Keeping Your Sidearm in Tip-Top Shape
Words & Photos: Jeremy Hendricks
Airsoft pistols come in all shapes and sizes, but they all share one thing in common: They require a little bit of care and maintenance to keep running in top form. This article will show you how to care for three of the main types of airsoft pistols: Gas Blowback Semi-Auto, Gas Non-Blowback Semi-Auto, and a CO2-powered revolver. The guns used in this article are the VFC Smith &Wesson M&P 9C, SOCOM Gear Gemtech Oasis, and Wingun 7 Series CO2 revolver.
MISSION: Clean and maintain your sidearm
DIFFICULTY LEVEL: (1-5): 2
WORK TIME: 20 minutes
TOOLS NEEDED: Silicone lubricant, white lithium grease, Q-tips, rags/paper towels, toothbrush, mild soap and water
REPLACEMENT PARTS NEEDED: None
The first step in maintaining nearly every pistol is to remove the magazine and disassemble the gun, following the directions for your specific model. For this M&P, you just have to drop the magazine, pull the slide back and flip the disassembly lever and slide the frame off of the gun.
Before you re-lubricate the gun, you’ll want to check the slide and frame for any debris, dirt or excess lube buildup. If you frequently play in dusty areas, you will very likely have a lot of dust and dirt to clean up here using paper towels, rags, and a toothbrush for the small areas.
After you clean everything up, it’s time to start applying the appropriate lubricants to the slide and frame. In the frame, I recommend applying white lithium grease to the rails and hammer/striker assembly, ensuring that none gets on any rubber components.
Inside the slide, you’ll want to apply a small amount of white lithium grease on the inner rails to make sure everything slides smoothly together. With the blowback assembly, apply a few drops of pure silicone lubricant to the inner piston and the blowback chamber rails.
Like your primary, your hop-up bucking and inner barrel need to be kept clean and free of dirt and lubricant. After disassembling your hop-up unit, take out the barrel and hop-up bucking and clean them thoroughly. With the bucking, you can clean it with warm water and mild soap, ensuring that you dry it completely afterwards.
A clean barrel is a happy (and accurate) barrel, so run a cleaning rod down the barrel with a clean patch or piece of paper towel. Run the patches through until they come out spotless.
Now that everything is cleaned and lubricated, you can put it back together, checking for smooth slide operation as well as proper functioning.
The magazine requires a little TLC as well, especially if you use propane as opposed to pre-lubricated Green Gas. With propane, you will want to add two drops of silicone lubricant with every three or four magazine fills to keep them internally lubricated. Externally, make sure that the rubber seal at the top is kept well lubed with silicone as well.
With non-blowback pistols, the same steps can be followed, with a few simple changes. There are no frame rails or blowback assemblies to keep clean and lubricated, making NBB replicas much easier to maintain. With the SOCOM Gear Gemtech Oasis, I’ve only ever had to lubricate the trigger mechanism with white lithium grease and the magazine with silicone lubricant.
Occasionally, with some gun magazines, the inner O-ring can dry out on the fill valve and cause it to leak. This can easily be rectified by unscrewing the fill valve using a flat head screwdriver and soaking it in a small cup of silicone lubricant for a few hours.
As with real handguns, airsoft revolvers require less maintenance than their GBB or NBB counterparts. Basically, with the Wingun 7 Series CO2 revolver, all I’ve ever had to do is make sure that the cylinder lugs are clean and lubricated with a small amount of white lithium grease.
Occasionally, you may want to add a drop or two of silicone lube to the gas port in the chamber where it meets up with the shells. There is no need to add silicone to the internals of this revolver as CO2 is a dry gas and the internals of this gun are designed to run dry.
So there you have it, in just a few minutes and using almost no tools, you can keep your airsoft pistols running in top shooting condition for years to come. Maintaining an airsoft pistol is something that many players neglect, and unfortunately, it can cause failure or decreased performance. By taking a little bit of time out of your day to do these few simple tricks, you can prevent this from happening and keep your gun running like brand new!