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Cold weather airsoft shooting


K31Scout
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I have Ben Stoegers dry fire book coming soon for Christmas and...

I'd like to train with a propane or green gas pistol in my unheated garage this winter which means shooting in sub freezing temps. From all I've read in the last couple of hours on the net it looks like that won't be advisable due to damage to the gun and overall poor performance.

What I can do is use a heating pad and an electric heater in a box to warm the mags and gas cylinders but wonder about cool down while the gun is in my holster for a few minutes between warm ups.

Anyone have experience with a quality TM or other blowback airsoft pistol in 0F-30F weather? I'm in northern MI and it's unusually warm now but that's gonna change.

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I'll have the big door and service door open so ventilation should be ok and wouldn't make a difference with temps inside the garage; might even make it warmer late in the day.

I'm tempted by the Walmart CO2 M&P9 for $40 but have a feeling it won't last long. It's an option for airsoft introduction though.

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It don't get quite that cold locally but when I do practice, I keep loaded magazines under a heating pad.

Warming up the gas allows me to fire a few extra BB's per magazine charge.

Never noticed any change to the gun itself due to the ambient temperature.

Future plans call for buying the compressor adapter kit from TacTrainers.com

http://www.tactrainers.com/pages/other-products-services

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First off, you won't get sick of propane.

We have 15 people shooting indoors at our IPSC Air matches, and it's not a problem.

Be careful heating propane bottles with a heating pad.... There is no need to get them that hot.

Just leave your fill bottle in the warm house, and don't stand outside with your loaded mags too long before you use them. It should be ok.

During filling the mags, a cold mag and a warm bottle is the best scenario. liquid propane will more easily flow into the mag. Then, I usually stick the mags in my pocket for a few min and they are GTG.

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It don't get quite that cold locally but when I do practice, I keep loaded magazines under a heating pad.

Warming up the gas allows me to fire a few extra BB's per magazine charge.

Never noticed any change to the gun itself due to the ambient temperature.

Future plans call for buying the compressor adapter kit from TacTrainers.com

http://www.tactrainers.com/pages/other-products-services

I have a compressor and that could be an option but I'm not keen on having a hose attached while drawing. They say the hose is super flexible though.

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First off, you won't get sick of propane.

We have 15 people shooting indoors at our IPSC Air matches, and it's not a problem.

Be careful heating propane bottles with a heating pad.... There is no need to get them that hot.

Just leave your fill bottle in the warm house, and don't stand outside with your loaded mags too long before you use them. It should be ok.

During filling the mags, a cold mag and a warm bottle is the best scenario. liquid propane will more easily flow into the mag. Then, I usually stick the mags in my pocket for a few min and they are GTG.

Good info, thanks.

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I have a TM Hi Capa and use multiple magazines and shoot a few BB's, change mags (putting the used, 'cooling', mag in a warm pocket). Allows the mag temp to rise enough to get more out of it than if you just use a single mag.

I also recently purchased a WE CO2 Hi Capa magazine and Crosman powerlets. This works well in the TM. It is better than GG/propane in lower temps, but does still suffer from 'cooldown', especially in fast shooting.

It's the nature of the beast - using any liquified gas as a propellant, as airsoft does, you are going to run into the 'cooldown' effect. I have found that even pre-heating the mags isn't a great solution - the first few shots are ok, but after that, because the ambient temp is low, the liquid gas cannot get enough heat into it to raise the vapour pressure back to where it was. And the cycle continues...downwards.

The only way I'm aware of to eliminate this is to use regulated compressed air, like the Asian Steel Challenge Shooters do. (Some good Youtube vids. of them in action. - the airline to the mag. doesn't seem to affect their ability to shoot...)

Cheers,

Ultraweasel

BTW, you won't hurt the gun in the cold. Thinner lube may help if you have cycling issues.

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  • 2 weeks later...

What psi do you set the air to?

From the TacTrainers website:

What is required: An air compressor which should have a pressure regulator and a tank. Most guns will need about 100 p.s.i. constant, some wide-body 1911's need more air and run at about 135 p.s.i. As long as the compressor puts out enough pressure to run the gun it will work, the size of the tank will determine how often the compressor has to run to stay ahead of consumption. Best performance is a 150 to 200 p.s.i. compressor with an 8 gal tank or larger, ( 200 p.s.i. with 16 gal tank will run a gun for 45 minutes to an hour on residual tank pressure without the compressor running at all )

Edited by Flatland Shooter
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Ha,

Cold weather is the UK! ;)

200 psi is (in my opinion) pushing it a bit, especially if you run a plastic slide.

It will work. For a while. Then it will break.

From my limited experience, airsoft pistols are quite fragile - when you start modifying them, they can, and do, start to become erratic in their performance. I currently have issues with shot to shot consistency due to low temperatures...

One thing you can try (with a TM HiCapa) is to put a BB at the base of the mainspring housing, to preload the mainspring.

It has helped both my propane mags and my CO2 mag.

Try it and let me know how you get on.

Cheers,

Ultraweasel.

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  • 6 months later...

Hi Guys 'n Gals,

Been a while since I last posted, but I've just converted my TM Hi Capa to HPA and wondered if anybody was interested in how it performs and what I used for the conversion?

Being in the UK, especially outdoors, using heating blankets, etc. to warm magazines is, quite frankly, just annoying.

I was on the verge of giving up with propane/GG - Venting after a few rapid fire shots was putting me off.

Tried a WE CO2 mag - it was better, but not great... :(

So, having seen YouTube vids. of the Asian Steel Shooters using HPA (High pressure compressed air ~ 3000 psi) I thought - "I will have some of that".

Now, I must admit that I already have a 7 Ltr. Scuba tank (300 Bar / 4500 psi) for charging my PCP .22 air rifle, so some of the cost has already been offset. :)

So, how to do it and what to buy?

I know Tactrainers offer a setup using a compressor, but being awkward, I didn't want to be tied to a compressor that I don't have...

So my 'version' comprises a 13 c.i. (~0.23 Lt) 3000 psi paintball HPA tank (with built in ~800 psi output regulator - designed for direct paintball co2 replacement - co2 vapour pressure is approx. 800 psi). (Guerrila Air / now First Strike - USA Made).

Then you need a secondary regulator to reduce the pressure to an appropriate level for your airsoft pistol. I purchased a Ninja LPR adjustable regulator (0 to 160 psi) (USA Made)

I wanted QD connections from regulator output to gun magazine connection. They are NPT QD's - wanted QD self sealing connectors for use at the magazine end. They are a bit bulkier than the non self sealing, but I can live with that. The airline tube I bought was 'super flexible' 4mm OD dia. nylon. Initial testing indicates that you don't notice the tubing at all... :)

The connection to the pistol magazine is where you need the specific adapters - Some conversions require you to drill / tap for standard connectors. I purchased QD to TM mag threaded adapters (So you can convert back to GG / Propane if you want to).

I purchased two brands in the UK - the first two were aluminium (aluminum for your US guys :)), the second pair are stainless and beautifully made. I will buy more of them.

So, how well does the HPA system work? Well, all I can say is - forget GG/Propane! I guess even if you do IPSC, some of your practice will be static?

For steel / Bianchi plate, HPA airsoft practice works!

From my initial testing, I can get around ~ 200 shots from the GA 13 c.i. bottle at 3000 psi.

All I need to do now is make a belt mounted 'holster' to carry my mini HPA tank on my shooting belt so I can run about without getting tangled up in the pipework! :)

Would any of you guys be interested in me posting pics. of my setup?

It's by no means perfect, but it is functional and works...

Cheers,

Ultraweasel.

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  • 1 month later...
  • 2 months later...

In the UK this time of year we either fill a lunch bag (foil lined type) with a hot water bottle and placed newly gassed mags in there OR, some guys have used the lipo warmer bags and made battery operated heater boxes, you can set the temp on them to what works best.

Sent from my SM-N9005 using Tapatalk

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  • 2 weeks later...

When airsoft first became popular, there weren't many if any versions that used the small CO2 cartridges.

But that's all changed, now.

And not just for airsoft, but pellet and bbgun versions, too.

That's the only ones I buy these days.

Very convenient and compatible for use indoors, even in a small room.

 

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  • 1 year later...

Kind of an old post now, but I'll second what others have said about c02 cartridges. They're much more weather-temperature resistant, less hassle. Only issue really is that you may have to shoot about 200 times to empty the cartridge if you're storing your guns or traveling in the air with them. 

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