Cold Weather Prep


Blue Line
January 8, 2011, 02:32 PM
What do you do to your guns when the temps dip down below freezing or lower. Do you lightly oil, no oil or anything, graphite?

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Still Shooting
January 8, 2011, 02:49 PM
This first became an important thing for me years ago when I sat on a stump while a buck ran away, and watched the firing pin on a borrowed 6.5x55 Swede slide ever so slowly into the bolt sleeve and toward the cartridge base! :cuss: It landed lightly enough that the gun didn't fire...

Needless to say, the gun (my Granddad's) was overoiled, with something too viscous to begin with. I experimented with very light oils, used sparingly for many years, and finally found a spray can of Remington's Rem-DriLube. It's a dry teflon lube. It smooths out actions, and they still work at 10 below zero. :)

January 8, 2011, 02:54 PM
usually I use breakfree, that is because i typically shoot indoors in the winter or outdoors in the summer. But when I am lubing the gun up for hunting i go remoil just to give it something to work well but nothing that will gum up the internals. (i think that this use is the only thing remoil is good for because it is so thin)

January 8, 2011, 04:09 PM
I've been using a little Breakfree CLP, but I didn't shoot my rifle this year deer hunting, so who knows if it would have fired.


Old Time Hunter
January 8, 2011, 05:01 PM
First and foremost, all my guns are dismantled down to the smallest part at least once a year. Preferrably this done from late September until early November.
I wipe down all the metal parts including firing pins, sears, and use brake cleaner to completely wash off old grease, oil, and anything else that might have accumulated over the year.
Then I lightly oil all parts, both spreading the oil around with my fingers and wiping off the excess with a dry paper towel.
Wax the stock and reassemble.
Now most do get used before the temperature starts to get cold (for me that is when the day time highs are under 25F), but once it does I also make sure that the guns are placed in the same temperature environment as what I am going to use them in, at least overnight. Whether I leave them in the trunk of my car overnight or in the gun rack on the porch for a day. I want the moisture to evaporate as that is what really causes the oil viscosity to increase and gum up the works.

January 8, 2011, 05:05 PM
For really really cold, I like to degrease everything and re-lube with Remington Dry-Lube spray, or silicone spray.

Neither one cares how cold it gets.
And either one will provide some form of lubrication & moisture/rust protection.


January 8, 2011, 05:14 PM
I can't say I do anything special. I don't over oil. I do make sure I have good striker
springs. Guns are often exposed to below zero weather at night. Hunting temperatures
often 10 to 30 degrees F. No problems.

January 8, 2011, 06:10 PM
Just don't use graphite lubricant on a gun with an aluminum receiver, e.g. an AR-15 or similar. Graphite promotes corrosion in aluminum. It's not quite as bad as putting powdered salt on steel, but it's not healthy for it. Teflon lubricants are fine, as are thin synthetic oils.

Texas Bob
January 9, 2011, 09:44 AM
Check out Slip2000 EWL. Pat Rogers turned me on to this a few years ago, and I can't say enough good things about this product.

Blue Line
January 11, 2011, 06:08 AM
sparingly seems to be the word to go by

January 11, 2011, 07:59 AM
Tetra gun grease. It can be "rubbed in", wiped off, wiped dry, then buffed leaving a dry lubricating and protective film. Can be applied like this to the bore as well. Excellent stuff.


Je Suis Prest

January 11, 2011, 05:08 PM
5W/15 weight Mobile One thinned with about a tablespoon of kerosene per quart is what I use in Northern Ontario, Canada. I've hunted in -47F with a bolt-action .308 with that. Never had an issue.


January 11, 2011, 06:31 PM
tango2echo for the win!

Seriously, I've hunted in foul weather but yikes! I always wiped my rifle dry before doing any cold weather hunting. These days a wipe down with Breakfree CLP seems to do the trick.. leaves a film of dry lube over the parts and doesn't gum up.

January 12, 2011, 09:04 PM
Synthetic oil of any kind, Mobil 1 works.

In the training manuals the Swiss army put out when they used the straight pulls, they would state that for combat in extreme cold clean the rifles of all grease/oil and run them dry.

Float Pilot
January 12, 2011, 10:20 PM
Posted here a few times by yours truly:

Cold Weather Firearms Lube Test.
Negative 10 to Negative 65 F.

Shooter Choice FP-10 Works very well in ARs and bolt guns. Good to-50

Terta Gun Lube Thicker, works well on crew full auto weapons

G96 Gun treatment Comes as a spray, very light, bolts guns & ARs to -65

Tetra Gun Grease: Good for bolt gun rails, auto pistols. Worked at neg 30

Penn Synthetic Reel Oil P/N 92340 Very Fluid, Extremely slippery good to -65, CAUTION... WILL RUIN PRIMERS

Marvel Mystery Oil Very fluid, Very slippery good to -40
Also cleans fouling.

The not so great:

3 in 1 Oil Fairly fluid, somewhat slippery gums at -20

LPS-2 Fairly Fluid, somewhat slippery gums at -20

Klean-Bore Formula 3 Some separation, fairly fluid, somewhat slippery

Tri-Flow Separated, does not adhere or film on metal

Break-Free Separated, somewhat tacky and semi syrup like

Mil-Tech Thick, somewhat tacky, syrup like

Outers Gun Oil Very thick syrup. Tacky

Mil spec MIL4-46000c Lube Oil Separated, some was in thick jell state.

Rem Oil Thick jell, tacky

Boe Shield T-9 Thick Jell, tacky

Corrosion X HD Thick jell, tacky

Ballistol very thick jell. Separation

Exxon Elite 20-50 Syn Av Oil Very Thick, glue like

AeroShell 15-50 Semi Syn Av Oil Very thick, glue like

January 13, 2011, 10:25 AM
I use the aerosol CLP in all of my hunting guns from 308 bolt to 12 ga shotguns. The shotguns see the most use and are often subjected to sub freezing temps. I used to have problems with the first round not firing. I switched lubricants this year, and have not had a problem.

January 13, 2011, 10:34 AM
Posted here a few times by yours truly:

Cold Weather Firearms Lube Test.
Negative 10 to Negative 65 F.

Float Pilot: Fifty weight stuff is heavy to begin with, but what about 10W-30 or 5W-30 motor oil on something like an AR?

What about no oil on a AR?, how does that shoot in -40 type conditions?

I suspect now is a great time to conduct some cold weather testing:D

Float Pilot
January 13, 2011, 12:46 PM
Float Pilot: What about no oil on a AR?, how does that shoot in -40 type conditions?

No-oil also works at super cold temps. But not as well or as long as using synthetic lubes in small amounts.

Believe it or not, in super cold temps, kerosene makes for a great M-16 /M-4 rifle lube.

Once you get below negative 20 F, you start to run into problems with the expansion and contraction rates of various metals and plastics.
So, you sometimes have stoppages until the whole assembly becomes one temp. It really gets bad at neg 40 to neg 60. Most military arms have enough slop that they do not have a problem. But some high quality and close fitting firearms jam up tight for a while. My Colt Python jammed up solid after being pulled out from inside my parka.

You also run into problems with carbon build-up when it really gets cold, because the gases cool too fast and the carbon is not carried away.
My patrol car stopped idling at 65-75 below zero because the carbon clogged the exhaust. Walking 3 miles to the city shop dang near killed us at those temps.

And of course you get moisture condensation inside and on your firearms if you go in and out of vehicles or buildings. If you take a firearm from zero degrees outside temp, into a 70 degree above house with cooking or shower steam, your weapon will coated with moisture in seconds.
If you walk back outside a few minutes later, you have real problems.

January 13, 2011, 03:01 PM
:DThanks for the reply:D

Believe it or not, in super cold temps, kerosene makes for a great M-16 /M-4 rifle lube.

What a great idea. If you stick a wick down the barrel, you can also use it as a light :D

What you mention about tightly fitted weapons freezing is an eye opener.

Blue Line
January 28, 2011, 12:20 PM
are teflon additives good or bad in cold weather?

January 28, 2011, 12:38 PM
Graphite......probably not the best idea.

Think of it as "Instant Wear". Graphite can weaken things quickly. Many gunsmiths will use it to polish certain areas on a firearm, and then clean the piece meticulously with mineral spirits to ensure it is all removed.

I have often wondered if graphite ever played a role in the Beretta M9 failures. Long ago we used to use it as a "Dry Lubricant".

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