I haven't seen many good airsoft gun cleaning articles/threads, so I thought I could write an article on proper AEG/GBB maintenance. (I know they're out there, but some are actually pretty inaccurate, tell me off if I'm wrong, but hey). This is an almost complete guide.
Ok, let's get started... I need to ask you a few questions:
1. Have you been cleaning your gun?
2. What have been cleaning your barrel with?
a) Silicon Grease/Oil/Spray or Other
b) Isopropyl/Rubbing Alcohol
3. Have you been lubing your gun?
4. If so, what do you use to lubricate your gun?
a) WD-40, RS Gun Lube, or Other
b) Silicon Grease/Oil/Spray
If you answered "A" to any of of the above, read on.
So, you got your gun, had fun with it, played a few games, etc. Have you noticed any decreasing accuracy, feeding problems, or anything weird? Welp, you probably didn't maintain your gun. But look no longer--Ibob4Tacoz will come save the day!
Before we get into the actual steps, here's a dealbreaker. If you've been using silicon oil to "clean" your barrel this whole time, I don't know another way to put this, but that's just the wrong way to do it (waiting to be ripped on for this). Silicon oil is made to lube. Lube reduces friction between parts that constantly contact each other.
Some may think, "Oh, well, isn't that supposed to be good? BBs can fly out smoother," It doesn't work like that. You want your barrel to be free of dust, dirt, and other stuff. Lube can actually make it worse since the silicon adds drag to the BB inside the barrel from it being kinda greasy. Plus, contaminants stick to the silicon super easy, so please, don't use silicon. Rubbing alcohol is the way to go. Alcohol is pretty much the some of the best cleaner around. It leaves surfaces (your barrel) clean, and, it dries almost instantly. OK, on with the steps...
1. Rubbing Alcohol
2. Soft, clean rag or .22Cal cleaning swabs
3. Silicon Lube
4. Airsoft Cleaning/Unjamming Rod
1. ALWAYS remember to turn your hop-up all the way down (not doing so can damage the bucking, etc.)
2. ALSO ALWAYS remember to unplug, unload, and make sure your gun is off, on safety, and empty.
3. If you're using an old rag, cut a piece of that's about '' x 1 ''.
4. Make around 10 swabs in total and put them to the side.
Cleaning Your Barrel
1. Check that your gun is emptied, unplugged, and hop-up all the way off
2. Dip one of the swabs in the rubbing alcohol and dry it off bit.
3. Slip the swab through the eye on the cleaning rod and wrap it around itself
4. Slide the rod into the barrel, slowly twisting it as you go in.
5. After a moment, you'll hit something in the barrel/receiver, once you do, don't force the rod in, you might damage your gun if you do.
6. If you haven't cleaned your barrel recently or maybe haven't at all, the swab will probably come out dirty. Repeat the above steps until you're the swab comes out perfectly clean.
If you're running a hi-cap, this part is optional, but I personally say that it may help with feeding. As for mid-caps, this is crucial.
1. Get another swab and spray/squeeze some silicon onto it and dry an excess.
2. Pull the little retention spring on the feed tube of the mag.
3. Slip the rod inside and run it back and forth a few times.
4. Take another dry, clean swab and run it through once.
5. Put 1 drop, ONLY 1, on the little spring that I mentioned earlier and wipe off any extra lube.
6. Look at "Lubing Bits and Pieces" for this step.
Cleaning Your Gear
This may seem pretty obvious, but guys, take care of your gear. Grab whatever you wear/take to the field: goggles, masks, BDUs, shemaghs, etc. Throw your uniform, shemaghs, socks, pouches, etc. in the washer. Wipe your goggle's lenses off with some lens cleaner and an eyeglass cloth or microfiber towel. If your goggles are fog-treated, spray some anti-fog stuff on them. Take a damp rag and wipe down your mask, then use it to clean any other equipment: scopes/sights (avoid the lenses, use lens cleaner for that), flashlights, mounts, and the exterior of your gun.
Lubing Bits and Pieces
So, you cleaned up your gun, gear, and what-have-you. Now, we lube up (lol). Grab some of that silicon lube, some swabs, and your cleaning rod. Get some silicon on a swab, then look into your magwell. You'll see a little tube that your BBs feed into. Slide the rod/swab into there once, and after that, swab it once again with a clean swab.
Also, if you have any type of gas gun, lube any O-rings you have to keep them from drying out and to also maintain a proper seal.
AEG gearboxes have to be lubed after a lot of heavy use, and since I can't have instructions for every gun, just Google your gun's name and "gearbox lube". Use either pure white lithium grease (avoid touching plastic), or 100% Teflon (Super-Lube) to lube your gearbox.
The final step
After everything is lubed up and ready to go, go outside or somewhere to shoot your gun. Leave your hop-up off and fire maybe 300 shots to smooth out everything and get your gun back to an almost new condition. When you fire the first few shots, don't freak out if your gun feeds funny, or shoots a bit off. This is normal.
- If you can, use a microfiber cloth to make the swabs, since they are usually softer than normal cotton and leave less lint.
- When buying silicon oil, try to get some in a little squeeze bottle. You can get some off of Evike for only about $5 for a pretty large bottle.
- Only get 100% silicon oil. Some spray cans or even the squeeze bottles can have some petroleum distillates, which can degrade/damage any plastic on your gun, including your bucking.
- DON'T ever use real-steel gun lube, which can also degrade plastic. Also, WD-40 does not work.
I want to credit Echihn for some of this info. I know he hasn't been on for 3 years, but thanks dude.
Hopefully, if you got all the way down here, just follow these steps, and you'll have a (maybe) great airsoft shopping experience.
Welp, thanks for reading this whole thing if you did, have a good day!