Technical hitches can be such a bummer.
Picture this: It’s a round of last man standing. You’re perfectly positioned to make the shot and take the opposition out. You cock your gun, pull the trigger, but nothing comes out. You try again, but you’ve given away your position by this time, and it’s game over for you.
With proper care and maintenance of your guns, you can avoid finding yourself in these sticky situations.
In addition, your gun will last longer, saving you repair and replacement costs.
Here are some tips and strategies for maintaining your Airsoft replicas to keep them in the best shape.
Table of Contents
- Know All You Can About How Your Gun Operates
- Keep Your Barrel Clean
- Care for the Magazine
- Keep the Gun Lubricated
- Maintain the Power Source
- Prolonging the Life of Your Airsoft Guns
- Frequently Asked Questions
Know All You Can About How Your Gun Operates
The first step to keeping your gun properly maintained is knowing how it works. Figuring out the replica’s operation mechanism will keep you from accidentally damaging it during maintenance.
In addition, each type of gun requires some maintenance work specific to it. The most common firearms in Airsoft have springs or gas mechanisms.
- The spring-loaded gun works when the springs release their tension, pushing the ammo out at high speed.
- With a gas-powered gun (GBB), a hammer found inside the piece pushes against the magazine valve. The gas will be forced into the upper part, pushing the ammo out.
- There are also electric guns (AEG) that use battery power to propel the BBs.
The differences in mechanisms mean that you have to care for these replicas differently; for instance, electric ones have fewer moving parts and need less frequent lubrication.
You will also need to learn how to disassemble and put your piece back together like in this video:
Keep Your Barrel Clean
The barrel determines your range and accuracy. If dirt clogs up inside, you are likely to shoot wide more often than not.
So, make sure you clean your barrel monthly or at least every quarter, depending on how often you play.
Here’s how to clean the barrel:
- Thread a small strip of a soft white paper towel or cloth onto the cleaning rod. A microfiber cloth is the best because it’s soft and won’t leave any scratches.
- Spray the strip with a Teflon-based oil. You can also use a silicone-based lubricant; however, it can make the barrel oily, making it easier for dirt to stick.
- Now put one end of the cleaning rod (the one with the cloth) inside the barrel and move it up, down, and sideways in circular motions. Do this several times until the white material comes out clean.
Note: Before you start cleaning, remove the mock suppressor/tracer unit. Also, ensure you take out your magazine and empty the chamber. In addition, ensure the hop-up is fully dialed off, so you don’t damage the hop-up mechanism.
Watch this video to see how to clean the barrel.
Care for the Magazine
Caring for the magazine will depend on the type of weapon you own.
For electric and spring replicas, ensure the magazine is empty after each use. This is because the springs that push the BBs through your trigger get weaker if they stay under compression too long.
If your springs are weak, they will have a harder time feeding the ammo. By removing the BBs, you give the springs a chance to release tension, keeping them in better shape for longer.
If you use a gas-powered replica, leave some gas inside the magazine to keep it under pressure. If you leave it empty, the O-rings on the gun will dry, causing it to perform poorly in the future.
It also helps to add a little silicone oil to the magazine to keep all openings lubricated and sealed. Oil the magazine every few months or after a couple of games, depending on how frequently you use it.
Note: Less is more when it comes to oiling. So, apply only a light coating of oil; drenching the magazine will only make it trap dirt faster, and it won’t work as well as it should.
Keep the Gun Lubricated
Guns with moving parts need to stay lubricated to keep all the features working well. How often you lubricate will depend on the type of weapon.
For those with fewer moving parts like AEGs, you only need to lubricate after eight or so games. The other types will require constant lubrication or at least every four games.
If you don’t lubricate, the inner parts will be worn down in a couple of months, lowering your weapon’s effectiveness.
Use industrial oils like silicone, molybdenum, or Teflon-based.
Expert Tip: Stay away from petroleum-based oils. Lubricants with petroleum are hydrocarbons and tend to degrade materials like rubber.
Here’s how to lubricate your Airsoft firearm.
Electric (AEG) and Spring Gun Lubrication
Remove the magazine and double-check that your gun is free of BBs; you can do this by putting it in semi-auto mode and firing it a few times. Then:
- Hold it upside down and put the oil inside the hop.
- Leave it like that for a couple of minutes to allow the oil to spread inside.
To lubricate the gearbox:
- Start by removing the motor.
- Find the small hole on the underside of the gearbox and pour or spray the oil inside.
- Leave it upside down for a few minutes so that the oil can settle inside.
Gas (GBB) Gun Lubrication
- Start by removing the magazine, then ensure that the chamber is empty and turn the hop off.
- The next step is removing the slide so you can access the inner parts.
Look for a button that you’ll find on one side of the gun. You will also need to locate the lever. Now simultaneously press the button and turn the lever. You can now push the slide forward to remove it.
Note: Each make and model will have a different lever and button location, so feel your way around until you find it.
- Pour or spray the oil into the internal parts. You will have to remove some parts if you don’t have proper access. Remember to take a picture of the inside before you remove any part so you’ll be able to put it back exactly where and how it was.
Pay attention to the slide rails, trigger, and hammer, and make sure you oil them well. As mentioned before, don’t go overboard with the oil; two or three drops are more than enough.
- Now put everything back the way it was.
Note: Don’t lubricate the hop-ups. They use friction to propel the BBs through the air. If you lubricate, you remove all the resistance, reducing your gun’s firing range.
For replicas with more metal parts like the AK series or P90 series, use a thick lubricant like grease for all the metal parts.
Oil to use for lubrication on different parts
|Gears||Thick molybdenum or silicone-based grease|
|Plastic pistons||Silicone oil or grease|
|Metal pistons||Molybdenum grease|
|Piston head||Silicone oil|
|Cylinder head||Silicone oil|
|Hop-ups||Do not lubricate|
|Trigger assembly||Gun grease|
|Gas routers||Silicone grease|
Maintain the Power Source
A well-functioning gun is the product of a reliable power source.
If your piece is gas-powered, ensure that the airflow is unrestricted and efficient. Check for leaks regularly. Most leaks occur between the:
- Hop-up chamber and the loading nozzle
- Loading nozzle and router
Expert tip: Prevention is better than cure when it comes to leaking gas. So avoid using the release valve to expel gas. Using the release will freeze the O-ring, causing it to become brittle and start leaking. The best way to discharge is to fire the weapon.
For spring replicas, make sure the springs are clean and moving up and down smoothly. When the springs are well maintained, they propel the BBs efficiently, giving your weapon good range.
Battery-powered gun maintenance involves ensuring that you use the proper voltage rating and battery type. If you’re using NiCd batteries, remember to charge them only when they are empty. This is because NiCd batteries develop a “charge memory.”
It’s also essential to ensure that you use the correct charger for your batteries to keep them in tip-top shape and never leave them inside when you’re not using the rifle.
Prolonging the Life of Your Airsoft Guns
Regular care will keep your replicas in good shape so you can keep enjoying the game. Here’s a summary of some dos and don’ts for gun maintenance.
|Clean the barrel||Rapid-fire the gun to avoid deforming the O-rings|
|Lubricate the parts||Use the rifle when it’s freezing|
|Keep the magazine lubricated||Use too much oil when lubricating; just a few drops will suffice|
|Leave some gas in the magazine to prevent freezing the O rings||Leave batteries inside when you’re not using an electric rifle|
|Empty the magazine to keep springs working properly||Clean the inside with water|
|Use suitable batteries||Fire a jammed weapon|
|Store at room temperatures|
Check out other tips, information, equipment recommendations, and all you need to know about Airsoft here.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I use olive oil for lubrication?
Olive oil won’t work to lubricate your gun because its properties are different from industrial lubricants. Stick to industrial oils like silicone and Teflon.
Can I clean a gun with water?
It’s not advisable to use water for maintenance. The water may accelerate the corrosion of metal parts or damage electronics.
Can I Use WD40 on My Airsoft Gun?
WD40 is petroleum-based and, like other hydrocarbons, will cause corrosive damage to the rubber fittings. In addition, it will become a dirt magnet, so it’s best not to use it.