Best cold weather semi-auto?

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Re: Best cold weather semi-auto?

Postby duckman27 » Fri Dec 13, 2013 12:40 am

I was shooting a Urika II in -7 last Saturday with no issues. It seems like the guns that need to be lubed up are the ones that have the issues. A lot of the newer gas systems don't need any lubricant which keeps them from gumming up and jamming in the cold weather
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Re: Best cold weather semi-auto?

Postby goose_gunner » Fri Dec 13, 2013 2:40 am

Browning gold benelli sbe and ithica mag-10 all 3 of those guns listed I have used all the way down to -40
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Re: Best cold weather semi-auto?

Postby BT Justice » Fri Dec 13, 2013 4:15 am

mudpack wrote:
BT Justice wrote:So what you guys are stating is because you have engineering degrees you have more knowledge and experience on this subject than the hundreds of scientists, engineers and ballisticians that do weapons development for both our military and the Russian military.I'm impressed..................


Want to be even more impressed? Ask those hundreds of "scientists and engineers" (forget the ballisticians, they don't design guns) if they agree with me and cluck'. Then, you'll REALLY be impressed..... :thumbsup:

Now, since you want to get argumentative:
If ammo were the only reason for poor cold-weather functioning of shotguns, then how come my Gold will function as a single shot one day when it's dirty and the temps are in the single digits....then the next day, after a thorough cleaning and proper lubing, will function perfectly even though it's even colder? Exact same ammo, even from the same box. :huh:

Perhaps the AR-16 worked that way in the frozen rice paddies of Vietnam (really??), but my shotgun does not seem to care what ammo it's shooting, or how cold it is.......it cares only that it is clean and properly lubed. YRMV

Well you basically answered your own question...your gun shoots poorly one day after shooting it and getting it dirty, then you clean it and it shoots fine. OK MR Engineer what made the gun get dirty..if you answered the ammunition you were using you answered correctly...after all what else could have.
I'm not getting argumentative, it's just very hard to read how many guys actually blame the lube they use on poor cold weather performance when there are other factors involved here, many of which most shooters/hunters no little about.
The failures of the M-16 if your really did read my post were due in part to failures of the ammunition due to HIGH TEMPERATURE AND HUMIDITY conditions, not cold conditions...Read what somebody writes before you try and condemn them.
This has been well documented and is widely known.
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Re: Best cold weather semi-auto?

Postby cluckmeister » Fri Dec 13, 2013 5:21 am

OK MR Engineer what made the gun get dirty..if you answered the ammunition you were using you answered correctly...after all what else could have.

Theres a million things in the field that can make a gun dirty, from your statement youre blaming it on the ammo. in MHO that's a bad statement. True Ammo stored in a cold atmosphere for a long time can malfunction but its the powder that fails due to deterioration. Also true the primer could fail. BUT I don't believe any ammo made is going to deteriorate in the short term of one or two seasons. Just for fun Im going out in 12 degree weather this morning and Im taking some Kent shells with me that's been in the freezer at -2 degrees overnight, I ll let you know if they work or not. Ill be shooting a Remington 1100 that's been on 19 trips to the marsh this year and has only been wiped down not taken apart and cleaned.
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Re: Best cold weather semi-auto?

Postby BT Justice » Fri Dec 13, 2013 5:54 am

cluckmeister wrote:OK MR Engineer what made the gun get dirty..if you answered the ammunition you were using you answered correctly...after all what else could have.

Theres a million things in the field that can make a gun dirty, from your statement youre blaming it on the ammo. in MHO that's a bad statement. True Ammo stored in a cold atmosphere for a long time can malfunction but its the powder that fails due to deterioration. Also true the primer could fail. BUT I don't believe any ammo made is going to deteriorate in the short term of one or two seasons. Just for fun Im going out in 12 degree weather this morning and Im taking some Kent shells with me that's been in the freezer at -2 degrees overnight, I ll let you know if they work or not. Ill be shooting a Remington 1100 that's been on 19 trips to the marsh this year and has only been wiped down not taken apart and cleaned.

Nobody stated the ammo wouldn't work, what was stated was it was unreliable in cold weather and yes many people including myself have seen failures of it in cold weather.
Ammunition doesn't deteriorate in that short a period of time, and the primer aren't failing.
What happens is powders and primers loose some of their effectiveness in cold weather leading to dirtier shooting shells.
Again since this is speculation on most of your parts and not known facts, Winchester actually did a study on this using some of their own powders and primers. Certain shotgun powders they make or have made will loose up to 100 fps in many loads due to a temperature change of 70 degrees on the negative side.
It wouldn't do any good to say which powders or where you can get this information because you quite obviously don't want to believe me or think you know more than you do. Your statement about powder deteriorating shows you know didley about he subject.
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Re: Best cold weather semi-auto?

Postby TomKat » Fri Dec 13, 2013 6:13 am

I use CLP on my M2. I don't have any problems in the cold. I keep it clean.



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Re: Best cold weather semi-auto?

Postby cluckmeister » Fri Dec 13, 2013 12:46 pm

BT, POWDER DOES DETERIATE Repeat POWDER DOES DETERIATE

It wouldn't do any good to say which powders or where you can get this information because you quite obviously don't want to believe me or think you know more than you do. Your statement about powder deteriorating shows you know didley about he subject.

I guess this company don't know didley about powder deterioration either

From http://www.alliantpowder.com/getting_st ... dling.aspx

How to Check Smokeless Powder for Deterioration

Although modern smokeless powders are basically free from deterioration under proper storage conditions, safe practices require a recognition of the signs of deterioration and its possible effects.

Powder deterioration can be checked by opening the cap on the container and smelling the contents. Powder undergoing deterioration has an irritating acidic odor. (Don't confuse this with common solvent odors such as alcohol, ether and acetone.)

Check to make certain that powder is not exposed to extreme heat as this may cause deterioration. Such exposure produces an acidity which accelerates further reaction and has been known, because of the heat generated by the reaction, to cause spontaneous combustion.

Also, Heres a Quote from a magazine article I found on the subject:


I have access to a gentleman who is an energetics expert. I asked him about smokeless powder lifetime. The whole topic is a subset of “Insensitive Munitions”. A term you can Google and find bits and pieces in the public domain.

Smokeless propellants are used in more applications that just cartridges. Rocket motors, explosive warheads, these all use smokeless propellants.

He told me that powder starts DETERIORATING the day it leaves the powder mill. The rate of deterioration of double based powders is governed by the Arrhenius equation. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arrhenius_equation. The hotter it is, the faster it goes. Single based powders apparently deteriorate in a linear fashion.

What the expert told me was that double base powders are made of nitroglycerine (NG) and nitrocellulose (NC). The NG wants to wick its way, through capillary action, into the NC. Forming a lower energy state compound. In the process of combination nitric acid gas is released. As nature wants to go to a lower energy state, this reaction is inevitable. There are preventive stabilizers in the powder which eat up the nitric acid. The stabilizers get consumed over time.

Exposing powder to high temperatures for extended periods of time is bad. Heat accelerates the reduction-oxidation process.

Cool dry storage conditions, he actually said “artic”, are about the best for long term storage of powder.



Now for the last sentence of that paragraph and what I said was Powder can deteriorate because of cold, perhaps I should explained a bit more further. I read 4 articles relating to Ammo and the powders within the ammo. When ammo is taken in and out of warm to cold temps, moisture/condensation tends to form inside the shell. This causes the powder to deteriorate over a unknown length of time. Now since you mentioned FPS, if losing a 100 FPS causes your gun to malfunction, you need to trade it in.

Ive read a bunch of your posts and its evident you are or were a ammo reloader so that makes you an expert as to why guns malfunction. If you believe guns don't malfunction because of certain Lubes getting thick in cold weather so be it, I choose to believe otherwise, based on 40 years of hunting experience


BTW the 9 shells I froze killed 4 Mallards this morning and my gun cycled perfectly without that other 100 FPS
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Re: Best cold weather semi-auto?

Postby BurnettGunner » Fri Dec 13, 2013 12:52 pm

I would just buy a nice over-under and call it good. -20 windchills, sleeting rain and firing all day long without fail.
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Re: Best cold weather semi-auto?

Postby cluckmeister » Fri Dec 13, 2013 1:00 pm

BurnettGunner wrote:I would just buy a nice over-under and call it good. -20 windchills, sleeting rain and firing all day long without fail.



Some folks on this thread would say its the unreliable ammo that fails not the gun
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Best cold weather semi-auto?

Postby Frylock » Fri Dec 13, 2013 5:17 pm

BT Justice wrote: OK MR Engineer what made the gun get dirty..

I'm not an engineer but even I can answer how a gun gets dirty in the marsh.....
To the original poster, I'll give you the answer that most folks give to guys looking for advice on which gun to buy; get the one that fits you the best.
Use lubrication sparingly and enjoy.
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Re: Best cold weather semi-auto?

Postby mudpack » Fri Dec 13, 2013 5:43 pm

BT Justice wrote:The failures of the M-16 if your really did read my post were due in part to failures of the ammunition due to HIGH TEMPERATURE AND HUMIDITY conditions, not cold conditions...Read what somebody writes before you try and condemn them. This has been well documented and is widely known.


You are correct in that I misread your post about problems in Vietnam. I stand corrected.
That doesn't change the questionable position that M16 problems were caused by faulty ammo. I was in the military from 1966 to 1970 and I have not heard of this theory until now. What we were told at the time was that a combination of tight gun clearances and dirt in the guns were causing the issues.
In fact, I've never heard of ANY instances, with ANY ammo, where ammo temperature, either hot or cold, caused gun malfunctions. :huh:
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Re: Best cold weather semi-auto?

Postby MSparks909 » Fri Dec 13, 2013 7:48 pm

M16 was originally quoted as being self-cleaning (which it is to an extent), however the military switched over from the very clean IMR powder to Winchester powder which started gumming up rifles. The lack of field cleaning kits, chrome lined chambers and misinformation on how regularly the M16 needed to be lubed caused the jamming issues.
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Re: Best cold weather semi-auto?

Postby cluckmeister » Fri Dec 13, 2013 8:03 pm

Fellows now that we have completely gotten completely off the thread subject, I have read in detail Wikipedia's description of the M16 and why it failed.

As I see it the problems in Nam with the gun were many, but, the bottom line the ammo wasn't compatible with the design of the gun and its cycling port pressures, as well as I stated before.

Also as for the M16 in Nam, There were a number of serious problems encountered during initial fielding. Initially, the rifle was the target of criticism because it would unexpectedly stop firing. The fussy M16s responded poorly to wet, dirty field conditions, and often jammed during combat, resulting in numerous casualties. Keeping the gun clean in the field in Vietnam was difficult. Modifications and a late 1966 redesign were made on the weapon, along with an effort to train the troops in its care and cleaning. The reliability of the M16 significantly improved. It proved particularly valuable in the close jungle firefights experienced during the Vietnam War. As a result of better training, preventive maintenance, and several design changes, the weapon that has become the standard issue rifle of the U.S. Army


It wasn't ammo failure, unless you call incapability of a firearm and ammo used in it a failure:

Finally Please read:


In November 1963, McNamara approved the U.S. Army's order of 85,000 XM16E1s for jungle warfare operations;[38] and to appease General LeMay, the Air Force was granted an order for another 19,000 M16s.[25][39] Meanwhile, the Army carried out another project, the Small Arms Weapons Systems, on general infantry firearm needs in the immediate future. They recommended the immediate adoption of the weapon. Later that year the Air Force officially accepted their first batch as the United States Rifle, Caliber 5.56 mm, M16.





A U.S. Soldier cleans his XM16E1 during the Vietnam War in 1966.
The Army immediately began to issue the XM16E1 to infantry units. However, the rifle was initially delivered without adequate cleaning supplies or instructions and so, when the M16 reached Vietnam with U.S. troops in March 1965, reports of stoppages in combat began to surface. Often the gun suffered from a stoppage known as “failure to extract”, which meant that a spent cartridge case remained lodged in the chamber after a bullet flew out the muzzle.[16] Although the M14 featured a chrome-lined barrel and chamber to resist corrosion in combat conditions, neither the bore nor the chamber of the M16/XM16E1 was chrome-lined. Several documented accounts of troops killed by enemy fire with inoperable rifles broken-down for cleaning eventually brought a Congressional investigation.[40]


We left with 72 men in our platoon and came back with 19, Believe it or not, you know what killed most of us? Our own rifle. Practically every one of our dead was found with his [M16] torn down next to him where he had been trying to fix it.

—Marine Corps Rifleman, Vietnam.[40]

The root cause of the stoppages turned out to be a problem with the powder for the ammunition. In 1964, when the Army was informed that DuPont could not mass-produce the nitrocellulose-based IMR 4475 powder to the specifications demanded by the M16, the Olin Mathieson Company provided a high-performance ball propellant of nitrocellulose and nitroglycerin. While the Olin WC 846 powder was capable of firing an M16 5.56 mm round at the desired 3,300 ft (1,000 m) per second, the powder produced higher chamber and gas port pressures with the unintended consequence of increasing the automatic rate of fire from 850 to 1,000 rounds per minute.[41] That problem was resolved by fitting the M16 with a buffer system, reducing the rate of fire back to 850 rounds per minute, and outfitting all newly produced M16s with an anti-corrosive chrome-plated chamber.[42] Dirty residue left by WC 846 made the M16 more likely to have a stoppage. Some WC 846 propellant lots clogged the M16 gas tube until concentrations of calcium carbonate stabilizers were reduced in 1970 as reformulated WC 844.[43]





M16A1 with a 30-round magazine
On February 28, 1967, the XM16E1 was standardized as the M16A1. Major revisions to the design followed. The rifle was given a chrome-lined chamber (and later, the entire bore) to eliminate corrosion and stuck cartridges, and the rifle's recoil mechanism was re-designed to accommodate Army-issued 5.56 mm ammunition. Rifle cleaning tools and powder solvents/lubricants were issued. Intensive training programs in weapons cleaning were instituted, and a comic book style manual was circulated among the troops to demonstrate proper maintenance. The reliability problems of the M16 diminished quickly, although the rifle's reputation continued to suffer.[25]

h2ofowlr, I for one apologize for straying way off of your initial topic.
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Re: Best cold weather semi-auto?

Postby Takeem406 » Fri Dec 13, 2013 10:38 pm

Browning Maxus cleaned with Hornady One Shot works for me in Montana.

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Re: Best cold weather semi-auto?

Postby everythings ducky » Fri Dec 13, 2013 10:58 pm

[quote="TomKat"]I use CLP on my M2. I don't have any problems in the cold. I keep it clean.

Simple answer that is right on. Works for all my guns regardless of brand in cold weather.
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Re: Best cold weather semi-auto?

Postby BT Justice » Sun Dec 15, 2013 6:05 am

I agree excuse me for getting way off topic, this as was in your post was the reason I stated ammunition plays a large role in an autoloaders functionality or lack there of. The Calcium Carbonate was also put into the powder to stabilize it against high temperature/humidity conditions. It actually stated to make rock like lime deposits on the gas pistons and did cause many of the failures associated with the M-16, as did the incompatibility of the chosen powder in the ammunition for hot weather conditions.
==============================================================================================================
The root cause of the stoppages turned out to be a problem with the powder for the ammunition. In 1964, when the Army was informed that DuPont could not mass-produce the nitrocellulose-based IMR 4475 powder to the specifications demanded by the M16, the Olin Mathieson Company provided a high-performance ball propellant of nitrocellulose and nitroglycerin. While the Olin WC 846 powder was capable of firing an M16 5.56 mm round at the desired 3,300 ft (1,000 m) per second, the powder produced higher chamber and gas port pressures with the unintended consequence of increasing the automatic rate of fire from 850 to 1,000 rounds per minute.[41] That problem was resolved by fitting the M16 with a buffer system, reducing the rate of fire back to 850 rounds per minute, and outfitting all newly produced M16s with an anti-corrosive chrome-plated chamber.[42] Dirty residue left by WC 846 made the M16 more likely to have a stoppage. Some WC 846 propellant lots clogged the M16 gas tube until concentrations of calcium carbonate stabilizers were reduced in 1970 as reformulated WC 844.[43]
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Re: Best cold weather semi-auto?

Postby BT Justice » Sun Dec 15, 2013 6:24 am

Cluckmeister..Excuse me if I sound a bit arrogant about the subject, sometimes when I'm trying to be helpful it comes across all bad.
Not only do I reload but I also do ammunition development and testing, part time till I can make a living at it full time hopefully.
Sometimes I don't get the point across because a lot of people just don't have the back round in what certain types of ammunition will and won't do.
This is the reason I suggested using Federal over Kent ammunition in my original post, they both use the same types of powder but use different primers in their ammo, Kent using a Cheddite primer that at very cold temperatures does produce failures'.
Try your tests at sub zero temperatures, I've actually been out in -20 straight temps with wind chills in the 40-50 below range, not the smartest thing I've ever done, and seen Kent ammo fail or loose so much birds were wounded.
It's really not Kents fault, they use Cheddite hulls and they the Cheddite primer, which is a European type primer and does have problems in extreme cold from my experience.
The basic thing many of those articles don't tell you is all powder produces some kind of carbon residue upon firing, when temperatures get cold and if ignition falls off the carbon residue gets even worse and can lead to failures in auto loading guns.
You don't have to believe me, just watch when others shoot and see how much soot starts to come out of their barrels as temperatures go down.
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Re: Best cold weather semi-auto?

Postby Frank Lopez » Sun Dec 15, 2013 8:43 am

BT Justice wrote:It has little to do with your gun
It has little to do with the lube you use, except for a very small percentage of the gun lubes out there, most of them are made from near exact same ingredients.
When the weather gets that cold it's your ammunition, hands down. Likewise when the temperature/humidity is extremely high.
Our military found this out in Vietnam blaming the failures on the M-16, further study showed it was the ammunition and how it was manufactured.The Russian military found this out years ago, they are experts at producing cold weather ammo. Also why they still use Berdan priming in many of their military loads, they found out through extensive testing Berdan primed ammo gives better ignition in sub zero temperatures.


If I recall correctly, what was found out was that the M-16 was not being properly maintained in the field. Once the correct cleaning kits and instructions were issued, the problem went away.

I think, with a few exceptions, the problem is the AMOUNT of lube applied to the gun. Basically, just a little dab'll do ya!

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Re: Best cold weather semi-auto?

Postby lbhatty » Sun Dec 15, 2013 9:46 pm

copterdoc wrote:And if your choice of lubricant makes the difference in whether or not your gun works, it's not the fault of the damn lube!

Reliable performance, is reliable performance. Whether the lube has higher viscosity when cold, or it's bone dry.

Guns don't quit working in the cold, because the lube got thick.

They quit working in the cold, because the cold temperature changed the tolerances between critical associated parts. And the design of the gun, was unforgiving of those changes in tolerance.

copterdoc is right in my opinion. I have been a serious waterfowler for 50 years now. I have been hunting in Alaska , Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and Ontario for 30 years .So, I have hunted with and in the presence of about every shotgun out there both new and vintage models.In the States I use a Benelli or Browning Maxus with no problem,but in really cold climes where I might not get a chance or wan't to clean my gun every day, three of my friends and I use Remington 11-87's with at least a dozen seasons on them. They are simply loose enough to keep shooting when more finely machined and fitted guns freeze up.
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Re: Best cold weather semi-auto?

Postby cluckmeister » Sun Dec 15, 2013 11:05 pm

They are simply loose enough to keep shooting when more finely machined and fitted guns freeze up
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Theres not a gun manufactured today that has a blueprint dimension with a +/- tolerance tight enough to cause a gun to malfunction in hot or cold weather. Even with the modern CNC machines would they ever design a part with that critical of a dimension. Why? Its not practical, its not needed, its to costly to machine, it would take extremely high dollar inspection equipment to inspect the parts and. Thinking back on 40 years of Machine Shop Quality Control experience in the Experimental/Engineering Dept at the worlds largest Private Jet Aircraft Manufacturer, I cant even think of a part that had a design dimension with anything tighter than a +/- tolerance of .0002 other than a aluminum freeze plug which did run in this tolerance and they had to be frozen with dry ice at - around -159 degrees I believe to even be installed. Yep it had to be that cold to shrink.

50 years of hunting all over the world and shooting every gun made, doesnt give you an education on the expansion and shrinkage of material. But I bet it was fun. LOL

Also just for fun, today I measured different critical parts in 3 Remington 1100 G3s , these guns have more precision parts than regular 1100s. And I found lots of different dimensions within the same part but on average the parts were within +/- 0005 of each other

So respectfully I have to disagree with copterdoc and his theory

I also found this link to the blueprint for the AR15 lower receiver ,I don't see any dimensional tolerances that in my opinion would change when the gun was taken into extremely cold weather www.biggerhammer.net/ar15/cad/ar15_receiver.pdf
And I believe this blueprint would be fairly typical of all firearms.

So the answer to the question asked by the OP, there is no best,
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Re: Best cold weather semi-auto?

Postby A5Gunner » Sat Dec 21, 2013 6:56 pm

BT Justice wrote:
cluckmeister wrote:
mudpack wrote:
copterdoc wrote:Guns don't quit working in the cold, because the lube got thick.

They quit working in the cold, because the cold temperature changed the tolerances between critical associated parts. And the design of the gun, was unforgiving of those changes in tolerance.



Sorry, doc. I must disagree.
As a retired engineer with metallurgical background, I can tell you that tolerances are not changed by temperature changes. I believe you meant to say "clearances" instead of "tolerances".
Now, a temperature change of 80 degrees....from 80 degrees F to 0 (zero) degrees F.... might cause a steel part to shrink one thousandth of an inch, depending on its size. Most critical steel parts in a gun will shrink far less, because they are so small.
When typical manufacturing tolerances are usually +/- one or two thousanths, and typical manufacturing clearances (clearance and tolerance are NOT the same thing) on a gun are probably twice that, one thousandth of an inch is not enough to affect the functionality of the gun. The designers have accounted for this.


For example: a steel part with a dimension of 1.5" will, in going from 80 degrees to zero degrees, change 0.000864".
And, keep in mind, ALL the steel parts will be changing at the same time.
Aluminum's CE is slightly greater, which means an aluminum part with a dimension of 1.5" will change 0.000696" more than the steel's. That's only 7/10,000" difference, not enough to affect function. This in a gun with both steel and aluminum components.

It's the lube.... the type and/or the amount. :thumbsup: (Plus, to a lesser degree, the cleanliness of the working parts.)




as a Aeronautical Quality Control Representative in the Experimental Machine Arena, I fully concur, in a firearm .001 wont change things a bit, besides todays guns have more stamped parts in them than guns of old and their truly machined parts

So what you guys are stating is because you have engineering degrees you have more knowledge and experience on this subject than the hundreds of scientists, engineers and ballisticians that do weapons development for both our military and the Russian military.
I'm impressed.................. :lol3: :lol3: :lol3:


No, they are stating they have more knowledge than you..... :lol3: :lol3: :lol3: :lol3:

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