PDA

View Full Version : Spotting a concealed handgun...


hoytinak
February 20, 2009, 10:33 PM
Anyone seen this before? I ran across it on another forum and thought I'd post it here. For most of us that have been carrying a while alot of it's common sense stuff (I think anyways) but I remember doing some of it when I first started carrying. :o

http://forums.securityinfowatch.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=680&stc=1&d=1233458534

FALPhil
February 20, 2009, 11:56 PM
I carry my cellphone/pda in many of the positions on that chart and perform a lot of those behaviors with it. I would assume many other people do the same. So, I would counsel anyone that was trying to "spot" a concealed weapon to consider that what you are "spotting" may be something else entirely.

troy_mclure
February 21, 2009, 12:24 AM
i play spot the gun all the time, its part of my situational awareness.

Sand Rat
February 21, 2009, 12:35 AM
As you said Mclure. Find the other gun. They can only be two things, friend or foe.

Erik
February 21, 2009, 01:11 AM
Many of those are only true of new or lazy carriers.

Hornett
February 21, 2009, 12:55 PM
Many of those are only true of new or lazy carriers.
...with junky holsters or NO holster.

I also play spot the handgun.
But I really don't see many.

How many of you really spot hanguns regularly.

chris in va
February 21, 2009, 01:12 PM
Broght to us by...

Robert T. Gallagher, former detective, Anti-Robbery tactical unit, New York City Police Department

Creature
February 21, 2009, 01:16 PM
Anti-Robbery tactical unit

What?

VonFireball
February 21, 2009, 01:50 PM
Anti-Robbery tactical unit

What?


LOL!!!!:)

Keltyke
February 21, 2009, 02:50 PM
+1 to "Erik" and "Hornett". Anyone who carries all the time and carries in a properly fitting, reliable holster/belt combo will not need to do these things. Someone who is experienced in carrying their weapon will be no more aware of it than of a cell phone on their belt.

Most of the mentioned actions are those of the inept carrier, which may be the person you REALLY want to spot, since most criminals are not gun experts, and often carry carelessly or amateurishly.

bbqbob51
February 22, 2009, 12:33 AM
They are easy to spot because the carriers stupidly highlighted their handguns in yellow.

Carryabigstick
February 23, 2009, 12:37 AM
This is very educational for me as a new CCW holder. The one about turning away from people is especially true for me. However I'm wondering how to better conceal. I carry IWB and I'm long and skinny. I have narrow hips and broad shoulders so if my clothing is baggy I don't a have a problem but if tight then I can get some bulge. Is the bulge that big of a deal? I know most people will not notice but I do want to be totally concealed. Any advice? I carry a Sig P6.

Thanks

chris in va
February 23, 2009, 09:55 AM
You want to get a thinner/smaller gun for IWB if you can. The P6 is quite large for that purpose. The *only* one I have for that is my P11 if I need deep concealment.

onthejon55
February 23, 2009, 11:13 AM
i play spot the gun all the time, its part of my situational awareness.


Sounds like fun!

Im starting today!

delzo
February 23, 2009, 11:28 AM
Everyone is making good points but subconsciously, we that carry will commit some of these errors without even realizing it.

I base that opinion on over 3 decades of carrying concealed and also...... has anyone ever seen a longtime uniformed cop off-duty? The arm on his holster side is always a little further away from his body than the other side. It is hard to get rid of the feeling that you have a holstered weapon tucked under your elbow.

We used to make fun of the new plain-clothes guys, still walking like a uniform. ;)

Wagonman
February 23, 2009, 12:06 PM
I always keep my gunside away from people--it has been ingrained in me as one of the triad. Movement Distance Cover.

no one
February 23, 2009, 12:30 PM
Many people have been trained to always blade their body away from strangers or potential adversaries. It is commonly called the "interview stance". Noting that stance doesn't necessarily mean a gun, but it almost certainly indicates someone with some training in interview techniques, self defense, or a gun carrier.

All prior comments made by other posters about good quality holsters negating the need for many of the telltale movements are correct.

Most, (if not all) of Carryabigstick's problems can be corrected by changing from an IWB holster to a good quality (note that I didn't say expensive) OWB holster. I am not large framed enough to use a shoulder holster without it being pretty obvious, so I gave up on that and stayed with an OWB holster.

I use the same holster, firearm, ammo type, magazines in the same place for competition, on and off duty carry.

itgoesboom
February 23, 2009, 02:41 PM
Many of those are only true of new or lazy carriers.
...with junky holsters or NO holster.

I don't think many thugs are really purveyors of quality leather holsters. ;) Many of these tells are useful because the people I am worried about carrying (criminals) tend to be lazy or not use holsters.

I also play spot the handgun.
But I really don't see many. How many of you really spot hanguns regularly.

I don't spot many handguns, but I spot a far amount of people carrying.

Off-duty and retired cops are the easiest ones to ID, partly because of their assertive nature.

People who have previously been a victim, or who are new to carrying are sometimes easy to spot as well, they can at times seem jumpy or nervous.

CCW vests are an obvious give away that I see often, as are fanny packs (especially when the person has their wallet or keys in another pocket).

It's fun to play spot the CHL, but we are probably focusing on the wrong people, when we are looking for those who legally carry. ;)

I am more interested in those who aren't carrying legally.

The Great Mahoo
February 23, 2009, 02:46 PM
I saw this a while back elsewhere on the net.

The info isn't dated, but I believe it to be fairly old, from a time when concealed carry wasn't as commonly accepted and people didn't go to the trouble of having proper carry gear.

Eitherway, its still interesting.

AK103K
February 23, 2009, 05:22 PM
I carry IWB and I'm long and skinny. I have narrow hips and broad shoulders so if my clothing is baggy I don't a have a problem but if tight then I can get some bulge. Is the bulge that big of a deal? I know most people will not notice but I do want to be totally concealed. Any advice? I carry a Sig P6.
We're built about the same(I'm short, not long :) ), and I've never had any problem carying full sized guns, as well as a double reload and usually a second gun too. Dont let someone tell you you cant carry a full size gun. I've been doing it for 30 some odd years now.

IWB is THE best way to comfortably conceal a handgun. Nothing hides better, nor does it say put better. OWB holsters OK, but lack the advantage the IWB has for concealment. They also dont pull the gun in as tight or close to the body.

Wearing a proper holster and belt are a given. Dressing appropriately with any holster you use is also the key. Your attitude and how you carry yourself is also a big factor. Dress and act naturally, and you can get away with pretty much anything.

Wearing anything other than your normal attire will draw attention from people you know, and wearing things like photo or fishing vests, especially if your not fishing or in a war zone, is pretty much a give away. Looser fitting clothes are always best, and patterns and darker colors are usually better than light, but especially if your gun and holster are dark. You'd be amazed at how many people wont notice a black pistol in an IWB holster against a dark tee shirt, even when its not covered. [deleted sentence - pax]

Watch your belt too. A lot of gun belts "look" like a gun belts, pick one that goes with what you normally wear.

The easiest guns I usually spot are those carried in a shoulder holster. Most usually wear them with the wrong clothes, and many dont seem to have the holster adjusted right either. You can often spot the straps through the back of the coat or shirt, especially when they lean forward, or move thier arms forward. Along the collar is another spot that shows readily from the front, side, and rear if the wrong garment is worn. Not keeping the front closed is usually the other big give away, especially when wearing a holster that allows the gun (and reload) to "swing". Many who wear them just dont "look" comfortable or "right", especially those new to them. Another real big disadvantage to them is, you cant take your coat or outer garment off.

Anything that hangs below the belt outside the pants will end up being spotted at some point if you carry all the time and arent paying strict attention all the time (and who can?), especially if your wearing the wrong thing. One wrong reach and out it pops. A lot of times, just watching how someone does reach (or bend) is also a giveaway.

Jackets with elastic panels along the bottom are also not your friend. When they ride up, they tend to stay up, and your constantly fighting to keep them down.

If your a fan of pocket carry, be aware of the "skoal ring" thing. My buddy always carries his Walther TPH in a well used leather pocket holster. Most of his well worn jeans and pants have a nice "ring" of that TPH in them, and its easy to spot if you know what your looking at. He's to cheap to get a new holster and pants. :)

PPGMD
February 23, 2009, 05:46 PM
[deleted sentence - pax]

Anyways it takes time to break some of the habits, like feeling for the gun, but as mentioned proper belts and holsters can eliminate many of the issues.

Double Naught Spy
February 23, 2009, 05:54 PM
I carry my cellphone/pda in many of the positions on that chart and perform a lot of those behaviors with it.

Right. If I am running from point A to B in the rain with something I don't want to get wet, it will be carried in the manner above. In other words, many of those behaviors are interesting, but not diagnostic of carrying a gun.

The assymetric gait and the body turn are things I have never seen at all. I have to figure the assymetric gait is something that would be changed within a few steps of beginning to walk unless the person has a rifle down their pants.

12GaugeShuggoth
February 23, 2009, 08:47 PM
There are also people (like me) who just walk a little different due to other outside factors, like injuries. I had a foot injury several years ago that makes me walk a little off-center to avoid a pressure point on one side of my foot. Also, like no one noted, some people approach others at an angle due to other reasons than trying to conceal a handgun. I was taught early from a LEO in the family to do this, and it's just an old habit now.

Just because someone is doing something that *could* be a sloppy CC habit, doesn't actually make it so. :)

TonyAR308
February 23, 2009, 09:19 PM
I say everyone who can carry a gun legally should carry it right out in the open. I bet then the boogie man would think twice about opening fire if he saw 10 guns in a McDonalds. Someone with a gun would likely be the first target but since we all can spot guns or people with guns that wouldn't be a problem would it. Come on, don't place yourself in bad situation out of illusions of a wild west gunfight, be safe in your own actions, shoot enough to shoot straight and carry whatever and however you like and live with the reactions of others. Just be legal so everyone doesn't suffer for it. BTW I carry concealed. Just picking a fight. I did live in AZ years back where you would see people with cowboy rigs just walking around like it was nothing, bet they never got robbed.

Erik
February 23, 2009, 10:16 PM
"Also, like no one noted, some people approach others at an angle due to other reasons than trying to conceal a handgun."

It seems to me that besides yours, angles are covered in posts one 1, 16 and 17. Regardless, a carrier's use of angles is among the more revealing tells.

Mr. James
February 23, 2009, 10:40 PM
Jackets with elastic panels along the bottom are also not your friend. When they ride up, they tend to stay up, and your constantly fighting to keep them down.


Amen to that, as I've discovered the hard way. I often favor an OWB holster but have given up wearing one if my wardrobe includes an elastic-hemmed jacket. At every turn that cussed elastic is crawling up and around the holster, and then staying there. Nothing but a firm yank will bring it back down. Not good! That constant tugging at one's right hip would, of course, fit right into the "give-aways" listed in the poster.

Swampghost
February 23, 2009, 10:52 PM
How would you carry in FL? T-shirt, shorts and flip-flops? I'll tell but want some input first. BTW 'fanny packs' are for Euro's and gays, that may not be PC but it's the truth where I live.

hoytinak
February 23, 2009, 10:55 PM
How would you carry in FL? T-shirt, shorts and flip-flops?

When that's my dress in the Texas heat, I main carry the LCP in the pocket...but depending on shorts I could still get by with the P2000SK in the VMII. ;)

AK103K
February 23, 2009, 11:20 PM
How would you carry in FL?
IWB or Smart Carry

dabigguns357
February 23, 2009, 11:33 PM
when i carry during the summer,the only thing i do different is leave my shirt untucked.

http://i427.photobucket.com/albums/pp354/dabigguns357/Picture.jpg

though this summer i may try and carry this under a xtra large Hawaiian shirt.
http://i427.photobucket.com/albums/pp354/dabigguns357/DSCF2628.jpg

Swampghost
February 23, 2009, 11:52 PM
Not there yet.
dabigguns, that thing would stick out like a sore thumb. You'd never make it from the car to the beach. Most leather holsters add 1/8" per side, 1/4" overall. That's really a long reach, a crossdraw from the back. Way too many motions involved here.

FALPhil
February 24, 2009, 12:00 AM
I say everyone who can carry a gun legally should carry it right out in the open. I bet then the boogie man would think twice about opening fire if he saw 10 guns in a McDonalds.
That is a colossal fallacy and here is why: the BG always is in control of the engagement. He chooses whether or not to engage, and if he does, when and where. That's true for open carry or concealed. But, when you carry open, you are only giving the BG more useful information and knowledge is power. The BG will use that power more effectively with the knowledge that you have a weapon, where it is located, how it is retained, and your mental condition and alertness.

dabigguns357
February 24, 2009, 12:06 AM
Sorry it was worth a try.I'm left handed and always carry my snubby at about the 8pm position,now when i carry my .40 cal i use a iwb now but i carry alittle more forward at about the 9pm position.:D

12GaugeShuggoth
February 24, 2009, 08:28 AM
It seems to me that besides yours, angles are covered in posts one 1, 16 and 17.

For reference, when I stated that no one had mentioned something; I was referring to the poster no one, I wasn't making a statement that no poster had said something.

Just felt like clarifying, seemed like I might have been misunderstood there. :)

pax
February 24, 2009, 09:54 AM
Gentlemen,

I deleted a couple of comments in this thread. And I'd like to draw everyone's attention back to TFL's forum rules (http://www.thefiringline.com/forums/faq.php?faq=rules_catecory#faq_forum_rules) for a moment. This one, in particular: 2) Language that would be inappropriate in the polite company of strangers is quite unwelcome here.

No, nobody cussed. But sometimes it's possible to forget that TFL is a mixed audience of "polite strangers." Although your own daughter might not read here, it is a sure bet that someone's 16-year-old daughter probably is. Although your own grandmother might be deceased, it's quite possible that someone's grandmother is reading these words right now.

This means that jokes which might be acceptable in a group of guys standing face to face, really have no place here.

Although any one of these little jokes is relatively minor, the cumulative effect on the board culture can become huge.

So next time, please think twice, post once. If you wouldn't say it in front of someone else's young daughter, someone's wife, someone's grandmother -- whom you don't know well -- don't say it here.

In short: please remember that TFL is not the men's locker room.

Thanks.

pax

Erik
February 25, 2009, 10:41 PM
12GaugeShuggoth,
I got you. Chalk an "oopsie" up for me on that one. Sorry for the drift. - E

mrt949
March 7, 2009, 05:09 PM
I carry front pocket strong side .wallet on weak side .seecamp ways more than my wallet .married with grand kids.:D

Re4mer
March 9, 2009, 12:04 AM
Good chart and post. I think like everybody else says a good holster will solve most of that.

gun_king
March 9, 2009, 12:52 AM
Very cool chart there hoytinak. Thanks.

onthejon55
March 9, 2009, 10:38 AM
BTW 'fanny packs' are for Euro's and gays, that may not be PC but it's the truth where I live.


Same here.

Ive been playing spot the CCW weapon for 2 weeks and havent seen one yet :(

How often do you usually find one?

AK103K
March 9, 2009, 03:36 PM
Go to Walmart. :)

Mello2u
March 9, 2009, 05:16 PM
It's 80 degrees today in Georgia. So I'm wearing a short sleeve shirt and carrying.
http://i205.photobucket.com/albums/bb197/farwalker/CC2copy.jpg
That's an iPhone in my shirt pocket.

Chuckusaret
March 9, 2009, 05:48 PM
I live in Florida and the styles are mostly like comment #42 or like I wear Dockers pants, T-shirt with a Tommy Bahama shirt worn outside the pants with IWB holster.

armsmaster270
March 9, 2009, 06:04 PM
Only time I use a fanny Pack is when I'm flying, I empty all my pockets and keys into the fanny pack my wife goes first then the pack on the x ray belt and I walk right through with my buckleless Velcro belt. When I get through she is holding my pack.

EricReynolds
March 9, 2009, 06:45 PM
Does anyone find it ironic that a safari vest is supposed to be ideal to conceal, but anyone wearing one looks like they're carrying?

Ben Towe
March 9, 2009, 07:29 PM
Mello2u: is the piece on your right side? Either 3-4 inches from where the shirt buttons or on your hip, can't tell which.

Mello2u
March 9, 2009, 10:34 PM
Ben Towe

Mello2u: is the piece on your right side? Either 3-4 inches from where the shirt buttons or on your hip, can't tell which.

Right side about 3 O'clock. Full size 1911. Left side spare mag and Surefire P6.

Bauer
March 10, 2009, 12:49 AM
If I catch you giving my waistline a good staredown you just raised my awareness of you to a level that I am perceiving you as a possible threat.

JohnKSa
March 10, 2009, 01:39 AM
Right side about 3 O'clock. Full size 1911. Left side spare mag and Surefire P6.What I can conceal in a picture where I'm not moving and when I get to pick the position and arrange everything before the picture is taken is COMPLETELY different from what I can conceal all day while I'm moving around, getting in and out of a car, sitting in a slatted back chair, walking in the wind, bending over to pick things up, reaching up to get things off shelves, using a public restroom, etc.

AK103K
March 10, 2009, 08:19 AM
No matter what you wear, something is going to show through at some point at some level. There is no avoiding that. If someone is looking for it, theres a very good chance, unless you posing for a pic, that they will see something.

garryc
March 10, 2009, 08:36 AM
At 49 years old and 270 pounds I really have trouble with my CCW printing while wearing my Spandex body suit.:)

Wagonman
March 10, 2009, 10:28 AM
That is a mental image I will never get out of my head? :eek::D

seeker_two
March 10, 2009, 02:43 PM
At 49 years old and 270 pounds I really have trouble with my CCW printing while wearing my Spandex body suit. :)

Are you wearing a SmartCarry?..... :D

garryc
March 10, 2009, 10:31 PM
My wife saw this post, she said, "That's just so wrong in so many ways." sometimes I hate honesty