Big coats equal big guns. Big guns equal more rounds.
Concealed carry in cold weather means easier concealment, potentially changing to outside the waistband carry, and most importantly, the option for extra capacity. Popular manufacturers of firearms such as Glock, Smith & Wesson, Sig Sauer, Walther, and Heckler & Koch make great subcompact handguns for concealed carry. They also make reliable full-size handguns, many of which are just a larger size version of their smaller capacity pistol.
The right handgun for you to carry concealed is one that fits your hand, your finger reaches the trigger, you can manage the recoil, and most importantly, you’re able to find aftermarket parts as well as ammunition for it. A specific manufacturer’s subcompact handgun may be the perfect fit for you, while the full-size model is not. Just like picking out your summer or warm weather carry pistol, you need to go through the same steps in finding a pistol to concealed carry in cold weather.
Glock has always been one of the most popular handguns in the world. They are known for their reliability and come at an easy entry cost for new firearm owners. Popular subcompact models include the Glock 42, 43, 43X, 48, 30and 23, but all come at a cost of less capacity ranging from 6+1 rounds to 10+1. The Glock 19 is the sweet spot between Glock’s subcompact guns and full-size competition guns like the Glock 17 and 34. The Glock 19 has a standard capacity of 15+1 with optional magazine extensions to increase capacity. The weight with a fully loaded magazine is less than 2 pounds, making this a very reasonable full-size double-stack firearm to carry.
Smith & Wesson has innovated over the years with their popular concealed carry handguns such as the M&P Shield, the Bodyguard 380, and the Shield EZ models. These pistols start at 8+1 rounds of capacity and end at 13+1 with the optional magazine extension. The full-size M&P M2.0 model has all of the familiar features of the compact pistols to include night sights, a shorter barrel, and optional thumb safety, but can carry 17+1 rounds of ammo.
Sig Sauer makes a variety of types of pistols from double action, single action, single action only, and striker-fired. One of the more popular guns Sig makes is the micro-compact P238. Chambered in .380 auto and designed like a 1911, this little baby can pack a punch but at a limit of 7 round capacity. Arguably, their best-selling compact carry gun has been the newly designed P365 XL, but the max load out of this gun is 12 rounds. The P320 model can come equipped with a Picatinny rail, night sights, front side serrations, and the straight trigger we have come to know and love from Sig, with the added bonus of 17+1 rounds of capacity.
When you think of Walther, you probably picture James Bond with the ever-popular PPK. Walther has been innovating and designing pistols for the tactical market starting with their CCP model pistols, PPS’s, and continuing the line of PPK’s. The capacity on all of these pistols maxes out at 8+1 rounds of ammo, but with great ease of carrying concealed. The latest from Walther is their PDP model pistols. The compact comes in at a 15+1 capacity, but the full-size model fits 18+1 rounds. Walther built a reliable gun with the PDP with all the features of front serrations, a Pic rail, and a comfortable grip
Heckler & Koch has been manufacturing firearms since 1949, but has never stopped innovating along the way. Their popular carry pistols are the P30SK, VP9SK, HK 45 compact, and USP compact models. H&K has always been intentional about making carry pistols with up to 15 rounds of capacity depending on what caliber it’s chambered in. The larger full-size model, the VP9 can carry 17+1 rounds of capacity making this a slightly better option to concealed carry in cold weather.
Switching out pistols based on the temperature outside can be beneficial, but only if you train with both guns before carrying them. Whether you’re moving back to the warmer temps or fall is starting to arrive, never carry a pistol you haven’t put in the time training with. Like what was mentioned earlier, just because you like a gun in the compact model doesn’t mean it’ll feel or shoot the same way with the full-size version.
Kenzie Fitzpatrick is a professional competitive shooter and an active blogger for many firearm websites. As an NRA-certified instructor and National Range Officer Institute Chief Range Officer, Kenzie trains new shooters on basic firearm safety, brings new shooters to competitive shooting, and works major matches across the country. She has a passion for teaching people how to concealed carry and is a positive ambassador for the Second Amendment.
©MTC Holsters, LLC and CrossBreed Holsters Blog, 2021.
Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to David Workman and the CrossBreed Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.