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

Semi-Auto or Revolver in Freezing Vehicle?

  • Semi-Auto

    Votes: 20 34.5%
  • Revolver

    Votes: 31 53.4%
  • Other - Please Explain

    Votes: 7 12.1%

  • Total voters
  • Poll closed .
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I would suggest switching to a lubricant formulated for cold weather applications and use either weapon.
This is the correct answer.

And if I recall correctly from my Army days, CLP is rated for use down to around -55C.

Oh and the army taught me to leave my rifle outside the tent...
Hmmm, I was taught differently when I was in the Army.
When in the field, your rifle was never out of arm's reach.
In fact, during Basic (Ft. Sill, December 1986) the Drill Sgt.'s would sneak around late at night, reach inside your tent while you were sleeping, and try to take your rifle.
We were advised by some senior cadre to wrap the sling around your arm or sleep with the rifle inside your sleeping bag in order to keep it from being snatched in the night.

I'm trying to wrap my head around why most of the people responding to this thread live in places like New Mexico and other southerly climates.

Until your vehicle temperature gauge has had readings of less than -15 numerous times during the winter, I would think you don't really have the knowledge to respond.
Just because a person currently resides in a warm state, that does not mean that they have no experience with cold climates.
Just as the opposite is true....
I have a friend who now lives in Alaska, but he spent four years at Ft. Bliss Texas while in the military.
He might live in Alaska but he definitely knows a thing or two about the southern desert.

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Here is So. Illinois, we go from 100+ to below zero in a year, and I use Rem-Oil and have never had a problem with auto or revolver functioning at either temp after being in a vehicle for long periods.
If the gun is that cold, or goes from warm to cold you can have issues,
Either direction causes condensation on the weapon, which may or may not cause problems. I can see where when it froze it could be trouble, but have never experienced it. Everywhere I have been in cold weather, it was about as cold in the tent as it was outside. I'd rather deal with heat than cold when it comes to keeping things functional. Cold and wet is absolutely miserable for people and very hard on equipment.
Can't speak to handguns, but I have twice seen failures in long arms that had been left in the car over night. One was a Savage .22/.410 and one was an old Iver Johnson single shot .22 bolt action rifle. In both cases the cause was the lubricant---this was a long time ago; see easyg's post fore more on today's products. Both firearms belonged to friends.

I have a lot more first hand knowledge of firearms having been stolen from cars and trucks. No, I will not leave a gun in the car unless I absolutely have to, and then only for a short time interval.

Same goes for navigation devices, cell phones, scanners, purses, and wallets.

I live in a good neighborhood, but neighbors on our street have lost rifles, wallets, purses, phones, and car speakers from automobiles. The break-ins have been becoming more and more frequent, and the most recent occurred on Halloween this year.
For cold weather operation I would remove any lubricant on the mechanism.

I believe it was SOP in Korea, and the advice carried over to Vietnam Veterans, even though that was a hot-wet war for them.

Who cares about wear? You expecting to be in an all day fire fight? You want perfect function for the number of rounds in the chamber or in the magazine.
Functionally speaking, as long as the oil doesn't congeal, it probably doesn't matter much. I'd choose a revolver because in the cold (especially in the cold) my arthritis wouldn't let me clear a jam if, well, if somebody had a gun to my head. Which, while I was trying to clear said jam, they certainly could.

All that said, if you're going to keep a gun in the car all the time, get a lockbox if you don't have one. I'm unclear from your OP whether you've secured the gun in the car or whether you depend on the car door locks. Don't do the latter. My son lost one of my favorite guns (what I get for loaning it to him, I know) when he "just ran in" to his apartment for 2 minutes. When he got back out, his radar detector and my Bersa 9mm were gone. :banghead::banghead::banghead:

Get a lockbox, or take the gun into the house at night. Obviously, if you have to leave it in the car during the day because of work proscriptions, then you're certainly better off with it locked up.

I like and use both autos and revolvers, so this is not fan talk, but practicality. A revolver can be used with dry lube, which cannot gum up in cold weather, nor get too thin and runny in hot weather. Either extreme is a revolver kind of day.

FWIW, though, I try to never leave a firearm in a vehicle unless there is no other solution. A compromise is a lockbox.
RemOil dries and leaves a very thin film of Teflon - might be just the ticket for very cold climes.
3 things
First a cold gun is COLD
condensation freezes, fronzen condensation makes the gun go click click click, not boom.
Oils, depends how cold it gets, for most, whatever light (not wax, not grease, not heavyweight) oil you use, should be fine. If you go say sub zero, then you need more care in choosing your lube

If your gun is cold and dry and clean, leave it cold and it should work,
if your gun is warm, keep it warm and it should work.
go warm then cold, and it can may *will when it cold enough* freeze up literally.
It probably will make little if any difference. The only issue I have had with guns and weather (besides rust) is .22s in very cold weather. Once it is under about 10 degrees, .22s don't like to light off. I'm not sure if it is an ammo issue or gun issue but most of my semi's don't work well when it is that cold.

Wow, I've gotten a lot of abuse about my comment concerning commenting on threads where you have little or no experience. I'm sorry that it bugs me.

There are a lot of threads where someone might ask about, just for an example, a Sig Sauer. Within the first page of responses there might be six that contain words similar to, "I've never owned a Sig but I really like my..."

This one started with someone asking about the effects of cold on firearms and the very first response was:

I was not aware that extremely cold temperatures could have a negative effect on a handgun, but I live in Louisiana. The last time it got cold was when the Saints won the Superbowl.

Someone went to the trouble to research the coldest temperature on record in New Mexico and compare it to the coldest temperature in Wyoming like that really means anything at all.

I try not to make comments but sometimes it just gets to me.
I think the crack-head who breaks into your car would prefer to get a Glock Fo-Tay.

I also voted other. As a person that had a gun stolen from a car breakin it's just a bad idea to go arming your local hoodlums. Should have known better. You wouldn't needlessly leave $500 or your laptop laying in your car... why leave a handgun which is more important?

Why don't you just bring it inside with you and take it out to the car when you leave. You could carry it in a non-descript McDonalds brown paper bag for instance. Wouldn't draw any attention.

If you must leave it in the car, I don't think those temps will make any different on a guns' functionability. Think about the freezing temps handguns and rifles have operated in during WWI, WWII, Korea, etc. exposed to freezing temps for days, weeks, or months. I do agree though just to check to ensure your particular lubricant doesn't freeze up by testing it in the freezer overnight.

For the record though, I agree with SAM1911 - his comments were close enough to the topic about leaving a handgun as the OP described. This is a forum for not only direct responses (in this case reasons for an against particular types) but also collateral issues that others (both the OP and other readers) should consider (e.g. the wisdom of leaving a firearm in a vehicle).

Yes, we owe it to ourselves to NOT arm the anti-s with more ammunition with yet another irresponsible gun behavior.

Consider a thread "should I shoot a revolver or semi-auto after getting drunk at the range...?" Well we all know the answer would be neither...
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Unsubscribing from the thread. Thanks to all that gave valuable / worthwhile input.
The only thing that would really effect you auto in extreme cold is if you use a lube that gets thicker in the cold. I use Mobile 1 motor oil for all my weapons. You've seen the commercials, it works. It doesn't seem effected by the cold at all. Other than gumming of the lube the cold is mostly a non-issue. I've lived in Minnesota most of my life and while I haven't tried to make it happen I've never had any issues with any weapon in the cold.
John Farnam did an experiment in Alaska.

In sub zero weather he tested a variety of pistols for weeks.

He found only three models worked everytime.

1911, S&W Highway Patrolman (N frame), and Glock 17.

So there is your answer.

Both types can work well, but you can see they are the more robust designs and I have no doubt they were dry lubed as any oil will lock up ANY gun in sub zero.

You know wyocarp, I think the issue is that you come off sounding a bit like a know it all yourself.
Yeah so I live in NM, it's definitely no as cold as Wyoming (I know I've been there), but it does get cold here. We have 13,000 ft mountains and it is not at all uncommon to see below zero temps. I don't know about you but that is cold.
The OP was asking about cold temps and fire arm performance. I have experienced a cold related firearm malfunction; that's a pertinent fact. The fact that Wyoming is colder than NM has no relevance.
BTW, many people who now live in Florida might have moved there specifically to get away from Buffalo or some other Godforsaken Icebox (just kidding, there's some great folks in NY:) )and might have something valuable to input.
Fact is many people from all walks of live have something valuable to say. I much prefer to hear "here's my experience from Wyoming" rather than you're from the South and can't possibly know what you're talking about.
Just a thought :)
Since the original poster has moved on and the most recent posts are more quarrel than help, I'm going to close this one down as done.
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