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A cautionary word about Lithium Grease
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Author:  Bill Skillman [ Wed Sep 19, 2018 9:30 am ]
Post subject:  A cautionary word about Lithium Grease

Fellow Sharpshooters,

After a long hiatus, and at the urging of my old comrades in battle, Brian White and Dan Wambaugh; I made the trip south to participate in the Jackson, Michigan event at Ella Sharp Park (formerly held at Jackson's Cascade Park).

As I was inspecting one of Dan and Brian's newest creations (a gorgeous, oatmeal colored, North Carolina frock coat), Brian had pulled his Pederosoli Sharps out to get it ready for the skirmish line. He attempted to draw down the breechblock but it was stuck fast. This was very unusual, at least for a cleaned and unfired Pederosoli. We located some type of lubricant (I think it was sewing machine oil), and dribbled a bead around the circumference of the block. After a few more minutes of sweating and tugging, the block gradually-but stubbornly--yielded enough for Brian to remove it from the chamber.

We discovered that the breechblock rails and gas check shimmered with a substance that looked, and had the consistency of, dried shellac. Brian mentioned that he had used excess Lithium grease (he was experimenting with the NSSA O-ring) to lubricate the rails and face of the gas check the previous month before putting the Sharps aside for the next event. We deduced that the Lithium grease had degraded, leaving the varnish-like residue behind.

Fortunately, we found a chisel, screwdriver and a couple other tools in the workshop to help us pry off the gas check and remove all of the 'varnish' from the block. The next day, at the close of the skirmish at Ella Sharp (the 'battlefield' consisting of a flat, open, mowed, ruby pitch), Brian was pleased to report that he had fired off 20 rounds without a stoppage (Dan had fired 15 of his own style flat base blanks), and he had no trouble drawing down the block at the end of the skirmish.

So, a word to the wise: if you plan to use the O-ring intervention for your Sharps, REMOVE ALL TRACES OF LITHIUM GREASE FROM YOUR SHARP'S RIFLE BLOCK IF YOU WILL BE STORING IT LONGER THAN 24 HOURS.

Hope this helps--

Bill Skillman
Bugler
Hudson Squad Mess

Author:  Bill Skillman [ Wed Sep 26, 2018 8:47 am ]
Post subject:  Re: A cautionary word about Lithium Grease

Fellow Sharpshooters

This past weekend I did an experiment by inserting an O ring into my Shiloh's block reservoir, but without coating it with lithium grease (see my article on the O-ring solution recommended on the NNSA site years ago). I fired 15 live rounds at a 3x5 foot white paper target, 100 yards distant with a 2 inch orange center. I narrowly missed 'making the 'string' to qualify as a sharpshooter by a mere .25 inches (a jerked trigger on shot #6 threw the ball to the 11 o'clock position, 9.5 inches from the center).

Yesterday I finally was able to do a 'deep clean' of my Shiloh. I removed the breechblock and the gas check popped right off, showing that the O ring not only survived the shooting trial but still retained its shape and function.

This is very encouraging news, since the breech pressure created by firing live rounds is significantly greater than blank cartridges. So feel free to experiment adding an O-ring to your Pederosoli, Armi-Sport, Garrett or Shiloh and post your comments.

Bill Skillman
Hudson Squad Mess

Author:  Calum [ Tue Oct 02, 2018 12:44 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: A cautionary word about Lithium Grease

Bill,

Thanks for posting the test results. I used the same type of O-ring in my wife's ArmiSport Sharps, and have had good results both with blanks and live rounds, although that particular rifle has since moved to a new home.

My Pedersoli has the Charlie Hahn modification, which also uses an O-ring. For both it, and the ArmiSport, I have always used bearing grease and have not had any issues.

At this point, my Garrett and first ArmiSport doe not have much in the way of gas leakage, although the chamber sleeves have long since been frozen in place (the Garrett, before I obtained the rifle). When I do start getting leakage, I'll be fitting them with an O-ring as well.

Thanks,
Mike

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