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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My sheriff recently approved my CCW application. Assuming I pass all the red tape I'll have a CCW in about 6 weeks.

I'm beginning to observe my surroundings in light of how my behavior will change when I'm carrying. Then the paranoid thoughts started - are there hidden metal detectors that I pass through as part of my regular life in places like dept stores? What sort of physical motions should I avoid? What if an old friend hugs me and feels my gun? What color holster is best? Is there some other simple mistake that I might make? It goes on and on.

As I live in CA I don't know a lot of other CCW holders to ask (only one). I would appreciate if those of you with experience would share the simple things that I don't know yet, so I can avoid embarrasing carry mistakes, faux pas, etc.
 
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Calm down and don't worry so much.There are only 4 things to remember:

1. Don't let your piece peek out,and avoid printing-a telltale bulge in your clothing.

2. Obey the laws of where you can and can't carry.

3. Obey signs that say you can't carry in their establishment.

4. Most important,dont look for or egg on trouble.Anytime you have the ability to end a conflict(ie. carrying a gun,experienced at lethal hand to hand,etc.),the responsibility falls on you to avoid a lethal encounter,including escape.

Personally I think if Joe Scumbag tries to solicit illegal behavior upon myself or my family,pop a cap in his ass and the world is so much the better.The only problem with the logic of that is the Liberals and Commies already infiltrated in our Gov't have a 'higher' order for us to live by.Too bad more people don't see what's actually going on,but I guess we're supposed to be thankfull for the little tidbits they still let us have-for now!
 

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Great advice so far...

Don't get cheap with your carry equipment. Get the best you can afford and be prepared to buy more when you find what you like and don't like about different holsters, belts, mag pouches etc.

Don't be reluctant to go out and buy a "carry wardrobe". You will need some dedicated carry clothing (little looser fit or maybe a little baggy - shirts that are square cut so they look OK untucked) that look as much like your everyday stuff as possible.

Start out carrying around the house. See how the setup feels when you bend, sit, squat etc. Check yourself out in a full length mirror. Look for bulges and ways to avoid them when bending and reaching - change equipment position as necessary. Practice stances and arm positions that protect the gun during crowded encounters, like when shopping, so people who "bump" into you feel and elbow instead of a pistol butt. If a "hugger" approaches remember you must hug low to force them to hug high.

If your current carry gun is a compact or full size, consider a good pocket gun for those occasions where less is more. Discreet is neat!

Be prepared for the "exposed" feeling you will get when you first venture out armed. It will feel like your pistol sticks out like a basketball under your jacket - it doesn't. Avoid constantly checking to make sure it is concealed - it is. It's OK to be nervous, just try not to look so nervous. It will eventually pass but remember to stay one condition of awareness higher when armed than you might otherwise. Situational awareness is your best weapon.

ALWAYS tell your spouse when you are "hot" (and your kids if they are old enough to be discreet about it). Nothing sounds worse than a family member exclaiming "Are you wearing your gun??!!" right in the middle of Wal-Mart!

Mikey
 

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a14evr gave you good advice. I might would have put them in reverse order were I to rank as to my concerns of importance.

As to the printing - get used to carrying whatever it is that you're going to carry by wearing it around the house in the manner you expect to carry. You may find that you want to fine tune your dress, holster, position of holster, posture, method of reaching for items on shelves, etc. Get your SO or a good friend to flag you every time they catch a peek.

Most folks are not looking for weapons so unless you have some part of the gun/holster exposed, or are really, really printing badly, the general public won't notice. The big secret is to blend. In dress and actions. Pick a method of carry that works with the dress exected of most of your social interactions - then fine tune with type of carry, holster, shade of clothing, length of shirt, etc. Don't constantly hike your britches or otherwise adjust your gun. (If you really have to do this, then you should get a better belt/holster combination.)

The main thing to watch, if you carry behind the strong side hip, is to keep you spine relatively straight when you bend. And don't reach for the stuff on the really high shelf at Wal-Mart unless your cover garment is really long.

If a trained observer (LEO, store security, etc.) sees a suspicious bulge - so? At worst you might get a (hopefully) polite and discrete question about your permit. Usually not even that. If I got an inquiry or two like that I'd probably reassess my manner of carry - but I wouldn't lose sleep over it.

I doubt there are "secret" metal detectors in many public locations. If they want to deter illegal weapons, it is to their advantage to advertise that the premises are screened by metal detectors. And, if there are, and you are in a legal area for permitted carry - then, "So?"

When I'm in a "touchy feely" situation (good friends, family) where hugging is expected, I try to lead so as to keep my "strong side" arm under their arm which otherwise might contact my firearm. You won't always be successful - especially with small children who run up and grab you around the waist. Depending on the audiance - and their comments, if any, a) be truthful or b) develop a good story about your pager/cell phone.

The color of the holster should either blend with, or be concealed by, the color of your clothing. Same with the gun/grips.

Pay attention to the detail, but don't obsess too, too much over it - and you'll be fine.

Glad to have one more good citizen covering my backside in public.


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Jim Fox
 

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Jim, my experience is limited as I am just a little past the "newbie" stage; however, I have can say that I have not had any problems with metal detectors in retail establishments. This would include the "inventory control system" at Wal-Mart and also the funny looking deals you walk through at record (CD/casette) stores. That said, I would be cautious about places like certain post offices etc. I believe those may be bona fide metal detectors and announce your armed presence to the management. If I happen to trip some sort of inventory control detector at a retail establishment, and if there is no sign which would forbid concealed carry, I have a permit issued by the state in which I reside which will explain my circumstances. For clothing, I use a khaki vest when it's cool enough and a baggy golf shirt when it's warm. doctor j
 

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Ahh... I believe it is big time illegal (read: felony) to carry into a post office, licensed or not.
I think this applies to most federal buildings.
Check the laws, both local and federal, before venturing out.

Lucky bast***, I live in L.A. so I couldn't get one even if I had lunch with God three times a week!


Oh well, LAPD will always save me..... uh, right?

 

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Just some tips and thoughts...
Dark clothing hides better than light clothing, especially the shadows asssociated with partial and full printing. Dark patterns often work well. Especially in winter, thicker weight fabrics cover better than thinner fabrics.

If carrying on the hip, try to avoid letting your gun catch on door frames, chairs, etc. It is hard to imagine, but it happens and when you hear the loud "thunk" you can be sure others heard it as well.

Avoid tugging at your clothing too often to try to hide or cover your gun. That is a give away. If I tug on one side, I make sure to tug on the other so that it looks like I am straightening my clothing, not trying to cover my gun.

While it may be popular to wearing clothing and caps advertising your favorite firearms, I avoid doing this when I am trying to blend in with the crowd. There is nothing like a shirt that says "GLOCK" or "COLT" to get people's attention.

Beware of small kids (a nephew in my case) running up to hug you and crashing their head into your gun. A screaming kids draws a lot of attention and if you are chubby like me, it is hard to convince people that the kid ran into your hip bone.

Have your significant other play "Where's the gun?" before you go out. If he/she can't see it, then you are probably safe since that person knows you best. Also, check yourself in front of a mirror. Does the gun show when you raise your hands? How about when you bend over?

If you carry strong side, then I suggest you carry your wallet in the back pocket on weak side. Otherwise, you can inadvertantly expose your gun when going for your wallet (as with sports coats, winter jackets, and such). Also, carry your keys in the weak side front pocket for the same reason.

After sitting for a while, say at a nice food place, avoid patting your hip to see if your gun is still there as you exit the booth/table. You can feel for your gun with a discreet arm swing instead of patting.
 

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Congratulations Jim....I agree with the advice above...The only thing I would add is this...When I carry, I go out of my way to stay away from trouble areas....in other words...I am not going to go walking in the worst area of town just because I am armed...Now don't get me wrong...if I have a legitimate reason to go to these areas , I will...and...I will be armed...But...I believe I have a greater responsibility to avoid confrontations. I think most anti gun people think that we all want to be a bunch of Rambos...I wish they could understand that we just want to keep ourselves and our families as safe as possible.

Now, If we could just get federal reciprocity for our carry permits.
 

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One more along with all the excellent advice so far. If you decide to use a belt rig, get a good belt, preferrably one made by the holster maker. I would so far as to say that your choice in a belt is even more important than the holster you choose.
 

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agree on the above, also I have a planner holster which has pages/calculator/pen slots/etc which works very well when I need to be professional with PO 14-45 or commander with 2 extra mags, that said if deep cover required on person, i have a keltec p32 which rides in pocket for easy draw - not the biggest but remember the old saw don't forget to bring a gun to a gunfight and this is my 100% all the time carry when larger pieces are not possible - this has less metal than my keyring and has never been picked up on scanner. DON'T GO IN FEDERAL OR STATE OFFICE BUILDINGS UNLESS THE STATE LAWS ALLOW CARRY IN STATE BUILDINGS!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
WOW! Thanks for all the great responses. I'm feeling better about the choices I've made so far, and have some great practical advice.

Really agree with the advice to avoid bad areas. My dad told me years ago that the way to avoid getting into trouble at 3 AM in the bad part of town was to be at home at 3 AM.

As I'm middle aged, have a mess of kids and a mortgage, I'm not inclined to be awake much past 10 PM.

Planning to go with Sparks VM2 on a commander sized 1911.

My typical attire is dockers and a tucked in "snappy casual" shirt. Any advice on a decent looking belt? I think I'll have to go 1-1/4"

Once again, thanks for all the advice.
 

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Another point I would like to make: I had to tone my attitude down. When I chose to exercise my right to keep and bear arms I had to change the way I acted and reacted. I had to make myself be *much* less reactionary to what really irritates me. I had to stop being a smartass to people I didn't know. I wasn't smart all the time, but enough that I had to make a conscious decision to not be. I've since become a better person and I roll with the punches a lot better.

When you choose to strap on your sidearm you take the weight of the world and place it on your shoulders. A good head on those shoulders is the most important piece of equipment that you can have.

No more preaching. I just take my rights as a responsibility as well.
 

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Something to add in regard to belts. A good gun belt is an investment. Either buy a really nice high dollar belt that is plenty capable of handling your gun, or do some shopping and buy a heavy duty belt not made by a holsterer. I wear a single piece thick leather belt (not two halves sewn together like many dress belts) in natural tan that costs me $12 from Academy Sporting Good. Apparently they get their belts from the same people that Bianchi does as I have seen my belt with a Bianchi tag for $60.

Remember that when you select a belt, it will be bearing the weight of your trousers, gun, spare mag, cell phone, and whatever else you accessorize with. You don't want to have a flimsy belt break on you and find your stuff on the ground around your feet.
 

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If you're going with a Sparks VM2 you might as well have them make a matching belt. Have a VM2 myself,good choice.

Ronin

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NRA/GOA/GOTF
 

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JiminCA, based on jwp's post on 12-07-00, I did some investigation. I went to a local post office (unarmed) and found a poster on the wall with a prohibition against carrying firearms in the building except on official business; therefore, I assume that if it's that way in one U.S. post office, it's that way in all U.S. post offices. I'm a little embarassed
, based on my earlier reply to you, but thankfully also a little smarter. I did not see any sort of sign on the outside of the post office or on the doors with a prohibition about CCW inside the building, but the poster was inside nonetheless.
 

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I don't consider myself an expert, but I believe the logic used is that a Post Office is considered to be Federal Property regardless of it's physical location in a state. As Federal Property, only a Federal Permit has any value; there actually is (was) such a thing in the past (perhaps an urban legend?).

The story I heard was that a Federal Permit was only valid on Federal Property (you may not know there are also Federal Police). This would include Post Offices, Indian Reservations, and I'm not sure what else. The story I heard years back when I had an FFL was that you had to apply to be a CIA "Cadet" or somesuch and that as a potential employee of the CIA you could acquire a permit. I never really explored it in detail. The permit was of limited value because it only applied in some pretty specific areas.

I know that Banks are considered Federal property for the purpose of jurisdiction for Bank Robberies, but I don't know that it applies in any general terms.

I have yet to hear a clear explanation regarding schools. There is Federal law as I understand it, which limits my right to possess a firearm within 2000' of a school. Even so, they build the silly things just about anywhere without asking my permission. I'm also not aware of any Federal law enforcement that has jurisdiction over a public school which is not on Federal Property.

I know a bit about about state laws here in the NW. Any legal scholars in the house with knowledge of Federal things?
 

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The Milt Sparks VM-2 is an excellent choice for a concealment holster.

I find a 1 1/2" belt far better than a 1 1/4" for carry. The Dillon gun belt is good and not too expensive.

I find an external covering garment, like an open shirt, better than the tucked arrangement with the VM-2 for concealment.

Bank robberies are under federal (FBI) jurisdiction because bank deposits are FDIC insured. Banks are not federal property, and, at least in Florida, there is no prohibition against carrying in a bank if you have a permit. There are few places I want to be armed more than a bank.

Make sure you know where it is legal to carry and where it is not. One mistake can get you in big trouble. I carry a copy of the applicable statute provisions in my wallet as reference for myself or anyone who might question me.
 

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A lot of good answers and some not so good.

First, there is not permit that allows a citizen to carry on federal property--to include federal bldgs, POs, military bases, and any property noted as federal property.
There is no such thing as a 'federal permit'.

The only bank restriction would be federal reserve banks, and these are not the kind of banks we use.

Get some training in lethal threat management. Understand that anyone that carries a gun will be held to a higher standard. Know and understand the law covering the use of lethal force. Understand the cost involved in defending yourself in a civil wrongful death suit. Understand that you can be clean in criminal court and still be sued. Lots of responsibility goes with carrying a gun. GLV
 

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to jiminca; i noticed you asked about a good
gunbelt. MAVERICK GUNLEATHER in Texas makes
some great belts, especially a ranger style
belt that i wear with all my pants. i think
they can be found at www.mgl.com. the only
bad thing i can say about them is that
they're backlogged. quality,appearance &
functionality, best i've seen & i'm a picky
old goat that works too hard for my money!!
hydrashock 185
 
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