Tips for Winter Concealed Carry

Tips for Winter Concealed Carry

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.

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Jason Hanson is a former CIA Officer and author of The Covert Guide to Concealed Carry. He is also the creator of the Ultimate Concealed Carry Experience, which allows you to take your concealed carry training without leaving home. For full details about this training, please visit Concealed Carry Academy. You can also follow him on Google+ and Twitter.
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The Other Brother Daryl

I have a “Barn” coat that I normally wear during the colder months. The coat has a slit (by design) by the side pocket that allows me to reach into my trouser pocket for keys, change, knife, or my IWB carried “Personal Defense Tool”, should the need arise and without bring undo attention to my movement.

Now that colder weather is upon us, it’s time to renew my practice using the coat.


This is my 1st winter with a 357 revolver. Any special lub needed? Would a goodun oil like hoppes be ok?


As long as you clean it routinely it should be just fine in my opinion.


Back in my day, spooks never told people they were spooks or had been spooks….but then again, that was when the Soviet bear was alive and well, and its operatives were dangerous and hungry………


Greetings from the OKCorral:
Way too late for a respondent seeking winter gun oil hints but I will leave this info for whomever wants to consider it.  Mobil 1 synthetic 20W50 will kick the butt off of most commercial gun oils like hoppes or Rem Oil.  It also takes out Militec-1.  I live in Nebraska and we have some pretty unforgiving winter weather plus I am a hand-gun enthusiast and I am licensed to carry concealed.  That doesn’t make me an expert but what I am suggesting doesn’t cost much to try.
Old Gringo Ralph

Jonathan Wade

I carry a Springfield XD, so the safety is in the grip. I pretty much always shoot with my “winter gloves” (my mechanix coverts, I wear these in the super cold unless I’m dealing with tons of snow, in which case I can rip off my snow gloves when pulling my firearm) and my jackets consist of a hoodie and a leather jacket, sometimes a patched up vest or a lined snowboard jacket, but in any case the draw sweep is the same as any other day of the year. Keeps things simple, every day comfortable (thermals for when it’s really cold!), and if I have a hood on I can just pull it down or shake it off in a fraction of a second. Hell, I normally pull my hood down the second I’m alerted to anything out of the ordinary just as a reflex.


35 winters in Minnesota, here’s what I did. First, gloves are not optional at – 22F. So get some ski or shooting gloves that will work. Plenty of cover up in a parka for my SIG P220 Carry,and it has room for a gloved trigger finger. Second, switch to Hornady Critical Defense ammo which will penetrate parkas. Third, practice. Fourth, remember – 22F reduces street crime tremendously… check the stats.