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Thread: Is it ever too cold to OC?

  1. #1
    Regular Member wimwag's Avatar
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    Is it ever too cold to OC?

    Right now, my phone is telling me that its 24 below zero. It got me thinking...is it ever too cold to open carry? Could your lube freeze and cause a jam? I'd have to say yes to the last one because I did have my bolt freeze up a bit (while hunting) when using Safariland CLP and when I used Remington Kerosene based CLP, that problem didn't exist in much colder temperatures.

    What do you think? Any stories to tell?

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    Regular Member SouthernBoy's Avatar
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    Well I won't have that problem with my carry guns because I don't use liquid lubrication. I use either a quality dry lube (Hornady's Hot Shot) or a quality silicone spray (CRC's Heavy Duty Silicone Spray). I use these products because they attract the least amount of dust, link, and other debris in my guns. And since they're dry products, there's nothing to freeze.
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    No, it is not ever too cold to OC.

    A carry gun should be dry lubricated to prevent dirt collecting due to lubricant surface tension. My H&K manual instructs dry lubrication by lubricating and then removing visible traces of lubricant with a dry cloth.

    Only for planned shooting, as at the range, should lubricant be visible. A carry gun is a tool and not some pampered gem.
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    Guns can be made to work at very low temperatures, but wear gloves!

    Quote Originally Posted by Nightmare View Post
    No, it is not ever too cold to OC.

    A carry gun should be dry lubricated to prevent dirt collecting due to lubricant surface tension. My H&K manual instructs dry lubrication by lubricating and then removing visible traces of lubricant with a dry cloth.

    Only for planned shooting, as at the range, should lubricant be visible. A carry gun is a tool and not some pampered gem.
    The guns will likely work, but wear gloves to prevent your skin from freezing to the frame, or on composite framed guns, the slide.
    Last edited by ccwinstructor; 01-03-2014 at 09:09 AM. Reason: spelling

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    LOL If one lives in an environment that cold then one does not need a gloves reminder. For weeks now I have been using the sleeve of my robe on the door handle when coming in from my hot tub. My Crocks freeze to the deck with each step. The handle on my traditional rural route mailbox will give a reminder nip to a carelessly ungloved touch.

    That said, do you store your gun outside cold or inside warm and risk frozen condensation?
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    Regular Member WalkingWolf's Avatar
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    IMO OC is the only way to go in extreme cold, try putting layers of clothing on and getting to your gun. Then figure out how many bad guys will wait while you dig for a gun. Most gun lubricant is light weight grade and will not cause a problem in extreme cold. Those using motor oil for lube is a different story though, motor oil gets very thick in the cold. This is one of the reasons batteries are rated on COLD cranking amps. Once the vehicle warms the oil is warm. Springs may be stiffer in the cold but that is something you cannot control.

    I have worked and shot firearms in -20F and never had a gun fail. The guns were either revolvers or a 1911 or a Smith model 39. The biggest concern is wearing gloves that will ready access to the trigger when needed. This one of the good features of the russian guns is the use of large trigger guards. I believe CZ series guns also have large trigger guards. Since a 1911 is single action I have plenty of room to wear jersey gloves and use the trigger. The only problem with jersey gloves they are useless once wet.
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    Regular Member Fuller Malarkey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ccwinstructor View Post
    The guns will likely work, but wear gloves to prevent your skin from freezing to the frame, or on composite framed guns, the slide.

    If the temperature is low enough that the lubrication on my firearm is affecting the operation of it, I'll be wearing gloves, and not a pair of skin tight tacti-kewls. Today's technology is allowing for warmer and more gun-user friendly gloves to be worn, however, I find it very distracting to attempt to operate a retention holster, and once drawn, confidently access the trigger due to the trigger guard restrictions with gloves on that are heavy enough to protect me from sub-zero elements. In my youth, I fox and coyote hunted in sub-zero temps. I always dropped my right glove when I took a firing position, regardless of ambient or rifle steel temps, and still shoot that way today. IF I need to use that defensive weapon in sub-zero weather, I have larger problems to focus on than cold fingers.

    In my high school years, I thought nothing of wearing little more than a jean jacket all winter, with a hoodie under it when it got real bad. Now, I can't ignore the cold as I used to, and wear 3/4 length coats when needed, [I won't apologize for wanting to have a warm tookus]. That makes open carry a bit more challenging, and open carry gets regulated to the days I wear a waist length jacket, which fortunately is more often than naught.

    ETA: I use DuPont Teflon Non-Stick Dry-Film Lubricant on moving parts when carrying year-round, grease and oil when range firing. I use a non-abrasive car wax on all the externals to ward off rust, dust, fingerprints, salts, etc.
    Last edited by Fuller Malarkey; 01-03-2014 at 12:17 PM.
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    Regular Member Kopis's Avatar
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    Is this thread a joke?

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    I see -29F at Gravette, Arkansas in 1905. Since then we have enjoyed considerable climate change.
    I am responsible for my writing, not your understanding of it.

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    Regular Member wimwag's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kopis View Post
    Is this thread a joke?
    Nope. At certain temperatures some parts can become brittle. Case in point, the broken hammer spring on my P22. Too cold and an otherwise sound firearm malfunctioned and dinner got away.

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    Regular Member Kopis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nightmare View Post
    I see -29F at Gravette, Arkansas in 1905. Since then we have enjoyed considerable climate change.
    clearly an effect of global warming.


    wimwag, how do you know it wasnt a previous issue and just happened to break when it was cold? Id say most modern pistols that are properly serviced will not have an issue even in extreme cold. Look at FPSrussia on youtube. He froze a glock in ice, chipped it out of the ice then shot it with the barrel still full of ice (obviously quite irresponsible/dangerous as evidenced by some of his other videos) but it shows that you shouldnt have any issues.

    If you live in an area that regularly has extreme cold, you may use a different lube for your weapon just as you would use a different oil for your car than someone in a more southern climate.

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    The transition temperature, from elastic to brittle fracture, is well known for all alloys and formal treatments. An examination of a failed part will reveal what sort of failure caused the break.

    An anecdote. It was my job once to prepare for and test the yield strength of very large and very high pressure air storage bottles. The test was to be done at about 10,000 pounds per square inch on a ship in overhaul and full of access holes and at ambient temperature <32°F. I suspected that the designers never expected that these bottles would be used at such a temperature and delayed the test for a couple of days by demanding assurance that the Reference Transition Temperature was less than the ambient temperature. I tested after my GM-15 called and told me to "stop screwing around!"
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    If it is too cold to OC, it is too cold to do anything.

    Today is too cold to do anything.

    Right now, 6 below (feels like -31), 26 mph wind. I ain't going out in it! Damn global warming!


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    Regular Member cjkent's Avatar
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    +1....Live in Milford,OH, staying home.

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    -15°F Off momentarily for dinner and Uff-da at the Middle Bar, unarmed because I intend to drink moderately immoderately, hopefully something warm.
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    It's so cold that....

    Hell just froze over. Weird things are happening. Pigs are flying, and Joe Biden was just spotted OCing at Charleton Heston's grave, holding onto Diane Feinstein's hand. Both were carrying signs asking, "Exactly what part of 'infringed' don't you understand?"


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    Quote Originally Posted by cjkent View Post
    +1....Live in Milford,OH, staying home.
    +1??? Wow! That's warm!


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    Regular Member wimwag's Avatar
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    -19. I forget what 0 feels like

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    Regular Member WalkingWolf's Avatar
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    We don't usually get that cold here, except for the mountains. Tonight it is supposed to be 11, but that is for the city, our temps will usually be 2 degrees lower.
    It is well that war is so terrible – otherwise we would grow too fond of it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by WalkingWolf View Post
    We don't usually get that cold here, except for the mountains. Tonight it is supposed to be 11, but that is for the city, our temps will usually be 2 degrees lower.
    That even has a AGW-technical name, the Urban Heat Island - UHI - effect.
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    Quote Originally Posted by wimwag View Post
    -19. I forget what 0 feels like
    I tell every body you know it has been cold when 0 feels warm. This winter has a good chance of seeing that.
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