Question of the Day: Does Printing Matter?

I’ve ditched the shoot-me-first-vest (SMFV). It may have had something to do with the teacher who said “That whole fishing thing’s working for you.” Anyway, I’m a T shirt and shorts kinda guy. I’ve been working my way through shirt and holster options. Until my Crossbreed Supertuck and a Mitch Rosen custom holster arrive, I’m favoring the Ruger SP101 3″ in an Inside-the-Waistband Ramora. What you see here is a Glock 30 in an Outside-the-Waistband Galco Speed Scabbard. I usually wear an untucked Charlie Sheen-style loose-fitting short sleeve dress shirt, but I wanted to make a point: what difference does printing make? You can’t be arrested for it; the gun’s still concealed. The average onlooker is completely oblivious (especially in Rhode Island). So what else do you have to worry about? Bad guys? Cops? For me, OWB is more comfortable and faster. Why not?

comments

  1. avatar Blake says:

    Robert, I have one of these: http://www.ttgunleather.com/catalog/i72.html for my full size 1911. I’m 6’3″ 175 and printing isn’t a problem. My 1911 is my main carry gun and no one ever knows I’ve got the weapon unless I bend over and they see the grip.

  2. avatar 2Wheels says:

    I don’t freak out about it. Most people don’t seem to notice if I’m open carrying, how many people will notice if I’m printing a little bit? Methinks not a lot… To the best of my knowledge, I’ve never been “made” while concealing.

  3. avatar CUJO THE DOG OF WAR says:

    I don’t know why it is, my theory is from years of being a cop and being used to always looking around to check my 6 and everything else, but I always draw the attention of store security. Maybe it is because I’m a big guy too, or the fact that Russell Crowe is lucky enough to look like my twin-seriously. I don’t want to print and draw more attention to me and have some fresh from the academy cop rush in and treat me like an active shooter. Besides, according to MikeB -3200, I live in a stunted, backward state (see SC tax free gun holiday post). This is why I usually use a good pocket holster or being a daredevil by nature, wear a “go ahead and F with me first” vest. I have found out that the manner of dress makes a diff if I print more so, if I’m in biker regalia, sleeveless tee/tattoos showing/bandanna on the head/leather vest, that I’m seen as an outlaw biker and followed all over the store. I try and avoid that now, as I realized the risk of being seen as a rival gang member. SC also has a provision that having your ammo or weapon show while carrying concealed is a violation and I don’t want to argue semantics with a jumpy cop.

  4. avatar JOE MATAFOME says:

    People are used to seeing all kinds of different cell phones on someone’s hip (especially in Rhode Island), that they don’t even think it’s a gun. I keep my cell phone just behind my Kimber, and the phone hides any print from the gun.

  5. avatar Brad Kozak says:

    Until I got the N8² Tactical holster, I was carrying mostly OWB, and wearing a button-down dress shirt untucked. That is, until I went into a Home Depot with a friend, to help her find some parts needed to mount her son’s PA system on a Mardi Gras float. As I bent over to get some lag screws, she proclaimed (in a rather loud voice) “OH…YOU’VE GOT A GUN.”

    Every head turned. Thankfully, there weren’t that many people in the immediate vicinity, but I’d estimate that five or six people were instantly aware that I was carrying. Not cool. I straightened up, smiled, and said “I have a permit. It’s no big deal. But it’s probably NOT a good idea to share this with the group.”

    Printing’s one thing. Having your concealment fail (and getting outed by a friend) is another.

    I went back to IWB, as it offers a lot less of a chance that I’ll get ‘made.’ And I think Joe’s right. With all the crap people carry nowadays, as long as they don’t see a barrel, I think you’re good to go.

  6. avatar Sean says:

    +1 on TT gunleather, I’ve never used their Phoenix stuff, but the the stuff made by Tim is top notch

    I think it’s a personal choice, but printing is something to be avoided in my opinion.

    Why draw unnecessary attention? IWB works fine when it’s not too hot & humid.

    1. avatar Blake says:

      I was lucky with my holster selection. My CCW trainer had one and let me borrow it. When a full size 1911 pretty much disappears on someone as thin as I’m, it tends to sell you on the product.

      I IWB as much as possible, even if it’s uncomfortable. Like you, I just prefer not to draw attention.

  7. avatar John Fritz says:

    Mine is a similar wardrobe, cargo shorts and one of the zillion golf shirts I’ve received from various vendors over the years. Print city.

    I do a lot of walking around my shitty burg and surreptitiously watch from time to time to see if anyone glances at the bulge by my right elbow. I don’t think I’ve ever been given a second look. At least not for that reason.

    I watch others too and can’t think a single occasion where I saw anyone else who looked like they were CC. I don’t think very many people do where I live. Not the demographic for it I guess. The folks around here who are carrying a firearm are keeping it very well concealed.

  8. avatar Scott says:

    IMO – The general public is so self absorbed that they do not notice printing, or concealed carry one way or the other.

    My wife and I are currently on vacation in LA. We took the subway last night into Hollywood so we could sit in on the Jimmy Kimmel show. Fun time. While we were waiting for the train their were two young men tattoos showing wearing long sleeve shirts too loose and warm for the weather. Both were clearing printing. My wife 1st asked me why I was moving the 3 of us to the far side of the platform. She then asked why their were 3 officers strategically placing themselves around the 2 young men (then following them onto a train). I was just glad they took the train going to opposite direction.

    My point is that most people don’t notice such things primarily because were socially conditioned to be non violent. So much so that most of us live ‘in white’ and never notice the predators amongst us.

    After I explained to my wife what she missed, she just shook her head. The biggest reason not to print isn’t for the unwary public, its to not alert the predators, LE, and other sheepdogs. YMMV

    1. avatar CUJO THE DOG OF WAR says:

      I couldn’t agree more. More than once I’ve also seen the telltale flash of a revolver’s wooden grip in a pocket. That is why my j frames have friction tape around the grip-nice and dull and not telling on me. I do it whether it’s a wooden or a synthetic grip-to hide the pattern of the round butt.

  9. avatar Ralph says:

    Printing does not matter in Massachusetts. I could duct tape my pistol to my forehead like a freakin’ tiara and nobody would notice, not even the police. I was at the parade in Boston today, walked past a hundred cops who were supposed to be watching for trouble and not checking out the local talent, and did not get made despite a conspicuous bulge behind my hip. The PD and a bunch of SWAT jokers with pistols in thigh-drop holsters (soooo tactical) were also scoping the Back Bay T station and they also saw nothing. I would have attracted more attention if I’d lit a cigarette.

  10. avatar Roy Hill says:

    Printing is not noticed at all by the vast majority of folks.

    Open carry in not legal in Arkansas, but I’ve read lots of accounts from people who can open carry that they don’t get noticed even with a gun on their hip, like 2Wheels earlier in this thread.

    Just to be honest, I don’t think anybody really notices the “shoot me vests” either.

  11. avatar Random Hero says:

    Concealed means concealed… if your “regular” clothes aren’t getting the job done, make an adjustment. A t-shirt over my OWB has never worked for the reasons obvious in the pic. You might technically be legal, but you’re going to get the attention of someone one of these days. Why risk it?

    My wife and I always play spot-the-CCW-guy when we go out… and God, we see some really bad attempts at concealment.

    One of these days I’m going to start sneaking some phone pics… Those folks are usually carrying in White and won’t realize how bad they printed until they see their pic online 😉

  12. avatar AK says:

    Or just open carry. Maybe its different in more liberal areas, but I’ve OCed for over a year now. People don’t even notice that, and even if they do, so what?

    1. avatar Leo Atrox says:

      Try OC in Chicago. 😉

  13. avatar Walrusleather says:

    My wife and I also play spot the cwp. I being a large man with a penchant for Hawaiian overshirts can make about anything (Cz 75b full size) Disappear with ease. She however has had the worst time to find a combination of Firearm and Holster. (looked at gun totin mama and everything similar)

    We are concerned about Printing as I have witnessed goobers and overly paranoid persons calling the police on a concealed but printed IWB firearm in the center of a mans back at the Home Depot.

    Although the new Florida Law seems to decriminalize the unintentional non threatening exposure of your legally carried weapon. We do not want the aggravation.

    my 2 cents

    Walrus

    1. avatar CUJO THE DOG OF WAR says:

      Walrus, there is one device called Thunder Wear. It can hide even a full size auto under a loose shirt and slightly loose pants or jeans. It carries in the groin area, so I would only carry something that is double action or has a safety. I have carried Glocks that way, but very carefully. You can adjust to have the grip over the belt or deep concealment. It’s much better than a belly band.

      1. avatar Walrusleather says:

        Thanks Cujo,,, will look into that as yet another possibility.

  14. avatar V65Magnafan says:

    5’11” 190lbs
    Glock G22
    2 extra magazines
    Crossbreed Supertuck in hot weather with t-Shirt or Golf Shirt
    Galco side-snap OWB when I wear a jacket or hoodie.
    Alessi Bodyguard shoulder rig under jacket or when winter driving
    No one ever notices. Not even non-gun owning relatives.
    In locations where firearms are common. No one cares. In locations where firearms are rare, the possibility does not enter anyone’s mind.

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