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What Kind of Oil Should I Use?

Both CO2 and spring powered air guns do need some maintenance to help ensure a long life. Keeping them clean is a big part of that care, but you do need to be careful about what you are putting in and on your air gun. The valve assemblies in today’s CO2 powered air guns are fitted with silicone seals and O-rings. This is important to note as the use of a conventional oil will cause the seal to deteriorate. One of our techs describes this using the analogy of gasoline and Styrofoam. The silicone/petroleum reaction is similar but much slower.

These silicone parts are durable but can dry out as the super cold CO2 continually passes through them over time. If they dry out, they can crack and if they crack, you have a leak. A drop of RWS Chamber Lube on the tip of each CO2 cartridge will help prevent this from happening. As you shoot, a little bit of that oil will pass into the valve and keep the inner part of the valve from becoming dry. Secondly, the oil will prevent the CO2 cartridge from tearing the puncture seal if when a new CO2 cartridge is installed.

Air rifles are quite different from CO2 powered air pistols but still share silicone parts. The seal at the end of the piston is typically silicone. Older spring powered guns use a leather seal. In either case, RWS Chamber lube is the way to go for two reasons.  First, it will not damage the silicone seal material when applied.  It is also safe for leather. The second reason is that your spring-piston air rifle is very much like a piston/cylinder arrangement in a motor. Every time you pull the trigger is a compression stroke. The compression stroke is where combustion occurs for both gas and diesel engines. If there is a fuel source in the cylinder, the heat of compression will ignite that fuel source. Just like a diesel motor, a fuel/air combination will detonate and release heat energy. A by-product of this is additional pressure. You’ll know this is happening by the tell-tale loud sonic report and the wisp of smoke that comes out of the barrel.

This additional pressure can damage the action of your pistol or rifle. We’ve seen many spring powered guns come in for service with broken mainsprings. That is the most common failure with a gun that has been lubed with the wrong oil. Abusers of the phenomenon will sometimes cause the rod to separate from the piston. When this happens, no repairs can be made. 

The truth is that the cylinder of a spring piston air gun requires very little lubrication. And for the reasons listed above, that lubrication needs to be non-petroleum based. RWS Chamber Lube is 100% silicone oil. Used correctly with your CO2 or spring air gun, you can expect a long service life and many happy shots!


Mark Davis, avid outdoorsman and family man, is the Social Media Specialist at Umarex USA.

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