Gel blasters are great toys to play with, and ensuring that they operate smoothly is vital to making sure they last through months of game day action!
Depending on what type of blaster you use, and it's internals, there are many different grease or oils that can be used. There's also a whole list of one's you shouldn't use as well! In this weeks' blog, I'm going to go over which lubricants to use, with what product and when to use them.
1. DONT USE PETROLEUM BASED LUBRICANTS.
Hydrocarbons, found in petroleum based products eat rubber for breakfast. Guess what your seals are made from? I'm sure you can see where Im going with this one...
2. DONT USE TOO MUCH LUBE.
Whe it comes to grease and lube, less is more. You want to ensure smooth movement and action inside your gearbox - which isn't achieved by stuffing the box full of grease compound. Lubricants reduce wear and tear caused by friction. Grease is no substitute for building your gearbox properly.
3. DIFFERENT PARTS, DIFFERENT LUBES.
Use this simple rule to make sure you're using the right compound for the right job.
For plastic on plastic, use a Silicon Oil. Any fine, less viscous type will do. You want something that will spread evenly. For the faster moving parts, such as your plunger/piston, try using a thicker silicon based grease, which will last a bit longer in those areas.
For metal on plastic, you can use the same as above. No real difference here.
For metal on metal, you'll need something thick. Ideally a moly based grease, which is heavy duty enough to take the high speed gear spin and friction inside the gearbox.
4. LUBRICATION ISNT JUST ABOUT THE FRICTION, BABY...
Using the right lube keeps your seals supple and in good condition. O-Rings in particular can dry out and become brittle. This results in them snapping easily, or a massive reduction in air pressure. Silicon oil is great for use on your air-seals and o-rings.
5. AEG vs GAS/AIR
Electric guns and gas/air powered blasters require different care. To correctly lubricate your electric powered rifles and other toys, you'll need something like a FB Grease Kit, which contains two or three different grades of lubricant.
Don't forget that your blaster will generally be poorly lubricated from the manufacturer. Even a brand new gearbox can benefit from a tear down and a lube change. If you feel confident, take it apart and use a light degrease spray to remove the old lube and replace it with:
Gears: Use a high viscosity moly based grease.
Piston Rails: Silicone Oil or Grease, we recommend grease since it will cling to the fast moving piston, if the piston is metal however - use the moly grease.
Piston/Cylinder Heads and O-Rings: A few drops of a light silicone oil will keep these fresh and supple.
Barrel/Hop Up: Don't. Just don't.
Gas Powered guns need a bit of TLC too, but in a different way to the AEG versions. In particular, gas guns can be a lot more fragile, so it's important to ensure they remain well tuned and lubricated well. This is done with Silicone Oil and Silicone Gun Grease.
Gears: Lubed with Grease if metal, or Silicone based Grease is plastic.
Piston/Slides: Silicone oil or Grease is metal.
O-Rings/Seals: Make sure these are always lubed with a fine grade silicon oil. Air and gas discharging is cold, unlubed seals will become stiff/brittle and snap. Make sure you also apply silicon oil to both the magazine inlet and hammer valve o-rings!
Magazine Well: You MIGHT wish to put a drop or two only of silicone oil into the well to help it slide. This should only be a VERY VERY LIGHT application and not applied anywhere near where the gels sit/pass.
The key to longevity of your gel blaster toys is careful lubrication and cleaning. When maintaining your blaster, keep and eye bout for any wear and tear particularly on plastic or nylon parts. You should replace these parts before they fail, or investigate why they're failing. A good lubricant can be the difference between spending your day shooting, or spending your day spectating.