Winter EDC Changes

Clearing clothing with a few more layers takes some extra effort and practice. You might need to consider changing the way you carry, or which firearm you carry. You might find that this is the time to carry two guns. If you wear gloves when you carry, you should practice with gloves on. Try drawing from the holster, manipulating the safety and even reloading in gloves. As your clothing changes to match the weather, take time out to think it through and dry practice. On the Range If you have the opportunity to shoot at an outdoor range in cold weather, do it. Cold hands lose dexterity, and gloves can make it worse. If at any time you begin losing confidence in your ability to safely shoot, it’s time to slow down or stop. Continuing EDC Practice Dry practice is an essential part of any firearms training routine.

I live in northeastern Ohio, where the weather eventually turns brutally cold. On a positive note, the cold weather makes on-body, everyday carry (EDC) much simpler. Those thick sweaters and bulky layers allow for easier concealment of both the firearm and other gear. Plus, if you want, you can carry a larger gun, larger calibers or a larger capacity magazine. Making these changes, however, means you’ll also need to change your training.

Gear Up is sponsored by Springfield Armory

Dry Practice

You should know how to shoot already, so stay inside, keep warm and dry practice. Dress yourself in clothing you might wear on an average day. Double- and triple-check that your pistol is unloaded, then put it into its holster. Now practice your draw and presentation. It’s not quite the same as it is with summer clothing, is it? Clearing clothing with a few more layers takes some extra effort and practice. When you clear your cover garments, you need to make sure not to miss a layer. I’ve grabbed a handful of shirt before, and it really slows you down. What’s the solution? Time on task: Practice, practice, and then practice some more.

crossbreed holster springfield xde EDC
When carrying concealed, Michelle’s support hand has to move first to clear my cover garment.

Knowing what your support hand is going to be doing before you draw is helpful. When carrying concealed, my support hand has to move first to clear my cover garment. Most people tell you never to hold anything in your strong hand so you can access your gun faster. Well, my strong hand has time to drop the object while my support hand moves to clear. And you need to move with purpose and violence, or extreme effort, when clearing a cover garment. You may have to commit to tearing your clothing or jacket when a real confrontation occurs.

Extra magazines are pretty much standard and necessary these days, and they can serve more purpose than the ammo they provide. You do carry an extra mag, don’t you? Sweeping a jacket back is easier with the weight of a magazine in the pocket. Winter pants and pockets are different too. Think about where your spare mag will be kept. Practice your reloads until they become familiar. They may never become smooth, but eventually your speed will increase.

Now take it…

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