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  #1  
Old 12-05-2019, 09:06 AM
rdtompki

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Cursing Ammo in Cold Weather



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My wife transition from centerfire to rimfire steel challenge competition two years ago in CA. CCI SV performed flawlessly in her Kidd rife for 10's of thousands of rounds. Since moving to Idaho a year ago and encountering our first real cold weather I have learned to curse 22lr ammo.

We've transitioned from the CCI SV (wax build-up issues) to a short trial of CCI's new polymer coated bullets to CCI Mini-mags (which looked promising). Had some potential issues at her last practice (Ruger Mark IV 22/45 lite and rifle) and broke out some Remington Golden Bullets I had hanging around (which functioned well).

Unfortunately, at yesterdays match she elected to stick with the Mini-Mags and had failure to fire in both guns, up to three issues with one pistol mag. Switched to the Golden Bullets after the first two stages and both guns performed flawless for the next two stages. I guess this is just learning to live with a 22? Meanwhile my 9mm 1911 with absolutely filthy internals and mags just runs. We will stick with the inexpensive Remingtons until something else pops up, but my marriage advice to a couple one of whom was contemplating dropping a very good 1911 for an infernal 22lr device would be "don't do it".
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Old 12-05-2019, 09:13 AM
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SK brand with the slick lube has worked decent for me in the 30ís. SK also has a biathlon sport line thatís not too expensive ( $6.50 for 50) that should have good ignition in colder weather.


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  #3  
Old 12-05-2019, 10:08 AM
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Welcome to winter in the Rockies.

Seriously cold weather will cause lots of things to not function quite as well , .22 ammo is just one of those things.

You didn't mention whether or not your pistols are well lubed. Well lubed generally is not what you want to do in cold weather, running them dry or with a little dry lube might cure your problem.

Do your very best to keep your ammo as warm as possible, try a small picnic or 6-pack cooler with some heat pacs in it, or devise a method of keeping the ammo close to your hot body .

As with all .22's, you might have to experiment with different ammo than what you normally use.
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  #4  
Old 12-05-2019, 10:14 AM
rdtompki

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The rifle(s) I've always lubed "dry" without issue. I use Slip 2000 on our handguns, but I have been considering either dry lube or a lighter wet lube if I can find one. My wife does carry around a cooler to keep the ammo warm. We'll figure it out. The good news is that during the winter there is only a small, hardy group shooting one match/week midday.

When we practice I set up a propane heater which makes bare-handed loading of those cursed 22lr mags easier, but not possible during matches.
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Old 12-05-2019, 10:34 AM
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Failure to fire.
Light primer strikes?
If so, the firing pin/spring/hammer is 'sluggish', not the ammo fault.
Could be when you changed to Goldens the gun was warmed up enough to run.
If there was no 'click' the hammer hadnt re-set, sluggish slide. Fwiw, I vigorously rack the side 10 times with a cold gun before loading.
If the the strikes are good and deep it is ammo.
If there are other issues like stovepipes, failure to feed, failure to completely go into battery they each point to what is not functioning right; ie, the specifics of the failure problem point to the specifics of the cause.
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Old 12-05-2019, 12:12 PM
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I have noticed when the temp drops only into the high 40s, my 50 yards groups /scores suffer. This includes Eley Match, Center X, and CCI SV. Then again, I have trouble chewing bubble gum while walking. I just figure it is time to get out the .22 pistols and bang some plates at 50 yards. Makes me smile.

Edit: FTF in cold weather in your .22 rifles / pistols (that are known good shooters) is probably the wrong lube or the possible start of the dreaded "black ring" in the chamber or leade area. If problems persist after using correct lube, a quick look with the borescope just might find the problem. Just a suggestion. Hope this helps. ...... AH

Last edited by ammohog; 12-05-2019 at 02:11 PM.
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Old 12-05-2019, 12:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gcrank1 View Post
Failure to fire.
Light primer strikes?
If so, the firing pin/spring/hammer is 'sluggish', not the ammo fault.
Could be when you changed to Goldens the gun was warmed up enough to run.
If there was no 'click' the hammer hadnt re-set, sluggish slide. Fwiw, I vigorously rack the side 10 times with a cold gun before loading.
If the the strikes are good and deep it is ammo.
If there are other issues like stovepipes, failure to feed, failure to completely go into battery they each point to what is not functioning right; ie, the specifics of the failure problem point to the specifics of the cause.
Very good post.

From shooting 22RF in very cold weather I can tell you it is most often the gun (+95%) that is the problem. Wrong lube, sticky or dirty is usually what bungs stuff up. Even at -40, I have never had trouble getting ammo to go bang if the gun was clean and lubed with low temp lube, or dry lube like powdered graphite. For competitive target work I would use one of the Biathlon strains of SK, Lapua, or Eley but for regular shooting or hunting standard ammo has worked fine.
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Old 12-05-2019, 02:24 PM
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I quit testing .22 ammo if the temps are much below 50 or 60 degrees. It's hard to pass up a nice 40 degree day when you have cabin fever in March, but cold weather results have usually been weird for me.
I like Hornady One Shot cleaner spray in my rimfire autos, but I have not tested it specifically in cold weather. I have also used some of the Elmers slide all teflon spray, but not often. Worth a try if you have to shoot in cold temps.
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Old 12-05-2019, 05:00 PM
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Cold vs weapons

Ask anyone who was in the military about winter target practices at bases in colder areas. Our weapons would be lucky to make it through 1-2 magazines before starting to cease up. We had oil drums and would burn wood in them for heat. We would have to hold out weapons close to the barrels for enough heat to loosen the action enough to shoot another 1-2 mags. This was not to mention freezing your butt off at the same time. LOL
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Old 12-05-2019, 05:14 PM
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for target rifle shooting when it gets under the mid 50s, the 10/22s dont get shot as much and the bolt rifles get used more. sometimes i do run a higher velocity load to get the semi's to run; but its going to likely be in the upper 20s for my next NRL22 match, so instead of running my best 10/22 in open class (which is what i prefer for those events) with Federal HV match or RWS semi auto (which is what i use to make sure it functions in weather under the mid 60s), ill use my savage b22 in base class. just goes with the territory. I remember those North Idaho winters well. I do miss snowboards.
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Old 12-05-2019, 08:07 PM
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I learned here in North Dakota which is winter like for half the year , temperatures below 40 degrees really opens up the groups with other wise , tested and proven ammo & guns used in the summer months. Some summer groups went from solid 1/2"at 50yds to almost 2inch winter groups and POI was much lower also. I tried some of Lapua Polar Biathlon which corrected all those problems , at least down to the 10 degree days , but at a price. I am not sure how much lower the temperature could drop using that Lapua and still get good groups because my shivering interferes at that temperature.
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Old 12-08-2019, 07:17 AM
rdtompki

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I did switch the Mark IV over to dry lube which seemed to help. Meanwhile at 3 cents per round (Bi-Mart sale) I'm encouraging my wife to shoot the Golden Bullets for practice. We won't practice below 30 degrees and has to be a calm day at that, but our issues with the CCI-SV started to show up at 50.
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  #13  
Old 12-08-2019, 10:05 PM
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CCI Blazers (not the bulk pack) have been working better for me than Goldens; I wont buy any more of those when this old bucket of them is gone.
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Old 12-09-2019, 05:05 AM
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Thinking light primer strikes, maybe the el cheapo stuff has really thin bases. The old component vq triggers were awful about lowering the hammer pressure. Lots of light ignitions.

Don't usually see real reliability issues until well below single digits. Ran 250 rounds of various ammo last week at 10, at least a sleeve of minimags nary an issue. Half my shooting is in temps near or below freezing.

Ill agree with Dean2, more than likely is a rifle issue. No lube 10-22s usually rock right down to the -20 mark with high velocity ammo. Took a few ptarmigan in rather rapid fire succession last winter at -19. Northern boys say swap to bolt guns after that, I go home at -20.

Last edited by comfisherman; 12-09-2019 at 05:11 AM.
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Old 12-10-2019, 11:26 PM
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I personally would not be going home at -20 degrees in any way. I would have been at home to start with.
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