Tips For Carrying A Handgun This Winter Season

Carrying a gun during the winter means taking into account several different factors that could affect your drawing and shooting.

If you carry a gun for self-defense and live in an area where the winters get cold, windy, and snowy, it is important to consider several factors that will affect the way you carry a gun. Bulky winter clothes and icy air can affect everything from safely drawing and holstering your weapon to your accuracy and trigger control.

Let’s take a look at some of the negative factors carrying a gun during the winter causes and how to prepare for them.

Winter Time Clothing Will Affect How You Draw Your Handgun

carrying gun in snow

As the mercury drops during the winter, the amount of layers you must wear, and the bulkiness of those layers, continues to rise. Obviously, more layers and bulky outerwear can make drawing your weapon and getting into the ready to fire position more difficult. That is why it is very important to practice both of those things while dressed in your winter clothing.

Before the cold weather forces you into your coat to venture outdoors, do some practice drawing your weapon and bringing it into the ready to fire position while wearing your winter outerwear. This will allow you to not only get used to dealing with the extra bulk, but will also give you time to find the best combination of winter clothing that will both keep you warm and allow for rapid deployment of your weapon if the situation for its use arose.

Coats and jackets are not the only items of winter clothing it is important to practice with. Gloves are another common item worn during the winter, but are also another major hindrance to drawing and firing a handgun. Practice with the gloves you have now and decide if a new pair may be a better option. If you simply can’t get comfortable using winter gloves while drawing or using your weapon, try to practice removing your gloves quickly instead.

You will be thankful for all of your practice sessions if drawing or using your weapon while out in the cold ever became necessary.

Cold Weather Impacts On Shooting Accuracy

gun tips for winter time

Cold weather can have a substantial impact on your accuracy while shooting. Decreased dexterity in your hands and body due to the cold can throw off your form and point of impact. That is why performing handgun practice in cold weather is an important exercise. Try to find an outdoor range near you that is open into the winter. The practice sessions might not be the most pleasant times you’ve ever had at the range, but that will be of little consequence when confronted with a possible life or death situation.

Don’t only practice shooting and accuracy while at the range in cold weather. You will also want to focus on fluidly changing magazines, working the slide, and turning your safety on and off if necessary. Fumbling around with your handgun in cold weather isn’t a scenario you ever want to be dealing with.

Slipping and Falling While Carrying a Firearm

handgun tips for winter carry

Slipping and falling during the winter is a very real risk for even the most athletic people. All it takes is a small patch of unseen black ice and you could find yourself staring up at the sky on your back in an instant. This would obviously be an unfortunate situation while carrying a gun holstered on your belt. Strongly consider an IWB holster for use during the winter. An IWB holster covers the trigger guard of your handgun and will protect against a possible misfire if a slip and fall occurs. Light in the Dark

In addition to the cold, snow, and ice, winter also means that it gets darker much earlier than at other times of the year. Low light is obviously not an ideal condition for identifying danger or a potential target when carrying a gun during the winter. Investing in a high-quality, gun-mounted flashlight is a very good idea for winter carry.

Follow these tips and put your practice in and you will have a lot more confidence while carrying a gun this winter. Danger doesn’t rest just because the weather gets cold and neither should you. Keep yourself practiced and ready for anything that might come your way this coming winter. And don’t worry…summer will be here before you know it.


About The Author

Brian Belko is a freelance writer and blogger. His primary areas of focus include the outdoors and shooting sports. In addition to his freelance work, Brian also writes for Wide Open Spaces and is on the Pro Staff at Military Hunting and Fishing. When he isn’t busy writing, Brian enjoys fishing farm ponds for bass and hitting the spring woods during turkey season.

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