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Thread: AR-15 and extreme cold? (below zero)

  1. #81
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    Quote Originally Posted by ABNAK View Post
    This cold weather thread got me thinking to the Korean War and specifically when the ChiComs first crossed the Yalu in the winter of 1950. It was supposedly the coldest winter they'd had in decades; shit was blowing straight down from Siberia. Our guys didn't have the variety of lubes we have available to us now. The vaunted M1 Garand and other battle-tested weapons basically froze up. I recall reading that some of them used after-shave because the alcohol wouldn't freeze. Essentially anything to keep the weapons "wet" (so to speak) but not frozen.

    Think about it: these were probably not new out-of-the-box weapons. Likely leftovers from WWII, *maybe* (a big maybe) arsenal rebuilt between the wars. Weapons with loose tolerances, but none were DI, all "piston" of some sort. M1 Garand, BAR, 1919's, and carbines (although I don't think anyone was surprised with carbine issues as they were the most finicky of those I listed).
    Post WWII the ordnance department did a massive rebuild of weapons bringing them up the latest specs and placing many into war emergency storage. Many were even "canned" in sealed steel drums. Some in theater Garand's and Carbines might have been earlier versions but I would bet most issued to troops on the way to Korea had the latest sights, op rods and good barrels etc. The problem with Garand's freezing up was a known issue from WWII, remember Lubriplate grease was lube for them in warmer temps. n colder weather they stripped the grease off and ran them dry, but also you had to keep checking the action for freeze up from ice build up, especially after heating them up from firing. There was a scene in Battleground where the Sargent tells his squad to check there actions for freeze up.
    “The Trump Doctrine is ‘We’re America, Bitch.’ That’s the Trump Doctrine.”

  2. #82
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    Quote Originally Posted by MWAG19919 View Post
    I’ve seen a number of posts on IG, FB, and other forums asking folks what their “ultimate cold weather SHTF rifle would be” and I’ve noticed a bunch of people saying something like Mosin, M1903, AK-47, etc. but very few (and in some instances zero) mention of an AR, and if an AR was mentioned at all, there was usually something about using graphite lubricant instead of oil. If I had to grab a rifle in sub zero temperatures it would be the same rifle I’d grab any other time: my 16” middy lubricated with SLIP 2000. Am I missing something here?

    Yes, I’m aware of the average IQ on these other platforms, which is why I’m asking here.
    I live in North Pole, Alaska. Been living in Alaska's interior off and on since 1989. Lowest I have seen is -78F, no wind chill added. I am still hunting and doing aurora and ice art photography at -35F (no wind chill included) but past that me and the equipment loose all our happy thoughts. -20F to 0 is normal late October to mid March for hunting, colder I stay home. AR's are not happy in that cold. I was lucky and found a can of Canadian Military Arctic Grade weapons oil on eBay - thank you Canadian GI who stole it and sold it - its got a red tinge to it and stays oil like to -45F so far. I put it into small bottles and pass it to my friends. This is what is keeping my 300 Blackout and 5.56mm AR's functional. Most all other products become peanut butter. It's important to get the buffer tube clean of old oil before winter and lube it up with the light arctic grade - or you will have constant issues dropping the bolt on that first round.

    Once the temps get higher, like 30F, that arctic grade stuff vaporizes and leaves a film. The up side - it light enough to use for both cleaning and lube in the winter. I will dig out the actual can and post a pic!

    Kevin

    Two weeks ago I flash froze my AR to my hand. Only put it down for a minute but that was all it took. I'm looking at composite lowers and uppers to prevent that.... but..... it might not work. I recall a gun case in my shed with a piano hinge in the back - the plastic shrunk more than the metal - and the hinge bent outward every 6", could not open it. Brought it into the house and let it warm up and expand it went back like new. I expect the same thing might happen with a composite upper and lower - shrink to the bolt or shrink so the trigger group is hard to move? IDK but I will have an AR ready for next winter to try.

  3. #83
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    Arctic Grade Weapons OIl

    Quote Originally Posted by Glacierwolf View Post
    I live in North Pole, Alaska. Been living in Alaska's interior off and on since 1989. Lowest I have seen is -78F, no wind chill added. I am still hunting and doing aurora and ice art photography at -35F (no wind chill included) but past that me and the equipment loose all our happy thoughts. -20F to 0 is normal late October to mid March for hunting, colder I stay home. AR's are not happy in that cold. I was lucky and found a can of Canadian Military Arctic Grade weapons oil on eBay - thank you Canadian GI who stole it and sold it - its got a red tinge to it and stays oil like to -45F so far. I put it into small bottles and pass it to my friends. This is what is keeping my 300 Blackout and 5.56mm AR's functional. Most all other products become peanut butter. It's important to get the buffer tube clean of old oil before winter and lube it up with the light arctic grade - or you will have constant issues dropping the bolt on that first round.

    Once the temps get higher, like 30F, that arctic grade stuff vaporizes and leaves a film. The up side - it light enough to use for both cleaning and lube in the winter. I will dig out the actual can and post a pic!

    Kevin

    Two weeks ago I flash froze my AR to my hand. Only put it down for a minute but that was all it took. I'm looking at composite lowers and uppers to prevent that.... but..... it might not work. I recall a gun case in my shed with a piano hinge in the back - the plastic shrunk more than the metal - and the hinge bent outward every 6", could not open it. Brought it into the house and let it warm up and expand it went back like new. I expect the same thing might happen with a composite upper and lower - shrink to the bolt or shrink so the trigger group is hard to move? IDK but I will have an AR ready for next winter to try.
    Here is picture of the arctic grade weapons oil. Known as LAW - the Mil-14107 specifications are pretty sckookum - its still pours at -75F Arctic_oil.jpg

    Arctic_oil.jpg

  4. #84
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    Should show a picture of the back of the can with the warning:

    CAUTION: THIS LUBRICANT MAY SOFTEN PAINT, NATURAL RUBBER, PLASTIC OR NEOPRENE WITH WHICH IT COMES IN CONTACT.

    I am wondering how extractor o-rings are going to work with this type of lube.
    “The Trump Doctrine is ‘We’re America, Bitch.’ That’s the Trump Doctrine.”

  5. #85
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    Quote Originally Posted by mack7.62 View Post
    Should show a picture of the back of the can with the warning:

    CAUTION: THIS LUBRICANT MAY SOFTEN PAINT, NATURAL RUBBER, PLASTIC OR NEOPRENE WITH WHICH IT COMES IN CONTACT.

    I am wondering how extractor o-rings are going to work with this type of lube.
    Oh, good point - Well Made. I totally spaced those.

    I am 5 years using LAW and have not had an operational issue. I have a short distance place to fire just 1/2 mile from my home so I am testing all sorts of AR loads year round for suppressors, new projectiles etc. Mine are getting constant lube with this stuff before shooting and cleaning afterwards. However - I have NOT removed the extractor to check those little rubber do-hickies in years. I will tear all my BCG's apart (AR's are like cats, you cant have just one - then you have two, then three - before you know it, you are that nice old guy down the street that nobody knew had an armory). I will get back with pictures if any are deteriorated.

    Kevin

  6. #86
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    Quote Originally Posted by mack7.62 View Post
    Should show a picture of the back of the can with the warning:

    CAUTION: THIS LUBRICANT MAY SOFTEN PAINT, NATURAL RUBBER, PLASTIC OR NEOPRENE WITH WHICH IT COMES IN CONTACT.

    I am wondering how extractor o-rings are going to work with this type of lube.
    If you've got an extractor O-ring to soften, you're doing it wrong.
    INSIDE PLAN OF BOX
    1. ROAD-RUNNER LIFTS GLASS OF WATER- PULLING UP MATCH
    2. MATCH SCRATCHES ON MATCH-BOX
    3. MATCH LIGHTS FUSE TO TNT
    4. BOOM!
    5. HA-HA!!

    -WILE E. COYOTE, AUTHOR OF "EVERYTHING I NEEDED TO KNOW IN LIFE, I LEARNED FROM GOLDBERG & MURPHY"

    http://i115.photobucket.com/albums/n289/SgtSongDog/AR%20Carbine/DSC_0114.jpg
    I am American

  7. #87
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    Quote Originally Posted by MistWolf View Post
    If you've got an extractor O-ring to soften, you're doing it wrong.
    Yeah I would think you want it on the bolt, not in the bolt. Inside the carrier too would be a plus.
    11C2P '83-'87
    Airborne Infantry

  8. #88
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    Quote Originally Posted by ABNAK View Post
    Yeah I would think you want it on the bolt, not in the bolt. Inside the carrier too would be a plus.
    Heh! What I mean is, your AR should have the proper extractor spring and not use an O-ring.
    INSIDE PLAN OF BOX
    1. ROAD-RUNNER LIFTS GLASS OF WATER- PULLING UP MATCH
    2. MATCH SCRATCHES ON MATCH-BOX
    3. MATCH LIGHTS FUSE TO TNT
    4. BOOM!
    5. HA-HA!!

    -WILE E. COYOTE, AUTHOR OF "EVERYTHING I NEEDED TO KNOW IN LIFE, I LEARNED FROM GOLDBERG & MURPHY"

    http://i115.photobucket.com/albums/n289/SgtSongDog/AR%20Carbine/DSC_0114.jpg
    I am American

  9. #89
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    Quote Originally Posted by MistWolf View Post
    Heh! What I mean is, your AR should have the proper extractor spring and not use an O-ring.
    Well there's that too!
    11C2P '83-'87
    Airborne Infantry

  10. #90
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    Quote Originally Posted by Glacierwolf View Post
    Here is picture of the arctic grade weapons oil. Known as LAW - the Mil-14107 specifications are pretty sckookum - its still pours at -75F Arctic_oil.jpg

    Arctic_oil.jpg
    Your descriptions of what you do in your environment were quite interesting; thanks very much.

    That pic looks to be the exact same Castrol product that is the US Mil's replacement to Lubricant, Arctic Weapon (LAW). Some different tradenames (Brayco 855 is one formulation) but I've not seen this "in the wild" yet. Maybe I can just find a Castrol dealer and do a special order. I'd do what you did & find little vials & needle-oilers to make stocking stuffers for the kids' rifles as well. Perhaps I should go looking for another "enterprising" soldier on eBay... lol.

    Thanks again.
    Last edited by Badger52; 02-12-19 at 22:40.

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