Summer is rapidly approaching and every year I will oftentimes get bombarded with questions when it comes to carrying in warm weather. Carrying a firearm in hotter weather can have its own challenges just based on the spike in temperature during the summer months. Whether it’s concealing your firearm under just a simple shirt or dealing with chaffing or weight, having a comfortable carry every day can sometimes prove to be challenging. A common issue with summer carry for some concealed carriers is the inability to prioritize their most important carry items. Let’s dive into the basics of carrying when it comes to summer carry.
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The most important aspect of your choices when carrying a firearm is your actual handgun, a crazy concept, right? Probably out of all the days I’ve carried, there’s only been a few times I was truly uncomfortable. Every single time I was extremely uncomfortable, I had a large frame firearm concealed that was digging in and rubbing against my side when I was outside working on a hot day. Carrying a heavy firearm for an entire day when it’s 80 or 90 outside can be the absolute worst experience, so it’s important to keep in mind weight as well as overall size when looking at a firearm.
Some of my absolute favorite summer carry guns are the Glock 43, Glock 43X, and SIG P365 XL. These three have the correct size and weight to be comfortably carried all day long. The Glock 43X and P365 can both be carried with 15 round magazines as well. Having that capacity definitely makes them competitive with larger firearms on the market. Getting a solid carry gun that won’t feel like a boat anchor is by far the best way to make sure you’ll be comfortable all day long.
Pocket Knife and Flashlight
If I had to chalk up a category for the strangest things I have seen, it would have to be in the pocket knife and flashlight categories. It baffles me how many guys out there will take the two is one and one is none approach when it comes to having a pocket knife and flashlight. I have seen on more than one occasion, people carrying two knives as well as two flashlights just in case one goes down. Now I’m not sure how many ninjas you have fought at night time, but this seems excessive to say the least.
Having one quality handheld flashlight and one small to medium sized pocket knife is more than sufficient. I carry a pocket knife to open boxes and use throughout the day opening things but it’s never for self-defense. I get a knife could be used in a close self-defense situation but at that point, it’s best to get some distance and use your firearm. The argument for having a knife for self-defense only works in a couple small extremely unlikely events but I get it.
Having something like a small handheld flashlight can be extremely helpful not only in a self-defense situation but just in everyday life as well. It makes me cringe beyond belief when I see people use their weapon-mounted lights as regular flashlights. Certain lights like the Surefire G2X are incredibly affordable and offer a solid lumen count that gets the job done. If I had you guys take just one thing away from this article, it would be to carry a handheld light every day because it’s honestly just practical.
Usually, with my summer carry handguns, I will run them slick without the addition of any lights or red dots. I want to keep my firearm’s profile as small as humanly possible so it’s less to drag around all day. Don’t get me wrong, I love weapon-mounted lights and red dots, but when it’s hot out, I really don’t want to be carrying the extra weight around.
Another common question I will get asked is the importance of a spare magazine. When it comes to carrying a spare magazine in the summer I’m fairly indifferent on the subject. If you can carry a spare magazine comfortably then more power to you, but I would not make it a priority. I will typically choose a flashlight or pocket knife over carrying a spare magazine but some people with a single stack like the Glock 43 insist on carrying a spare magazine and that’s completely understandable.
If you have a carry gun with a capacity of 10 or more I would be confident in just carrying the handgun without a spare magazine. Keep in mind that the vast majority of self-defense situations will be very quick and your main priority is to get away from the threat to safety. If you’re thinking about something like a mass shooting even then that’s a conversation for another day. The number one goal when carrying in the summer is keeping the weight down and keeping comfortable in hot weather.
Like I said earlier, carrying in the summer months is all about weight and keeping it as light as possible. I know some of you tactical ninjas out there have to have multiple knives and lights on you to head out the door but I promise you, it’s truly not necessary. Keep things simple and basic. If you want a red dot on your gun then by all means rock a red dot, but having a full-size gun with multiple attachments won’t treat you well if it’s 90+ degrees outside.
What do you guys use for a summer carry? Do you oftentimes have too much in your pockets or do you try to keep it simple? Let me know what your personal carry pieces are down in the comments below. If you have questions for me about carrying concealed or just in general, feel free to shoot me a message on Instagram @fridgeoperator. Stay safe out there!