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Why do my open guns perform so poorly in the cold?


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This issue has been a constant thorn in my side for a long time.  Essentially, when I go to a match where the weather might be a little chilly (not even that cold, like 30-40) my open guns experience a higher rate of malfunctions.  However, as the day goes on and either the weather warms up, or the gun itself gets hotter with use, those malfunctions seem to all-but-vanish.  The same thing happens at indoor ranges, which pretty much confirmed my thinking that cold weather is affecting some part of my guns' functioning.  Now,  I've been using Slip 2000 as a general purpose lubricant for years and it worked perfectly fine on my regular production pistols, but I suspect that it may be slowing down functioning just enough to induce a malfunction.  The thing is that I have no real evidence to support this, and Slip 2000 is apparently rated for very low temperatures so that doesn't support my above assertion.

 

Am I overlooking something?  Is there something about moderately cold weather that just causes open guns to seize up like fainting goats?  Am I using the wrong lube for the climate? Could it be something else entirely? I should note that this happened across three different guns, shooting 38 super and 9mm major.  

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29 minutes ago, gnhowell1 said:

What about temp sensitive powder in your ammo that could run slower/lower PF in cold weather?

I use SWMP, which doesn't seem to be temp sensitive according to discussions I've seen here.  But it also happened when I was loading 3N38 for 38 super

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1 hour ago, jstagn said:

Use an oil, had similar problems even in normal temperatures. Listen to ChuckS.

This was exactly my problem during cold weather. I was using different types of lube and the thing would NOT run. Switched the oil in the colder temps and problem went away. 

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I also had the same problem.  If I didn't relube after every two stages the gun would not run.  I switched to Weapon Shield CLP and the problem disappeared.  At least down to 25.  Clubs around me don't shoot when the temps are 25 or lower, because pasters don't stick.  I love the stuff.

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17 hours ago, SGT_Schultz said:

I don't know anything about open but any more all my pistols get lubricated only with PTFE dry lube with one exception: the sear/hammer/striker interface.  That gets grease.

 

My guns run 100% no matter the weather.

The spray can type? How often do you reapply the PTFE dry lube? 

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If I use motor oil my slides really slows down and sometimes short stroke it. 

If I use grease forget about it. it will jam due to the tight tolerance of my slide, frame, barrel ....

 

But ever since I use Weapon Shield... Any conditions any temperature... it just runs. and runs...as it should be.

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Before you leave home in the morning put two of these in a pistol sleeve along with your gun, one on each side of your gun

DO NOT PUT ANYTHING IN YOUR PISTOL'S MAGWELL!  Don't ask me how I know this!

.

https://www.amazon.com/Grabber-Warmers-Hours-Maximum-Heat/dp/B00743YX4U/ref=sr_1_5

81Lcg40juCL._AC_SL1500_.jpg

 

https://www.shootersconnectionstore.com/CED-Pistol-Sleeve-P146.aspx

 

ced-sleeves.jpg&maintainAspectRatio=true

 

Bag your gun with the Mega warmers between each stage.

 

Happiness is a warm gun!

 

 

Nolan

 

 

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22 minutes ago, Nolan said:

Before you leave home in the morning put two of these in a pistol sleeve along with your gun, one on each side of your gun

DO NOT PUT ANYTHING IN YOUR PISTOL'S MAGWELL!  Don't ask me how I know this!

 

I put one in the magwell at OR state championship this year and ended up forgetting and jamming it in with a mag during Make Ready 🙃

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3 hours ago, Yagi said:

If I use motor oil my slides really slows down and sometimes short stroke it. 

If I use grease forget about it. it will jam due to the tight tolerance of my slide, frame, barrel ....

 

But ever since I use Weapon Shield... Any conditions any temperature... it just runs. and runs...as it should be.

It is good that 80 years ago the German army did not know this in the Russian winter.😉

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I bought a Li-ion rechargeable hand warmer that I intend to drop in the bag I keep my ammo in.  I don't have to keep either Open gun warm, nor the ammo.  However, I was told keeping 22LR ammo warm in the Winter eliminates a lot of problems.  So I'll try it.  Since I keep the Open ammo in the same bag, that will be warm too.

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3 hours ago, Nolan said:

Before you leave home in the morning put two of these in a pistol sleeve along with your gun, one on each side of your gun

DO NOT PUT ANYTHING IN YOUR PISTOL'S MAGWELL!  Don't ask me how I know this!

.

https://www.amazon.com/Grabber-Warmers-Hours-Maximum-Heat/dp/B00743YX4U/ref=sr_1_5

81Lcg40juCL._AC_SL1500_.jpg

 

https://www.shootersconnectionstore.com/CED-Pistol-Sleeve-P146.aspx

 

ced-sleeves.jpg&maintainAspectRatio=true

 

Bag your gun with the Mega warmers between each stage.

 

Happiness is a warm gun!

 

 

Nolan

 

 

I'll give this a try, as well as Weapon Shield that someone upthread mentioned

Edited by UpYoursPal
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13 hours ago, Nolan said:

Before you leave home in the morning put two of these in a pistol sleeve along with your gun, one on each side of your gun

DO NOT PUT ANYTHING IN YOUR PISTOL'S MAGWELL!  Don't ask me how I know this!

.

https://www.amazon.com/Grabber-Warmers-Hours-Maximum-Heat/dp/B00743YX4U/ref=sr_1_5

81Lcg40juCL._AC_SL1500_.jpg

 

https://www.shootersconnectionstore.com/CED-Pistol-Sleeve-P146.aspx

 

ced-sleeves.jpg&maintainAspectRatio=true

 

Bag your gun with the Mega warmers between each stage.

 

Happiness is a warm gun!

 

 

Nolan

 

 

Well now we need to know the story.....inquiring minds and all.

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Been running open for 30 years as low as -13 degrees f . Never had a problem.  I use break free or whatever gun oil I have on hand. If you have same problem with 3 guns this should tell you something. Once actually had a gun builder tell me he fit guns so tight they wouldn't run in the cold like this is something to be proud of.

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3 hours ago, barry said:

Once actually had a gun builder tell me he fit guns so tight they wouldn't run in the cold like this is something to be proud of.

 

My first Open gun was like that.  The firm that handled the hard chrome finish either did not allow enough clearance, or applied the chrome to thickly.  Anything below 40 was a problem until I started using Weapon Shield CLP.

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