By Brandon via concealednation.org

Part of carrying a firearm is being prepared. OK, that’s most of it. I continue to be surprised to hear from concealed carriers that they don’t practice drawing in the clothes that they wear on a day to day basis. If this is you, I urge you to change your bad habits… starting today . . .

Let’s say you’re out in the dead of winter and you’re wearing your fancy new winter jacket. Let’s say it’s unzipped. A little practice of moving that jacket out of the way goes a long way, and is a pretty simple implementation. But what if your jacket is zipped up? Now we’re talking a whole other scenario for gaining quick access to your firearm if you really need it.

The last thing you want is to be fumbling around to get your firearm. When seconds count, your preparedness matters.

The young gentleman in the video above nails this concept in a great way. He hammers home the point of practicing in what you wear.

A hoodie vs a zipped up jacket can have a completely different feel, and one may be tighter around your waist than the other. The point is; practice with every single garment that you wear while carrying concealed.

You have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

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19 Responses to Are You Ready for Winter Carry?

  1. Perform a practice draw everytime you put your gun on, or take it off, and put garment on, or remove it.

    It will help see what works and what does not.

    • I generally avoid handling my carry gun when I’m not at the range. The holster is my safety, and it stays in the holster until it’s needed. When I do draw it to empty the defense ammo prior to a range trip, I do it with extreme caution.

      • Not to give you a hard time, but…
        Why don’t you swap out your ammo at the range instead of at the house. I hope you use up you carry ammo every once in a while as the oil and solvents don’t exactly help with the life of the rounds. Also why are you not dry firing and practicing drawing with your firearm. The best things you can be doing at home is practice drawing at half speed. Helps with developing a smooth draw and gets rid of any extra movement. Just reinforcing you muscle memory on where your gun is will probably help you more in a defensive gun use than sending rounds down range. And how much actual holster practice do you get at the range? Most public ranges freak out a little if you try that. II you do want to get in some holster practice, see if any local IDPA, USPSA or training groups have any drill sessions. You will typically do a lot more shooting that at a match.

  2. Yep, in Iowa winter carry means I can start carrying my 6″ GP100 or my 6 1/2″ 44mag. Blackhawk concealed. I really need to pick up that .460 S&W I’ve been wanting. You’ll know there’s no need to shoot by the smell!

  3. Winter is the only time I get to carry my G17 in a shoulder holster. And that seems to only be a week at a time with crazy north Florida temperature swings.

  4. Here in MA, winter is the easiest time to conceal and the hardest time to draw. Which is why I sometimes carry two guns — an Airweight in my coat picket, and an M&P40 on my hip. I can get to the revolver really fast, like right now, and if I need to I can open my coat and access my pistol.

  5. Winter carry is a pain, its too hard to carry without concealing. You pretty much have to run a chest rig to keep that piece out in the open where it belongs.

  6. I open carry whenever I can. Living in Michigan, that turns into concealed carry pretty much by default.

    For others in climatically challenged regions I’d also recommend making sure the gloves you’re wearing actually fit in the trigger guard…

  7. I find this interesting (no offense intended). Having done most of my carry in sweating weather I always enjoy being able to carry when it is cool/cold enough that I can justify wearing an open jacket and OWB rig.

    I don’t like living in cold climates but I prefer concealed carry in those climates. I don’t find an appreciable difference in ease. I can just carry a larger gun and draw it faster from a OWB retention holster that is concealed by a jacket unless zipped and then it is a wash on draw speed..

    I don’t hear many tell me they like or prefer hot weather carry but maybe it is because my circle really has no choice without moving. If you are wearing a zipped up Castanza puffy jacket I can definitely see it being an issue.

    Thanks for the post.

  8. Only a few things change for me. If I have a big zipped coat, rare in TX, I have an LCR in the pocket……..with my hand on it. Otherwise the only other change is to go to a .45 for a bit more “diameter” in case the bullet clogs with the heavier clothing and expands less than it would otherwise.

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