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Thread: Open Carry Styles and Mexican Carry

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    I would like to know the readers opinions on Mexican carry (i.e., no holster) for open carry in legal places like in PA. First I will state some of my ideas, although I don't know if I will continue to carry Mexican style any more do to a previous nasty conversation with a weird lady down south last year, and I'm considering abandoning open carry in general. This mostly pertains to PA, but anywhere else that is similar in laws and community personality.

    First it is my impression that the open carry community contains large number of permit holders who choose to open carry, not because of it's deterrent to threats, or of any tactical advantage to fast draw type stuff, but based on many personal ideas and primarily a desire to educate the neighborhood on gun rights, or even possibly to condition them to have enough experiences around firearms that don't result in death, than hopefully they will figure out that firearms are not in and of themselves scary and it only depends on what others are doing with them.

    That being said, if one major point of exercising our 2nd ammendment rights is too educate the public as well as just because we can, than where do things that draw attention to ourselves fit in? I will give you at least one point in that carry a handgun in a secure holster does appease many people, maybe because they think I'm a cop, or something. Mexican carry can sometimes make others think automatically that I'm a felon because I might want to ditch my handgun immediately with no trace that I used to havve it one me like a holster would indicate. Granted the public accepts this much more easily in a holster than in a waistband. But I still have a few questions. Do we have a moral obligation to appease them and to calm their nerves? It's not brandished or threatening anyone. It's responsibly tucke in a waistband. Second, if we really want everyone, even the liberals to feel comfortable we would limit ourselves to concealed carry. I firmly denounce the blanket statement that Mexican carry is dangerous. This is ridiculous. While some models like 1911's are more suited to being carried in a holster, they will not discharge if dropped. Carrying my S&W 629 5" barrel Mexican, it will not go off in my pants. It has a very heavy trigger pull that makes it safge like this. Maybe one could argue that it will "frighten the horses," but is not dangerous like this. One has to assess his personal lifestyle. I'm a runner, but I don't run or make ridiculous movements while carrying mexican. Second is retention. While my primary defense for retention is not a thumb strap or even a holster, I can see how it might help...a little. If someone is really going to jump me by surprise, they may get my weaspon regardless of the new fangled retention devices they have come out with. I will not feel guilty about the harem some psycho commits after overpowering me with my own handgun when I made an effort to retain it. My primary defense in retaining my weapon is mindset. I look for problems before they arise. If the unforseen happens and I am surprised by a supposedly non-threatening person, then my secondary retention technique is my wrestling or possibly go for my back-up. Mexican carry is also very comfortable and with it in the front it is very unreasonable to think that anyone could have an uncontested snatch at it. I think that carrying in this style may "frighten the horses" to some extent, but so doesn't all open carry every once in a while. Even in a holster an exotic grip on my 1911 with anything morbid, might be considered threatening to an ignorant gun hater. I try not to be an intimidating person, but I think that any open carying of a handgun not pointing at some one or threatning someone verbally is morally acceptable, legal in many places, and may produce some good in our community. Now there are many of you, perhaps the majority, that want to see every one carrying in holsters to invoke the image you see of "responsible" gun handling. I would say that suit and tie, or well-dressed what-not ain't for everybody. I may be a little bit hillbilly, but hopefully not too pushy with my views. I wish that a non-threatening person carry in whatever manner, whatever exotic grips, whatever style dress was not intimidating to people. Criminals hardly open carry anyway, that don't want to be noticed except when their committing their crimes, so if my weapon isn't pointing at them, they should be able to tell be my ugly Copenhagen smile that this kid don't wanna hurt nobody.

    Anyway this has been a long post, but let me know what you think and why most of you really push for the holster carry. Try to leave out the safety idea, because you'll never convince me that it's always necessary to use a holster, even though I do most of the time.

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    I'll admit I did not read your *entire* post.

    I carry a gun every day, for more than 13 years. Also have been to numerous schools.
    I can say, without pause, that "mexican carry" is as bad an idea as pocket carry (without apocket holster).
    It is NOT secure, period. How can wondering if my pistol is slipping or going to fall out all day be confortable?

    It's a sure way to either
    a) drop your gun
    b) shoot yourself while carrying (no triggerguard protection)
    c) shoot yourself while drawing.

    And, IMHO, since it is NOT safe it does not convey a good image of carrying.

    You asked for them and those are my opinions. And this is in no way intended to sound snide, but based on your opinions you posted I would HIGHLY recommend some professional training. I think real world practical study would convince otherwise on the idea of not using a holster.




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    ColtPistols wrote:
    I might want to ditch my handgun immediately with no trace that I used to havve it one me like a holster would indicate.
    Give two examples where this would be useful.

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    I didn't word that very well at all. I was saying that that is what people think why others mexican carry...too avoid being caught with a weapon after committing a crime. I have never been interested in getting rid of any of my weapons, maybe getting more, but never throwing any away.

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    Kevin108 wrote:
    ColtPistols wrote:
    I might want to ditch my handgun immediately with no trace that I used to havve it one me like a holster would indicate.
    Give two examples where this would be useful.
    Actually, what the OP said was "Mexican carry can sometimes make others think automatically that I'm a felon because I might want to ditch my handgun immediately

    But to answer your question, I would say;

    1. If you were a felon who justcommited a crime (besides possessing a gun).

    2. If you were a felon who is about to get busted.
    I can tell you've been Rady8ed, you have a nice glow about you.

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    ColtPistols wrote:
    I didn't word that very well at all. I was saying that that is what people think why others mexican carry...too avoid being caught with a weapon after committing a crime. I have never been interested in getting rid of any of my weapons, maybe getting more, but never throwing any away.
    Yeah, that makes way more sense.

    That said, your image when carrying a gun is open to interpretation by anyone who sees you carrying. In the event that you upset someone and the police become involved, it would certainly appear safer and more appropriate for your firearm to be rigidly attached to you in a quality holster.

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    This guy always carries Mexican style. (Stupidest tattoo I ever saw.)



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    It is my understanding that only criminals don't use holsters.

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    You're really asking for a police beating..

    Aside from Mexican carry being unsafe, if you think OpenCarry is frowned upon by law enforcement, they're going to just love your Mexican carry.

    There are many IWB holsters which give proper retention and keep the trigger secured.

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    danbus wrote:
    It is my understanding that only criminals don't use holsters.
    And there's an FBI study that shows just that and most PD's have read it. My friend is an academy training instructor and had a copy before it was released, so they're teaching it.

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    Under strict interpretation of the law here in California, "Mexican Carry" if there really is such a term is illegal.

    My citation is PC12025

    >>12025. (a) A person is guilty of carrying a concealed firearm when he or she does any of the following:

    (2) Carries concealed upon his or her person any pistol, revolver, or other firearm capable of being concealed upon the person.

    (f) Firearms carried openly in belt holsters are not concealed within the meaning of this section. <<

    (In other words- it could be argued that since a firearm is simply tucked into your waistband that you intended to conceal it- not having it in a belt holster.)

    I know you're in PA, but regardless of where you live, I think it would be beneficial if you had some level of retention with a soft IWB holster. I would also urge you not to give up OC entirely, as where I live, Im so limited to where I can and cant go, loaded or unloaded that it has no spontaneity and therefore no real liberty.
    New to OPEN CARRY in California? Click and read this first...

    NA MALE SUBJ ON FOOT, LS NB 3 AGO HAD A HOLSTERED HANDGUN ON HIS RIGHT HIP. WAS NOT BRANDISHING THE WEAPON, BUT RP FOUND SUSPICIOUS.
    CL SUBJ IN COMPLIANCE WITH LAW


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    I have never tried to "Mecican carry". the closest thing i have done is i tried to use the clip draw. I used it once and threw it away.

    I was out walking my dog and had my glock in the small of my back. i wasnt walking very fast, then i here something hit the ground. my gun fell out and on to the side walk. i didnt even feel it creaping up. damn good thing no one was around. it could have turned real bad real quick. now i only use my Bianchi carry lok.

    my 2 cents





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    Retention is important even if you're not planning on running or doing acrobatics...why? Because no one plans on tripping over a curb, stepping in a hole,or breaking a leg on their chair. Your gun needs to be secured.

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    DreQo wrote:
    Retention is important even if you're not planning on running or doing acrobatics...why? Because no one plans on tripping over a curb, stepping in a hole,or breaking a leg on their chair. Your gun needs to be secured.
    One more. Because the only time an inanimate object like a gun can move on it's own is when it wants to slide down your pant leg or do a cannonball into the toilet bowl. :P



    LoveMyCountry

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    LoveMyCountry wrote:
    DreQo wrote:
    Retention is important even if you're not planning on running or doing acrobatics...why? Because no one plans on tripping over a curb, stepping in a hole,or breaking a leg on their chair. Your gun needs to be secured.
    One more. Because the only time an inanimate object like a gun can move on it's own is when it wants to slide down your pant leg or do a cannonball into the toilet bowl. :P



    LoveMyCountry
    *ahem* It was a double reverse somersault, thank you very much.



    Oh, and a little more on the apperance subject...if you dress like an a-hole, people are going to assume you're an a-hole. Why? Because that's how the world works. You can justify holster-less carrying all you want. The bottom line is, it looks bad.

    There are plenty of reasons why you shouldn't just tuck your gun into your pants, but there is no reason that you can't (unless law restricts it.) Just know that your weapon will not be as secure as it would be in a holster, and you'll look like an idiot.



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    ColtPistols,

    Maybe you don't consider Mexican carry to be unsafe, but I'll give you a perfect example of how it can be. A good friend of mine preferred the Mexican carry back in the late '70's. He had carried that way for several years until one night as he got out of his car, the revolver that he was carrying fell out onto the driveway. The .38 bullet shattered his right knee. To this day he still walks with a terrible limp.

    Of course you can carry as you choose, where lega, but be prepared to face the possible consequences of your firearm falling and an accidental discharge which could would or kill you or someone who happened to be in the line of fire. In the latter possibility, be prepared to face legal action from the authorities and of course civil action from the injured party. I know this can also happen with a holster but it is fare less likely.

    my 2 cents

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    I think you are just being cheap! Spend a few dollars, and you'll look at the next Mexican carrier and wonder what took you so long to buy that holster. Get a good paddle holster and you'll still get that in the pants feeling that you seem to crave.

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    OC-Glock19 wrote:
    This guy always carries Mexican style. (Stupidest tattoo I ever saw.)

    That's me, and I'll have you know that I was very fond of that Beretta. Her name Haley Berry...

  19. #19
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    I will not deny that on occasion I have tucked a firearm into my belt or rear pocket, to answer the door, or even to let the dogs step out to verify that their favorite tree was where they left it. But "Mexican Carry" is never a good idea. If it is a good idea for a firearm, why would you not do the same with a leatherman tool, your wallet, or for that matter a fixed blade knife? After all you have the ability to retain things in your belt and deal with any safety issues right?

    All of the excuses that YOU can handle it safely have been used before by a lot of people. Most of those people do manage to go for long periods before the "teachable moment" finally occurs. Usually this takes the form of having the trigger catch on their clothing as they slide the weapon into their pants.

    In most cases, this is a good thing because it has the effect of removing any possibility that they might breed in the future. In some cases if they hit the femoral artery, they may even gain eligibility for a Darwin Award because they will bleed out very fast. In either case, their advocacy of Mexican carry shifts significantly. Survivors usually go right from the hospital to the holster section of the local gun shop.

    EVERYONE who has ever carried in this fashion has or will drop the weapon. That is a simple fact. YOU WILL DROP IT. You even imply that this may have already occurred in your case. Most of the people here value their weapon and maintain it carefully, so it is no surprise to me that the risk of damage to the gun or its finish (which they paid good money for) puts most of them off of the idea of unholstered carry.

    Besides, despite your comments on safety, you are wrong. Now if you want to depend 100% on the safety elements of your weapon to protect you and others against a possible discharge, fine. Just stay the hell away from me while you are doing it. Firearms safety is 100% about proper handling and 0% about ANY mechanical device. The sooner you learn that the better for all of the rest of us. The fact is that while your weapon was designed by professionals to be safe, so was the Titanic, and the space shuttle. If it was made by a human, it can fail. It really is just that simple.

    I will not go into issues such as ability to draw if the weapon slides too low, or carry of extra ammo, or concealment issues. Others here are doing just fine with all that. But frankly mexican carry was originally done because the people that did it could not afford a holster, not because it was a good idea. If you can't afford a $20 uncle mikes holster, but you bought a tank of gas for your car this week, you may not have a proper mindset for carrying a weapon at all.

    Regards

    EDIT: The guy in the picture above (Pistol tattoo) is the dumbest person I have seen this week. Wait till the police tell him to drop his weapon or they will fire. When that happens you can bet his "gun" will fire, 'cause he is gonna wet himself.
    "Research has shown that a 230 grain lead pellet placed just behind the ear at 850 FPS results in a permanent cure for violent criminal behavior."
    "If you are not getting Flak, you are not over the target"
    "186,000 Miles per second! ... Not just a good idea ... It's the law!"

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    In response to Hawkflyer, you seemed to imply that I had stated that I was relying on mechanical devices to provide safety. That was one of my major points....I use the proper mindset to give me the rtention I need. I keep my eye open looking for potential problems such as an attempt to disarm me by some punk. I keep placing my hand on it constantly to feel it is secure and it has never fallen out or even shifted significantly. My jeans or pants I wear with it are not loose enough for it to possibly fall out through my pant leg, although with extremely unatural movement, and rigorous aerobic exercise, it could fall out through the top, however I use my proper mindset to determine what might happen every time I move before I do anything like that. Another advantage I have found is that mexican carry lends itself to ease of concealability on the spur of the moment decision, like when I suddenyl decide it wuold make my life easier not to explain to certain people why I open carry so I just untuck my flannel shirt or t-shirt and let it fall over it. An S&W 629 .44 Magnum doesn't conceal nicely in any type holster i have seen. Granted it can be done, but not easily. I can't say that I am totally convinced that it is always dangerous to mexican carry, because I am of the idea that you should always be thinking about what your doing when you are carrying a firearm, a holster will not prevent the disarmament of anyone, however I will concede that it would in most cases make things a lot easier. I will say that based on the reactions I got from you about the appearance, I probably won't be doing much open mexican carry. Back in the day when I wasn't a college student I spent gobs of money I couldn't afford to spend on firearms and gear. Some were just for fun, that many of you would laugh at and some of you would say reflect a bad image on open carriers. I'de have to ask, If I try to maintain a decent appearance, etc. then why have some others in other forums made statements against things like carrying to big a firearm or too much spare ammo. I don't care if someone else carries an exotic, or rare weapon or a gold plated desert eagle with thirty-six spare magazines, or an nfa weapon (where legal). Back in the day I made some investments in what I thought were decent weapons and leather. I still have most, although I have never sold a firearm (it's against my philosophy to sell any of my guns) I have given some away to those with a serious need. I have lately enjoyed carrying that S&W mexican carry, but I think after the reaction I have gotten from the users here I will probably minimize that activity. Based on the tone of Hawkflyer, I seriously offended you and I appologize. I hate offending others. You seem to think that mexican care was more irresponsible than anything else. I'll probably go back to carrying some of my other autoloaders cause my only other revolver is too big to carry all day all the time unless I'm really motivated. I'm going to start another post about the use of holsters and limitations people should have on what they carrying openly so as not to offend others. Hopefully I won't have any replies that a particular holster is unsafe, I'm just interested in information about if it is too bold of a statement because of either the firearm or the gear with it.

  21. #21
    Founder's Club Member Hawkflyer's Avatar
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    Actually, you did not irritate me at all. While I disagree with a lot of what you are saying, I don't take any of this personally. But you did start by saying you wanted peoples opinions on this subject. If you don't want the answer please don't ask the question.

    It happens that I carry a 629 fairly often, both OC and CC. Now I will admit that I am 6'3" and 200 pounds, so maybe if you are a lot smaller than that you might have a problem carrying one. My wife also carries this same firearms some times and she is only 5'7" and about 140 lbs. It causes her no problem at all either OC or CC. I use a Galco pancake for this purpose and the gun is held high and tight at my 3:00. It conceals under even a tee shirt, so I guess I really don't see your problem with a holster.

    Based on your description, you spend a lot of time concentrating on retention. Every second of that time is a diversion from your situational awareness. Having to place your hand on the gun often to verify and secure it defeats any attempt at concealment. If you cannot do a forward roll and retain the weapon without any special steps to do so, your carry method does not pass the retention tests that are the standard. Moreover, every time you grab the grip, you risk someone misinterpreting your actions, with the possibility of disastrous results.

    As to convenience of putting the thing on, it takes me all of 30 seconds to put on a proper holster for the same gun you mention. Now as I said i have put the gun in my back pocket and even tucked it in my belt or put it in my front pocket for short carry periods. But I would never consider this for any kind of public carry for extended periods of time. Now mine is a 3" so this is really a bit better than a longer barrel would be.

    The fact is that you will drop the gun at some point. No matter what you say, when that happens you are depending 100% on the hardware to prevent an AD. In your original post you said -

    While some models like 1911's are more suited to being carried in a holster, they will not discharge if dropped. Carrying my S&W 629 5" barrel Mexican, it will not go off in my pants.
    So please excuse me for the assumption that you are depending on the mechanical elements of the weapon to prevent an AD. I admit I suffer from the ability to read. I would like to know where this miracle of a weapon that cannot be fired inside a pair of pants can be bought. I also presume that what you meant to say was that if dropped the gun will not "LIKELY' go off, and that this would be accomplished through a superior mindset and not a dependance on the mechanics of the weapon.

    If it is in a holster and you drop it, the gun is cushioned from impact, the hammer in most holsters is covered, and in any case the trigger is covered. The covered trigger prevents getting caught in clothes or anything else.

    Clearly, while I may have spent more time explaining to you why Mexican carry is a bad idea than others here, my view on this is not unique. Nor is that view based on an unreasonable view of the issues. When you know more about accidental shooting you will see that a significant number are the result of upholstered carry. As I said, eventually the trigger will catch on your cloths as you push the gun in your belt, or you will shove it in with your finger in the wrong place due to being distracted. Or you will drop the gun and the trigger will hit an object and fire the gun.

    Before the redesign of the S&W internal action parts in the 1940's you could set one off by dropping it on the hammer. A sailor was killed that way and the FBI researched the cause of the death which spurred a redesign of the action. Before that these revolvers were considered absolutely safe if dropped.

    So from my point of view you can do what you want. If I see you around me, using Mexican Carry, I will get as far from you as I can. Eventually the safety problem you pose will correct itself, and I do not want to be around you when it does. It is a lot of paperwork and I have better things to do than that.

    Regards
    "Research has shown that a 230 grain lead pellet placed just behind the ear at 850 FPS results in a permanent cure for violent criminal behavior."
    "If you are not getting Flak, you are not over the target"
    "186,000 Miles per second! ... Not just a good idea ... It's the law!"

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    I think I have been convinced to carry one of my other handguns in a holster for now. I still have to get around to taking pictures of some of my different rigs to post and get comments on wether it is unreasonable to open carry with such leather, or such weapon, or such grips. Are people really limited to carrying just stock handguns and leather or will too many spare magazines or too big a firearm or too scary grips "scare" bystanders? Also is it really necessary to try to appease others when open carrying? We already know that some people will be slightly offended even though extreme reactions are very rare. So can I trick out a 1911 with wicked grips without detracting from the open carry community? Can I carry a tech 9 in a shoulder holster (never liked one, and I don't have one anyway, but just curious), while still promoting a responsible non-threatening open carry image? Many in the gun community, especially law enforcement go so far as to say that 1911's shouldn't be carried openly because the cocked-and-locked image presents a hostile ever-tactical threatening image. I strongly disagree with that one, but if that is the case than what are the effects of carrying IPSC gear (don't really do IPSC either), and what not? I'm going to guess that especially for the 1911 issue, the only people offended would be people who already know a little about weapons, but not enough to know the safety features and the design of the weapon. Same with the other issues...I'm going to guess that anyone who would be frightened, or a little nervous around someone with too many spare magazines, or wicked grips, or an "assault weapon" looking thing would probably be almost as nervous around firearms in general and it probably can't be avoided. In other countries like Israel their gear, while highly tactical, presents an ever-ready image, rather than always threatening. I don't know if Americans are ready for that yet, except maybe in some of the rural areas I'm used to. Just like open carry desensitizes people to firearms in daily view, will carrying more ammo, bigger handguns, nfa weapons, or exotic grips or holsters desensitize people that it is not certain firearms that are criminal, but rather certain people? Any ideas? Maybe I should start a new post?

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    Founder's Club Member Hawkflyer's Avatar
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    It is not necessary to appease others when the only concern is aesthetics. It IS necessary if the issue is safety related. Now there is some variation on that.

    A lot of people do not consider condition 1 carry of 1911 style pistols to be safe. With proper training and discipline in handling, it is as safe as any revolver. Arguably, it may be safer.

    The point is that it does not matter what it LOOKS like it matters what it IS.

    Now if the purpose of a particular form of carry is simply to "get a rise" out of someone, from my point of view that is wrong. If a person has a reason for what they are doing that makes sense for them that is fine, so long as it is safe. But in most cases what one person considers safe may differ from the next guys view. For me that means not being around things I do not view as safe. For others it means taking action to stop the behavior.

    Regards
    "Research has shown that a 230 grain lead pellet placed just behind the ear at 850 FPS results in a permanent cure for violent criminal behavior."
    "If you are not getting Flak, you are not over the target"
    "186,000 Miles per second! ... Not just a good idea ... It's the law!"

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    ColtPistols wrote:
    ...but let me know what you think...
    I think you're droll.

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    Many times before I have heard that for open carry, one should dress nicely, clean cut, etc as well as only carry appropriate handguns and gear. There are a few reasons why people have told me not too carry certain rigs and gear:
    I. It’s impractical
    II. It’s unnecessary
    III. It presents a tactical offensive image rather than a defensive image
    IV. It’s important to represent the gun community as responsible and not a bunch of crazy…
    V. It’s just showing off

    Well, I am not so sure about those reasons but let me know what you think about one’s duty to represent the gun community as stamped out white collar clean cut types that only carry palatable weapons. I kinda think its ok to carry unique equipment for several reasons.

    I. My idea of practical isn’t for anyone else to judge, I carry what I think I need.
    II. Necessity of caliber or amount of ammunition is determined after the incident.
    III. Image represented, while certainly affected by appearance and gear, is more strongly determined by the wearer’s demeanor and over-all actions.
    IV. I’m not a stamped out white-collar standard pistol and holster kinda guy, but I consider myself very responsible, and a friendly, non-threatening representation of the gun-community.
    V. Even if I don’t need[/i] to carry that much ammo or that caliber/style weapon, who does it really hurt other than people that are probably already strong advocates for concealed carry exclusivity anyway? If I lose all respect for responsibly, safely displaying my style of weaponry and gear than I think the gun-community might have used too much stamped out factory produced images of what the gun-wearer should look like. My idea is that the open-carry should be safe, responsible, probably as friendly as possible, and that is about all that should be required.

    I tried to attach a picture but it says file was too large. Anyway I carry sometimes a Para-Ordnance P-14 .45ACP in a vertical leather shoulder holster that holds four spare magazines on the off side, somtimes a Beretta 96 .40S&W in a strong side leather holster with six spare magazines around my back side, when in the boonies I sometimes carry my Ruger Super Redhawk .454 in a Mernickle crossdraw holster with a two speedloader pouch, sometimes a Glock 22 .40S&W in a vertical leather shoulder holster with two spare magainzes on the of side, and I used to sometimes carry a S&W 629 .44 Mag mexican style, but haven't really in a while, and before I gave some of my guns away to some in need, I carried a Sig P226 .357 Sig in a Blackhawk, Omega VI I think it was, with three spare magazines on opposite thigh, a S&W Sigma in .40 S&W(worst gun I ever bought) in a strong side leather holster 2 spare mags in my pocket, and a Colt 1991 in a strong side leather holster as well with three spare mags in my pocket. I'm limited in what I can carry because I am only 5'9" and stuck at 139lbs, hopefully I'll gain weigh this summer but usually I loose weight cause I'm outside sweating sometimes 18 hours a day. If It was legal I might try to carry my 870 18" barrel or try to get some NFA junk, but I'm not sure if I can concealed carry or open carry long guns loaded. I'll have to try to find out because I'm in a different state every couple of weeks.


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