CCW Weekend: Cold Weather Carry

Guns and Gear | Contributor

By Sam Hoober, Alien Gear Holsters

Fall is here, whether anyone likes it or not, and along with coffee drinks with disgusting flavorings added to them also brings about the subject of cold weather carry. While a lot of things stay the same, the additional layering of clothes along with other considerations means a bit of adjustment may be needed.

One aspect is that some people change up their carry gun. Slim subcompacts carried throughout the summer are often changed for compact or even svelte-enough full-size pistols for fall and winter carry. Many a person trades in their Shield for their Government frame once the leaves turn and the wind gets a bit nippy. Alternately, that Glock 43 can be supplanted by a Glock 19 or whatever one may want.

Some folks even size up in caliber. Carry a .380 in the summer by all means but switch to 9mm or even up to .45 ACP or 10mm. The idea is that you want a heavier round to better penetrate multiple layers or something to that effect.

The caliber issue is somewhat overblown if you carry a 9mm or larger round. With quality modern ammunition, there’s less need to size up. Where this idea stemmed from was the old cup and core hollow point design which was known for clogging when penetrating multiple layers of clothing or material and not expanding sufficiently. Modern carry ammunition such as Hornady Critical Defense, Federal HST, Speer Gold Dot and others have been designed to penetrate barriers with far fewer issues.

If you feel you want to size up to your .45 or 10mm, go right ahead. Nothing wrong with that at all; variety is, it is said, the spice of life. It’s just more that you aren’t undergunned if you carry quality ammunition.

Another wrinkle at times is the clothing one wears. Longer and heavier layers become common, which can impede access. The options become to wear fewer layers and be cold or to wear one’s coat open, which isn’t fun in a bluster or if there’s precipitation.

So, what to do in this instance? You can choose to just deal with it, which is viable enough.

One possible solution is to pocket carry in one’s coat, but that isn’t the best idea. Your gun could potentially fall out of the pocket after you take off your coat and – at the very last – you need to carry with a pocket holster.

Another good solution is to wear a bomber-style jacket or other outerwear with a waist-length hem. A coat of this nature or hooded sweatshirt, provided a modestly roomy fit, can be drawn up just like a shirt in order to access a pistol in short order if needed.

If you wear them, you’ll also want to put in some range time wearing gloves. If wearing tactical gloves to the office is too much, leather gloves are always a good choice.

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Sam Hoober is Contributing Editor for, a subsidiary of Hayden, ID, based Tedder Industries, where he writes about gun accessories, gun safety, open and concealed carry tips. Click here to visit


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