Hi guys, this is Tang with Fox Airsoft and I’m here with another set of tech tips. This time we’re talking about using AEGs in the cold. The cold weather is a tricky beast and can affect your AEGs, gas guns, really anything that relies on rubber seals and that does not exclude HPA.
Here in Colorado, we see all four seasons here and we try and play year around as best as we can. We’ll see hot summers as well as below freezing temps so I want to talk about tips for using your AEGs in cold weather. I'm not a native to Colorado myself so I too have had to adapt how I play when it got cold and snowy outside.
Starting with the power source, we’re going to talk about batteries. Batteries of all kinds do not perform well in the cold so you’ll notice your batteries not lasting nearly as long. Your best way to work around it is to simply carry more batteries, especially if you use conventional NiMH batteries. Using LiPo batteries could give you the extra oomph needed to run your gun at a comfortable pace and this is due to the higher discharge rate on tap. In the automotive world, people who live in colder climates also have to buy better batteries because their cars might not crank with a basic and cheap battery. To keep your batteries from getting too cold, you could get creative with your use of hand warmers, though such as stowing it in your gear or in your pockets where some of your body warmth may keep it ready. Just be careful about how you do that because you don't want to cook your batteries either!
Next we’ll talk about the guns themselves. The cold does a lot of things to the metal and rubber internal components. Some guns, such as those by ICS, feature some of the most heavily reinforced gearbox shells and can handle this no problem. For standard guns, just be mindful of playing in below freezing temps or have a winter gun that you don’t mind running just for the season as the cold does contribute to wear and tear. Temps of 10 degrees Fahrenheit or below can take a toll on your gearbox. If you ever talk to European players who see colder temps on a regular basis than we do, they’ll definitely agree that this is something you have to live with if you play in freezing temps.
One thing you might expect is fluctuations in your FPS. This is because the seals in your AEG, namely the piston o-ring, might constrict in the cold weather leading to a poor air seal. If it should warm back up your gun will probably behave as it did before. There isn’t anything you could do to prevent this but if you shoot a few rounds out of your gun, the friction from the piston o-ring to the cylinder does warm it backup and the gun will start to get better seal again. In terms of your gun functioning, your gun will still run regardless of this. This is also something not readily obvious so it’s not a deal breaker by any means and you can work through it. Before the round starts on a game you could cycle your gun (empty a few times) just to counteract that and then proceed to load your gun. Obviously, do NOT do this in the staging area at your field.
One more rubber component that does not like the cold sometimes: the bucking. The bucking is responsible for backspin thus giving you more range with your BBs. The rubber could freeze up or wear out sooner due to the constantly changing temps which dries it up and creates too much friction. Though you might not experience it when you play, you may at some point need to replace your bucking. For guns I run frequently throughout the year, I like to do it every year at the change of the cold season because I expect this to happen. This would be a good excuse for you to learn how to change that part out because it is a wear item regardless of temperature. Perhaps I’ll do a simple video for you Version 2 M4 people out there since that is the most common and easiest platform to work on.
That pretty much covers the aspects of what is affected in an AEG in cold weather. Playing in the cold is not really that big of an issue and you’ll be able to overcome those problems with the tips we gave you today. AEGs in general still can cycle due to the lack of requiring some sort of compressed air or gasses that react to extreme cold temps.
Do you have any stories or experience using an AEG in cold weather? Comment below or shoot us an e-mail. As tech and new techniques are discovered, we like to revisit old topics and add to them to enhance the knowledge base available to our readers.