Weapons (much like their owners) don’t always work very well in the cold.
Cold War era weapons have a solid reputation for shooting well in the snow.
Military Arms Channel does a solid breakdown of some Soviet era rifles that perform very well in the snow. Some of the usual suspects are obvious like the AK-47 and the SKS. These rifles were engineered with the elements in mind. Snow, sand, and mud are no obstacle for the two common weapons.
The US version of the AK featured in the video is a Kreps Custom AC-15. This rifle has numerous upgrades that allow it to fire much more efficiently than a standard off the shelf AK. The upgrades include an upgraded trigger spring kit that is polished for a crisp break, and also an ultra smooth bolt face for buttery feeding and ejecting.
When the cold elements set in, the proper lubricants will help keep the weapon moving as intended. More importantly, the AK was designed to function in cold climates. The AK has looser chamber tolerances compared to an AR-15, and has less surface area in direct contact inside the chamber that can stick when the bolt is forward.
In hot weather theaters such as the desert, the fine powdery sand which was known to make AR’s malfunction does nothing to the AK due to the looser tolerances. The same is true with snow. The heat from firing the weapon will melt the basic frost but the extra space prevents the bolt from sticking.
Other rifles featured in the video were the TULA SKS, VZ 58, and the Rasheed SKS (Egyptian made).
Russian designed weapons really show their strong side when the temperature dips. Keep your ammo dry and stay vigilant.