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Old March 29, 2010, 01:32 PM   #1
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help requested for retail store situation

Greeting from a lurker who just registered. I hope that a long first point is not out or line. I am trying to give a clear picture and hope that I can get some good ideas for my situation.

I own a small furniture store. I do not want my customers to see me carrying. Most furniture shoppers are women and if they are freaked by the gun then they will not buy from me. I cannot keep a jacket on, my day involves loading out big boxes, lying down on beds (really!), getting down on the floor, and all sorts of activites that make discreet belt carry impossible.

My solutions so far are pocket carry of a S&W Airweight hammerless or a NAA .22 Magnum Pug, depending on what I'm wearing that day.
A recent incident where a thug threatened to "come back and put one in my head" made me realize that neither gun was near enough to deal with a situation where someone would come in with a gun after me.

What I want is a real fighting weapon that I can leave safely unattended and yet be quickly brought into action.

I like the idea of a shotgun or lever carbine, or, simply a full size 1911.
None of these guns can be left ready to fire, because I simply can't keep them secure all of the time, as I am all over the store, and also go outside.

My best idea so far is to stash a couple of unloaded 1911s around the store, and keep the magazine on me. I might could use my pocket gun to slow them down as I rushed to a stash location, insert mag, rack, and fire.

I would prefer a shotgun or lever carbine if there was any way to keep one locked in a manner that can be quickly unlocked.

I do understand the difficulty in such a plan, and the time factor, but at least my main work area is fifty feet from the wall-of-glass front door and there is a swinging door into the warehouse right by my desk, so please understand that If I see trouble coming in the door then I do have time to dash into the back room, get behind cover, and be waiting for whatever comes through the door.
If away from the desk area, I tend to think that even my tiny NAA, loud beast that it is, might make one pause long enough for me to retreat to cover, even if there is no way in hell that I can quickly hit anything with it at fifty feet.

Thanks in advance for any helpful ideas and comments.
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Old March 29, 2010, 01:42 PM   #2
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Highly advise against leaving unloaded 1911's around the sore and keeping loaded ammo on you. If you want, pick up a few of those keypad safes, where you push 4 buttons and you are in....Then scatter them around the store (1 in the desk, 1 in a closet, etc...) places where employees and people wont see them, and you can get to them if you need them.

Its not very quick, its not very practical, I cant imagine a single scenario in which you could be able to get to these pistols if you are being robbed or attacked, however...its better than nothing.

What I would do?

Keep it on you until you need to do something like lay on a bed or deal with a customer then put it in the safe or in the desk


Last edited by Lavid2002; March 29, 2010 at 01:48 PM.
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Old March 29, 2010, 01:42 PM   #3
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Welcome to TFL, you should get some interesting replies
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Old March 29, 2010, 01:53 PM   #4
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stash a couple of unloaded 1911s around the store
I would worry then about one of my stashs comin up missin... pretty expensive piece to have someone borrow it from ya I would think.
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Old March 29, 2010, 01:56 PM   #5
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Not to mention someone having a pistol.....
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Old March 29, 2010, 02:04 PM   #6
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maybe ankle carry? I dont personally like the method but it may be an option...maybe a snubby or a G27? I wouldn't try the unloaded 1911 idea just because I wouldn't want em to go missing. Or you could try to rig an under the counter 12 ga pistol grip with 5 in the tube. But with employees snooping, that could prove to be a problem. This is a sticky one. I like the "carry til you have to take it off" plan too.
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Old March 29, 2010, 02:15 PM   #7
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I'm not clear on why a quality snubby in the pocket doesn't work. A good J in 38 SPL perhaps with a laser sight and training/practice is a good combo.

If you could get to the back room (doubtful) - then get a good lock on it.

BTW, have you told the law about the threat?

Unloaded guns stashed around are not real time solutions.
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Old March 29, 2010, 02:24 PM   #8
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A S&W airweight in your pocket is the way to go. Shoot .38 +P and practice. Running to an unloaded weapon is fine if the bad guy gives you enough warning.

If you can wear an untucked shirt, you may want to consider IWB. I have no problem concealing a full size 1911. I've been carrying for a year and a half and I'm surprised what people don't notice.
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Old March 29, 2010, 02:26 PM   #9
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Don't discount the snubbie revolver. Most BGs want it easy. They don't want a confrontation with an armed, determined citizen. I operated a hobby shop in a bad area for two years, and was always armed with a S&W .357 snubnose on my belt. Several cops covering my store told me the only reason I hadn't, and wouldn't, be hit was that I was armed. The word was I was packing heat and ready to use it, and the merchandise just wasn't worth possibly dying for.

A snubbie can be slid into a tuckable IWB and it'll never bee seen. Use the right ammo and it's a good deterrent.
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Old March 29, 2010, 02:40 PM   #10
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I have an Idea =)

How about you Start Selling Gun Safes or Home safes and some of the safes that you have on the show floor are locked With your guns in them. Then on the safes that are "loaded" you put a Hold tag on.
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Old March 29, 2010, 03:06 PM   #11
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I would hope you have video cameras and a recorder running. My Dad used to keep a shotgun in a broom closet behind the counter easy to reach but he didnt stray far from that position. A pocket 38 may be a solution.
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Old March 29, 2010, 03:27 PM   #12
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Glenn, I have the snub in pocket option, but to be honest, I am just not much of a shot with a lightweight revolver with a heavy double action trigger. For my limited abilities (and vision), I consider it a close-range weapon. I shot a buddy's 1911 with good trigger and good sights, and my longer-range accuracy went way up. I also like bigger bullets.
And you know what? I was feeling pretty safe with what I had---until my run-in with a bad man who made a credible threat on my life.
Then, I wanted a shotgun.

I have not yet called the police, but I may still file charges. I have witnesses and his tag number. I wanted to cool down before making any decisions, and I'm still not sure if I want to escalate the situation. I'm here, every day, and "they" know right where I am.
If this whole thing can just blow over, I'm fine with that. I don't have to "get even" or be right. But I will not be run out of business by thugs.
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Old March 29, 2010, 04:02 PM   #13
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I recently took a course from Claude Werner on snubby usage and it was an eye-opener on usage. You can get pretty good with it. Also, I've shot the thingee in IDPA for practice.

Thus, I recommended it for easy carry with a modicum of impact. A more powerful gun, you can't get to it - doesnt' help.

Calling the law, talking to an attorney - do that because if things do go down badly - you have set the ground work for you to be the victim.
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Old March 29, 2010, 04:09 PM   #14
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I vote snubby .38

In MHO, after the 1st crack with the +P ammo, the BG won't be around to see if you hit where you were aiming!! With an in pocket holster! Its the only way you can accomplish all your goals in this situation!
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Old March 29, 2010, 04:39 PM   #15
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Welcome to the forum. Like everyone else I have a few Idea's ... possible soloutions. As a few have suggested a snub nosed revolver, attached to your body is a good start.I must agree. I'd recomend an all steel version. A S&W chief, or bodyguard would be my choice. I'd also recomend a second gun placed under your desk, or behind your counter. Something that will use the same ammo, and operate the same. Maybe a 6 shot heavier revolver... like Model 19/66, or a model 10 with a 3 or 4 inch barrel.

All that being said... practice, practice, practice with what ever gun's you choose.
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Old March 29, 2010, 04:41 PM   #16
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Never leave a gun unattended unless it's locked up !! Do those women customers take their kids with them ? If they got to your guns you'd be in big trouble ! How long would it tkae to get to your guns ?
Best thing is to have something on you even if small !
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Old March 29, 2010, 04:50 PM   #17
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I do not want my customers to see me carrying.
Alot of folks carry some fairly large handguns all day, every day, and people don't see them carrying. But that might be a hurdle you have to completely jump, before you understand that being self conscious or worrying about it, might be your mistake.

Just a thought.
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Old March 29, 2010, 04:53 PM   #18
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How about a panic button in the pocket to a silent alarm?

I realize in the scenario you lay out, you will need to react instantaneously to avoid "one in the head" and response times from LE will be unacceptable.
It would alleviate some other concerns an insured shop-keep might have (your register contents aint worth your life)

Usually better to have good guys on the way, even if you have to fend for yourself with 5 rounds of .22 till help arrives.
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Old March 29, 2010, 06:29 PM   #19
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Just wear it on your belt and get a tasteful vest that'll hide it 98%
If anyone sees it tell them you was robbed recently. I don't see armed shopkeepers intimidating enough to retreat from the purchase, do you? Evenso, what a so very small percentile that must be.
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Old March 29, 2010, 07:40 PM   #20
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Hello and welcome to the forum. You are facing a situation that has been faced by many people in business. Thugs feel that anyone who owns a business should be a victim in waiting. Don't be fooled into not carrying a pistol on your person, no matter how small it may be. You already have the airweight J frame so all you need to do is build up confidence with it. If I were you, I would carry the J frame in the strong front pocket and the .22 Pug in the other pocket.

Enroll in an excellent revolver course and spend time at the range at least once per month. I would not stash guns around the store because each gun stashed represents a huge liability to you and it probably won't help in a real emergency anyway. The only gun that matters is the one you have on you right when you need it. I would lock up shotgun or large capacity pistol in the back room in case it became necessary to retreat.

Keep the J frame revolver in your pocket or invest in a deep concealment holster so customers won't see it when you lay on a bed. If you buy the SmartCarry holster, the women will just think that you're happy to see them and they might be flattered. Good luck and keep that J frame handy at all times. It is an excellent weapon and no thug wants to ever see the business end of it.
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Old March 29, 2010, 07:57 PM   #21
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You could carry a revolver (probably 3" or smaller) on the small of your back and wear a large t shirt to cover it up.

Or, wear a fanny pack. You could probably mount it on your hips, on the small of your back, or in the front.

Either way, it will be accessible and out of the customers' view (the revolver, not the fanny pack).

Instead of a jacket, you can consider a vest and a shoulder holster.

Let us know how it goes.
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Old March 29, 2010, 09:00 PM   #22
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I carry an LCR in my front pocket of “mature cut” pants and jeans. Only another carrier, knowing what to look for, could get a hint that I have it there. So—any lady customer who spots it is probably carrying a bigger one herself. Squatting is the only position that makes it print. 38 Special +P should handle a BG.

Other brands of the similar size are just as good.
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Old March 29, 2010, 10:30 PM   #23
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I carry a .32, when I carry at all

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Old March 29, 2010, 10:46 PM   #24
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Need to Know

I carry an LCR in a belly band and as of yet there is nothing I can not do with comfort, I can even take a nap as long as i do not lay on my right side. Belly Bands are not expensive so try one and see if it works for you. Just my opinion.
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Old March 29, 2010, 10:51 PM   #25
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how about a fanny pack disguised as a tool pack ?

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