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Shooting outdoors in cold weather

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Shooting outdoors in cold weather Empty Shooting outdoors in cold weather

Post by SonOfSwede on Fri Nov 06, 2020 7:57 pm

In the past I did my shooting at indoor ranges during the cold months.  This year my wife and I avoid indoor activities.  So I will be shooting outdoors with a heaver jacket.  I have already noticed on cool days an impact on failure to extract and switched to a lighter oil, Gunfighter.  This required a much lighter recoil spring.

I am surprised that when people are describing power loads and springs that they don't also describe the oil and temperature.  Have others noticed a large effect of oil and temperature on gun operation.

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Post by mustachio on Fri Nov 06, 2020 8:36 pm

I remember shooting for the "Northern NJ Police Revolver League" in the winter.  We did not have to worry too much about oil or springs. Our biggest issue was snow flakes landing on your front sight so you have no idea where you are aiming, plus our hands were cold and trigger control was tough.
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Post by weber1b on Fri Nov 06, 2020 8:47 pm

I always worried more about ammo performance and work to keep my ammo from getting too cold. If you can handle it, so can the guns.

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Post by Tripscape on Fri Nov 06, 2020 9:36 pm

Probably less impact on revolvers, but big impact on simiautos. Slide cycling, thick oil thickening more, metal shrinking especially on already very tight gun. I find all springs get tighter too, which for leaf spring means it loses pressure. There are lots of discussions on oil thickness in winter weather, especially when searching for gun grease. Thinner mobile oils should do just fine.  I use 5W30 synthetic, it holds/sticks well to surfaces without running in hot weather and does not noticeably thicken in cold weather. I do not shoot in very cold or freezing though. I also use EWG silicone gun grease on barrel lugs of 1911, it is fairly thin grease and holds well without running down.

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Post by cdrt on Fri Nov 06, 2020 10:42 pm

I've posted this before. Worth the look.  1911 lube test under extreme cold.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aSsUYSd0k1Q
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Post by jglenn21 on Sat Nov 07, 2020 4:14 pm

Not sure about anyone else but I'm not.shooting at -65.. Shocked not that cold in Ga. but I use a fairly light synthetic oil mix all the year. I worry more about my ammo. I keep my mags in my pocket while I score. Works fine
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Post by Asa Yam on Sat Nov 07, 2020 4:39 pm

SonOfSwede wrote:Have others noticed a large effect of oil and temperature on gun operation.
Ask the WW2 German Army.  Fighting in the USSR, practice in the wintertime was giving everything a bath in gasoline to remove all lubricants and fouling.  For small arms, the follow-up procedure was to add....

NOTHING.

The above is correct, BTW.  In cold or sandy environments add little or no lubricant to prevent jams.

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Post by SonOfSwede on Sat Nov 07, 2020 5:08 pm

Does anyone have a suggestion on an oil that will keep a good bullseye 1911 lubricated and still operate down to about 20F. 

In prior years I would shoot at an indoor range during the winter in Ohio.  But I don't think the COVID thing will be over before winter and I would like to keep shooting outdoors.  I had been using Wilson Combat regular oil.  Last range visit I switched to the Gunfighter oil that KC sells.  I found I needed about  4# more recoil spring weight to keep from hammering the slide with the same load.  That is not a problem but I was surprised at how much impact the oil had on slide velocity.

cdrt's posting show two oils working done to -65F.  I have not experienced that temperature.  But, I have several times managed to start a carbureted car at -30F and spent many hours outside at -20F.   

Ohio only has a rare day below zero in the last 10 years.  So I expect to limit my winter range time to warmer winter days.

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