Originally posted 13 Dec 13; follow up re-post on 30 Nov 15.
It’s that time again. Contrary to what some say, your rifle needs to be prepared not only for hot weather, but for cold weather also. It’s not that difficult or time consuming to do, and the dividends will be superb, in that the rifle will work when you need it.
Make sure you strip your rifle and wipe off any excess lube (grease) or oil so that only a slight film remains. The reason is simple: In very, very cold temperatures, excess lube or oil can cause it to freeze up on you when you need it most. Virtually dry rifles are happy rifles in the winter.
If you’re the “maintenance averse” type of person, and you’re shooting an AR platform, consider the ‘Fail Zero’ Bolt Carrier Group, which can be found here:
Here’s the product description from their site:
“This Bolt Carrier Group (BCG) comes fully assembled and ready to drop into most mil spec M16, M4 or AR15 upper receivers. All critical parts are coated with EXO Nickel Boron technology that provides permanent dry lubricity, extreme durability and increases both wear and corrosion resistance. Our patented Nickel Boron coating will reduce friction and improve the overall performance of your rifle.
Nickel Boron treated parts include:
- Bolt & Extractor (5.56/.223 compatible)
- Bolt Carrier
- Cam Pin
- Carrier Key
- Firing Pin”
DTG staff have been using these for well over
a 2 years now, and they perform flawlessly in hot, warm, cool, or cold weather. They’re spendy at $230 each, price has come down quite a bit at $159 for a complete BCG, and you’re certainly getting a deal but, and as with everything else, you get what you pay for. Snap one or two up while you can, especially in light of the precipice society stands on the brink of…
When I do add lubrication (which is rarely), all I use is either Frog Lube OR Gunzilla on both the upper and the BCG when cleaning, leaving a light coating when finished (meaning wiped off almost completely). My bottom line? It works first time, every time, and I don’t need to carry a gallon of CLP in my gear when not operating in winter. A side note on both Frog Lube and Gunzilla is that they are superb rust inhibitors. So much so that we coat our knife blades and tomahawk edges with it as well.
Once your rifle has been winterized, make sure you go to the range and confirm your zero on a very, very cold day and note the change in point of impact between temperature ranges. You will most likely have to adjust your length of pull, depending on the outer garments you’re wearing.
For those of you who have M1A type rifles, make sure you wipe all the grease out of the bolt raceways and off the top of the hammer, the top of the inside of the receiver, the bolt lug (you can leave the bolt roller alone, though) and generally leave only a very, very light coating. It would also behoove you to clean the gas tube and piston.
Let us know in the comments other things you do to winterize your platform or winter shooting tips.