Two days before I saw this bird, I got a couple ptarmigans for the pot. My gun worked with out incident. This bird in the video got away because my firing pin was frozen. Once the trip was done, I told the story to my friend Pat in Ulukhaktok, and he showed me what he uses to lube his gun in extreme cold.

He uses a fast-drying graphite spray made for aviation applications that can handle extreme cold. Oil-based lubricants get very slow and sticky at low temperatures. In the deep cold, the heat created from firing your gun creates condensation that can freeze your pin. In these conditions, it’s better to use no lube at all if you don’t have a dry lubricant, wiping all the oil-based lube from your gun. I would also consider putting a stronger spring in my gun in future situations like this.

Moral of the story: If your gun freezes up when your ptarmigan hunting, you’ll go hungry. If your gun is freezes up when you’re being charged by a bear, the bear doesn’t go hungry.

Graphite spray it is.