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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. poodleshooter1


    May 3, 2005
    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.
  2. GoBigOrange


    May 22, 2010
    East TN
    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.

  3. dgg9


    May 26, 2000
    Bucks County, PA, USA
    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.
  4. JohnHoliday


    Oct 19, 2008
    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.
  5. bug


    Feb 6, 2007
    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 :rofl:

    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.
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2011
  6. Sam,

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

  7. RussP

    RussP Super Moderator Moderator

    Jan 23, 2003
    Central Virginia
    You answered your own question. It isn't about being invisible. It's about not giving signals you are carrying.:wavey:
  8. Sam Spade

    Sam Spade Staff Member Lifetime Member

    May 4, 2003
    Pocket carry. A G19.:shocked:

    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.
  9. Palouse

    Palouse The Resistance Lifetime Member

    Feb 27, 2006
    Washington State
    Not too many folks can pull that off, but at 6'8" and 340 lbs., I'd reckon you've got some big pockets.
  10. Misty02


    Aug 25, 2008
    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 don’t care you actually call less attention to yourself. If you’re self-conscious you accomplish the opposite. A few times I’ve 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 “Hi”. 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 I’m 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 I’m 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 what’s 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 you’re looking at, that is just as a fake focus point while you’re truly glancing on what is beyond it.

    I may not be able to tell you minute details but I’ll 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 don’t really care if police officers know I’m carrying so I have no issue with giving a nod and a smile, but I won’t risk it if I’m in crowded place where I haven’t accessed all my surroundings.

  11. 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.:sharon:

    Sorry, Misty, it was just too good a shot to miss!:supergrin:
    humbleopus likes this.
  12. Misty02


    Aug 25, 2008
    :rofl::rofl: 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) :wavey:

  13. RussP

    RussP Super Moderator Moderator

    Jan 23, 2003
    Central Virginia
    David, pics, please...:animlol:
    humbleopus likes this.

  14. Nah.....,you'd just post them on the internet for everyone to see!:whistling:
  15. BailRecoveryAgent

    BailRecoveryAgent Rude Member

    Aug 2, 2010
    :rofl: For someone usually so serious and analytical, that was pretty darn funny Mr. Armstrong!
  16. Thanks. I have my moments!:supergrin:
  17. bug


    Feb 6, 2007
    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.:supergrin:

    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.
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2011
  18. HKLovingIT

    HKLovingIT Resident Evil

    Aug 20, 2010
    Out On The Tiles
    What is a 'mope'? :dunno:
  19. UtahIrishman

    UtahIrishman BLR Silver Member

    Nov 11, 2001
    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 :supergrin:

    Brought to you by your friendly neighborhood arm-chair quarterback
  20. UtahIrishman

    UtahIrishman BLR Silver Member

    Nov 11, 2001
    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?