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Thread: Does size really matter?

  1. #1
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    Any thoughts out there on whether larger guns(full size 1911s etc) open carried get more "looks" than the smaller guns?

    Seems to me that more folks would notice a larger gun?

    Maybe it depends on the holster type and colour? I feel far more conspicuous with a tan Galco than with a black Kydex, but that's just me.

    IMHO, for what it's worth,folks are so used to seeing black cell phone cases, pagers and other such stuff on other folk's belts, that the smaller guns carried in the black holsters attract less attention.

    Not that I really worry about such stuff in KY, but neither would I wish to sport a full "cowboy action shooter" rig in public!(Apologies to Pistolero Pierce here!)

    Is discretion the better part of valour , or does size matter at all?

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    Founder's Club Member - Moderator longwatch's Avatar
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    I think there was a locality in NC that passed a law requiring OC weapons to be 5 inches overall, but other than that I can't think of a legal requirement. For me I tend to be able to shoot larger pistols better than smaller and since concealability isn't an issue why not carry a full size weapon?

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    Longwatch,

    Your post makes perfect sense, for sure. I was just mildly curious as to whether other guys feel that larger rigs get noticed more than smaller ones.

    TrueBrit.

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    There some humor there somewhere.

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    Founder's Club Member - Moderator longwatch's Avatar
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    Truebrit I should have read your post more carefully. I think larger weapons are certainly more noticeable or recognizable as weapons. With the proliferation of belt accessories like pagers, phones, insulin pumps and what not a small pistol may very well go unnoticed, especially at a distance or in lower light. Not to mention most people have poor situational awareness and don't scan people for weapons.
    I have a Keltec P3AT that I open carry once in awhile. Carried OWB at 3 o'clock it can be hard to distinguish as a weapon and my arm could obscure the weapons nature even further.

  6. #6
    Arizonatexan
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    Since I'm new to open carry - having recently moved to Arizona from Texas ...from folks I've talked to here the general consensus seems to be the need to "desensitize" the public to open carry. Those that actively support OC here feel its necessary to see more common, everyday people going about their common daily activities wearing a handgun in the open. I think this is especially becoming an issue since more and more newcomers are moving into Arizona - a lot from California. Arizonans feel its their constitutional right and heritage to carry open side arms and it has become a "use it or loose it" philosophy.So therefore the idea is to not necessarily carry an inconspicuous rig; one that blends in with your clothing even though its worn on the outside. I've seen some extremes while I've been here; guys with huge hog-legs dangling in front of their pants wearing a "look how big mine is" look. But generally most folks promote the clean-cut, tasteful, display of a nice strongside firearm.

    I've had a few comments or "looks" from people since I've started OC. Probably more when I carry my 1911 than when I carry my 380. When my wife and I were at a restaurant the other daya waitress commented "oh you have a gun!" This started a nice conversation and she ended by saying she wanted to get a gun but didn't know where to get training. We were shopping in Walmart the other day and a we passed a 9 or 10 year oldlittle boy walking with his parents who said "Oh wow. That's too cool!" Of course I'm not exactly inconspicuous - being a Texas cowboy with my cowboy hat and boots - carrying a 45!

    Thanks for reading my two-cents!

    Arizona-Texan

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    Campaign Veteran pourshot's Avatar
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    My CC/OC is my H&K USP (full size) in a Galco ConcealableBelt Holster (CON292B).

    You could never believe the people who don't notice.

    I was in a local hardware store (Pitkin's in Dale City VA)one time and one of the employees says "He has his gun today." and another, who was standing closer to it (on my right) says "where?"



    I was in BJs Wholesale Club,Fredericksburg and a get came up to my girlfriend and I and said "with that shirt onI would have thought you would be open carrying." Both My girlfriend and I thought she must have printed as she was carrying concealed (we were both in our VCDL shirts (http://www.vcdl.org). I was carrying openly. She said "Well I CC because I think letting the criminals know where the guns are give them an advantage." and he said "Oh your carrying? I was talking to him." to which I replied "I am."



    He saw the shirts, was familiar with the organization, was clearly not a typical sheep, and yet still did not see the full size gun on my belt....go figure

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    Color matters.

    I often wear dark blue jeans with a black t-shirt. When carrying my body-tight black gun and black holster against this background, fewer people notice. But when wearing a nice light-colored button down shirt and black slacks, the butt of the gun clearly silhouettes against the shirt and many more people notice.

    The muzzle offset against the pants looks like a pager or other sheep accessory. The pistol grip is distinctive and brings attention. My negative encounter with police at my local mall (see King County Experiences in Washington forum) was when I was as well dressed as I get, but the bright red shirt really drew a contrast with the black grip on my belt.

    Color matters as much as size.

    --Sandy (WA)

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    Some people are extremely blind regarding openly carried guns. Recently I met my wife after she had been engaged in a volunteer activity for 2 hours, in the company of a guy dressed as an 1830s western pioneer. He was not wearing any kind of cover garment and a western-style leather gunbelt and holster, with a big revolver in it. I noted that the bottom of the grip was pointed forward and commented on it to my wife as we departed. She said "Did he have a gun?" She is not a shooter, but she is familiar with guns, since I carryeither a G21 or G27 all the time, but still didn't see it.

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    I'm wondering the same thing. I think after reading a lot on this forum today (yes, my job is drop dead boring, but that will be changing very soon; starting a new project in Oct. ) that most of you carry relatively small and unobtrusive guns. I can't imagine that I could walk into any public place with my hog-leg on my hip and not get noticed like many of you do. But I don't know....

    I'm wondering if we want to try to desensitize the sheep we shouldn't worry so much about the size/color, as we do our dress and actions. I mean, if I'm not dressed like a hoodlum or even a slouch, and I carry myself in a non self-conscious manner should we be concerned?

    I admit to not knowing this answer. I have yet to OC. But I want to know what others think about my carrying my 6" revolver in a loooong tan holster in public? Do you think I'll get a lot more noticed?

    At any rate, you folks have inspired me to try. I will be testing it out at the earliest opportunity this evening or tomorrow. I'll let you know how it goes.

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    Personally, I'm not an advocate of the hip-mounted bazookas. I carry a .40 cal and will be swapping for a 9mm very soon.

    In the past month I have read news articles where 4-5 people have been shot to death. every shot fired was fatal and every shot was 9mm.

    Shot placement, not artilery sized loads... You don't need to fling a toaster at someone.

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    sandy wrote:
    Color matters as much as size.

    --Sandy (WA)
    ummm.... never mind.:what:

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    no one would notice this, Size dosn't matter its how you use it that counts




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    I cary a XD-40 Service (4" barrel) in a decent, but not flashy, looking holster. I see no need for fancy gun rigs, but dressing in respectable attire is important. What I mean by respectable is anything that isn't overtly offensive to the majority of the public and is in decent shape. So no ratty t-shirts with swear words and the like.

    I feel that because we are openly carrying our pistols we need to help dispel the notion that guns are bad and the people that haveguns are either hicks/rednecks or gang-bangers.

    But that's just my opinion.



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    My experience has been that carrying a J-Frame in an IWB while wearing dark jeans and dark shirt hides well. With an OWB holster, I wear a sports jacket in the warm months. In winter its a 1911 under a coat. No fuss, no problems.

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    I think I get taken for a cop as much as I do because I carry a full-frame 9 (black finish in a black nylon holster) by default - hard to miss or mistake for a cell phone. My "girlie" .380s don't seem to get noticed quite as much.

    Most recently, some drunk guy commented in a way that he apparently found amusing: "ooohhhh - dude's got a gun. Look out! Dude's got a gun. Ooohhh. Hey - are you a cop? Is that legal? You got a permit? What's up with that? You a cowboy?" People ended up looking at him more strangely than they did at me.

    -ljp


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    TrueBrit wrote:
    Longwatch,

    Your post makes perfect sense, for sure. I was just mildly curious as to whether other guys feel that larger rigs get noticed more than smaller ones.

    TrueBrit.
    I think it is color as much as anything.

    I get about the same looks carrying my full sized SA 1911 A1 GI, which is OD green, as I do my much smaller Taurus 617 stainless snubby.

    The 1911 is bigger, but darker andthe snubby is smaller, but brighter, so they seem to average out.


    :quirky

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    Carefull there Gun guy you could poke someones eye out with that.

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    It seems to me that my little Walther PPK/s .380 gets a hell of a lot more attention than my full sized SW99 .40. Part of it might be the color (the walther is stainless) and part if it might be that the service size SW99 makes people assume I'm LE. Who knows.

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