I use unique and at the moment tumble lubed bullets. I tear mine down all the way every 1k. I had buildup around the hammer that caused it to not latch and when I tore it down after those 2k rounds I saw I had terrible lube and powder residue build up. I also carried that gun everyday too. After that every 1k. It was a Springfield 1911 that had terribly tight tolerances. However after I shot each time at the range I’d patch the bore and I would lube the rails w clp.
Every 1K is far more often than I expected. No harm in it, just a bit of work. Mine has been apart maybe 3 times in 10 plus years?
Sometimes grease, sometimes oil?
I am more of an oil guy in winter, grease in summer. I prefer oil in areas likely to develop grunge as it helps float the debris out of the way.
Either way I keep mine lubricated.
I only shoot it three or four times a year, Colt Custom Shop Gold Cup Commander with ivory grips. I shoot the loaded clip and two reloads and clean it when I get home. Hate the grime on the stainless and ivory so it gets cleaned and lightly lubed with Weapon Oil, light. So it has been cleaned lots since I bought it in 1987.
This is my safe gun; it is in condition one and stays on the shelf shoulder high. So when the safe door opens, it is in my hand.
My IDPA gun got cleaned every few matches, seemed that caliche dust would get in the trigger stirrup and hammer/sear and grit up the works when doing the rollover-prone positions. Other than that, once in a blue moon. Series 80 is a PITA to put back together if you strip it to parade rest. I used to put a little touch of grease here and there on a 1911 but during IDPA I quickly learned Mobil 1 10W-30 is the only lube a 1911 ever needs, anywhere.
When I was competing every Friday night, and one or two Saturdays per month. Twice a year.
Before each match, a drop of Break Free on the chamber exterior, rack back the slide and lock open,
a drop on the front 1/'2' of the bbl exterior, and flip it over an a drop into each rail groove on the
slide. Drop the slide, rack it a few times to work the lube in and good to go.
It was grungy, but ran 100% that way. Total strip and clean, probably amounted to about every
5000 rds. Today, I clean far more often because the grung sitting around can fossilize and that
is bad. That was a Gold Cup. Did pretty much the same with the Wilson comp gun custom 1911s
and the Kimber Custom Classic. If lubed a bit with good light synthetic, the will run quite dirty just
For 1911s today, I use red synthetic grease on the rails, and the link, bottom lug area. This stays far
longer, in place, and remains soft longer than anything else I have tried. A drop of oil on the top of the chamber
area and on the exterior of the bbl where the bushing runs is good. Rack the slide a few times to spread this
oil inside the slide, get to the locking lug area, too.
Good synthetic grease, like aircraft grade, will not thicken in cold. MUST be synthetic. Mobil 1 red synthetic is
commonly found at various auto and Walmart locations. Gun oils must be synthetics, too, to avoid oxidation into
hard guck (old soap greases are horrible for this!)
A friend is a microscope repairman, overhauls hundreds per year for schools and businesses. He will cycle
a school's microscopes through every 3-5 years. In the old days, about 10% of them came in with the focus
rail frozen solid, a very precisely fitted dovetail and rack and pinion, all grease lubed. The old grease would
go very hard, took extensive soaking with MEK to get them loose without damage. He switched to red
aircraft synthetic grease in late 80s, and has gotten some back 15 years later, focus is just like he left it.
The 3-5 year ones are still perfect.
A he says, God bless red synthetic grease. Saves him huge amount of time on over hauls. Used to spend
a lot of time, even if not stuck, cleaning out hardened grease and relubing. It took toothbrush scrubbing with
MEK or Acetone to remove it all. Now open, wipe with a rag and a touch of solvent, add new grease,
reassemble. I switched to red synthetic grease in the early to mid 90s for semiauto rails and cam/lug/link
Mobil makes a lot of different greases and classes of greases. I use Mobilith SHC 100 or 220 for guns, depending on base oil viscosity I want. SHC ain't your $9/tub craptastic autoparts store "Mobil 1 synthetic" bearing grease.
The stuff I have is an aircraft grade synthetic, came in a 5 lb tub, like a half height gallon paint can. I have
three of them, two or three lifetime supplies. A friend got some of the Mobil 1 synthetic red grease at
Walmart or an auto parts store, in a grease gun tube, that looks and seems to perform about the same,
short term testing so far. May not be the exact same.
No deterioration over time is the big deal, as far ask I am concerned. I will try to report the actual
Mil Spec it meets, printed on the cans. The stuff I have, I have used in aircraft wheel bearings for
30+ years, repack every 5 years or so. Comes out looking just about exactly like it went in. A bit
of black stuff in the rollers, sort of darkens the grease a bit.
I use more on one wheel brg repack than 10 years of gun use.
It may well be craptastic but the Mobil 1 red synthetic grease has done everything I've asked of it quite well including not drying out. As Paul so fondly and often says . . . If it ain't broke don't fix it.
Separation and drying out are the two things that Mobil 1 chassis/wheel bearing grease excels at, but it it's working for you no reason to change now. There's a reason that aviation and industrial greases cost more than automotive grease, as Bill well knows. Aeroshell and Molycote make some fantastic specialty greases as well. I recently switched my Bobcat over to Mobil SHC moly calcium sulphonate grease after changing some worn cylinder and carriage bushings and it is night and day how it holds up to weather and working in the rain.
Water resistance is a huge thing for any equipment exposed to the weather a lot or working in
a wet environment. Before waterproof greases, my father's boat trailer wheel bearings had to be
repacked frequently and still, bearing life was shorter than it should have been.
OK, this is what I have. Mil - G- 81322D, Mobil grease 28
The military calls it: GREASE, AIRCRAFT, GENERAL PURPOSE, WIDE TEMPERATURE RANGE
Mine is the "D" spec, has been supersceded by E and that supersceded by F.
MIL-PRF-81322F, PERFORMANCE SPECIFICATION: GREASE, AIRCRAFT, GENERAL PURPOSE, WIDE TEMPERATURE
RANGE, NATO CODE G-395 (21 JUL 1998) [SUPERSEDING MIL-G-3545/MIL-G-81322E]., This specification
covers one grade of general purpose, aircraft grease, NATO Code G-395, formulated to withstand operations
at high speeds and a wide temperature range of -54 to 177C (-65 to 350 F).
So, it is "good chit". Good to -65F and 350F. That is way plenty good for guns and my aircraft wheel
Calcium-based thickeners (either stearate, -12 hydroxystearate, or the newer sulphonate compounds) are highly water-resistent and the basis for many marine greases and even RIG grease. The Alox family of coatings are naturally water-repelling due to the high concentration of simple calcium soaps naturally occurring in some flavors of crude oil.
From their site:
"Mobilgrease 28 is a supreme performance, wide-temperature, antiwear grease designed to combine the unique features
of a polyalphaolefin (PAO) synthetic base fluid with an organo-clay (non-soap) thickener. Its consistency is between an
NLGI No. 1 and No. 2 grease. It offers outstanding performance over a wide temperature range. The wax-free nature of
the synthetic base fluid, together with its high viscosity index compared to mineral oils, provide excellent low temperature
pumpability, very low starting and running torque, and can help reduce operating temperatures in the load zone of rolling
The clay thickener gives Mobilgrease 28 a high dropping point value of around 300ºC, which provides excellent stability at
high temperatures. Mobilgrease 28 resists water washing, provides superior load-carrying ability, reduces frictional drag,
and prevents excessive wear. Tests show that Mobilgrease 28 lubricates effectively rolling element bearings under conditions
of high speeds and temperatures. Mobilgrease 28 has also shown excellent ability to lubricate heavily loaded sliding
mechanisms, such as wing flap screw jacks. [or semiauto pistol slides]
For more than 30 years, Mobilgrease 28 has been the multi-purpose grease of choice for military and related aviation
applications, worldwide. "
So far, I only find it in grease gun tubes. Check your local Mobil oil wholesaler, probably won't
get the best price, may need to buy a 5 gal bucket or case of tubes or something. if you really can't
stand that, maybe you can source a new quart paint can and push it out of the tube into that.