Winter can be a harsh and unforgiving time for shooting enthusiasts. Whether you’re a hunter or target shooter, the cold weather can wreak havoc on your rifle and reduce accuracy. And when you live in Canada, it’s going to get cold, eh!
Shooting and maintaining rifles in cold weather requires special attention to avoid problems like jamming, frozen mechanisms, and inaccurate shots.
Here are some tips to help you have a successful experience while shooting in cold weather.
Check and Maintain
It is important to check the mechanics of your rifle before you shoot it in cold weather. This includes ensuring that all parts are clean, work properly and that everything is lubricated correctly.
When the temperature drops below freezing, lubricant can become thick and sticky, which reduces its performance. This can cause parts of the gun to wear down faster. Thinner oils or ones designed specifically for cold weather will ensure optimal performance.
A thin layer of oil over all of the exposed metal parts of your rifle will also help prevent any freezing caused by condensation forming on the metal surfaces of your rifle when it moves from warm spaces like your home and vehicle into the cold outside.
Choose Your Ammunition Carefully
When selecting ammunition for cold-weather shooting, choose rounds with heavier bullets over lighter ones because they will remain more accurate over long distances. That’s because lower temperatures result in denser air, therefore more drag on the bullet and more drop.
Also, consider using ammunition with copper jackets instead of steel jackets, as copper jackets expand less than steel jackets when exposed to colder temperatures, keeping them more stable when temperatures plummet below freezing.
Additionally, it is always a good idea to check your ammunition before taking it out into extreme temperatures; if the rounds are too damp, they may not fire at all or, even worse, jam up your firearm when trying to fire them off.
Be Prepared for Jams
Jams are one of the most common issues shooters face when shooting in cold weather – especially if their gun isn’t adequately maintained. To minimize jams due to temperature changes, try bringing your ammunition inside 10-15 minutes before shooting so it can warm up slightly and reduce its stiffness. This will help ensure smoother feeding into the chamber and reduce jamming caused by stiff rounds being forced into the chamber too quickly.
Additionally, ensure your magazine spring is lubricated correctly and tensioned during colder months so there isn’t too much force pushing rounds out of the magazine prematurely, causing jams.
You should have no problem enjoying your favourite outdoor activity regardless of how cold it gets! Cold weather can present unique challenges, but with careful preparation and maintenance, these challenges can easily be overcome! Remember these tips next time you plan on taking your rifle out into the elements and enjoy successful outdoor fun this winter season!
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