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Thread: The Bigger the gun, the bigger the perceived threat?

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    Regular Member Custodian's Avatar
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    Greetings gun-toters!

    I'm only a couple of weeks away from receiving my CCH/W permit so I can buy a handgun in NC without any questions asked and as many as I want at one time. So, I've been reading posts and post of you guys seem to open carry large caliber [to me which is anything above .380] handguns. But what about the smaller ones? Walther PPK, Kel-Tec, North American, (snicker--> Raven), or any more easily concealed firearm. And with that I got some contemplation going...

    Does the bigger gun equate to a bigger threat?

    Average clean-cut citizen with a 1911 or Coly Python on his hip. Does the attention this person attract less than someone who has a... Let's try some hyperbole... Average clean-cut citizen, with a Colt Anaconda/Bren-Ten/ Wildey Mag/Desert Eagle on his hip. Are they perceived to be a bigger threat than the first citizen?

    Now let's downscale...

    Average clean-cut citizen with say... A Bersa Thunder .380 [more or less a superior Walther clone] or a Ruger LTC say on their hip or shoulder holster. Would they be perceived to be a smaller threat because of the size of their gun?

    i really don't know and i want to hear from you guys, the experts at this forum. And what is a forum? A sizable nugget of information! But enough text, have at it!

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    It would be fun to carrytwo S&W 500s, one on eachhip. Not practical for anything, but it would be fun.

    This post is just my conjecture but its what I'd think to be the case.


    I'm not sure that bigger guns are scarier, but they sure would get someone's attention more. (They are easier to see after all.)

    I think the design of the gun (such as havingthe magazine outside of thegrip instead of inside)would scare the gun shymore than the size. I would imagine a Tec-22 might intimidate the gun shy more than an S&W 500.

    Similarly, a polymer folding stocked version of the Ruger 10/22 with a pistol grip,if shown to an ignorant individual they would think "assault weapon" wheras a 10/22 with the typical wood stock would be seen as a "regular" rifle. The M14 in its typical layout might look more gentle than a "scarified" 10/22.
    -----

    As far as the difference between say a PPK and 1911 or even a desert eagle, I don't think one would be seen as more intimidating than the other. Thebigger gunwould be noticed more simply because there is more of it to be noticed.


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    I don't think OC and caliber are connected.

    I think most are choosing caliber based on the old defensive caliber general rule, "the largest caliber you can comfortably control."

    I know one fella who regularly OC's a snub-nosed (small gun) .357 mag. (big caliber). Go figure.
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    Jeez – trying to figure what gun is going to “scare” the average citizen more or less than some other is kinda like betting on which corner a roach is gonna run for after you spray it.

    People who have negative reactions to firearms are – by definition – basing that decision on pure emotions.

    I could expect that the same person would feel relatively comfortable seeing me with two nickel-plated, long-barreled Colt 45’s in nice, tooled leather holsters while they might leave a puddle in the parking lot if I had a single matte-black, 380 Auto on my hip.

    Some people might feel better because I was packing something obviously too big to hide – so I’m not likely to be up to no good. While others would simply react to a “big gun” more than a little one.

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    Percieved threats are like tattaos. Do not fear instrumentalities, but fear the evil men behind them.

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    Basic Guy wrote:
    Jeez – trying to figure what gun is going to “scare” the average citizen more or less than some other is kinda like betting on which corner a roach is gonna run for after you spray it.
    That's a sure bet. She'll run for the corner with the special interest donor.

    I think people's reactions are going to depend more on the look and demeanor of the armed citizen than the pistol itself within reason. Someone OC with a AK-47 is going to freak out the soccer mom's no matter what. But with a normal pistol in a nice, clean hip holster I think it will just depend on the observer's preconceived opinions. I think when you start getting into more tactical looking gear, such as a drop leg holster, unless you are dressed as a sportsman/hunter, it is probably more likely to elicit a response from the uninformed. Not knocking them, just commenting on reactions.
    Bob Owens @ Bearing Arms (paraphrased): "These people aren't against violence; they're very much in favor of violence. They're against armed resistance."

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    Citizen wrote:
    I know one fella who regularly OC's a snub-nosed (small gun) .357 mag. (big caliber).* Go figure.
    I resemble that remark!

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    Custodian wrote:
    Greetings gun-toters!

    I'm only a couple of weeks away from receiving my CCH/W permit so I can buy a handgun in NC without any questions asked and as many as I want at one time. So, I've been reading posts and post of you guys seem to open carry large caliber [to me which is anything above .380] handguns. But what about the smaller ones? Walther PPK, Kel-Tec, North American, (snicker--> Raven), or any more easily concealed firearm. And with that I got some contemplation going...

    Does the bigger gun equate to a bigger threat?

    Average clean-cut citizen with a 1911 or Coly Python on his hip. Does the attention this person attract less than someone who has a... Let's try some hyperbole... Average clean-cut citizen, with a Colt Anaconda/Bren-Ten/ Wildey Mag/Desert Eagle on his hip. Are they perceived to be a bigger threat than the first citizen?

    Now let's downscale...

    Average clean-cut citizen with say... A Bersa Thunder .380 [more or less a superior Walther clone] or a Ruger LTC say on their hip or shoulder holster. Would they be perceived to be a smaller threat because of the size of their gun?

    i really don't know and i want to hear from you guys, the experts at this forum. And what is a forum? A sizable nugget of information! But enough text, have at it!

    Custodian
    I carry a small air-weight .38 when concealing. It's comfortable and easy to hide. What I find appealing about OC is that I can carry my larger handguns comfortably, with the advantage of larger calibers (.357 revolver)and more rounds and not have to worry about it being seen if I tried to conceal it. Does that make sense?
    An Amazon best seller "MY PARENTS OPEN CARRY" http://www.myparentsopencarry.com/

    *The information contained above is not meant to be legal advice, but is solely intended as a starting point for further research. These are my opinions, if you have further questions it is advisable to seek out an attorney that is well versed in firearm law.

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    I was told, by the trooper that detained me last month, that it didn't matter what I was carrying so much that I'm a 6'3", 300lb guy and they were terrified of me BEFORE they noticed the Glock on my hip, and called mostly because I'm a big scary guy who HAPPENED to have a gun on him.

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    i would imagine yes size does matter.. reguardless of caliber like someone said a snubby .357 is a small gun with big punch..

    but to the avg person i would imagine sub compact vs a full size gun would be a difference..

    no one wants to be shot period.. but they definately dont want to be shot with something big.

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    Basically, I lean towards the more professional rig. I have a blackhawk serpa and glock 17. to the average person, i would look more like a an UC-LEO or civi-mil type. if you go for some crazy rig and a .50 desert eagle with a gold chain around your neck, then most folks would be a little off put by that.
    most people on the street also don't know exactly what caliber your carrying either.

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    This is one reason I normally carry concealed....even though it is less comfortable to me than open carry. I am 6"2" and 270lbs, my hair is past shoulder length, I have an 8 month bushy long beard and ride a harley. I have watched mothers clutch their children closer when they see me in the store even when I am unarmed in a tanktop,gym shorts, and flip flops.

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    it sucks that people react like that. i don't open carry, i just don't want to get into one of those "why do you carry a gun?" conversations. although i may carry leaflets that i can hand out and then just say "read this, bye" :-)

    although i think i may change my mindset to that (i.e. i don't OC) of how i want to dress today, if it ends up that i'm OC'ing, then so be it. no political statement, just excersing my rights plain and simple.

    we all seem to feel the need to protect the general publics eyes from some bad, i.e. our sidearms. and i think thats the wrong way to act.

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    Sa45auto wrote:
    Citizen wrote:
    I know one fella who regularly OC's a snub-nosed (small gun) .357 mag. (big caliber). Go figure.
    I resemble that remark!


    Before gnbrotz's hearing, I was having concerns that the courthouse's lockboxes wouldn't be big enough for my sidearm...

    It turned out that my glovebox was big enough, and they didn't use lockboxes at the courthouse anyway. Would have been interesting, though...

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    Regular Member MT GUNNY's Avatar
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    It all depends, If I were a BG and saw a mark with a Single Action Colt, He prolly Knows how to use it, to me big threat!!

    Again same situation but with a 1911 same big threat!!

    Walther PPKS .380 = same!

    A big Dirty Harry style handgun with that big Dark Hole pointed at your eye ball!!

    The one thing that might not scare a BG, NO GUN AT ALL!!

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    lucas_flesher wrote:
    It all depends, If I were a BG and saw a mark with a Single Action Colt, He prolly Knows how to use it, to me big threat!!

    Again same situation but with a 1911 same big threat!!

    Walther PPKS .380 = same!

    A big Dirty Harry style handgun with that big Dark Hole pointed at your eye ball!!

    The one thing that might not scare a BG, NO GUN AT ALL!!


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    The Bigger the gun, the bigger the perceived threat?



    The only threat I worry about is the one posed by the bad guy.

    That threat is not incident to the size of any firearm, but the actions of the bad guy.






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    Aran wrote:
    I was told, by the trooper that detained me last month, that it didn't matter what I was carrying so much that I'm a 6'3", 300lb guy and they were terrified of me BEFORE they noticed the Glock on my hip, and called mostly because I'm a big scary guy who HAPPENED to have a gun on him.
    I'm 6'9" and got that same crap from an otherwise well meaning LEO.

    Makes no sense to me. Big guy, short guy, little old lady, who cares? The gun is the equalizer. Size is not indicitive of ability or willingness to commit violence.

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    Felid`Maximus wrote:
    Similarly, a polymer folding stocked version of the Ruger 10/22 with a pistol grip,if shown to an ignorant individual they would think "assault weapon" wheras a 10/22 with the typical wood stock would be seen as a "regular" rifle.
    Put a large capacity mag on that with the folding stock and it technically would be an assult weapon. Which works great as an example of why the AW ban is BS.

    Sean wrote:
    ...tanktop, gym shorts, and flip flops.
    For some reason I just got a mental image in my head of an armed Jeff Lebowski. "I abide. With a gun."

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