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.
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!
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.
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 Overdo 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.