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View Full Version : Why must the 1911 barrel be completely oil free?


BigFatGuy
02-26-2012, 11:22 PM
In Walt Kulek's 1911 book, in the cleaning/lubricating section, he warns that the barrel must be dry of all oils and lubes lest, essentially, "bad things happen".

He is, however, very un-specific on what will happen.

Is it just a matter of the oil baking into the rifling or "seasoning" the barrel like a cast iron pan? Or is there something else that might happen?

Fishslayer
02-26-2012, 11:49 PM
The inside or the outside?:confused:

I've never heard of that. You don't want the bore dripping wet of course but I don't see what harm a film would do. I actually store mine with a pretty good layer of oil in the bore & take it right to the range & shoot it.

Plisk
02-26-2012, 11:52 PM
It most likely means the inside of the barrel/bore. It's never a good idea to have excessive oil inside the barrel. The outside defiantly needs some lubrication.

BigFatGuy
02-27-2012, 12:01 AM
Sorry, I should be more clear. He specifies that the outside should be lubed, while the inside should be completely dry. Specifically, if you have oiled the inside of the barrel for long term storage, you must clean and dry it before firing.

But, again, no real hard details on why.

Brandon04GT
02-27-2012, 12:05 AM
Isn't it standard practice that after cleaning the barrel to run an oiled patch through it followed by a couple dry patches? I think a small trace amount of oil lining the inside of the barrel is a good rust preventative. As far as cleaning/oiling against after long term storage, I suppose it's to just make sure you clear out any dirt or excessive dust?

MA2
02-27-2012, 12:26 AM
{I heard onetime} small chance of it happening, but oil inside when fired can bulge the barrel.
With the bullet flying out, you really want nothing in there, including oil.

1911 barrels are more easily bulged...look how thin those barrels are, compared to modern bull barrels.

Would not worry about it too much.

LovingTheYear1911
02-27-2012, 8:19 AM
My Kimber manual says the same thing-take out all oil before shooting. However I never do and have never had an issue. Of course the inside isn't dripping with oil but it does have oil.

skyscraper
02-27-2012, 8:21 AM
I always have a *light coat of oil inside the barrel. I would never run it dry

dbbspider
02-27-2012, 8:32 AM
Too much oil in the barrel can cause a difference in pressure (seal of the bullet) so I heard. I never seen or heard of anything bad happening due to too much oil. I do oil (CLP) the inside of my barrel, but its a very very very light coat.

c3 rolling
02-27-2012, 9:48 AM
A little hoppes 9 and a bore snake is all my barrels get. I never had a problem with rust/pitting/corrosion inside the barrel.

Moto4Fun
02-27-2012, 9:51 AM
sounds like CYA on the manufacturer's side. I don't think a little remaining residue would be a problem, but don't leave the inside dripping with oil. I always run dry patches through after cleaning.

cwin
02-27-2012, 10:33 AM
I too have always run mine with a thin film of oil inside the barrel. Never had a problem either. To make sure there's not too much excessive oil inside, I run a dry patch through right after oiling.

sephy
02-27-2012, 10:38 AM
Thin is fine. I have shot guns with plenty of oil in the barrel and ended up making a misty little cloud on the first shot. I'd rather just avoid that, not to mention the possibility of messing up the barrel.

bussda
02-27-2012, 10:42 AM
Anything in a barrel when firing is bad. While lubricants do not seem dangerous, when the bullet accelerates down the barrel, oil moves very slowly and cause excessive back pressure like a normal barrel obstuction.

bohoki
02-27-2012, 1:53 PM
i light coating is fine like a layer that is barely visible they have to play it safe cause some people might think its good to leave big drips of oil and if all that oil made its way into a form of a ring around the bullet and if fired the hydraulic action could bulge or crack the barrel

skyscraper
02-27-2012, 1:54 PM
Oil in the barrel makes the bullet's slide faster.

BigFatGuy
02-27-2012, 2:34 PM
If I were going to count on that, I'd use Froglube. It makes Navy Seal's bullets go 10% faster, you know. ;-)

BigFatGuy
02-27-2012, 2:34 PM
Thanks for the info, guys. I have to admit, I didn't think of the hydraulic pressure of the oil distorting the barrel...

HPGunner
02-27-2012, 2:41 PM
I always run a quick dry patch through or a bore snake through before heading to the range. The barrel and the bullet have very tight tolerances and the added oil build up in the barrel could cause higher pressures than what's it's designed to handle.

If you ever had to deal with a squib round in the barrel - you'll know how tight the bullet is in the barrel.

Can't buy anything here
02-27-2012, 3:32 PM
I guess too much oil/grease in the barrel could cause a hydraulic effect...I know it happens sometimes with my revolvers if I lube up the cylinder charging holes...the empties expand and are harder to get out...so I always keep those dry...

starsnuffer
02-27-2012, 4:50 PM
Put oil in a pan and apply an open flame to the oil. Observe the result.

Do you want that in your barrel?

-W

fanof1911forlife
02-27-2012, 9:41 PM
In Walt Kulek's 1911 book, in the cleaning/lubricating section, he warns that the barrel must be dry of all oils and lubes lest, essentially, "bad things happen".

He is, however, very un-specific on what will happen.

Is it just a matter of the oil baking into the rifling or "seasoning" the barrel like a cast iron pan? Or is there something else that might happen?


If Walt meant "bad things happen" if the bore is lubed, then I'm thinking that the copper residue may chemically react to the oil compound and make a toxic compound that may destroy/degrade the structural integrity of the barrel and cause bodily harm to the shooter.

Merc1138
02-27-2012, 9:59 PM
Put oil in a pan and apply an open flame to the oil. Observe the result.

Do you want that in your barrel?

-W

Put gunpowder in a pan and light it on fire. Observe the result.

Do you want that in your barrel? Oh wait...

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3587/3328193974_5fd63049c4.jpg

What is it that you think a trace amount of burning oil being shot out of a barrel is going to do that gunpowder and the primer already don't? The hydraulic pressure issue people have brought up is one thing, but you're worried that oil is flammable? Seriously?

BigFatGuy
02-27-2012, 11:31 PM
Put oil in a pan and apply an open flame to the oil. Observe the result.

Do you want that in your barrel?

-W

Put bacon in your gun and observe the result. Do you want that in your pan?

There's a slight difference in volume between cooking in a pan and not drying a barrel.

c3 rolling
02-27-2012, 11:33 PM
Put oil in a pan and apply an open flame to the oil. Observe the result.

Do you want that in your barrel?

-W

:facepalm: .

cundiff5535
02-28-2012, 4:01 PM
I have been hanging around CalG for a while now.. mostly in the classifieds... Anway, I own six 1911's and have alwaysput a light coat of my oil (zb) in them. Never have had a problem. This is actually the first I have ever heard this as the Smith that taught me almost everything I know does this as well. Anyway... Ill have to ask him more about it.

PanaDP
02-28-2012, 4:12 PM
Oil in the barrel makes the bullet's slide faster.

It actually has the potential to do the exact opposite. Over lubrication of certain bullets can make it too slick and the bullet moves too easily down the barrel. This prevents the pressure build-up in the chamber that allows the gun to shoot to its full potential.

This is mainly a consideration with cast lead bullets that deform easily to the barrel's dimensions. Jacketed bullets deform to the barrel harder and that resistance helps build the proper pressure.

Merc1138
02-28-2012, 4:15 PM
I have been hanging around CalG for a while now.. mostly in the classifieds... Anway, I own six 1911's and have alwaysput a light coat of my oil (zb) in them. Never have had a problem. This is actually the first I have ever heard this as the Smith that taught me almost everything I know does this as well. Anyway... Ill have to ask him more about it.

This is entirely a guess on my part, but I'm assuming that as mentioned the problem of hydraulic pressure only becomes an issue when there is simply too much oil in the barrel. Not just the light coating of someone running a patch through, rather the idiots that would use some super heavy weight oil and pack the thing full. Just think of the people that put so much lube on their guns that it's literally sheeting down the grips and they wonder why it's slippery(yeah, that gets posted about on this forum every now and then). Some folks just have no sense regarding lubrication and assume that it has to be dripping to be "wet".

PanaDP
02-28-2012, 4:17 PM
I should add that I have no clue whether that is a consideration in 1911s. It's more theoretical that more lube doesn't necessarily mean faster.

beretta929mm
02-28-2012, 5:00 PM
Keep the bore dry
Keep the outside lubed.
There is nothing special about maintaining a 1911.

enzo357
02-29-2012, 6:25 AM
Gotta love Cal guns. I always put a lightly oiled patch thru the barrel while cleaning. Would take the gun out and shoot it without problem. Will make sure to run a dry patch in the future.

tbc
02-29-2012, 7:07 AM
The way I look at it is oil inside the barrel could easily collect and trap dirt, debris, etc..., and with that would have better chance of experiencing a squib load situation especially in tight tolerance barrel like a 1911.

Just my 2 cents.

Freq18Hz
02-29-2012, 11:02 AM
This doesn't make much sense, as many bullets have lubrication on them anyway.

-Freq

The War Wagon
02-29-2012, 11:31 AM
OH NOES! All those bullseyes I shot with a light coating of oil in my 1911 barrels over the past 20 years, never REALLY happened! :eek::facepalm::rolleyes:

chickenfried
02-29-2012, 2:24 PM
Oh no! they wouldn't have happened without the light coating of oil:p.OH NOES! All those bullseyes I shot with a light coating of oil in my 1911 barrels over the past 20 years, never REALLY happened! :eek::facepalm::rolleyes:

Come at it from the other side of the issue. What would be the benefit of having oil in the bore when shooting? Unless I get a good reason to do otherwise, I go by the manual/instructions.

Bobby Hated
02-29-2012, 2:36 PM
run it dry. thats why your cleaning kit comes with that lil fuzzy swab attachment.