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Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Does your CCW change in the winter?

VIDEO HERE (5:53 minutes) 

Mine does - I usually carry a Model 65 357 magnum in the winter. It doesn't have shit to do with concealability, it's because I want a caliber that'll punch through 47 layers of winter clothing.
Drawing in the winter though is a challenge, as the pretty lady in the video above says. My solution is to carry strong side only, tuck my shirt in if I'm wearing a button down or a loose fitting T-shirt, and just leave my coat or jacket open if I'm in public. 
If I were smart, and nobody's ever accused me of that, I'd go down and buy a 2" 357 and just carry it in my coat pocket. Of course with that there's the add-on expense of the fire extinguisher and backpack rig I'd have to carry around to put me out if I did have to shoot from the pocket.

*****

Reminds me of a story: Back in 1983 or '84, shortly after I got out of the army, my mother gave me a Navy peacoat for Christmas after she'd heard I'd spent the previous winter running around up in the mountains wearing nothing heavier than a jean jacket. She was rightfully worried about Her Eldest and Most Beloved Son who couldn't even dress himself properly.

At the time, my everyday carry was my little pocket rocket, a Charter Arms Undercover, 2 inch barrel in 38 Special, a 5 shot revolver loaded with +Ps. I carried it either on my right hip in one of those cheapo Uncle Mike One-Size-Fits-47-Different-Model slide holsters or just shoved into my back pocket.

Anyways, I was faced with the same dilemma wearing the peacoat, not being able to draw from a holster as easily and trying to dig it out of my back pocket was completely out of the question. Fuck it, I just shoved it into my coat pocket. I figured if it came down to it, I'd just shoot through the coat. Who needs a holster?
Unfortunately, any time I took the gun out of my pocket for whatever reason, the hammer spur would catch on the lining, eventually tearing a hole in the pocket. No biggie, the weather was getting warm again anyway. I'll ask Mom to put in a new pocket sometime in the summer.

One night I was sitting in my living room smoking some killer chocolate Thai weed with my buddy David and we got to laughing and wondering just what it would be like to shoot from a coat pocket. This was long before we could check youtube to see if any other idiots had already tried it. 
We both figured it wouldn't be too bad - remember, we were both fucked up - and decided to run a test the next day after procuring a coat from the local thrift shop. It was fairly heavy duty but more importantly, the pocket material was just that same lightweight cotton shit as in a civilian peacoat. 

Okay, I knew there was going to be a flash and I wasn't trying to be a pussy or anything but if it was cold enough for me to be wearing a peacoat, it was damned sure cold enough for me to be wearing gloves, right? So I slipped on a pair of calfskin roping gloves I had in the truck, put the coat on over my T-shirt and shoved my pistola into my pocket.

The target was a trash can lid nailed to a fencepost about ten yards off, over by my landlord's old hay barn. I was going to shoot as many rounds as I could. As smooth as that little gun was, I figured I could crank out all 5 in under 2 seconds. Easily.

See, I realized moments later that this was one of those things I probably should have thought through a little more. I got exactly one round off and time slowed momentarily, enough to say 'Aw fuck I shouldn't have done that' before going back to real time and I was already off the trigger going 'What in the fuck did I do that for'. 
While the glove did pretty much protect my hand, the blast from the forcing cone and the muzzle flash from a +P out of a 2 inch barrel lit my ass up when a good portion of it traveled directly up the coat sleeve. The gases had to go somewhere, right? 
That shit was startling hot. I felt the burn all the way up to my armpit. It scorched all the hair on my arm up to my elbow, bro, and David swore later I actually hollered 'Yow' as I was jerking my hand out of my pocket which sent him back into peals of laughter. 

While it did get downright warm in my pocket and up my arm, there were no real injuries - no blistering, not even any red marks after a few minutes. I did have some heat sensitivity on my wrist when I showered later that afternoon, kind of like a mild sunburn, but that was about it as far as damages went.

But here I am, fucking traumatized with the smell of burnt hair wafting up from under the coat, and David went hysterical with laughter. He was staggering around, pointing at me and gasping and turning red and shit, but I soon realized he was trying to tell me I was smoking pretty good there and it was high time to shuck the coat, but he was laughing so hard he couldn't get the words out. He damned sure wasn't much help stomping out the coat which was smoldering pretty damned nicely after finally I did get it off. Thought we were going to lose Manuel's hay barn for a minute. 
Fucking idiot. David, not Manuel.

I did ask David he if wanted to give it a whirl but he took a hard pass on that shit, saying he was too loaded to drive all the way into town just to buy another coat especially as the first one was still smoking.

Oh yeah, I missed the target completely. I have no idea where that bullet ended up, probably blew up a meth lab or something a couple of ranches over.

So I finally got around to asking Mom if she'll make me a new pocket. I explained the circumstances to this nice law-abiding churchgoing woman, that my little pocket gun's hammer has torn a hole in the pocket and as long as you're putting in a new one, could you make it out of some really heavy duty shit in case I have to shoot a motherfucker, that way I can concentrate solely on staying alive rather than be distracted by having to put myself out? Please?

Next time I was over, Mom tells me she's done both pockets using heavy denim and wants to know what I thought. She's all excited and shit, bouncing up and down, all 5 feet nothing of her.
I put it on and stuck my hands down there and fuck me, she'd made one oversized. The left pocket was normal, but the right pocket was about half as big again, fucking huge.
"I made it extra large so you could point your gun better. The left is regular sized so you can find your reloaders faster. I asked your father." She was beaming. "Go on, try it out with your gun."
BEST FUCKING MOM EVER!!!

I've still got that peacoat. Last time I saw Mom, she came out here on a visit a few years ago, I showed her the coat and asked her if she remembered doing that for me.
"Oh my God. I can't believe I actually helped you carry a gun illegally. You were probably selling drugs too. I'm like Ma Barker, huh?" She was laughing her ass off. Good times.

45 comments:

  1. Great story! I love learning from others experiences.

    I carry a Ruger SP101 .357 and I the hammer spur removed by a gunsmith. No more snags and it works great! I won't be shooting out of a pocket though. :)

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  2. And now we know where you get at least some of your sense of humor. Great story and a hard lesson learned.

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  3. Your Mom is a saint.

    Probably one of the best Women in this world. You turned out ok too...

    Subsunk

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  4. First comment ever. Great story. Bad choices/Good stories!
    Csanta

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  5. now that is a story well told. thr mention of smoldering arm hair had me chuckling pretty hard too. what a scene, wirecutter!

    drink a toast to idiot friends. everyone has one. or should, anyway.

    mom sounds like a fine lady. you couldnt have picked a better one.

    --the other Jack.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And if you don't have any idiot friends...then, well...hate to break it to you...Ha!
      Great story! I'm just glad you didn't have access to a 50ae desert eagle!

      Delete
    2. "everyone has one (idiot friend)"

      If you don't have an idiot friend, odds are that all of your friends have one.

      Delete
  6. Correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't your buddy Dave drop one of your wheel guns off of a boat when you were out fishing with him one time?

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    Replies
    1. That along with 4 ARs, two shotguns, a grenade launcher and a 22LR zip gun.

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    2. Helluva boating accident

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  7. The wife of a career Warrant Officer has to be smart, tough, and funny. regards, Alemaster

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  8. Great story, your mom is a trooper

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    Replies
    1. She gave up on trying to make sure I walked the straight and narrow years ago and concentrated instead on keeping the casualties down to a bare minimum.

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    2. That's a good woman, not many of those around.

      If you read Vox Day, I don't think the straight and narrow is exactly what it is portrayed as either

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  9. Write the book! You have a flair with the English language. Your storytelling skills are very entertaining. The truth of your life is better than most fiction.


    Bob the Virginian

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  10. Great mother raises great son. Great feeling.

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  11. I've got a hammerless S&W five round Air Lite PD .357. Every time I fire a full wheel I end up with the skin between my thumb and pointer peeled back. I expect it'll save my life one day, but, I hope it only takes one pull. Not a problem with +P, though.

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  12. OK, I lost most of a shot of 18-year old scotch reading this!

    HILARIOUS.

    You OWE me.

    I think an entire BOTTLE of fine single malt.

    Not to mention, the repairs needed to my sinuses...

    Love ya. Really...

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  13. I had a Ruger 357 with a 2" barrel that I carried in my pocket often, I got a Pachmayer grip with a hammer spur cover to out on it to reduce the chances of snagging it. Fortunately I never had to shoot it through a pocket but I imagined it would be similar to what you discribed in your story.
    Hell of a thing.
    JD

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  14. The book 'No Second Place Winner' mentioned putting extra rounds in the coat pocket on the carry side, while the coat is not zipped/buttoned up. Taking a quick side step to the non-carry side uses the extra weight in the pocket to help open the coat up to allow a quicker draw. It also makes you a moving target.

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  15. I see where your monitor came from from. Cheers buddy well said.

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  16. What an awesome mom, she sounds like a trip!

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  17. I used to keep a sp101 in a zip lock bag in the shower with me. I'll leave it at that...

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    Replies
    1. In case somebody tries to steal your soap.
      .
      I could see that happening...

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    2. @LargeMarge - no,it was in case he dropped the soap. Do I need to draw a diagram? >};oD

      Phil B

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  18. Model 65-2 357 magnum with a 4" barrel is my truck gun. It is a fantastic wheel gun. Right now my daily carry is a Glock 37 45 GAP. The 45 GAP is a 45 ACP +P per it's specs. I have friends who have pushed it to 10mm specs without issue. I run mine at the top end of the 45 ACP +p specs. Maybe a little more.

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  19. Carry a S&W Model 49. 52 years and no problems. There is no hammer spur to snag. During warm weather it disappears nicely under a loose Hawaiian shirt. In the winter, under the vest. I had been taught that you needed to make every shot count, especially when you only have 5 to work with. I don't think that reloading is a real world option most times.

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  20. Smart lady, and that would/does work. Bobbed hammers are the cat's meow for drawing out of a pocket too.

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  21. And this is why I follow this blog with religious fervor...This right here! Ohio Guy

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  22. Wax lined pockets - worked pretty well in the Old West.

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  23. I live in Texas, so... no. Because what the hell is "winter"???

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    Replies
    1. Drive up to the panhandle this winter. You'll find out.

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    2. We had a good damned solid week of it this year.

      Delete
  24. Kenny, thank you for this post. I've read in the past about gun writers performing similar experiments with shooting pistols in clothing pockets and do not remember any of them mentioning the effects on the user's hand / arm. At the very least, an ACE wrap around the wrist and arm above a glove are a wise safety measure. Spraying fire retardant on them is user option, lol.

    That was a really cool Mom move she did there - nice going Mom ! b

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    Replies
    1. Looking back on it, I honestly think that if I did it actually dressed for cold weather with long sleeves and light gloves, I probably wouldn't have noticed it much and could've gotten all 5 shots off.

      Delete
  25. Write. The. Book.

    Nifter

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  26. Great story. Glad you were not hurt any more that that. My brother was playing with a pistol and ended up putting a round thru a guy's intestines. Lucky it was just a FMJ .22LR. It was 50 years ago, he was only 15, and he ended up getting off with a slap on the wrist as long as we paid the medical bills.

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  27. That was fucking epic. Top of the world Ma!

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  28. Best laugh in a long while. Thanks, compadre.

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  29. Now that Open Carry is legal in SC (with a CWP), I open carry when it's hot and humid. Come Winter, what little we have here, I will wear a jacket and conceal carry if the temperature drops below 40°. I used to live in Northern Ohio, so 40° is just chilly. It hardly ever goes below freezing where I live near the Coast.
    I've always open carried in NC as there is no permit needed and I live only a few miles from the Border.

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