A fairly well-worn gun guy trope is that a carrier goes a size up in their concealed carry gun for the fall and winter, and then goes down a size in the spring and summer. The idea, of course, is that you can get away with concealing a bigger firearm when you’re wearing more layers but can’t necessarily do so when wearing fewer or just a shirt during the warmer months.
This is how some gun owners get the most out of carrying. They get to enjoy variety, and during part of the year carry that beloved full-size piece that they enjoy shooting more than they do that subcompact.
A lot of carriers will use the onset of cold weather as the impetus to carry that favorite 1911, Beretta 92, SIG P226, S&W Model 586 or Ruger GP100. Those additional layers mean they can conceal those full-size handguns more easily, so long as you’ve gotten yourself a good gun belt that can take it.
Now, though, the weather is finally beginning to heat up across the country as spring has fully sprung and summer is on the way. As a result, carrying that government frame, GLOCK 17 or 686 might not be as tenable soon…if it isn’t that way already.
Strictly speaking, having different carry guns for each season isn’t that necessary any more. The typical subcompact striker-fired gun that most people prefer these days is all most of us need. In times gone by, hollow points of good quality were relatively few and far between, and additional clothing tended to take the steam out of ballistic performance. Thus, in those days, it was actually a good idea to go up to a gun that packed .45 ACP during the winter and back down to 9mm or smaller when the weather got warmer.
Today, of course, 9mm ammunition is far better that it used to be, which has led to a number of law enforcement agencies to switch to the smaller round. And plenty of gun guys saying that the end is nigh for .40 S&W.
Then again, if you like .40, it means you can get guns cheaper since fewer people want them.
These days, you don’t really need to up-size in caliber if you’ve selected your carry load wisely. If you can hit accurately with that smaller carry gun, that plus a good carry round (and an extra magazine in your pocket) should do you.
With that said, what you need in a gun is often not the biggest consideration. A gun is merely a tool, after all, just a piece of hardware. It doesn’t take much to do the job it’s intended for. Since the trend among many gun owners is to compile a collection, people tend to buy more of what they want as opposed to what they really need.
What about you? Do you have a cold weather/hot weather rotation? If so, what will you be carrying this summer?