• Mikey

Winterizing Your Firearms

As the weather is turning towards snow, I must remind myself of the winter firearms checklist, even in Big Bear, California. These are habits compiled based on spec-ops cold-weather training and from hunting experience.

Questions you should ask yourself:

Is the trigger guard big enough for the gloved finger? Generally, the smallest pistols have a problem. For many rifles, an oversized trigger guard is a drop-in upgrade.

Does the slide clear bulky gloves or mitten on recoil?

With a revolver, will the undercut on the trigger trap glove material on reset?

Can you reach your regular holster through the layers of outer clothing?

Is your chosen ammunition going to penetrate enough with the extra layers encountered?

Will the gun oil congeal, slowing down the action?

Can you get a cheek-weld on the stock without freezing to the metal parts?

Will the red dot work with cold batteries? Does my red dot maintain zero in freezing temperatures?

Will your breath condense and freeze on the rear scope objective?

Will your ammunition develop less power and fail to cycle the gun?

All these questions and more are concerns during freezing temperatures.


During dry practice, shooters should ensure that they can safely manipulate their weapons with heavy gloves or mittens. This is a priority! If you cannot work your gun, you must try different gloves or consider a larger trigger guard. This step is oftentimes overlooked as it seems like a simple problem that is easily overcome. If hunting, you are not shooting on your terms and will be rushed to take a shot. Rehearse with your cold-weather gear before hitting the field. 


As we make ready to head out in