Cooler Weather Approaches. How will this effect your carry methods?
While the lower half of the country doesn't experience much of a change in seasons, the mid and upper half gets a pretty decent Winter. This brings out the big guns- literally. Colder weather means outerwear, which means you can potentially conceal a much larger pistol under your coat or jacket. In addition, most of the United State's big game hunting seasons start once the weather is cooler, resulting in folks carrying a back up pistol for hunting.
If you live in the northern US, you're most likely to carry a larger firearm in the cooler months. You're no longer bound by the limitations of concealed carry under a t-shirt. All of the doors open up once a jacket becomes involved.
We're located in North Carolina, just north enough to see the leaves turn and experience some jacket weather for a few months. During this time we upgrade all of our Winter gear to OWB Holsters, larger guns and possibly a spare mag or two- just because we can. This year we'll be carrying the Polymer80 frame with a Glock 17 slide and Trijicon RMR. Why not?
1. How well does your outerwear conceal your gun Outside the Waistband?
If you're wearing a light jacket or just a sweater you may want to consider something slimmer, or an extended magazine, so that the extra bulk isn't as noticeable. You wouldn't want to upgrade to a Glock 40 MOS if it's only sweater weather and you're unable to actually conceal it successfully.
If you're in the snow zone further on up, your options are much greater. The larger the jacket the more you can conceal.
2. How extreme are the laws in your state in regards to concealed carry?
While it's completely legal to open carry in some states, others require your firearm to be 100% concealed at all times. Any violation of this can result in some serious consequences, leading many carriers to be limited in what they're able to carry. Before purchasing OWB gear for Winter, find out how intense your state's carry laws are. If the laws are extremely strict, it may be a good idea to use extended magazines for your regular carry pistol, instead of upgrading to a larger one. For example if you carry a Glock 26, you could potentially upgrade to a Glock 19 magazine, providing you with the capacity of a larger gun, while maintaining a small profile.
If you're state laws are a bit grey or if open carry is legal, I would highly recommend taking advantage of the additional layers.
To upgrade your holster options, check these out:
Don't want to upgrade to a larger gun, but want to increase capacity and accessibility? Check these options out: