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Old 12-21-2008, 10:05 PM
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Before I start, let me acknowledge that you Southern guys REALLY know your firearms, arguably better than anyone else around here. But this question is directed to those who shoot in real winter conditions.

I'm having cycling problems with my Marlin 60 when I shoot it in cold weather. I try to shoot as much as possible when it's lousy outside as it keeps me sharp and the public range is almost always empty.

Last week I was out and it was 18 degrees F and very lightly snowing.

My Marlin 60, normally a reliable old friend, decided to act up. Ammo that has never given me any problems refused to cycle after firing a shot or two.

I tried several kinds and only one worked but even that stuff jammed about 40% of the time.

I keep the rifle essentially dry of any type of lubricant as I find that lube really attracts dirt and burnt powder, causing jams. I prefer to use a touch of graphite. This has worked very well for me in the past, but I've never had the rifle out in such cold weather.

And this rifle normally very dependable and never jams when the weather is mild or warm.

Any ideas? (besides getting a 10/20?)
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Old 12-21-2008, 11:14 PM
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From a guy with a couple foot of snow in the yard and about 5 degrees showing on the thermometer...GET A RUGER 10/22...
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Old 12-21-2008, 11:20 PM
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Cylinder & Slide lubrication
While it's about handguns, the information is appropriate.



You have to have some lubrication in the weapon, just the appropriate type and amount. I'm partial to Ballistol and BreakFree LP (not CLP) for winter use.
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Old 12-22-2008, 12:20 AM
Whiterook Whiterook is offline
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Could you possibly have had a bad batch of ammo?

I had a Model 60 for awhile and don't recall it ever giving me trouble in cold temps. Any gun that is reliable in normal temps should be reliable in the cold as long as it isn't over oiled or greased.

The only gun that gave me trouble in the cold was a Yugo SKS that still had cosmo in the gas system. I have a cleaned Yugo SKS now and it loves the cold.

Basically, OP, I wouldn't give up on the 60 because of this trip. Chances are you can get it running in the cold.
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Old 12-22-2008, 12:53 AM
Jericho Jericho is offline
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Mine is a 1980s model. The steel carrier slides in the aluminum receiver. It has some galling after a few years, that would cause it to cycle inconsistently when it started to get dirty. I could feel it when charging it.

I pulled the carrier /bolt out, and used emery paper on all surfaces, to knock off sharp edges from the corners, and break down some nicks. I then used some wet /dry paper to polish the inner surfaces of the receiver.

Even dry, it slides well. But I'd never fire it dry. Aluminum is a "sticky" metal. It will grab hold of other materials. While I've never fired it in weather colder than 40 degrees, I'm sure yours would benefit from some garage-gunsmithing. Clean up the edges and surfaces, making sure things move easily, then lightly lube it to prevent galling.
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Old 12-22-2008, 04:35 AM
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Barring mechanical problems with the action or tubular magazine it could be condensation combined with the graphite powder residue. Condensation/moisture is pretty common in cold weather shooting especially when it's snowing.

I would completely strip the weapon down to an empty reciever, trigger group, bolt and carrier as well as disassemble the magazine tube. Get out your small gunbrush/toothbrush and some hoppes #9 boresolvent and go to work scrubbing the action, bolt and trigger group to get any grit, grime or old lube/graphite that may have built up.

Alternatively or as a follow up you can blast these parts with Birchwood Casey Borescrubber Spray, I've also heard of people substituting brake cleaner spray. Wear eye protection and use it in a ventilated area (I had some splash back and hit my eyelid once, not pleasant!)

When the metal and all moving parts of the bolt, carrier, trigger group and magazine are deemed to be stripped clean and in good mechanical condition (IE no gauled or damaged parts, disfigured springs etc) your next step is applying a quality cold weather lube.

I consider breakfree a little gooey for moving parts in extreme cold although they claim something like -37F functionality.

I would try something like Remington Dri Lube (not a typo, that's how they spell it) which as the name implies, dries on contact and leaves a lubricative teflon film on the bearing surfaces which will not gum up or rub off quickly like powdered graphite.

My experience with semi auto actions in below freezing is limited to SIG Pistols, 1911's, a SIG556 and an M4 carbine none of which are going to be as finicky as a 22LR semi auto action. I hunt with a bolt action rifle or pump shotgun.
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Old 12-22-2008, 05:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whirlibird View Post
Cylinder & Slide lubrication
While it's about handguns, the information is appropriate.



You have to have some lubrication in the weapon, just the appropriate type and amount. I'm partial to Ballistol and BreakFree LP (not CLP) for winter use.

make sure the lube you use after cleaning is good for freezing weather. Beleive it or not some of it will cause your weapon to freeze up in frezzing weather.
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Old 12-22-2008, 09:54 AM
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I believe you probably have a lubrication problem, most likely too much lube. Bring it in, use a de-greaser to get all the old lube, gunk, dirt etc out of it. Do not lube it. Go out try shooting it dry. When you get back in, clean the gun, be sure to dry off any snow that may have gotten on it. Lube it up and put it away...

Spent many wonderful afternoons hunting in the woods of western Massachusetts as a kid. Then I got smart and moved to the South where cold is when I have to put on long pants and a long sleeve shirt...

Allan
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Old 12-22-2008, 10:48 AM
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Be careful with graphite.. It is an abrasive! A light coat of gun oil or mobile 1 5w20 is all I ever used, when I live up north.
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Old 12-22-2008, 11:33 AM
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Thanks to everyone who responded. There are a lot of good suggestions.

I'm going to look for some US Military cold weather lubricant MIL-L-14107C-AM.2 and will report back later.
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Old 12-22-2008, 11:34 AM
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hey we northerners know our guns too just wish i was a southerner but we can still kick your butt lol JK
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Old 12-22-2008, 11:47 AM
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I use Remmington "Rem Oil" sparingly in the cold. (WalMart) It's very light weight, and has teflon. Seems very slippery and works for me with a 10-22. If you're relying on the rifle to put food on the table, maybe consider a bolt action .22. About as foolproof as you can get and doesn't need to be expensive. I think we have a cold winter to deal with this time!
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Old 12-22-2008, 03:30 PM
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No, I don't use it for putting food on the table. At least, not yet. But I want to hunt squirrels this season and I have a Gamo .177 air rifle with a 4x scope for that.

I use the Marlin 60 for practicing shooting skills. Iron sights. I shoot about 100 rounds at distances between 25 to 75 yards. Then I switch to something bigger, like my Mosin Nagant 91/30.

The Mosin is happy under any conditions. Never had any problems with it. Ever. Owned it for 40 years, since I was a kid.

But I've found that the Marlin 60 works best with just a whisper of lubrication. Easy to overdue. I must have used just a bit too much last time out. I'm gonna follow the advice of complete cleaning and then try some Mil Spec winter lube. But just a hint of it.
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Old 01-03-2009, 07:29 PM
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i don't use lube at all... i tear my 60 down clean and reassemble and i have yet to have problems most all the reading and experience ive done or had all says that in cold conditions lube will freeze
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Old 01-04-2009, 09:38 PM
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Buy a Remington nylon 66 and don't worry about it. accurate, reliable & indestructable. The orginal 22 survival rifle intorduced in 1959.
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Old 01-04-2009, 09:57 PM
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Plus 1 on the Remington synthetic for cold weather.
vorpal
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Old 01-04-2009, 10:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pugsrok View Post
hey we northerners know our guns too just wish i was a southerner but we can still kick your butt lol JK
You yankees may have won the war, but just remember We shot more of you that you shot of us.
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Old 01-06-2009, 10:26 AM
Herd Sniper Herd Sniper is offline
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Having been to winter warfare training, the key is getting the right lubricant on your rifle's moving parts. If you use a thick substance like a grease or real thick oil, when cold hits that stuff it will get thicker and slow down your action which will cause feeding troubles. Sound familiar? The second thing is to keep your rifle in a cold environment if possible. Believe it or not, when you move something metallic from warm to cold and back to warm conditions that causes moisture to form in many areas of your rifle that can cause icing in the colder conditions which will slow down or jam the feeding action of a rifle. In winter warfare situations, the army teaches its soldiers to store their rifles in racks outside of heated tents and heated huts to avoid ice from forming caused by the "sweating of a rifle" when moved from warm to cold conditions. Understand that I am NOT suggesting that you store your rifle outdoors in a rack in front of your home in the winter. This would not be a good thing in some urban areas... You might want to think about storing your rifle locked up inside of a box or locker in an unheated garage or something before you go shooting and check it before you leave your house to see if you can determine if it does ice up. But, more than likely, if you get a military grade cold weather rifle oil you will probably solve about 90% of your shooting/jamming problems with cold weather.
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Old 01-06-2009, 05:36 PM
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Good point. It's possible I took a warm rifle from the car and didn't let it get used to the new, colder environment before shooting.

It's often the little things that make the difference...
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Old 01-06-2009, 07:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlgoRhythms View Post
Thanks to everyone who responded. There are a lot of good suggestions.

I'm going to look for some US Military cold weather lubricant MIL-L-14107C-AM.2 and will report back later.
I went in the Marines in 1975. Back then, we used Bore Cleaner for cleaning and LSA for lubricating. We were issued a separate lubricant for cold weather. In the 80's, the military put out a request for specific specifications to the manufacturers. The Manufacturers dubbed these the "Impossible Specs". One and only one not only met these specs, but surpassed them. That is BreakFree CLP. I have never used anything else since and I swear by it. It is one of the few products that does what it claims. It Cleans, Lubricates and Preserves all at once. Plus, it gives the weapon a slight Teflon Coating. I believe this will solve your problems. It can be found at Walmart or ACE Hardware and comes in different size bottles. I personally don't care for the spray foam though. I find it wastes too much. The regular bottles allows for a "little dab will do ya!".
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