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Thread: Best cold weather rifle oil

  1. #1
    Member sayak's Avatar
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    Default Best cold weather rifle oil

    We've had this discussion before, but I'd like to raise the issue again, as I will be going after caribou in a week or two and it will probably be around zero +/-. I've hunted ptarmigan in the cold before and had hang fire due to thick oil on the firing pin. Scary! Missed shots! My uncle in law told me to strip off all oil and use kerosene when it got cold. I'd hate to have to strip my rifle action totally apart to get the oil off, so here's my question to you far northers: what spray-on oil do you use in the winter so that your rifle functions in the cold?

  2. #2
    Member hodgeman's Avatar
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    None.

    Dry graphite if anything.
    "I do not deal in hypotheticals. The world, as it is, is vexing enough..." Col. Stonehill, True Grit

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    Member Yellowknife's Avatar
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    Zero oil for me on winter hunts. Strip it all off after fall season. A little brake cleaner does the trick for washing the old stuff out.

    Yk

  4. #4

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    I wash the disassembled bolt with gasoline and tooth brush, then apply automatic transmission fluid, and wipe excess off. Same with the trigger assembly.

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    Member sayak's Avatar
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    Are you guys taking the firing pins out of the bolts to de-oil them and put graphite on?
    Oops... didn't see your post GL.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by sayak View Post
    Are you guys taking the firing pins out of the bolts to de-oil them and put graphite on?
    Yes, which is why I love 3-position wing safety.

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    Member hodgeman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sayak View Post
    Are you guys taking the firing pins out of the bolts to de-oil them and put graphite on?
    Oops... didn't see your post GL.
    Yes- stripping the bolt, I occasionally use brake cleaner to really get it out of the bolt body.

    One of the advantages to having a Cerakote bolt assembly is it pretty well alleviates the need for oil at any time. I haven't oiled my cerakote rifle in ages other than running an oiled patch through the bore for long storage.
    "I do not deal in hypotheticals. The world, as it is, is vexing enough..." Col. Stonehill, True Grit

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    Another vote for removing all oil. I have never used oil for anything but cleaning the bore and a quick wipe down after wet times.

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    I'm with Hodgeman......... Graphite........... if anything. Keep oil especially away from the firing pin.
    An opinion should be the result of thought, not a substitute for it.
    - Jef Mallett

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    Member akgun&ammo's Avatar
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    FP-10

    it's good to extreme heat and way too ___ cold temps.

    Chris

  11. #11

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    I Brake Kleen all of my winter rifles and use zero oil. I coat all of the exterior metal that is not painted with Johnson's paste wax. It builds up a superb coating that keeps condensate from causing surface rust. I've hunted down to -42F and had zero problems with my rifle shooting.

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    Member bushrat's Avatar
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    I too disassemble bolt, Steve, soak in gas or kero, dry, then a bit of dry graphite like you'd use for key locks around the spring, screw it all back together and put bolt back in rifle. Also pays to de-oil the trigger assembly but most important thing is the firing pin spring.

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    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
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    Anyone had trouble with graphite when they bring the cold rifle into heated air and moisture gumming the stuff up?
    Now left only to be a turd in the forrest and the circle will be complete.Use me as I have used you

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    Hi Mark:

    Good idea on the graphite> I was out hunting a few years back trying to fill the freezer with some mid winter bou up in Kotz. I tried to pull one up from the chamber and the darn thing was jamming going in. I talked with an elder and this is how he put it.

    "Walt, I will bet you dad taught you to clean and oil your gun after every hunt. At -30 that oil becomes a paste and you just can't chamber up a round." And he is right.

    I like the dry graphite idea.


    Walt

    Northwest Alaska Back Country Rentals
    unit 23-Kotz

  15. #15
    Member hodgeman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Amigo Will View Post
    Anyone had trouble with graphite when they bring the cold rifle into heated air and moisture gumming the stuff up?
    Not in particular...but of course in the Interior winters tend to be extremely dry.
    "I do not deal in hypotheticals. The world, as it is, is vexing enough..." Col. Stonehill, True Grit

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    Member GD Yankee's Avatar
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    I've been using one of the newer non-toxic lubes. Have a tube of Milcomm TW25b and it works well:
    http://www.mil-comm.com/index.php?op...&id=46&Itemid=

    I'm sure there are different kinds of graphite, but most dry graphite lubes attract moisture and if you put too much of it in your gun, it can turn into a gummy mess (it is the bane of locksmiths). I think the problem most of us have had with firing pins seizing up in the cold is that years ago gun manufacturers coated the firing pin spring inside the bolt with a grease about as thick as cosmoline and that's what freezes up. I think they did that in part to prevent water from getting inside the bolt and rusting it out since most gun owners never crack it open. I owned my Ruger M77 for a long time before I decided it might be time to disassemble the bolt and clean it. The spring was covered with that thick grease.

    Taking apart the firing mechanism, cleaning it and lubing it up with any basic gun oil should solve the problem. A light film of Rem oil or Breakfree on a firing spring and pin won't prevent firing, even at -30F - a bolt jammed with grease put there by the manufacturer 30 years ago probably will. Unless you're shooting a semi automatic, I don't think the choice of lube is as important as making sure everything has a very light oiling and is clean from decades of dust and dirt build up.

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    Carry a little bottle of a antifreeze pour it on affected areas.. The army has some stuff that is good to -60 but I can't recall the name of the stuff and I have seen any of it either... But it's in the system probably more apt to see it at wainwright than down here...

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    Member 4merguide's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Amigo Will View Post
    Anyone had trouble with graphite when they bring the cold rifle into heated air and moisture gumming the stuff up?
    Just make sure you put your rifle in a big garbage bag and seal it up tight BEFORE bringing it inside. The bag won't let the moisture in the house get to it while it warms up to room temp.
    Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

  19. #19
    Member sayak's Avatar
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    When I lived in the bush, I used to keep my rifles and shot guns outside in a shed all winter long. I found out the hard way that in-and-out is sure to produce trouble in the form of rust and moisture to refreeze. The trash bag idea sounds workable.

  20. #20

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    Just use brake cleaner to clean the bolt out and then put back in for winter use.

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