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Old 08-23-2011, 10:52   #101
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Originally Posted by Shinesintx View Post
I go a different route for blending in and my thinking (right or wrong) is this:

For summer carry, I have IWB holsters that I place in the small of my back. I carry a G23, G33, and a Kimber Compact. Usually I am wearing a bright Ralph Lauren Polo (untucked), cargo shorts, flip flops, and a visor (yes, a visor). Most people will joke and ask if I just played golf. It used to annoy me, until I realized something. I am not in grey mode, I am in stand out metrosexual mode. Who the heck is gonna make me for a CCW if I am wearing a pink shirt and flip flops? I have a hard time thinking that someone will make me due to the way I dress. Whats the old saying? Hide it in plain sight and no one will see it. As always, this is my two cents. You are welcome to disagree...but I would be really curious as to why.
The risk with being in condition white is that you're more likely to be targeted. Even if you are carrying a gun, there's no guarantee you'll be able to successfully defend yourself in a bad situation. I personally think attitude/demeanor/street smarts are much more important than caliber and gun size considerations for carrying. Remain neutral and avoid being easily pegged into a certain category by cops, criminals, and everyone else all at once. Same with driving - assertive, but not aggressive.
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Old 08-23-2011, 11:33   #102
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Look, I really don't care what y'all wear or how you act.

The purpose of the thread was to address one of the fallacies of CCW: the whole "concealed means concealed" isn't really happening and it actually relies on people's inattention and not your concealment. If you don't care, fine. The thread's not for you, and you can keep doing what you're doing.

OTOH, if you think you might actually want or need to carry concealed, or ditch the target indicators that invite increased scrutiny of you in particular, then that's different, isn't it?
Sam, great thread. with ccw coming to wi this is timely for me. thank you and others for the posts! Brian
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Old 08-23-2011, 11:50   #103
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... My behavior around other people is the same whether carrying or not. ...
Bail, Good marks for politeness.

Raises a point -- some say they care at times and others times they don't care if they are made.

i'm no expert. however it seems to me that if one wants to behave in a manner so as to conceal at times then best to be consistent. need to act the same whether you "care" that day, or you don't care that day, about being made. how else do we make the right habits, habits?
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Old 08-23-2011, 12:08   #104
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...They can see that if they are looking for a target I may not be the one they want to zero in on. And there’s allot of easier ones somewhere else. ...
Question: i was raised near nyc and spent a bunch of time in nyc. I was taught "not to look like a victim" that if I don't look like a victim the bad guys will look for a softer target than me. im 53 so far so good and have always spent some of my time in city environments where something could happen.

how does this blend with grey? is it a problem?
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Old 08-23-2011, 12:16   #105
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Question: i was raised near nyc and spent a bunch of time in nyc. I was taught "not to look like a victim" that if I don't look like a victim the bad guys will look for a softer target than me. im 53 so far so good and have always spent some of my time in city environments where something could happen.

how does this blend with grey? is it a problem?
Not looking like a victim in NYC doesn't mean you look 'hard'. It means being aware of your surroundings so the BG can not surprise you and get the advantage, and looking like it is not worth his time to bother you either because you don't have anything of value, or you might not be worth the trouble or there are easier targets than you.
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Old 08-23-2011, 13:28   #106
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Not looking like a victim in NYC doesn't mean you look 'hard'. It means being aware of your surroundings so the BG can not surprise you and get the advantage, and looking like it is not worth his time to bother you either because you don't have anything of value, or you might not be worth the trouble or there are easier targets than you.
I don't look hard and didn't mean that. Part of it is not looking like an unaware tourist. Part of it is looking like other city folk I suppose. And not looking like an easy target. My walk is healthy and I don't look as old and weak as some my 53 years. I acknowledge the tough guys when they are near me or our eyes meet (usually when working out at a city park or some other city event) and leave it at that -- but keep them in my peripheral vision.
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Old 08-23-2011, 14:53   #107
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Bail, Good marks for politeness.

Raises a point -- some say they care at times and others times they don't care if they are made.

i'm no expert. however it seems to me that if one wants to behave in a manner so as to conceal at times then best to be consistent. need to act the same whether you "care" that day, or you don't care that day, about being made. how else do we make the right habits, habits?
No expert here either, but I'm confident in my concealment habits that I won't be made unless I'm doing something that will expose the weapon, even by those well versed in knowing what to look for. Thats why I pointed out that I behave and dress the same everyday, carrying or not.

I posted in another thread a few days ago or so that whether a person decides to open carry or carry concealed, it needs to be either completely open carried or completely concealed, not half way with either.
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Old 08-23-2011, 17:03   #108
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I'm 56 years old, and have lived and worked in some tough places. I've never witnessed (let alone been victimized by) an armed robbery, or even "much" of a fight.
Normal precautions such as being aware of my surroundings, where my car is parked, etc. seems to have been enough.
I avoid places that are trouble, and take normal precautions (including carrying) when I have no choice but to go to those places.

This is a carry forum, so my assumption is that the people posting here carry. Many of you with multiple weapons, spare mags, knives, and your flashlights
So beyond carrying all the hardware, does it really matter if you smile at a potential "bad guy"? Does giving him "the look" make you any safer, than just being aware of his presence, and having all of the firepower in the world to blow him away if you need to?

I guess I've made the mistake of smiling at people I make eye contact with, and saying "hello" if they are close enough to hear it. That hasn't seemed to hurt.

Regardless of what some people want to think, chances are most of us are going to have perfectly safe lives, and never need to pull our weapons to come to the rescue of the store clerk or bank teller.
I'm not saying robberies and muggings don't happen, just that some of us talk like we live in Somolia or South Africa.

If you need to walk around acting like a tough guy or bad ass, giving people "the look", you've already lost the battle. The "potential" of a threat has scared you into acting in a manner that will affect your interactions with the rest of the human race.
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Old 08-23-2011, 17:43   #109
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Question: i was raised near nyc and spent a bunch of time in nyc. I was taught "not to look like a victim" that if I don't look like a victim the bad guys will look for a softer target than me. im 53 so far so good and have always spent some of my time in city environments where something could happen.

how does this blend with grey? is it a problem?
If you think of it as a scale, it's easier to understand. A 1 is Condition White. It screams Rob Me to any crook paying attention. A 10 is a guy who looks tough, aware of his surroundings, and willing to do what it takes to protect himself. Both of here get you noticed hustling as much, the difference is in how people react. What you're going for is a five. It presents the image of someone not worth bothering with, up to and including not bothering to think about them. This is Grey. The thing to remember is that this is a relative scale. What looks like a 10 when surrounded by hippies may look like a 1 when surrounded by bikers. Elsewhere it may be a perfect five.

Some things are going to always push your number away from that middle but do so to a lesser extent than the other options or have other benefits. Knowing where people and things are around you, for example, has obvious tactical benefits, but if everyone around you is deep in the white, just being able to navigate around people is going to make you more interesting.

Tailor your clothes and your actions to match the human background and you blend into it.

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Old 08-23-2011, 17:48   #110
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In my case, the local Chief and his dept are known to have a certain "attitude" towards permit holders. I have dealt with some in the department who are downright hostile. (These dealings being online, not face to face.)
You really need to work on concealing if they're figuring you're carrying on the internet without even having to see you....

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Old 08-23-2011, 17:59   #111
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Best title I could come up with. We might also go with "Being the Gray Man". This musing is prompted by an exchange in another thread that went like this:



The fact is that most people's version of "concealed means concealed" relies heavily on others' lack of perception and on people generally being lost in their own little bubble. It relies far too heavily on that, IMO. Once you get into a world where someone's actually looking for concealed weapons, the average guy's odds of being "made" go up. And once you get into a situation where the attention is actually on you specifically, the odds skyrocket. Yeah, yeah, that doesn't happen much. I'm writing about when it *does*.

"Being Gray" means fading into the background of where you're moving. There is no one formula for this, because what works in a law office doesn't work in a garage. The one exception to this is the guy who dresses and carries himself like a janitor. That level of service worker can move about most anywhere and be like everyone else, or be overlooked by everyone else. Let me start by talking about what *isn't* gray.
  • Gun gear isn't grey. This means exposed Wilderness belts, cute little raven pins on your hat, as well as the more obvious Tshirts.
  • Political wear isn't grey. It invites attention from both people who share the advertised views and people who oppose the advertised views. In the case of 3per, Gasden or similar advertisements, it invites LE scrutiny of your hands and waistband. Sorry, guys. I'm writing about the world as it is, not as some would wish it.
  • Cover garments beyond an untucked polo or workshirt aren't grey in warm weather. The number of people wearing vests (or worse, photographer's vests) compared to the number of people who use them to cover a gun? C'mon.
  • 5-11s aren't gray (I'm alternating spellings because I can ) There are plenty of Colombia or similar cargo pants that are quite popular. 5-11s and clones, though, are cop clothes. Cops look at people who look like them, crooks look at people who look like cops.
  • "Loud" colors aren't gray. Red attracts the eye. Neon attracts the eye. Bright attracts the eye. Attracting the eye invites being remembered, being scrutinized, and having your CCW noticed.
  • Pocket clips (folding knives) and pouches aren't grey. The crook is looking for an easy score. Seeing the clip from a knife makes him look harder before he looks away. The cop on "scan" is looking for weapons, and seeing an indicator of one he'll look for others. Belt pouches mean electronics mean stuff to steal to the crook. Seeing one piece of temptation, he's ready to look for others.
  • Posture and actions different from the crowd isn't grey. Stay to the right, go with the flow, walk, don't run. Being alert and attentive is good for you. Having your head on a swivel is doing an imitation of a crook looking for witnesses. There's a fine line on that last.

Okay, that's a start. My goal is to discuss things you can do and avoid doing so as to avoid unwanted attention to your person. Specifically, I'm talking about avoiding attention that makes people end up noticing that bulge at your waist. There's lots more, but you can start by going to public places and watching people. Notice how many your attention is drawn to when they do something from that list.
I wink and twirl my hair at every guy who's eyes cross my waist...... Never been made.


Just kidding, don't have much hair. I look average, non-threatening, go about my business without Clint Eastwood squints at everyone. I look around a lot, but discreetly. I pretend I'm sneaking a glance at another attractive woman with Mrs. Cavalry Doc standing next to me. If I'm made, I'm made, hasn't happened that I know of. I have seen several people carrying, almost every day. Most easy to spot are the guys carrying OWB at 3 o'clock. Painfully obvious.


How do I keep from getting arrested. Whether I agree or not, I don't carry into anyplace I could get in trouble for. I tend not to go to those places at all, other than work.

Last edited by Cavalry Doc; 08-23-2011 at 18:01..
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Old 08-23-2011, 19:27   #112
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Years ago I was in a mall and I was looking for a sheriff's deputy as I needed some info on a friend in the department. Took me 5 minutes to find the UC and ask him to get a message to my friend. She later told me that he was not pleased and she asked me what gave him away. He wanted to know how I "made him". Still get a smile over that.
I read through all 3 pages of this thread hoping someone would ask you, but... nothing!

How did you make him???
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Old 08-23-2011, 21:20   #113
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I was out the other day and a guy was looking right at where my weapon was, G27 IWB with an untucked work shirt. I kept watching him and he would look at my waist every few minutes while we were talking. He was a friend who knows I carry so I am not sure if he was just looking to see if he could tell or if I was actually printing or showing. I wasn't worried about it since I take a quick look before I head out the door just to make sure. No way I was showing but it was a little funny to me. If we had been alone I might have said something to him. If it had been a stranger I would have left and gone and made sure I was not printing or showing.
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Old 08-24-2011, 10:57   #114
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Just a reminder, folks, the topic of this thread is how to blend in to your environment so people will not "make you" as someone carrying a firearm.

If you want to talk about "I dont see the big deal if somone can tell if your carrying or not?", here's the new thread about that
http://glocktalk.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1364934.
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Old 08-24-2011, 12:51   #115
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Now that we are back on subject I like to say something. I reread the list of things to avoid it you want to be gray and as much as I agree; I disagree. Some things like a safari vest in the summer are give-a-ways but a web belt or a tee shirt that says glock is stretching the thought. If you go by the list of things that might give you away you are basically taking away a person’s sense of individuality. How many people walk around in hunting gear when not hunting…… pretty common

A clip on pocket knife; I bet half of all pocket knives sold are clip-on. Most if not all my tech friends have one. Who wants to stick their hands in their pockets when they are dirty? Does this mean he is packing or to scan him because he is packing a gun? It’s a slight thought to some and if you ask criminals I doubt if they agree with this type of reasoning.

IMO if you are into something you notice things that others don’t. Considering that only 10% of the population can carry CCW that means that 90% of people walking around with web belts, camo pants, cargo pants and pocket knives with clips on them are just being who they are…..people.

it’s good to be grey but I wonder if it is worth one’s individuality
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Old 08-24-2011, 13:14   #116
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Now that we are back on subject I like to say something. I reread the list of things to avoid it you want to be gray and as much as I agree; I disagree. Some things like a safari vest in the summer are give-a-ways but a web belt or a tee shirt that says glock is stretching the thought. If you go by the list of things that might give you away you are basically taking away a person’s sense of individuality. How many people walk around in hunting gear when not hunting…… pretty common

A clip on pocket knife; I bet half of all pocket knives sold are clip-on. Most if not all my tech friends have one. Who wants to stick their hands in their pockets when they are dirty? Does this mean he is packing or to scan him because he is packing a gun? It’s a slight thought to some and if you ask criminals I doubt if they agree with this type of reasoning.

IMO if you are into something you notice things that others don’t. Considering that only 10% of the population can carry CCW that means that 90% of people walking around with web belts, camo pants, cargo pants and pocket knives with clips on them are just being who they are…..people.

it’s good to be grey but I wonder if it is worth one’s individuality
I think you're missing the thrust of things.

Grey isn't about not having your gun hanging out, not exactly. It's about what it takes to be able to move in an environment without attracting attention.

Given the level of oblivousness that most people operate in, it's no big deal avoiding their attention. They're directed inward, bee-bopping in their own little bubbles. So we eliminate them from consideration to start with.

So you're left with considering how to appear and act in front of people who are paying attention, who're actually looking at passers-by and not just glossing things over. In this context, those people do notice clips and bulges and cover garments. If we were talking about travelling overseas, we'd be examining things that the typical American tourist wears and does, and how to avoid giving off those vibes in a foreign land. If we were talking about the OSS putting Jedburgh teams into occupied lands, we'd have a different and more stringent list.

Are Wilderness or other rigger's belts common? Maybe they are; it's not a definitive statement that you're armed. But I guarantee you that anytime I see one I do another, more careful, scan of the guy wearing it because he's given me a soft "quack". Knife clips? You bet that criminals notice them. Does any of it matter, does it matter if you're not the perfect chameleon? That's your decision.

And don't worry about your individuality. You're unique and totally different, just like all the other snowflakes.
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Old 08-24-2011, 13:37   #117
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If you think of it as a scale, it's easier to understand. A 1 is Condition White. It screams Rob Me to any crook paying attention. A 10 is a guy who looks tough, aware of his surroundings, and willing to do what it takes to protect himself. Both of here get you noticed hustling as much, the difference is in how people react. What you're going for is a five. It presents the image of someone not worth bothering with, up to and including not bothering to think about them. This is Grey. The thing to remember is that this is a relative scale. What looks like a 10 when surrounded by hippies may look like a 1 when surrounded by bikers. Elsewhere it may be a perfect five.

Some things are going to always push your number away from that middle but do so to a lesser extent than the other options or have other benefits. Knowing where people and things are around you, for example, has obvious tactical benefits, but if everyone around you is deep in the white, just being able to navigate around people is going to make you more interesting.

Tailor your clothes and your actions to match the human background and you blend into it.

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thank you. I will have to learn more about this. so far i have been lucky or effective and can't say which it is. rather be effective through my deliberate actions.

any good links to read about this subject?
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Old 08-24-2011, 13:42   #118
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Oh of course another dead give-a-way is camo clothing whether it be shirt, cargo shorts or full on bdu's. People definitely notice you more with camo of any type on as I have experimented with this on numerous occasions.
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Old 08-24-2011, 13:59   #119
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[*]Pocket clips (folding knives) and pouches aren't grey. The crook is looking for an easy score. Seeing the clip from a knife makes him look harder before he looks away. The cop on "scan" is looking for weapons, and seeing an indicator of one he'll look for others. Belt pouches mean electronics mean stuff to steal to the crook. Seeing one piece of temptation, he's ready to look for others.
This is soooo true. I notice knife clips all the time and immediately start scanning their waste line for a gun. Even people I see on the street, if I want to know if they carry a gun or own a gun I usually look for a knife clip as a sign.
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Old 08-24-2011, 14:06   #120
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If you need to occasionally re-seat your gun or pull up your pants, make sure you do it immediately when you get out of your car instead of waiting until you're out in the open to think about doing it. If you do need to adjust your pants in public, first pull out your phone, "check" it, and put back in its holster or pocket, that way it looks like you pushed down your pants a little putting the phone back up. Even if you just need to adjust one side, use both hands to adjust both sides at the same time. Ditto if you think your shirt is riding up around the holster.
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