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ar-15/m-16 in cold climates

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by paintballdude902, Jan 8, 2010.

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  1. paintballdude902

    paintballdude902 Member

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    hey guys

    i was talking to a friend today and we were comparing the ak-47 and the m-16 designs, we were just going over important parts of the designs.

    as i noted that they are two different ideas, the m-16 being a rifle and the ak-47 being more fo a machine gun, i began to think about how close the tolerances are on the m-16 and how it needs to be maintained to work well in dirty environments.

    well that made me think more what about cold climates? will the m-16 face equipments like the germans did with vehicles while invading russia?

    it seems like the us would have looked into this at the beginning of the design since russia was a big enemy of ours at the time but hey some times things get overlooked.

    i know there are us forces that train in alaska so hearing from them(if anyone here is/has ever been affiliated with them) would be awesome, that would be great to hear first hand experiences of the rifle in cold evironments.
     
  2. Jaws

    Jaws Member

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    Well, the Canadians use an M16 version so it can't be that bad. I don't think is as reliable as the AK in the cold, but good enough. My opinion is based on that test done on NATO rifles some time ago. The Galil was found to be the most reliable in cold weather.
     
  3. car15bill

    car15bill Member

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    why are close tolerances a bad thing? they are what keep the AR design sealed away from the elements, even with the dust cover down. loose tolerances are what let dirt IN on an ak.

    Every rifle needs to be maintained to work well in dirty environments, want proof, just look at the ak video that is ruining the myth of the infallible ak. It totally failed, and the safety, which is now being blamed, is being called a "dust cover" all of a sudden. I watched the AR tests and they did NOT use the dust cover. The bolt carrier was exposed to the elements.

    Then, if you really want to blow your mind, watch the AR movie of the guy burying the AR, multiple times, and shooting numerous mags through it, then burying it and driving over it with a jeep, and then only having two out of battery malfunctions that were quickly cleared.

    If the ak were superior in ANY way, the armed forces would be using it, and not just couple, here or there, they would have adopted it and paid royalties, like we did with the mauser.

    I read a comment along the lines of " how many grains of sand it would take to jam up an AR".

    My answer is, About twice as much as an AK, lol........
     
  4. RoostRider

    RoostRider Member

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    I have used my AR in pretty extreme cold.... just to test it.... lower than -15f.... it is well maintained.....it shot two magazines fine... then I gave up.... lol

    Interesting to note that the AR has a drop down trigger guard for use with mittens... so, yeah, I think they thought of that...
     
  5. Jaws

    Jaws Member

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    Wrong thread.
     
  6. paintballdude902

    paintballdude902 Member

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    it just seems like if you had alot of metal on metal and snow/moisture in the air then the metal would have a chance of freezing up


    what i was saying is the closer tolerances of the ar require care, not saying alot of care just general car, to allow it to run smoothly. you are obviously an AR guy( not a bad thing) and no matter what i say or anyone else says it wont change your mind. interesting note i had a failure to fire today with a wasr-10 it was a light pin strike
     
  7. CMP

    CMP Member

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    Well as long as its being used, the AR has all those hot gases coming back into the gun to heat it up :D couldnt the AKs piston freeze up? I heard something like that happened on the HK416
     
  8. Jaws

    Jaws Member

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    Yes it can, but the AK has long stroke piston, that is directly attatched to the bolt carrier. You just hit the strong reciprocating charging handle and you can get it moving again.
     
  9. zstephens13

    zstephens13 Member

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    I hunt moose with my LAR-8 during Alaskan winters (-20 to -30F) and every time i pull that trigger that moose falls on the tundra.
    I would suspect that if it were any colder than that, we'd wait out the winter and shoot after it warms up. :)
     
  10. B yond

    B yond Member

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    I think the OP is trying to compare the close tolerances of an AR to those of a 98k, which did seize up on the Germans in cold weather at the battle of Stalingrad where the much looser tolerances of the mosin-nagant allowed the Russians to keep shooting.

    Cold weather makes metal contract, and there is potential there for problems.
     
  11. briansmithwins

    briansmithwins Member

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    Both the AK and AR passed the cold weather section of their respective military trials. The TMs detail when to switch to cold weather lube:

    AK-47
    winteraklube1.jpg
    winteraklube2.jpg

    M16
    arlubrication.jpg

    As I recall, the Arctic tests revealed that the early barrel twist rate on the AR15 wouldn't stabilize the bullets in Arctic conditions. That resulted in a slightly fast twist being adopted for the M16.
     
  12. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    If it's that cold the snow / moisture is already frozen and will not magically melt itself, get inside an AR, and then re-freeze.

    Moisture & freezing guns is caused by condensation.

    Condensation is caused by taking a freezing weapon inside a hot building and not drying it out before taking it back outside again.

    As long as the weapon remains out in freezing temperatures, it won't condense mosture inside it and freeze.

    rc
     
  13. 12Bravo20

    12Bravo20 Member

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    Too much CLP will also freeze up. I found out the hard way while in the service. The CLP might not have actually froze but got thick enough to cause my M16 to lockup. A light coat of CLP is way better than a heavy coat in any weather/temperature condition.
     
  14. bomb dropper

    bomb dropper Member

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    ive shot my m16<gov issue in cold weather like 10 degrees with nothing more then a light coat of clp. last october i shoot close to 500 rounds on burst as fast as I could in about 35 degree weather. only one failure due to some else having a bad mag they tossed me.

    On the same note I had a 2lt. brand new to the fleet out with me. He scrubbed his brand new M4 everyday (the range was the last day of a 30 day field op) and his 1st round of his 1st magazine jammed and his weapon went down. Im not positive what happened to it but he didn't shoot the rest of the day.

    Ive been making that argument about the AK being designed as a machine gun for a while now and people dont want to hear it because the M16 was designed as a "full auto" rifle. Those same people 99% of the time don't know that Eugene Stoner introduced the AR-10 as the weapon for the Army to test.

    To me the biggest improvement that the AR/M* has over its competitors is that the stock is inline with the action. So that recoil is much more manageable. but thats just me.
     
  15. Sport45

    Sport45 Member

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    After our experience in Korea I imagine cold weather testing is a requirement for American service weapons. I wouldn't be afraid to use a properly maintained AR in cold weather. As RC mentioned, just keep it cold so it doesn't sweat and freeze.
     
  16. gloucestergarand

    gloucestergarand Member

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    Back in the early 90's, I was stationed at Ft. Wainwright. We had no issues with our M16A2's. Do remember visiting the ANG Armory in Kotzubue when it was about -40 or so, and was quite pleased to discover the Scout Bn had both M16's and M1 Garands! M16 for the "federal mission" and Garands for the "state mission" I was told. Sounded good enough for me!
     
  17. BurningSaviour

    BurningSaviour Member

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    My first duty station was Fort Drum. Our weapons and equipment worked in the cold just fine, and I don't remember ever using any other the heavy duty CLP while there (although it's possible we might have).
     
  18. zstephens13

    zstephens13 Member

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    In this AR-10 promotional video around 7:25, Eugene Stoner freezes the rifle and fires some rounds on full-auto...
    Not conclusive, but pretty impressive.
     
  19. dakotasin

    dakotasin Member

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    went coyote hunting this morning w/ the ar-15... temp was -25° f and about 30" of snowpack, and i had no failures w/ the rifle (a couple coyotes had critical failures of vital organs, however...).
     
  20. Destructo6

    Destructo6 Member

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    Never confuse "tolerance" with "clearance."

    "Tolerance" is how closely do the parts match or conform to the design print.

    "Clearance" is how much space there is between parts, as designed.
     
  21. akforlife

    akforlife Member

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    ak vs ar

    out of all the worship of the ar im hearing in this thread you havent adressed the issue that actually matters hot weather conditions like we are experiencing in afghanistan once the metal expands in an ar in extreme heat the close tolerances will cause many failures enough to account for way to many us soldiers deaths in heated battle which where the current complaints exist in heat alot of soldiers are buying there own aks over there to use because of this its just like an engine block overheating and siezing the aks loose tolerances prevent this the reason the usa hasnt adopted the ak is because it is viewed as the enemys weapon which is changing as i type due to recent reliability issues of the ar in very hot environments and the lack of stopping power of the .223 and penetration power. i got a good laugh at the focus of cold weather firing with the ar and ak seing how metal shrinks in the cold and doesnt swell which is where tight tolerance cause major problems sorry to burst your fragile ar bubble
     
  22. Tim the student

    Tim the student Member

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    I've shot my RRA when it was about 0 with no issues. The gun wasn't in any bad conditions other than the cold.

    I've been in the field (with an M4) when it was cold enough for me to wake up with snow on top of me (maybe 15-20), and then gone and shot later that day. No issues then either.

    Uh, really? You know soldiers who have bought their own AKs to use while deployed?

    What issues are you talking about?
     
    Last edited: May 4, 2010
  23. Boba Fett

    Boba Fett Member

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    I was wondering about that too.

    I'll need some of our military members to confirm or refute this for me, but I thought I remembered hearing or reading somewhere that, generally speaking, our military doesn't allow the troops to buy their own firearms. They have to use what they are issued.

    Again, I may be remembering that wrong.
     
  24. Tim the student

    Tim the student Member

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    That was how it was when I got out a couple years ago. In two trips to Iraq, I never even heard about guys buying AKs to use. Maybe it did happen, but I guarantee it is not kosher.

    There were some oddball weapons used (we got some Glocks somehow) but they were issued, and in calibers that are in the pipeline. Have fun waiting for that 7.62x39 ammo request.
     
  25. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Administrator Staff Member

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    Cold weather issues only, or else. Grammar corrections are best done by POLITE PMs.
     
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