Saturday, August 20, 2011

Slipstream Lubricant -- First Impression

I have been reading a bit of hype recently about Slipstream lubricant from Crusader Weaponry. There are glowing reviews to be found on the web (eg. here, here and here) with, so far, no distinctly negative ones. Given that is not terribly expensive I decide to try it.

For my first experiment I used it on a S&W 686+. This is not a stock revolver. The return slide and the mating surfaces on the frame have been stoned and polished. The hammer and trigger frame studs are lightly polished. Exclusive of the cylinder, those are the three most significant source of friction in the S&W lockworks. Additionally, the factory mainspring was replaced with a Wolff full-power spring and a 15# Wolff spring was substituted for the factory 18# return slide spring.

Crusader's instructions recommend I completely clean and degrease the gun before applying their lubricant so I cleaned the cylinder and small parts in an ultrasonic cleaner. The frame I cleaned using Tetra's Action Blaster. Everything was rubbed down and dried with Scott disposable shop towels I bought at the local Home Depot. I reassembled the gun using Slipstream in the places I normally applied my usual oil.

First thing I noticed is the cylinder did not spin as freely as before.  Secondly there is a noticeable drag when opening and closing the cylinder. Finally, the ejector seem to have a bit more drag in it. I measured the trigger pull before and after. The average of seven measurements (one for each chamber) was:

Before: 9.42 lbs, StdDev: 0.28 lbs
After:  9.46 lbs, StdDev: 0.25 lbs

The difference in the trigger weight is not significant and the overall subjective feel of the action does not seem to be affected.

So far, the jury is still out on using Slipstream on my revolvers. The additional drag noted above is slight enough I might not have noticed were this not my personal gun which I shoot a lot. Slipstream has not improved the overall action but neither has it diminished it. Being, to all appearances, a "dry" lube it may help reduce the powder residue and other gunk that gathers in the action. That would be an advantage over the other oils I've tried. Hopefully I will get a chance to get to the range this weekend and see how it performs in that regard. Also, since it was probably formulated with autoloaders in mind, I will eventually try the grease and oil on my P95 and Sig 220 to see how it affects them.

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