As winter rolls on, you may be looking for ways to take better care of your firearm in cold weather. While low temperatures alone don't affect your firearm's function, they can contribute to other issues that come with chilly weather.
If you're looking for care tips to keep your firearm in tip-top shape this winter, keep reading our advice for cold weather gun storage.
How Does Temperature Affect My Firearm?
Cold weather on its face isn't a detriment to your firearm's structure or performance. However, it can factor into your gun's functionality in two ways:
It can cause thicken your gun's lubrication making your firearm more difficult or unsafe to operate.
Condensation can form when you move a cold weapon inside.
Firearm Lubricants and Cold Temperatures
Extreme cold can affect the oils you use to clean and lubricate your firearm, especially if you store your gun in a cold area for extended periods or hunt in bone-chilling climates. While most oils claim that they work at every temperature, too much oil or lubricant can become gummy in cold temperatures.
One Field and Stream article recounted a hunter's struggle to use his rifle while hunting in the northern U.S. The sub-zero temperatures caused the oils in his gun to malfunction.
The bottom line, cold weather can cause problems for a firearm's oils and lubrication.
Cold Weather Condensation and Potential Firearm Damage
Whenever you bring a firearm inside after it's been used or stored in cold temperatures outside for an extended period, condensation is likely to appear. Condensation is the natural reaction of water vapor in the air surrounding your firearm and cooling down to dew point, producing droplets of water on the body of your gun.
While condensation is initially harmless, if you don't wipe down your gun, it creates rust on your firearm's metal components. So, how do you prevent cold weather from causing these issues? Check out our tips below.
4 Cold Weather Storage Best Practices
Go easy on the oils and lubricants during the wintertime.
While cleaning and lubrication are essential to good gun care, an excess during cold winter temperatures can cause your firearm not to operate correctly. If you plan on storing a firearm in a shed or vehicle, where the temperatures could get very cold, use minimal oils on your gun. Minimal use will prevent the gumming that we mentioned earlier and the slowing of your action.
Make sure to give your gun a full wipe down before long term storage as oil tends to shift from the point of application to other areas of the firearm that don't require any product.
Wipe down your firearm after bringing it inside.
If you take your firearm out hunting or to the range during the winter, you know how crucial it is to clean after use. Cleaning is essential when the weather dramatically contrasts the temperature of your home. When bringing your firearm in from the cold, wait until its surface temperature rises to the temperature of your home. Then you can wipe down any excess condensation while cleaning your firearm.
Utilize anti-humidity products.
To keep any excess humidity away from your firearm, use anti-humidity products to absorb moisture that could cause rust to your gun. Desiccant packets and dehumidifier rods are two of the most commonly seen products used to stave off moisture.
Have an accessible, secure place to store your firearm.
You need a dependable place to store your firearm after a day in the field or at the range. A beautiful piece of concealment wall art, concealment flag or concealment furniture is a great option. Concealment wall art can store the smallest concealed carry sidearms up to substantial hunting rifles.
For more tips on gun storage and safety, visit our blog and check out our products page to browse our excellent concealment storage options.