How To Tell Who Is Armed - And How To Hide It When You Are

Discussion in 'Firearms' started by Mountainman, Dec 14, 2007.

  1. Mountainman

    Mountainman Großes Mitglied Site Supporter+++

    From Suarez International. Some good advice in case you did not know.


    It is important that you have your gun with you all the time. For some of us, it feels strange to not have a gun so keeping one handy is normal. We have seen recently the importance and life-saving reasons to have a gun with you even in places that may frown on the notion, as well as the lefe-ending penalty for not having one recently. In Omaha, there were no armed citizens in place to stop the killer. In Colorado, there was.

    The lesson is this. ONLY YOU CAN INSURE YOUR SAFETY. Carry your gun!! With that, hiding the gun will allow you take it everywhere short of an airplane, or a truly denied area protected by magnetometers and such. Many emails have come in on how to hide the gun, and just as important, how not to be "made".

    Some things I have seen which will help you notice who is armed around you as well as to hide the fact that you are armed...when you don't want anyone to know it . Bad guys are not as easily spotted as the "good guys". I have not based my studies solely on what the good guys do, but rather have studied what the bad guys do as well...and some things they have thought out better than the good guys.

    Good guys are usually trained or told how to carry their guns and also tend to conceal along very conventional means. An example would be the predominance of "Traditional Strong Side Holster" carry as promoted by various academies and competition venues around the nation. Guys will carry that way and then seek a way to hide the fact they are carrying. The focus however is to carry IN THAT LOCATION no matter what

    Bad guys are not schooled in these "academies of higher skill-at-arms" so nobody told them they were doing it wrong. Subsequently, it is harder to spot them because they are really trying to hide their guns. A secondary concern with bad guys is the ability to divorce themselves from the gun if confronted by the police so a holster is simply an inconvenient hindrance. While I do not agree with this concept, I see why they do it and their need to do so.

    Bad guys also tend to have a fashion of sorts, just like cops and CCW people do. The bad guy fashions make it easier to hide a weapon in their baggy clothes and informal dress style. There is always a compromise between concealment and accessibility. The deeper the concealment the harder it is to get into action. If concealment is not a big deal to you, then its not a big deal, but if it is, read on.

    Things that give good guys away.

    1). Gun fashions - 5.11 means you are either an off duty cop or a civilian carrying a gun. Same goes for gun vests and other things that once served as good concealment. If you want to learn how NOT to dress, stand outside a police locker room at shift change, or peruse the ads in gun magazines.

    2). Gun belts. Unless you are using a closed-front cover such as a sweatshirt, belts like the typical police black basket-weave, or the Wilderness belts, proclaim to everyone what you are. If you will wear the belt in a way that is visible, at least get something other than black.

    3). Wearing range holsters on the street. I see this a great deal here in NorthernAZ due to certain academic influences in the area. Big leather or Kydex holsters that work great to pass a shooting test or demo a fast El Presidente from open carry to a group of students, look like big leather or kydex holsters under a vest or a shirt, when you try to conceal them.

    4). Carrying the gun in an inappropriate place. Because of the material written about gun work in America, some people believe the only proper place to carry a gun is on the 3:00 position on the “strong side”. While this may be the best place at a gun school, it doesn’t necessarily follow to be the best place on the street for accessing or hiding the gun. I had one student who weighed in at 300 pounds. He could not even get his hand on the gun where his original instructors told him to put it!

    Bad guys carry on the fronts of their bodies. Good guys carry on the back of their bodies. We might conduct a study about why this is, but I have seen it too many times to dismiss as coincidental. The best place for accessibility, concealment, and protection is Appendix Inside Waistband Carry. This is also banned from use at most gun schools (ours a notable exception), police academies, and in competitive circles. Hmmm.

    5). Carrying an inappropriate sized gun. You know the folks that advocate the everyone carry the XYZ Special Ninja Service pistol, don’t you? Well some people can’t. Period. A Keltec in the pocket, totally unseen and unnoticed, but ready, is worth twenty CQB Navy Seal SOCOM Specials left behind in the gun safe.

    6). Fanny packs. Specially big oversized black ones that say Glock, or whatever. Everyone…even the village idiot, knows what is in there so don’t try to convince yourself that you are hiding anything. You may be "legally concealed" but not really concealed. I wear one of these when I am running, but otherwise, I do not. Let me put it this way…a 2” 38 revolver in your pocket is worth ten times more than your 1911 or Glock in a fanny pack.

    7). Combination of the above – combine a black fanny pack with a basket weave black belt, and a Second Amendment Foundation Hat and someone would have to unconscious or blind to not think you were armed.

    8). Self consciousness. People who are carrying for the first time…or uncomfortable with carrying tend to be very gun sensitive. They constantly check and adjust and walk with a strange gait, constantly looking for someone looking at them. That is noticeable to those who are looking.
  2. Clyde

    Clyde Jet Set Tourer Administrator Founding Member

    Re: How To Tell Who Is Armed - And How To Hide It When You A

    I suffered many of the above when I first started carrying last spring. I am getting much more natural.....#8 was me for the first few months.
  3. Tango3

    Tango3 Aimless wanderer

    Re: How To Tell Who Is Armed - And How To Hide It When You A

    [applaud] black basket weave, guilty:oops::), no cc here though anyway..
  4. Seacowboys

    Seacowboys Senior Member Founding Member

    Re: How To Tell Who Is Armed - And How To Hide It When You A

    I guess I carry so often that I don't even think about it any more. Usually, I've got a .45 compact in a jackass rig under a Hawaiian shirt or denim jacket. Sometimes, I will just carry a .357 snubby in a pocket holster or a 1911 in a Galco SOB holster. I find the inside the waistband holsters very uncomfortable.
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2014
  5. monkeyman

    monkeyman Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    Re: How To Tell Who Is Armed - And How To Hide It When You A

    I carry IWB or occasionaly just in my back pocket with a shirt hanging over either one. I guess he would make me as a bad guy though since I normaly carry in the front. lol

    have DEFINALY found however that 99%+ of people are so oblivious to everyting around them that if its covered then you arent likely to be made very often at all. One of my favorite examples is a time when I had been butchering at a friends so was covered in blood and that, especialy combined with my size and normal appearance (6'2" around 275 lbs, long hair and bushy beard, have had many folks say I either look like Jesus or Charles Manson) and I was carrying a .357 revolver with 4" barrel in the back pocket of snug jeans and the handle was covered by a shirt but the whole thing printed a LOT. We went to town and went to the buffet to eat, stoped at Walmart, then picked up some movies at the video store and noone gave me a second look.

    A more recent example is when I was at the video store with a friend who might be embarassed if they found out I mentioned who it was, but they had a small handgun in a fanny pack they were wearing and the pack came open while walking through the video store. The gun fell on the floor and as it hit the floor a guy ame around the corner less than 5 feet away and as it was retrieved and put back in place he or anyone else still never noticed it out and hitting the floor or being retrieved.

    I know for the first few months when I started carrying I was alwysparanoid about printing and such but the more I have carried and been around others who were carrying and seeing that nobody ever notices, I have figured out that there are VERY few who ever pay any attention, of the ones that do few of them will be able to tell for sure even when you think your printing so bad your sure they could tell the serial number and of the VERY VERY few who MIGHT notice and be able to tell, thats usualy the ones who are also carrying the same as us since the bad guys and even most cops generaly assume they are the only ones carryig and dont look.
  6. E.L.

    E.L. Moderator of Lead Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    Re: How To Tell Who Is Armed - And How To Hide It When You A

    Clyde, everyone is #8 when they first carry.

    Those of us that carry legally, we are more aware of the Wilderness belts, tactical clothing etc. due to the fact that we subscribe/read gun rags, and watch the shows, advertisements, and such. I tend to think the ordinary sheeple out there have no idea. I also tend to think that most gang bangers, pimps, crooks, and other less-than-desirable people are not that aware of all of the little indicators. Just don't wear the Glock hat. What I love about winter is that it gives me a lot more options for different carry due to the fact that wearing cover garments like coats gives you a lot more freedom. I carry strong side, strong side in the waistband, Original Jackass shoulder holster, but the most comfortable of course is the Keltec in the front pocket.
  7. FrancisMarion

    FrancisMarion Monkey+++

    Re: How To Tell Who Is Armed - And How To Hide It When You A

    I've just recently applied for my CWP. 3 months before it actually gets here and im able to carry. I got a galco leather pancake for my Kimber pro carry. I tend to always have my shirt untucked and it fits nicely. Any thoughts on extra mags and places to carry them?
  8. AlterEgo

    AlterEgo Monkey+++

    Re: How To Tell Who Is Armed - And How To Hide It When You A

    I have and carry a Kimber Tactical Ultra II. For mags I normally carry one in my left front pocket. I keep 2 more in the console of the truck. But I don't know why, as I keep a Yugo underfolder under the seat.

    Kimber mags suck. I have been using Wilson Combat SS mags.

  9. Mountainman

    Mountainman Großes Mitglied Site Supporter+++

    Re: How To Tell Who Is Armed - And How To Hide It When You A

    E.L., your right about #8. When I first started to carry I used to always think about if the weapon was sitting right and can someone see the imprint through my shirt. I know better now and realize that most of the sheeple out there have no idea you are carrying unless you pull it out and wave it in their face.

    FM, I usually only carry my weapon with the mag that is in it and figure that if I can’t deal with the situation with 9 rounds, that I am probably F’ed. I have other weapons and mags in the vehicle that don’t do me any good while away from it. If you carry an extra mag and it is just for a short time, like just going into a store, put one into your weak side front or back pocket for an easy reload.
  10. monkeyman

    monkeyman Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    Re: How To Tell Who Is Armed - And How To Hide It When You A

    I wear painter pants or cargo pants a lot of the time and am left handed so I usually carry a spare mag in the lower pocket on the right side. Im also less concerned about a spare mag now that I have started carrying a Bersa Firestorm 9mm UC that holds 13+1, I got in the habit when carrying the Thunder .380 that holds 7+1. I figure the odds of needing AND being able to shoot more than 8 rounds accurately in a defensive situation are VERY slim and more than 14 is almost nil, but may continue to carry one in case of a mag malfunction. I carried a third mag for the .380 and a couple hundred rounds i the truck and may just take to leaving the spare mag for the 9 there with the spare ammo for it.

    If you do want to carry a spare mag all the time you could also just get a cell phone case for your belt and carry the spare mag there. With the shirt hung over it no one is likely to notice theres anything there at all and if they do then they will most likely just assume its a cell phone in the cell phone holder, even if they did see part of a mag exposed from the holder most sheeple wouldnt recognize a mag if they dont see the whole thing or the bullets. So simple misdirection can work well.
  11. E.L.

    E.L. Moderator of Lead Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    Re: How To Tell Who Is Armed - And How To Hide It When You A

    Sometimes I carry my spare mags in a dual mag carrier like this one:

    Friction Mag Pouch - 2FD

    But usually I just put an extra mag in my back pocket or left front pocket.
  12. dukenukum

    dukenukum Monkey+++

    Re: How To Tell Who Is Armed - And How To Hide It When You A

    I am guilty of # 5 let a friend talk me into a uber ninja pistol from space for my first carry gun cost to much and never worked as a well as I thought it should ( sold it ) went back to my .32 revolver and my old high point .45 ( yes it's heavy , but it carries well in a shoulder holster ) .
  13. E.L.

    E.L. Moderator of Lead Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    Re: How To Tell Who Is Armed - And How To Hide It When You A

    If you are going to carry anything short of a pocket pistol, you need good gear. I have a box full of holsters that I went through trying to find what works for me. They are as follows: El Paso Saddlery #88 Street Combat #88 "Street Combat" Holster


    along with an El Paso Saddlery belt : El Paso Saddlery - Pants Belts

    The belt is the key. You can wear a crappy holster, but if you do not have a belt designed to hold up to the weight of a handgun, you are going to be hurting and your gun is going to be sagging. I cannot express the importance of the belt enough.

    My favorite holster is my Milt Sparks Vera-Max II

    Versa Max 2

    Not often does a holster designed to serve more than one purpose achieve equal performance in all its intended functions. The VM-2 is the exception. The VM-2 is a strong side only, dual purpose, inside-the-waistband holster.[​IMG]The belt loops on the VM-2 are interchangeable and are of the non-pivoting type due to the two point fastening system. With the snap loops installed, you have a flat, stable conventional IWB holster that will conceal most any handgun, even under the lightest of cover garments. The wide spacing of the loops located off the main body of the holster add stability and ensure that the butt of the gun will not shift even during the most rigorous activity. The spaced loops also result in a flatter holster profile by virtue of the loops not being stacked on top of the gun. This is most important when using the VM-2 in the shirt-tucked-in-over-the-top mode. By changing from the snap loops to the "Optional" Kydex clips you now have an IWB holster that will allow you to tuck your shirt in over the top of your pistol.

    The optional, dual Kydex clips provide a pocket for your tucked in shirt and are designed to attach directly to the waistband of your trousers. The Kydex clips DO NOT attach onto the belt. A proper gun belt should be utilized over top of the clips, both to support the weight of the weapon and to help conceal the clips from the casual observer. Available in either horsehide or cowhide. Shark trim is available at additional cost.

    Thick, full size, duty-type, semi-auto handguns and revolvers are pushing the limit of practicality of the tuckable feature. On the other hand, the Browning Hi-Power, 1911 and other similar type pistols even though they can be considered large, conceal easily under a tucked in shirt because of their flatness.

    My favorite shoulder holster is the Galco Jackass.
    JACKASS RIG SHOULDER SYSTEM: Holsters & Ammo Carriers: Shoulder Holster Systems at Galco

    The Original Jackass Rig™" was reintroduced for Galco International’s 30th Anniversary. Galco’s predecessor, "The Famous Jackass Leather Company," first introduced this shoulder system in 1970. It features a horizontal holster that can be adjusted to a more diagonal carry position than our Miami Classic or MCII, attaching to the harness with our patented swivel connectors.

    The ammo carrier has a streamlined yet secure design, while the premium Center Cut Steerhide™ harness provides unparalleled concealment opportunities, greater adjustment and comfort. All four points of the center cut steerhide harness can pivot independently and are connected by our unique clover-shaped Flexalon™ swivel back plate, which is a Galco trademark.

    The Jackass Rig includes holster, harness, ammo carrier and a set of system screws. The Jackass Rig is fully modular, and optional accessories and components may be purchased separately.

    Made for semiautomatic pistols, the Jackass Rig is available in right hand draw in havana brown finish.
    AmericanRedoubt1776 likes this.
  14. Yard Dart

    Yard Dart Vigilant Monkey Moderator

    Great food for thought for anyone who carries......[chopper]
  15. fmhuff

    fmhuff Monkey+++

    Like my wallet my gun is always with me. That is except where it's a felony. I'm not at all paranoid and would never consider myself any kind of operator. Like my FAK it's for emergencies and like my wallet I never think about it unless I need it and to make sure I have it as soon as I'm dressed.

    I have a number of guns that I carry depending on circumstance and have become so used to them I don't think about it much. Once in a while I spot a print or see a weapon but here in Montana it's a lot more common than say some place like Seattle.
    Dunerunner and Yard Dart like this.
  16. NotSoSneaky

    NotSoSneaky former supporter

    One other thing; keep your hands off it ! If you need to "stabilize" your carry while walking, running, tying a shoelace, standing still, before / after sitting or getting in / out of a car then you're doing it wrong.
    Dunerunner, Yard Dart and oldawg like this.
  17. Alpha Dog

    Alpha Dog survival of the breed

    I am glad to see this post I am a Firearms Instructor and whether I am training L.E.O's or doing a CCW Class that is one of the biggest things I push.
    Keep it concealed the only person who should know you have a weapon is you. First if the bad guy knows you have a weapon you go from being the possible victim in a crowd to the target in the crowd. Plus a lot of times the surprise to the attacker of the possible victim engaging the attacker with a firearm can prevent the attack. Now as for the 5.11 pants I am guilty :oops:
  18. Seacowboys

    Seacowboys Senior Member Founding Member

    The other side of "Tells" is that even if you are not carrying, sometimes it can be to your advantage to make someone think you might be packing heat. This can often deter a miscreant because most of them are looking for an easy target, a soft target, not one that may fight back. In many locations I have to frequent, I want them to know that I am armed or at least think that I may be carrying. When a predator is looking for a soft target, they tend to wait if there may be an armed person near. Every coin has two sides and there is no way of stacking statistics about how many crimes were not committed by felons that decided to await a softer target.
  19. HK_User

    HK_User A Productive Monkey is a Happy Monkey

    I carried once too often, in my Canoe, all gone now.
  20. Yard Dart

    Yard Dart Vigilant Monkey Moderator

    I and many in our church carry... for the most part we are the security team "officially"... though we know that there are many concerned citizens out there armed in the sanctuary.... and we support that, with that as it is our right to defend ourselves per the constitution. We operate fully concealed though the observant ones will sometimes ask if we are armed.... and we will acknowledge that fact most times depending on the circumstance or known person. It is amazing how many in the church body endorse and appreciate a safe sanctuary to worship.... we have a membership roughly in the 1,200 range. Our first duty is to protect those within!!! We verify good guy cards, we do first aid training, and non lethal intervention amongst other means of performing our role in security over our charges.

    Many of our team are LEO, various agencies, ex-mil and concerned citizens..... if you see us printing, accidentally..... that is a warning that we are the sheepdogs in the flock..... beware!!!!

    That is also how I for one operate every day.... no mater where I am.
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