Abbey gas and lubricant review

Abbey
Supply Ltd – Airsoft gas and lubricant products
by Arnie

Reviewed
Products:


I’ve
been somewhat used to buying gear and consumables that have
been sourced from HK and Japan in past years. With Airsoft gas
propellant this led to the problem that retailers ran out of
stock quite often as gas has to be shipped via land based couriers,
and sudden consumer rushes for gas would leave retailer high
and dry with little to sell. This is not the fault of the retailers,
merely that they had to buy gas from overseas via slow shipping
methods and supply and demand is somewhat difficult to predict,
especially with UK weather…

I
suppose it can be happily attributed to the growth of Airsoft
in the UK that there’s such a demand for gas that a UK company
by the name of Abbey
Supply Ltd
(Abbey)
has started producing it’s own line of gas and lubricant products
specifically for Airsoft hobbyists.

So
what do Abbey
produce? Well the Airsoft Abbey
lineup consists of:

Now
considering that Abbey are relatively new to the Airsoft scene,
that’s rather an impressive line up. Abbey have actually been
producing airgun/pistol and shotgun products for some time,
so taking up the Airsoft reigns is not such a huge step for
them to take.

So
lets see what Abbey’s products are like.

HFC134a
Predator Gun Gas:
Now truth be told I run HFC22 is most
gear I have, I just accept the consequences of the higher power
gas and stick with one bottle in the cupboard. The reason is
simply really I couldn’t source and HFC134a a few years back
(it was quite rare/expensive back then) and simply stuck with
what I knew.

“…Abbey
Predator Gun Gas 134a will improve power and performance: Abbey
Predator Gun Gas 134a is available from major airsoft dealers
throughout the country and on the internet.

134a
is a safe nonflammable gas ideally suited for airsoft gas powered
guns. Many manufacturers specify this gas for their guns. Abbey
Supply Company have incorporated a new high specification lubricant
UPL to provide maximum lubrication to the seals and internal
mechanisms of the gun. Ensuring the gun is working correctly
with the right lubricant is essential for maximum power and
performance. The level of lubricant has been set to make this
gas exceptionally good in hop-up guns.

Mr
Chris Macdonald, Managing Director of Abbey Supply Company Ltd,
says ‘Abbey Predator Gun Gas 134a delivers improved performance
and accuracy making this the gas best suited for skirmishing
or plinking. Its large capacity also makes it economical to
use.’…”
Abbey
press release 19 March, 2003

Abbey’s
development trials matched the HFC134a with this high tech lubricant
by the name of UPL, which is apparently prefect for internals
of Airsoft guns.

Gas
tests:
Given that I’m very used to HFC22 I didn’t quite
know what to expect when trialing the new HFC134a, but I didn’t
need to be worried.

The
most sensible test to conduct was usability, so I took several
GBBs out the toy cupboard that had never had HFC134a breathed
through them. Tests were conducted at 15-18 deg C and conducted
with a selection of pistols.

First
up in the test was the KSC M93r (what else?). Being a full auto
GBB, this really was the ultimate test for a gas, as good old
HFC22 had a habit of freezing up and slowing down somewhat in
normal use for me. With both 93rs (1st and 2nd gen) the rate
of fire was very good, and there was no cooldown, and blowback
was also very impressive, both in full-auto and semi modes.

Please
note:
KSC do not recommend firing the 93r in full auto for
extended periods of time as it tends to dry out the gas o-rings.

Next
up was the WA Shibuya Striker, a fairly standard WA single stack
1911 copy. As you’d expect blowback was crisp and again no cooldown
was apparent.

The
last test was with the Tanaka M629. There’s little to go wrong
with this piece, but I was interested in trying it out with
the 134a to see how the hopup faired. With Abbey;s 134a power
was good, and the shots were very consistent.


Abbey’s Predator 134a ran through the three test pieces like
a charm. Power was slightly lower than that achieved with HFC22
in the same conditions but much like the old Pepsi challenge
you’d need to have to try both gases at the same time to really
spot the minor difference. The lube consistency is spot
on with Abbey’s 134a, as tests on each replica showed proper
lubing after a few magazines, and no evidence of either drying
caused by too little lube, or over greasing caused by too much
silicone content.

Chrono
tests:
As mentioned in the last review, my chrono has gone
walkies so I’m unable to chrono and compare gases at the moment.
When I get a replacement I’ll update this review with gas FPS
comparisons between 134a and 22.

Take
two bottles to a skirmish?
Well I never used to take two
different bottles to skirmishes, but I’d consider myself converted.
After the SpeedComp died with catastrophic slide breakage (under
HFC22) I’ll be using HFC134a in the less ‘robust’ gas replicas
I have here.

Gas
content:
Predator 134a contains UPL “a high performance
lubricant, especially formulated for the seals and internals
of your gun”
. At this time I don’t know the specific
chemical construct of this lubricant, nor it’s specific quantities
in Predator 134a.

Can:
When you buy gas, your not just buying the gas, but the container
that it comes in. With that in mind it’s worth taking into account
the bottle you get it in. Abbey’s can is somewhat of a welcome
change from the GreenGas I’m used to using -I’ve had several
greengas cans dint worryingly on me after being dropped and
more than a few metal nozzles get bent and then leak gas all
over the shop.

Abbey’s
134a comes in a nice thick walled can with a good nylon nozzle,
and it’s certainly more field resistant. The nylon nozzle means
that it’s easier to achieve good gas seals when refilling mags,
and that you’re incredibly unlikely to damage your inlet valves,
as you so easily can with a damaged metal nozzle.

The
only point of note is that Abbey’s gas nozzle won’t reach
the gas inlet valve on a mag with a rubberized bumper
such as a WA single stack bumpered mag, the Tanaka revolver
inlet, or the KSC M9 mag, as shown in the inset image
here (standard mag to the left, bumpered on the right).

That’s
not a criticism of Abbey’s gas can, as you’ll find
the same is the case with all other gas brands available
at the moment (22, 134a or otherwise).

The
good news is that with Abbey being a UK company, the chances
of innovation are better, simply because we can actually
contact them and provide valuable feedback on their products
and our needs as Airsofters.

Abbey
produce their 134a in stocky 450gm cans. As a direct comparison:

Brand Product Capacity/ml Mass
bottle (total) /gm
Mass
contents/gm
HFC Super
Green Gas
1000 100 ~300
Abbey Predator
134a
375 225 375

As
you can see Abbey’s can is much heavier, and even though it’s
the same diameter as HFC’s can (at roughly 65mm) there’s certainly
more liquid gas in the can.

HFC
Greengas
CH2FCF3CH3 (source RefigerantSupply.com
R12 page
)

Molecular
Mass
Boiling
Point C°
Boiling
Point F°
Critical
Temperature C°
Critical
Temperature F°
Critical
Pressure MPa
Critical
Pressure psia
120.91 -29.8 -21.6 112.0 233.6 4.41 600

Molecular
weight: 117.066g per mole

Predator
134a (tetrafluoroethane) CH2FCF3 (source RefrigerantSupply.com
R134a page
)

Molecular
Mass
Boiling
Point C°
Boiling
Point F°
Critical
Temperature C°
Critical
Temperature F°
Critical
Pressure MPa
Critical
Pressure psia
102.03 -26.1 -15.0 101.1 214.0 4.06 589


Molecular weight: 102.031g per mole

I
won’t bore you with lessons in physics and chemistry, but any
two gases at the same temperature have the same number of molecules
(Avogadro’s principle). This means that we can work out how
many litres of (expended) gas there is in each can. The assumptions
are that the lubricant in the can weighs nothing (not true,
but we need to start somewhere), and that the useable quantity
of gas is equivalent to the volume of expanded gas once out
of the can.


Abbey 375g, 102g/mole = 3.68 mole

HFC 300g, 117g/mole = 2.56 mole

(mole:
The amount of particles in a 12 g sample of carbon-12. Approximately
6.02214*1023 particles.)

Now
if I’m not to far out with my chemistry here that means that
there is just over 40% extra gas in an Abbey can by volume.

Predator
134a Conclusion:
There’s no doubting that HFC22 is not good
in the grand scheme of things when looking into the longevity
of GBBs so it’s nice to see some ‘home brewed’ HFC134a on the
market. It’s particularly nice to see gas that not only performs
well with a selection of replicas but has the correct lube percentages.
This is top notch gas, and now my preferred blowback propellant
for all my gear, save the select few that require the added
‘poke’ of HFC22.


Predator
Maintenance Gas 134a:
You may remember me commenting above
about the Predator gun gas having the correct lube concentration.
Abbey’s maintenance gas is somewhat of an interesting idea.
Basically it’s normal Predator 134a with a higher lube concentration.
With this higher lubricant content the idea is that you can
either use it to clean out a drying replica, or use it to
effectively over lube something before you store it away.
The idea is simple, load up a magazine and fire a few shots
through your equipment on the maintenance gas.

“Predator
Maintenance Gas 134a was produced when we received reports
of new guns sticking and being dry from storage and transit
to the UK. Full performance can be restored at the first fill
– although obviously it will not repair a mechanical problem”

Chris Macdonald, Abbey

Please
note that the item we reviewed here is a trial batch, and
therefore the labels were not ready to be printed on the cans
(hence the sticky taped label in the photos)

I’m fairly
used to striping, cleaning and then spraying my equipment
with fairly standard silicon spray before storage. This new
maintenance gas reaches parts that other cleaning methods
can’t reach that easily. I wouldn’t consider the maintenance
gas as a replacement for your standard cleaning setup – that’s
not what it is designed for. Instead I’d consider the gas
to compliment the standard cleaning procedures nicely. The
gas come in 120g cans and with an expected RRP of £8.75.
It’s also worth noting that the can comes with the usual red
nylon nozzle.

“…Abbey
Predator Maintenance Gas 134a cures sticking guns: Abbey Predator
Gun Gas 134a will soon be available from major airsoft dealers
throughout the country and on the internet.

134a
is a safe nonflammable gas ideally suited for airsoft gas
powered guns. Many manufacturers specify this gas for their
guns. Abbey Supply Company have incorporated a new high specification
lubricant UPL to provide maximum lubrication to the seals
and internal mechanisms of the gun.

The
high lubricant content ensures that where seals and the operating
mechanism have dried out in transit they can be reactivated
again quickly without stripping the gun. A dry seal may mean
underperformance or a misfire. Regular use of Abbey Predator
Gun Gas 134a means a gun is operating at maximum performance.

Mr
Chris Macdonald, Managing Director of Abbey Supply Company Ltd,
says ‘Many gun spend a long time in transit and storage before
purchase, using Abbey Predator Maintenance Gas 134a restores
a gun to its original high performance.’…”

Abbey press
release 19 March, 2003

If you’re
looking to store your equipment away a quick blow through
with maintenance gas will help preserve the seals – a clean
through with maintenance gas every few skirmishes will help
keep the internals in good condition, and for pieces with
dry seals maintenance gas will help get everything squeaky
clean and lubed again. Abbey’s maintenance gas is innovative
and a rather welcome idea.


Silicone
Gun Oil 35, aerosol & dropper:
Silicone oil
is the basic maintenance requirement for rubberised
gas seals, and it’s also a good lubricant for plastic,
which makes it perfect for Airsoft usage.

Abbey
provide Gun Oil 35 in either an aerosol or in a dropper
bottle. The oil can be used either internally (as a
lubricant), or externally (as a polish), the aerosol
and dropper both allow differing forms of application.

Abbey’s
aerosol gun oil comes with a short removable nozzle
for easy application so you can either direct a jet,
or remove the nozzle extension and spray an area. The
can contains 120g of aerosol spray.

Abbey’s
dropper gun oil comes in a little plastic 30ml bottle
with a neat nozzle that allows easy direct application
to rubber parts such as gas nozzle o-rings, mag seals
and other valve/mag seals.


Silicone
Grease:
Next up on the list of handy products to help
look after your gas driven replicas is Silicone Grease.
This isn’t quite the same as Gun Oil 35, as the stuff in
these little pots is rather like vaseline.

You
normally use this on internal parts that need more long
term greasing, and where ’35 could well dry off. Silicon
grease will keep plastic surfaces running smoothly against
each other, and when used on things such as recoil springs
will not only encourage their friction free motion but also
help protect them from moisture and therefore rust. When
this grease is used with contact surfaces such as the parts
where nozzles and mag/valve seals come into play it will
also help reduce power loss through gas leakage.


Moly
G-n Paste:

Moly G-n is better known as Molybdenum Disulphate. Now this
stuff is just wonderful – look at it as the metal version
of Silicone grease, it’s main purpose is to act as a dry
grease between metal surfaces.

You
may not think that there’s a huge need for such grease in
the Airsoft world of rubber and plastic, but do remember
that there’s a lot of upgraded metal slides and frames out
there and if you want to ensure a smooth trigger action
on your BB-IPSC piece then this really is ‘miracle goo’.

For
application it’s best to clean what you plan to apply it
to, apply a thin layer and then buff it in with a cloth.

I’m
not that familiar with the chemical content of the grease
and it’s properties, but here’s some information from the
International
Molybdenum Association
(yup this grease is so popular
it gets its own website, and club).

“…Molybdenum
disulphide, the most common natural form of molybdenum,
is extracted from ore and then purified for direct use in
lubricants. This material by itself, since it has a layered
structure, makes a very efficient lubricant. These layers
can slide over each other at the molecular level, allowing
the surfaces of steel and other metals to move fluidly,
even under severe pressures, as bearing surfaces. Since
molybdenum disulphide is of geothermal origin, it has the
durability to withstand heat and pressure. This is particularly
true if small amounts of sulphur are available to react
with iron and provide a sulphide layer which is compatible
with molybdenum sulphide in maintaining the lubricating
film. Molybdenum disulphide is inert to many chemicals and
will perform under a vacuum where graphite fails…”

(source: International
Molybdenum Association
)


Universal
Sportsman’s Cloth:
I’ve always tended to use silicon
spray with kitchen towel for cleaning and polishing
rifles and pistols that have needed it, so this lint
free polishing cloth was rather new to me. Basically
what you have here is a polishing cloth that has been
impregnated with silicon, and it can be used on wood,
metal, glass and plastic to effectively eliminate
rust, corrosion and fingermarks.

I
have used the polishing cloth on the surface of the
KSC Vertec (shown here). If you look carefully at
the ridges on the front of the slide you’ll see where
I have deliberately not got to the surface between
the ridges with the cloth to give the polished and
unpolished surfaces a bit of contrast for the photo.

As
you can see the cloth achieves a nice and clean surface
fairly easily, and not only that but it has been coated
in a very light but useful layer of silicon oil.

Do
remember to keep your cloth in the zip locked bag
that it comes in after use, otherwise the cloth will
dry out and become unusable.

Retail
price list:
As
of 03/2003 here’s the MRP price list for the Abbey products
found in this article. Please note that these are MRPs so
not necessarily the price that you will find a retailer
stocking them at. Abbey do not sell direct to the public
but do welcome trade enquiries. Prices reflect the cost
per item, and where applicable I have listed the multiples
that Abbey will supply in:

Conclusion:
All the products in this article here were tested
on a fairly common KSC M9 replica (M9 Vertec). The
M9 received a very worthwhile and competent service
with all parts (internal and external) being addressed.
Do also remember that a lot of Abbey’s products can
also be used to service AEG internals.

It’s
great to see products like these bottled and brewed
in the UK and even more so when they prove to be of
such a good quality. The Predator 134a alone is a
wonderful product, there’s plenty in the can and it
works very well with a multitude of gas driven Airsoft
variants.Combining Abbey’s gas range with their Airsoft
lubrication products it’s easy to see why they are
now so well known.

These
are original products made in the UK for all Airsofting
purposes, ranging from pure home-garden ‘plinking’
to fully tuned BB-IPSC servicing, so it really doesn’t
get much better than this.

External
Links:
AbbeySupply

Site
links:
TBA

Comment
on this review in the forums


Last
modified:
Tuesday, April 8, 2003 5:40 PM
Copyright 2003 ArniesAirsoft




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