Handguns vary concerning the amount of lubricant necessary for smooth, reliable operation. However, there are some general rules:
- Apply lubricant with fingertips or saturated patch. The goal is to leave a thin, even trail of lubricant, not to soak the part.
- Oil only those surfaces designed for friction. Unfinished, polished surfaces which slide against themselves need lubricant. Finished surfaces are not intended for surface to surface contact and do not need oil.
- Light coating of finished areas to prevent rusting may cause more problems than they cure when excess oil enters the firearm. Use a silicon rage to wipe off your firearm rather than applying lubricate as a rust-preventative.
- Barrels need to be cleaned not lubricated. Every measure of oil left in the chamber or barrel of the firearm increases chamber pressure. It is possible to injure yourself and destroy your handgun by over-oiling.
- Handguns will require less oil once broken-in. The Beretta 92F is a good example of a weapon that needs a good oiling of the slide rails to function until broken-in. Once broken-in, the 92F requires very little oil.
- A little oil goes a long way and its use has no substitute. If you wouldn’t drive a car without oil to lubricate the engine, don’t fire a gun without oil to lubricate its friction bearing parts.