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Old 10-05-2010, 08:22 AM
MountainRecluse MountainRecluse is offline
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Default Extreme Cold-Weather Conditions vs the AR



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I was wondering of any one here who have had experience with using and abusing their AR's in extreme cold-weather conditions.

I am talking about day after day below freezing (and lower) temperatures and running the rifle ragged in it. What are some issues that have come about and just generally the overrall performance of the rifle in those conditions (to include getting snowed on, iced on, etc.)



You can add experiences as well with other platforms. Have at it.
Old 10-05-2010, 08:36 AM
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Ive done cold weather training both in CA and Norway. a long as you have some CLP, LSA or LAW you should be fine. Just try to keep the snow/water out of it and freezing. If it gets into some places and freezes its a game ender. And try to keep it from heat cycling too bad, the expanding and contracting will cause issues.
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Old 10-05-2010, 11:03 AM
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Since you said to add experiance with other platforms as well I can add that the stories from the Koreanwar of the M1 carbine jamming up in sub zero temps are true. I had one about 25 years ago and when I tried using it at -20F here in Montana one winter it was a jamamatic. Sold it due to that reason.I have since learned that the gunpowder normally used for 30 carbine loads ( WW296 and H110) are temperture sensitive and produce much lower pressures at extreme low temps. I wonder if this is the cause of the carbines problems?
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Old 10-05-2010, 11:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by larryp View Post
Since you said to add experiance with other platforms as well I can add that the stories from the Koreanwar of the M1 carbine jamming up in sub zero temps are true. I had one about 25 years ago and when I tried using it at -20F here in Montana one winter it was a jamamatic. Sold it due to that reason.I have since learned that the gunpowder normally used for 30 carbine loads ( WW296 and H110) are temperture sensitive and produce much lower pressures at extreme low temps. I wonder if this is the cause of the carbines problems?
That's a reason I reload with Vihtavuori powders. They're design to be low temperature stable.
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Old 10-05-2010, 06:11 PM
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Keep your rifle 'cold.' Condensation from brining it in, sitting it by the fire, then taking it out freezes the droplets of water into ice. I'd recomend the PTR 91 or M1A for extreme cold areas instead. The AR is a varmint round and vs heavy clothing it looses some of its effect.
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Old 10-05-2010, 06:24 PM
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I have used a Colt AR15 in very cold Canadian conditions (back before they were restricted by our communist liberal gov't at the time) and even though it was carefully lubed, it would occasionally freeze up and jam. I switched to a stainless mini 14 for winter duties such as coyotes, etc. and never had a problem.
Old 10-05-2010, 06:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lt.Dan View Post
Ive done cold weather training both in CA and Norway. a long as you have some CLP, LSA or LAW you should be fine. Just try to keep the snow/water out of it and freezing. If it gets into some places and freezes its a game ender. And try to keep it from heat cycling too bad, the expanding and contracting will cause issues.
I really don't like CLP at extremely cold temps, or extremely hot temps with dust and sand either for that matter.

Honestly, I don't like any lube at truly extreme cold temps...

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Originally Posted by sachson View Post
Keep your rifle 'cold.' Condensation from brining it in, sitting it by the fire, then taking it out freezes the droplets of water into ice. I'd recomend the PTR 91 or M1A for extreme cold areas instead. The AR is a varmint round and vs heavy clothing it looses some of its effect.
Agreed, the PTR loves the cold. It's like AK stupid simple. A little coat of dri lube to the roller rails is all I need in the cold. I use a minimal amount of lithium grease or motor oil in normal conditions. I love being contrarian in all things.
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Old 10-05-2010, 07:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sachson View Post
Keep your rifle 'cold.' Condensation from brining it in, sitting it by the fire, then taking it out freezes the droplets of water into ice. I'd recomend the PTR 91 or M1A for extreme cold areas instead. The AR is a varmint round and vs heavy clothing it looses some of its effect.

I agree 100%. This the #1 reason scopes fog, guns rust and the oil that most people think they need tons of, locks up moving parts (firing pin) when it gets thick from being cold!

10-4 on the M1A.....less moving parts, more forgiving on areas to clean and more accessability to the same areas. Getting moisture out is a royal bi*ch.

Picture yourself taking a tumble in the snow and ice!
Old 10-05-2010, 09:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sachson View Post
Keep your rifle 'cold.' Condensation from brining it in, sitting it by the fire, then taking it out freezes the droplets of water into ice. I'd recomend the PTR 91 or M1A for extreme cold areas instead. The AR is a varmint round and vs heavy clothing it looses some of its effect.
I will debate that one bro. That 62gr green tip (penetrator) would contradict that.
Old 10-05-2010, 09:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MountainRecluse View Post
I was wondering of any one here who have had experience with using and abusing their AR's in extreme cold-weather conditions.

I am talking about day after day below freezing (and lower) temperatures and running the rifle ragged in it. What are some issues that have come about and just generally the overrall performance of the rifle in those conditions (to include getting snowed on, iced on, etc.)



You can add experiences as well with other platforms. Have at it.
I've had mine in some fairly harsh weather I guess you might say. 'Had no issues at any time.
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Old 10-05-2010, 09:38 PM
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Originally Posted by HiroProX View Post
That's a reason I reload with Vihtavuori powders. They're design to be low temperature stable.
I need to think about reloading sometime although I'm well stocked ammo wise.
Old 10-05-2010, 09:38 PM
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I went backpacking in -6 degree weather with my sks last winter (bad timing i know) nothing to complain about didnt have any problems or jams. i kept it mostly dry exept for a light graphite coating, the ruskies got it right.
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Old 10-05-2010, 09:54 PM
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You definitely need to keep condensation from forming. Keep snow, sleet, and rain away as well. If you go into a tent or cabin, you must leave the rifle outside, or wait for a least an hour for it to warm to the indoor temperature before thoroughly cleaning it, and drying every piece of metal. Watch out for contact frostbite as well. The military has lubricant for weapons in an arctic environment. I'm not sure if there is an exact civilian equivelent. Use very little oil of any kind, I prefer a polymer impregnated rag in any case. Different lubes have different viscocity obviously and some will gel or freeze more quickly. I experienced bad jamming with militech, and switched to CLP after that. Also, in very cold temps, the parts (especially the plastic) become brittle and are prone to breaking. In general you have to be much more careful in cold weather. Don't forget the magazines. These will also condense, freeze, and rust. Years of accumulated gunk in mags will also become a problem so you have to clean them very well.
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Old 10-05-2010, 11:05 PM
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^^^ hehehe dont have to do that with a sks ^^^^^
Old 10-05-2010, 11:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Heckler&Coke View Post
I really don't like CLP at extremely cold temps, or extremely hot temps with dust and sand either for that matter.

Honestly, I don't like any lube at truly extreme cold temps...



Agreed, the PTR loves the cold. It's like AK stupid simple. A little coat of dri lube to the roller rails is all I need in the cold. I use lithium grease or motor oil in normal conditions. I love being contrarian in all things.
'Been using dry lube on all my firearms for years and have enjoyed the results. Especially on both my AR15 and M4.
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Old 10-06-2010, 01:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by matt18920 View Post
^^^ hehehe dont have to do that with a sks ^^^^^
Don't you just love how most firearms DO NOT need any of the following and they still function FLAWLESSLY ?

CLEANING
GOOD AMMO
PM
AN INFORMED OWNER
A FIRING PIN
A HAMMER
A TRIGGER

AND SO AN SO ON ?

This was my shot at making a point and not directed any one or any particular weapon system.
Old 10-06-2010, 05:18 AM
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You will be fine just lubing the extractor and the firing pin lightly with CLP. If its extreme cold like -40 or below then you for sure want to use LAW.

If you use nothing both the firing pin or extractor might freeze up unless you keep it dry. Even just in snow a hot gun will melt it and then freeze up when it cools.
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Old 10-06-2010, 05:35 AM
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Originally Posted by BOAZ1 View Post
Don't you just love how most firearms DO NOT need any of the following and they still function FLAWLESSLY ?

CLEANING
GOOD AMMO
PM
AN INFORMED OWNER
A FIRING PIN
A HAMMER
A TRIGGER

AND SO AN SO ON ?

This was my shot at making a point and not directed any one or any particular weapon system.
I am sensing jealousy over there, but more importantly since when does a gun work without a firing pin?
Old 10-06-2010, 06:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by matt18920 View Post
^^^ hehehe dont have to do that with a sks ^^^^^
Any gun can freeze up, including your beloved SKS. They had problems with it happening during ww2, American, Russian, and German troops all did at times. It was also a pretty big problem in the Korean war, with just about any type of weapon.

Your firing pin could get stuck up on a chunk of ice, your whole trigger area or magazine could be frozen up, your extractor could be frozen solid, the gas tube could have some ice in there or barrel could be filled with a chunk of ice.

In reality the biggest problem is keeping iron sights clear, but that is not the only problem that can happen.
Old 10-06-2010, 07:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by matt18920 View Post
I am sensing jealousy over there, but more importantly since when does a gun work without a firing pin?
Or a trigger...If you're going to bash that black plastic, tacticool, picky, unreliable piece of dog squat our "riflemen" use today, at least do it in a sensible manner.

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