Last week in Thursday it was nice and cold here in Rovaniemi. as it seemed that – 30 celsius or so temperatures would not be forthcoming for a while, I decided to go out and see how my competition rifle, Stag Arms 2 T, and pistol, HS-2000 Tactical 9mm, work in sub-zero temperatures. I have also taken care of my weapons so that they are lubricated with lubricant that should be OK until – 50 or so Celsius.
So I headed to range in the hotter part of afternoon around 2 O’clock when they was nice and cold – 31 in centigrade. I was not trying my weapons for accuracy but just for but just to see how they would function in not extreme cold. It would be irrelevant because I have zeroed the gun in + 20 degrees so the temperature decrease of 50 would mean a noticeable difference between the aim point and hitting point.
After I got to range I placed the guns are shooting mat in the open and went back to have a cup of coffee in the car. After 10 minutes or so the guns were the same temperature as the environment. After that I put 25 rounds in the magazines for AR and 10 for HS and tried to shoot them just as they were cold but dry. No hiccups or problems at all.
After this I put rifle into the snow and turned it a bit and put the pistol on the ground as well after shooting the mag dry. I closed the dust cover on the AR in order not to get the rifle full of melting water and to freeze it up. Even AK-47 wouldn’t function if it’s full of melt of water and then freezes.
After waiting 10 minutes or so I picked rifle up and shot another 25 rounds. I shot couple of first rounds from the hip just in case I had something in the barrel and didn’t want to lose my eyes are in the process, but everything went fine. Only problem I had was lots of dirty soothy melt water vapor in my glasses and face. It stuck to my glasses but didn’t hamper me any other way.
The compensator spat the snow out beautifully and when the barrel go to warm again the snow vaporized from within the handguard as well. So no problems there at all. That being the case I feel confident in the waiting the first few competitions in the spring where the temperature might just be in – 5 or so.
My HS 2000 tactical did also function well: with no problems at all. But I took care not to get it full of snow when he was in the ground. I tested the pistol same way as the rifle. On a side note my Vortex Spitfire 1 magnification functioned well as well, and the light was a s bright as it is in summer. So the cold did not bother the electronics, battery nor the light visibly.
The hardest part of the exercise was to put the rounds in the magazine as my fingers became so cold that I lost most of the dexterity in fingers. Also the Cold bit the hands when I was firing. Thin gloves I had for this shooting session didn’t really prove to be helpful in the cold.
So at the end of the day I don’t believe the AR 15 is hampered by cold weather such as it was last Thursday, if it has been properly taken care of and lubricated which suitable oil.