As the cold weather moves in to stay for a while, we need to take extra care of our firearms when using them outside. Check, take extra steps, and clean your firearms before, during and after each use to avoid any unwanted mishaps resulting from the cold weather.
If you are using a scope, check it over to ensure it’s properly sealed and has no cracks. “The first problem we often encounter is the warm air inside sealed optics often causes condensation to form on external lenses.” Steve Adelmann shared in his recent article Chilling Out: Cold-Weather Gun Care.
Use a cold weather lubricant. “In worst-case scenarios, actions can freeze up due to moisture or bad lubricant, preventing proper and safe function. Keep moving parts well lubed, wipe any precipitation off your rifle if the thermometer starts to drop and be sure to keep the bore clear of water and ice.”
You can’t forget about taking proper care of your ammunition. It can break down when exposed to the cold climates. Keep your ammunition stored in a climate control place. When you are outside and need to have your ammo by your side, keep it as close to your body as possible avoiding any exposure to the cold.
Consider proper care for your hands. You can’t operate your firearm if your hands are stiff and frozen. Find quality gloves that feel right to you and allow you to operate your firearm when ready.
“A final problem materializes when we bring our rifles in from the cold. Moisture in the warmer air condenses on cold gun metal, often leading to a quick coating of “soldier gold” (rust).” Once your firearm has warmed to the rooms temperature take appropriate clean up actions as you typically would. Clean and check all pieces and store in your safe for the next use.