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Winter Carry Gloves - Navigating the challenges of shooting with gloves

by Daniel @HolsterCentral on December 06, 2023

 Winter carry gloves

Navigating the Challenges of Concealed Carry in Cold Conditions
Estimated 8 minute read

Concealed carry in winter conditions demands careful consideration of hand wear options.

The connection between gloves and handguns becomes crucial as gloves impact dexterity and firearm functionality. Here, we explore the intricacies of selecting, practicing, and using gloves for concealed carry in cold weather.

Navigating the combination of gloves and guns in cold weather poses unique challenges for concealed carriers.

In this exploration, we delve into the impact of winter conditions on handgun operations and the importance of choosing the right handwear for optimal dexterity.

The dilemma of freezing or wearing gloves highlighted the need to adapt to using firearms in cold-weather conditions.

While I am familiar with the effect gloves can have on handgun dexterity, the connection between gloves and handguns varies based on the firearm.

For example small-framed revolvers pose challenges when used with gloved hands, particularly if the gloves are not tight and slim.

Quick access to the trigger becomes difficult, emphasizing the importance of practicing trigger manipulation with gloved hands.

Thick gloves may compromise trigger return and reset, potentially leading to malfunctions, especially with J-frame revolvers.

The material of the glove itself can present issues during firing, with the possibility of it becoming stuck in the upper section of the trigger.

Practicing keeping the gloved finger on the face of the trigger is crucial for reliable functionality with revolvers.

Beyond trigger manipulation, gloves also impact other handgun operations. While the cylinder latch may not be a significant issue with gloved hands, the slide lock of a self-loading pistol presents its own set of challenges.

Self-loading pistols introduce reduced dexterity concerns, potentially leading to unintended discharges.

The risk of exerting lateral pressure on the trigger without awareness increases with reduced tactile feedback.

Double-action-first-shot handguns offer some reduction in this danger due to a heavier trigger press for the first round.

However, transitioning to single action after the first shot may introduce challenges similar to single-action 1911s or Glock-style safe-action triggers.

Practicing firing your chosen handgun with gloved hands is essential to developing the muscle memory required for confident and safe firearm use in winter conditions.

Whether facing the challenges of trigger manipulation, slide lock operation, or adapting to different handgun types, diligent practice ensures that concealed carriers can confidently navigate the complexities of cold-weather concealed carry.


Here are our top tips for carrying (and shooting) with your winter gloves

Choosing the Right Glove: The selection of gloves significantly influences the success of concealed carry in cold conditions. A properly-fitting glove is essential, with good adhesion to prevent slippage during firing. Department-store gloves with inadequate traction can compromise firearm control, turning an accurate and controllable handgun into a poor performer. Select gloves that offer both warmth and optimal firearm handling.

Evaluating options based on fit, quality, and durability is crucial. Leather and synthetic materials each have their advantages, and selecting gloves tailored for gun-friendly use is essential for concealed carriers.

Consistent Practice with the Gloves You Wear: Practicing with the chosen gloves is paramount, regardless of the specific pair selected. Proficiency training should include manipulating handgun controls, drawing from the holster, and maintaining firearm readiness. Consistently wearing the same style of gloves contributes to familiarity and muscle memory development.

The common practice of taking gloves off before firing raises concerns about quick access in critical situations.

Practice with gloved hands is imperative, considering that a well-fitted glove may be challenging to quickly remove. 

Issues such as unintentional thumb interference with the slide lock can worsen with gloves, affecting the ability to drop the slide efficiently. Practice isolating such problems to ensure readiness.

Considerations for Self-Loading Pistols: Self-loading pistols present their challenges when wearing gloves. Reduced dexterity could lead to unintended discharges, emphasizing the need for practice. The transition from double-action to single action poses potential issues, requiring careful consideration of trigger control.

Critical Handgun Operations: Ensure that you can effectively actuate the safety, magazine release, and slide lock while wearing gloves. While there is ongoing debate about using the slide lock to release the slide, training to run the gun accordingly with gloves is essential. If manipulating the slide lock becomes challenging with gloves, consider retraining and prioritize racking the slide for consistent functionality.

Maintaining a Strong Grip: A strong grip is mandatory when using a pistol with gloves. Some users report pistols seeming to kick more when wearing gloves, emphasizing the importance of a tight-fitting glove that allows a solid grip to mitigate this effect.

An Unfortunate Incident: Highlighting the importance of proper glove usage, an unfortunate incident involving an officer underscores the need for vigilance. Placing the trigger finger on the front of the trigger guard instead of the trigger due to cold hands and gloves led to a critical failure during a confrontation.

In conclusion, the careful selection and diligent practice of shooting gloves are integral components of winter-ready concealed carry.

Consider the fit, functionality, and durability of gloves to ensure optimal performance in critical situations.

As training with gloves becomes a priority, concealed carriers can confidently overcome the challenges of cold-weather conditions!



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