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Old September 28, 2018, 09:58 AM   #1
OhioGuy
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Strategies for winter concealment

What does everyone do when it comes time to pile on layers, and suddenly your favorite firearm is buried under a heavy coat, a sweater and probably some other shirt too?

I've timed myself on drawing from concealment with those kinds of layers on, and it's almost comically bad. Gotta unzip that coat, but dammit I can't even grab the zipper with these gloves on, so gotta rip off my glove with my teeth, then unzip the coat, then try to pull up the sweater -- while moving "off the X"...

I've read some people switch to pocket carrying small guns in outer coat pockets for that reason --

But now you've got a little gun in a coat pocket, and what do you do when you get indoors and need to hang that heavy coat somewhere?

Just curious about the practicality of accessing a firearm with heavy clothing.
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Old September 28, 2018, 10:36 AM   #2
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I typically pocket carry with a sticky holster. In the warmer months when I wear shorts I carry a .380 sub compact Sig and in the winter when wearing Levi's I carry a slightly larger Glock 43 9mm. The .380 tends to roll sideways in my levi pocket but the slightly larger Glock stays put. You really need to have different options depending on the clothes you're wearing and always avoid printing.
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Old September 28, 2018, 11:24 AM   #3
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"...timed myself on drawing from concealment..." A quick draw doesn't apply to CCW. If a criminal has stopped you and demands your wallet, you'll be removing your gloves and opening your coat anyway.
And if your winter coat is heavy you need a new coat. Think down lined.
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Old September 28, 2018, 11:59 AM   #4
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I carry OWB with cover garments in summer or winter. Concealment is easy in the winter, but my CW9 in a custom holster I made still conceals OWB in a t-shirt easily.

At any rate, I don't have to unzip anything. I simply lift up cover garments to access the draw. I have my own little draw system I've practiced. You need to come up with a methodical system and practice with it... about 1k times or more. My personal one involves extending my thumb and having it ride up the front of the holster as I pull my hand up. It raises my cover garments and serves as a guide, when riding up the front of the holster, to aid in finding the pistol grip with my grip fingers.
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Old September 28, 2018, 08:04 PM   #5
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About 20 years ago I had the same question and found a video that gave me some good options. Unfortunately I can't find that video now, but I found this one that covers basically the same stuff:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6P4s9-EXHVg

20 years ago I lived in St.l Louis where they have real winters and you had to wear real winter jackets, etc. A couple things I found were:

Carrying at the 4-5 o'clock position (I'm right-handed), essentially behind my hip, makes drawing difficult when wearing more than two layers. If I was wearing gloves and three or more layers I could even miss grabbing my gun. If possible I tried to carry OWB and at least at the 3 o'clock position to make it easier to get access and draw.

When pulling my outer garments away, it helped to pull them up and away on a rising diagonal, rather than just straight across.

Also, I found that for myself, hooking my gun hand thumb underneath my outer garments while going for the full hand-grab (as depicted in the video) with my support hand worked best for me.

Recently I've been working with appendix carry, and for long/heavy outerwear appendix carry seems to be the easiest way to carry for quick and positive access. At least until my belly gets a few inches bigger, then I'll have a problem.
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Old September 28, 2018, 08:09 PM   #6
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I just wear a fleece or sweatshirt with a windproof over it. Clears just like a sweatshirt.

I dont wear big, long, bulky overcoats.
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Old September 28, 2018, 08:13 PM   #7
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Texas doesn’t get as cold as many other places, but cool enough for a 5.11 holster undershirt.
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Old September 28, 2018, 08:15 PM   #8
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That'll keep you warm and make you sweat, all by itself.
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Old September 29, 2018, 07:47 AM   #9
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S&W 642 in the outer coat pocket, with or without my regular edc. It's perfectly natural to keep your hand in the pocket when it's cold out.
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Old September 29, 2018, 01:20 PM   #10
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The only thing colder weather does for me is make it easier to wear an outer garment to conceal a belt gun, if I feel like wearing one. I typically pocket holster a J-frame snub or a LCP, so just putting on a jacket or "layers" doesn't really change how that works for me.

The possible exception might be if I wear a jacket or coat which might have a heavy enough pocket to let me change to that sort of pocket holster carry. (I did it that way for many years when working cold/wet weather range sessions at our outdoor LE range, so it's been ingrained for quite a while.)

Having worked plainclothes for many years before my retirement, I long ago had reason to work out how to wear, draw and present a belt gun while wearing a sport/suit coat, and an additional outer layer of a dress raincoat in wetter months.
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Old September 29, 2018, 08:27 PM   #11
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I usually carry 2 pistols. One (357 mag J frame) is a floating bug. In the winter here (North Dakota) I carry my Glock in a shoulder rig.

If I need to hang up a coat with a J frame in the pocket, I move it to IWB.

I have gloves/hat along but if I am just going from the car to the store/work etc I don't wear gloves. My hands are pretty calloused so they don't freeze to stuff too easy.
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Old October 12, 2018, 04:32 PM   #12
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Same gun..same place (M&P 9mm AIWB). J frame in an outside coat pocket.

If i have the time the M&P will come out. If i need something right the heck NOW, the J frame will have to get the job done.

So, winter weather kinda reversed the guns jobs. Pistol as primary, J frame as BUG to J frame as primary, pistol as BUG.
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Old October 14, 2018, 07:55 PM   #13
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Not as much of an issue now that I am in Texas, but when I lived in Alaska I loved carrying in a Miami Classic shoulder holster under my heavy jacket. with a little practice unzipping the coat and drawing could be fast. It was nice being able to carry a full sized firearm also. If I was going somewhere I would be taking off the jacket I woud wear a button up shirt underneath unbuttoned. Still easy to draw and concealed if I needed to remove my jacket.
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Old October 14, 2018, 09:22 PM   #14
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T. O. knows about EVERYTHING.
Even if he lives where it's almost impossible to own a gun, and IS illegal to carry one!
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Old October 15, 2018, 07:22 PM   #15
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I mostly wear a coat unbuttoned or unzipped in the winter. That makes it fairly easy to get to a pistol on a belt holster, either IWB or OWB. When it's really cold and I button/zip up, then I often carry two handguns -- one on a belt holster and one in a coat pocket. I've been carrying a SW Model 38 Airweight Body Guard (.38 spl) in the pocket because it has a shrouded hammer. I plan to carry my Ruger LCR 9mm in the future because it has no exposed hammer. I do use a pocket holster.
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Old October 16, 2018, 10:06 AM   #16
OhioGuy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Auto5 View Post
S&W 642 in the outer coat pocket, with or without my regular edc. It's perfectly natural to keep your hand in the pocket when it's cold out.
And when you get indoors and need to hang up that coat with a revolver in the pocket...?

What happens to the revolver?
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Old October 16, 2018, 10:58 AM   #17
Nanuk
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Quote:
And when you get indoors and need to hang up that coat with a revolver in the pocket...?

What happens to the revolver?
Slip it into my waist band.
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Old October 16, 2018, 11:28 AM   #18
Sharkbite
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Quote:
And when you get indoors and need to hang up that coat with a revolver in the pocket...?
I dont leave my coat outside of my personal space.

Going into a restaurant? Take your coat to the table and hang it on the chair
Going into the grocery store? Put it in the cart
Going into the mall? CARRY it

Just like a lady who is carrying in her purse, dont leave the coat laying around.
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Old October 20, 2018, 12:43 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sharkbite View Post
I dont leave my coat outside of my personal space.

Going into a restaurant? Take your coat to the table and hang it on the chair
Going into the grocery store? Put it in the cart
Going into the mall? CARRY it

Just like a lady who is carrying in her purse, dont leave the coat laying around.
I think comparing it to purse carry is a legitimate point. I'll also add that the examples you gave are some reasons why I'm not a big fan of off body carry. In a number of the situations you mentioned it would take some time to get to the coat, get the firearm out, and then start shooting. While I don't somehow imagine myself getting into a quickdraw competition in the street, I think speed and access are factors worth considering.

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Old October 24, 2018, 07:18 AM   #20
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LCP in my heavy coat pocket, G42 IWB when coat off...yup, carry 2..
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Old October 24, 2018, 08:57 AM   #21
Wyosmith
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Winter in Wyoming?

Heck----- I could conceal an AK47 in my clothing in January.
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Old October 24, 2018, 04:21 PM   #22
davidsog
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Quote:
I can't even grab the zipper with these gloves on
Key piece of gear for wintertime is a good set of tactile gloves that still keep your hands warm.

https://www.outdoorresearch.com/us/e.../2667510001010

These are ones issued.

https://www.us-elitegear.com/product...oseidon-gloves

We did not get the cool guy coyote brown...just black ones. Anyway, I wore them in Wyoming doing mule skinner training in the winter and on several tours to Afghanistan.

They are warm and effective tactical gloves. The black ones go well with any civilian business casual dress too. They look nice and an effective piece of kit.

Expensive though and hard to find outside of the service.
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Old October 24, 2018, 06:47 PM   #23
TunnelRat
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Damn Uncle Sam forked over the big bucks for those. Why is one model half the cost of the other?

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Old October 24, 2018, 07:12 PM   #24
AK103K
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Why is one model half the cost of the other?
Because "we" paid for it.

Ive always found gloves to be cold and clumsy. Ive worn mittens for decades now, and just find them to be MUCH warmer, and instantly off if need be and you want dexterity.
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Old October 24, 2018, 08:18 PM   #25
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Damn Uncle Sam forked over the big bucks for those. Why is one model half the cost of the other?
The fabric they are made out of....

The gloves I have are light, warm, waterproof, and allow for good tactile feel. I used them climbing and for general patrols in cold weather enviroments.

I know that add says "gore-tex" insert technology but it is not gore tex like you are used too. Emphasis should be on the "technology".

I think it is like when Gore-Tex first came out in the late on the market in the 1980's, only SOCOM had it for years. God forbid you lost a gore-tex jacket because they were stupid expensive and you could only put the damn things on when told too. It was "wonder fabric". Guys even took pride in being "pre-gore tex" Rangers....

I remember getting issued a bag of assorted gloves. They tell you do not lose them as the bag has some 4000 dollars worth of gloves in about 6 sets of various purpose gloves. I still have em because they just tell you to keep em when you outprocess. Go figure.
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