When the weather becomes colder, it's time to think about how you'll carry your handgun. Although many concealed carry concepts remain the same throughout the year, winter weather presents its own set of challenges. Everyday carriers must change their setup and approach to carrying to accommodate the winter months. The winter months pose additional challenges due to the additional layers you have to wear. Here are some useful recommendations for cold weather carry:
Tips for Winter Concealed Carry
1) Check Your Cold Weather Clothing
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The way you dress can make or break your concealed carry experience. Longer coats are more difficult to draw than shorter coats, so stay away from them. If you're wearing a trench coat or peacoat, leave the buttons undone. It's a good idea to try on your winter gear before heading out. Check to see how fast you can draw and if you have any constraints.
What Kind of Jacket Should You Use?
You are not required to purchase branded "concealed carry jackets." A conventional light jacket and coat will suffice. You only need to choose a jacket that won't make it difficult for you to draw the gun.
Waist-length jackets, such as a bomber or a car coat, are the easiest to work with. Because the jacket's hem is about the same length as most shirts, you won't need to change your draw technique much, if at all.
When compared to just wearing a shirt, there will be more material to work with, therefore you'll want to spend some time honing your skills with a winter coat.
2) Keep in Mind the Gloves
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Gloves are another item of apparel that is frequently added in cold weather.
Is it possible to use your fingers properly when wearing gloves because of the thickness of the material? Are they too big for the trigger guard or for you to pull the trigger with your hands? Do they make it difficult for you to draw and grip? Make sure to consider all these things when choosing to wear gloves during winter.
We're not suggesting you throw away your gloves; just imagine you'll be drawing and firing your concealed carry gun while wearing them and modify accordingly. Spending a little more money on thinner, warmer gloves that function well with your gun is also an option.
3) Use Shoulder Holsters
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During the cold, shoulder holsters are a smart choice. They won't be the quickest, but they'll almost certainly be the most dependable. The worst-case scenario with a shoulder holster is that you need to unzip your coat and reach for the pistol.
If you leave the top of your coat unzipped, it's simple to reach in for the gun without taking any additional steps, saving you a second or more. It's still slow, but on the plus side, the pistol is always within reach.
Make sure that you wear your shoulder holster under your coat and over any other garments. You'll simply have to reach into your coat to get the gun this way.
4) Have a Uniform Place Where You Keep Your Firearm
You don't want to have to worry about where your gun is at any time of year, especially in the cold. Your senses are dulled when it's cold outside. A combination of a slower reaction time and an approaching evil man equals a really awful moment. As a result, keep your CCW at the same spot at all times. Whatever manner of concealed carry you choose, be sure it's one that's both comfortable and convenient for you.
5) You Can Also Use Pocket Holsters
Over the last few years, pocket holsters have become a popular means of concealing handguns due to their convenience and comfort. Below the beltline and above the beltline are the two types of pocket carry that should be considered.
Below the Beltline
The most common way to conceal your handgun below the beltline is to put it in one of the front pockets of your trousers. Some people prefer a wallet holster hidden in one of the back pockets. Cargo pockets, on the other hand, are a carry spot that many people ignore. And, especially when seated, a form-fitted internal holster that preserves the gun's position becomes a handy choice.
The ease of access and reholstering, as well as a loose fit or enough bulk in the fabric to conceal the gun's outline, are all factors to consider.
Above the Beltline
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Above the beltline deals with the upper outerwear which is basically the jacket and coat you're wearing. Some coats and jackets are cut so long that access to the front and back trouser pockets is difficult. The slash pockets of the jacket, if deep enough to conceal the handgun and a pocket holster, are a suitable alternative here.
For concealment, some jackets have built-in pockets in the upper chest area. To keep the pocket secure, some use Velcro, while others have zippers, buttons, or snaps. Choose an option that is convenient for you.
Your gun is both a responsibility and a lifeline for you. When you remove the jacket, make sure you have another way to transport it and a discreet place to store it.
6) Choose the Right Footwear
What you put on your feet has a greater impact than you may realize.
In the same way that flip-flops may come in the way during an assault in the summer, shoes with poor traction can do the same in the winter. Choose footwear that will help you keep upright during an attack.
If your existing shoes don't allow you to walk normally without extra caution, they won't protect you if someone is hell-bent on hurting you.
7) Avoid Ankle Holsters
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People mostly prefer wearing boots during winter since it keeps them warm. If the boots cover the ankles or even higher, carrying a gun in an ankle holster while wearing overshoes or rubber rain boots would make it exceedingly difficult to access the gun. The same may be said for a variety of additional cold-weather footwear selections. Bulky boots make it harder to lift the pant leg around the boot to access your gun.
Another problem with ankle holsters in the cold weather is whether the gun will be exposed to rain, snow, or road salt, and how this would influence the gun's operation. There are better ways to carry a rifle in chilly weather than on the ankle.
8) Be Mindful When Choosing off-Body Carry
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Off-body carry is a carry method that won't alter throughout the year. Off-body carry refers to carrying a gun but not having it attached to you. Whether you're carrying a handbag, document bag, briefcase, or other hand-held objects, it's critical to have that item in continual contact or within arm's reach.
It may be inconvenient to have your carry device attached to you at all times with a durable strap or tether, but it is essential to have the gun available and under your control at all times. When out in public with an off-body carry device, retention is also a key worry; purse-snatchers are active 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, so you can never relax your vigilance.
9) Bigger or Smaller Gun?
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Is it necessary to carry a larger gun during the winter? This is a matter of personal preference. In the event that you need to use your concealed carry firearm in the winter, your smaller gun will most likely be just as effective as it is in the summer. It's entirely up to you whether or not you wish to carry a larger weapon.
Because the layers obscure any printing that would typically appear, many people find that they can conceal a larger gun more simply in the winter than in the summer. But don't feel obligated to do so simply because you can. A smaller gun can be just as powerful as a larger one in protecting you and your family.
10) Don’t Forget To Practice at the Range
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It's usually a good idea to train with a purpose whenever you go to the range. It is almost always necessary to train during the cold months. When the temperature is hovering around zero with a windchill, hitting the range is one of the most unpleasant experiences. On days like these, it's critical to be as productive as possible with your time. If you go on enough winter range trips, your fine motor abilities will start to deteriorate as your hands become colder. Winter training may be a lot of fun if done correctly, but it might be difficult if you've never done it before.
Because your motor skills are slower in the winter, range training is just as necessary as it is in the summer. Look no further than EasyShot shooting targets if you're looking for the greatest shooting targets on the market.
Winter carry can be challenging, especially if you're not used to wearing layers. Practicing is probably the simplest approach to gain confidence in carrying during the colder months. Practice drawing and presenting your gun in a quiet environment at home. This can help you iron out the kinks and, in the end, help you draw under stress.
Having the correct gear that meets your demands is one of the most crucial aspects of carrying in the cold. It's critical to have the tools in order to ensure concealed carry success.