Bolster Armouries: How to Maintain your Gas Pistol

Bolster Armouries: How to Maintain your Gas Blowback Pistol

The internal parts which comprise the Bolster Armouries gas pistols have some of the tightest tolerances possible whilst still maintaining smooth mechanical function. This is one of many aspects of these custom pistols which gives them their exceptional accuracy and all-round consistent performance. With this comes a tradeoff, and that is that to preserve this high level of performance, regular maintenance will be required. 

Any in depth maintenance of these pistols should be carried out by a Bolster Arms Technician as a part of the Bolster Arms Service Progamme, so rest assured you will not be required to do anything beyond what you normally would to maintain a GBB pistol. 

That said, with these pistols the requirement for maintenance is not really optional, especially if you want your Bolster Arms custom piece to continue to shoot as accurately and cycle as smoothly as when you received it. Let's face it, if you are investing in a high-end custom pistol which has been hand-built with parts selected from the finest available on the Airsoft market, you will be expecting it to perform, and as such you must do your part to keep the pistol clean and ready for action!

If you require any further maintenance or a repair for your Bolster Armouries gas pistol please arrange this through the Bolster Arms Service Book provided with your pistol. Any maintenance carried out and parts replaced will be noted in the "Log Book" section of your Service Book. 


Hi-capa Obsidian/Moonstone/Moonstone Limited Edition/Quartz

The maintenance procedure for the Bolster Armouries Hi-capa series involves a field strip, the application of lubricant to the slide and frame rails, and lubrication of the piston behind the blowback unit/nozzle. The following steps will outline how to correctly field strip a Bolster Armouries Hi-capa, and how to apply lubricant to the appropriate parts.

To carry out this maintenance, all you will need is some Airsoft approved 100% pure silicone lubricant. We recommend Abbey Silicone Gun Oil 35 for this, as it has the perfect amount of viscosity to ensure your pistol runs smoothly but does not capture an excessive amount of debris within the lubricant which can occur with thicker lubricants, and may affect the pistols performance. 

Firstly, remove the magazine from your pistol, and place it aside for later (or, if you want to sort your magazine out first, skip ahead to the "Magazines" section below). Then, making sure the pistol is not on "safe", rack the slide. Once you have done this, confirm that the hammer is locked back and that the action is cocked. 

For the Obsidian, Moonstone and Moonstone [Limited Edition] - 

Next, pull the slide back slightly to align the slide lock/release lever with its disassembly notch in the slide. This notch is the smaller of the two notches on the left side of the slide and is positioned just to the rear of the slide locking notch. With the slide held in such a position that the slide lock aligns with the disassembly notch, carefully push the slide lock/release through from the right side of the pistol. This should be done by hand, but if you are having trouble we recommend the use of a plastic blunt-tipped tool (we often use a ballpoint pen with the cap on and it works well). Do not use a pin punch, screwdriver or similar metal tool as this will mar the finish on the slide release and potentially the frame and slide itself. Do not force the slide lock if it appears to be stuck, as this may cause damage to the pistol. If you are having trouble with this step, feel free to contact a member of the Bolster Armouries Tech team for help. 

For the Quartz -

Being an "Open Division" pistol, the Quartz does not have a slide release lever. As such, the disassembly process differs slightly from the standard Hi-capa configuration. You will need a 2.5mm Allen key for this stage. First, unscrew the screw closest to the muzzle end on the JLP Optic mount on the left side of the pistol. Next, remove the screw. This should allow the threaded pin on the right side to be pushed through from the left. With this done, you can move on to the next step! Once again, if you are having trouble please do not hesitate to get in touch with the Bolster Armouries team!

With the side lock/release removed, you can now remove the slide by pushing it forwards, and off the rails at the front of the pistol. With this done, you should now have the frame and complete slide as two separate units. To remove the outer barrel and recoil rod first compress the recoil spring by pulling the recoil plug (metal insert in the front of the slide, surrounding the recoil rod) to the rear. The best way to do this is to place your thumb on the back of the recoil rod and hook your index and middle finger around the recoil plug. With the spring held compressed, you should be able to lift the recoil rod and spring out of the pistol. Be careful as you decompress the recoil spring, if you do this too quickly it will fire the recoil plug across the room! With the recoil rod and spring out, you can then remove the outer barrel and HOP unit through the front of the slide.

Whilst you have the pistol apart, it is a good idea to check for dirt or debris and remove this when you find it. We recommend cleaning out any old lubricant from the slide and frame rails as this will likely have captured dirt and debris. It can help to remove the outer barrel and recoil rod whilst cleaning the inside of the slide, but we advise you do this with care. With the recoil rod, spring and barrel assembly removed, simply wipe the inside of the slide rails, and any areas where metal contacts metal with a microfibre cloth until they are clear of all dirt. 

Now that we have a clean pistol in front of us, it is time to apply fresh lubricant to the moving parts. Starting with the frame and slide, the primary parts you will need to lubricate are the frame rails on which the slide travels, and the rails on the slide itself. The frame rails are often two separate sections, allowing for the slide to be removed for a field strip. You will need to apply a small drop of lubricant to each rail, and spread it along the rail with your finger, including those rails at the rear of the pistol, surrounding the hammer group. 

With this done, set your frame aside, add another small drop of lubricant to the rails on either side of the inside of the slide, and spread it along the rails as you did with the frame. Adding a small amount of lubricant to the recoil rod and the areas of the outer barrel which contact the slide can also help with smooth cycling, and should be done in the same way as with the slide and frame; applying a small amount of lubricant and spreading it using your finger. The areas to target are the top of the chamber area on the outer barrel, the inside of the slide, near the chamber, and the recoil rod itself, but as always please ensure that you only use 100% silicone lubricant approved for Airsoft use. 

The final part we will need to lubricate is the piston, which sits concealed beneath the blowback unit/nozzle assembly. To access the piston, simply pull the blowback unit/nozzle assembly forwards which should reveal the piston head. Apply a small amount of lubricant to this, spread it over the accessible surface, and let the blowback unit/nozzle return to position. If your blowback unit/nozzle does not travel back smoothly, pull the BBU/nozzle forward again, wipe away the lubricant which has been applied and reapply lubricant to the piston head. 

With this final step complete, you can now reassemble your pistol. First, insert the outer barrel back into the slide from the front. Next, with the recoil spring installed onto the recoil rod, place the recoil plug over the tip of the recoil rod, compress the unit together as you did when disassembling the pistol, and insert the recoil plug into the front of the slide. After further compressing the spring with the recoil plug in place, you can reinstall the recoil rod index lug into its recess in the outer barrel/HOP unit assembly. 

With your slide now complete, you can reinstall it onto the frame, but before you do please ensure the hammer is still cocked. Align the slide rails with the frame rails at the front of the pistol, and carefully pull the side back into place. 

For the Obsidian, Moonstone and Moonstone [Limited Edition] -

With the slide on, you can now insert the slide lock/release slightly on the left side of the pistol, pull the slide back carefully to align the slide lock/release with the disassembly notch in the slide and push the slide lock/release all the way through from the left side of the pistol. 

For the Quartz

With your side in position, you can insert the threaded pin from the right side, and align the screw from the JLP mount with the threads of the pin on the left side. Using a 2.5mm Allen key, tighten the screw down until it is hand tight. 

Now your Bolster Armouries Hi-capa is back together, you can rack the slide a few times to ensure it travels smoothly. Following maintenance, we recommend firing a couple of magazines worth of BBs through the pistol to spread the lubricant through the system and to clear out any excess. Don't forget, you will also need to clean your inner barrel and lubricate your magazine, please refer to the relevant section of this article for instructions on carrying out these procedures. 


Inner Barrel Cleaning 

Cleaning the inner barrel of your Bolster Armouries Gas pistol is largely the same process as with any AEG or GBB, but with the added factor that you will see a much greater drop in performance if you neglect to clean your inner barrel. This is due to the use of the advanced Maple leaf Crazy Jet inner barrel within some of these pistols, which provide incredible accuracy and range. These barrels rely on creating a consistent air cushion around the BB, preventing it from contacting the walls of the barrel which would otherwise negatively affect its trajectory. With a dirty barrel, you are likely to suffer accuracy issues, and this will be far more of a noticeable drop given the insane level of accuracy these pistols provide out of the box. To avail yourself of the impressive performance potential within these pistols, they MUST be properly maintained. 

What you will need

  • Airsoft approved degreasing spray
  • A polymer Airsoft inner barrel cleaning rod 
  • Microfibre cloth
  • A pair of scissors

Do NOT use

  • WD 40 or any lubricant which is not intended for Airsoft
  • A metal cleaning rod for an Air rifle or similar
  • Kitchen towel or similar 

You will first need to remove the magazine, ensure the pistol is not loaded (if there is a BB in the chamber, run your cleaning rod through to clear it), and dial your HOP-up down to its lowest setting. Your pistol does not need to be field stripped in order to clean the inner barrel. 

Next, cut the microfibre cloth into strips to fit your cleaning rod. These are generally sized to fit a piece of cloth measuring 10mm x 40mm, though this will depend on the thickness of your chosen microfibre cloth. You will probably need 3 or 4 strips of cloth, but we advise you to continue to clean the inner barrel until the last cloth piece comes out clean, so having one or two extra might save time later. 

Insert one of your strips of microfibre cloth into the slot on your cleaning rod, and wrap it around so it barely fits inside the inner barrel. It is helpful to have your scissors handy in case you need to adjust the length of the cloth strip for a good fit. With your cloth strip in place, either spray a very small amount of degreaser onto your microfibre cloth.

With the previous steps complete you can now proceed to swab the inner barrel with your cleaning rod, taking care not to push the cleaning rod through the HOP unit. The Bolster Armouries team have helpfully marked the maximum distance of insertion onto your cleaning rod, do NOT push the rod any further than this as it could damage the HOP rubber and nub. Remove the old cloth piece and add a new one to your cleaning rod. Repeat this process unit the cloth comes out clean, applying additional degreasing spray when needed. The final pass with a cleaning rod should be done with no additional spray, as this will help remove any excess which remains inside the barrel. 

After cleaning your inner barrel, we recommend that you put a few magazines worth of BBs through the pistol to help clear out any excess degreasing spray from the barrel, as this will negatively affect accuracy until it has been cleared. 


Magazine Maintenance 

Keeping your magazines healthy is a big part of GBB ownership, and is outright essential to ensure the magazines are able to retain a good seal and that leaks do not develop. In addition to adhering to the following maintenance procedure, we advise that you always store your GBB magazines in a warm, dry environment and that you keep the magazine slightly filled with Abbey maintenance gas during long periods in which you will not be using your magazines. This will ensure that the magazine valve O-rings remain fresh and able to provide a good seal and that the gas route bucking does not crack and develop a leak. 

Generally, the most frequent and essential Airsoft maintenance you will have to carry out will be to ensure that the seals in the magazine are lubricated. When choosing a lubricant, ensure it is Airsoft branded 100% silicone oil, as others may cause swelling or failure of the O-rings within the valves and the gas route bucking. You will need to lubricate the gas route bucking (rubber part behind the feed-lips), the fill valve (generally on the bottom of the magazine) and the release valve (generally a gold-coloured button on the rear of the magazine). Adding a small amount of either silicone lubricant spray or neat silicone oil will keep these surfaces and the o-rings in the gun fresh and ready to perform. 


So, there you have it! Your complete guide to maintaining the exceptional performance your Bolster Armouries custom Airsoft gun provides. If you follow the steps in this guide you should have your incredible Bolster Armouries GBB running for eternity and a day! 

If there is anything else you need to know, or you require help with any of these steps please do not hesitate to contact us at bolsterarmouries@patrolbase.co.uk. If you are having a technical issue with your pistol, please refer to our <how to book a service> blog to arrange for your pistol to be inspected and any issues resolved.