It’s winter and that means heavy coats are back in season. This comes as a double-edge sword for those of us who carry because a large coat offers better concealment of our firearm but also makes getting to it more difficult. For example it would be damned hard for me to draw my .45 sitting inside my inside the waistband holster while I’m wearing my greatcoat. Since cold weather preparation is important I thought I’d bring up some points to consider when carrying in the winter.
Last year I purchased a Ruger LCP because I wanted a small pocketable pistol. Most people want a small gun for carrying in the summer as higher heat usually means shedding of clothing making concealment of larger firearms more difficult. I really have no issue concealing my Glock 30SF in the summer and wanted the pocket pistol for a different season, winter.
My Ruger LCP fits perfectly inside the front pockets of my greatcoat meaning I have something at hand while walking around in the winter. As I said there is no practical way for me to draw my primary gun while wearing my coat but I do have constant access to my front pockets. I could probably fit a larger firearm in there but then I’m dealing with having a gun that works well for winter and really nothing else (I also carry my LCP when I have to wear a suit as my suit pants are large enough to accommodate a pistol and I often find times where I have to take the suit coat off). Thus I’m an advocate for purchasing a pocket pistol for use during the winter in Minnesota.
Another thing to remember is shooting with gloves on can be difficult. I have some cheap knit surplus gloves that I wear in the winter because they’re fairly warm and thin enough that I can get my gloved finger into the trigger guard of my pistols. If you have very large gloves to note you may not be able to get your finger on the trigger while wearing them. Thus it’s important to head to the range and test your winter gear as it relates to carrying because an attacker probably isn’t going to give you time to remove your gloves in order to shoot him. Another option are mittens with the flip up from that exposes your fingers. These are popular with hunters but once again I question being able to get my fingers exposed quickly if I’m in a self-defense situation.
Basically we’re back to the basic rule of carry, test your setup with all your different clothing options.