Winter Concealed Carry: Tips to Prepare

  • by Casy Smith
Winter Concealed Carry: Tips to Prepare

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When you concealed carry, you want to find the best setup to keep your sidearm secure and accessible. Once you find the perfect accessories, placement and attire to compliment your firearm, concealed carry can feel second nature. However, outside factors, like cold weather, can make your customized setup less than ideal. 

Winter attire can affect your firearm’s accessibility, costing you precious moments in a dangerous situation. You need to be ready when the cold front rolls in. Stick with us to see how you can maximize your winter concealed carry setup. 

Why Winter Concealed Carry Preparation Is Essential

“Before anything else, preparation is the key to success.” - Alexander Graham Bell

It’s critical to prepare for winter conditions when you carry concealed. Two key factors can affect your ability to conceal, draw and fire your firearm efficiently in the winter:

#1. Long exposure to cold temperatures may increase reaction time. 

If you wonder why you experience difficulty thinking or performing tasks in the cold, there is some science behind it. Studies have linked low temperatures to a reduction in reaction time and dexterity. When you’re cold, your response can become delayed. It’s essential to make locating and drawing your firearm as easy as possible once the temperature drops. Easy access mitigates the effect of chilly weather’s effect on your response.  

#2. More layers add challenges to accessing your firearm. 

When it gets cold, you probably toss on a few layers before heading outside. While they keep you warm, added clothing can create obstacles to concealing, drawing and firing your handgun. A jacket or overcoat will add to the time it takes to draw your firearm. 

Accessories like gloves may also present challenges when drawing or firing. You must be intentional about your dress to stay warm without giving up accessibility. To do this, let’s review some viable ways to improve your winter concealed carry, including if you should use a concealed carry winter coat. 

Concealed Carry Options for the Winter: Is a Concealed Carry Coat Worth It?

Should I Buy a Concealed Carry Coat?

If you’re looking for ways to optimize your carry during the winter, you may have considered a dedicated concealment coat. Concealed carry coats can come in a variety of styles and sizes, usually offering a holster or pocket.

While a concealed carry jacket may be a good choice for some, it isn’t a fix-all for concealed carry in the winter weather. Let’s take a look at some reasons you may or may not want to use a concealed carry jacket.

Three Reasons to Consider a Concealed Carry Jacket for Winter

  1. You spend a considerable amount of time outdoors. The first step in crafting your ideal concealed carry setup is understanding your typical day. If you are outside for long periods, a concealed carry jacket may be a worthwhile investment for the winter months. You’ll consistently wear your jacket during that time, meaning your firearm will always be nearby. 
  2. You are comfortable with off-body carry. If you decide to use a concealed carry jacket for winter, your firearm will be off of your body. Seasoned concealed carriers differ in opinion on the benefits and drawbacks of off-body carry. If off-body carry is your preferred method, a winter concealed jacket may work for you. Regardless of where you carry, having a solid holster is essential to prevent misfires and make drawing your firearm easier.
  3. You are willing to spend on a high-quality concealment jacket. Finally, if you are considering purchasing a concealed carry jacket, you want to make sure it is from a reputable brand. Cheap concealed carry jackets may be tempting, but they may not balance your firearm’s weight properly or hold it securely in place. The lack of security can lead to a dropped firearm.

Three Reasons to Skip a Concealed Carry Jacket for Winter

  1. You are indoors for the majority of your day. A concealed carry jacket may not be necessary when you only need a jacket to get to your car or for a few outdoor chores. You don’t want to invest in a concealment option that will force you to relocate your firearm once you are inside. 
  2. You want to work with your current wardrobe. A concealed carry jacket is nice, but you can work around other pieces of clothing in your closet. Experimenting with your available clothing to see what covers your firearm best is a great idea. 
  3. You carry a large handgun. Smaller handguns are generally easier to concealed carry. A large firearm may print in a concealment jacket pocket. Take a close look at the dimensions of the potential jacket pocket to ensure it can accommodate your sidearm. 

Other Considerations for Concealed Carry During the Winter

Whenever you adjust for concealed carry in the winter, here are four factors to consider. 

#1. Carry position 

Once you’ve identified your most commonly worn clothing items during the wintertime, you need to make sure your current carry position is still ideal. If your jacket or coat obstructs access to your firearm, you may need to shift your firearm around your waistband or look at an alternative holster placement.

#2. Managing your layers 

When you plan to brave the cold, take inventory of the number of layers you plan to wear. You need to know which layers you plan to tuck under your firearm and which will cover your concealed carry weapon. Avoid any jackets, sweaters or base layers that could snag your firearm when drawing.

#3. Gloves 

Once you feel comfortable with your placement and attire, don’t forget to try out your gloves. You don’t want gloves that inhibit your drawing or firing motion. You may want to ditch your gloves to maintain a better grip. However, in frigid conditions, chilled, numb hands may also present an obstacle. Try to find a good balance. Gloves that are warm yet sleek, preferably with some grip, are best. 

#4. Practice 

Finding a setup for winter weather is only the first step. You need to practice drawing and holstering your firearm with your clothing indoors and outdoors (if possible). Dry fire training 10-15 minutes a day for the weeks leading up to winter can help you feel comfortable with your draw. Plus, regular practice will help you build the muscle memory you need to mitigate your slowed reaction time in the cold. 

Find the Right Place to Store Your Firearm at Home During the Winter   

When you aren’t out and about fighting the elements, make sure you have your firearm in a concealed space at home. Liberty Home Concealment furniture, flags and decor offer an excellent balance of style and security for any living space in your home. You can make sure your trusted sidearm is in its place and ready to go while you’re at home! Check out our selection of products today.


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