Cold? Try This At Home. Well, Outside Your Home

A big shout out to anyone who’s managed to shoot anything (legally) during this deep freeze. Dan the Man and I journeyed to The Shooting Ranch in Buda to talk some biz and shoot some guns with the owners. Talk we did (at a nearby Starbucks). Shoot? Not so much. OK, not at all. But hats off (or on) to those of you who’ve braved arctic temperatures to fling some lead downrange. What was that like?


  1. avatar Carry.45 says:

    Hmm. I wonder if you we’re carrying at Starbucks. And to answer the question only once so far this winter with a fellow ttager. And it wasnt terribly cold that day.

    1. avatar Dan Zimmerman says:

      Why yes. Yes we were carrying. And with a 20+ mph wind it was wicked chilly.

    2. avatar John F says:

      Here is a gun you can Legally Carry, maybe NOT in California.
      Since I live in Arizona we don’t get much -Minus Temp’s,;
      This is really Fun..

  2. avatar dirk diggler says:

    what outdoor range is open???

    1. avatar Matt in Maine says:

      My local fish and game range is open year round. But you’ll have to snowshoe to the firing line. :/

    2. avatar Keith in TX says:

      Most of those in Texas.
      The indoor range just up the road is open 365 days a year.

    3. avatar Travis says:

      My gun club’s range is open. We’ve been there three or four times since Christmas.

    4. My loacal club, Memphis Sport Shooters Assoc, is only closed four days per year – New Year’s Day, Independance Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas.

    5. avatar Pascal says:

      My range is open, every member has a key fob to open the fence. Go when you want.

      Most all the skeet, trap and field ranges are open as well. Dover Furnace comes to mind – 9 -5 M-F all year long

  3. avatar Taylor Tx says:

    Going to shoot tomorrow morning, and have been trying for the past 2 weeks without success (when the weather wasnt THAT shitty ha). Either way, nice to get some pistol and rifle shooting in, even if it is on a private OFWG square range 😀

  4. avatar Gyufygy says:

    These sound like great conditions to test the differences between high end equipment and guns and lower end stuff and the differences between AR and AK, Glock and Everyone Else, whatever. Yeah, yeah, we see extreme conditions in military testing sometimes, but I do think it would be interesting to see results that don’t involve more paperwork and stars than a NASA deep space telescope launch.

    Also, don’t die. Helpful hint.

  5. avatar Jeff the Griz says:

    Not this year, but when I had a backyard range all the time. The coldest was 2 degrees F. Two standard capacity mags through an AR and I was good for a week.

    1. avatar mark_anthony_78 says:

      You had a backyard range?

      And then you MOVED?!?!

      1. avatar Denny says:

        Like wow he moved? Geeee ! Must have some serious situation to cause that.

  6. avatar LongBeach says:

    Its been pretty bad around here, i’ll admit. I think it got down to around 60 last night. I thought about closing the windows, but then I didn’t.

    1. avatar jwm says:

      Thought it might rain today. Was wrong. Mid 60’s is just about perfect January weather.

      1. avatar LongBeach says:

        It truly was a pleasant day. Glad I wore shorts to work, that’s for sure.

      2. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

        Both you guys suck.
        I miss San Diego.

        1. avatar Rich Grise says:

          The last time I relocated from So. Cal to Minnesnowta was in about November-ish, early 1990’s. I hit a blizzard in Liberal, Kansas. Had to buy antifreeze, a Die-Hard battery, and a hat, gloves, and scarf. In the store, I quipped to the kounter kiddie, “Gee, Dorothy, I don’t think we’re in San Diego anymore.”

          She didn’t get it, which I thought was a little unusual because of the big billboard saying that Liberal, KS was the home of Dorothy of Wizard of Oz fame.

    2. avatar S.CROCK says:

      i felt like i was about to get frost bite yesterday. it was 57 when i woke up. luckily it warmed up to 68 by lunch.

  7. avatar Sam Spade says:

    Saw MAC earlier today:

    1. avatar jwm says:

      Anybody else notice the emergency rations on the dash of his jeep? If I had fore knowledge of the start of armageddon I would buy an AK, legalities be dammed.

      1. avatar RockOnHellChild says:

        The AK is THE Armageddon rifle…

  8. avatar Danny says:

    I’m in Miami. We don’t know what this “cold” you are referring to is.

    1. avatar Rich Grise says:

      “At 9 a.m. Monday [1/6/14], the temperature in Minneapolis was a sitting at about -20. At the same time, the temperature at Concordia Station in Antarctica was -19.”

    2. avatar Rich Grise says:

      Minnesota Temperature Conversion Chart

      50 Fahrenheit (10 C)
      New Yorkers try to turn on the heat.
      Minnesotans plant gardens.

      40 Fahrenheit (4.4 C)
      Californians shiver uncontrollably
      Minnesotans sunbathe.

      35 Fahrenheit (1.6 C)
      Italian Cars won’t start
      Minnesotans drive with the windows down.

      32 Fahrenheit (0 C)
      Distilled water freezes
      Minnesotans water gets thicker.

      0 Fahrenheit (-17.9 C)
      New York City landlords finally turn on the heat.
      Minnesotans have the last cookout of the season.

      -40 Fahrenheit (-40 C)
      Hollywood disintegrates.
      Minnesotans rent some videos.

      -60 Fahrenheit (-51 C)
      Mt. St. Helens freezes.
      Minnesota Girl Scouts sell cookies door-to-door.

      -100 Fahrenheit (-73 C)
      Santa Claus abandons the North Pole
      Minnesotans pull down their earflaps.

      -173 Fahrenheit (-114 C)
      Ethyl alcohol freezes.
      Minnesotans get frustrated when they can’t thaw the keg.

      -459.4 Fahrenheit (-273 C)
      Absolute zero; all atomic motion stops.
      Minnesotans start asking, “cold enough for ya?”

      -500 Fahrenheit (-295 C)
      Hell freezes over.
      The Vikings win the Super Bowl

      1. avatar Paladin says:

        Canadians made the joke first

      2. avatar KMc says:

        I knew the Vikings would FINALLY win a Super Bowl. Now if I can just live that long…….

  9. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

    Went last Thursday. Shot about 9 different handguns. Had hot coffee and hand warders. Temp was in the low 30’s.
    Note to self, shoot the .44 mags first, before the frostbite kicks in. That hurt.

  10. avatar Javier says:

    This being 2013, I gave in to the irresistible march of progress and partook in lead flinging indoors. You know, a place with heating thingymajiggies.

    You masochists can brave the elements if you like.

    1. avatar jwm says:

      Heating? My local indoor range has air conditioning. When that gets chilly we move to the outdoor range and warm up.

  11. avatar William Burke says:

    -51 in Milwaukee. Everything closed, I heard. Even grocery stores. Not a person on the streets, just like some post-end-of-the-world movie.

  12. avatar lonelyranger says:

    4 degrees today around noon. Left my glock 21 outside for an hour then went out, picked it up and fired 3 mags of 185gr Gold Dot and 2 of white box 230gr fmj. No problems other than my snot freezing. I live in the middle of 40 hilly and heavily forested land so safe shooting all around the house…

  13. avatar Dracon1201 says:

    No. I didn’t let a round off, but it was -40F here and I ran with my winter SHTF gear, loaded AR, and combat load. Made it 1/2 mile. Just wanted to see how cold -40F was in reality and how bad it hurt.

  14. avatar uncommon_sense says:

    Important Cold Weather Questions:

    (1) At what cold temperature will guns begin to jam (cycle improperly)?

    (2) At what cold temperature will guns begin to fail (as in catastrophic failure due to brittle metal at cold temperatures)?

    1. avatar Paladin says:

      1) Depends on the gun and how it’s treated. Lube is a big factor, just about any liquid lube will get sticky in cold weather, use graphite or run it dry.

      2) A lot colder than you’re likely to experience as a natural phenomenon. Most military firearms are tested at -40, several countries test at colder temperatures.

  15. avatar Ing says:

    That is some nasty weather you Northeasterners and Nor/Midwesterners are having. The coldest temp I’ve personally been out in was a one mile walk at -12 (with a bitter wind), and that was more than enough for me.

    The coldest I’ve ever been shooting was 8 degrees (again with the bitter wind) a couple years ago, and that also was more than cold enough for me. I did most of the actual firing with bare hands because my gloves were far too bulky to fit into the trigger guard of the .22 rifles. We weren’t shooting what you’d call high-end guns — just a Marlin model 60 and a bolt-action whose brand I can’t recall — but they performed flawlessly. Although we weren’t out for too terribly long; bare hands don’t last long in that kind of weather, especially holding those cold rifles.

    On the other hand, there’s nothing more awesome than vaporizing 10 snowballs in a row with hollowpoints from a .22 rifle. Good, cold fun.

  16. avatar Stephen M. says:

    Last winter in ND I took the FNP out for a bit in -30 plus wind. Had to snowmobile to the range. She ran great til i stopped for a smoke and left the action open.

  17. avatar Paladin says:

    Protip: when hiking in below freezing weather, do not store firearms or magazines in your tent overnight. Any condensation on the metal will freeze and lock up the firearm or magazine causing jams and FTFs.

  18. avatar tfunk says:

    For some reason I think I’d be really good at keeping that water gun pressurized…

  19. avatar Dann says:

    Arizona is still at seasonal norms.

    1. avatar Azman says:

      I.e. nice and cool in the Valley and freezing above the Rim.

  20. avatar tdiinva says:

    Arlington County Schools opened 2 hours late today because the temperature was in the single digits. Another sign of the pussification of America. Growing up In Chicago in the 50s and 60s there were no school buses. You walked or took public transportation. I remember walking to school on mornings when air temperatures were 10-20 below. They didn’t do wind chill back then.

    The coldest air temperature that I ever experienced was -60 for one nearly fatal ski run down from the top of Mt Mansfield. Once you got to the lower slopes it warmed up to balmy -25.

    1. avatar Pascal says:

      This is the truth….when I was growing up we had to walk about 1/2 mile to the bus stop where all the kids would meet up and wait for the bus. Now the bus stop at each damn house individually. If you are stuck behind a bus it could take 30min to get passed the bus and some parent decide they are taking their kids to school everyday even if there is a bus that will stop at their house causing traffic jams around schools.

      I remember trudging through the snow to the bus stop in rain, ice, snow you name it. Now, flurries and school are let out early or delayed or closed. Nobody died, nobody was scared for life worst that happened is we got into a snowball fight.

      We have become a society where no risk is too small.

  21. avatar Salwolff says:

    Tried it today at minus 9. Worked a little.

  22. avatar Jeff O. says:

    I went out to the desert last week when it was cold (15 degrees or so), windy and foggy.

    My groups were AWFUL.

    But I had a blast!

  23. avatar Ralph says:

    What you do is, fire your gun until it gets hot, then stuff it into your jacket. Repeat as needed.

    They don’t call them “heaters” for nothing.

    1. avatar Rich Grise says:

      The first time I fired a gun I was astonished by how hot so much metal could get so fast! It’s sitting there, room temperature, then BOOM! It’s burning hot! The whole freakin’ thing! Instantly! I guess I had been ass-u-me-ing that it would take some finite time for the heat from the bullet’s explosion to conduct through the metal, but it was like, bangOUCH!

      Then, not having a proper holster, I was faced with the problem of, “now how do I get this thing home without hurting myself or burning holes in stuff?” It turned out OK, though. I stood there thinking about it so long that it cooled to a safe handling temperature. 🙂

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