrication failures have been experienced (typical round counts of 200-300 rounds fired between cleanings). Any firearm lubrication process should include lubrication of metal to metal contact surfaces only.
The newer, polymer (Glock® and similar) framed firearms do not require lubrication of the polymer components. The polymer components have been designed to be self lubricating. Normal, polymer framed pistol maintenance should include keeping the polymer components completely clean and dry. Many shooters notice that polymer grip components become very slippery with even the slightest amount of cleaning solvent or oil present on the polymer gripping areas. Applying lubrication to metal surfaces that do not wear against other metal surfaces, does nothing to increase the lubricity of the moving parts. Unnecessary, excess lubrication does little more than provide a base for unwanted contamination to adhere to. A good rule of thumb is to lubricate where you see shiny metal (most firearm finishes wear from metal to metal contact). Be advised that some firearm finishes, such as hard chroming and “baked on” phenolic resin finishes, may not provide shiny wear marks to easily identify metal to metal contact surfaces. Become very familiar with your weapon system and it’s operation, to be sure you are lubricating the right components of the firearm. The base product utilized in this field strip level lubrication system is the lithiumcomplex grease (Wilson Combat Ultima-Lube Universal). The high viscosity grease product is excellent in preventing run off, even under the severe heat and friction endured in 300-500 round firing cycles. The grease also eliminates run off due to close body carry (body heat warms conventional oils, lowering viscosity, resulting in run off inside the holster).
After removing any magazines and completely unloading the firearm, disassemble and thoroughly clean the firearm. Remove any cleaning solvents to a bare metal finish. Clean cotton patches on the flat metal areas, and cotton Qtips® in the frame and slide rails, can be used to wipe off cleaning solvents after fouling is removed. De-lubricating cleaners such as automotive brake cleaner or acetone are not recommended, unless a complete stripping of the weapon is planned, to include re-lubricating of all internal trigger, firing and safety components. Never apply a de-lubricating cleaner to the “inner workings” of a firearm unless complete stripping and re-lubricating is planned.
As a side note, avoid using a grease on any firearm’s internal parts, unless specified by the manufacturer. Most internal parts are small, closely fitted parts that leave little to no room for thicker, high viscosity lubricants, such as the grease described in this documentation.
A thin film of the grease product is applied to the metal on metal bearing and lock up surfaces of the pistol components, to include the slide and frame rails and the barrel lock up areas. See pictures below for field strip level lubrication areas to be included. The Wilson Combat Ultima-Lube Universal product comes in a
syringe and allows for precise positioning/flow of the grease. The grease should be applied in a small bead, and smeared to a thin coat with a finger tip or the tip of the grease syringe. Areas such as the slide and frame rails will require the use of the syringe tip to smear the grease as flat as possible. Your grease coat should approximately equal the thickness of one or two pieces of tissue paper. Keep in mind that the only lubrication serving its purpose, is lubrication that remains resident between the metal components that are wearing against each other. Excess build up is simply forced out of the wear contact areas, and does no good.
After the base grease coat is applied, a small amount (measured in single drops and partial single drops only) of the grease/oil product (Wilson Combat UltimaLube Universal Grease/Oil) is applied on top of the base, grease product. The addition of the grease/oil product will slicken the grease lubricant, for better initial lubrication during cold weather firing. The grease/oil product also prevents stiffening of the grease lubricant, during long storage periods. Add only one full drop of the grease/oil product to the muzzle end of each greased frame rail. Tilt the frame muzzle end of the frame up, and let the drop run from the muzzle end of the frame’s rails towards the grip end. No grease/oil is needed on the slide rails, as the slide rails will pick up the drop of grease/oil upon re-assembly. Internal areas of the slide, such as the muzzle opening in the slide and the barrel/slide locking lug areas can be lubricated with less than a full drop of the grease/oil, applied on top of the grease. The barrel bed in the frame should get a partial drop of grease/oil applied on top of the thin coating of grease. After re-assembling and safety checking a properly lubricated pistol, a small amount of excess lubrication is typically forced out from between the slide/frame rails, muzzle end of barrel, etc. Simply wipe off the small amount of unused grease, and further excess should be minimal. See pictures of disassembled sample Colt® XSE Government Model pistol below for areas of required lubrication.
Images below depict Colt® XSE Government Model pistol. Most 1911 style pistols have similar components, and the same field strip lubrication points exist.
Grease only applied to both slide rails
Grease and grease/oil applied to slide barrel lug area (raised and lowered lug areas)
Grease and grease/oil applied to entire length of frame rails
Grease and grease/oil applied to barrel bed area
Grease/oil ONLY applied to firing pin safety lever, and tip of disconnector
Grease/oil ONLY applied to firing pin safety plunger
Grease and grease/oil applied to hammer cocking rail in slide
Grease and grease/oil applied to all upper barrel lugs and hood
Grease and grease/oil applied to barrel bushing interior and exterior
Grease and grease/oil applied to barrel tube (360 degrees of tube)
Grease and grease/oil applied to lower barrel lugs
Grease/oil ONLY applied to barrel link, at link pin (both sides)
Grease and grease/oil applied to slide stop pin
Grease/oil ONLY applied to recoil spring guide rod
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