While Shooting in the Cold My Firearm . . .

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by twofewscrews, Jan 17, 2022.

  1. twofewscrews

    twofewscrews Member

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    So in light of the winter storm we're getting i figured I'd start a playful thread about cold weather wreaking havoc on firearms in non life threatening ways. I'll go first.

    I took my Maverick 88 out to shoot some Aguila mini slugs last week. The temperature was somewhere between 5 and 15 degree that morning. 31 rounds in and I hear a weird pop and ting. I emptied the mag and began inspecting her. I checked the bore thinking maybe the cold somehow led to a squib round or something. Finding nothing in the bore I checked the trigger function and the forend. Everything looked good and functioned as it should, so I loaded her up and raised her to my shoulder. It was then that I noticed my front bead was missing. I figured that between the temperature outside, the different temperatures of the steel barrel and brass bead, and the pressure generated by the slugs the bead had backed itself out. The pop was the bead leaving the barrel and the ting was it hitting the roof at the outdoor range. When I called Mossberg they confirmed my theory, sent me a new bead free of charge, and recommended a bit of loctite on the threads.

    That day I finally realized/learned that loctite wasn't just applied to various parts of firearms for no reason.
     
  2. jak67429

    jak67429 Member

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    One deer season a few years ago the temp was hovering on 0 my buddy went to shoot at a buck and the oil in his bolt was so thick it caused a hang fire.
     
  3. Aletheia

    Aletheia Member

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    I'm finding many threads asking/talking about shooting in the cold lately (since it seems to be colder than normal in many places) and they all make me chuckle. I am over 70. I have hunted and shot guns during winters that most of you will never experience, and I would have to say that my guns have never failed to function because of cold. Occasionally, if I am foolish, a scope will fog up from my breath, or my fingers will stick to metal briefly, or accumulated ice and snow may get in the way of function, but they just keep working. Almost no oil or grease, never take the gun into the warm until you are completely done, don't breathe on optics, and tape up the muzzle are all I do or think about. I think guns are actually quite amazing at how they deal with the elements so effectively.
     
  4. Speedo66

    Speedo66 Member

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    Hunting in the Catskill Mts., pulled the trigger on a deer with my Browning lever action in .308, and got a soft hit.

    Buck just stood there and looked at me, so I thumbed the hammer back again and the second time worked perfectly.

    Got home and flushed the action out with solvent and never had another problem.
     
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  5. taliv

    taliv Moderator Staff Member

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    i agree with this mostly, but...
    if you only practice in the nice weather and then go shoot in extreme cold you are likely to screw up a lot as your large coats, gloves, etc get in the way and make you fumble mag changes, struggle to build a position that was easy in a tshirt, etc. drop a round in the snow and pick it up and try to use it without realizing it probably has ice on it... etc. and heaven forbid you're shooting precision rifle in the snow for the first time and never realized your fav powder is very temp sensitive and generates much less pressure when its freezing changing your trajectory much more than just the DA. and looking for impacts when you miss in the snow is a lot different. and yes, a thin layer of frozen fog from your breath on the ocular lens is really really annoying.

    but if you practice in cold, it's not that big a deal.
     
  6. Archibald Stanton

    Archibald Stanton Member

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    Russians in Siberia join in your chuckling. Most hunters there leave their guns outside during the winter so that all the parts will stay acclimated. Temps average in the negatives all winter and can reach -90 degrees. I know some of them have to use a special lubricant as well.
     
  7. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

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    o_O
    Could you provide some more detail on that, please?
     
  8. Rockrivr1

    Rockrivr1 Member

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    Every year I participate in a Winter Warrior event that involves shooting WWI/II weapons at a standard target. Best score with 10 shots at 100 yards win. Caveat is that there has to be snow on the ground and below freezing when you shoot. It’s very interesting to see the POI in winter compared to summer. The weather changes the harmonics and what you experience in the summer is not what you get in the winter. Still fun though once you work out the difference. As to lube, I like using M1 grease in semi autos of that era. They function very well and I’ve shot in some pretty cold days.
     
  9. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    Just to clarify, in its case, in a non climate controlled location works for this. You don’t have to actually have it in the elements.
     
  10. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    It’s not uncommon that folks place a finger cot or small section of tape over the muzzle to keep precipitation/debris out of the bore.

    https://www.rifleshootermag.com/editorial/fact-fiction-tale-tape/83690

    Birchwood Casey even packaged finger cots as “Barrel cots” for awhile, I suppose at least until customers found out they could get more of them for less money from their drugstore.

    0543EF4D-89DD-4706-9A26-1705E4A8A71C.jpeg
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2022
  11. trackskippy

    trackskippy Member

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    This is basically it. If you shoot outside every month of the year, good weather and bad, you learn a lot, about your gun(s) and yourself.
     
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  12. Scooter22

    Scooter22 Member

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    Put a piece of tape across the muzzel to keep snow out. Not wrapping it up. I've done it living in lake effect snow country. Had a guy split a shotgun muzzel because it got packed with snow. He had no idea. At least at was a relativly cheap fix. Spare 870 barrels were 59.00 bucks at that time.
     
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  13. Barbaroja

    Barbaroja Member

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    I use electrical tape over the muzzle of my rifles. Not always but in rough terrain or bad weather it’s cheap insurance
     
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  14. Archibald Stanton

    Archibald Stanton Member

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    It depends on the gun for me. Any duck hunter is going to get dunked in the freezing cold water or mud with his gun at some point anyway, might as well get used to it.
     
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  15. Barbaroja

    Barbaroja Member

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    Very true, I was thinking about rifles when I wrote it.
    Though, your comment makes me wanna start covering the muzzle of my duck gun until I get to where I’m going to hunt, or at least check the barrel before I start shooting. Never know what could happen in the way into the marsh.
    Safety first
     
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  16. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

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    The old condom held on with a rubber band...
     
  17. Archibald Stanton

    Archibald Stanton Member

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    I just take slow steps and sometimes a stick if I don't know the water I'm walking in. When we use decoys, we usually put them in a canoe with the guns and pull it
     
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  18. Aletheia

    Aletheia Member

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    Well, I'm too cheap to use a new condom, and won't use an old one for obvious reasons, and mine are all too big anyway.:)

    For many years I have just used electrical tape. One over the end and then a wrap around those ends to keep it on. I've shot through them testing at the range, and I can't tell if I have one on or not from the targets, and it keeps everything from snow and rain to twigs and mud out of the barrel. Never leave home without it.
     
  19. rust collector
    • Contributing Member

    rust collector Moderator Staff Member

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    If you are feeling fancy you capture the end of a length of string with the tape and it gives a bit of info on wind direction and speed.
     
  20. gryphon1911

    gryphon1911 Member

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    I’m not an avid hunter. Only did small game for a brief season and help farmers from time to time control pest and vermin.

    how does one get a shotgun barrel packed with snow or dirt/twigs in your rifle barrel and you don’t know it?

    no judgements, but very curious.

    the closest I’ve seen anything like this was when I was out playing paintball, he was running to take cover, fell and his barrel dig into the dirt and was plugged up with mud. Rendered the paintball gun useless.
     
  21. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    I don’t think your supposed to use old ones. :)
     
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  22. Seedy Character

    Seedy Character Member

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    OLD, not USED

    That one that had been in your wallet since Jr High.
     
  23. WestKentucky

    WestKentucky Member

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    I was chasing rabbits with my dads 16 ga pump years ago, and it was unbelievably cold that day. Saw a total of 1 rabbit and it was sitting out in the open munching on the frozen clover. Aim, click. Count to 10, eject, try it again with the same result. Took my 22 revolver out and shot just over the rabbit which triggered him to run at least 13 counties over. Cleaned the gun and removed the thick automotive grease and squirted on some remoil. A few days later the shotgun went chasing squirrels and it never missed a beat. The grease was such that in warm weather it worked fine but in the cold it basically worked as a brake to slow the moving parts.
     
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  24. Seedy Character

    Seedy Character Member

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    Equipment failure, not firearm

    Duck season, 1981.
    We were planning a duck hunted. Friday, I woke up sick. Call my 2 hunting partners. They are whining, because my Jeep was the only vehicle that could get to the duck pond.
    I (young and dumb) said I would take them.

    Our pond was a 50 yard square, 3 foot deep.
    We are throwing out decoys and told them, they would retrieve ducks and decoys, I was not going in. It was 24° and it was sick.

    Skies were clear, wind was calm and ducks were decoying perfectly. We had 12 ducks and tell them to pick them up. They argue back and forth, they don't have waders, just leave them. I tell them there is a pair of cheap, K-mart waders in the Jeep, but 1 foot has a pin hole at the ankle. Get the ducks or I was leaving both of them out there.

    Bill concedes and gets the waders. Standing beside our blind, he commences to get NAKED. Saying he would put in waders, hurry to pick up ducks and come back to dry clothes.

    Good plan. Hold my beer.

    He steps into the water. Next step, his foot slips and he does the splits. Literally, those waders split the inseam, ankle to ankle and cold water is waist deep. Mariah Carrie cannot hit a note that high. Rod, fat boy, know it all, from Tenn is laughing hysterically.

    I tell at Bill to hurry up and get those ducks.

    He is back at blind, trying to get dry, dressed and warm. Ducks decoy and shoot 3. Rod is whining, he thought we were leaving.

    Nope, we are getting our limits and HE is picking up ducks and decoys.

    About an hour, we are 2 short of limit, but ducks have quit. Hold Rod to gather them up. He is whining. Told him to pick up or get left. I would start the Jeep and have it warm. He starts stripping down. Gets NAKED and carries his shotgun into the pond. He throws the decoys on the bank and several ducks. 2 ducks are out in the middle. As he gets to them, has back to us, Bill yells, DUCKS and shoots twice.
    Rod dives under the water. He comes up and Bill is laughing, "you not laughing now, AH"

    Rod gets back to bank, threatening to shoot Bill. "How, you don't have a shotgun?"

    He waded back out and found it. He was getting blue and we were hurrying to get him in the Jeep.

    Got home, everybody good.

    Rod never showed up without waders, after that.
     
  25. Archibald Stanton

    Archibald Stanton Member

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    I bet the gun still worked. My first shotgun came from JCPenney if you can believe that. They used to sell them and I still have it.
     
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