sixgun in the fridge?


August 2, 2003, 02:56 AM
I'm at the range with my new Uberti 45acp/45 LC and an older gent
comes up and congratulates me on my purchase.

After I'm done shooting he waves me over and shows me his collection of single actions and spends about an hour giving me an education.

Turns out this guy is a gunsmith, master engraver and machinist and has brought about a dozen of his creations to the range to shoot and show off.

When I ask him how to deal with leading in my revolvers he simply states: "put them in the fridge"

He procedes to tell me that when lead gets cold it contracts much more than steel does and it basically just comes loose from the gun in large chunks.

Has anyone else tried this?

I don't have a leaded up gun at the moment but as soon as I do I'm going to try it out.

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Mike Irwin
August 2, 2003, 03:28 AM

I don't know.

I do know that one technique used to get stuck cases out of steel dies is a freezer or blowtorch treatment.

Deep freezing a bedded action is also a pretty effective way of separating things if they get stuck.

August 2, 2003, 08:34 AM
Give it a try and let us know. Remember that if you take a cold gun into a moist room you'll get condensation so after the lead is out make sure the gun is dry and lubed.

August 2, 2003, 02:58 PM
Wonder if he meant freezer section or frige section.
Difference might count.
Freezer usually around zero F. Frige usually around 40 F.

Easy test protocol....pair of like guns. Handfull of UNlubed cast bullets. Try for bout equal leading. One in freezer and other in frige. See what happens.

Attention to corrosion control.


4v50 Gary
August 2, 2003, 03:06 PM
Beer 'n guns don't mix.

August 2, 2003, 11:59 PM
Beer 'n guns don't mix.

No, but beer 'n peanuts do! I would be concerned about condensation after removing the gun from the 'fridge.

August 3, 2003, 12:10 AM
I don't know about the lead removal, but I did use the freezer once to get an entire bullet out of the barrel of my .44 Blackhawk. My powder hopper ran dry earlier than I thought on some reloads, and one of the empty ones went to the range with me. The primer drove it firmly into the barrel. When I got home, I put the revolver in the freezer for a couple of hours, and the bullet tapped out real easy.

August 3, 2003, 12:36 AM
I have some bullets that I cast that I can make lead quite easily if I want to and I can put just the barrel of my 1911 in the freezer.

Dang, never though I was up to it but I will take it out and lead it up pretty good next week and test this theory....... If there is anything worth reporting I will report.

August 3, 2003, 01:47 PM
good tip on removing stuck cases from dies. I jammed a .223 case in my resizer...will have to give that a try to get it out.

August 3, 2003, 03:06 PM
Reefergators n ovens were designed for gunsmiths and auto builders.

Food storage and prep was an afterthought.


4v50 Gary
August 3, 2003, 05:23 PM
Condensation? Yep. That's a problem especially if you pop it into a leather holster. But, one hour in the oven might get rid of any condensation.

Martha Stewart house gun care:

1) Baste in Hoppe No 9 and lightly sprinkle with oil. Place in frige until ready to serve.

2) Remove from frige and place in pre-heated oven at 150 f. Let set for half and hour before turning over.

3) Remove from oven and rub down with Mil-Tech. Allow to cool before handling.

August 4, 2003, 12:43 AM
And when can we expect to see the rest of the cookbook? :D

August 4, 2003, 12:45 AM
Brings a whole new meaning to:

"hey while you're up fetch me a cold one"

August 4, 2003, 12:47 AM
...especially if you favor waistband carry...

August 4, 2003, 12:49 AM
shooters and beer?

Naw, this is going nowhere...:p

August 4, 2003, 12:46 PM
The coeffecient of thermal expansion for lead is .000016 inch per inch of length per degree Fahrenheit.

The coeffecient of thermal expansion for carbon steel is .0000063 inch per inch of length per degree Fahrenheit.

If you made a solid lead bullet that was. 355" in diameter and jammed it into a carbon steel barrell at 70 degrees Fahrenheit, and then put it in the fridge and cooled it to 40 degrees Fahrenheit, the lead bullet would shrink .000103" more (in diameter) than the barrell. Going down to freezer temperatures os about 10 degrees Fahrenheit would double the shrinkage difference to .000206".

That isn't much.

If you figure shrinkage across the width of the rifling, its much less.

4v50 Gary
August 4, 2003, 03:48 PM
Skunkape, why'd you have to come along and ruin a thread that was becoming perfectly silly with your scientific knowledge? ;)

August 4, 2003, 04:00 PM

Would the increased shrinkage of the lead cause its adhesion to the steel
to diminish?

August 4, 2003, 04:51 PM
Would the increased shrinkage of the lead cause its adhesion to the steel to diminish?

Well, sort of. I'm not sure by what principle the lead "adheres" to the bore.

What should happen is that at such point that the lead's tensile strength curve exceeds the force of the adhesion, the lead will break away.

It simpler terms, if the lead is "stuck" to the bore real good, it will stretch a long way before it breaks free. And I'm not sure how its stuck there in the first place.

August 4, 2003, 07:04 PM
[mutter] Just lost my reply due to operator error...reconstructing.

SkunkApe, I agree with your calculations. Interesting to note that lead contracts/expands at 2.5 times the rate of steel.

I understand the "bullet in the barrel" scenario.

I think the earlier scenario of leading in the barrel is a whole different animal. We're now dealing with a thin metallic coat that has been "force-smeared" into the barrel. <carefully donning flameproof clothing> I'm not even sure under those conditions that you can use a linear coefficient of expansion over time for lead given the thin top coating compared to the relatively thick base.

I'm certain of one thing...I'm not a metallurgist, and I attended my required metallurgy class a long time ago!

I like the practical approach...hopefully we'll hear from somebody's freezer experiment soon.

August 5, 2003, 12:41 AM
Any of you fellows smithies?

Or if not smithies per se, perhaps you received some training in the metallurgical arts before misfortune drove you to a life of aimless wandering?

Sorry, I just had to throw that in....

August 5, 2003, 11:03 AM
take gun out of freezer, insert into front of pants, mexican style.


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