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"No one should have known" you CCW'd — "Being the Gray Man"

Discussion in 'Carry Issues' started by Sam Spade, Aug 21, 2011.

  1. GAFinch


    Feb 23, 2009
    The risk with being in condition white is that you're more likely to be targeted. Even if you are carrying a gun, there's no guarantee you'll be able to successfully defend yourself in a bad situation. I personally think attitude/demeanor/street smarts are much more important than caliber and gun size considerations for carrying. Remain neutral and avoid being easily pegged into a certain category by cops, criminals, and everyone else all at once. Same with driving - assertive, but not aggressive.
  2. windplex


    Aug 2, 2005
    Sam, great thread. with ccw coming to wi this is timely for me. thank you and others for the posts! Brian

  3. windplex


    Aug 2, 2005
    Bail, Good marks for politeness.

    Raises a point -- some say they care at times and others times they don't care if they are made.

    i'm no expert. however it seems to me that if one wants to behave in a manner so as to conceal at times then best to be consistent. need to act the same whether you "care" that day, or you don't care that day, about being made. how else do we make the right habits, habits?
    humbleopus likes this.
  4. windplex


    Aug 2, 2005
    Question: i was raised near nyc and spent a bunch of time in nyc. I was taught "not to look like a victim" that if I don't look like a victim the bad guys will look for a softer target than me. im 53 so far so good and have always spent some of my time in city environments where something could happen.

    how does this blend with grey? is it a problem?
  5. Dexters


    May 3, 2004
    Not looking like a victim in NYC doesn't mean you look 'hard'. It means being aware of your surroundings so the BG can not surprise you and get the advantage, and looking like it is not worth his time to bother you either because you don't have anything of value, or you might not be worth the trouble or there are easier targets than you.
  6. windplex


    Aug 2, 2005
    I don't look hard and didn't mean that. Part of it is not looking like an unaware tourist. Part of it is looking like other city folk I suppose. And not looking like an easy target. My walk is healthy and I don't look as old and weak as some my 53 years. I acknowledge the tough guys when they are near me or our eyes meet (usually when working out at a city park or some other city event) and leave it at that -- but keep them in my peripheral vision.
  7. BailRecoveryAgent

    BailRecoveryAgent Rude Member

    Aug 2, 2010
    No expert here either, but I'm confident in my concealment habits that I won't be made unless I'm doing something that will expose the weapon, even by those well versed in knowing what to look for. Thats why I pointed out that I behave and dress the same everyday, carrying or not.

    I posted in another thread a few days ago or so that whether a person decides to open carry or carry concealed, it needs to be either completely open carried or completely concealed, not half way with either.
  8. SpringerTGO


    Jul 30, 2011
    I'm 56 years old, and have lived and worked in some tough places. I've never witnessed (let alone been victimized by) an armed robbery, or even "much" of a fight.
    Normal precautions such as being aware of my surroundings, where my car is parked, etc. seems to have been enough.
    I avoid places that are trouble, and take normal precautions (including carrying) when I have no choice but to go to those places.

    This is a carry forum, so my assumption is that the people posting here carry. Many of you with multiple weapons, spare mags, knives, and your flashlights:cool:
    So beyond carrying all the hardware, does it really matter if you smile at a potential "bad guy"? Does giving him "the look" make you any safer, than just being aware of his presence, and having all of the firepower in the world to blow him away if you need to?

    I guess I've made the mistake of smiling at people I make eye contact with, and saying "hello" if they are close enough to hear it. That hasn't seemed to hurt.

    Regardless of what some people want to think, chances are most of us are going to have perfectly safe lives, and never need to pull our weapons to come to the rescue of the store clerk or bank teller.
    I'm not saying robberies and muggings don't happen, just that some of us talk like we live in Somolia or South Africa.

    If you need to walk around acting like a tough guy or bad ass, giving people "the look", you've already lost the battle. The "potential" of a threat has scared you into acting in a manner that will affect your interactions with the rest of the human race.
  9. RHVEtte


    Nov 20, 2007
    If you think of it as a scale, it's easier to understand. A 1 is Condition White. It screams Rob Me to any crook paying attention. A 10 is a guy who looks tough, aware of his surroundings, and willing to do what it takes to protect himself. Both of here get you noticed hustling as much, the difference is in how people react. What you're going for is a five. It presents the image of someone not worth bothering with, up to and including not bothering to think about them. This is Grey. The thing to remember is that this is a relative scale. What looks like a 10 when surrounded by hippies may look like a 1 when surrounded by bikers. Elsewhere it may be a perfect five.

    Some things are going to always push your number away from that middle but do so to a lesser extent than the other options or have other benefits. Knowing where people and things are around you, for example, has obvious tactical benefits, but if everyone around you is deep in the white, just being able to navigate around people is going to make you more interesting.

    Tailor your clothes and your actions to match the human background and you blend into it.

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  10. steveksux

    steveksux Massive Member

    Jul 12, 2007
    You really need to work on concealing if they're figuring you're carrying on the internet without even having to see you.... :tongueout::rofl:

  11. Cavalry Doc

    Cavalry Doc MAJ (USA Ret.)

    Feb 22, 2005
    Republic of Texas
    I wink and twirl my hair at every guy who's eyes cross my waist...... Never been made.

    Just kidding, don't have much hair. I look average, non-threatening, go about my business without Clint Eastwood squints at everyone. I look around a lot, but discreetly. I pretend I'm sneaking a glance at another attractive woman with Mrs. Cavalry Doc standing next to me. If I'm made, I'm made, hasn't happened that I know of. I have seen several people carrying, almost every day. Most easy to spot are the guys carrying OWB at 3 o'clock. Painfully obvious.

    How do I keep from getting arrested. Whether I agree or not, I don't carry into anyplace I could get in trouble for. I tend not to go to those places at all, other than work.
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2011
  12. TKOFaith

    TKOFaith The InTIMidator

    Jul 6, 2011
    Western Wisconsin
    I read through all 3 pages of this thread hoping someone would ask you, but... nothing!

    How did you make him???:dunno:
  13. fyrfyter

    fyrfyter just a shooter

    Jul 29, 2011
    I was out the other day and a guy was looking right at where my weapon was, G27 IWB with an untucked work shirt. I kept watching him and he would look at my waist every few minutes while we were talking. He was a friend who knows I carry so I am not sure if he was just looking to see if he could tell or if I was actually printing or showing. I wasn't worried about it since I take a quick look before I head out the door just to make sure. No way I was showing but it was a little funny to me. If we had been alone I might have said something to him. If it had been a stranger I would have left and gone and made sure I was not printing or showing.
  14. RussP

    RussP Super Moderator Moderator

    Jan 23, 2003
    Central Virginia
    Just a reminder, folks, the topic of this thread is how to blend in to your environment so people will not "make you" as someone carrying a firearm.

    If you want to talk about "I dont see the big deal if somone can tell if your carrying or not?", here's the new thread about that
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2011
    HiJincs likes this.
  15. barstoolguru

    barstoolguru texas proud

    Jan 10, 2011
    dallas, tx
    Now that we are back on subject I like to say something. I reread the list of things to avoid it you want to be gray and as much as I agree; I disagree. Some things like a safari vest in the summer are give-a-ways but a web belt or a tee shirt that says glock is stretching the thought. If you go by the list of things that might give you away you are basically taking away a person’s sense of individuality. How many people walk around in hunting gear when not hunting…… pretty common

    A clip on pocket knife; I bet half of all pocket knives sold are clip-on. Most if not all my tech friends have one. Who wants to stick their hands in their pockets when they are dirty? Does this mean he is packing or to scan him because he is packing a gun? It’s a slight thought to some and if you ask criminals I doubt if they agree with this type of reasoning.

    IMO if you are into something you notice things that others don’t. Considering that only 10% of the population can carry CCW that means that 90% of people walking around with web belts, camo pants, cargo pants and pocket knives with clips on them are just being who they are…..people.

    it’s good to be grey but I wonder if it is worth one’s individuality
    HiJincs likes this.
  16. Sam Spade

    Sam Spade Staff Member Lifetime Member

    May 4, 2003
    I think you're missing the thrust of things.

    Grey isn't about not having your gun hanging out, not exactly. It's about what it takes to be able to move in an environment without attracting attention.

    Given the level of oblivousness that most people operate in, it's no big deal avoiding their attention. They're directed inward, bee-bopping in their own little bubbles. So we eliminate them from consideration to start with.

    So you're left with considering how to appear and act in front of people who are paying attention, who're actually looking at passers-by and not just glossing things over. In this context, those people do notice clips and bulges and cover garments. If we were talking about travelling overseas, we'd be examining things that the typical American tourist wears and does, and how to avoid giving off those vibes in a foreign land. If we were talking about the OSS putting Jedburgh teams into occupied lands, we'd have a different and more stringent list.

    Are Wilderness or other rigger's belts common? Maybe they are; it's not a definitive statement that you're armed. But I guarantee you that anytime I see one I do another, more careful, scan of the guy wearing it because he's given me a soft "quack". Knife clips? You bet that criminals notice them. Does any of it matter, does it matter if you're not the perfect chameleon? That's your decision.

    And don't worry about your individuality. You're unique and totally different, just like all the other snowflakes. :cool:
    nursetim likes this.
  17. windplex


    Aug 2, 2005
    thank you. I will have to learn more about this. so far i have been lucky or effective and can't say which it is. rather be effective through my deliberate actions.

    any good links to read about this subject?
  18. BobInTX


    Mar 23, 2009
    Not in Texas. :supergrin:
  19. poodleshooter1


    May 3, 2005
    This is soooo true. I notice knife clips all the time and immediately start scanning their waste line for a gun. Even people I see on the street, if I want to know if they carry a gun or own a gun I usually look for a knife clip as a sign.
  20. GAFinch


    Feb 23, 2009
    If you need to occasionally re-seat your gun or pull up your pants, make sure you do it immediately when you get out of your car instead of waiting until you're out in the open to think about doing it. If you do need to adjust your pants in public, first pull out your phone, "check" it, and put back in its holster or pocket, that way it looks like you pushed down your pants a little putting the phone back up. Even if you just need to adjust one side, use both hands to adjust both sides at the same time. Ditto if you think your shirt is riding up around the holster.