How To

Are You Over or Under Lubricating Your Glock?

Glock slide atop the frame

Glocks represent over 60 percent of the handgun market. They are a favorite of law enforcement, competitive shooters, home defenders, plinkers, and citizens legally carrying concealed for self-defense. Glock is also a top choice among new shooters. This represents a large cross section of shooters with a wide range of opinions—some based on fact, others… who knows.

Glock 23 field stripped
Glock pistols are easy to field strip and run great on very little lubrication. Start with a pistol that has been field stripped, thoroughly cleaned and dried.
Recently, I was at the range. Two shooters were having a spirited debate about maintaining their Glocks. Being as I had three Glocks on my bench, two of which were obviously customized; I was quickly tapped to play arbitrator.

The ‘discussion’ was centered around the proper amount of lubricant to use on a Glock based on the polymer design. One fellow seemed to believe the Glock was designed in such a way as to never (or almost never) require any lubricant. The other fellow wanted to practically dip the whole thing in a vat of oil. This caused more than a little concern and a spirited debate among half-dozen or so shooters before it was over.

I had my own thoughts, but after hearing the crowd’s arguments—some contradictory, but very good—I began to doubt my own knowledge. After all, where did I come up with it? Was it gained during a factory tour? Perhaps a shooting session with a veteran writer or competitive shooter. In the end, I could not remember. Like all good writers professing to be an expert, I called an engineer at the factory who is much smarter than me, took copious notes, rearranged the words slightly and now present it as expert advice!

Glock slide atop the frame
Put a drop of oil in each of the slide rail grooves. Let the oil run down the slide rail grooves.

Glock Maintenance

You’ll need to start with a pistol that has been field stripped, thoroughly cleaned and dried. Next, slightly dampen a clean patch with your favorite gun oil. Use the patch to wipe the barrel and the inside of the slide where the barrel hood and slide ride against each other. Then, use the same patch to lubricate the barrel lug at the bottom of the barrel.

Taking the slide with the breech end up (that’s the end facing you when the dangerous end is facing the bad guy) put a drop of oil in each of the slide rail grooves. Let the oil run down the slide rail grooves. If it does not go all of the way, don’t worry. The oil will be distributed once the slide is mounted on the receiver and cycled.

Likely, the most important drop of oil goes where the trigger bar and connector meet. A failure to properly lubricate the junction of the trigger bar and connector will lead to premature wear and a very heavy trigger pull. That’s bad for shooting accuracy and the gun.

Glock transfer bar and connector
The most important drop of oil goes where the trigger bar and connector meet. A failure to properly lubricate the junction of the trigger bar and connector will lead to premature wear and a very heavy trigger pull.
Reading the directions, you would almost have to side with the guy that wanted to dip it oil. However, the opposite is true. It is important to remember that you do not want to over-lubricate a Glock. Glock pistols are in fact designed to function with only small amounts of lubrication. Over-lubricating results in large amounts of burnt and unburnt powder, brass shavings, dirt, lint and other foreign matter gathering to form sludge. These will affect the way the gun functions. At the least, they will affect accuracy. At the worst, they cause a failure to fire at a critical moment when your life is at stake.

Don’t Over do a Good Thing!

While on the subject of over lubricating a Glock, there is a word of caution that I would be remiss by not mentioning. This one is important so pay attention. Instead of what to do, this is a “what not to do.” Do not allow any oil to reach the inside of the firing pin channel, the extractor, breech face, barrel chamber or feed ramp. Likewise, you should not need any lubricant in the magazine.

All of the aforementioned areas should remain clean, but lubricant free. Lubricant in these areas will cause contamination and gunk. The buildup is likely to cause a failure to eject or failure to fire.

It is that easy. All totaled, you are looking at about six drops of oil. One in the slide, one in each side of the slide rails grooves, one on the barrel and another on the barrel lug and the last one on the intersection of the trigger bar and connector. The entire process should take about one minute, but the rewards will keep your Glock running through thousands of rounds.

How has your maintenance program compared to this one? Share your thoughts or experiences in the comment section.

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Comments (44)

  1. I have done quite a bit of product comparisons. I have looked into ingredients and testing results when available. It is like picking motor oil for your vehicle, many of the old favorites are sufficient, but not the best out there. And any products like synthetic motor oil are OK, but their film thickness can be incorrect and attract residues.
    I did settle on Shooters Choice who does provide YouTube videos of some of their testing and one can call and talk directly to knowledgeable people.
    After cleaning I run one drop of lube down each rail slot a drop on certain spring assemblies (depending on the gun). I stay away from firing pins. Then I wipe down most of the gun, attempting to remove all the visible oil, knowing there is sufficient film left behind (like where the barrel rubs the inside of the slide). Sometimes I smear a very small dash of 3M copper lube where the brass rubs the slide.
    It is not unusual for me to run through hundreds of rounds between cleanings and I have had some of my guns over 20 years.
    Tony Z
    Ps. Now if I can find a use for some of these other products.

  2. 2 Questions. 1) Iv’e seen DRY lubes. Can they be used anywhere in place of oils? I think that they might not attract gunk.But don’t know. Any thought?
    2) I heard oil alone is no good. (don’t know where) And that you should use grease in critical areas. Any thoughts? Thank You.

  3. I recently replaced my striker spring and striker. While I didn’t oil inside the slide, I did clean inside with Weapon Shield. I also rubbed down the striker with Weapon Shield, but wiped it dry. My thinking is when fouling makes its way to the striker it will have a barrier of the weapon shield to help deflect grime. Again, I just cleaned and dried the inside of the slide, and same with striker. I’m wondering what anyone thinks of this. Again, there is no “wet” oil on anything inside the slide. Anyone else do this or think it should not be done?

  4. This may be a stupid question but I am curious. Just purchased 3 Glocks, 17, 19 Gen 4 and a 43. When doing the initial cleaning and lubricating I found all 3 had a good application of this copper lube on the slide rails. Should I still add oil per recommendation? I had thought that with the copper nothing else was needed and it is best to leave the copper intact

    1. Please; I never heard of a “copper lube”, What is it? Who sells it? What is it for? What is it used instead of? What is it used for? Pardon my ignorance. I’m just trying to learn here. Thank You

    2. It is the copper colored grease that comes in your GLOCK from the factory. I don’t know where they get it, but would like to know so that I may get some for all my guns.

    3. It’s actually rather easy to find—at your local auto parts store. It’s anti-seize lubricant. A small tube is about $3.
      Caution: be very careful and use very sparingly. A little goes a long way. I put a tiny drop onto something small and disposable (plastic spoon) and use a Q-tip to pickup a tiny amount, then just barely touch it to the parts of the Glock that need it. Too much will make a big mess, and it will spread out much further than you can imagine. It will surprise you.

  5. There is a real lack of testing in many gun products. I use Shooters Choice because of the history and the new technology testing. I have heard good things about some of these other products, but others are old technology that will work OK even if they are inferior. It is sort of like deciding between an old reliable motor oil or a better synthetic. BTW, Shooters Choice far exceeded synthetic motor oil in testing.

  6. Thanks a lot for the clear instructions on maintaining our Glocks. Great article. Is there a chemical spray you recommend for cleaning lubrication and debris.

    1. Freddie,

      When a barrel has been through a long day of shooting and has significant build up from lead or copper fouling, I like Gunslick’s Gun Foam. You just spray it in, let in sit for a few minutes and brush it clean. For pistols, AR receivers and the like I have a heated Ultrasonic cleaner. I field strip and toss it in the machine with some solution for 20-30 minutes. You have to dry everything — I spray it with lp air to get the moisture out of spring and small assemblies — and then lubricate it afterward, but it does a great job.

      Otherwise, to be honest, I use what I have in the way of samples. I have had great luck with Tetra Gun, Hoppes, Outers, Birchwood Casey, Rem Oil, Gunslick, M-Pro, KleenBore, Bristol… I am fortunate enough to receive a lot of ‘care packages’ so I buy very little, but as a side note, the wife knows when I am mad to put a drop or two of Hoppes No. 9 behind her ear — the smell drives me crazy! ~Dave Dolbee

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