Air rifles benefit from the barrel rifle


If you want to clean your weapon properly, you should know the relevant components and their functions. The knowledge of gun owners varies greatly, and some names also differ depending on the type of weapon or regionally.

Therefore, in this chapter we have given you a brief overview of the most important weapon components and terms - together with brief descriptions of their functions and peculiarities.


Train in the field:
In order to avoid confusing field and train dimensions, the simple mnemonic helps: “The train drives through the fields.” The recess - through which the train has passed - are accordingly the trains.

So that a projectile gets the necessary twist when fired to build a stable, wobble-free trajectory, “spiral-shaped”, actually called helical depressions are incorporated into the interior of a rifled barrel. These are called fields and trains - trains are the grooves, fields accordingly the raised areas between the trains. The inside diameter of a barrel can be specified as a pull size (marking B) or pulling caliber or as a field size (marking A) or field caliber. The distance between two opposing trains is referred to as the draft, the field dimension indicates the distance between two opposing fields. The tensile dimension is therefore always greater than the field dimension.

The diameter of the bullet - which is often found in the caliber specification - usually corresponds to the draft. When the weapon is fired, the bullet is slightly squeezed through the barrel and is given a characteristic scratch mark pattern, which means that it can be assigned to the corresponding barrel.


Since hand sweat has a pH value between 4.7 and 5.75 and is therefore slightly acidic, it can etch fingerprints into metallic surfaces, so-called fingerprints or fingerprint corrosion. Even so-called "rust-free" stainless steel is sometimes susceptible to this form of etching if the metal is not adequately protected - because in fact, "rust-free stainless steels" are more likely to be called "rust-resistant", because they are also susceptible to rust under certain conditions. In the area of ​​gun care in particular, it is therefore advisable to protect the metallic parts of the gun in order to prevent this form of corrosion.

Here, however, a distinction must be made between alkaline gun oils, such as Ballistol Universal Oil, which actually chemically neutralize this hand sweat, and other products that only dilute the hand sweat - in the hope that this will render the hand sweat harmless. Some products advertise with statements such as "neutralizes hand sweat", but are chemically incapable of doing this because they are not alkaline oils but neutral oils (e.g. Brunox, SchleTek, FlunaTec).


So that the projectiles can adapt to the barrel, absorb the twist and not damage the barrel, they are made of soft metals such as soft iron, bronze (softer than brass), brass, copper, zinc or lead or have a corresponding coating. Therefore, when a weapon is fired, metal residues of the softer metal of the projectile remain in the barrel. These are known as bullet lubrication.


Both shooting straight and zeroing in are actually a matter of course, but are unfortunately often neglected - both are sometimes very important. The so-called smooth shooting is not absolutely necessary, but you will benefit from it later when cleaning the barrel. The reason for this is that the surface inside the barrel is slightly rough due to the way it is manufactured. This is more pronounced in industrially manufactured runs than, for example, in high-quality match runs. This roughness can be reduced by shooting smooth. And the smoother the run, the fewer the opportunities for dirt to adhere and the easier it is to clean later. With jacketed bullets in particular, shooting straight is a profitable preparatory work; if you choose a different ammunition, for example .22 LFB (pure greased lead bullets), you can safely do without it.

Expert tip - competition
In competitions, shooters are often only entitled to a limited number of test shots, sometimes none at all. In order to prevent nasty surprises in the competition, 5–10 functional shots should therefore be fired at the home shooting range after cleaning.

In order to smooth out a new barrel, it is chemically cleaned before the first shot. Residues from production, official fire or shooting in are removed in this way. Robla Solo MIL barrel cleaner is ideal for this. After this cleaning step, the first shot can be fired, immediately afterwards it is cleaned again - a felt wetted or soaked with Robla Solo MIL is completely sufficient. This procedure, shot and subsequent cleaning, is repeated 5 times.

Now 2 shots are fired and again it is chemically cleaned with moistened or soaked felt. This interval is also repeated 5 times. In the next step, cleaning is only carried out after 5 shots, then after 10 shots. To be on the safe side, another round of 15 shots can be made. By then, at the latest, the new barrel will be perfectly smooth and will be easier to clean in the future. Whether it is necessary to zero in the rifle or a control shot after cleaning depends on a wide variety of factors, but the following applies: Whenever the rifle scope has been removed for cleaning, it should be shot in. And whenever you have the feeling that the point of impact has changed, a control shot should be taken.


Almost every gun owner knows stories from their environment about guns that have been "cleaned up" by their owners or previous owners. But are these reports really true or are they old wives' tales?

The fact is: Regular cleaning and care of a well-functioning weapon is essential and - as long as it is carried out properly - it cannot damage the weapon. But this is exactly where the problem often lies: If unsuitable cleaning agents are used or the wrong materials are used to clean the weapon, the weapon can of course also be damaged in the process. And because the perpetrator is not clear about his mistakes, the myth of "cleaning up broken" is put forward.

One of the most common mistakes is that a wire or steel brush was used and the fields and trains were damaged due to the high hardness of the bristles. For this reason, steel brushes should not be used. Rather, only soft brushes made of brass or bronze (e.g. from Raetz, Eyselein or Niebling) should be used that exactly match the corresponding caliber. And these may only be used in one direction, ideally from the chamber to the muzzle. In the case of revolvers or closed systems, the muzzle to the chamber must be cleaned. Therefore, special care should be taken when guiding the cleaning rod so as not to damage the muzzle.

Tow, patches made of cotton or microfiber or ideally felt cleaners and intensive cleaning felt with fine brass fibers are ideally suited for cleaning. It should also be noted here that these are always pulled through completely, then removed and cleaning is then repeated from the same side. If this is not observed, the dirt will only be distributed instead of being removed. It is often advisable to twist several cleaning felts together. This increases the contact surface of the felts.

Another source of error that can permanently damage the barrel are cheap cleaning rods made of bare steel or with a defective plastic coating. Here the hard, bare metal can of course damage the barrel - especially the muzzle area and the cartridge chamber, which are particularly important for accuracy. It is also important to ensure that the handle of the cleaning rod has ball or slide bearings and that it can turn with the fields and pulls during cleaning. Otherwise it will scratch over the fields and damage their edges in the process.


Corrosion (from Latin corrodere, “to gnaw”) is the reaction of a material with its environment, which leads to a measurable change in the material.

The best known form of corrosion in metals is rusting, i.e. the oxidation of iron. Rust occurs when iron or steel oxidizes with oxygen in the presence of water. In contrast to the protective oxide layer of many metallic materials such as chrome, aluminum or zinc, rust forms a tight, rough layer on iron that does not protect against further decomposition. Basically, rust has no place on a weapon.

Pitting corrosion, also known as pitting or pitting, is the term used to describe areas of corrosion that appear small and mostly punctiform on the surface, but expand in the form of troughs in the depths. In other words: The actual damage caused by corrosion is much greater than can be seen on the surface. Therefore, pitting corrosion often goes unnoticed for a long time.


The term Liderung describes the behavior of a cartridge case in the chamber when the weapon is fired. Then the pressure of the burning propellant powder ensures that the material of the cartridge case clings to the wall of the cartridge chamber and thus functions as a gas-tight seal at the rear end of the gun barrel. However, the prerequisite for optimal leaning is that the cartridge chamber is absolutely free of oil and grease.


The first shot from a gun barrel that has not been de-oiled is called an oil shot or cleaning shot. Due to the oil film that the projectile drives on its way through the barrel, the normal point of impact is more or less influenced. How useful or harmful such a cleaning shot is remains controversial: In general, the gun barrel should be pulled through dry before use. However, this also removes the rust protection, so that, depending on the application and weather conditions, slight flash rust can occur - for example if a hunter sits down for a long time. If post-treatment is forgotten after using the weapon, this can lead to pitting corrosion. Nevertheless, one cannot of course recommend a cleaning shot to any hunter, as this would mean that he would scare off the game with his oil shot.

Accurate with GunCer:
A test carried out in 2014 by the magazine Caliber on the subject of oil shot showed that the deviations in the point of impact when using Ballistol GunCer were sometimes noticeably smaller than with the products of competitors (Fluna Tec, SchleTek).

Since every weapon behaves differently and the necessity of an oil shot is also related to the individual use of the weapon, the question “oil shot yes or no?” Cannot be answered universally.

However, every shooter should know the deviation of the point of impact due to the oil shot for his weapons. So consciously test them at the shooting range. Because under the same conditions - i.e. with a constant type of cleaning and a minimal amount of oil used - the deviation in the point of impact can be reproduced. A well-known gunsmith from Lower Bavaria has carried out extensive tests for this.

In any case, before the first shot, you should pull dry through the barrel again in order to avoid too many oil residues in the barrel leading to problems during the cleaning shot - up to permanent barrel damage. In the case of a normally cared for weapon, a wafer-thin film of oil remains in the barrel despite being pulled through dry so that it is adequately protected from rust. However, it is essential to ensure that the cartridge chamber is dry. Oil and grease in the cartridge chamber can not only influence the point of impact, but also lead to a greatly increased load on the bolt due to the lack of ligation.


The cross-section of a polygon course (derived from the ancient Greek words "polys" = much and "gonia" = angle) corresponds to a rounded polygon that runs spirally through the entire barrel in order to set the projectiles in the necessary rotation that is necessary for ensures a stable trajectory. Compared to drawn barrels with fields and trains, polygonal barrels offer numerous advantages: They are much more gas-tight, ensure a higher muzzle velocity, have a longer life expectancy and are much easier to clean. Owing to the lower notch effect, they are usually more explosion-proof than rifled barrels, which, due to their design, have a “predetermined breaking point” in the pull profile - for example, English Webley revolvers.

However, polygonal barrels only transfer lower bar forces (twist) and are therefore primarily found in handguns, but also in large-caliber guns. Projectiles fired with a polygon barrel have no notches, but - depending on the design of the barrel - a kind of rounded polygon such as a hexagonal profile. Initially, polygon barrels were only used for military purposes, but now they can also be found in high-quality handguns (e.g. Heckler & Koch, Glock, SIG Sauer) and in hunting rifles (e.g. Heym SR 20 repeater).


Not all ceramics are the same. There are over a thousand different varieties in the ceramic family. Even if the majority of them are known for their abrasive (grinding) properties, there is a small subgroup of around 20 variants that, in contrast, have lubricating properties. In one of these variants, the shape and size of the ceramic particles are particularly suitable in order to smooth the metal surface, reduce frictional resistance and thus support the lubricating oil in its function. In addition, this ceramic variant offers other positive properties such as high resistance to high temperatures and pressure. An additional advantage is that ceramic does not leave behind any dirt residues such as copper or graphite. Lubricating ceramic is a lubricant that has a very wide temperature range and also offers very good emergency running properties.


Teflon® is mostly associated with the well-known and definitely positive property that, as a coating, it ensures a non-stick surface. But as good as the idea of ​​a non-stick coating on the inside of the barrel sounds, on which no more metal smears or combustion residues are deposited - the use of Teflon®-containing agents for cleaning or caring for a weapon is dangerous.

In the area of ​​the cartridge chamber and in the barrel, impact temperatures of up to 3,000 ° C develop during ignition. At these high temperatures, the fluorine-containing polymer contained in Teflon decomposes and small traces of hydrogen fluoride - also known as hydrofluoric acid - are formed, one of the most aggressive chemical compounds there are. Hydrofluoric acid is extremely reactive in connection with moisture and can therefore trigger the dreaded pitting corrosion in the barrel area and thus ruin the barrel.

Therefore, you should be extremely careful with Teflon®-containing lubricants and cleaning agents. These should - if at all - only be used for the mechanics, but even there they offer no noticeable advantage over reliable gun oils such as Ballistol Universal Oil and GunCer.

Teflon® is a registered trademark of DuPont and denotes the active ingredient PTFE polytetrafluoroethene.


Brass alloys with a copper content of over 67% copper are called tombac or table brass and gold brass. The word tombak is derived from the Malaysian name Tembaga for copper or the Indo word Tumbaga for gold copper. This alloy was sometimes used for the plating of iron-coated bullets such as surplus ammunition for rifles and pistols, as these bullets adapt better to the fields and trains of a rifled barrel thanks to the softer coating, have a higher sliding effect and are much gentler on the barrel.


One hears again and again about the problem of resinification, in which fats or oils dry out over time, so that they become viscous and sticky. This residue ensures that the previously oiled mechanism does not work better, but worse and sometimes even restricts its function. In the case of firearms, this effect can even lead to malfunctions that are dangerous for the user.

The chemical process that triggers this gumming occurs only with vegetable fats and oils that are polyunsaturated. In these cases, raw materials of inferior quality are often used, which trigger the chemical process of gumming through exposure to air and light.

The existing double bonds in the molecular structure break and reassemble.This is how macromolecules are formed, which are constantly getting larger and therefore increasingly tough. The result: A resinous mass is created that blocks the mechanism, is difficult to remove and, in the worst case, can even render the weapon unusable.

This resinification process is only desired for stock oils, because it closes the pores of the wood. High-quality oils - especially synthetic and mineral oils - cannot resinify thanks to their chemical composition, as their molecular structure is not destroyed by atmospheric oxygen.

Ballistol Universal Oil consists to a large extent of medicinal white oil, so that the phenomenon of resinification cannot occur in the first place. With Ballistol Universal Oil, only the alcohols from natural fermentation evaporate when exposed to air and light. A vaseline-like protective film remains, but it is neither viscous nor sticky and therefore cannot restrict its function in any way. The lubricating effect is still present.

WD40, Caramba or other simple hardware store oils should therefore be avoided when caring for weapons. Due to the high proportion of petroleum or other solvents contained therein, acceptable cleaning properties can be achieved, but they are also very volatile and do not offer permanent protection - accordingly, they have to be re-oiled very often. Another disadvantage is the easily irritating substances that they often contain. Gun parts made of wood or leather can be damaged - or even your own skin can suffer as a result.

So there are many good reasons to choose high-quality gun oils such as Ballistol Universal Oil, Gunex or GunCer, which cannot resinify. So instead of using inferior products that can cause damage, entail high costs for repairs or the replacement of individual components and which often have to be re-oiled, with BALLISTOL it is worthwhile to rely on effective protective agents and lubricants for all areas.

Nevertheless, even with high-quality oils from BALLISTOL, care should be taken not to use too much oil, as an over-oiled barrel or an over-oiled system - especially at low temperatures - can lead to problems, for example if dirt combines with the excess oil .


Basically, a breechblock is understood to be the components of a breech loader that close the barrel towards the rear in order to prevent propellant gases from escaping. The closure must therefore primarily be so stable and tight that it can withstand the pressure of these gases and thus enable the projectile to accelerate and escape in the first place.

All firearms have a breech block. If latches consist of several components, one speaks of a latch system that, depending on the type of weapon, has various other functions in addition to sealing the rear, such as loading, firing, securing or unloading the weapon. The components of such locking systems or a locking head include, inter alia, the firing pin or the separate striking piece, the firing pin spring, the extractor, the extractor claw, various firing pin safety devices or striking piece safety devices and numerous other components.

In the case of weapons for cartridge or cartridge ammunition, the lock has the task of fixing the cartridges in place in the barrel - in this case the seal against the escape of propellant gases is done by lapping the case material. But muzzle-loading weapons and revolvers also have a lock - in the case of muzzle-loading weapons, this is the tail screw, and in the case of revolvers, the frame. In the case of revolvers, the seal is also made by the liner of the cartridge case. The drum acts as a magazine and cartridge chamber. The necessary stability of the chamber and the cartridge it contains is guaranteed by the special design and the frame of the revolver.

The most important and most widespread locking systems include bolt locks, rotary head locks, roller locks, ground locks, gas-braked locks, tilt barrel locks and cylinder locks. There are also numerous other locking systems and variants.

Here you can download the weapon care breviary as a PDF file.