“Superior to any other lubricant I have ever used” ~ Chris Christian, Gunworld Magazine
Unfortunately, .22 rimfire semi-auto pistols happen to be one of the more difficult firearm designs to keep functioning in a reliable manner. And the same also applies to semi-auto rimfire rifles. There are two major reasons for this, and they really aren’t the fault of the gun. The first is that the .22 Long Rifle cartridge (regardless of who makes it, or how much it costs) is an inherently dirty little rascal. It tends to spew a significant amount of lead and powder residue every time the trigger is pulled. The second is that the rimfire semi-auto action is rather small and confined. It doesn’t leave a lot of room for this debris to settle in, nor can it be blown out of the action – as is the case with centerfire semi-autos. Crud tends to accumulate in a .22 rimfire, and when enough of this crud accumulates, the gun tends to stop shooting. That’s not a good thing to happen, especially in the middle of a match, or if you have just figured out the lead and sight picture on a rapidly-vanishing varmint.
You can compound that problem quickly if you use the wrong lubricant for the gun. Some otherwise outstanding oils and lubes tend to hold powder and lead residue, which builds up quickly and leads to failure in as few as 50 to 100 rounds. Other lubes, like Rem Oil or Tetra Gun, do not allow firing residue to cling as tightly; if my Ruger was properly cleaned and then lubed with these, I could expect as many as 300 rounds, give or take, before the gun decided to take an extended break in the middle of the action.
I believe I have found a better lube than that. CorrosionX is a relatively new product using some very high-tech ingredients. Those components surface bond with metal, form a self-healing shield and resist wearing extremely well. To find out how CorrosionX might work with rimfires, I took my Ruger Mark II target handgun, stripped it, hosed it with carb cleaner and thoroughly spray-lubed it with CorrosionX. I then took a fresh 500-round brick of CCI Green Tag (an excellent performing match load, but an outside lead-lubricated round of the type that causes the most sludge build up in many .22 rimfires) and began firing them. This was not a torture test … I engaged in normal precision practice (30 to 50 rounds per session, twice a week) for the next six weeks. The only maintenance on the gun during the six-week period was to: (1) wipe the breech face with a clean patch after each shooting session, and (2) run one dry patch through the bore every 100 rounds. No additional lubrication, internally or externally, was provided during the six-week period.
After 10 years of shooting this gun in competition, I have found that the very best lubricants would allow 300 to 400 rounds of reliable functioning before lubrication-related malfunctions began to occur. I finished the 500-round brick of Green Tag without a single lubrication-related malfunction. At the end of that brick, the gun was still purring right along; I had a match the following weekend, however, so I terminated the test and cleaned and lubed the gun.
I do not know how far I would have been able to push that gun, but after 500 rounds of lead match ammo, the action was quite clean and the gun was still running smoothly. CorrosionX, obviously, does not trap firing residue within the gun. It is superior to any other lubricant I have ever used for .22-rimfire actions. In fact, I was pretty much astonished at its performance!
As a plus, CorrosionX does marvelous things to the rust that seems to grow on my guns. My hands will rust just about any metal they come in contact with, and every handgun I own wears a slight patina of rust on the front and back of the grips. During the initial cleaning of the Ruger Mark II, (blue steel) pistol, the CorrosionX removed the patina from the grip area. And, despite the fact that I applied no more lubricant during the entire six-week test even in the humid Florida climate I live in the patina never returned. CorrosionX stopped that. And, it stopped it on my other blue steel guns, as well. This is, without a doubt, the best surface metal protectant I have ever used!