Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Preparing Your Firearm For The Cold Winter

© By Othmar Vohringer

As November rolls around most states and Canadian provinces close archery season and open the muzzleloader or general firearm season. In order to keep your firearm shooting well and accurate in temperatures below the freezing point special attention needs to be given to muzzleloaders and rifles.

A good friend of mine recently saw a great looking buck but when he pulled the trigger on his rifle nothing happened. The lubricant in the trigger housing had jelled in the cold temperature preventing the firing pin form moving. Frozen firing pins are not the only problem occurring in sub zero temperatures.

The drastic temperature change that occurs in a firearm that is brought from a warm room to the cold outdoors and vise versa will create condensation inside the barrel and action. The steel expands and contracts with the temperature changes and that can influence the accuracy of your gun negatively.

To make sure that your firearm is in top shooting form in sub zero temperatures take it completely apart and remove any trace of oil or other lubricants with a degreasing agent. This will ensure that the firing pin will work flawlessly every time you pull the trigger.

It is not always possible to store a ( locked and secured ) firearm overnight in your truck, which would be the most ideal way to prevent condensation from occurring so this is the alternative for the firearm that sits in the house overnight:
Take it completely apart and when the parts have adjusted to the room temperature wipe all the condensation off the parts and then wipe the parts and the barrel inside and outside with a water repellant like Teflon or silicon impregnated cloth/barrel swabs. It is important that you get rid of any moisture in and outside of the firearm otherwise the moisture will freeze up the moment you bring the rifle outside in the morning.

Hunting during the coldest time of the year can be very productive and carefully winterizing your firearm will guarantee that it will perform the task when that big buck stands in front of your sights.

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