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Semi-Auto or Revolver in Freezing Vehicle During the Winter?

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by 147 Grain, Nov 9, 2010.

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Semi-Auto or Revolver in Freezing Vehicle?

Poll closed Apr 8, 2011.
  1. Semi-Auto

    20 vote(s)
    34.5%
  2. Revolver

    31 vote(s)
    53.4%
  3. Other - Please Explain

    7 vote(s)
    12.1%
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  1. Narwhal

    Narwhal Member

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    No kidding! I guess we shouldn't keep firearms in our house either, since a violent criminal might get 'em! Geeze. Is this a pro 2A site or not?
     
  2. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator Emeritus

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    And yet, by leaving something where someone of ill intent is LIKELY and ABLE to get their hands on it in a matter of seconds -- in fact not even taking the basic safety precaution of not leaving a deadly weapon in a tin can on a public street -- you ARE doing just what I said. Might as well put out a "take one" sign.

    Now, I don't agree with criminal charges against someone who loses a gun this way. But I'm not so daft or willfully contrarian as to argue that such actions do not directly contribute to placing weapons in the hands of criminals.

    Is it criminal to leave deadly weapons in a "steal me" can on a city street? No. Is it despicably irresponsible? Yes. Should we require better of ourselves and each other? Absolutely!
     
  3. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator Emeritus

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    My words were not meant to be kind. They were meant to be honest.

    This is a mite more important than the absolutely MOOT point of whether an auto or revolver will freeze up first.

    And besides, this was the original question:
    So my answer stands.

    If the OP wishes, we can start a new thread strictly on whether a revolver or auto is more reliable in cold temperatures -- leaving out the regrettable context.
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2010
  4. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator Emeritus

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    That is silly hyperbole. Keep them in your house. Keep them locked up if you aren't using them. Keep your defensive arms loaded and ready to go. Deadly weapons are not toys and you are responsible for taking reasonable precautions to secure them.

    Of course. A site to promote RESPONSIBLE gun ownership and use. I also wouldn't tell you to leave a loaded gun where a baby or child would go looking for it. But at least a baby or child wouldn't take that gun with the intent to harm or kill others.
     
  5. jimmyraythomason

    jimmyraythomason Member

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    SAM1911 you know absolutely nothing about how I store my firearms in my vehicles or WHY I have to store them and am NOT ABLE to carry them on my person. The options are (1)carry them in my vehicle or (2)leave them at home. I have chosen the only option available to me. BTW,I have never had a firearm fail to work because of weather.
     
  6. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator Emeritus

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    JIMMYRAYTHOMASON then I am not talking to you. Do what you have to do. Your special circumstances do not make the act of leaving a gun in a car on a city street a good idea.

    Perhaps your circumstances should be the topic of another thread so your friends here can help you come up with better plans or try to help you mitigate the risks you run with your current situation.
     
  7. benEzra

    benEzra Moderator Emeritus

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    I'd second the idea of bringing it in at night and taking it back out in the morning. And as others have said, you're a lot more likely to need it between the car and the house, and it's not protecting you while it's sitting in the car at night.

    As to revolver vs. semiauto, I'd prefer a semiauto in cold weather, probably something like a Glock that doesn't have tightly fitting parts. IMO it is easier to manually free up a seized semiauto than a seized revolver.

    If somehow circumstances do prevent bringing it into the house at night (person with a GCA '68 legal disability residing in the home, etc.), you might think about a discreet lockbox in the car to prevent smash-and-grab theft, and a good alarm system that will detect smashed glass.
     
  8. rbernie
    • Contributing Member

    rbernie Member

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    There are many reasons and many times when it is not 'irresponsible' to leave a gun in a car, and more than a few times when it's the only option available (although I will agree that the OP didn't make it sound like he had a particularly secure storage approach). To flatly label as irresponsible the notion of storing a gun in a car is, IMO, neither completely intellectually honest nor emotionally mature. I also think that issue is not germane to this thread and represents a hijack of the thread's fundamental purpose - to determine whether a semiauto or a revolver is less likely to malfunction in cold weather.

    Addressing that question, I think that the lube used will be a larger determining factor than the type of handgun.
     
  9. KodiakBeer

    KodiakBeer member

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    Same with your car, I suppose. I mean, we wouldn't want anyone stealing our car and running somebody over would we? It would be best to build an enormous safe in our house to store dangerous items like cars, beer, lawnmowers, ornamental rocks and so on.
     
  10. jimmyraythomason

    jimmyraythomason Member

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    Agreed 100%! It is the thickening of the oil(or grease) that will cause problems.
     
  11. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator Emeritus

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    All right. Certainly there must be some reasons and times when it would be not irresponsible to leave a firearm in a car. I can't think of many, but perhaps I should temper my comments to say that exceptions could apply.

    Certainly not. "Between two front seats" in a car parked outside in a "semi-urban" area almost defines a not "particularly secure storage approach."

    Ooooh! Stings! :) Oh well, I guess I'll live. :D

    I can accept that, think that the "Neither -- because..." response offered by some does indeed answer the fundamental question posed directly. If we shall focus on the lubrication/reliability question, then I will politely bow out of further debate on the responsibility question.
     
  12. wyocarp

    wyocarp Member

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    Great reasoning. We should live in a constant state of fearfulness. House break-ins just plain happen as well. So none of us should have a gun unless we can carry it with us all the time? And these comments are from a moderator on here? We do need help.

    It's no harder to break into a house than a car. In fact, it is easier.

    As I spoke with an officer about a stolen firearm from a vehicle in a recent event where I live, his comment was, "if people would just lock their vehicles there would be fewer items stolen from vehicles."
     
  13. BushyGuy

    BushyGuy Member

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    at the end of the world..
    Ruger SR9C can be fired in sub zero weather, and it dont need any lubrication.

    i have an SR9 it has stood the harshest weather even rain and still fired .

    Ruger Semi-autos or revolvers are timeless pieces! :cool::cool::cool:
     
  14. KodiakBeer

    KodiakBeer member

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    Wow! All wet and it still fired!

    That reminds me of that really dumb scene in "No Country For Old Men" where Brolin breaks down a 1911 to get the water out before shooting a Pit Bull.
     
  15. o Unforgiven o

    o Unforgiven o Member

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    Well here in the "southerly climate" of central florida, you would be surprised as to how many oranges are ruined every year because of freezing. Oh, and just for giggles here are the record lows for wyoming and new mexico.

    New Mexico -50 Feb. 1, 1951 Gavilan

    Wyoming -66 Feb. 9, 1933 Riverside

    To the OP any will work fine as long as you use a thin oil rated for cold weather use.
     
  16. Odd Job

    Odd Job Moderator Staff Member

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    It's a little bit easier to see if there is someone in the car than in the house before a guy breaks in. It's a bit easier to spot the dog that is in the 'mobile yard' surrounding the car also, and in many cases the wall or fence that is attached to the car is of less substance than that surrounding a house. I've even heard rumours that some folks have safes in their houses that are a bit bigger than what you might put in a car.
    Seems some goblins, after stealing a car have a habit of checking it out for valuables and might have some leisurely time to discover a gun or even open a car safe when they've got the car in their garage. There is a rumour going around that it is a bit more difficult to do that with a house safe: need more time to find the thing and move it. Could be a big 'un, what then? See what I mean?

    Maybe the moderator isn't so stupid after all.
     
  17. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    I don't think one or the other (pistol or revolver) is a better choice in freezing temps. I travel with a gun(s) in the car, and sometimes leave one in the car while I go in somewhere. I do not travel in freezing temps often, but would not worry a bit about the weapon malfunctioning from the cold.

    I mean, unless you have it full of 90 weight grease, I don't see a problem.
     
  18. jimmyraythomason

    jimmyraythomason Member

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    During the cold spell we had in 1984 all of our truck transmissions(Fuller RT1110s) and power divider differientials(Eaton DS380s) were filled with 90 weight oil (not grease). The oil was so thick from the cold it was impossible to shift them. Our company later went to multi-viscosity oil and then to all synthetic which cured to problem.
     
  19. bigfatdave

    bigfatdave Member

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    To the actual concept of what is easier to run cold, a malfunctioning semiauto will have visible symptoms and a simple solution, while a malfunctioning revolver will be a useless lump of mystery if it won't run.

    Use a light lube sparingly and do your own testing on an outdoor range.
    Use ammo that is sealed at the primer, because temperature swings like that will tend to cause condensation.
    Store the firearm in a zip-top bag with some desiccant if you can.
    Clean and inspect the firearm frequently, regardless of weather ... a car's internal temperature swings all year round.
    Swap out the ammunition frequently, temperature swings and the constant vibration of living in your car can break down the powder.
    Hide the gun well, scumburgers are looking for easy scores.
    Don't have anything of value visible or even a bag that might contain something valuable to attract a thief. (I once trashed up a car, left the rear seat covered with a tarp, and the front seat contained a half-used antifreeze jug ... an attempt to deter thieves while the car was in long-term parking)
    Make sure you can actually use the gun while wearing winter gloves, a coat, etc.
    Figure out how to access the gun from outside your car or at your house door, because that is when you're likely to be mugged or carjacked, not while you're sitting in your warm car.
    Don't tell anyone about your half-assed vehicle storage solution, ever. All it takes is someone commenting in front of the wrong person "147 Grain keeps a piece tucked in his car all the time these days" ... and then you have a window AND a gun to replace.

    Or ... just carry on-body and forgo all this silliness, it doesn't get cold or wet in a holster on your waist under your coat.
     
  20. bikerdoc

    bikerdoc Moderator Staff Member

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    I am not being a wiseguy when I tell you I have never left a firearm in a vehicle. It or they come in the house with me and leave with me.

    Just me YMMV

    Carry on with original question.
     
  21. Geno

    Geno Member

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    Bring it in when not being carried...simple as that. If at any time you intend to, or have to leave it in a vehicle, it should be inside of a small handgun vault. That is precisely what I do.

    Geno
     
  22. M2 Carbine

    M2 Carbine member

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    I didn't vote in the Poll because there wasn't a "Both" choice.

    For many years I have left revolvers, semi auto pistols, shotguns and rifles in my vehicles, 24/7, year around. I don't plan on stopping any time soon.

    The only thing I do is, once in a while give then a light wipe with Corrosion X.


    A little while back, as part of a tourture test on a Makarov, I over lubed the loaded gun and left it in the freezer.
    Other than being a little cold holding it while shooting, it functioned fine.

    Makfrozen_2.gif
     
  23. earplug

    earplug Member

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    Works with gloves on?

    What works best for you when wearing gloves? would be a better thing to worry about.
    Another thing to factor in is winter clothing have been known to effect bullet expansion. The nose gets plugged up with layers of cloth.
    So a bullet that works well without having to deform would be nice.
    I like keeping my revolver with SWC's in my pocket.
     
  24. Isher

    Isher Member

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    Getting back to the OP's original question ..........
    This is secondhand knowledge from the old Arctic and Antarctic hands. However, it is commented upon often enough in their journals that I'll pass it on. Condensation from being moved from cold to hot to cold again is an equipment killer. Cameras, firearms, survey instruments, anything with multiple moving parts. That, and the least amount of lube copacetic with extremely cold environments seems to be the ticket. So, if you turn the heater on in your vehicle when using it, then leave the gun in the car while it freezes again, you are chancing a freeze up. The advice from the far North is
    "once in the cold, leave it cold".

    FWIW

    Isher
     
  25. Shadow 7D

    Shadow 7D Member

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    What Isher and Kodiak and personal experience have taught me, that contact frost bite and condensation SUCK

    Oh and the army taught me to leave my rifle outside the tent... in the woods, WITH OTHER PEOPLE around, and bears, don't know about goblins though...

    If the gun is that cold, or goes from warm to cold you can have issues, I know my M4 would shoot the first iteration fine, then... well bang, kinda, good dent maybe bang, OK I'm done, gotta go clean the bolt.

    Mind you it was -66, so it's just my experience, and what I was doing outside, PM me for my opinion, Art's gma, might not approve.

    Second, a gun is large chunk of mass, and PLASTIC has some pretty good resistance properties (so doesn't feel as cold, just for much longer) where the metal will freeze your skin on CONTACT

    Point is, a COLD gun isn't very comfortable.
     
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