Winter Is Coming

A change in seasons means a change in clothing, and that means a change in our daily carry routine.

posted on October 7, 2022
Sheriff Jim Wilson

Like it or not, it’s that time of year when it is fixing to get a whole lot cooler. That means that folks down in Florida will start wearing socks with their flip flops while the rest of us will have to start dressing a bit more substantially. In my case, here near the southern border, I can get by most of the winter with either a quilted vest or a canvas brush jacket. Some of y’all, nearer to the Canadian border, will have to put a lot more on.

Regardless of our location, Florida excepted, it means that another factor is added to our ability to get our defensive handgun out with any kind of speed. We will have to deal with zippers, buttons, or a pull-over before we can get our gun into play. It is just a really good idea to do a little dry practice while wearing our winter gear. It is also a good reminder to work on our awareness skills because the farther away that we spot trouble, the more time we have to get ready to deal with it in one way or another.

If you are going to be wearing gloves a lot, it is important to check that they are compatible with your defensive handgun. Are they thin enough to allow your trigger finger to smoothly slide into the trigger guard of the pistol? If not, you have the option of getting a thinner pair or working on a technique of getting that glove off of your shooting hand as quickly as possible. Practice will tell you what you need to do.

And there are just times when it is so cold that we are wearing just about everything that we own. We’ve got our handgun on our hip, but it is under a sweater and a vest and a heavy parka. A fellow would almost need a search warrant to get to that gun. This might be a good time to be carrying a smaller, second gun in a side pocket of that outside garment. Again, practice is the key to getting that gun into play quickly. 

For the serious defensive shooter, preparing for winter carry is not that big a deal. But, it requires us to do a bit of thinking and practice to get into the proper mind set. We need to make sure that we have a plan that really works and we have the right kind of clothing and gear that doesn’t hinder us any more than is absolutely necessary. The key is in the thinking and practice.

Try to stay warm and, if you actually wear socks with your flip flops please keep that bit of information to yourself ... even if they are tactical socks.


What gun should I carry?
What gun should I carry?

“What's The Best Concealed Carry Gun For Me?”

A contentious and hotly debated topic made simple. Hopefully.

First Look: Dark Star Gear Apollo Holster

Updated and improved to work with today's most-popular compact carry pistols.

First Look: CZ-USA 600 Range Rifle

Designed with features to help you make the hits when they really matter.

Review: Safariland Species IWB Holster

What happens when a holster maker known for military and LEO holsters expands to the concealed carry market?

Don’t Overlook Using A Shoulder Holster

Shoulder holsters aren't just for private eyes and secret agents.

First Look: GForce Arms Tactical Lever Shotgun

The lever-action scattergun gets a tactical makeover.


Get the best of Shooting Illustrated delivered to your inbox.