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Will your weapon be hot when it's cold?

With the exceptional snow and cold that have gripped much of the nation this winter, have you seized the opportunity to weather-test your weapons?

One group of officers who undertook cold-weather, urban rifle training in the Midwest recently ran into some disturbing surprises when they practiced courses of fire in sub-freezing temperatures and biting wind with four inches of snow on the ground. Two of their M1 carbines were plagued with short-cycles and sluggish operation. A Sig Sauer 556, normally extremely reliable, also started to short-cycle.

Diagnosis: stiffened grease, because of the cold. When the trainees and instructors removed as much grease and oil as they could, the guns began to run normally.

“Grease is notorious for getting stiff and causing problems in cold environments,” says veteran firearms trainer John Farnam of Defensive Training International. “In cold weather, I recommend a dry-lube or Gibbs Brand Lubricant.

“Balky guns, heavy clothing, general discomfort all conspire to generate unwanted surprises during cold weather. It’s vital to test your gear — and yourself — in a wide spectrum of conditions and circumstances, not just in pleasant and comfortable surroundings.”

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