This is a question poised to our audience: do you switch up your concealed carry handgun depending on the season?
It’s a question we’ve asked ourselves. For those of us living in places that have all four seasons, we have to come to grips that the hot weather will be hot and the cold weather will be cold.
More layers can mean more opportunity to conceal a full size gun. A full size handgun — or even just a bigger compact — affords a few unique features.
Full size and compacts tend to have bigger magazines.
The bigger the magazine, the less time will be spent changing out magazines.
Full size handguns are a bit more comfortable to shoot. That’s subjective. Some people really like the feel and grip of smaller compact pistols. Personally, I find I need a handgun I can fit my full hand around. I’ve also noticed that larger framed pistols tend to move better with recoil.
Case in point: I used to carry a Smith & Wesson M&P Shield chambered in .40 S&W. You can see the review I did on this pistol here. It was an excellent pistol with an extended magazine capable of holding up to 8 rounds of .40 S&W.
The M&P Shield is super easy to conceal because it’s barely over an inch in total width. For summer carry, it was great. I worked at a booth in a town summer fair and nobody was the wiser I had it inside my waistband.
Flip-side: Now, my favorite pistol to shoot is the CZ 75D PCR.
Everyone has theirs but this one is certainly mine. Silky smooth to shoot, full aluminum composite frame, and steepled rubber grips. The only problem is that it was not easy to conceal for me in an inside the waistband holster. There were a lot of curves and hard edges that printed.
It was my favorite pistol yet if I carried it during summer time, there was precisely zero chance people wouldn’t notice. In the state of New Hampshire, open carry is allowed but for discretion, I preferred concealed. The CZ-75D PCR just didn’t fit my daily routines during warmer weather.
Come winter time, it was my go-to.
I chose to alternate between the two because I found that one offers complimentary options that the other does not.
The Glock 36 is a single stack .45 ACP striker-fire pistol that’s barely over an inch in overall width and holds 6 rounds of .45 Auto. So, what it lacks for in magazine capacity, it makes up for with a caliber I trust and a form factor I can conceal.
The Glock 19, my go-to winter carry, offers a higher magazine capacity of 15 rounds. It’s also extremely easy for me to shoot accurately. When loaded with defensive ammunition —like jacketed hollow points — it can be extremely effective in neutralizing a potential opponent.
Both guns have worked reliably for me during training. I believe that each would suit me if I were ever faced with a defensive gun use scenario. I still find myself switching from one to the other when warmer weather comes.
Do you find yourself switching between handguns depending upon the weather? Tell us a bit about your reasoning in the comments section below.