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21 December 2017 by Online Carry Training

Winter means layered clothing, a switch in focus and changes in your carry method. If you carry a concealed firearm, there are a few things that you should keep in mind during the winter to ensure you are still prepared and ready to defend yourself at all times.

Winter Clothing Can Change Your Draw

During the summer, you are more likely wearing a t-shirt while carrying and have practiced the act of drawing with a t-shirt on. Lift your shirt to expose the firearm, and draw from the holster. This should be part of your muscle memory if you’ve been practicing on a regular basis. Once you add a winter jacket to the equation, your draw will more than likely change. If the jacket is unzipped for example, the motion is to sweep it to the side and away from your firearm, then lift up your shirt to access your firearm. You’ve now added an additional step, and you need to make sure to practice in the same fashion as you do during the summer months.

Reduced Situational Awareness

The nature of humans is to bundle up when it’s cold. How many times do you see someone walking around in December or January with their hands in their pockets, chin squished to their chest in an attempt to keep warm, and maybe even a hooded sweatshirt around their head. If this is you, you may want to consider a change because when you are preoccupied with staying warm, your situational awareness drops dramatically.  When you have a hood up, your peripheral vision is diminished quite a bit. If your hands are in your pockets, it is going to take that much longer to draw your gun. In short, you could be more off guard and ill-prepared with all that winter clothing. You may to focus on practicing your scanning and evasive skills while you are out in the cold to stay sharp

Gloves can Hinder Grip

If you don’t shoot with gloves on, don’t wear gloves in the winter. Shooting with gloves on is a completely different feel than shooting with your bare hands. Gloves can make it harder to pull the trigger because you have more padding on your fingers. They can also affect your ability to grip your gun. If you do wear gloves in the winter, the recommendation is to train with the same gloves that you wear.

Switching Holster Carry Methods Can Make You less Proficient

Some folks are inclined to wear an OWB holster in the winter verses their normal IWB holster. That may not be the best idea. First, unless you have been practicing drawing from the OWB holster, you won’t be comfortable carrying this way because it’s a different draw than from an IWB holster. If you’re off by even a half of an inch when drawing your firearm, it could cost you a deadly second or two while you’re fumbling for your firearm. Second, if you’re at the store and reaching for your wallet, you could inadvertently swoop your jacket to the back, exposing your firearm. Either stick to you normal method of carry or practice until you are proficient with both methods.

Dealing with winter weather means you need to be more focused on what is going on around you, practice with the additional clothing on that winter requires and ensure that you are proficient with your carry method given the temperature change. Dealing with all types of temperatures and weather as a concealed carrier is a hassle but it’s good to know how you react when it’s 90 or 15 degrees outside.

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