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Cold temperture lube

This is a discussion on Cold temperture lube within the Maintenance forums, part of the Firearm Forum category; I'm wondering if some folks here can provide some insight and guidance on the preferred procedure for pistol lubrication when shooting in cold temperatures. As ...


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Old December 4th, 2016, 04:07 AM   #1
 
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Cold temperture lube

I'm wondering if some folks here can provide some insight and guidance on the preferred procedure for pistol lubrication when shooting in cold temperatures. As a general rule I lube my pistols very sparingly and only in areas that show wear marks. Those areas get a drop of oil and then I spread it evenly with my fingers.

I have noticed that when I shoot at my usual outdoor range and the temperatures drop to 30 degrees or lower the slide on my semi auto's seems to get a bit sluggish at times. The pistols will almost chamber a round but at times it stops short of fulling chambering a round and I have to give it a nudge forward. As soon as the daily temperatures climb past 40 degrees this issue goes away. Is this an issue related to the fact that I"m using lube on the pistols when it's cold out or is it possibly related to the recoil spring assembly(s) rather than perhaps the oil getting to viscous between the frame and slide? I've noticed this behavior on my SR1911, RAP 45 as well as my M&P shield so it's not isolated to one pistol.

I'm using Hoppes gun oil and clean re re-lube my pistols between each range visit. As a important side note. I do not live in a free State, so I must transport my pistols in the trunk to my car. As a result they have technically been in the cold for an about an hour before I get to the range.



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Old December 4th, 2016, 04:49 AM   #2
 
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I would think a spray of rem oil and then wipe it down would be sufficient. Its not very viscous and shouldn't get to heavy in the cold.
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Old December 4th, 2016, 06:16 AM   #3
 
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I have noticed that various of my weapons like to be run "wet"- particularly ARs, 1911s and P08 Lugers. Others like Glock respond well to very lite lubing. I like any good high-tech clp type lube. I don't use Rem oil. I often shoot in 35 degree weather and have had no problems. WB
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Old December 4th, 2016, 08:02 AM   #4
 
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Back in N/E Wisconsin in the very cold weather we used a black graphite lubricant on the moving parts of a rifle (Semi-autos, and pumps) and never had a problem, I would imagine that it would work fine on pistols also. However after getting home and cleaning the weapon, I would recommend the usual lubricant after cleaning said firearm. I'm sure that Lowegan will have some input in this matter.
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Old December 4th, 2016, 10:42 AM   #5
 
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OP, how cold does it get in your part of New Jersey? Here in Wisconsin, in "normal" winter weather, there is no need for concern. Whatever lube is normally being used works just fine. If temps plunge significantly below zero, -10 F or colder, I would likely just go with no lube at all.
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Old December 4th, 2016, 11:36 AM   #6
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ditto1958 View Post
OP, how cold does it get in your part of New Jersey? Here in Wisconsin, in "normal" winter weather, there is no need for concern. Whatever lube is normally being used works just fine. If temps plunge significantly below zero, -10 F or colder, I would likely just go with no lube at all.

It depends on how the cold air blows in, but not too horrible. I'd say average winter temp the high can be 30 degrees and the lows into the low teens.

While that may not seem horrible the gun sits in the trunk of my car during transport of it's already a cold brick for an hour prior to being used. Ironically it seems to take a bit of shooting time before the slide starts to slow down which makes me think that what may be affecting the lube is the added wind chill which can be rough at the rage I shoot at. The range is located further north of my home and is usually about 15 degrees colder do to being in a valley between two mountains which gets very little sun light in the winter, but does get a wicked cross wind.

I'm going to try a bit of an experiment once it gets really cold out. I have two lubes, Hoppes Synthetic, Hoppes "traditional" oil and M-Pro 7 lube that a friend gave me. I'm going to put a small amount of each lube in some clear and set them out for four hours on a very cold evening to see which one thickens up the most and the least.
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Old December 4th, 2016, 01:00 PM   #7
 
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Nothing new here. Picking a lubricant that works in your environment is an issue that has been around about as long as guns have been around.

I will say that some oils are better in cold temps than others. People that shoot in very hot areas tend to use grease and people that shoot in cold areas tend to use light oils.

One of the best cold weather lubes I've ever found is a product called "Clenzoil". It is a very light oil and it works wonderfully. I use it anywhere oil is appropriate. It is bit of a regional thing and not always easy to find but I've never seen it fail.
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Old December 4th, 2016, 01:05 PM   #8
 
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Do you wear insulated gloves? I have found that it's really easy to have thicker gloves ride the slide just enough to affect feeding.
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Old December 4th, 2016, 03:40 PM   #9
 
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I think the temperature of the ammo plays into the performance of the firearm more than a properly lubed firearm in cold weather.
Fairly easy to find data that backs up hot (temperature) ammo is faster than cold ammo.


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Old December 4th, 2016, 04:34 PM   #10
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I recommend using virtually no oil in cold climates. All oil will gum up with age even in warm climates. Of course when it gets colder, oil will thicken and actually increase friction rather than reduce it. If your gun gets sluggish in cold weather, it's a sure sign you are using way too much oil. In warm seasons, I apply a tiny dot of oil then spread it over the parts until they feel dry. This is enough lubricant to prevent rusting and wear. Besides .... do you really think your gun will wear out without being dripping wet with oil? People need to get over the old military saying .... "If it moves, oil it. If it doesn't move, paint it."

Short story .... I went on a "once in a lifetime" moose hunt in Alaska back in the late 60's . After a couple days of hard hunting in sub-freezing temps, I finally got a legal sized moose in my scope. I pulled the trigger only to hear a slight thump. Of course the moose vanished and I was really pissed. When I got back to camp, I washed my bolt assembly in a can of gasoline. Once the very token amount of oil had been removed, it worked OK. I never did get another shot at Bowinkle.
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Old December 4th, 2016, 04:54 PM   #11
 
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I use graphite in the cold.
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Old December 5th, 2016, 12:53 PM   #12
 
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Iowegan,

I agree 100% with you, the cold temps are probabaly making the lube a bit tacky and making the slide drag a bit. Next trip to the range I'm going to run my pistol(s) without any lube to see what happens.
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Old December 5th, 2016, 02:57 PM   #13
 
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How about something like Mobil 1?
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Old December 5th, 2016, 04:08 PM   #14
 
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Mobil 1 is what I use in normal conditions, and it does say it keeps flowing to -40. But I think if I was in temps like that I would run it dry or with graphite, but Mobil 1 would be a neat test to try out.
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Old December 5th, 2016, 05:31 PM   #15
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob 5801 View Post
Mobil 1 is what I use in normal conditions, and it does say it keeps flowing to -40. But I think if I was in temps like that I would run it dry or with graphite, but Mobil 1 would be a neat test to try out.
If it's -40 out this NJ guy isn't going out anywhere.
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