Cold temperature problems with .22LR

Hugnot

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 26, 2020
Messages
257
Location
Montana
Two days ago I began shooting my .22 using Winchester Power Point 40 gr. hollow points. This ammo normally gives .5 or so groups at 50 yards, like 1 hole that you can put your finger in. I started shooting with a warm rifle & ammo with the usual accuracy. I took a break and every thing cooled down to 30* or so. The fine accuracy went away, flyers some 2-3 inches out. I noticed that there are some types of ammo like Lapua Polar Biathlon, Fiocchi Exacta Biathlon, Lapua Biathlon Xtreme for biathlon events. Is this ammo formulated for cold temps? I checked my rifle out and it performed the same good way when it was warm. Rifle, scope or Ammo?
 

LoneTraveler

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 7, 2014
Messages
714
At 30 degree F.
The thing I would check is the bolt and firing pin. Lube getting cold in the firing pin channel may be giving inconsistent primer strikes and varying velocity.
Check the trigger also, Bad lube may be raising the trigger pull or causing changing trigger pulls.

At - 30 (Thirty Below), Going to compete in very cold climate, Special Biathlon ammo may mean the difference between the Gold Metal and I competed.
 

Hugnot

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 26, 2020
Messages
257
Location
Montana
At 30 degree F.
The thing I would check is the bolt and firing pin. Lube getting cold in the firing pin channel may be giving inconsistent primer strikes and varying velocity.
Check the trigger also, Bad lube may be raising the trigger pull or causing changing trigger pulls.

At - 30 (Thirty Below), Going to compete in very cold climate, Special Biathlon ammo may mean the difference between the Gold Metal and I competed.
Good thinking, it's not 89* any more. Looks like a complete bolt clean up and a rerun next week at +20* or so. I will sample my real good assortment of .22LR ammo for this event.
 

Dean2

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 31, 2010
Messages
760
Location
Alberta
RF ammo is sensitive to temperature. I would make sure the bolt is clean and dry graphite lubed. Just at freezing seems a little warm for the extreme flyers you are getting but I would test some other ammo at the same time. It will quickly show you whether it is the ammo or the gun. The cold may be causing your barrel to bind or touch, torque to go up etc, it isn't always the ammo.
 

Glenn Tullius

Well-Known Member
LRH Team Member
Joined
Jun 28, 2019
Messages
129
Location
LaCrescent, MN
Put your ammo in a little cooler with a heated up coffee bean bag for sore muscles. Take out and shoot right away. RF does not like to be much below 50 degrees in my experience.
 

Allthewatts

Member
Joined
Jan 5, 2021
Messages
24
Location
TX
Put your ammo in a little cooler with a heated up coffee bean bag for sore muscles. Take out and shoot right away. RF does not like to be much below 50 degrees in my experience.
This! though remember you can't leave it in the barrel for 60s waiting to make a shot. It will cool very fast.

I have the same issue in the opposite way, leave the black rifle in the sun, its hot to the touch and shoots poorly.
 

Glenn Tullius

Well-Known Member
LRH Team Member
Joined
Jun 28, 2019
Messages
129
Location
LaCrescent, MN
I was assuming your rifle was in the house warm first. Leave it in the warm car while you set up your target, bags, rest etc. Then shoot! Agreed on the black guns in the sun! A big no-no!
 

Dean2

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 31, 2010
Messages
760
Location
Alberta
I don't know about you guys but shooting competition in the winter or hunting small game, keeping ammo in a cooler and the gun warm in a car is not a very viable set of options. I have always concetrated on finding ammo that shot well in the cold instead. There are quite a few that don't show near the temperature effect that others do. One suprising one is the inexpensive Winchester Xpert line. Works well for hunting in cold weather. For target shooting Federal Champion and the various Biathlon rounds all show good cold weather accuracy.
 

Allthewatts

Member
Joined
Jan 5, 2021
Messages
24
Location
TX
Remember, biathlon shooters have cold components and shoot well, so it clearly can be done. I have heard that the biathlon powder is a very old formula, I wonder how true that really is.

I'll try some of the Xpert line some time when ammo is available.
 

Primary

LRH Assistant
Here are some related products that LRH members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to LRH’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to LRH discussions about these products.

 
 
Top