ADVANCED TIPS 1: Lubing Your Guns

As with live firearm maintenance, airsoft guns need some lovin’ too! So many people think that airsoft guns are toys, but they are far from it! They have working parts and are live fire replicas that need the same level of maintenance and cleaning. Read on for some tips to cleaning your guns.

DO NOT LUBRICATE YOUR GUN WITH WD-40 OR GUN OIL!
dont use to clean

The proper lubricant for airsoft guns are high-grade silicone oils or sprays. Anything else will gather dirt, dust and debris, gunk up your barrel and gearbox and cause corrosive damage to your gun. Stick to Silicone Oil and Spray!

Silicone Spray

CLEANING YOUR BARREL:
         Airsoft gun barrels DO need to be cleaned to keep bbs flying steady and straight. You can usually tell its time for a good ol’ fashioned barrel clean when your bbs start to travel upwards out of the barrel.

          Grab your cleaning rod and a strip of paper towel. Push the paper towel wedge through the eyelet on your cleaning rod and spray the towel with silicone oil. Insert the rod into the barrel spinning the rod as you travel through the barrel, then back out. Grab another piece of clean paper towel and place it through the rod eyelet. Repeat the spinning within the barrel to remove any extra oil from the barrel and ensure all the debris and goop is cleared from your barrel.

cleaning rod

LUBING YOUR HOP UP & GEARBOX:
         When it comes to issues with misfeeding or jamming, it typically means the hop-up needs a good lubrication. Remove your magazine and fire a few shots to ensure your gun has no bbs in it at all. Place your gun on a surface upside down with the magazine well facing up. Place the red spray straw of your silicone spray slightly into your hop up and spray once or twice. Don’t use too much!!! Let your gun sit for a few minutes so the silicone can settle throughout the hop up unit.

          Gearboxes may also need some lube lovin’ every once in a while too. Most gearboxes come from the manufacturer packed full of industrial strength grease or white lithium, but if you notice a whining sound or are doing general gearbox maintenance, it can’t hurt to head in there and do some spring cleaning. To lubricate your gearbox, remove the motor and peer down the motor casing. You’ll see a small hole where the motor enters the gearbox. Place your silicone spray stray into the hole and spray three or four times. Leave your gun upside down to allow the silicone to run throughout the gearbox and get in all those nooks and crannies.

LUBING YOUR GAS GUN:
         Silicone oil is a necessity for any airsoft gun owner, especially if you are running with gas guns! Airsoft gas magazines rely mainly on rubber gaskets and o-rings in order to run, so they need to be cleaned and lubed often to keep the gasket’s expansion working and will help to keep the gun from expelling or venting gas unnecessarily.

          To lube your gas mag, spray silicone oil into the port at the top of the mag and press the valve on the side up and down a few times to allow the oil to seep down onto the inner gasket. Lubing the fill port on the bottom of the mag should also be done. Hold your mag upside down and insert the silicone spray straw into the fill port and spray once or twice. Leave your mag upside down for a few minutes so the oil can get to the fill port gasket. Don’t spray and immediately try to fill your mag with gas. It’ll cause problems and your gasket won’t have gotten any of the oil to it. (Essentially, you’ll have just sprayed and wasted silicone for nothing).

          CO2 guns and magazines also need to be lubed every once in a while. To do this, take your silicone spray and lube the gasket where the CO2 cylinder meets the gun itself. Wait a few minutes before testing your gun otherwise you’ll have wasted oil and it won’t have been able to get to the gaskets or rubber seals.

          Slide rails on both gas and CO2 guns need to be cleaned and lubricated regularly to keep your slide running smoothly on the track. Remove your slide and using a clean cloth or paper towel, gently run the cloth along the slide and body to remove any debris and dust. Then lightly spray silicone along all the points where your slide meets the gun body. Not too much!! This will keep your slide from grinding against the body, warping the gun and causing dangerous issues or costly part replacement.

          If you are comfortable field stripping your gas pistol entirely to clean it, make sure you are using a clean, dry and level surface. Take everything apart slowly to keep any springs from flying off into wayward directions and clean everything one part at a time with a clean cloth. Put your gun back together in the opposite steps as you took it apart and make sure everything slides and glides smoothly.

***If you are not comfortable performing this cleaning on your own, or have lost a part along the way- please don’t fire your gun! Come see an airsoft professional or technician so they can walk you through the steps and ensure you’re using a safe and clean gun. Having a technician perform this task for you will prevent your warranty from being voided and keep your gun in tip top condition.

You spent a lot of money on your pride and joy- give it some TLC!

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BEGINNER TIPS 2: Maintenance

Airsoft guns, like live firearms, must be cleaned and maintained with proper gun care. A neglected airsoft gun can result in malfunctions, misfires, locked gears and a broken weapon. Every gun requires different care based on its propellant and needs, so it is important to read its manual or ask an airsoft technician or professional. Basic gun maintenance, however, is simple.

STORING YOUR GUN: 

  • Always store your gun in a clean dry space away from young children. You don’t want those kids hurting themselves or hurting your equipment. 
  • Never leave your gun loaded or cocked as it could damage your internal mechanisms.
  • Don’t store your gun outside or in the garage, especially in Arizona. The extreme heat will damage the o-rings, possibly melt the wiring, heat the motor and cause severe damage for gas guns and gas magazines.

Soft Case

USE QUALITY AMMO:

  • Only use precision or match grade, high density, seamless and polished bbs. You don’t want to see any seams, bubbles or dents in your bbs
  • Cheap bbs, like those sold at Wal-Mart and other sporting good stores, will cause irreparable damage to your gun internals and void your warranty!
  • Most often, brightly neon colored bbs are made of a cheap light-weight plastic and will break within your gearbox causing bb shards to lock up your gearbox.
  • Do not reuse your bbs after they have been fired or have been rolling around on the ground. These bbs can be compromised by stress from the gearbox, dented from the ricochet, or have gathered dirt and debris from the ground causing gams and internal damage.
  • Do your research and only purchase bbs from respectable airsoft distributors.

BBs

CARING FOR MAGAZINES:

  • To prevent jamming or misfired, check your magazines for debris, dust and dirt. 
  • It is best to empty your magazine after each use, although it is not required.
  • With gas guns, it is not preferable to use the release valve to expel excess gas. Loss of magazine pressure can damage the gun.

KWA LM4 PTR - TMB

OILING YOUR GUN: 

  • Always keep your airsoft barrel free of obstruction. Before cleaning your gun, make sure your selector switch is set to safety. 
  • If you’re using an AEG, decompress the spring after each use. Some guns have a decompression button while others you can just set your gun to semi and fire a few shots.
  • Lubricate your barrel every 6 months with pure silicone oil spray. NEVER USE WATER, PETROLEUM OR GENERAL CLEANERS! Anything other than pure silicone will damage your internals. Be turn to turn off the hop-up before oiling and be careful not to over oil your gun. Over oiling can damage o-rings and seals.
  • Spray small cloth swatches and thread it through your cleaning rod. Insert and gently swab the inside of the barrel. Follow the oiled swatch with a clean cloth to pick up excess debris and oil.
  • After cleaning, it may take a few fires for the hop-up to function properly.
  • If you have upgraded from Green Gas to Propane, ensure you are using a propane adapter like the one below and are taking care to oil and lube your gun before and after every time you play. This will keep all your o-rings pliable and keep them from cracking. It will also keep from your gearbox drying out.

Silicone Spray MadBull Propane Adapter Metal

**NOTE** If you are new to airsoft or aren’t comfortable cleaning your gun on your own, find an experienced technician like the ones we have here at VIPAirsoft. They will help teach you to properly clean and maintain your equipment. You run the risk of voiding your warranty if you do not properly clean your equipment.

BEGINNER TIPS 1: Gearboxes

There are numerous styles of gearboxes on the Airsoft market.  The gearbox design has changed over time and all have specific parts that make them function.

The gearbox design: A gearbox interworking is rather simple.  A shuttle in the trigger housing connects the electrical current, powered by a battery.  Then, the motor turns, spinning the gears, which pulls back the piston, which in turn is connected to the spring and spring guide.  Once the piston is pulled the tappet plate is pulled back till the piston is released as well as the tappet plate and air is sent forward and directed by the piston head.  The piston/ piston head hits the cylinder head and air is sent out the nozzle.

Gearbox Diagram

:: COMMON GEARBOX DESIGNS ::

VERSION 1 GEARBOX: Motor is attached within the gearbox
**Picture below is a Tokyo Mauri (TM) FAMAS gearbox

 V1 Gearbox

VERSION 2 GEARBOX: Most commonly used on the market.
          This gearbox takes most parts and is redesigned constantly. ICS has made a split version 2 where the cylinder and air seal all comes out. There are many different variations but the gearbox is still considered Version 2. This gearbox is designed for M4, MP5 and other modified guns such as the SR25.
**Picture below is a basic V2 Gearbox

 V2 Gearbox

VERSION 3 GEARBOX: Most commonly used in G36, AUG, AK and SIG series.
          This design is the 3rd of Tokyo Mauri’s designs. V3 gearboxes are more reliable, in that the shell is stronger than the V2 and doesn’t crack as often at the front end of the gearbox. This gearbox has a caged motor that attaches directly to the gearbox shell.
**Picture is a Tokyo Mauri AK47 V3 Gearbox

 V3 Gearbox

VERSION 6 GEARBOX: Easiest to get into. Designed for Thompson & P90 styles.
          These gearboxes are built strong and last a long time. This is the easiest gearbox to get into and is designed for Thompson and P90 style airsoft guns. These gearboxes can take Version 2 gears, pistons and spring guides. Again a cage attaches the motor to the gearbox in the style of V1 gearboxes.
**Picture is a Version 6 P90 Gearbox

 V6 Gearbox

VERSION 7 GEARBOX: Designed for M14
          The Version 7 gearbox is designed for the M14 style airsoft guns and suffers the same cracking problems the V2 gearbox faces. All electrical components outside and parts are specific to this gearbox.
**Picture below is a basic V7 Gearbox

 V7 Gearbox

SAW/M60 GEARBOX: Specialized for their guns
          These gearboxes are extremely strong and have the motor ins tide the gearbox just like the V1 and V6. There is a quick change spring on it as well and instead of a normal trigger, it uses a micro switch.

                                                 ****IMPORTANT NOTE****
Disassembly of a gearbox will void most if not all warranties. Professional installation and disassembly is recommended. Any and all disassembly of a gearbox by a consumer is at the responsibility of that consumer. 

About the Author:
Joshua Weir is the lead technician at VIPAirsoft Arena. He has been with the company for 2 years and has been working on airsoft equipment for over 5 years. For more information about VIPAirsoft, please visit our website.

”I airsoft bec…

”I airsoft because I enjoy the thrill of the game, that feeling of running down a hallway not knowing what’s on the other side, the scary whoosh as bbs fly over your head just can’t be matched! The guns are built with realism in mind and are as close to the real thing as you can get. I’ll sometimes spend hours in my spare time just admiring my airsoft guns. Half the fun is seeing everyone’s decked out guns and gathering new ideas on what to put on your gun or how to set it up. Some of the best friends I had ever made were just like me, avid airsofters who I had met one day while playing with them and sharing war stories. The tactics airsoft uses are nothing short of realistic, stacking up, shooting high or shooting low, covering fire, all are used during the games and all are needed if you want to play effectively. Airsoft is my way of relaxing with some of my best friends after a long week of work and school, and that’s why I do it!” -Bailey A.

A testimonial from one of our players! We love our players and are excited to see how much they love our arena and the sport! 

Who is VIPAirsoft?

VIP Airsoft is Arizona’s premier and largest indoor close combat airsoft field. 19,000 sq. feet of fun and excitement for all ages! VIPAirsoft is a family owned company that focuses on providing quality service in a quality environment to airsoft players of all skill levels. Our indoor arena includes over 42 rooms and 3 towers in a cityscape layout. We’ve got refs, fog machines, strobes and props while blasting music throughout the arena to add to the experience. We offer a chance for fans of video gaming or military reenactment to live inside their favorite scenario with other like-minded players. Refs keep the missions interesting and are always incorporating new ideas with help from our players. We’ve got rentals, gear, and a fully stocked proshop to get you going or keep up with your sport.

We weren’t always so awesome though. We started our business back in 2003 as “The Front”, an internet cafe for LAN and online gaming. We offered the most up to date computer and console games in a casual environment. We began to incorporate paintball equipment as interest grew for the sport amongst our customers and in the general demographic. Over the next few years, with the growth of high speed internet becoming more easily accessible, we began to phase out our internet cafe and instead expanded more into paintball products. This change also prompted our name change to “Vanguard Paintball”. Our business thrived with the incorporation of an outdoor paintball field called “The Church”. Partnering with Spring of Life Christian Church to help us run and maintain the paintball field allowed us to give proceeds from the field to those in need in the surrounding areas.

As paintball began to slow significantly in the East Valley, instead of dropping out of the race entirely, we decided to start carrying Airsoft equipment. Growing from the cheaper low-end guns with no additional accessories to the fully stocked inventory proshop we have now, which includes high end gas rifles, gas blow back pistols, AEG rifles in all price ranges and any accessory or protective apparel you’d need, has been extremely exciting. In 2009, we realized we were outgrowing our location and saw a need in the valley for a place where our customers could play safely. After much planning and effort, we opened the doors to VIPAirsoft Arena to an excited Arizona population in August 2010.

We’re proud to offer a truly unique entertainment option to the Valley, maintaining high standards in quality products, customer service, safety, classes and fun. We have grown a lot, changed our field to grow with the demands of our players, and are continuing to grow. We can’t wait for our players to see what we have in store and to show the community how positive airsoft can be.