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Old 08-24-2011, 14:21   #121
poodleshooter1
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In my home state I have had my Permit To Carry since 1989. I also have a Florida non-resident permit and while on a temporary job assignment I had a CCW permit in Tennessee for two years. So, CCW is not foreign to me and up until about 5 years ago it was something that was just second nature. I was forced into retirement because of an illness that turned into a disability that prevented me from working. Additionally, it became very uncomfortable to carry anything in my pockets or on my belt. So, ever since retirement began I have been carrying a ďman-purseĒ with my G27 inside. I donít think many people give me a second look once they see me walking with a cane. I have stood in line at Walmart and a couple of the local grocery stores next to or in front of uniformed LEOís and they have never acted like they notice anything. The case looks like a small laptop computer case which I think helps a lot. As I look around while out in public I see many people carrying messenger bags and the like so I think men with bags are becoming not a very big deal.

Great thread! Very interesting and informative.
I think it's dependent on dress, geography, and age. Where I live, many people have manpurses and messenger bags, laptop bags, etc. Old guy at a walmart in a small town though, that would stand out to me, even here.
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Old 08-24-2011, 16:33   #122
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I'm not disagreeing with anyone but I was hoping someone could explain why you feel it's so important that you are the "gray" man?

Hear me out for a second. Since the vast majority of the population will never spot CCW'ers then why be so concerned about the other small%? It seems to me that being a "gray" man is the last thing you want to do. From a criminals standpoint if you are just another average joe then aren't you just another "target"?

I could not care less if a bad guy suspects me of carrying a gun, it makes more sense to me that he would target someone else instead.

I really don't understand how 1/2 the time you guys say that criminals prefer easy targets and the other 1/2 the time you say that we should all try to blend in with the rest of the sheeple.


Again, not trying to debate, just hoping could explain this a little better.
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Old 08-24-2011, 18:07   #123
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And don't worry about your individuality. You're unique and totally different, just like all the other snowflakes.
By the way, thanks again for yet another interesting, informative topic.

As I think other threads have established, one very much wants NOT to be "made" by Philadelphia PD, and since I live downtown, I take all this very seriously. No one from PPD has stopped me, but who knows if they made me or not -- their usual poker face doesn't reveal.

It's actually individuality which is the enemy for concealing. If your goal is to conceal, then that's not the time to let your freak flag fly high. Rather than try to guess what is and isn't stand-out, I tend to simply watch and notice what's actually being worn, then choose a "look" that's common, and if it suits me, dress to that.
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Old 08-24-2011, 18:28   #124
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Haven't read this whole thread, but I would second the 5.11 pants are a dead givaway. I wear them for work almost every day, and as soon as you see them you know its a LEO.

I actually got made going home from work one day, a group of 5 mopes starting talking crap to me, then one of them looked at me and said "don't F with him, hes a cop, he's got those cop pants on"

If you are looking, its very easy to tell a CC usually in my opinion, and someone comes through lockup almost every day for carrying concealed without a license, not really too hard to spot if you know what your looking for it.
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Old 08-24-2011, 18:58   #125
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Best title I could come up with. We might also go with "Being the Gray Man". This musing is prompted by an exchange in another thread that went like this:



The fact is that most people's version of "concealed means concealed" relies heavily on others' lack of perception and on people generally being lost in their own little bubble. It relies far too heavily on that, IMO. Once you get into a world where someone's actually looking for concealed weapons, the average guy's odds of being "made" go up. And once you get into a situation where the attention is actually on you specifically, the odds skyrocket. Yeah, yeah, that doesn't happen much. I'm writing about when it *does*.

"Being Gray" means fading into the background of where you're moving. There is no one formula for this, because what works in a law office doesn't work in a garage. The one exception to this is the guy who dresses and carries himself like a janitor. That level of service worker can move about most anywhere and be like everyone else, or be overlooked by everyone else. Let me start by talking about what *isn't* gray.
  • Gun gear isn't grey. This means exposed Wilderness belts, cute little raven pins on your hat, as well as the more obvious Tshirts.
  • Political wear isn't grey. It invites attention from both people who share the advertised views and people who oppose the advertised views. In the case of 3per, Gasden or similar advertisements, it invites LE scrutiny of your hands and waistband. Sorry, guys. I'm writing about the world as it is, not as some would wish it.
  • Cover garments beyond an untucked polo or workshirt aren't grey in warm weather. The number of people wearing vests (or worse, photographer's vests) compared to the number of people who use them to cover a gun? C'mon.
  • 5-11s aren't gray (I'm alternating spellings because I can ) There are plenty of Colombia or similar cargo pants that are quite popular. 5-11s and clones, though, are cop clothes. Cops look at people who look like them, crooks look at people who look like cops.
  • "Loud" colors aren't gray. Red attracts the eye. Neon attracts the eye. Bright attracts the eye. Attracting the eye invites being remembered, being scrutinized, and having your CCW noticed.
  • Pocket clips (folding knives) and pouches aren't grey. The crook is looking for an easy score. Seeing the clip from a knife makes him look harder before he looks away. The cop on "scan" is looking for weapons, and seeing an indicator of one he'll look for others. Belt pouches mean electronics mean stuff to steal to the crook. Seeing one piece of temptation, he's ready to look for others.
  • Posture and actions different from the crowd isn't grey. Stay to the right, go with the flow, walk, don't run. Being alert and attentive is good for you. Having your head on a swivel is doing an imitation of a crook looking for witnesses. There's a fine line on that last.

Okay, that's a start. My goal is to discuss things you can do and avoid doing so as to avoid unwanted attention to your person. Specifically, I'm talking about avoiding attention that makes people end up noticing that bulge at your waist. There's lots more, but you can start by going to public places and watching people. Notice how many your attention is drawn to when they do something from that list.
While I agree with what you say there are people out among us who scream (I have A GUN)

But for me and many other on Glocktalk I have what you might call an elephant in the room with me at all times.
I am 6ft 8in tall, Blonde hair, blue eyes, 340lbs I am not a fat pig I lift all day long for a living so i am muscular. So I am very obvious to people.
I can never take up bank robbery for a hobby

With work boots on I almost hit my head in a lot of doorways There really is no way that I can think of to make myself a (gray man) I just do not blend.

How would you suggest to make me less obvious?
I pocket carry Most of the time A G19 (there is one advantage I Guess)

I suppose most folks do not realize i am carrying because of how tall I am.
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Old 08-24-2011, 20:07   #126
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"No one should have known" you CCW'd"
Sam,

Me carry a gun? Nah... I'm completely unarmed.

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Old 08-24-2011, 20:20   #127
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While I agree with what you say there are people out among us who scream (I have A GUN)

But for me and many other on Glocktalk I have what you might call an elephant in the room with me at all times.
I am 6ft 8in tall, Blonde hair, blue eyes, 340lbs I am not a fat pig I lift all day long for a living so i am muscular. So I am very obvious to people.
I can never take up bank robbery for a hobby

With work boots on I almost hit my head in a lot of doorways There really is no way that I can think of to make myself a (gray man) I just do not blend.

How would you suggest to make me less obvious?
I pocket carry Most of the time A G19 (there is one advantage I Guess)

I suppose most folks do not realize i am carrying because of how tall I am.
You answered your own question. It isn't about being invisible. It's about not giving signals you are carrying.
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Old 08-24-2011, 20:42   #128
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How would you suggest to make me less obvious?
I pocket carry Most of the time A G19 (there is one advantage I Guess)

I suppose most folks do not realize i am carrying because of how tall I am.
Pocket carry. A G19.

If I were taking you to the races, I would tone you down via misdirection. Everyone's going to see you, now make them dismiss you. Wallet goes into the weak-hand back pocket, so you're not stretching material over the strong hand side when you reach for it. Cell phone gets worn support side, to draw eyes away from strong side. Practice using your weak hand for every day tasks so you give the impression of being wrong-handed. People look at movement, so increase the amount of movement that pulls their gaze from the gun. Pleated pants, if you aren't already.

Toss in some lefty tree huggy clothes like a Sierra Club hat.

In another life, I had an assignment amongst a nation of short brown guys. No way I'd pass for a native, so I worked at being Canadian, eh? Didn't get killed, so it went in the "win" column.
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Old 08-24-2011, 22:25   #129
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I pocket carry Most of the time A G19.
Not too many folks can pull that off, but at 6'8" and 340 lbs., I'd reckon you've got some big pockets.
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Old 08-24-2011, 22:42   #130
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Miami, with so many tourists, provides a good cover for fanny-packs. It is still consider a fashion no-no by most locals. Still, if you go out with one and your attitude is that you donít care you actually call less attention to yourself. If youíre self-conscious you accomplish the opposite. A few times Iíve noticed being observed, the best course of action at that point is to take out my compact and refresh my lipstick (both of which came from my fanny pack). That has worked nearly every time, I guess the person observing assumes the rest of the contents is what a woman would have normally carried in a purse and just loose interest. There have been a couple of times when I knew I was still being watched, one of those times I risked direct eye contact with small head nod and a smile implying a ďHiĒ. I think the man was a tad embarrassed he got caught looking, smiled back and left the area. For the most part I try to project the message I want the other person to receive without acknowledging that Iím aware of their presence.

I enjoy people watching, best place for this are the food courts at the mall, airports and the like. I try to sit where there is little or no traffic behind me. The objective is to observe others without being noticed. If Iím on the move there is too much for me to absorb (continuous changing of scenery and all) to actually observe people in great detail.

As Sam stated in post #14 observing others without letting them know you are doing it (unless you want them to know) is not all that difficult. If you are a beginner a cup with a straw is an excellent cover to allow your head some less restrictive motion; using the cup, straw as your perceived point of focus as you scan whatís beyond it works. Pick on someone that is not distracted to test yourself, see how many times you can bring them to your field of vision without them noticing, extend the duration of each glance to increase difficulty. Remember to not focus directly on them; things around them would be ok (your eyes can briefly scan over them if you select a destination on the other side to stop); bringing your own hand up to carefully look at your nails, in reality your are using that as a cover to look at something else. This is not really using your peripheral vision as you are not truly focused on whatever youíre looking at, that is just as a fake focus point while youíre truly glancing on what is beyond it.

I may not be able to tell you minute details but Iíll know the gender, what they were wearing, clothing color, hair style (long, short, straight, curly), height, etc. Unless I actually looked at them briefly I would not know eye color, nose and lip shapes and the like.

Even with a fanny-pack and high heels you can go under the radar if you are projecting the right message to others. I donít really care if police officers know Iím carrying so I have no issue with giving a nod and a smile, but I wonít risk it if Iím in crowded place where I havenít accessed all my surroundings.

.
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Old 08-25-2011, 05:18   #131
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from Misty:
A few times Iíve noticed being observed, the best course of action at that point is to take out my compact and refresh my lipstick (both of which came from my fanny pack). That has worked nearly every time,
Gee, how do you pull that off? Whenever I take out my compact and refresh my lipstick it seems to draw a lot of attention.

Sorry, Misty, it was just too good a shot to miss!
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Old 08-25-2011, 08:34   #132
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Gee, how do you pull that off? Whenever I take out my compact and refresh my lipstick it seems to draw a lot of attention.

Sorry, Misty, it was just too good a shot to miss!
That goes to show you that not every act of distraction will work for everyone. Your overall appearance and surroundings will dictate what could work at any given time.

I bet I can pull the damsel in distress act a tad more successfully than you can too! (or at least I hope that is the case)


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Old 08-25-2011, 10:38   #133
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Gee, how do you pull that off? Whenever I take out my compact and refresh my lipstick it seems to draw a lot of attention.

Sorry, Misty, it was just too good a shot to miss!

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Originally Posted by Misty02 View Post
That goes to show you that not every act of distraction will work for everyone. Your overall appearance and surroundings will dictate what could work at any given time.

I bet I can pull the damsel in distress act a tad more successfully than you can too! (or at least I hope that is the case)


.
David, pics, please...
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Old 08-25-2011, 10:40   #134
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David, pics, please...

Nah.....,you'd just post them on the internet for everyone to see!
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Old 08-25-2011, 10:53   #135
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Gee, how do you pull that off? Whenever I take out my compact and refresh my lipstick it seems to draw a lot of attention.

Sorry, Misty, it was just too good a shot to miss!
For someone usually so serious and analytical, that was pretty darn funny Mr. Armstrong!
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Old 08-25-2011, 16:30   #136
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For someone usually so serious and analytical, that was pretty darn funny Mr. Armstrong!
Thanks. I have my moments!
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Old 08-25-2011, 20:23   #137
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Pocket carry. A G19.

If I were taking you to the races, I would tone you down via misdirection. Everyone's going to see you, now make them dismiss you. Wallet goes into the weak-hand back pocket, so you're not stretching material over the strong hand side when you reach for it. Cell phone gets worn support side, to draw eyes away from strong side. Practice using your weak hand for every day tasks so you give the impression of being wrong-handed. People look at movement, so increase the amount of movement that pulls their gaze from the gun. Pleated pants, if you aren't already.

Toss in some lefty tree huggy clothes like a Sierra Club hat.

In another life, I had an assignment amongst a nation of short brown guys. No way I'd pass for a native, so I worked at being Canadian, eh? Didn't get killed, so it went in the "win" column.
I keep my wallet on my left side front pocket if i am driving more than walking but back pocket if I am walking a lot.
My cell phone I keep in my left hand and would be used to strike or throw at a person if necessary in order to distract them, I never put it on my belt. sometimes when I where cargo shorts(the tree huggy yuppie kind) I keep it in the the cargo pocket.
I do try and keep my right hand empty at all times.

Here is the thing for what ever reason people feel compelled to talk to me I am not really sure why. This is something that happens to a lot of tall guys.
People need to always ask about my sports history "did you play basketball?"
"how tall are you?" What do you weigh? If I had your height I would be[fill the blank], blah blah blah.

So That for me is the unusual thing about carrying for me people feel like its ok to get inside of my comfort zone more often than i would like, 99% mean no harm but there is always that one guy who is trying to take advantage.

SO far there has been a lot of good advice and I thank you for your info you always seem to have good info on a variety of subjects.
So I am glad you made it through your tour with the pygmies.


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Not too many folks can pull that off, but at 6'8" and 340 lbs., I'd reckon you've got some big pockets.
The trick is find pants/shorts with the right size pockets.
I have fairly good size hands so my hands and the 19 have to fit in there at the same time.
Believe it or not I use a blackhawk holster with all the stuff taken off(except the retention lock) for a pocket holster.
I can grab the 19 with my right hand with my index finger on the outside of the pocket press the lock and it comes out in one motion.
Its not as fast as when I carry a G17 at 4:00 but its not to bad. and way more comfortable.
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Old 08-27-2011, 05:39   #138
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Haven't read this whole thread, but I would second the 5.11 pants are a dead givaway. I wear them for work almost every day, and as soon as you see them you know its a LEO.

I actually got made going home from work one day, a group of 5 mopes starting talking crap to me, then one of them looked at me and said "don't F with him, hes a cop, he's got those cop pants on"

If you are looking, its very easy to tell a CC usually in my opinion, and someone comes through lockup almost every day for carrying concealed without a license, not really too hard to spot if you know what your looking for it.
What is a 'mope'?
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Old 08-27-2011, 05:58   #139
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What is a 'mope'?
A mope is a more advanced dope...thus mope. Not advanced in the sense that they've raised the bar on being a dope, but rather have lowered it to a new all time low


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Old 08-27-2011, 06:10   #140
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On a more serious note

Some thoughts

This thread has given me more food for thought than any has in quite some time. I find myself being more aware of my surroundings but not in an obtrusive way. It's an interesting exercise in 'balance' between staying alert not looking like a victim and blending in.

I'm becoming more successful at blending in. For example yesterday at the grocery store 'Johnny Rambo' dressed in camo pants and gun T-shirt stood with his back to the far wall 'waiting' for his wife. While he 'ahem' took point without realizing it, the rest of us kind gentle souls did our shopping in peace and quiet with no notice from Johnny.

So that brings up, maybe, another way of 'blending' in, misdirection. Here is a guy who shouts 'gun' drawing the attention of those who aren't totally blind.

Do you think the Johnny Rambo's of this world help the gray guy blend in better by bringing attention to themselves? Or is it making people think more about concealed carry in general and thus maybe more alert to others?
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