When I was with the Agency, I did a lot of cold weather shooting. I remember shooting thousands of rounds with snow and ice covering the ground, bundled up like an Eskimo. And now that winter is slowly approaching, it’s time to prepare to carry in the cold once again and to consider the following important points.
First off, I’m not a fan of open carry or outside the waistband holsters. (I always use an inside the waistband holster.) However, during the winter I know a lot of people use an outside the waistband holster because the jacket covers the firearm. I have no problem with this, as long as you remember to practice your draw with this holster and remember to properly sweep the jacket back.
After all, if you’re used to lifting up a t-shirt or drawing from another location, you need to build the proper muscle memory for how you’re going to carry during the winter.
Secondly, I would avoid gloves if I were you.
When I was with the Agency, I was issued gloves, but never wore them. I could never get comfortable enough with them and I never liked how they felt on my grip and trigger pull. For example, if you carry a 1911 handgun, have you tried to take off the thumb safety wearing gloves? If you carry a revolver, have you tried loading your revolver wearing gloves? Heck, maybe you have those puffy gloves and you can’t even get your finger in the trigger guard.
In short, if you’re going to wear gloves make sure and practice with them often, by going to your local shooting range and bringing the gloves with you. But, if you’re like me and decide not to wear gloves then you’ve got to remember to never, ever wear them. It doesn’t matter if it’s 60 below because I have the strange feeling that if a mugger stops you on the street during a snowstorm, you’re not going to be able to say to him “Excuse me, sir, time out for a second. I need to take off my gloves so I can draw my gun on you.”
Be very careful about what type of jacket you wear during the winter too.
You don’t want anything hooded that obstructs your vision. Wearing a hooded jacket cuts off your peripheral vision and you’ll lose your situational awareness. Also, make sure the jacket fits. Don’t wear the winter jacket you had in high school 20 years ago that’s skin tight and doesn’t allow you to properly use your arms. (Remember that scene with the kid from the movie The Christmas Story?)
Lastly, if you’re really ambitious, go out this winter and practice shooting in the snow. If nothing else, it will be a good confidence builder because you’ll realize that you can shoot just as well in the heat of the summer as in the freezing cold.