Cooler weather is here and that means it's time to bring out the sweaters and jackets! This is also the time of year when carrying concealed gets a lot easier since those extra layers make it much easier to conceal your firearm.
While winter clothing helps a lot with carrying concealed, there are still some issues you'll need to work through and some considerations to think about. It's important to understand how changing your wardrobe will affect your carry method, so here are a few things you need to know and think about when you're carrying concealed during the winter months.
One of the biggest issues with carrying during the winter is actually the same thing that makes it so great. All those extra layers help conceal your gun, but they're also going to make your firearm harder to get to.
Make sure to do some live or dry fire practice while wearing your coat, jacket, or sweater - dry fire is good, live fire is better. Make a point to notice any place you find hangups or difficulties with your draw and try to adjust your clothing or holster to minimize any safety issues.
If you find that your winter clothing and carry method don't work well together, look for another carry method that will. If you've been thinking about carrying inside or outside the waistband, this is a great time to try it. On-body carry during the winter is easier since you have the option of layering to minimize or eliminate printing.
Alternative carry methods also work well during winter months. If you wear a base layer, you can try concealment leggings or a concealment tank top. If you haven't used one before, this would also be a good time to test out a belly band holster or a shoulder holster.
If you're still struggling to find a concealed-carry method that works with your outerwear, why not make your jacket the holster? A Concealed-Carry Vest does double duty - it serves as a great second layer and the holster is right inside the vest! If you choose this method, make sure to practice your draw with and without an extra layer over the vest to make sure you're able to safely clear both the vest and your outer layer.
There's a big difference between getting some dry fire reps in while you're in your nice warm home and drawing and firing your gun when it's freezing outside. While it may not be comfortable, it's very important to understand what it feels like to shoot in cold weather. You'll probably be surprised to find that your hands don't work as well, and in extreme conditions, you may lose a significant amount of dexterity.
Do you wear gloves? You're going to need to figure if it's possible to pull the trigger while wearing those gloves, or if you'll need a plan to take them off before you shoot. If you find that you can't effectively use your gun while wearing your current gloves, then it's time to go buy a pair of shooting gloves.
If you follow these suggestions and tips, you'll be able to get through the winter months carrying both comfortably and safely. If you have any questions about concealed carry options for any type of weather, please get in touch with us so we can help!