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Old February 6, 2014, 11:37 PM   #1
keithdog
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Northern winter CC options.

My concern here is concealed carry during winter in the northern states. Here in northern Indiana this winter, it's been brutal. Average daily temps in the teens, with tons of snow and heavy wind. So when I am out and about, it's heavy clothing which includes a long heavy parka. One might think simply putting your gun into one of the pockets of the parka might be an option. WRONG! Even though I carry a 9mm S&W Shield, it's obvious I have something in my coats pocket. My son, who works at the mall, tells me that I would be pulled aside by mall security in a heart beat to see what's in my coats pocket. If you carry in an OWB holster, you will still need to unzip and open your parka to access your hand gun, and if your wearing gloves, which is normal wear in sub zero temps, accessing your gun is even harder and more time consuming. A shoulder holster might be easier as long as the winter coat is on, but not always convenient once your inside an establishment. So, for my northern brethren, what is choice for CC in winter when wearing heavy clothing is imperative?
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Old February 6, 2014, 11:53 PM   #2
Brian Pfleuger
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Quote:
My son, who works at the mall, tells me that I would be pulled aside by mall security
I'd tell mall security where they could stick it. Absent a complaint from a store or some sort of verifiable rationale, they can not simply stop and search you. They have no business whatsoever in asking what's in your pocket just because there appears to be something heavy in there.

In regards to carry, I don't change anything. I've worn the same Glock 33 in a Crossbreed Supertuck since January of 2009. I added a Blackhawk Serpa CQC OWB holster a few weeks ago for when clothing/situations allows.

You can pretty well expect that you'll always have to get some sort of clothing out of the way when you're carrying concealed. Gloves, well, unless you're outside for an extended period, you don't need really thick gloves. Any decent pair of relatively thin leather will protect your hands long enough to get from car to store even in sub-zero weather. You can shoot quite easily with thin gloves on and it should add no time to your draw sequence, especially if you practice.

I normally don't zip my coat unless I'm going to be outside for quite a while and it's ridiculously cold. Otherwise, I just hold it shut with one hand. That allows quick, easy access to the gun.
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Old February 7, 2014, 12:08 AM   #3
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Well I've never been to indiana nor do I know much about it but it sounds like we have similar winters. Northern vemont is about the exact same and I work outside every day. So I carry iwb xd9 subcompact which is pretty similar size to the shield. I wear thermal head to toe, layer appropriately and bought a second hand ski jacket and obviously the appropriate gloves to handle my firearm. I'm warm all day even spending 8-10 hours outside all day. Even when its way below zero with wind, if dressed appropriately, you should be alright (unless I'm just too used to nasty winters). Granted, I do regularly practice drawing from under these layers. I've definitely improved since I first started carrying under so many layers. But I'd much rather draw from iwb under layers than unzipping a parka and drawing from there. Preference maybe??
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Old February 7, 2014, 12:13 AM   #4
Cirdan
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I think the gun in the pocket isn't as obvious as you feel it is. Most people just aren't that observant.

My winter jacket has a chest pocket (outside opening). I can easily slip my G26 in there and no one's wiser.
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Old February 7, 2014, 12:36 AM   #5
ryan3465
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I'm in central Maine and I've been carrying a S&W Model 60 in a Galco Pocket holster for winter carry with a heavy coat. It works quite well.

Mall security has no right to ask you what is in your pocket, and if they just simply pulled me aside and said "hey what's in your pocket" the response I gave would probably be either A.) so incredibly grotesque as to embarrass the questioner, or would be B) none of your business. What's in YOUR pocket?!" This is absent a complaint, as Brian said above.

Best of luck!!!!
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Old February 7, 2014, 01:32 AM   #6
Brotherbadger
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Quote:
I normally don't zip my coat unless I'm going to be outside for quite a while and it's ridiculously cold. Otherwise, I just hold it shut with one hand. That allows quick, easy access to the gun.
I do the same. My big wool coat keeps me warm even when left wide open. Winter doesn't really change my carry habits.
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Old February 7, 2014, 11:38 PM   #7
keithdog
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Well, my son's mentioning that mall security would probably stop me to ask what's in my pocket had to do with the fact that it was so obvious something was in my pocket, that it looked like I had been shop lifting. If that's the case, it's not being concealed well enough. The main issue I was addressing is when your outside for an extended period of time, say an hour or more, and it's sub zero temps and a strong wind, I seriously doubt your going to see many folks walking around with their winter coats wide open! I was thinking a shoulder holster would probably give me the fastest access to my gun since unzipping it all the way or lifting it up wouldn't be needed.
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Old February 8, 2014, 01:11 AM   #8
jimbob24
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^wouldnt it then be impossible to take your coat off being that you would have a shoulder holster mounted to you underneath it? I'll ask, why not iwb?
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Old February 8, 2014, 03:59 AM   #9
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Quote:
Well, my son's mentioning that mall security would probably stop me to ask what's in my pocket had to do with the fact that it was so obvious something was in my pocket, that it looked like I had been shop lifting
That would not be 'mall security' but rather 'mall Gestapo' and my answer to them would be "none of your business".

If I had my pockets bulging with baseballs it is none of mall securities business...unless of course they saw me lift the baseballs off the store shelf and stick them into my pockets.
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Old February 8, 2014, 05:10 AM   #10
GrailKnight
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Well I live in snow and cold along Lake Erie and find my ISWB holster works fine. I just buy shirts that are not long. My winter parka does not get in the way.

Just remove all the bullets and make sure the chamber is clear and practice drawing your firearm with your winter clothes and coat on.

Edit* removed duplicate word
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Old February 8, 2014, 07:52 AM   #11
Carne Frio
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I didn't realize that Northern Indiana had such brutal winter weather.
Most folks around here that I know just put a reliable handgun into
an outer parka pocket. It's easy to get to. We don't worry about any
mall cops.
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Old February 8, 2014, 09:19 AM   #12
Brian Pfleuger
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Northern winter CC options.

Quote:
Originally Posted by keithdog View Post
Well, my son's mentioning that mall security would probably stop me to ask what's in my pocket had to do with the fact that it was so obvious something was in my pocket, that it looked like I had been shop lifting. If that's the case, it's not being concealed well enough. The main issue I was addressing is when your outside for an extended period of time, say an hour or more, and it's sub zero temps and a strong wind, I seriously doubt your going to see many folks walking around with their winter coats wide open! I was thinking a shoulder holster would probably give me the fastest access to my gun since unzipping it all the way or lifting it up wouldn't be needed.

They may well do that but it doesn't matter. They'd only do it to me once, I guarantee that. They have no right whatsoever to ask you any questions unless there's a complaint from a store or something. Even the police can't just stop you for no reason and ask what's in your pockets. Mall security certainly can't. "Something heavy " is not a reason either.

In regards to being outside in subzero weather and wind for over an hour... unless that's your job, don't do that. I certainly wouldn't. If I had to for some reason, how I was carrying would honestly be about the last of my worries. I doubt there's too many muggers out in subzero temps and wind either. When carry gets that inconvenient, I just don't do it or I just do it the same way I've always done it. Yes, today might be "the day" but sometimes I'll take that chance. None of the previous 12,000 days have been "that day".
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Old February 8, 2014, 10:08 AM   #13
kraigwy
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I spent 20 years as a cop in Anchorage. It does get nippy there every now and then so they issued parka's. The parka has a side zipper that was suppose to allow you access to your service revolver.

I say suppose to, but it always seemed to hang up for me.

Simple solution, I carried a snuby in my coat pocket. I could walk around with my hand in my pocket, on my gun and no one knew. Could either draw it from the pocket or even fire it from the pocket (not wise with a semi). The coat was heavy enough you couldn't detect it.

I'm retired now and live in Wyoming. Still gets cold (Colder then Anchorage this year). Now I just carry a J frame (642) in my pants pocket. It doesn't "print" any more then my keys and pocket knife in my other pocket.

No one ever noticed the gun. I teach a ladies SD class and two woman we have square danced with for over ten years are in my class. As long as they've known me they just found out I always have my revolver in my pocket when they started the class.

What you need to understand is most people are so self absorbed they wouldn't notice if you had a chain saw in your pocket. The average person isn't going to look to see what 'bulge you have in your pocket, they are more concerned with their own lives and now days, their nose is in their cell phone, not your pocket.

In short, you're worrying about nothing. Plus its no one's business what I carry in my pocket. If for some weird reason some mall security dude does question you, tell them to pound sand, if they push it, find another mall to shop in.

Having said that if you observe mall security much at all, you see they are more concerned about the designs on the back of young ladies britches then what's in some guys pocket.
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Old February 10, 2014, 08:43 PM   #14
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I spend alot of time outside both on and off the clock. I have a carhartt arctic extreme coat that I really like. On top of being very warm, and mostly wind and water proof, it has a 2 way zipper on the front. I can unzip it from the bottom up part way and this gives me the ability to pull up on the bottom of the coat to clear a holster the same way you would with an untucked shirt. Its obviously not as fast or easy to draw from under as a baggy shirt, but it is possible and you don't have to sacrifice being warm.

I'm sure there are lots of coats that feature the 2 way zipper, and you could probably add one to a coat you already have as well.

Edited to add, this works alot better with a short barrel like my M&P9C than my 5" 1911. The longer barrel means you have to get everything alot higher above your belt.
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Old February 11, 2014, 01:27 AM   #15
Brotherbadger
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Quote:
The main issue I was addressing is when your outside for an extended period of time, say an hour or more, and it's sub zero temps and a strong wind, I seriously doubt your going to see many folks walking around with their winter coats wide open!
I live in Wisconsin, where it is currently -5 and i've had wind chills down to -60 so far this winter. If you layer correctly, leaving your jacket open isn't a problem. If you are looking for the fastest accessible way to carry while wearing a jacket, I'd go with a pocket carry.
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Old February 11, 2014, 07:14 AM   #16
rebs
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winter I carry a colt 1911 in a shoulder holster or iwb depending on where I am going. I practice and have no problem either way.
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Old February 11, 2014, 09:06 AM   #17
KyJim
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I have had similar concerns because of the cold weather this winter here in Kentucky and asked others here about carrying in a coat pocket. http://thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=541442. Obviously it depends on the coat and the gun but I think a J-frame or something similar in a semi-auto should work in a pocket of most coats. I've tried it the last couple of days and it seems to work fine for me.
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Old February 11, 2014, 09:19 AM   #18
buck460XVR
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Quote:
Originally posted by Brian Pfleuger:

I'd tell mall security where they could stick it. Absent a complaint from a store or some sort of verifiable rationale, they can not simply stop and search you. They have no business whatsoever in asking what's in your pocket just because there appears to be something heavy in there.

^^^Same here. Hard to believe that any mall security would randomly stop folks because they have a bulge in their pocket. Even if they did stop and ask, if you are legal, what's the problem?
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Old February 11, 2014, 03:43 PM   #19
MRYANJ99
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I too live in the northern half of the Hoosier state, and I've been having the same issue. I wear a heavy Carhart jacket with my G23 in my inside breast pocket. I picked up a left handed IWB holster to fasten in that pocket so I can reach inside my coat with my right hand and draw. Other than that, I've worn my gun on an OWB holster with my coat unzipped when going inside places. Being a state that's OC friendly, I haven't paid much attention. I think folks around here have been a little too frozen to notice anyone OCing.

I wouldn't worry about mall rent-a-cops. They have absolutely no legal right to do anything but ask you to leave the mall if you're causing a ruckus.

I went to a mall in Indy last weekend and my gun printed on my hip the entire time. Most folks are either too busy walking, talking, or playing on cell phones to notice anything.
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Old February 11, 2014, 03:47 PM   #20
JERRYS.
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whatever gun you carry on your hip under a winter coat should also be supplemented by a "hammerless" snubby in the jacket's outside pocket.
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Old February 12, 2014, 01:26 AM   #21
Brotherbadger
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Quote:
Hard to believe that any mall security would randomly stop folks because they have a bulge in their pocket.
Yea, i worked private security(not mall cop, but a night watchman at a hospital) in college and i can't imagine doing that. We were told that IF we saw the person was carrying, to remind them quietly that the building did not allow CCW, and to please store it in their vehicle. I'd never pat a guy down if I thought he was printing.

Quote:
I went to a mall in Indy last weekend and my gun printed on my hip the entire time. Most folks are either too busy walking, talking, or playing on cell phones to notice anything.
Yup, think about how often you even look at other people when you are in the mall. Most people are so caught up in what they are doing and where they are going next that they don't even notice. Only people who would notice are people who are carrying.
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Old February 13, 2014, 01:44 PM   #22
larryh1108
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I believe what the OP meant about the mall cop stopping him was more to the fact that it was obvious he was carrying and not that he was shop lifting. The point was it was too obvious for his comfort. I do not know IN law but maybe printing is not allowed by law or he is just not comfortable printing.
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Old February 17, 2014, 08:10 AM   #23
keithdog
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Exactly Larry. I should never have mentioned mall cops as that never happened. It was just a sly comment my son made. I thought that was pretty obvious. Printing is my main concern, along with quick access to a CC pistol when wearing lots of winter clothing.
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Old February 17, 2014, 03:55 PM   #24
markj
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Quote:
tells me that I would be pulled aside by mall security
I carry in teh mall all the time, never had anyone come up to me...
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Old February 17, 2014, 05:43 PM   #25
buck460XVR
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Printing and accessibility is a concern regardless of weather or the season. A pocket holster works just as well in a coat pocket as it does in cargo shorts. I've used a piece of cardboard in my tight fitting motorcycle jacket to hide the outline of a J-Frame in the chest pocket when the pocket holster did not work. Many winter coats have a inside chest pocket that offers good access when the zipper is down partway.

I've found that I am conscious of printing much more than others see me printing. I've also found that after carrying for a while, one loses that fear that everyone is looking at them and the gun in their pocket. Open carry is legal here and I've found that for the most part, I can carry a full size 1911 in a shoulder holster and most folks don't realize what they 'ell I got. Those that do...don't seem to care. There are times when I wear a loose fitting button down shirt over a t-shirt while wearing the shoulder rig. I'll leave the shirt unbuttoned for the most part with only enough buttoned up to cover the rig while still allowing for access. Many times I will carry a J-Frame, as either a primary or a BUG on an ankle holster. Not the fastest of accessibility, but better than nuttin'.
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