Yesterday morning I spent the first few minutes of my day skimming my Twitter Feed. As I scrolled along, I came across a Tweet from When The Balloon Goes Up about Winter Weather Carry. Two things are discussed in this post. The first is winter weather carry, just as the title of the post implies. The second is the flawed logic of carrying that big ol’ Government Model 1911 just because you’re wearing a big fluffy coat.
In regards to the thoughts on the 1911, I don’t own nor have I ever carried one. I don’t have a dog in that race and my opinion isn’t a particularly popular one. Just in case you were curious, I feel that grip angle is irrelevant. Train enough with anything and it will begin to feel comfortable, be it a Government Model 1911 or a Glock.
The question of winter weather carry grabbed my attention and compelled me to leave a comment. Unfortunately, I got rather long winded and wound up backing out before submitting my thoughts (twice, actually). I thought that perhaps it was better to write a post of my own as to not leave a novel in the comments section.
Pennsylvania has what I feel is an all around winter. At times the weather can be mild and feels like a brisk fall day, while on others it can be bitter cold. We are far enough north that we are accustomed significant snowfall (at least what we consider significant) but we are far enough south that we aren’t hammered with snow all winter long.
This mix of weather and temperature can make carrying a weapon a little tricky. I find that what I’m planning on doing, while out and about, plays a much larger role in what I carry than the temperature.
Out In The Cold: With a Purpose
I am one of those guys that break into a sweat at the drop of a hat. As a result, I’ve found that I’m better able to regulate my temperature if I ditch the coat or jacket and instead wear a sweatshirt. This becomes particularly important if I’m heading outside with a purpose.
There are two advantages to dressing this way. The first is that I’m less likely to become sweaty in a cold environment. The second is that I buy sweatshirts that tend to ride closer to my belt line than my t-shirts. This makes getting them out of the way to access my IWB Holster a little easier and essentially mimics my spring and summer carry methods.
Out In The Cold: For Leisure
In the event that I’m heading out for leisure time, perhaps a stroll with my wife, I tend to dress warmer than if I’m working on something. A sweater or long sleeve shirt with an open jacket is ideal but it doesn’t always work out that way.
When a heavy coat is required, I’m kind of stuck for carrying a gun. A zipped long coat that extends beyond my waist is problematic for IWB Carry. I find it difficult to pull the coat up and away to access my gun. Pocket carry isn’t a great substitute either because the coat sometimes needs to be moved to gain access to a pants pocket.
You’re probably thinking “Walt, just slip that pocket pistol into your coat pocket. What is the big deal?” You are right, it sounds simple enough. Unfortunately, I just don’t feel comfortable slipping a gun into a outer garment pocket that doesn’t have some sort of closure (The closure can be difficult to manipulate with cold fingers, even if it is just a strip of velcro).
In this case, I opt for what seems like the lesser of two evils. I carry a small Smith & Wesson Bodyguard in a pants pocket. It isn’t always easy to access but I find it easier than getting under layers of clothing to access an IWB holstered gun.