Last week national news lit up when an off duty police officer from Kentucky was coming back from dinner with his wife and shot himself. He was in an elevator alone with his wife when he decided to adjust or “check” his weapon. When trying to re-holster the weapon he had an issue dealing with the jacket he was wearing and in the process he pulled the trigger and the shot ricocheted off the elevator wall and struck him. USA Today Posted the video here (viewer discretion advised).
From the video you can see that this officer only had one hand to use (the other was holding things) and with his free hand he was trying to negotiate the jacket and get it back into the holster on his hip. During cold weather you are much more likely to be wearing a jacket or a coat and it is no small thing to be able to draw the weapon or re-holster it when that jacket is in the way. It takes practice and this is part of winter concealed carry. (Last week we talked about gloves)
Even traditional concealed carry generally requires pulling back or moving a shirt, a pant, a zipper, Velcro, or other things that may be securing or concealing the weapon. Here are a couple of key takeaways and considerations to use in your training.
-Do not handle your weapon when you have something in one of your hands. Handling the weapon in any environment requires two hands. In real life confrontations drop whatever you have in your hands before drawing your weapon. Because its possible that you may have a disabled arm or hand you eventually will need to train one handed handling techniques but this is for advanced users who have acquired strong muscle memory in standard handling
-Use your support hand to sweep shirts, jackets, or other obstacles back while your strong hand obtains a strong grip. When returning the weapon do the same. Even when you don't have a jacket or other obstacle it will not hurt anything to be in the habit of sweeping back with the support hand. For some types of concealed carry the “sweep” (or pull) isn't really practical or helpful. The key is to identify something that will work for you for as many carry disciples as possible.
-When practicing new techniques (like the support hand sweep) stand in front of a mirror and use a training weapon to ensure safety. Move in slow motion and repeat the movements over and over to force the body to obtain muscle memory