Carrying a handgun concealed is challenging on its own, but weather oftentimes can make it even more challenging depending on the time of year. Whether it’s peak summer season where you start to melt as soon as you head out of the house or the coldest winter in recent years, both present their own challenges but oftentimes, carrying in the winter is usually the harder season to practice for regularly. I think this is even more relevant with the recent cold spell in Texas where most people don’t have to deal with sub-zero temperates often. Let’s dive into some tips for winter carry for all you guys who may be struggling in these crazy times.
Choice Of Gloves Is Very Important
Picking the right set of gloves will determine 90% of your success or misery. One of the hardest things to do is firing and manipulating a firearm with big bulky gloves on. I tend to go with gloves that have less insulation and keep dexterity so you can still manipulate the firearm very easily. A few of my favorite gloves are the Viktos LEO Duty gloves, Insulated Duty Gloves, Outdoor Research Aerator Gloves, and The Oakley SI Lightweight gloves. These won’t be the heaviest gloves in the world, but typically I will wear these as an everyday glove. In addition, I will usually have a heavier pair in case I get stuck or need to be outside for extended periods of time.
One of the hardest things to get used to is shooting with heavy gloves. Your finger manipulations and dexterity go down tremendously when you’re wearing larger insulated gloves. Everything from moving garments out of the way to drawing your pistol becomes harder when heavy gloves are in the picture. Wearing thinner gloves still offers a decent amount of protection while letting you keep full motion in your hands. A simple way to see how much range of motion you have with your current gloves is to do a simple draw and present drill with your handgun from the concealed position. Some gloves it’s hard to pull away garments and pull a firearm from the holster so doing a quick practice run before heading out is the best way to assess your current gloves.
Full-Size Guns For Winter Carry
When you start to get into sub-zero temperatures, you will typically start to have heavier jackets on to keep warm. Combine a number of layers with a pair of gloves and a simple handgun draw from the holster becomes much harder. Subcompact handguns are great for summertime carry but can start to become really difficult to draw from a holster with more layers. A medium or full-size handgun will have a larger grip giving you more real estate to grab with gloves. I have a much easier time pulling something like a Glock 17/19/45 over something smaller like the SIG Sauer P365 or Springfield Hellcat.
Some may think the added weight is uncomfortable after a while but having a larger handgun on your person definitely makes it easier to draw and present with bulky clothing. I know some of you only want to carry one handgun to keep it consistent and that’s completely understandable but if you’re open to the idea of carrying a larger handgun I definitely suggest giving it a try. With the added layers of heavy jackets, it is typically easy to conceal something in an outside the waistband holster and is extremely comfortable for all-day carry.
One thing many don’t think about when concealing a firearm in the wintertime is the trigger type on their handgun. When I carry a handgun during the winter, I will typically try to carry something with a straight/flat trigger instead of a traditional curved trigger. Having a flat trigger will typically give you more room than a curved trigger since flat triggers will have a shorter throw than the most curved triggers.
In both my SIG Sauer P226 and Glock 19 I decided to install flat triggers and with thicker gloves, I have a bit more room and shooting consistently tends to be easier when there’s a flat trigger. Another great thing about flat triggers is the length of travel is reduced so you can usually feel where the trigger is going to break even with heavier gloves on. Certain handguns like the SIG Sauer P365 XL have a flat trigger as a standard option which can be a nice upgrade straight out of the box.
Carrying in the winter can be an adjustment especially if you aren’t used to carrying with layers on. Probably the easiest way to become more confident in carrying during the colder months is just to practice. Drawing and presenting your handgun in a relaxed setting at home can definitely help you work out the kinks and will ultimately help you draw under stress. One of the most important parts of carrying in the wintertime is having the right gear that best fits your needs. Whether that’s a specific style of glove or a different size handgun, it’s important to have the proper tools you need to succeed.
Let me know what you guys prefer for winter carry in the comments below. Do you typically buy gear to benefit you carrying or do you make do with what you have? I’m really curious so let me know In the comments below. If you have questions, don’t hesitate to shoot me a message on Instagram @fridgeoperator. Stay safe out there.