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JP Tech Tip #2: Keeping Your Gun Lubed 2010-04-08
Something we have noticed at JP is the distinct lack of lubrication on rifles and upper assemblies that we receive for servicing. While it’s possible that the owners are wiping off the excess prior to shipping, it’s also rather unlikely since those same rifles and uppers are usually still quite dirty. No, it’s more likely that the owners are simply operating their firearms with insufficient lubrication.

As a general rule, most folks under-lube their guns, and AR-type firearms in particular require sufficient lubrication to work properly. Of course, high-end AR-type rifles like those from JP are no different. In fact, military studies have shown that lack of lubrication is one of the most common causes of malfunctions in these types of weapons.

As you can see, there is a good reason why your JP rifle is practically dripping with oil when you open the box—it really is supposed to be there. Unlike most firearms manufacturers, JP does not ship their products in a preservative. Most guns from your local store, even from domestic manufacturers and particularly from importers, have a thick preserving oil or grease to prevent corrosion. The user manuals included with these firearms usually state that the gun should be thoroughly cleaned and re-lubricated prior to use. This is not necessary with your JP Enterprises rifle. It is shipped well lubricated and is ready to be fired right out of the box.

The upkeep of your rifle will require some diligence on your part, though. Your JP rifle will run dry—and some are known to operate their rifles in such a fashion—but the parts will wear much quicker, will require much more frequent cleaning and can even compromise the reliability of the firearm. We once saw a JP rifle come back with the carrier ways fully worn into the top of the receiver due to running the rifle dry. This ultimately left the bolt/carrier group physically out of alignment with the barrel extension.

Despite the high polish on the bolt carrier and slick engagement surface on the sear interface, it is still necessary to keep these items well lubricated. For example, the owner John Paul likes say, “If there’s no oil spray on your shooting glasses, you don’t have enough oil in the action!” This is said somewhat tongue-in-cheek, but he really does mean it. When shooting rifles prone to dirtiness—and let’s face it, the AR series is prone to accumulating junk in the receivers—a generous amounts of lubrication is a benefit. The fluid helps to keep gunk from caking in certain spots and allows it to flow away from places where you don’t want it. There is, of course, the usual benefit of lower wear between two metal surfaces that are well lubricated.

While it’s commonly thought that using wet lubricants in high dust environments like Middle East will cause more problems than it solves and that weapons should be run with dry lubes or no lubricants, recent studies have shown that liberal lubrication offer the best reliability when compared to no lubrication or light lubrication. In other words, dirt in the system is inevitable, and well lubricated dirt and sand is better than dry dirt and sand. Note that it is not necessary to take down or field strip a rifle to keep it well lubricated. Putting a few drops of oil in the exhaust ports of the bolt carrier (on the ejection port side) and working the bolt/carrier back and forth a few times will keep things running without cleaning for many rounds. Live fire will then disperse this lubricant throughout the action.

Your magazines, however, are another issue altogether. Never run any wet lubricants in your magazines—only powdered graphite. Powdered graphite like locksmiths use will work wonders in improving the feed rate and reliability of your magazines. For weapons used in actual combat or for competition, shoot some powdered graphite into the top of the loaded magazine. This coats the magazine body, follower and casings drastically lowering the internal friction of the whole magazine/ammunition system. If your mags eventually become contaminated with wet lube from the rifle itself, they should be stripped and cleaned. Again, studies have shown that sand or dirt introduced into the weapon from a dirty magazine is one the most prevalent causes of malfunctions.

The JP single-stage match trigger is also designed to be used with grease on the sear engagement surface. If you clean your JP rifle, then re-lubricate the sear engagement surface with the Rydol® gun lube that is included in the accessory package in every rifle shipped. If your trigger is feeling heavier than it should, then check that there is still grease on the sear. It will stay there for a long time, but eventually you will have to reapply it, and certainly will have to do so if you have cleaned the fire control components.

In the end, just be sure to clean your rifle regularly and lubricate generously after cleaning. An easy way to do this is to squirt your lube out of a spray bottle. This makes it easy to apply a well-distributed lube in sufficient quantity to ensure proper function. Finally, gently cleaning the exterior and then wiping down with a slightly oily rag will also restore the proper superior cosmetic appearance of your JP rifle and keep you the envy of other shooters at the range or match.

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