Whats the best cold temp bolt lube ?

Discussion in 'Rifles, Bullets, Barrels & Ballistics' started by BMF, Nov 10, 2012.

  1. BMF

    BMF Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    182
    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2008
    We had some sticky bolt issues in Wy last week. The temps got down in the teens or lower and we had some extremely stiff bolts. It was almost to the point where I thought I had head space issues or some debris was lodged in my throat. I could barely close the bolt. Both guns where using TM ultra grease, and very little. I would've never believed that a bolt could be that stiff. Any actual cold weather experience would be appreciated.

    P.S. On a side note: I think when it's that cold and\or wet, it's good idea to dry fire your rifle to" potentially" break the firing pin free. That almost cost us an elk, even with a custom bolt. The firing pin didn't completely engage the primer and my buddy had to re-bolt, and thankfully the second time it fired. It was cold and snowy, with lots of moisture. I think it just froze up a little.

    Thanks Brent
     
  2. Joe King

    Joe King Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,390
    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2012
    When it that cold grease pretty well goes to pot till it warms up again, A very thin oil works well though, like Rem oil, WD40. Or a dry lube, tungsten disulfide is some pretty interesting stuff
     

  3. SaskShooter

    SaskShooter Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    185
    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2012
    (I have converted this to Fahrenheit for you nice folks)

    Depends just how cold it is. I live in Saskatchewan, Canada (no, I don't live in an igloo), and here we can get temperatures from 100-105 degrees in the summer to -40 or -50 in the winter.

    For temperatures -10 or warmer, I coat the moving parts of my guns in light sewing machine oil, then wipe them off with an absorbent cloth, so there is nothing but residue left.

    For colder temperatures, I don't really lubricate at all. Bolt action rifles are simple and tough, and they'll handle a lot of use with no lubrication. It won't be slick, but it WILL function. Such is the price you pay for cold weather hunting.

    MOST IMPORTANT: Gun companies use heavy, dark, GREASE stuff in all the little crevices of their guns to make sure they don't rust while they're on the shelf. GET IT ALL OUT. This grease will positively cement your parts in place in cold weather, and there is no way to get it out while it's cold. If you can, take your bolt apart and get this grease off the firing pin and spring. If there is any of it on your firing pin at -30 or -40, your gun will become a very expensive club.

    Go to a car parts dealer, and pick up some aerosol Brake Kleen- it's a solvent that removes oil and leaves no residue at all. Get a tub or something to catch the mess, and use the Brake Kleen to flush the nasty gunk out of your gun. Keep flushing until the liquid runs clear.

    Please do this in a well ventilated area, wear gloves, and be careful about your stock, synthetic or wood, as Brake Kleen essentially eats oil, and it can also eat a lot of other things.
     
  4. Joe King

    Joe King Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,390
    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2012
    Not as effective as brake cleaner, but I use off the shelf carb cleaner just because it smells better, still seems to do the trick though. But an arisol can of brake cleaner gets everything out.
     
  5. BMF

    BMF Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    182
    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2008
    I think your right saskshooter about the " no grease "when its that cold. Good advice, probably take my bolt apart and remove the factory lube and clean it. Maybe use a lighter oil instead. I've never tried WD40...don't know why it wouldn't work. Have any of you guys ever used graphite lubricating powder?
     
  6. BMF

    BMF Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    182
    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2008
    Or is that the stuff you're talking about Joe?
     
  7. Sully2

    Sully2 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,480
    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2011
    OIL or NOTHING. Its not going to hurt that bolt to not cycle...or to cycle 2-3 shots while your out there... Of course as soon as you get to camp; home; wherever...you have to tear it down and "oil her up".
     
  8. Joe King

    Joe King Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,390
    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2012
  9. SaskShooter

    SaskShooter Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    185
    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2012
    WD-40 makes a GREAT solvent, but not a good lube at all. WD-40 leaves a sticky film that attracts dirt and, contrary to the instructions, will just gum things up more badly. Cold weather will make it even worse. Don't use it as a lubricant.

    I've used WD-40 to get nasty crud out of some of my guns. It works wonders on powder fouling, and the fact that it's an aerosol is nice too.
    BUT any time I use it, always make sure to flush it out with (drum roll please).............................. BRAKE KLEEN!
     
  10. 7stw

    7stw Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,323
    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2010
    I'll second that notion!!!! I don't even get near my guns with WD-40. if it gets in your trigger, it turns to asphalt when it gets Cold. As was mention earlier, when it's very cold, no lube is better than anything.
    A few years back, my uncles bolt froze on him early in the morning, as he left his gun in the truck overnite. He tried to shoot a doe a little after daybreak, and the hammer would not fire. He pulled the bolt, and put it inside his overalls for a few minutes, while the deer was having her last breakfast!!!! A few moments later, he tried it, and BANG, dead deer.
    The spring was " gunnked" with WD40. A little brake clean, and all better. Another thing that can be used that works very well to degrease, or to remove lube is Ether. Regular diesel starting fluid will flush it away in no time flat, but do it outside. It evaporates , and leaves no residue, or smell. Hope this helps!!!

    P/S, if you do use Brake Kleen, use the GREEN can. The red canned stuff leaves a film, and smells too. The GREEN can, seems to flash off cleaner, no residue, or smell.
     
  11. BMF

    BMF Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    182
    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2008
  12. BMF

    BMF Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    182
    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2008
    Just bought some of that piranha powder. I like trying knew things, especially when they're only 16.95. If it doesn't work I've got plenty of fishing reels I can use it on.
     
  13. Bullet bumper

    Bullet bumper Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,042
    Joined:
    May 20, 2009
    Moly does build up to some degree but that is not a down side . Even the build up has a lower coefficient of friction against itself than against the metal of the bore or bullet . The slight build up is the protective lamellar structure forming that makes it work . Those that continually clean it out get no real benefit .
    It amazes me that some people say they are going to use moly to coat the bore but infact clean so often that no real coating can take place .
     
  14. Gene

    Gene Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,326
    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2007
    I spray my bolts with a light coat of Ballistol. Never had a problem.