Now that winter is finally here, we find ourselves wearing more layers. We are wearing thicker coats, sometimes multiple layers of shirts or thermal layers, and a lot of times gloves. Thicker coats can be harder to clear out of the way in order to get the handgun out of the holster. For those carrying a semi-auto, if you find yourself in need to shoot from the retention position keep in mind the slide is more likely to catch on the heavy coat and keep your pistol from going into battery. Pay special care to keep a good gap between your slide and your coat in position two of the draw in order to ensure the slide can reciprocate freely. If your coats or sweaters have draw strings on the bottom, you may seriously consider cutting those out. The draw strings are very likely to catch on holsters, gear and the firearm during the draw. With all the insulation that is inside of gloves, they can get pretty thick. This means we lose the fine motor skills of our fingers. This also means that our fingers do not have the same sensitivity that they usually have. Thick gloves can also prevent your trigger finger from being able to get into the trigger guard.
With all these things in mind, it might be a good idea to test your gear that you are wearing daily during the winter months to ensure that it still allows access and function of your defensive tools. Even if you can't afford to spare any of your ammo testing your gear at the range, you can test this by completing some dry fire drills in your winter clothing. If you can introduce a shot timer into your drills it will help test your gear at speed as the timer introduces stress of trying to get better times and it will show you how much slower your draw is when you have more clothing on than just a t shirt. If you normally wear gloves out in winter, practice some dry fire drills with them on in order to get a feel for your trigger's take up and when the shot is going to break.
For those that store firearms in the vehicle. Winter months can be very hard on firearms in the vehicle. If the firearm is stored underneath a seat, even inside of a lock box it is going to experience some moisture. The small safes are not air tight. Moisture is introduced from dragging in snow and rain from getting in and out of your vehicle multiple times per day. The many heat cycles our vehicles experience throughout the day of going from negative temperatures to over eighty degrees when we have our heaters cranked creates some humidity from the wet floorboards.