Tips for Lubing a Break Barrel Rifle

Written by gus stephens
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Break barrel air rifles are high-velocity spring-piston pellet guns. The barrel is hinged at the receiver and functions as the cocking handle to operate the piston that compresses the air that propels the pellet. Break barrel air rifles are single-shot breech loaders: pellets are singly chambered for firing when the barrel is broken open at the breech. Break barrels can produce muzzle velocities up to 1,500 feet per second. Seals, springs, hinges and the barrel itself are important lubrication points in a break barrel air rifle.

Piston Seal

The piston seal is located at the end of the air compression piston, where it mates with the barrel when the breech is closed. It is exposed by breaking open the barrel. A dry or worn piston seal will leak air compression, affecting velocity. Lubricate the piston seal after every 1,000 shots with two drops of the manufacturer's recommended, non-petroleum based air gun chamber lube.

Breech Seal

The breech seal, a rubber o-ring at the back of the barrel, ensures air pressure where the pellet is seated and mates with the piston seal when the barrel is pivoted shut. A drop of non-petroleum based air gun chamber lube after every 1,000 shots will keep the seal pliable and help preserve pressure and velocity.

Main Spring

Apply six drops of the manufacturer's recommended air gun spring cylinder oil to the mainspring after every 1,000 shots. Some rifles require removal of the stock to access the main spring.


After every 1,000 shots, oil the two pivot points where the break down barrel pivots with air gun spring cylinder oil. Also oil the trigger hinges.


Run patches of air gun cleaner/degreaser on a cleaning rod through the barrel to remove rust or other debris. Use a bristle brush attachment to remove heavier deposits. Clean the barrel until you can run a patch through it without showing grime or discolouration. Then run a patch moistened with air gun spring cylinder oil through the barrel, starting from the breech end, to lightly lubricate the bore.

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