As the seasons change so can your capabilities for personal protection. In this blog post, we will talk about the many benefits of why colder weather is good for your safety. I want to preface this post by stating that the things that I will talk about are lifestyle and budget-related. Often, some will start by only buying one gun for concealed carry. As they gather more confidence and experience they will upgrade to a larger framed gun. They focus on the types that are typically smaller and easier to conceal. The smaller guns can be harder to shoot effectively, hold less ammunition, and have limited effective range. This used to be my theory, in the summer I would carry a smaller, more compact type of handgun. Then in the winter, my clothing got heavier. I would switch to a larger full-sized handgun because it would be easier to conceal under layers of clothing. This thought process changed during the “summer of love,” which took place in 2020. If you remember, COVID was a thing and there were “mostly peaceful” protests, AKA riots that took over my state and across the country. For 184 straight days cities in Oregon were set ablaze. It was a very tense time for our country. While I do recognize that there are problems that we face as a country. I am not trying to discount any of them. I just do NOT agree with the violence and property damage that happened.

It was during that time, that I changed my mindset in regards to my personal protection. This brings me to the point of this post. Normally, as the weather cools our clothing changes. We can dress in layers, flannels, hoodies, vests, and overcoats are great at being able to conceal a larger gun. The larger gun gives you capability, more ammo, more effective range, and a longer sight radius. You will need a good IWB (inside the waistband) Kydex holster. The ones that I like are the Phlster Floodlight and Pro Series. They both are comfortable and offer great weapon retention. Another component of winter weather concealed carry is a quality, stiff belt. When you carry a larger gun there is more weight put on your hips and lower torso. The belt will help distribute the weight and keep your handgun retained. The belts that I like are made by Kore Essentials. They are decently priced, fully adjustable, and feature a ratcheting system that allows you to tighten or loosen to your comfort.

winter weather concealed carryMy new EDC is a Glock 17. This handgun is a full-sized semi-automatic handgun. It holds 17+1, which is 17 in the magazine and 1 round inside of the chamber. This is a fully capable firearm. It has a Trijicon RMR, suppressor height sights, and a Surefire X300 Ultra Turbo attached to it. This setup is legit. The larger frame makes the gun easier to shoot effectively. It does practice to conceal and I do have to make concessions to ensure it remains hidden. One of those is that I have to go up a clothing size on my shirts and make sure that there is a longer tail. I do get a tall size so that there is extra coverage on my firearm. I make sure my outer garments are looser as well. Dressing in layers helps keep me comfortable and most importantly breaks up the outline of my handgun. I normally also add a North Face vest that adds another level of warmth and coverage. The drawback is accessing the gun. This is where training and dry fire practice will help you clear your outer garments. This takes practice and is something to be very mindful of.

I do recommend that you carry a gun for self-defense, especially in the winter months. Incorporate a separate handheld light. I do this because the handheld serves a utility-type function, with the shorter days. I might need light for many different purposes. If I have a light mounted to my handgun, I would never draw my firearm just to use the light to look for something. My handgun never leaves my holster unless I’m going to use it justifiably, period! The gun that you would normally carry in the summer could be a Glock 48 or 43X. In the winter with heavier, looser clothing you could carry something larger like a Glock 19 or 17. I focus a lot of my training around the Glock-style handgun. This is my preference and there are other “fighting” handguns on the market. If I was in the market for my first defensive handgun, I would steer clear of a few manufacturers. If you spend the money right the first time, it will prevent you from having to rebuy at a later date because your experience outgrows your firearm. “Buy once, cry once!”

Another part of winter concealed carry is extra ammo. Regardless of the season, extra magazines are a must!! I would rather have too much ammunition than not enough. I want as many rounds on my person as I can comfortably carry and conceal. My typical daily load out is 17+1 in the gun and (2) spare magazines with Springer Precision +5 baseplates. This gives me a total of 54 altogether. I look at spare mags like insurance. It gives me extra capability. I hope that I will never need a spare magazine, but I prepare daily just in case. It is a mindset. I will leave you with these thoughts. Incorporate a gun into your daily routine, and make it habitual. Society will continue to devolve because the people in charge are not focused on viable solutions. They would rather distract and divide. Remember it is YOUR responsibility to defend yourself and your family. Bad weather is an opportunity for you to change things up and carry a bigger, more capable gun. Take advantage of it. Until next time. Be safe!