Concealed Carry during hot weather - Four tips to make ccw life easier
Concealed carry is immeasurably easier spring, fall, and winter than it is in summer. Here are some tips to enjoy the warmth without revealing your firearm.
Protect your weapon with the right holster
Outside the waistband holsters have the decided advantage of having a degree of separation through both the pants and shirt that inside the waistband concealed holsters don't. For those looking to conceal carry, though, inside the waistband holsters are where it's at in terms of weapon availability and concealability.
To get around the endless torrents of sweat, rain, and other elements that seem to prevail during the warmer seasons, use a holster with a neoprene or other layer built into the harness pad. Unprotected leather holsters that sort of just tuck in are a recipe to get your pistol jammed up with sweat.
If it's a t-shirt and shorts type of day – don't fight it!
Just because the weather is perfect for a stroll with sandals doesn't mean having to leave your gun at home. Sometimes, having an inner t-shirt made of neoprene or sweat wicking material with a larger, more billowy t-shirt over top can offer the perfect camouflage for your pistol in an inside the waistband concealed carry holster. For more on that – check out our article on How to conceal carry with just a t-shirt on.
Having a sweat wicking material as an under-layer both helps keep you cool and keeps the holster from sticking to your skin. Otherwise, using a holster that incorporates neoprene or a similar material is a pretty safe bet.
Switch to a smaller compact handgun
This sometimes steps on the toes of those who have a favorite pistol and rely specifically on that model for personal protection. But, it makes sense! warmer weather calls for light clothing, why not switch down to a lighter gun? Not only are there plenty of great choices – such as the Kimber Solo and others – but it's even less likely to be spotted.
In most cases – yes. If switching to a smaller pistol makes sense, make sure to train regularly with it beforehand. This ensures it's a familiar self-defense tool ready for use.
Be conscious of storing firearms in a vehicle
Concealed carriers occasionally do find themselves leaving their weapon in the car. With some of the more blisteringly hot days, it's good to know when and how that weapon is being stored – even if it's only for a quick run into a shop.
For some, that may be under the seat or in a center console. For others, the trunk is a safe bet. No matter where that ideal place in the car may be, always be conscious of the temperature outside the car and inside. Not only could the firearm be too hot to handle in an emergency, the ammunition may be more prone to cooking off. The ammunition part isn't too common but the handling of a hot firearm is.
Routine firearm maintenance is a must
Even when taking the earlier suggestions into account, routine maintenance during the summer months is very important. When a firearm is exposed to heavy humidity and water, it forms rust more easily. In the short term of a few weeks or even months – most firearms should be perfectly fine. For the long term, it's a good idea to do routine regular maintenance on the entire firearm – magazines and all – to ensure it's functioning properly.Do you have a preferred caliber for CCW? Tell us about it (and your rationale, if you'd like) in the comments section below.
About The Author
James England (@sir_jim_england) is the contributing editor for Alien Gear Holsters. He is a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom and private defense contracting in Afghanistan.