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Thread: Is OCing or storing your weapon in cold weather bad for it?

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    It's been really cold over the past couple of days, and I was wondering, if I was open carrying for long periods of time in the cold, or if I was storing my gun in my vehicle overnight, and it dropped down to an extremely cold temperature, would it be bad for the weapon?

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    Regular Member Decoligny's Avatar
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    I don't think exposure to cold will cause any problems. The have done official testing on several handgun models (Berretta, Glock) where they froze them for weeks in a tray of water, then broke off the ice (didn't thaw them just beat the ice off and out of the weapon) and they fired with no problems.

    For a personal handgun, I would just do my bet to ensure that it is clean and dry.

    I know thatthe military used the .45 for the standard sidearm in Korea. It was used at the Chosin Reservoir and the were stacking frozen dead bodies like cordwood and their guns still worked.

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    Bad how? Metalurgically, Reference Transition Temperature is probably so low that you wouldn't survive long enough to fire your weapon. Chemically, modern finishes are almost impervious to corrosion.

    I clean and 'oil' my awesome Luger once a year. It is kept in a safe in an unheated room that is probably below freezing right now. No evidence of rust yet, even on the leaf springs.

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    Since metal shrinks when its cold then if it gets cold enough a 10MM would become a 9MM and a .40 would go down to a .38.

    Actually the only problem you would have is if it very cold and you grab it with a bare hand you may get stuck to it like sticking your tounge to a frozen metal pole but the gun should fire fine. The one thing to avoid is extreme temperature changes that may cause moisture to condense on it or moisture to freeze on it it left in a high humidity place butmoisturecan causeproblems even in room temperature.

    Other than the shock of grabbing a piece ofice there isn't any real problem.

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    State Researcher .40 Cal's Avatar
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    No.

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    The answer is NO

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    Not exactly a problem when OCing or storing your weapon, but what is bad is warming and then cooling the weapon.

    When you take a cold weaopn and warm it mosture forms & when ya cool it that mosture freezes.

    Your weapon won't freeze up on you, but it will rust.

    Now if you never warm the pistol it's fine as long as it does not get wet, cuz if it get's wet/snowy/icy it will also rust.

    Also make sure ya use a good low temp lube, don't use something that will gum up in cold weather.

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    mercutio545 wrote:
    It's been really cold over the past couple of days
    While you have nice 35 degree weather tomorrow, I'll be shoveling off 6" of snow in-5 degree weather:celebrate

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    Campaign Veteran deepdiver's Avatar
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    .40 Cal wrote:
    No.

    openindy wrote:
    The answer is NO
    I'm not quite clear on the answer yet ....

    :P
    Bob Owens @ Bearing Arms (paraphrased): "These people aren't against violence; they're very much in favor of violence. They're against armed resistance."

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    There can be some issues, most often with lubrication. Extreme cold congeals oil-based lubes which can affect cycling; to avoid this you can use a thinner oil and apply more frequently, use a dry lube, or believe it or not you cansometimes add ethylene glycol to the oil with similar effect as to water. Try this in a small glass and see ifthe two actuallymix (emulsification is not good enough); not all oils will.

    If it's below freezing and precipitating, keep the weapon covered, or you may find the slide is frozen to the frame just like your car doors ice shut. If you can OC but not CC that means finding a pouch holster with aflapinstead of a strap, making it very clear you are carrying while completelysheltering the weapon.

    Watch your ammo in extreme cold weather (-20oF and colder); the stuff's designed to be weatherproof and work in any condition, but if it gets too cold it can affect powder ignition. That's generally only a problem at night in the far north or when attacking Moscow in the winter:quirky.

    Lastly, avoid rapid fire of a cold weapon. The sudden temperature change causes uneven expansion of metal causing jams and possibly cracks and warpage. outright overpressure failure of a weapon due to extreme cold happens largelyin EXTREME cold (-70 or below); you generally can only make a gun shatter by immersing it in liquid nitrogen.

  11. #11
    Regular Member dave_in_delaware's Avatar
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    mercutio545 wrote:
    It's been really cold over the past couple of days, and I was wondering, if I was open carrying for long periods of time in the cold, or if I was storing my gun in my vehicle overnight, and it dropped down to an extremely cold temperature, would it be bad for the weapon?
    If simple cold weather affects the function of your gun at all, it's time to get a different gun!

    Police don't stop carrying their guns just because it gets cold (or rains, etc)... and neither should you. A good weapon will be able to easily stand up to extreme temperatures and conditions.

    I OC my gun in cold weather, and rain, and snow.... As long as you take care of it properly (like wiping it down, oiling it, etc), temperature and moisture shouldn't be a problem. And this is coming from a earlier-modelXD owner.
    Dave
    Co-Founder & Global Moderator
    Delaware Open Carry

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    Thanks for all the answers guys. I went and got a can of dry lube and it works great.

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    Liko81 wrote:
    There can be some issues, most often with lubrication. Extreme cold congeals oil-based lubes which can affect cycling; to avoid this you can use a thinner oil and apply more frequently, use a dry lube, or believe it or not you cansometimes add ethylene glycol to the oil with similar effect as to water. Try this in a small glass and see ifthe two actuallymix (emulsification is not good enough); not all oils will.

    If it's below freezing and precipitating, keep the weapon covered, or you may find the slide is frozen to the frame just like your car doors ice shut. If you can OC but not CC that means finding a pouch holster with aflapinstead of a strap, making it very clear you are carrying while completelysheltering the weapon.

    Watch your ammo in extreme cold weather (-20oF and colder); the stuff's designed to be weatherproof and work in any condition, but if it gets too cold it can affect powder ignition. That's generally only a problem at night in the far north or when attacking Moscow in the winter:quirky.

    Lastly, avoid rapid fire of a cold weapon. The sudden temperature change causes uneven expansion of metal causing jams and possibly cracks and warpage. outright overpressure failure of a weapon due to extreme cold happens largelyin EXTREME cold (-70 or below); you generally can only make a gun shatter by immersing it in liquid nitrogen.
    So, 20 weight oil and #1 ammo then?

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    I've been using hi-temp bearing grease (lithium soap based) on my truck gun (AK-47) & have had zero issues with it & the temperature changes here. There was a week of about 5-10* over-night lows & the rifle's ran fine, even having been in the pick-up thru the freezes.

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    FogRider wrote:
    Liko81 wrote:
    There can be some issues, most often with lubrication. Extreme cold congeals oil-based lubes which can affect cycling; to avoid this you can use a thinner oil and apply more frequently, use a dry lube, or believe it or not you cansometimes add ethylene glycol to the oil with similar effect as to water. Try this in a small glass and see ifthe two actuallymix (emulsification is not good enough); not all oils will.

    If it's below freezing and precipitating, keep the weapon covered, or you may find the slide is frozen to the frame just like your car doors ice shut. If you can OC but not CC that means finding a pouch holster with aflapinstead of a strap, making it very clear you are carrying while completelysheltering the weapon.

    Watch your ammo in extreme cold weather (-20oF and colder); the stuff's designed to be weatherproof and work in any condition, but if it gets too cold it can affect powder ignition. That's generally only a problem at night in the far north or when attacking Moscow in the winter:quirky.

    Lastly, avoid rapid fire of a cold weapon. The sudden temperature change causes uneven expansion of metal causing jams and possibly cracks and warpage. outright overpressure failure of a weapon due to extreme cold happens largelyin EXTREME cold (-70 or below); you generally can only make a gun shatter by immersing it in liquid nitrogen.
    So, 20 weight oil and #1 ammo then?
    Yup, you got it.





    Jon

  16. #16
    Regular Member Flintlock's Avatar
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    mercutio545 wrote:
    It's been really cold over the past couple of days, and I was wondering, if I was open carrying for long periods of time in the cold, or if I was storing my gun in my vehicle overnight, and it dropped down to an extremely cold temperature, would it be bad for the weapon?
    I lived in Virginia for 11 years and have lived in Alaska for 18 years. You don't have to worry about anything, it doesn't get anywhere near cold enough in Virginia to cause any problems. Not even close.

    I have hunted in well below zero temps and only after several hours of exposure did I notice the weapon freezing up a bit and having any difficulty cycling.
    Peace through superior firepower

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