• Cold Weather Training

    February 19, 2015
    Training in the cold

    As temps drop and we put more layers on, the way we carry and train must adapt.


    Practice and training for all types of scenarios and situations is a routine many permit holders and gun owners prepare for, but is shooting in cold weather one that you also prepare for?

    My Dad used to say there were two seasons in Iowa, winter and road construction. Here we are again, when the mercury is dipping down, and the coats and cold weather gear come out.  I am no different from most people, in that I prefer to go out shooting and practice during nice weather, and this seems to be more the case especially the older I get. Sure, I like to hunt when it is cooler and there is a skiff of snow, but I usually keep moving when out in the field.  Let’s face it, just standing outside on the range isn’t always conducive to making practice fun or using good technique.  Perhaps that is even more reason why we should include “off season” practice as part of our regular routine. Here are some tips and information to get you thinking about the challenges cold weather might bring to shooting.

    As with any outdoor winter activity, dressing properly is the key. The trick is layers of comfortable and easily removable clothing. The old timers will tell you that cotton kills because of its inability to dry quickly and holding moisture. I am a big fan of wool in at least one of my layers. So how does this relate to shooting outdoors, well the connection is easy to see on several different levels. Besides the obvious of staying warm, could you access your firearm quickly, proficiently and safely from a concealed position? Once you have your firearm out and are ready to shoot, could you do so comfortably and from your normal position? Do you wear gloves and are they going to interfere with your trigger access or control? Many people have not given much thought to all of these things, let alone prepare and practice them. I know I am probably just raising more questions than really offering help, but let me offer a few tips on some things that I have learned and that have helped me.  First thanks to modern transportation lifestyles, many of us do not have to be out in the cold for very long periods at a time. I tend to dress light in most situations with usually only a top layer between my holster and me.  Sure, I carry extra clothes and back up gear in my vehicle when traveling, but for the most part, I keep it light. If you have to be in the cold or work outdoors then you might need to explore alternative methods of carry. I like to wear insulated bibs and I have a nice holster that fits comfortably on my chest inside. Of course, practicing a proper draw from any position and level of dress is also the key. Learning to sweep aside your coat or concealing garment is something that takes practice.

    There are also plenty of ways to practice and prepare for cold weather carry and shooting in the comfort of your warm domicile. Safely practice accessing your firearm while bundled up to find out what options and combinations of dress and holsters work best for you. See if you can still get into shooting stance and position and practice all of those with dry fire. Come try my virtual shooting system, and put yourself, your gear, and style of dress to the test under real life scenarios.

    Even though there are a few indoor ranges popping up around Iowa there is still no replacement for actually getting out and practicing in the cold. Our bodies’ reactions, responses and even our firearms all respond differently when the temperatures dip down. Are you sure that your gun will work reliably if it went from a warm snug holster to freezing cold and moisture?

    I hope that these are some questions and ideas to get you thinking about all the challenges that cold weather brings.  Don’t be afraid to get out there and warm up your barrels come rain, sleet, or snow.


    Steve Hensyel

    Hawkeye Firearms Instruction 

  • Recall Alert: Hevi-Shot 12 Gauge Shells

    November 21, 2014



    Attention shooters and waterfowl hunters:

    Hevi-shot has announced a recall of its popular HEVI-Metal, and HEVI-Steel  3 inch, 12 gauge shotshells. It seems that in subfreezing temperatures some users are finding the shell’s wads are cracking and sometimes leaving an obstruction within the barrel. These “squib loads” can lead to injuries to the shooter or serious damage to your shotgun on follow-up shots.

    The shells in question were sold between July and mid November of this year. The lot numbers are as follows (you can find the lot number on the inside of the top flap of each box of shells):


    201576 – 201584

    301571 – 301609

    401335 – 401345

    500001 – 500016

    201600 – 201637

    301643 – 301659

    401381 – 401422

    201640 – 201659

    301672 – 301689

    401437 – 401463

    201665 – 201671

    301698 – 301701

    401466 – 401486

    201677 – 201680

    301713 – 301722

    401489 – 401504

    201683 – 201699

    301725 – 301726

    401507 – 401519

    201702 – 201722

    301730 – 301734

    201732 – 201736

    If you have any of these shells DO NOT SHOOT THEM.

    Instead contact Kelly Sorensen, VP of Sales and Marketing by phone: 541.367.3522, or by email: sales@hevishot.com

    Hevi-shot will replace the recalled shells for free. They’ll even send you a shipping label to ship the recalled shells back at no charge, they will ship the new ones back to you at no cost.




    Iowa Firearms Coalition is an entirely volunteer, grassroots, 2nd Amendment advocacy group. Responsible for bringing uniformity to Iowa’s Concealed Weapons Permitting process, IFC’s members work to protect and enhance 2nd Amendment rights in Iowa. An affiliate of the National Rifle Association, the IFC actively seeks to foster and promote the shooting sports. Sign up for our email list for the latest on 2nd Amendment issues in Iowa. You can support our work by becoming a member, or making a donation.