Lessons of longtime CCW...

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Lessons of longtime CCW...

Postby Brian D. » Wed Oct 26, 2005 1:28 pm

Okay gang, I've admitted this before, but not afraid to mention it again: I carried a gun for quite a long time before we got our permit system last year. Not going to spend time defending or kicking myself for that decision, but want to start a thread on the subtle things about concealed carry that some of us with experience "under our belts"--sorry, bad puns are a weakness of mine--wish to pass along. Hope more of my fellow, ahem, former outlaws, will join in with their own tips.

If walking through a crowd, try to keep your gun side bladed away from folks as much as possible. (I'm talking mostly about holster/belt carry, of course.) Perhaps even keep the arm or hand on that side between the crowd and your firearm. Naturally there's only so much of this possible, but it's a good habit to get into.

Try not to bend over in such a way that your hip-carried gun prints against your jacket, etc. Bending at the knees is generally healthier too, so why not? Also good to remember to focus on the folks around you as much as that nickel you dropped, ;) keep your head up as much as possible during those times.

I won't go into much about dealing with "homeless" folks and the like, except to say not to be so focused on one person you forget they could be part of a team! For example, I don't mind telling even the smelliest wino what time it is (like he cares!) but I won't drop my eyes down to the wrist watch, the watch comes up near eye level. And anytime a fits-the-profile stranger approaches as if to start a conversation, I'll risk their ire by taking a look around at my 6:00 from both sides. Sometimes they know what that's all about and get highly offended, but so what?

Now, some of you might say that one needn't be CCWing to do this stuff, but for me it's kind of like the chicken and egg analogy; Which came first: Did carrying make me more situationally aware, or has becoming more aware increased my willingness/desire to carry? I'd suspect the answer is..some of both.

Alright, chime in with yer own small, subtle stuff learned from the world of pistol packin'. And/or nitpick my take on the topic..
Quit worrying, hide your gun well, shut up, and CARRY that handgun!

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Postby SMMAssociates » Wed Oct 26, 2005 3:23 pm

Brian:

Good....

While it's not true that my first carry piece was a matchlock, fixed ammunition was kinda new.... (A friend of mine is alleged to have parked chariots at the Last Supper.)

Rent-a-Cop, and under "Affirmative Defense"....

In the beginning nobody cared. The City PD "undercover" cars had license plates like "YPD-12", and if you couldn't see that, were Ford "Customs" with blackwalls and "beanies". Commissioned LEO's and rentals didn't care what showed unless it was a "deep cover" situation.

(I just missed being able to simply thank the Chief for the badge, btw. Had to do OPOTA....)

Under "Affirmative Defense", I had to be more careful sometimes. Keeping my hand/arm near the gun when it's on my belt seems to be #1.

"Don't advertise" gets #2 - meaning to be very discreet about making sure your jacket/shirt/whatever is covering the gun as you move around - get out of a car, stand up out of a "surround" seat like you'd find in a theater or religious edifice.

You have to avoid getting bumped. It's still going to happen. If it's a stranger, tell 'em its a cellphone or just keep moving. Everybody's got a cellphone, and they vary in size from brick to postage stamp. With family you have to be a little more careful. There are ways of hugging by leading with your off shoulder and using your hand to protect the weapon.

Mostly, it's "think about it", but try to ignore it. The gun becomes jewelry....

(Which leads to another issue - if you're used to carrying a lightweight snubbie and leave it someplace, you may not miss it. A 3# 1911 is harder to miss....)

I've been made exactly twice. Two local PD kids asked a waitress to ask me what that bulge was. I told her it was a pager.... The LEO's and the waitress knew me well enough (and I had a Commission at the time), but I didn't want to make waves across the dining room. (The waitress would have believed "a ferret". Really sweet little girl, but somewhat confused.)

The second time an ex-FBI Agent grabbed me by the gun butt through an overcoat and sport jacket. Jim claimed it was "magic" - the way my pants fit with the extra weight - but it couldn't have been. The five .38's in the cylinder weighed more than the gun.... Truth was that he'd been the instructor in a Firearms course at YSU, and knew if and where I carried. (We could carry there, then.... YSU PD just arrested a student who was invovled in an armed robbery and murder in Akron. He was carrying. I can't.... I don't go there....)

Regards,
Stu.

(Why write a quick note when you can write a novel?)

(Why do those who claim to wish to protect me feel that the best way to do that is to disarm me?)

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Re: Lessons of longtime CCW...

Postby NavyChief » Fri Oct 28, 2005 5:31 pm

Brian D. wrote:Did carrying make me more situationally aware, or has becoming more aware increased my willingness/desire to carry? I'd suspect the answer is..some of both.

Excellent point. And I agree the answer is "Yes."

OK, my 2¢ - carry always. Or at least as always as you can. Think about it. You know where your wallet is. You know it because you subconsciously sense it, and because it's right where it always is. Reaching for it and pulling it out doesn't require any real conscious thought. Your carry piece should be the same. And the only way that'll happen is if you carry always.
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Postby Wayne » Mon Oct 31, 2005 3:00 am

They won't let me carry a gun at work :( Heck I can't even carry a gun in my truck on the parking lot at work :cry:
    This is why I don't carry a gun 95% of the time :x
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Re: Lessons of longtime CCW...

Postby NavyChief » Mon Oct 31, 2005 11:02 am

Wayne -
That's why I qualified it thusly:
NavyChief wrote:Or at least as always as you can.

...sadly, I can't carry at work either. Cryin' shame. I've had most of the small arms/small unit tactics schools the Navy offers plain ol' ordinary squids, but I could end up at Court Martial (worst case) if caught on base with a personally owned firearm... *Sigh*
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Re: Lessons of longtime CCW...

Postby TunnelRat » Mon Oct 31, 2005 12:21 pm

NavyChief wrote:Wayne -
That's why I qualified it thusly:
NavyChief wrote:Or at least as always as you can.

...sadly, I can't carry at work either. Cryin' shame. I've had most of the small arms/small unit tactics schools the Navy offers plain ol' ordinary squids, but I could end up at Court Martial (worst case) if caught on base with a personally owned firearm... *Sigh*

Yeah, when I visit Key West to go sailing with my buddy at the Boca Chica Naval Air Station, I cannot bring in a firearm. I have to trust Uncle Sugar's boys to defend me.

Of course, after Hurricanen (Her-ricane?) Wilma, I'm not sure how much sailing we're going to be able to do. His boat, the 41' Morgan, survived the storm, but his neighbor's boat (ten feet away) was utterly destroyed. It's gonna take a bit of refitting before we can go out onto the blue water again.

I dunno, I think I prefer a little snow along with a personally owned firearm, rather than sand, heat, hurricanes, and personal disarmament. It might be a while before I visit there again.
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Postby JU-87 » Mon Oct 31, 2005 9:46 pm

Great topic Brian D.

I also carried under Ohio's Affirmative defense (OAD)law. I like your opening , but I really don't think of us as outlaws :) . Just as folks who decided our family's and our own lives were worth defending, in court, if need be.
I sure am glad to have a "permit" now, because I felt that I stood a greater chance of being caught by a LEO, than having to use my pistol to defend my family/self.

My Tips:

1) Act like you know where your going, and what your doing.Be confident, don't act like a gun with a person attached! I once shook Sheriff Gerald T. McFall's (Cuyahoga County) hand at a clam bake, while armed under OAD.He-He. 8)

2) Don't tell anyone you carry! Not friends,co-workers, or Aunt Bea.Maybe tell Spouse.(Except possibly highly trusted fellow ccw'ers).

3) When hugging relitives at X-mas party, keep elbows low. Make Aunt Bea hug higher up. She's terrified of guns , and will never know she was 6" away from Mr. Glock. (circa 1991)

4) Use stall in men's room. Always. Might prevent a gun grab from behind when our hands are -ahem-occupied.

5) When 9 year old nephiew runs head-first into shoulder holster carrying(steel) M1911, blame hollow clunking sound on somthing else, quickly get him another piece of cake.(circa 1987)

I was never "made" by LEO, or anyone as far as I know.

I'll try to think of more...
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Postby Brian D. » Tue Nov 01, 2005 1:39 pm

My dear departed granny was the only one who ever "made" me for carrying, many years ago. Took off my coat (coat pocket carry that day), draped it carefully over chair as per longtime custom. Danged if she didn't suddenly see the need to hang that coat in the hall closet. She somehow knew what the extra weight was, perhaps because her father had been a gun toter w-a-y back in the 1920s-'30s, down in rural southern Ky. Apparently making one's own distilled spirits called for the prudent caution of packing a pistol in those days.. :!:

She never ratted me out, either! Her house had been broken into a couple times during my youth, (I discovered one of the burglaries right after it happened, taking in some parcels for her while she was gone for the day, so she knew my pistol-carrying was done in her best interest.)

To this day if I choose jacket pocket carry, (rarely), I either leave the coat on, or keep it in my possession!
Quit worrying, hide your gun well, shut up, and CARRY that handgun!

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Postby TunnelRat » Tue Nov 01, 2005 2:16 pm

Yup, I carried concealed for a dozen years in Ohio and was never made. One time I was visiting a friend who is a hunter. I left my firearm in my heavy overcoat pocket when I came into his house. He was inspired to hang up my coat for me and commented how heavy it was. It never went any further than that.

Another time I was carrying in Kalamazoo, Michigan. I was legal (theoretically), carrying with Pennsylvanian and Maine non-resident licenses. The Michigan AG said that was good enough, but the local prosecutor in Kzoo said it was not.

Anyhow, I got a full tactical stop one time (apparently somebody in a matching truck had hit a stop-and-rob). A coupla depittys, hands on their guns, approached very cautiously from both sides of my truck. They were careful, professional, and relatively thorough in their questioning, but they did not ask me to exit the vehicle, nor did they pat me down. Had they done so, they might have noticed my 5" 1911...
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Postby Hooligan » Tue Nov 01, 2005 4:30 pm

Good info, especially regarding hugging family members and watching yourself in a crowd. I've only been carrying a few months, so its nice to not have to learn a few things the hard way.

Only thing I have to add is that hoodies (hooded sweatshirts) are your friend. Thick and somewhat baggy (and appropriate for college students like me), they allow you to conceal a Desert Eagle if you wanted to.
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Postby Brian D. » Wed Nov 02, 2005 12:58 pm

JU-87's #1 tip--"Act like you know where you are going"--is excellent advice. It also helps a little in keeping beggars and other street types from bugging you quite so often, which is a bonus.

Oh, one more thing which keeps you under most folks' radar, especially LEOs (not that we're doing anything wrong in licensed toting to begin with): A good solid carry rig almost never needs to be adjusted (tugged at) throughout one's day. Go too cheap/flimsy--belt or holster--you'll draw more unwanted attention to yourself, with all the extra jerking and grabbing you'll have to perform on yourself walking down the street.
Quit worrying, hide your gun well, shut up, and CARRY that handgun!

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Postby Brian D. » Fri Nov 04, 2005 11:00 am

By the way, if most of my CCW advice seems geared towards strong side belt carry, that's not meant as a slight towards other methods, such as pocket carry. Obviously different modes are going to entail other considerations. It's just that I don't have nearly the hands-on time with some of them, certainly other folks here do. But a couple things I've gleaned along the way:

With back pocket pants carry, make sure the gun isn't visible whether you're on your feet or sitting. A spouse or buddy is helpful there. Had to advise a friend about the grips of his Chief's Special peeking out not too long ago. Little too much gun for that pocket in his case.

There's a limit to how much gun you can expect to carry in a coat pocket, weightwise. It might draw (unwanted and unneeded) LEO attention if your jacket pulls way down on one side. Yes, you could just throw an equal amount of weight in the other side of the garment to "balance it out" but it's still gonna drape funny! Not to mention get a bit heavy.

With any type of pocket carry, I'd recommend using the appropriate pocket-lining holster. Keeps the gat in place and secure. Also, dedicate that pocket to the gun/holster ONLY. Don't put other stuff in there, even your spare ammo. This kinda means that "pocket carry" can involve two or more pockets, unless you:

1) Carry spare ammo on the belt. Or...
2) Don't bother with spare ammo. (That's not recommended, by me at least!)

More later when it pops into my noggin. Meantime, maybe some longtime toters who regularly use pocket carry can give us some more tips.

[/u]
Quit worrying, hide your gun well, shut up, and CARRY that handgun!

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carrying CCW

Postby Jronjakoh » Fri Nov 04, 2005 10:42 pm

Hey Stu! YPD and YSUPD have both made me a lot of times. I carry on the hip and wear a black vest over it. Heck! if an inch of the holster does't stick out at the bottom and gave me up!!lolGuys were really professional and asked to see my permit.I walk Wick Park every night after 11:30-Midnight.No one else to see it ,get scared and call a cop or run for his life.I was even in the right place at the right time to see Edwards get graffiti'ied.Perp is now in jail. lol Town has a few quacks but from what i can see most of the guys are really obsevative.
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Postby SMMAssociates » Fri Nov 04, 2005 11:12 pm

Jronjakoh:

I think Jack Gocala's got YSUPD whipped into shape. We go back a long way.... (I had a buddy - now deceased - on that department. Yikes - the body count is at least three. I was at YSU when the PD started. Paul Cress and Charlie Young were friends of mine too.)

I don't think I'd be anywhere near Wick Park at night without a gun or two. OTOH, if anybody spotted the gun, they'd think you were a drug dealer and cross the street :D . Quickly....

I don't think I know anybody at YPD anymore. Retired or dead.... Interesting place. Most of the Officers were decent guys, and as education got important, the quality got better. That's when they started realizing how much better the Townships were and....

(YSU and YPD worked out a deal where some Officers were given tuition breaks and free time to take classes at YSU. Pretty hilarious in 1968 or therabouts with all the anti-war and anti-Police stuff going on in colleges. Being a "commuter" school, practically nobody noticed....)

Regards,
Stu.

(Why write a quick note when you can write a novel?)

(Why do those who claim to wish to protect me feel that the best way to do that is to disarm me?)

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Postby ghiapaul » Sat Nov 05, 2005 10:13 pm

Wick Park in the day time isn't that much better a place to be, is it? I took classes with a lot of YPD guys in the early 70s. They had it made, they'd park the cruiser in front of the engineering building, go to class, then go back on the street. I was there at night, so there weren't many anti-police or anti-war there. But YSU did take care of those guys.
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