When lubricating pistols, there are a few extremes that people take that I want to analyse and evaluate with you. On the first one, some people feel the need to take complete assurance and lightly lubricate all metal surfaces just to be safe. This is actually a method I have found myself doing for a different reason that I will get into later. I feel that this is a harmless extreme because it doesn't hurt to lubricate all metal surfaces lightly. In fact it can actually help keep the fouling from sticking to the metal surfaces with the right lubricant.
Another extreme I have seen is that people will use grease only on the rails of all pistols and they say it will "travels to where it needs to be." This is foolish and untrue. But remember that 90% of all pistols see so little pressure, friction, and fouling to absolutely NEED lubrication just to run. Typically the metal surfaces are already machined smooth, and the finish adds onto the smoothness and hardens the surface against wear and harmful friction. In theory, most pistols these days do not need any lubrication to keep running. But only lubricating the rails is like only putting deodorant in one armpit and not the other. Sure it does something for the problem, but it is pretty half-assed and senseless.
The next lubrication method I have heard is people dousing their guns with lubricant to the point that it is running. This is a common thing to see with people running 1911s due to the fact that the fitting are fairly tight at the beginning and really stay that way for the most part. But people tend to overdue it to save time and they make the excuse that 1911 pistols run better wet. That doesn't mean to soak it like you just dunked it in a pool of oil because you are too lazy to lubricate the necessary points. Sometimes the lubricant will run on the 1911, even if the lubricant is used sparingly, though. The lubricant placed on the rails or in the rail channels tend to run right out the front of the gun and into the holster if one is carrying. This is a reason people may prefer grease for tighter fitting pistols.
Instead of doing one of these extremes or specifically the manuals' recommended points, I have developed a method for lubricating the pistol based off of its unique wear characteristics. My method of lubrication goes in stages of evaluation that is based on round count. When I first get a pistol, and up to about 1000 rounds, I lightly oil every metal surface with Slip2000 lubricant. I do this to help condition the metal with the lubricant, making it easier to clean every time, and I do this to give the gun time to wear and show the areas that see the most friction and stress.
At 1000 rounds fired, I begin doing my normal routine of lubricating only the areas that display wear through the finish. Most of the time this happens on the rails, the barrel bushing area, and the hammer or sear. In this case, I leave either a light film of Slip2000 EWG or one of their liquid lubricants on the apparent wear points. While the gun is being cleaned though, I lightly coat all the metal surfaces of the gun, that I can reach, in one of Slip2000's liquid lubricants. This has allowed me to keep all of my guns running smoothly, keep the wear down, and make cleaning a breeze. Even cleaning the bore becomes a cakewalk after being properly conditioned and only using Slip2000 to clean and lubricate.
Though I do not necessarily follow the manufacturers suggested oiling points, I do inherently satisfy them by using a dry lube to low friction areas and a standing lubrication to necessary areas. Areas like the length of the barrel and the barrel hood on the 1911 are priority areas to lubricate, while on guns with lockups similar to Glocks, no lubrication is actually necessary to the smooth function of the pistol. If you desire to lubricate the lockup point at the muzzle end of the slide where the barrel locks into the slide, I would recommend only applying lubricant to the hole that the barrel rides through. This is because not all of the barrel is going to see wear, and in order to minimize the usage of lubricant to only the places that actually need it, I recommend only applying it to the area that sees the highest percentage of contact.
This is not to say that you don't need to lubricate anything on the pistol but the wear points, but it is to say that you don't need to go overboard and use more than necessary. In my method, I condition all metal surfaces with a lubricant that inherently provides a protective dry film, and then put a light to medium film of standing lubricant on the highest friction areas. It is simple, it is continuous, and it is compounding in effect. I have found this to be the best and most efficient way to lubricate my pistols. As always, lubricate what you need to, and condition the rest.