Any airsoft gun owner will tell you how thrilling and enjoyable it can be to play with this replica toy weapon. But, just like any instrument or tool, regular upkeep is needed if you want to keep your airsoft gun working for years to come. Regular cleaning and maintenance will also minimize the risks of you getting into technical trouble during a game.
After all, your airsoft gun will take a lot of battering during a battle. Imagine how much toll crawling through mud places on your rifle. Hence, giving your airsoft gun some tender loving care is essential.
With that in mind, below is a guide to essential airsoft cleaning and maintenance:
Cleaning the Barrel
The barrel is one of the key components of an airsoft gun, and can impact its accuracy. Made of a metal tube, the barrel often loses its smooth finish over time, primarily due to the nature of airsoft games. During a game, the barrel can be exposed to mud, dust, residue, and corrosion; these can all affect the surface, causing it to lose accuracy and stability in flight.
Fortunately, cleaning the barrel is not a difficult job at all. Start by making sure that your gun is safe to clean by removing the magazine, emptying the chamber, and removing the batteries. Spray a small amount of silicone lubricant onto a piece of paper towel that is about three inches long and half an inch wide. Thread this through the end of a cleaning rod after turning off the hop-up. Keep in mind that if the hop-up is on, you may damage it and there’s a possibility for the cleaning rod to become stuck. Then, rotate the cleaning rod through the barrel. Repeat this until the barrel is thoroughly cleaned.
You may wonder—how often should you clean the barrel? It really depends on how often you use the gun. You may want to clean it the night before a game or straight after a session. You can get away with cleaning standard barrels every three to four games. It should only take ten minutes to do, so it’s not a tough job.
When it comes to cleaning the exterior of your airsoft gun, you don’t need strong cleaning products at all. These will damage the exterior of the gun and strip it of its paintwork. You only need a soft damp cloth and elbow grease to get the job done.
Lubricating the Gun
Does your airsoft gun often misfeed or jam? The first troubleshooting step you can take is to lubricate it. But before doing so, make sure that the gun is safe to work on. Remove the magazine first. You may also want to fire it in semi-auto mode to ensure that it doesn’t have BBs loaded. Do these things before placing the gun on your lap.
Next, you’ll want to flip it upside down before spraying silicone oil into its hop. Leave the gun in this position for a few minutes so that the oil settles.
You may also want to lubricate the gearbox. To do so, remove its motor and find the small hole located at the base of the gearbox. Spray the lubricant into it. Leave the gearbox upside down for several minutes so that the oil seeps in.
Also, remember never to put lubrication on the airsoft hop-ups and barrels. Doing so will prevent the hop-up from working.
Unjamming an Airsoft Gun
Lubricating the gun can prevent jams. But what would you do if your airsoft jammed anyway? Unfortunately, jams will happen no matter how well-maintained an airsoft gun is. Thus, it is important that you know what to do when a jam occurs.
The first thing to remember is that if a BB jams in your airsoft, you should stop firing right away. If you continue to do so, you may be risking a broken piston or gear which suffice to say is a more expensive problem to address.
During a jam, switch off the hop-up then insert the reverse end of a cleaning rod into the airsoft barrel. The angle should face the feed tube of the magazine. Now, flip the gun upside down and look into the inside of the magazine. Slowly insert the rod inside the barrel and watch the BB pop out of the feed tube. You will also see the end of the cleaning rod.
You can then test-fire the gun. If it sounds good, you can continue playing! If not, then there is likely another BB stuck inside the barrel. If you can’t remove it, you may have to stop firing and seek professional help.
Before unloading your magazine, remember to check the user manual first and heed its advice. This goes even for the most seasoned users of airsoft guns.
Also, be mindful of the following tips pertaining to taking care of your magazine:
- Keep it away from dirt and debris to prevent any foreign bodies from getting stuck in the magazine.
- Use new and clean BBs as dirty ones can harm the airsoft mechanism, resulting in magazine jams and potentially causing damage to your gun. If possible, use high quality BBs that are at least 0.2 grams because lighter ones tend to jam the gun.
It also pays to invest in some tools that will come in handy when maintaining and cleaning your airsoft gun. For one, you should buy a screwdriver that is the right size for your gun. This will be useful in stripping the heads on the screws.
You should also purchase a hobby knife for carving plastic pieces of the gun, and grease and oil to lubricate your gear set.
Airsoft cleaning and maintenance may sound time-consuming and intimidating, but it’s actually a simple chore that will ensure that your gun performs at a high level. It is highly recommended that you follow the tips shared above so that you can use your airsoft gun for many years.