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Posted: 1/18/2006 6:25:57 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/18/2006 6:31:27 PM EDT by Hokie]
We all see the AR platform being used in the sandbox, in the woods, and a variety of venues. What you don't see alot of, are AR's being used in COLD climates. After spending some range time with my M4 the other day I noticed a few unpleasantries with comfort but nothing that impaired the gun's function. By cold I guess I'm referring to my neck of the woods....usually between 0 and 30 degrees. Hasn't gotten that low yet, but I'm sure we'll have a few snaps coming our way.

The metal parts get COLD! The plastic parts get extremely rigid. My fingers didn't fair so well trying to get the Vltor caps off my modstock, but they came off at the marginal cost of some numb fingers. The heat from the barrel really shows itself miraging in front of your sights. And on the subject of heat, a wicked hot barrel makes a great handwarmer if you place your hands over the FF RAS.

Snow melts on contact assuming your AR has sent a mag's worth of ammo downrange and thus makes your gun wet as the white stuff falls - no big deal but wet hands get cold. Snow does build up however on your irons...but it's nothing a quick blast of air can't handle...like blowing out birthday candles.

Your brass dissappears into the white stuff on the ground....so make sure you either scrape your range area off before you shoot or be ready to walk away - you won't find em all and if you do....again - cold hands.

I'd say cold hands was the biggest pain in the ass.

#1 lesson.....when shooting your AR15 in the winter - wear gloves.

Other than that - I think some winter camo might be in order for one of my AR15's.....it is white around here for 1/2 the year!

Anyway, figured I'd do my share and post something in the technical forums to counter all the nonsense floating around the GD lately.
Link Posted: 1/18/2006 6:29:22 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Hokie:


Anyway, figured I'd do my share and post something in the technical forums to counter all the nonsense floating around the GD lately.




Thankyou sir!!!!!!
Link Posted: 1/18/2006 6:30:01 PM EDT
Wimp


Joking -

I think they are more fun in the snow.


(with gloves)
Link Posted: 1/18/2006 6:36:38 PM EDT
White up here too. Took my Bushy carbon 15 out, worked fine. I wore gloves , but having lots of mags sure is nice. Reloading mags is a pain in the cold. No heat mirage for me, the YHM tube has lots of holes. I like the large ,easy to use controls on the AR. Take it winter camping with me every year. it sleeps outside with me.
Link Posted: 1/18/2006 6:43:34 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/19/2006 6:37:38 AM EDT by Hokie]

Originally Posted By Rocky9_5:
White up here too. Took my Bushy carbon 15 out, worked fine. I wore gloves , but having lots of mags sure is nice. Reloading mags is a pain in the cold. No heat mirage for me, the YHM tube has lots of holes. I like the large ,easy to use controls on the AR. Take it winter camping with me every year. it sleeps outside with me.



On the subject of simplicity....I think in cold weather the simpler AR design is preferable. I'm building one now that will cater to just that and . Less moving parts, no batteries, no scope caps, no buttons, etc....

It'll be an 18" dissipator set up with a rifle length gas, standard A2 handguards, Troy Ind Medieval brake, A3 upper with a removable carry handle, Redi-Mag, winter trigger guard, A2 pistol grip, grip plug to store ear plugs, 2-stage Armalite trigger (cause I have one sitting collecting dust), KNS pins, JFS 2-point patrol sling, and a Vltor A1 Clubfoot sans tubes. I'll have a removalbe scope mount on hand if I ever wanted to toss a scope on.

Should be built by the middle of February

Link Posted: 1/18/2006 7:12:29 PM EDT
not sure how many people can really use this tip... but a cold weather lessons learned: When transiting from water to land in COLD weather, the AR can ice over severly - to the point of not functioning. If you can get a few rounds off, it thaws itself out nicely, but then can freeze up like a brick.

Suggestion: If the air temp is south of doubel digits, the rifle should stay bagged when submerged.
Link Posted: 1/18/2006 7:12:42 PM EDT
Yes, the cold weather did put a damper on the time I spend outdoors shooting.

But it sure is fun watching the frozen tundra fly 15 feet in the air.
Link Posted: 1/18/2006 7:27:32 PM EDT
It got really, i mean REALLY cold here in Miami last weekend and I still went out shooting. The temps must have been about 60 above. You're right about the FF RAS being a good hand warmer!
Link Posted: 1/18/2006 7:41:28 PM EDT
I've done my share of cold weather shooting and then best thing I did was buy a pair of mittens and then a pair of warm thin gloves. You can wear the mittens over the gloves and when it is time to shoot, just take the mittens off and shoot with gloves only. Done shooting, put mittens back on.

Works great.

Bare hands a 0 F sucks.
Link Posted: 1/18/2006 8:18:42 PM EDT
Didn't the early AR15/M16s have trouble in cold weather?
Not trying to start trouble, just looking for a cause/solution.
Link Posted: 1/18/2006 9:08:52 PM EDT
During the FBI tests wasn't exposure to -20F part of the test? It was exposure for 1 or 2 hours then fired I believe. Wonder who all passed this test?

The biggest problem I have noticed is the COLD metal on the standard collapsable stock buffer tube when resting my cheek on it. The A2 stock wasn't nearly as bad. Thats one of the big reasons I'm upgrading to an M93b stock on my carbine.
Link Posted: 1/18/2006 9:09:31 PM EDT
Used to ski in the Alps with either a M16A2 or M4A1. Never had a problem during winter warfare training. A2 was cumbersome while skiing when worn across the front in the ready position. Make sure that you put a muzzle cap on the FH or tape the bore closed. When outdoors watch for condensation buildup when brought indoors wipe down and clean.

CD
Link Posted: 1/18/2006 9:12:55 PM EDT
I like shooting outside in the winter, the one problem most people do have though is that CLP will gel up and cause some operating problems.............I use militech, so I bring them out dry and have problem free days at the range.


Oh yeah, one more thing is to keep a couple packets of handwarmers in the range box
Link Posted: 1/18/2006 9:39:30 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Gunzilla:
not sure how many people can really use this tip... but a cold weather lessons learned: When transiting from water to land in COLD weather, the AR can ice over severly - to the point of not functioning. If you can get a few rounds off, it thaws itself out nicely, but then can freeze up like a brick.

Suggestion: If the air temp is south of doubel digits, the rifle should stay bagged when submerged.



Just do what the Russians do and piss on the action.
Link Posted: 1/18/2006 9:59:36 PM EDT
ya that would probably freeze the action if it was cold enough. i watched water coming out of a hot water line freezing as soon as it hit the air when i was goose hunting in canada few weeks before x-mas.
Link Posted: 1/19/2006 12:12:29 AM EDT
I'm from FL. but moved to Or. a few weeks ago. The first time I went shooting in Or. it was in the snow and it was not the same as back home. My hands were ok but my feet froze over fast. I did most of my shooting in the back of my truck. There were no firearm problems. Some pics of that day.





Link Posted: 1/19/2006 12:53:47 AM EDT

Originally Posted By DigDug:
I've done my share of cold weather shooting and then best thing I did was buy a pair of mittens and then a pair of warm thin gloves. You can wear the mittens over the gloves and when it is time to shoot, just take the mittens off and shoot with gloves only. Done shooting, put mittens back on.

Works great.

Bare hands a 0 F sucks.



Actually you dont have to do that. The platform was designed to be shot in extreme temperatures. When I was in the Army we had these, extreme weather mitts with a trigger finger




The detent pin shown lower right....



can be pushed in, and the trigger guard housing swung back to the pistol grip for gloved shooting.




Link Posted: 1/19/2006 1:17:40 AM EDT
The military uses alcohol based lubricants in areas of cold weather. Fantastic stuff. Just remember that the alcohol will evaporate and you will have to lube more often.

(It looks like the field problems in Asiago Italy finally paid off for me.)

Just where you can find them I wouldn’t know.

By the way:
The Trigger Guard Assembly is supposed to be able to swing down and out of the way when gloves or mittens are used.
Link Posted: 1/19/2006 1:53:45 AM EDT
One thing I noticed when shooting in 13 degree weather last weekend: Shells would eject, melt the ice they fell on, and freeze in place.
Link Posted: 1/19/2006 2:02:29 AM EDT

Originally Posted By BSheppard:
I'm from FL. but moved to Or. a few weeks ago. The first time I went shooting in Or. it was in the snow and it was not the same as back home. My hands were ok but my feet froze over fast. I did most of my shooting in the back of my truck. There were no firearm problems. Some pics of that day.

i2.photobucket.com/albums/y30/bs101177/Cabin1.jpg

i2.photobucket.com/albums/y30/bs101177/Cabin2.jpg

i2.photobucket.com/albums/y30/bs101177/Cabin-Dec.jpg





Beautiful pix, Shep

And you're right, that's a big difference


So when you suggest "shooting in the back of my truck"....you meant from the backseat?

Roughing it, huh?

Or "acclimating"
Link Posted: 1/19/2006 2:18:46 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Blue_Genes:
One thing I noticed when shooting in 13 degree weather last weekend: Shells would eject, melt the ice they fell on, and freeze in place.

Which is a good reason to buy and use brass catchers.
Link Posted: 1/19/2006 3:52:11 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/19/2006 3:52:25 AM EDT by Lancelot]

Originally Posted By Stickman:

Originally Posted By Hokie:


Anyway, figured I'd do my share and post something technical or useful in the technical forums to counter all the nonsense floating around the technical forums lately.




Thankyou sir!!!!!!





Fixed it for you.

And thanks.
Link Posted: 1/19/2006 3:55:58 AM EDT
Cold weather is one of the reasons I like the MagPul M93B stock so much. My cheek weld is on the plastic/synthetic extension and not on a metal extension. If your rifle rides in the trunk or other unheated portion of the car, the extension - and other metal parts - get cold in a hurry. Even if it is in the heated portion, it cools down very quickly once its outside for any amount of time.

I also really like the MagPul trigger guard as it allows my gloved finger in, without having to find a tool and or take the time to flip down the stock trigger guard.
Link Posted: 1/19/2006 4:05:38 AM EDT

Originally Posted By DigDug:
I've done my share of cold weather shooting and then best thing I did was buy a pair of mittens and then a pair of warm thin gloves. You can wear the mittens over the gloves and when it is time to shoot, just take the mittens off and shoot with gloves only. Done shooting, put mittens back on.

Works great.

Bare hands a 0 F sucks.



I use WW2 era trigger finger mittens with wool liners. Work like a charm.
Link Posted: 1/19/2006 4:21:38 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/19/2006 4:22:10 AM EDT by TrijiCog]
My only problem with cold weather shooting is when I take my gloves off to reload mags.Other than that,a thermos of Kona coffee is the only thing I need.
Link Posted: 1/19/2006 4:34:05 AM EDT
This has turned into a rather informative thread....cool.
Link Posted: 1/19/2006 4:36:38 AM EDT
I remedied the cold stock weld problem on my AR’s by adding a piece of nice soft loop Velcro to my stocks. Quib has sensitive cheeks ya know!



Link Posted: 1/19/2006 4:42:01 AM EDT

Originally Posted By CavVet:

Originally Posted By DigDug:
I've done my share of cold weather shooting and then best thing I did was buy a pair of mittens and then a pair of warm thin gloves. You can wear the mittens over the gloves and when it is time to shoot, just take the mittens off and shoot with gloves only. Done shooting, put mittens back on.

Works great.

Bare hands a 0 F sucks.



Actually you dont have to do that. The platform was designed to be shot in extreme temperatures. When I was in the Army we had these, extreme weather mitts with a trigger finger

www.angiesoutdoor.ca/military_surplus/canadian/trigger_large.jpg


The detent pin shown lower right....

www.kevinholman.com/byor/lower/trigger.jpg

can be pushed in, and the trigger guard housing swung back to the pistol grip for gloved shooting.







+1

Been there CavVet! As a Cav Vet myself we all know rifle qualification takes place in ALL types of weather! The way the CAV thinks, the colder and shittier…….the better!

Quib
D Trp 1-1 CAV
Link Posted: 1/19/2006 4:42:38 AM EDT

Originally Posted By QUIB:
I remedied the cold stock weld problem on my AR’s by adding a piece of nice soft loop Velcro to my stocks. Quib has sensitive cheeks ya know!

www.hunt101.com/img/364313-big.jpg

www.hunt101.com/img/367382-big.jpg



Does that stay in the low temps? I'd imagine anything sticky would crust up and peel off, no?
Link Posted: 1/19/2006 4:45:19 AM EDT
I've gone shooting with my AR outside during the winter here in Illinois and the temp was 23 degrees + wind chill. Obviously the AR didn't care about the windchill but I did. I put about 200 rounds of XM193 down the pipe of my 20" ACOG equipped AR with no problems whatsoever.The rifle was lubed with a very, very thin coat of FP-10 but I might have been able to get by with no lube at all. I bundled up in my heavy Columbia winter parka, knit cap, face mask, goggles (which helped quite a bit) and wore some Hatch neoprene shooting gloves. The Hatch gloves are light enough to make operating and reloading the AR easy and keep my hands from getting too cold (not numb). Out here in the Mid West, the wind is what really makes you cold so the more skin you cover well, the less the cold wind drains heat from you. I would like to do some winter shooting this year but the weather has been too nice really.
Link Posted: 1/19/2006 4:45:48 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Hokie:

Originally Posted By QUIB:
I remedied the cold stock weld problem on my AR’s by adding a piece of nice soft loop Velcro to my stocks. Quib has sensitive cheeks ya know!

www.hunt101.com/img/364313-big.jpg

www.hunt101.com/img/367382-big.jpg



Does that stay in the low temps? I'd imagine anything sticky would crust up and peel off, no?




Haven’t had a problem yet. This is aircraft quality Velcro I picked up from work a few years ago, and it sticks like a son of a bitch! But I would think after a good degreasing any Velcro should stick. It’s at least worth a try.
Link Posted: 1/19/2006 4:51:03 AM EDT
Anything is worth a try. Maybe the trick is to have a clean dry surface when applying it.

I was thinking about this subject alot last night after I logged off....and one thing that I was really a fan of was the Redi-Mag. It keeps out all the crud, snow, and water from getting into that spare mag. With gloves on it's a pain to fumble for another mag (even if you're wearing thin rubber gloves). The Redi-Mag makes for a quick mag change out if you're all bundled up.
Link Posted: 1/19/2006 5:11:24 AM EDT
Link Posted: 1/19/2006 5:22:22 AM EDT

Originally Posted By BSheppard:
I'm from FL. but moved to Or. a few weeks ago. The first time I went shooting in Or. it was in the snow and it was not the same as back home. My hands were ok but my feet froze over fast. I did most of my shooting in the back of my truck. There were no firearm problems. Some pics of that day.

i2.photobucket.com/albums/y30/bs101177/Cabin1.jpg

i2.photobucket.com/albums/y30/bs101177/Cabin2.jpg

i2.photobucket.com/albums/y30/bs101177/Cabin-Dec.jpg



Aaaahh, the beautiful Oregon. Welcome to our state, glad to have you.
Link Posted: 1/19/2006 5:33:48 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/19/2006 5:34:43 AM EDT by Rocky9_5]

Originally Posted By Matt_B:
I've gone shooting with my AR outside during the winter here in Illinois and the temp was 23 degrees + wind chill. Obviously the AR didn't care about the windchill but I did. I put about 200 rounds of XM193 down the pipe of my 20" ACOG equipped AR with no problems whatsoever.The rifle was lubed with a very, very thin coat of FP-10 but I might have been able to get by with no lube at all. I bundled up in my heavy Columbia winter parka, knit cap, face mask, goggles (which helped quite a bit) and wore some Hatch neoprene shooting gloves. The Hatch gloves are light enough to make operating and reloading the AR easy and keep my hands from getting too cold (not numb). Out here in the Mid West, the wind is what really makes you cold so the more skin you cover well, the less the cold wind drains heat from you. I would like to do some winter shooting this year but the weather has been too nice really.



Yep, those hatch gloves work well. I use the neoprene , but also have a pair of lined frisk gloves that are leather. Some of the warmest gloves I have ever used.
I like the velcro on the stock idea, may need to try that.
Link Posted: 1/19/2006 5:48:32 AM EDT
I took mine out Whitetail hunting this year. I cleaned it up and used a synthetic lube. It functioned fine and I bagged a young buck with it.
I didn't try any torture tests. When I get my A4 back from Armalite, I plan on putting a pile of rounds thru it in the cold.
Link Posted: 1/19/2006 5:59:12 AM EDT
I've been wondering what it's like to shoot in the severe cold, as where I am right now it's -30C, and miserable outside even in "heavy" winter clothes. When the wind blows it kills.
Link Posted: 1/19/2006 6:06:19 AM EDT
-Dressing in layers is always a good idea. It's better to be too hot and have to remove layers, then be cold and SOL.

-wear semi-thin neoprene gloves with leather gloves overtop. The neoprene keeps you warm, while the leather helps block out wind, ect. Again LAYERS...the more, the better.

-If your nose/ face like to go numb from the cold...wear these:

They are basic safety respirator masks. They are cheap, and can be found at any dept./hardware store.
Your face will NOT get cold if you wear one of these. Plus, they stay put and don't slide off your nose like scarfs sometimes do.

YMMV, ect.
Link Posted: 1/19/2006 6:23:41 AM EDT
Don't forget to adjust your sight elevation up in cold weather.
Link Posted: 1/19/2006 6:31:11 AM EDT
I have some Glo-Mitts to use when I go shooting in the cold, just gloves with the last 1/2 of the finger exposed, but has a mitten flap to pull over the exposed skin. They are wool/Thinsulate insulated. As for lubrication, I am pretty stingy with the CLP anyway, so my thin coats of lube seem to work. My shooting has been only to the mid-20's.
Link Posted: 1/19/2006 6:36:13 AM EDT

Originally Posted By dangerdan:
Don't forget to adjust your sight elevation up in cold weather.



good point, if iron sights are preffered an elevation adjustable rear sight would be the way to go.

Link Posted: 1/19/2006 6:48:56 AM EDT
Good topic.

I am kind of use to southern weather since I lived in Louisiana almost all my life. I went on my first prairie dog hunt last year, and it was 18 degrees F for two of the days, and it stayed below freezing the whole week. I was freezing my ass off!!! I was layered up the best that I could, but probably not the way northern people do. All I remember is my hands were freezing and my face was sunburned!!!

This year I will be better prepared!!!

My two ARs functioned Flawlessly!!! A Colt and RRA....
Link Posted: 1/19/2006 7:16:46 AM EDT
Im up in the North too, seems the less lube you use the better off you are. I was wondering, has anyone here looked into thin Ski gloves as I'm having issues with being able to feel what im touching. Winter gloves are so bulky and you fumble around while trying to reload and stuff. Here's what im talking about. Outdoor Research Glove Anyone use these or anything similar?
Link Posted: 1/19/2006 7:31:48 AM EDT
Talking about cold stocks... I have the older type aluminum stock on my carbine. That velcro pad does look like a good idea.

BTW, the old UDT handbook says not to oil the weapon at all because the oil cause it to operate at a slow rate and eventually cause it to malfunction. Not sure that I completely agree, but too much oil would definitely gum up the works in cold weather.
Link Posted: 1/19/2006 7:31:56 AM EDT

Originally Posted By USAF_Hop_N_Pop:
It got really, i mean REALLY cold here in Miami last weekend and I still went out shooting. The temps must have been about 60 above. You're right about the FF RAS being a good hand warmer!


I hate you
Link Posted: 1/19/2006 7:35:45 AM EDT
The lube/CLP I use for all my firearms is FP-10 and, IIRC, it's good to go down to -45 degrees. Still, I didn't use much.
Link Posted: 1/19/2006 7:55:31 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Matt_B:
The lube/CLP I use for all my firearms is FP-10 and, IIRC, it's good to go down to -45 degrees. Still, I didn't use much.



Good point worth noting
Link Posted: 1/19/2006 8:04:13 AM EDT
During the winters in Germany (when we did most of the field trips) we just lightly lubed the weapons. too much would thicken up fast. a light coat and they worked even with blanks.

I did a full "basic load" dump with my M16 with blanks and at -20 I didn't have any problems. It did warm my hands quite nicely.

I never got into the trigger finger mittens, I just used the standard "GI" black leather gloves with the wool inserts.

Just after basic I made a mistake to drop some "bradley motor oil" into the bolt and it got so thick that it would not cycle at all.
Link Posted: 1/19/2006 8:06:16 AM EDT

Originally Posted By CB1:
During the winters in Germany (when we did most of the field trips) we just lightly lubed the weapons. too much would thicken up fast. a light coat and they worked even with blanks.

I did a full "basic load" dump with my M16 with blanks and at -20 I didn't have any problems. It did warm my hands quite nicely.

I never got into the trigger finger mittens, I just used the standard "GI" black leather gloves with the wool inserts.

Just after basic I made a mistake to drop some "bradley motor oil" into the bolt and it got so thick that it would not cycle at all.



That's what I use now, they work pretty good, though I wouldn't mind a more water resistant yet tight & textured outer shell.
Link Posted: 1/19/2006 8:27:37 AM EDT
Living up in Canada and being in the forces I've shot my C7 plenty in extremely cold weather (as low as -40). I just keep it really dry and keep some graphite around in case it starts to gum up. The only problem I've had so far is that when loaded mags are in the cold for days at a time the rounds can sometime freeze to the mag. When this happens I've had to actually use my forward assist to chamber the first round and then I don't have any problems after that. I also fold down the trigger guard so that I can wear my artic mitts while firing (trigger mitts just aren't warm enough up here). I'm sure that my groups open up due to poorer trigger control but I'm well within one minute of man. FYI supposedly Diemaco tweaked the M16 design to function more reliably in cold climates but I don't know for sure.
Link Posted: 1/19/2006 9:58:36 AM EDT
Tag for later reading.

WIZZO
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