Skip to comments.How to spot a concealed handgun
Posted on 02/04/2012 7:20:48 AM PST by marktwain
Self-defense in modern society is about far more than carrying a gun, it's also about developing situational awareness. This means knowing where you are and what's going on around you at all times.
One vital element of situational awareness seldom taught in concealed carry classes is how to spot a concealed handgun. Just as you hope to have the element of surprise if you find yourself in a life-threatening situation, you want to avoid being surprised by an armed attacker.
Based on the experience of Robert T. Gallagher, former NYPD detective, Anti-Robbery Tactical Unit, this detailed illustration, titled Spotting a Hidden Handgun, explains some of the visual cues that reveal when someone is carrying a handgun.
You can also use this information to avoid providing others with the same visual cues which may alert them that you are carrying concealed.
My neighbor has a pocket holster. He carries a .32 in it. Looks like there is a wallet in his pocket.
You couldn’t tell.
I've been eying these too. With a .380, it would be no larger than a wallet.
>> Looks like there is a wallet in his pocket.
OK — so where’s his real wallet?
He said plain clothes officers would watch someone as they neared a uniformed cop and they would change their stride and their "power" arm on the side they carried their gun, as if to shield or protect it....a totally involuntary move that is very very detectable to the trained eye.
Good to know info!
Valuable bit of info. CCWs should study the pictures and train themselves to prevent giving off “tells” that they are carrying, and to spot the clues in others.
I think that’s a bit of a mistake to concentrate on spotting concealed handguns. Like as not, the person carrying is doing so legitimately.
I’ve read that the numero uno survival skill among LEO’s is to know how to spot guys who’ve done time in prison. Armed or not, THEY’re to ones you need to watch out for.
Handy information. I know that I subconsciously protect mine when I have to jog across a street or run up a flight of stairs. I’ll have to be more attentive.
I’d never use a holster that doesn’t guard the trigger. Very bad idea
I carry at the 5 o’clock, IWB Milt Sparks custom holster.
Light jacket, slightly oversized.
Driving is more comfortable than you would guess, but given poor access while seated, I will tuck it in front, leaving holster in back.
Sig P220 is larger than most carry weapons, so I carry at 5 o’’clock to avoid “printing” and maintain easy access.
Except in Bloomberg's NYC where the odds are 1 in 10,000 that the person packing is legal.
When weather permits in southern AZ, I carry under a vest. I use an IWB holster, but wear it outside my pants with my belt tight around it. I can jog comfortably with it that way and feel no need to protect it.
In hot weather...it is darn near impossible to carry without anyone being able to guess. I’m thinking cargo shorts and carrying in a pocket may be as good as it gets.
I've never seen the specific design shown in the picture above, so the fact that it does not cover the slide may be enough to make it legal. One of the catagories of AOW is any firearm modified to disquise it as being readily identified as a firearm.
Yes. pocket holster, J frame, loose cargo pants, shirt out or jacket.
Shoulder holster under jacket? Anyone w/ experience?
Just carry it all the time and it becomes so natural nobody will know.
P-220 is an excellent on / off duty CHL rig.... 45 or 38 super.
I carried same when I was a deputy.
As to this subject I have a rule. No checkered or rubber grips. The clothing tends to creep an cling on such. CHL grips should be smooth.
Also iwb style holsters tend to not print at all if worn properly.
Stay Safe ....
It soon won’t make any difference how you act, based upon the fantasies of the fascist corporatists such as Chertoff lobbying their cronies in Congress, all while profiting from the loss of our rights and privacy.
They will sell their body scanners (paid for by our taxes) to every ‘Authority” and police dept. They will have body scanners on every corner and public place. Not to protect us, but to keep us in line.
Privacy will become a lost concept and the concept of our lives and friends will be owned and copyrighted by Facebook and our genes patented by the biotechs. How do they get to patent something God created?
In my experience, getting the piece in a comfortable, stable position -- and getting very comfortable with it being there -- are primo requirements of concealment. (So, basically, I agree with you...)
Some other cues:
1) An undercover officer sitting in an airport. Seriously, a fishing hat, sunglasses, pastel shirt, Dockers and Hush Puppies loafers, having talked to another officer, he sits down and crosses his legs, showing his ankle holster.
2) An emergency room where a dummy has either shot himself in the genitals and thigh, or buttocks, by shoving his gun into his belt without a holster.
Excellent choice except I prefer shrouded hammer, j frame, 38s +p
That’s a special holster that requires a federal license (an AOW, which you need to learn what it means before possessing one), and is unlike 99% of pocket holsters that are used by most people for their pocket guns, which safely cover the trigger.
Thanks for the link!
Interestingly, most of the cues in the article involve a left-right imbalance.
The solution is to carry two guns symmetrically.
Thanks for posting. Thanks to every poster/educator with first-hand experience. BTTT!
I carried a pocket holstered 32 daily for months at home and away and my wife never realized it. This included discreetly installing in the morning and putting it in a drawer at bedtime.
I have a couple of the leather square pocket holsters. One for my Beretta Tomcat and the other for the PPK....they fit well and withdraw well. They are not for tight jeans, however.
In my pocket, he was so busy looking for my gun, I got his wallet. hehehe
I worked construction in nasty parts of Southern California and had a 25 automatic in my carpenter bags
I like the shrouded hammer, too, but I got a swinging deal on the Taurus so Mrs. Chandler bought it for my birthday. The Blackhawk pocket holster covers the hammer and the gun slides out of my pocket quite smoothly. My daughter likes to fire single action so the hammer is nice to have for that reason. I prefer double action to imitate an actual self defense situation. +P ammo is the way to go most definitely.
Excellent point - especially if your weapon's only safety is ON the trigger.
I carry in a “fanny pack” type quick access holster year round. Seems to work well for non-carriers, but those who carry pick it out right away.
It’s still concealed.
My friends in the know say it looks “gay.”
Main problem I have is the “running in the rain” bit. The rest I’m very careful not to do. Guess I should take off running at night and just see if I lose it since I don’t know if my IWB holds it tight enough.
Good info. I carry using a clip-on holster in the small of my back. Since I have a sway back, it can’t be seen even if I am just wearing a sweatshirt or light jacket. I also often have my husband or mother check for imprinting or bulges.
I refuse to carry my weapon in my purse if I can at all avoid it.
I carry a Glock 19 in a inside the pants holster in the small of my back. I do not keep a round chambered, for safety reasons.
I am aware that I am more confident when I am out walking, because of CCW. Therefore, I try not to issue a challenge to would be thugs by my behavior, by appearing overconfident. For this reason, I think I would be hard to spot.
Of course, I have a CCW permit.
Situational awareness cannot be overemphasized. I have headed off trouble several times by not letting questional persons get behind me, avoiding groups of thugs, etc.
I started being a lot more observant after I was walking to my car in a shopping center lot one day, and was accosted by a clearly deranged man. All I could think of was getting my door unlocked as quickly as possible. I wasn't fast enough to avoid having a large drink of some sort thrown in my face, and all I could think was, "Thank you God, that was the only weapon at his disposal".
Be careful not to overcompensate. Muggers and thieves prefer to attack victims who do not appear confident or alert.
HK P2000 (.40) or HK 45C both in Milt Sparks VM II’s (worth the wait) at 5 o’clock. Loose cargo shorts and wild print shirts untucked in summer. No problems!
Being a woman, I have to agree. I have adopted a visage(when I’m in potentially vulnerable situations) that I’m not to be f***** with and, yes, I can back it up if necessary.
Massad Ayoob, gun writer and policeman told how once he was carrying concealed in a NYC subway.
Suddenly he was slammed up against the subway wall when a transit policewoman spotted the signs of a concealed gun on him.
“Shoulder holster under jacket? Anyone w/ experience?”
Love it. It is my primary carry configuration. No belt issues, sitting issues, being spotted when squatting issues, comfort is excellent.
For summer, I carry at the beltline under an untucked shirt with no problems, but for cooler months I prefer the shoulder holster.
I typically carry a Kimber Ultra Carry II in a Galco Miami Classic in basic black.
J frame with Kramer pocket holster here. Have never tried running with it. Will do that.
Most street thugs carry in the front of their pants, sans holster. You can tell they are carrying many times because they are constantly touching it to keep it stable.
Be very aware of a street hood whose pants fit right.
And as always, once they start doing that head swivel thing, there is going to be trouble. You see them approaching do that, get your roscoe ready.
I don’t know what’s the point in trying so desparately to “hide” your gun? The CCL says “concealed” not invisible and I personally think it is an added benefit to only conceal it to the degree to meet the requirements of the law.
Don’t necessarily relish the thought of putting a 45 through some idiot, rather perfer he “know” I can and be deferred. Having been in a situation or two, I can attest that when some billybadass realizes it could cost him his life, they suddenly discover they have the wrong guy. If that doesn’t deter, that’s why the 45!
I live in Colorado that has had CWP for a long time. We became a shall issue state not long ago but counties were issuing long before that. So far, on average, there is never a notice of concealed weapons. People seems to be concealing just fine.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.