I dissembled, cleaned, and reassembled the trigger in my EDC yesterday. I was somewhat surprised at how much carbon worked its way all the way back there. The coil hammer spring had a lot of gunk that looked like dried out grease in it. Once reassembled I tested the safety, disconnect, etc. and honestly it “feels” pretty much like it did before the cleaning. By cleaning I mean I wiped every part with a paper towel and reassembled dry.
That is what leads me to my question; should any of the springs, pins, or mating surfaces be lubricated? If so, which ones and with what lubricant?
I like my work to be not complicated and after reviewing gunsmiths’ opinions I do this:
regular maintenance, after every shooting session (200 or more rounds):
wipe down with oil recoil spring (or recoil assembly) and put a drop of oil on every visible spring (mostly it is trigger return spring, sometimes you can find another spring behind the sear)
spray internal parts (not accessible) with gun cleaner containing dry lube (fe Hornady Cleaner). It cleans the parts and leaves dry slippery coat on them. (main/hammer spring)
deep cleaning every 5,000 rounds:
full disassembly, cleaning every single part with regular cleaner and wipe them down with oil. Whichever part is going to be not accessible during next field strip - wipe it down with dry cloth. This procedure refers to main (hammer) spring, striker (firing pin) block spring and striker (firing pin) spring. These should be dry.
The point is that oil/lube attracts small particles so you are ok with springs you can clean frequently, but be careful with springs that are not accessible for frequent cleaning.
Pins - definitely clean then lube and wipe with dry cloth.
What lubricant… - personal preference. Just check if does it harm polymer parts. All other material is going to survive any lubricant.
These were once my favorite T-shirts. When they get broke in just right there are pinholes for ventilation. I have to rescue them from the wife and wash them multiple times to get the Pledge smell off them. Then they are ready for cleaning and wiping guns!
If something bears or rotates around something (pins), light oil, as in wipe it on not squirt.
If something slides back and forth across something else, light oil as above.
Springs require no oil to function and it attracts “gunk” which will inhibit the function of the spring.
Desert Storm 1 and subsequent other sandy trips taught me the value of dry lube or VERY minimal lube. The carbon and unburnt powder coming out of a fired cartridge is not wet, it is dry. Don’t let it get wet if you can avoid it because then it turns into lapping compound.
There was this “stuff” we used to use to “Dee-Oil” Marine Corps guns. It was called “Dry Cleaning Solvent” and the chemical name was about 20 letters long and was pronounced “TOXIC”. It would suck all the CLP out of a 30 year Marine Corps Armory maintained rifle in about a minute. It was brake cleaner on steroids. Throw the whole guin in the tank and scrub it, take it all apart and scrub the parts. Any pin got wiped down with a CLP covered rag. Sliding parts got wiped down similarly. Reassemble and go get dusty.
If you ever needed to “Hose it down” with oil/CLP you were on a short road to locking it up.
Now I will say for pretty blued guns oil is your friend to keep the bluing intact but I gave up carrying blued guns a long time ago.
Also use trany fluid on pellet guns. Ok for seals and O rings. A old Repair tech told me that
and, I’ve been using it for a very long time. I us it with a needle bottle applicator for precise Application.
@Gary_H, you didn’t say what sort of firearm we’re talking about.
Any modern gun will have lubrication instructions in the owner’s manual. In most cases, the requirements are very minimal; a very small amount on the slide, and a correspondingly small amount on one or two of the major friction surfaces of the action.
When I did my Glock armorer’s class, it was stressed repeatedly that over-oiling is more of a liability than under-oiling. Having seen firsthand how over-oiling can attract all manner of dirt and grime, I’m inclined to believe this.