As the weather gets cooler, we usually add an extra layer of clothing. That layer is just one more thing we have to move out of the way in order to access our defensive firearm. Clearing a cover garment is one of those things we have to practice in order to maintain proficiency.

There are a couple simple tricks that will help you move that jacket and get to your gun. First up, add an extended zipper pull. Make sure you have something to grasp when you need to unzip your coat or vest. Next, put some weight in your gun-side pocket. A set of car keys or a 9-volt battery will add momentum when you shove your garment behind you. This will give you that extra room to get a good firing grip on your gun.

I like to practice with a SIRT pistol because it gives me the weight and feel of a fully loaded gun. It’s getting cold outside. Put on your coat and practice your draw.

Perfect Practice Makes Perfect

Remember to get your zipper fully opened and flip that cover garment aggressively to the rear. Accessing your gun is no time for half-measures. When you need the gun, you need it quickly. Get the garment well out of the way.