Ice issues with rifles.

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Ice issues with rifles.

Post by bladeracer » 03 Jan 2022, 4:09 pm

I found this more interesting than I expected, but anything with fine tolerances that water can get into, and freeze is certainly going to cause issues.
https://youtu.be/LbjpIP5ShH0
But something I hadn't expected was a frozen hammer (20:30 in the video), pull trigger, sear drops, but hammer is held in place _only_ by frozen water. With the mag release and op-rod frozen he can't get the round out either, meaning the rifle will fire the round as soon as the hammer thaws out. At that point I would probably be pissing on the op-rod while avoiding getting any into the trigger group :-)

Also interesting that even if you can disengage the safety on a hot rifle, if you run it dry so the bolt locks open, and you can get the mag out, you might struggle to get the bolt to drop on a fresh mag anyway. I was very surprised that none of the AR platforms seemed to allow water into the bolt to freeze the firing pin solid, or perhaps the hammer strikes it hard enough that it's not an issue.

I have never seen snow, except from about 5km away, and have never experienced temperatures much lower than about -2C.

Any of you experienced firearm issues related to freezing conditions?
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Re: Ice issues with rifles.

Post by Oldbloke » 03 Jan 2022, 4:35 pm

Years ago when i was young and stupid, a couple of blizzards in gippsland, but dont recall those issues.
I did hear somewhere yonks ago places like alaska they only use very fine oil, say, sewing machine oil or ATF.
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Post by bigpete » 03 Jan 2022, 5:06 pm

Hunted in snow with a Lee Enfield on the Howitt snow plains years ago,zero issue. Trusty old things
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Post by Bills Shed » 03 Jan 2022, 7:41 pm

All I saw was some bloke who likes wearing a chest rig. Could not get past that. Since when did pouring water over a rifle mean immerse? I doubt anything would have worked if he had actually immersed them properly. Poor test. Immerse in a tub of water, shake out excess out of everything ( that is how we were taught anyway) and then left to stand and freeze.
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Post by bladeracer » 03 Jan 2022, 8:34 pm

Bills Shed wrote:All I saw was some bloke who likes wearing a chest rig. Could not get past that. Since when did pouring water over a rifle mean immerse? I doubt anything would have worked if he had actually immersed them properly. Poor test. Immerse in a tub of water, shake out excess out of everything ( that is how we were taught anyway) and then left to stand and freeze.


Nothing wrong with chest rigs, if you don't like them don't wear one.
He is a serving soldier though.
He first simulated rain becoming frozen in the action, which is not an unlikely situation, though I doubt even soldiers would leave a round chambered for so long. I think it would be more likely that you'd be trying to cycle the action to chamber a round than simply trying to disengage the safety. Then he poured water over them, simulating dropping your rifle in a creek and recovering it but not cleaning it, which killed everything except the AK's. Virtually all were stopped due to frozen fire-control groups, with several having the frozen hammer after being dropped off the sear. He explained that the second test is not very realistic as any soldier in extreme conditions well understands the urgency of cleaning moisture out of their rifle very quickly. But if you fell in with your rifle it's conceivable you would focus on saving your life before getting into your rifle, by which time it could be already frozen solid.
If he had simulated an immersed rifle he would've had a 40kg ice-block with a rifle inside :-)
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Post by bladeracer » 03 Jan 2022, 8:40 pm

bigpete wrote:Hunted in snow with a Lee Enfield on the Howitt snow plains years ago,zero issue. Trusty old things


Good point about the Lee enfield due to the lack of timber around the action. If the wood was frozen solid perhaps it wouldn't stand up to much recoil?

Snow doesn't necessarily mean extremely low temps does it, it can snow above ambient freezing point. This test was around -7C, which is well below the coldest I've ever experienced.
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Post by No1Mk3 » 03 Jan 2022, 10:03 pm

I've hunted in -15C with wind chills down to -20 or more in high alpine regions. Early efforts used a sporterized (stock only) K98k and my mate had a sporterized Lee Enfield, following advice from a Canadian friend who grew up in winter temperatures I simply cannot comprehend neither of us used any oil in the action and neither had any operating issues, Later I hunted Chamois and Thar in Southland using a Mini-14 and also ran it dry, again with no problems. I always wiped the rifle with a dry rag every morning and after any water intrusion. I feel the answer to freezing is just basic rifle care, if you fall through the ice in a crossing, pull the mag and wipe off the rounds, wipe over the action and bolt and you will continue to hunt so long as your goolies do not fall off, Cheers.
PS: That "I've hunted" was a long, time ago around '73 or so. These days I think snow is only for Xmas cards.
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Post by Bills Shed » 04 Jan 2022, 4:50 am

bladeracer wrote:
bigpete wrote:Hunted in snow with a Lee Enfield on the Howitt snow plains years ago,zero issue. Trusty old things


Good point about the Lee enfield due to the lack of timber around the action. If the wood was frozen solid perhaps it wouldn't stand up to much recoil?

Snow doesn't necessarily mean extremely low temps does it, it can snow above ambient freezing point. This test was around -7C, which is well below the coldest I've ever experienced.


I have spent many months in -10 to -40+ and wood actually holds up very well. It also feels better in the hand. Many plastics though just turn very brittle and fracture. I am sure the firearm manufacturers do a lot of testing to get that bit right.

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Post by womble » 04 Jan 2022, 5:20 am

Pretty confident my stoeger would perform in sub zero conditions.
But i doubt an Adler would.
Last edited by womble on 04 Jan 2022, 9:58 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by flashman » 04 Jan 2022, 9:41 am

And a Remington will RUST..... :lol:
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Post by wanneroo » 04 Jan 2022, 10:01 am

bladeracer wrote:
bigpete wrote:Hunted in snow with a Lee Enfield on the Howitt snow plains years ago,zero issue. Trusty old things


Good point about the Lee enfield due to the lack of timber around the action. If the wood was frozen solid perhaps it wouldn't stand up to much recoil?

Snow doesn't necessarily mean extremely low temps does it, it can snow above ambient freezing point. This test was around -7C, which is well below the coldest I've ever experienced.


Snow can be funky and quirky depending on the sun and elevation and such things. Often towards late winter if you have intense sun, the sun will reflect off of the snow and the heat can be hot enough it will be T-shirt weather, elevation can often intensify the effect. I've had sweat pouring off my forehead in such situations, especially if you are exerting yourself.

Snow can be an insulator as well so if you have a very clear night and snow covering everything after a storm, the temps can plunge dramatically. Perhaps snow and ice that was wet in the day can freeze up solid.

There is many different types of snow as well, heavy wet snow, dry powder snow, icy snow, pellet snow, large flake snow, etc.

If you've never been in some snow you need to try it out once in your life.

Nice thing about the AR 15 type rifles is they are relatively sealed to the elements. I've had mine covered in snow and shot it, no problem.

I'd say the biggest thing I would worry about is immersion and then letting it freeze up as done in the video.
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Post by bladeracer » 04 Jan 2022, 12:31 pm

That's true, wood is easier on the hands, and face, than frozen metal. But even above zero I'm generally wearing gloves and scrim net.

Nowhere in Aus gets anywhere near -40C surely?
A quick Google shows that it is possible to find -20 occasionally, which is well below what I expected, but I think I would be extremely unlikely to ever find myself out in that :-)

Apparently Lithgow is the coldest city in Oz so my SMLE's should feel right at home in our rare -2 down here :-) We get morning frosts and perhaps on five winter mornings per year the water pipes are frozen, so we can't pump water to the cows until the sun is up, but even this is more extreme than I spent my life in in NT and WA. It takes some getting used to :-)


Bills Shed wrote:
bladeracer wrote:
bigpete wrote:Hunted in snow with a Lee Enfield on the Howitt snow plains years ago,zero issue. Trusty old things


Good point about the Lee enfield due to the lack of timber around the action. If the wood was frozen solid perhaps it wouldn't stand up to much recoil?

Snow doesn't necessarily mean extremely low temps does it, it can snow above ambient freezing point. This test was around -7C, which is well below the coldest I've ever experienced.


I have spent many months in -10 to -40+ and wood actually holds up very well. It also feels better in the hand. Many plastics though just turn very brittle and fracture. I am sure the firearm manufacturers do a lot of testing to get that bit right.

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Post by womble » 04 Jan 2022, 12:43 pm

Ballarat ?
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Post by bladeracer » 04 Jan 2022, 2:01 pm

womble wrote:Ballarat ?


I have been to Ballarat a few times, but I don't recall it being cold, might not have been in the middle of winter though. Canberra sucks in winter. We don't have a heater in the bus and we went through places where I was wearing a plate carrier over a jacket, with an M65 over the top of that to try to stay warm. There is a degree of windchill though, the bus doesn't seal up very well :-)

Out on the nullabor I've been shivering on the bike in the morning fogs, crawling at 60kph, lying on the tank to avoid the wind.
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Post by womble » 04 Jan 2022, 2:29 pm

I just don’t like the cold. Below a certain point i can feel every injury I’ve ever had in my life. :D
I firmly believe that Ballarat is one of the coldest places on earth.
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Post by disco stu » 04 Jan 2022, 2:37 pm

I do want to spend a winter in Canada or similar just to experience it. I don't like the cold either though.

Funny though, I've known more than a few people from the US and Canada who freeze over here. One stays next door for weeks to months at a time, says he feels much colder here where our record lowest temp wouldn't be lower than about 3°C. Where he lives in Canada is snow and ice
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Post by Bills Shed » 04 Jan 2022, 5:55 pm

bladeracer wrote:That's true, wood is easier on the hands, and face, than frozen metal. But even above zero I'm generally wearing gloves and scrim net.

Nowhere in Aus gets anywhere near -40C surely?
A quick Google shows that it is possible to find -20 occasionally, which is well below what I expected, but I think I would be extremely unlikely to ever find myself out in that :-)

Apparently Lithgow is the coldest city in Oz so my SMLE's should feel right at home in our rare -2 down here :-) We get morning frosts and perhaps on five winter mornings per year the water pipes are frozen, so we can't pump water to the cows until the sun is up, but even this is more extreme than I spent my life in in NT and WA. It takes some getting used to :-)


Bills Shed wrote:
bladeracer wrote:
bigpete wrote:Hunted in snow with a Lee Enfield on the Howitt snow plains years ago,zero issue. Trusty old things


Good point about the Lee enfield due to the lack of timber around the action. If the wood was frozen solid perhaps it wouldn't stand up to much recoil?

Snow doesn't necessarily mean extremely low temps does it, it can snow above ambient freezing point. This test was around -7C, which is well below the coldest I've ever experienced.


I have spent many months in -10 to -40+ and wood actually holds up very well. It also feels better in the hand. Many plastics though just turn very brittle and fracture. I am sure the firearm manufacturers do a lot of testing to get that bit right.

Bill

Never said I was on mainland Australia / Tasmania. I was in territory claimed as Australian Territory. ;)

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Post by bladeracer » 04 Jan 2022, 6:12 pm

disco stu wrote:I do want to spend a winter in Canada or similar just to experience it. I don't like the cold either though.

Funny though, I've known more than a few people from the US and Canada who freeze over here. One stays next door for weeks to months at a time, says he feels much colder here where our record lowest temp wouldn't be lower than about 3°C. Where he lives in Canada is snow and ice


Perhaps we build for occasional cold days, and they build for everyday cold, double-glazing and heated floors sort of thing? They can probably lounge around the house in shorts regardless of outside conditions? I haven't worn shorts since I moved to Vic, I don't even own any, but in Perth a pair of Stubbies were my going-out clothes ;-)
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Post by wanneroo » 05 Jan 2022, 1:46 am

bladeracer wrote:That's true, wood is easier on the hands, and face, than frozen metal. But even above zero I'm generally wearing gloves and scrim net.

Nowhere in Aus gets anywhere near -40C surely?
A quick Google shows that it is possible to find -20 occasionally, which is well below what I expected, but I think I would be extremely unlikely to ever find myself out in that :-)

Apparently Lithgow is the coldest city in Oz so my SMLE's should feel right at home in our rare -2 down here :-) We get morning frosts and perhaps on five winter mornings per year the water pipes are frozen, so we can't pump water to the cows until the sun is up, but even this is more extreme than I spent my life in in NT and WA. It takes some getting used to :-)


Coldest temp ever recorded in Australia was -23C in the Snowy Mtns. I know in Tasmania on the central plain they can have some big cold dips. Orange I think might be considered one of the coldest cities in Australia.

I think the fact that Australia has water between it and Antarctica instead of land helps moderate temps. If it had a land bridge in place like we have with Canada it would be much colder in winter.
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Post by wanneroo » 05 Jan 2022, 1:51 am

womble wrote:I just don’t like the cold. Below a certain point i can feel every injury I’ve ever had in my life. :D
I firmly believe that Ballarat is one of the coldest places on earth.


I've been in Ballarat in early winter. It was cold at night for sure. I think they get some snow a couple times a year.

The cold actually promotes healing, so what you do is you run around nekkid rolling in the snow and then you jump in a hot sauna to warm up. Works great. Physiotherapists use hot/cold treatments all the time.

Looks like we might be getting our first snowstorm of the year this week, about 30cm expected and then the temps will plunge to -12C at night.
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Post by wanneroo » 05 Jan 2022, 1:58 am

disco stu wrote:I do want to spend a winter in Canada or similar just to experience it. I don't like the cold either though.

Funny though, I've known more than a few people from the US and Canada who freeze over here. One stays next door for weeks to months at a time, says he feels much colder here where our record lowest temp wouldn't be lower than about 3°C. Where he lives in Canada is snow and ice


Australia and New Zealand seem to have yet to hear of this thing we have called "insulation".

I have froze my ass off down under plenty and it comes down to the shoddy construction by comparison. American and Canadian homes are sealed up tight against drafts and heat loss. Some of these environments here in North America can swing between 40C and -40C in a year, so the house has to be able to take it. Technically North America has the most violent weather in the world. Even here at 41 North, I can get hit with a tropical hurricane from the Caribbean to a harsh snow storm out of Canada dumping over a meter of snow.
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Post by disco stu » 05 Jan 2022, 1:47 pm

We stayed at Bracebridge about 7 years ago with in law relatives. It was around 30-35c when we were there. The previous winter it was -40. I was shocked by that.

I've known a few Australians to live in Canada or the US for a while, and they've all said they overheat indoors in winter. Seems to temp is cranked right up, unlike Australia where we still wear the warm clothes inside.

Can't disagree with the leaky houses here either
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Post by dnedative » 13 Apr 2022, 11:42 pm

disco stu wrote:I do want to spend a winter in Canada or similar just to experience it. I don't like the cold either though.

Funny though, I've known more than a few people from the US and Canada who freeze over here. One stays next door for weeks to months at a time, says he feels much colder here where our record lowest temp wouldn't be lower than about 3°C. Where he lives in Canada is snow and ice


They must have short memories

The two coldest memories I have;
1. Image
Can still remember the pain in my hands taking gloves off to take the photo and it wasn't that bad, you get cold days in Australia skiing but a cold day in Canada will kill you if you go up wearing what you would here.

2. Buying fuel in Calgary, wasn't that bad, only -15c but was breezy, was murder.


Gets cold in Australia but not really
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