How Much Gun Oil Should I Use & How To Properly Lubricate a Handgun

how much gun oil should i use

​The amount of lubricant used for your firearm affects the durability and performance of the weapon. Like machines, a gun has moving parts which need to be greased for optimal performance. There are several benefits of applying oil to a firearm. Among the various advantages, gun oil keeps your weapon working without any hurdles by reducing the friction between the different mechanical components that come into contact in operation.

​Friction reduces the effectiveness of your firearm

​The friction generated by these parts decreases your weapon’s ability to work efficiently and achieve high velocity. Applying lubricant not only gives a good performance but also helps to protect your gun from future damage that occurs when no oil is used. Some brands of gun oils have a silicon component that gives oil the ability to spread easily through the internal parts of the gun. This makes it convenient to lubricate the hard-to-reach areas. Silicon works effectively in both shotguns and heavy duty firearms because of its high resistance to extreme temperatures and pressure. Besides, the convenience of spreading, silicon also functions as a water repellent. If you are shooting in humid or wet conditions, this component ensures water does not affect the moving parts. However, despite the numerous benefits of using gun oil, an important concern that bothers many gun users is the quantity of gun oil to apply to their weapons.

​So, how much oil should you apply to your firearm?

​How much oil you should apply depends on several factors:

​Gun size and the number of moving parts

​Different people have varied ideas about the right quantity of oil to apply. The amount of oil you use on your gun depends on the gun’s size, type and the number of moving parts. The weapon’s moving parts produce friction points which can be located by identifying the wear marks on the barrel, frame, and the sides as well as other parts that can give an indication. These are the major areas that require lubrication to reduce friction hence ease of movement in a firing exercise.

Some weapons do not need much lubrication to function effectively. By design, HK weapons operate correctly even with little lubrication. These weapons are only made to withstand extreme conditions without lube but not prolonged duration without oiling.

​The amount of ammunition and length of shooting exercise

​The amount of oil to be applied to the identified moving parts is determined by how much ammunition you have. If you are involved in an extended shooting exercise, you will require more oil since there will be increased friction and a lot of dispensation of the applied lubricant. However, you should not apply too much oil on your weapon as the excess lubricant can trickle to the firing chamber. You should carry extra lubricant to use during a vigorous shooting activity.

When using gun oil, it is important to note the difference between lubricated metal friction parts and dry metal parts. Leaving your weapon without lubrication exposes it to the risk of getting rust. Rust can cause a lot of damage when it eats through the metal. It affects the rifling in the barrel leading to the occurrence of pits. It is, therefore, important to lubricate the exposed parts of your gun to prevent it from rusting. If the applied oil moves to other unintended gun parts, you should wipe it to allow the lubricant to operate in the desired regions.


​Temperatures too can affect the quantity of oil gun applied to a weapon. Cold temperatures thicken most of greases and oils. As the lubricant becomes thicker, more energy is required to move the gun. If this energy is not enough, the gun will malfunction or stop due to the thickened oil. Therefore, in low temperatures, it is advisable to apply the lubricant in small quantities to avoid the risk of stoppage or weapon malfunction.

If applied correctly, grease can be used as an alternative lubricant. When applying grease to the moving parts, rub it gently and wipe off the excess visible grease. Regardless of the lubricant used, it will degrade over time so you will need to apply it to your weapon regularly. However, over oiling a gun does not equate to more care but a practice that reduces the firearm’s life span. When the moving parts of your rifle have too much oil, your firearm will have excessive dirt build-up which leads to failure to fire and light primer strikes. Also, over lubricating, the gun can lead to failure to eject which occurs when the oil finds its way into the parts that transport firing rounds from the magazine to the chamber.

​Avoid excessive lubrication

​Excessive lubrication can attract dirt and grit in the field. The accumulated dirt causes your weapon to jam especially in dusty environments. To eliminate the possibility of dirt collecting on the gun, some people use dry lubricant since it drys instantly and it does not spread to unintended parts of your firearm. Though it is difficult to apply, its benefits outweigh the challenge.

​Weapon lubrication rule

​There is a golden rule in weapons lubrication; you can run your gun lubed and dirty but not dirty and dry. Guns always perform better when cleaner. Most of the modern firearms can tolerate carbon fouling but not lack of proper lubrication. For example, in desert conditions, sand is the greatest hindrance to a gun’s performance. If you are working or shooting in such environments, you should have a well-lubed rifle to overcome the havoc caused by the sand particles when they enter the gun.


​There are many myths surrounding the application of oil to firearms. Lubrication is one of the many ways to keep a gun safe. While it is a convenient method to safeguard your gun, improve durability and enhance its efficiency, you should use it within the required limits. Different factors determine the amount of oil you can apply to your firearm. The size, shape, and model of your gun should determine how much lube to apply. Also, different climatic and environmental conditions will guide you in oiling your weapon. Applying much oil in your gun does not total to improved functionality just like under lubricating it would lead to malfunction and reduced life span.