Carrying a gun in the cold months changes the nature of the game. This is due to increased layers of clothing in addition to other factors. Not only will more clothing layers change concealment and potentially interfere with the drawing of the firearm, but cold weather can impact shooting as well. It is, therefore, essential to know how to compensate. The moment a gun drawing is necessary will not, in all likelihood, occur under ideal conditions.
Drawing From Under Layers
Among the first elements of defensive shooting skills to become impacted by cold weather is the gun’s drawing. Gloves, in addition to layers, affect the draw. For layers, two options exist for accessing the pistol. Either draw up your garments with the thumb and lift them upward or sweep the coat back with the hand’s heel, adding a slight shimmy for extra clearance. Of course, these are affected by the number of layers and the length of the winter coat.
Concealed Carry Clothing
Some attributes are desirable in concealed carry clothing in winter months — some people, for outerwear, select coats that are longer but wear them open to ensure access. Jackets with zippers or snaps are more easily opened than those with buttons. Coats that go only to the waist can be opened and pulled up or swept aside. For gloves, choose pairs with texture and aim for either synthetics or leather. Fingerless is a popular way to go.
Accuracy in the Cold
Because cold weather is capable of having a substantial impact on shooting accuracy, practicing in the winter is essential. The body and hands can suffer decreased dexterity in the cold. An outdoor range nearby that is open through the cold weather will permit ample practice sessions. These may not be the most comfortable, but it is good for the comfort of the mind to know that one is prepared even in less than ideal conditions. Rehearse more than shooting and accuracy. Focus also on fluidly changing magazines, working the slide, as well as working the safety. Practice with the gloves that will be worn the majority of the time so that firearm use while dressing for the elements works smoothly.