My family and I spent Christmas in a cabin just outside of Jackson Hole, Wyoming. We had a beautiful white Christmas although it was freezing. (Temperatures from 5 degrees to 17 degrees most of the time.)
Although it was extremely cold, I still was carrying concealed the entire time but I did have to make a few adjustments. The gun I was and am now carrying is a Springfield 1911 in a Milt Sparks Versa Max 2 holster. (This is an inside the waistband holster.)
When carrying inside the waistband, especially in the winter, you’ll want to wear an undershirt and tuck that undershirt into your underwear. If you don’t have an undershirt on, you’ll have the cold gun rubbing against your skin and this can become irritating. If you tuck in the undershirt and then put your gun on, the gun touches the undershirt and there is no discomfort at all.
Also, I had multiple layers of jackets on and I left all of the jackets unzipped. With a jacket unzipped it’s easy to sweep the jacket back and draw the gun. With numerous layers on and zipped up, it’s very difficult to draw a gun. Before I stepped out the first day I tested this in the cabin with a safe and empty weapon. Keeping my jackets unzipped was the way to go because it would have taken an eternity to draw my gun the other way.
The other thing that inhibited my draw was gloves. I do own tactical gloves but it was so cold outside (with the wind chill it felt even colder) that the tactical gloves didn’t do a thing to keep my fingers warm so I put big ski gloves on.
Now, there are some people out there who will say, “I would never wear big ski gloves and it doesn’t matter how cold it gets I’ll wear no gloves or tactical gloves.” What I say to these people is they’re either liars or they’ve never tried to shoot a gun in truly cold weather.
See Also: Tips for Winter Concealed Carry
When I was with the Agency, I had to train in the snow and a few of us thought we were tough (AKA knuckleheads) and we didn’t use the right gloves. Let’s just say it doesn’t take long to figure out that you can’t manipulate the gun and shoot well when you can’t feel your hands or when they’re aching to the bone from the cold.
So, in extremely cold temperatures when you have to wear the big gloves, just train yourself to quickly rip the glove off your gun hand. Practice this a few times in the mirror with a safe and empty weapon and you’ll realize how quick and simple this action is.
Also, I have been in situations when I thought danger may be approaching and I took off my glove ahead of time so I wouldn’t have to waste the time to take off my glove if there was indeed something happening.
The bottom line is, since we do have a few months of winter left make sure you’re able to draw your gun with whatever clothes you’re wearing, that you’re comfortable so you’ll actually want to carry your gun, and that your hands are warm enough that you can shoot as accurately as possible.
Photo by Alan Cleaver