Why Would Someone Open Carry A Sub-Compact Pistol?

M&P Shield owb open carry

Courtesy Crossbreed Holsters

Michael in GA asked the following in the comment section:

Is it counterintuitive to open carry a sub compact pistol? I was at a restaurant for my wife’s birthday with her and her mother. A man one table over stood up and had a Smith & Wesson M&P9 Shield on his hip.

I nudged my wife and gestured with my eyes toward the gun. She looked and said, “That’s great!” I said no it isn’t.

If you are going to open carry, carry a full-size.The Shield is designed for concealment. By open carrying it, you have just removed the most important advantage of a sub compact and ignored all the advantages of a full-size gun.

She said I shouldn’t criticize a fellow gun carrier. My point is, once you join the armed citizenry, why not do what makes the most sense? Why limit capacity, accuracy, reliability, power for the ability to conceal and then open carry?

I would rather conceal a full-size than open carry a sub-compact.

A couple of reasons come immediately to mind.

Michael says he’d rather conceal a full-size than open carry a subcompact, but that’s hardly a universally held viewpoint. If you’re going to own just one pistol, lots of gun owners would rather have one they can effectively conceal when open carry isn’t an option.

For a lot of people, a full-size M&P, even under a cover garment is about as discreet as Sherman marching through, well, Georgia.

Or maybe the carrier has small hands and doesn’t feel as comfortable with a full-size pistol, or shoot them as well as they do a smaller gun.

But we’re sure you can come up with some reasons yourself. Let Michael know your thoughts in the comments below.

comments

  1. avatar Jeremy says:

    Small gun is better than no gun

    1. avatar Garrison Hall says:

      Yep. And the ultimate goal is for open carry to once-again be seen as routine social behavior and not a political statement. Maybe open carry was more comfortable than concealed. Open carry what you want.

      1. avatar Rad Man says:

        Carry what’s comfortable and you shoot the best. OWB is awesomely comfortable with a tucked in shirt and in the summer I’d rather not wear much more than a T shirt. Open carry would be ideal but it’s not allowed here in the birthplace of liberty, Massachusetts. I’d probably go with a Glock 30S in a Mitch Rosen.

        1. avatar Warlocc says:

          Open carry isn’t illegal in MA. I do it all the time.

        2. avatar David in MA says:

          If you have a (unconstitutional) license to carry, you can carry it open or concealed in MA.

        3. avatar Rick the Bear says:

          Rad Man: Sorry for your troubles. Those “problems” were a chief reason why I moved north.

          Warlocc: where in MA do _you_ live. Back east, the only open carriers I saw in public had badges, too.

          David in MA: …and chance the consequences, my friend. I would expect a close encounter with the ground and then a revocation of the un-Constitutional permit which, as you well know, is granted at the whim of the licensing authority.

        4. avatar The Crimson Pirate says:

          Rick, 10-15 years ago they said the same stuff about OC in PA. We did it and had very few issues. Where we did have issues we made cops and municipalities aware of law. I’m not going to say a problem is impossible, but it should be minor and I can refer anyone hassled for OC in PA to 3 different lawyers who would be happy to represent them.

          If the MA guys need to break a little ice to stop the cops from breaking the law then someone has to do it. A right not exercised is a right lost.

        5. avatar Warlocc says:

          Southeastern MA. Close-ish to Cape Cod.

          I might hesitate to get on the train and go into Boston with my full size USP hanging out, but in my town and all the neighboring ones, it doesn’t even get a second glance.

        6. avatar Rick the Bear says:

          Wow. People must be more relaxed down there than where I lived.

        7. avatar Rick the Bear says:

          The Crimson Pirate:

          Other than in Phiily (and maybe Harrisburg – never been there), I view PA much more “red” than Royal blue MA. I remember a video by a guy OC-ing in Philly getting seriously hassled by PPD. It made me very nervous to even try it in MA where, again, LTCs are “may issue” and therefore revocable at the whim of the licensing authority. There is now an avenue to challenge a denial or revocation, but that’s only 2 or 3 years old.

        8. avatar John in Ohio says:

          “If the MA guys need to break a little ice to stop the cops from breaking the law then someone has to do it.”

          Exactly. Unfortunately, this is how it works.

      2. avatar supergun says:

        It is really no one’s business if you open carry a large gun or small gun. A gun is a gun. What makes a compact gun definition non-open carry. I like carrying a M&P 45 shield open and covered.

        1. avatar Charles O. Slavens says:

          If you open carry you have made yourself a target. In addition a felon immediately knows what he’s up against. Makes no sense to me.

        2. avatar LazrBeam says:

          Yeah, here in Alabama it’s legal to open carry yet I choose concealed carry. If a bad guy is around and decides to go wacko I’ve always felt that open carry is like a billboard saying Shoot Me First.

        3. avatar Someone says:

          It works both ways. If you don’t open carry, the human predator will consider you defenseless like every other person and therefore a possible prey. Advertising your ability to defend yourself may convince the predator to look elsewhere.

        4. avatar John in Ohio says:

          “If you open carry you have made yourself a target. In addition a felon immediately knows what he’s up against. Makes no sense to me.”

          You are pontificating about it whilst I do it every day. I live in an actual hood and I spend a lot of time in other hoods. I am not a target and, yes, a CRIMINAL knows exactly what he or she is up against with me so they pick a softer target. Every time I have verbalized that I was considering a plastic pistol for my hip or concealing it, local less-than-savory acquaintances tell me emphatically not to do that as the stainless 1911 is an excellent deterrent. (My AR15 pistol is a better one but it’s a PITA so I don’t carry it often.) I’ve met new acquaintances in the hoods and some have volunteered that “Nobody will mess with you as long as you have that 1911 in the open.”

          The point is that, generally, unless the criminal is completely insane (temporarily, chronically, or drug induced), he or she is not going to choose a much harder target when there are plenty of softer ones available. I am older and in poor health. If I concealed, I might look like a softer target and wouldn’t have much choice but to shoot it out if shit went wonky. You can’t make sense of it because you don’t have experience doing it. I do and can tell you that most of this speculation about the negatives of open carry are pure rubbish.

        5. avatar John in Ohio says:

          “If a bad guy is around and decides to go wacko I’ve always felt that open carry is like a billboard saying Shoot Me First.”

          If they aren’t a wacko, which many criminals aren’t completely, they might go after you as a softer target first. If the criminal has a brain cell working, they aren’t going to choose the well armed, situationally aware, man first. IMHO, a good mixture of open and concealed carry in an area works best. The open carriers remind the population that people are indeed armed while the concealed carriers keep everyone guessing who else might be armed.

          I spend a good amount of time with criminals. Most of them I’ve dealt with would steer clear of an openly armed man who appears aware of his surroundings.

        6. avatar Salty says:

          Exxxxxaaaactly, my mom is like 20 hours away and doesn’t tell me what to do, let alone some keyboard kommando on the internets.

          That being said, the shield (2 of them) is my answer to wanting a sig 365, but I am unwilling to be a part of their game (release great spec’d Product, but flub the reliability , consumer confidence aspect).

          Sooooo, two shields is 16rds. And then you also have a back up gun while your at it. Perfection!!

        7. avatar John in Ohio says:

          Just a few hours ago, my son and I were walking a friend home through a dark stretch of our common alley (he was suffering bad symptoms of earlier sun poisoning and did not want to go to hospital). One guy stepped out from behind a building, checked us out a little — it was possibly too dark to see our sidearms, then walked down the alley the way we would have to return. On the way back, that guy and two others stepped out from between other buildings right in our path. My son walked ahead to create two targets for them instead of one group of two people. He backs me up and I take the lead in situations. As we got into the light, the one guy said something about “Oh, hey man, you’re that guy who always carries that gun. Your’e alright.” They moved to one side of the alley and I returned a casual greeting and on home we went. I am pretty sure they were looking for people to rob on the alley tonight. If I were concealed and he didn’t recognize me (I have more time to spend walking around the hoods than my son), we might have had to do some unfortunate defensive shooting. Thank the good Lord we did not.

    2. avatar Gadsden Flag says:

      Who would want to open carry any handgun? Even if it’s legal. Unless you’re in the woods. I don’t anyone to know I’m armed. Until it’s too late.

      1. avatar Jim Perry says:

        I open carry most of the time. Legal, easier, and I don’t have to wear a photographer vest and look like indiana jones.

        Seriously – I see your argument, however, I hold to the US-Soviet doctrine of making sure the other sides knows I have nukes.

        1. avatar Art out West says:

          A pocket gun doesn’t require the photographer vest. I like an AirWeight .38 or a micro .380 for pocket carry. Even a small 9 can work.

        2. avatar Toni Lipham says:

          I CC a sub-compact XD9 Mod 2 in a StealthGear Mini IWB. Very comfortable and doesn’t sweat. AL is an OC state, but I prefer not to advertise it. No purse carry for this gal!

      2. avatar HellBelly says:

        Because we live in America and we can do whatever we goddamn well please.

        1. avatar Gadsden Flag says:

          HellBilly, I think open carry should be legal in all fifty states. I just don’t think it’s very smart most of the time in most places.

        2. avatar Gadsden Flag says:

          And if you think living in the United States (as opposed to America, after all, everyone in North and South America lives in America) you can do what you want I have a few suggestions. Walk down the street naked. Rob a bank. Walk out out on a check. Punch a stranger in the nose. I could go on, but… See how that works out for you.

        3. avatar Knute(ken) says:

          Hellbilly:
          I think what you actually meant to say was:
          “In the US of A we have the right to do whatever the hell we please….. so long as we do not violate everyone else’s rights to also do as THEY please”
          You just forgot to include the second half, am I correct?

        4. avatar HellBilly says:

          Yes that was my point. I’m just tired of all the closet nanny staters that claim to be on our side but are ready to tread on us too when we don’t fit their particular viewpoint. Case in point, the constant nit picking about who carries what and how they carry. Generally speaking, if someone’s carrying, theyre probably an ally. Why bash them.

      3. avatar John in Ohio says:

        Deterrent value and to spread the gospel of an armed people.

        It’s my religion and I do it every day.

    3. avatar SmallNuts says:

      Maybe he is compensating for having such a large penis.

      1. avatar Geoff "I'm getting too old for this shit" PR says:

        That’s *exactly* what I told a woman who tried the “You’re compensating” line on me (in not so many words).

        The next day, I showed her a pic of my tiny NAA mini-revolver in my hand and pointed out my longest finger was the same size as it was.

        She stuttered, stammered, turned the cutest shade of bright red and walked away.

        I was laughing the rest of the day and a made a point to give her my biggest smile every time I saw her after that… 😉

    4. avatar Paul says:

      Maybe the local sheriff refuses to sign off on carry permits and this is all he owns? Maybe he cares more for comfort than your mentioned advantages? And at least he is carrying and bringing awareness to the sheeple who don’t even know this is legal to do.

  2. avatar Mr. Savage says:

    My wife is 4’11”, has permit, and occasionally open carry her xds, that IS full size to her, my lcr is too big for her.

    1. avatar Specialist38 says:

      She tiny.

  3. avatar General Zod says:

    Carry what you like how you like. And let others do the same.

    1. avatar GunnyGene says:

      Precisely. There shouldn’t be any social pressure or legal pressure that restricts or otherwise inhibits someone from carrying or not carrying a firearm however, wherever, or whenever they want. And it used to be that way. Then certain people and organizations ( private as well as governmental) decided they knew what was best for everyone else. Thus began the gutting of our unalienable right to keep and bear arms.

    2. avatar CZ Rider says:

      Also KNEEL

      1. avatar General Zod says:

        Well, that goes without saying.

    3. avatar Mike says:

      I would love to but unfortunately that wouldn’t go over too well in my state and city I live in,Rochester New York

    4. And do not share an opinion on the matter?

  4. avatar Marty says:

    The only reason I carry a 9mm Shield is its weight. For decades I always carried my full size autos in a shoulder holster, opposite the weapon I had two spare mags. Do to a neck problem, I can no longer carry in the shoulder holster. I’m progressing and feel I’ll be able to carry my 226 again, but only in an OSB holster.

    1. avatar Joel says:

      Weight was my first thought as well. Followed by beware the man with one gun. The shield is a great ‘one gun’.

      1. It is a great gun. But there are obviously better guns. And by better, I mean more accurate, more power, more capacity, and full size grip which is easier to control during recoil.
        I’m not addressing gear. I am discussing mindset.

    2. avatar UncleRon says:

      When I open carry it’s usually my P229 or P239. Both are .40 cal. When I carry concealed it’s almost always my P365 or my P938, both being 9mm. And when I do pocket carry it’s my P238. I’m from Minnesota and can do both, open or concealed. I would say that I carry IWB 90% of the time.

  5. avatar CZ Rider says:

    Maybe it’s all you have. Maybe it’s what you’re best with. Maybe they want comfort and minimal sticky-outey-ness. I’d probably EDC my G26 openly, because it’s not a big heavy annoyance on my hip, I’m most practiced with it, and I can have 12+1 ready to go with a 21rd reload in my pocket. I don’t see where the subcompact thing is an issue there.

    1. avatar Andrew Lias says:

      The G26 is probably an interesting side point in this discussion. It really flexes a lot of places. If I own a Glock that I choose (e.g. I don’t get a P80 or a good deal) it would be a 26 with little doubt.

      1. avatar LKB says:

        +1. My EDC for years has been a Gen 3 G26 (with some aftermarket modifications) in a DeSantis Nemesis pocket holster, with a G17 mag + G26 mag adaptor in the weak side pocket. When I do a training class (or if some reason I need to OC it), I run it in a Serpa with G17 mags + mag adaptors.

        Eminently concealable, but with all the capacity of a full size piece if needed. And it always, always, always goes bang when it needs to.

    2. This “it’s all you have” argument doesn’t make sense when it is so easy to get another gun.

      1. avatar MB says:

        @Michael in GA “when it is so easy to get another gun.” I guess you have never been short of cash, or lived in a state where they only allow a limited number of guns on your permit(Cali), or had to jump thru hoops to even get your permit (NY,NJ,Mass,etc…. I am fortunate enough to live in a state where gun rights and property rights matter, no so much in other parts of the country. So just a word of advise, it’s none of your dam business, unless he’s pointing it at you. Most guys on this forum would be pleased to see another person with a gun in the building in case something stupid happened…

  6. avatar Mitchell says:

    I’m 5’10 and open carried my lcp 1 many times due to not having a CCW here in Ohio. I felt that walking on a hiking trail at least an exposed gun no one would bother me and I was right even the park rangers didn’t care much unless I was at a park close to homes. But an 8 mile trail with hardly any cell reception is not ideal to need help if someone is trying to hurt you or anyone else when help could be 2hrs at least away in deep woodlands.

  7. avatar jwm says:

    Might be only one pistol is all he can afford or all he wants. The smaller pistol is easier to conceal and can still be worn open.

    I know and have known lots of folks that only own one gun. The majority of these have been women that simply want a gun in case of. But a fair number of them have been men.

    1. avatar Southern Cross says:

      Perhaps smaller and lighter pistols are more comfortable to carry?

      The same reason hunters like ultra-light and featherweight rifles. They are carried far more often than they are used.

  8. avatar Tony Massucci says:

    He might only have 1 gun. By open carrying it, as small as a Shield is, may still deter a possible threat. We don’t know his financial situation or budget. He may have left the house in a hurry & grabbed the first gun in his safe. We just don’t know & should not question his choice. As a prior statement says, A small gun better than No gun at all.

  9. avatar Jay in Florida says:

    I carry a sub compact. But with 15 rounds. A PPQ-SC. 10 rounds if I want a shorter grip to concel. Personally I wouldnt carry a 6 or 7 round semi. Id carry a J or K frame. Now as far as the guy in the restaurant. Maybe thats all the gun he can afford. And one should mind their own business.

    1. avatar TommyJay says:

      It’s 8 or 9 rounds for the Shield, if you do the +1. That’s a decent boost over the six gun.

    2. You guys act like I confronted the man.
      I did mind my own business. It is part of carrying to weigh the options and try to improve survivability odds in the event you have to use lethal force.
      A full size polymer handgun is lightweight. It has every advantage over a sub compact other than concealment.
      My point is to optimize effectiveness through logic and reasoning. Not to bash someone’s carry choice.
      I didn’t call the guy a dumb ass. I just posed the question, is it counterintuitive.

  10. avatar Thinker1 says:

    Who put you in charge of the other guy?

    1. avatar Knute(ken) says:

      I don’t read anything at all in this item that insinuates the author wanting to be “in charge of” what the guy wants to carry. What I do perceive is a request for help in understanding why someone might make such an unusual choice.
      Questioning a thing is quite different than demanding to be put in charge of said thing.
      EXAMPLES:
      1) “Why in the world would someone”… “Xthing”; equals the questioning of “Xthing”
      2) “Why would someone be allowed to”… “Xthing”; equals the desire to be in charge of “Xthing”.
      Also remember that the mere presence of a question mark(?) does not necessarily make something a question.
      EXAMPLE:
      “When is that one going to stop beating his wife?” Not really a question, despite the “?”.
      More of a sly, underhanded, attempt to insinuate that idea into somebodies head that that one beats his wife, while retaining the deniability of always being able to excuse the horrid behavior by just saying; “I never said he beats his wife… I was just asking”.
      NO, that’s not asking, it’s insinuating. Learning about these subtle distinctions in language is extremely important, because it happens to be the most important tool that politicians use to manipulate the public.
      The good news is, the moment one realizes that someone can manipulate your thoughts with language, it ceases to work on that one.

  11. avatar Tony Massucci says:

    Since the hun is a S & W, this guy could be Jerry Michulek . If so, even as small gun is all Jerry would need.

    1. avatar ‘liljoe says:

      Yes but the mugger would have to be at least 100 yards away.

      Pop quiz, Jerry vs Chuck Norris… who wins?

      1. avatar Rad Man says:

        With a gun? Jerry, all day every day.

        1. avatar Dbag says:

          Chuck would command the bullets to turn around and hit Jerry.

          And the bullets would obey. ‘Cause it’s Chuck Norris.

        2. avatar Rad Man says:

          I can’t argue with that Dbag.

  12. avatar 🙂 says:

    My experience is a lot of people that carry concealed don’t train from concealment which puts them at a disadvantage when seconds count. Hell in my experience quite a bit of folks that carry don’t train from a holster. Developing muscle memory and good fundamentals is essential to success in a real world senerio. Having said that some would most likely be more successful open carrying. They don’t have to move clothing out of the way to get to their carry gun. Of all of this says nothing of the fact that an open carry gun is better than no gun at all. As long as the person carrying is comfortable with open carry and of course are not doing it for the look at me aspect of it I say more power to them. When the rubber meets the road the individual is the one who is going to have to either find their own success or demise. Whatever it takes for the bad guy to lose is all that matters.

  13. avatar Marcus says:

    It really doesn’t make sense unless it’s your only gun, and then why let someone bad know you’re armed, or if it’s really a full size for you, with the same issue as stated. I could also see open carrying for political reasons but why open carry unless you absolutely have too, the element of surprise is always the biggest advantage in any scenario.

    1. avatar Jon says:

      “element of surprise is always the biggest advantage in any scenario”

      The fight avoiding you is the best advantage in any scenario. That is the prime advantage of open carry over concealed carry.

  14. avatar Viejo Torro says:

    I have a serious shoulder injury that limits my mobility. Drawing a snubby or compact pistol is difficult but two more inches of barrel makes it impossible.

    1. Train with your other hand. Or use a drop holster. Remember, we are talking about open carry.Other than that, you have given the most reasonable argument.

  15. avatar Mark N. says:

    Ever try to quick draw a 7 1/2″ gun? Sure it is doable, but there was a reason Colt started making them as short as 4 3/4″.

    1. avatar uncommon_sense says:

      Mark N.,

      Good point: long barrels absolutely increase presentation difficulty and time.

    2. avatar tdiinva says:

      All the time. I do it just as quickly as I do a subcompact. And I have a more solid grip as well which make the first shot and follow more accurate.

      1. avatar uncommon_sense says:

        tdiinva,

        I interpreted Mark N.’s post as talking about barrel length, not the overall length of the entire handgun.

        (Mark N.’s example of Colt revolvers strongly implies that he was talking about barrel length, not overall length.)

        1. avatar tdiinva says:

          That was my first interpretation but on second reading he didn’t say barrel, he said gun and the context of the article I didn’t think a hogleg fit into the discussion. But if that is what meant I withdraw the comment.

    3. What makes a full size start at 7.5″?

  16. avatar HellBelly says:

    Why do you care so much? Maybe you should mind your own buisness instead of behaving like a nosey liberal. Jackasses like you are only hurting gun rights by increasing an already divided force.

    1. And you hurt the internet with comments like that.
      I don’t think your definition of “mind your own business” remotely resembles my understanding of the meaning.

  17. avatar Rocketman says:

    Here’s a thought. What if the man had TWO guns on him? The Shield in open carry and another that was concealed. I can see it now, the man is walking along when a mugger comes up to him and sticks a gun in his face. The mugger reaches down and takes the mans gun out of his holster. “Now give me all your money” he announces, confident that he has all the guns. As soon as the mugger gets distracted, boy is he in for a surprise.

    1. avatar Knute(ken) says:

      Wouldn’t the look on that muggers face be priceless when the supposed victim’s hand comes out of his pocket with an LCP instead of a wallet?
      A picture of that face = priceless. 🙂

      1. avatar Dan in Detroit says:

        If you haven’t seen it, it’s the look of confusion and sudden wisdom battling for control. And it is pretty funny, much MUCH later. Not so funny at the time though.

        1. avatar Knute(ken) says:

          I’d describe such looks as a combination of; surprise, confusion, shock, awe, and hatred, all rolled up into one big ball of fear.
          No, I’ve never seen this exact thing, but some pretty close. A situation where a certain one’s plans, that he was 100% certain of, goes completely south, and in that instant, that one realizes just how stupid of a fuck up he really is.
          Then comes fleeing, because he’s only a really frightened 2 year old at that moment.
          Too bad the lesson seldom lasts. Most prefer to sweep that under the rug and push their chest way out and brag about how the other guy ran cause they’re so tough. Only after it’s over and done with OFC, and they can push the fear down for a bit.
          It takes a lot of posturing for these ones to push the fearful two year old that they really are back down under the facade that they cover their cowardice up with.
          A Winston Churchill quote comes to mind here:
          “Most people, at least once in their lives, will come face to face with the truth. Most will pick themselves up, dust themselves off, and continue on with their day as if nothing had happened.”

    2. avatar strych9 says:

      If Plan A is to get disarmed so you can deploy your BUG you… well, a better plan isn’t in the cards because Gecko45 is better at planning than you by a rather large margin.

  18. avatar Jonathan-Houston says:

    There could be a million reasons why he OCs a subcompact. This one happened to be a 9 mm, but many subcompacts are .380 ACP. One might open carry for the quick presentation benefit, but prefer the .380 because it looks less threatening and scary to onlookers or potential jurors, if it cane to that. They might consider .380 ACP to be less lethal than 9mm or larger cailbers. Maybe their self-defense strategy calls for wounding, rather than killing, to stop the threat. I’m not here to debate the merits of that strategy, but it is at least plausible.

    Or maybe this guy likes open carrying, again, for ease of presentation, but must leave his self defense sidearm in his vehicle often. Maybe he only has a small space in which to store his sidearm in that vehicle. Again, vehicle storage is not the point of the discussion; just another possible rationale behind this guy’s choice.

    Who knows? I wouldn’t dog the guy on the Internet over it. I might have struck up a conversation and asked him, though, if the opportunity presented itself and I cared (which I don’t).

    1. Could be, however I believe this has never crossed an anti gunner’s mind:
      “Yikes! He has a gun!…Oh wait…it’s okay. It has a 2.5″ barrel instead of a 4.9″. Thank God”

  19. avatar S R says:

    I feel offended and triggered. I *sometimes* open carry my G26 with a G26 mag in the pistol and an unspecified number of G17 spare mags. G26 is my favorite pistol, wherever I go it goes (except bars and courthouses). Whoever doesn’t like it can $&@?!

    1. I have $&@?! And probably will again.

  20. avatar uncommon_sense says:

    There are three advantages to open carry:
    (1) Deterrence (as commenter Tony stated above)
    (2) Faster and more reliable presentation
    (3) Firearms normalization to the masses

    Those are compelling reasons to carry an openly visible handgun.

    At the same time, many people only have one self-defense handgun for everyday carry and want to ensure that they can successfully conceal that one handgun at locations that will eject people who carry an openly visible handgun. That usually dictates a compact or sub-compact platform.

    Thus a compact handgun covers both bases.

    In other words that person’s choice of handgun was almost certainly a compromise between various competing factors — as is the case with EVERY choice of firearm for EVERY application.

    1. avatar uncommon_sense says:

      Note about EVERY firearm choice being a compromise:

      Handguns are significantly less capable of stopping attackers than rifles. Nevertheless, we carry handguns because they are easier to carry or because laws prevent carrying rifles. That is a compromise.

      And carrying rifles is even a compromise. Do you carry a bolt-action rifle chambered in .243 Winchester with a 24-inch thin-profile barrel for deer hunting? Why not a 20-inch barrel? Why not a bull barrel? Why not a semi-auto? Why not chambered in .300 Win Mag.? As you can see, even that choice was a compromise between weight, compactness, cost, accuracy, range, recoil, and who knows what else.

    2. avatar Five says:

      You forgot #4, comfort. My OWB is much more comfortable than my IWB holster. Not that my IWB is uncomfortable, just that the OWB is more comfortable.

    3. I agree. There are many compromises. I just try to mitigate as many as possible.

  21. avatar Mack The Knife says:

    You have to have a second person to load your bazooka and its hard to maneuver in a restaurant with it slung over your shoulder.

    1. avatar jwm says:

      So, mack. You’re a proggie troll that doesn’t like guns. I bet you support all sorts of ‘common sense’ gun laws. I’ll bet you even support red flag laws? And yet you just made a veiled threat to use an explosive weapon against a restuarant full of innocent victims.

      Now if I was the type to follow proggie inspired logic I would be contacting authorities to check out your statement in 3…2…1….

      1. avatar Geoff "I'm getting too old for this shit" PR says:

        Poor ‘Mack’.

        He wants a gun so badly, but his little ‘Progressive’ buddies won’t let him, so he vents his anger at himself here… 🙂

      2. avatar Viejo Torro says:

        Jwm the guy made a joke about the bazooka and you call him a progie troll. What is your problem? This is not much different from the bonehead’s who call every revolver owner a Fudd

        1. avatar jwm says:

          Viejo. mack only shows up to make comments, covered in snark, about how dangerous and irresponsible we gun owners are.

          We have a few prog trolls hanging around here. I can’t resist getting stuck in with them. It’s a character flaw that I accept in myself.

        2. avatar Knute(ken) says:

          JWM: But most of the trolls don’t stick around here for very long. Remember ciscokid, and 2Asux, and theoneandonlyrealpatriotleftinamericaandihateguns, or whatever the fuck 200 letters he managed to cobble together? None of them lasted for long. They get shouted down so badly, that they just go away. It’s the best part of this site, and about the only thing that hasn’t changed… for the worse.
          I note that most don’t even bother dropping the one persona and grabbing another sock puppet. I saw a few do so long ago, but there’s always someone who catches that because they use the same style, write the same way and misspell the same words the same exact way, etc. I haven’t seen a sock puppet troll here for years now.

  22. avatar Brewski says:

    Did you ask the guy what his mindset was or reasons for his carry choice before writing this article?

    1. avatar Geoff "I'm getting too old for this shit" PR says:

      Mike is a a valued old-time regular in TTAG.

      That we wish we saw more of.

      It’s not just some random comment…

      1. avatar Brewski says:

        That being said, we never did hear the reason the person in question open carried his sub-compact, which is unfortunate since they were used as an example.

        Maybe they had a really good reason for their chosen method of carry that wasn’t covered in the article?

    2. I just made an observation. I don’t really care what his reason is. I personally have no reason or desire to carry in that fashion. I open carry and conceal carry and so I choose a full size…sort of. Glock19. I would only carry a sub compact (which I love) if I had to go deep conceal or as a backup gun.

      1. avatar Knute(ken) says:

        What if that WAS his back up gun, but his normal carry gun broke its firing pin the day before at the range? So he just dropped it off at his gunsmith, and is now wearing his BUG as a primary until his other gun gets out of the shop?
        That would explain it.

        1. The question wasn’t why was this guy open carrying a sub compact.
          The question was why would you do it if you had other options.
          I’m assuming he did it because he wanted to, not because he had to.

        2. avatar Knute(ken) says:

          The only answer I can think of for that one is some weird Statute encouraged it, or maybe he just doesn’t know about the better choices. Thousands, both openly and concealed, carry Glocks and there are certainly better choices out there. When Glocks first came out, they had the advantage of lighter weight, but now everybody has plastic frame semiautos, so that advantage is long gone.
          All they have now is that people see the police have them, so they want one too. That’s how Smith took over the revolver market. Because of the Army approval is why the 1911 took over the autoloader market, etc. What people see others have is what they want also.
          Monkey see… monkey do, is a powerful human motivator. For one who doesn’t know any better, and doesn’t care to invest the time to learn, the easiest choice is to just follow the herd.

      2. avatar John in Ohio says:

        You got some heat in comments from this article. I didn’t think it was a bad one so this isn’t to bust your chops. This statement just struck me as odd.

        *If*

        “I don’t really care what his reason is.”

        Why did you ask

        “Why Would Someone Open Carry A Sub-Compact Pistol?”

        When you could’ve gotten the answer from the horse’s mouth, given your thoughts, polled us in comments, and then revealed what his reasons were?

        Odd.

        I guess this is the answer…
        “The question wasn’t why was this guy open carrying a sub compact.
        The question was why would you do it if you had other options.
        I’m assuming he did it because he wanted to, not because he had to.”

        It seems a bit pedantic. I would’ve like to have known what his reason(s) were as well.

  23. avatar tdiinva says:

    So what happens if you move to an open carry State and you are waiting for your permit, not carry? When I moved to Wisconsin I had to apply for a new CHL because they didn’t grant reciprocity with Virginia so I open carried until I got my permit in the mail. During that time
    I opened carried Beretta Nano a few timed but I also occasionally open carried it or an XD subcompact in Virginia. What’s the big deal?

    There is no such as a concealed carry pistol. You can conceal a 1911 and you can open carry a subcompact. Concealed carry pistol is a marketing term, not a law of nature.

    1. avatar Virginia resident says:

      Speaking of Virginia, another reason you may be seen open carrying a sub-compact in a restaurant is that if we are having an adult beverage while out, we have to uncover our concealed firearm and switch to open carry by law.

      1. avatar tdiinva says:

        There is that too

      2. avatar Mark E. Sunderlin says:

        You are nine years behind the law. Concealed carry permitees have not needed to open carry in bars on Virgina since 2010. Ref: https://www.peterlouielaw.com/2nd-amendment-law/may-i-concealed-carry-bar-virginia/

  24. avatar Knute(ken) says:

    Well, my ex- brother-in-law open carries a PPK/s. He does so because its one of his favorite pistols(he has only a couple), and no CCW permit. We here in Montana have a kind of a strange set of gun laws(like most gun laws… strange, weird, and stupid).
    Here, anyone can open carry anything they want, anywhere they want (subject to the standard restrictions like federal courthouses and such), BUT CCW permits are rare and hard to obtain. Only a few years back did we even become a “shall issue” State. We always used to be may issue, subject to your local sheriff. Back in the 1980’s, my local sherriff’s office was pleased as punch with themselves, bragging that they had approved NO ONE for like 5 decades. So, almost as bad as Hawaii in that arena.
    They got away with it because we have some other nice things that mostly made it so few wanted a permit anyway. The unrestricted open carry means that’s what most, like my ex’s brother, chose to do. It’s just so much easier. The other nice ‘loophole’ is, our Statutes define “carrying”, as “on, or attached to”, the body. So if you do want to conceal a firearm w/o a CCW permit, you just need to put it in a bag or a case of some kind. NOT a backpack, though, because the courts have held that “strapped to” the body is ON the body. But not straps over the shoulder. Woman have gotten tickets for guns in purses and its been held(so far anyway) that in order to be attached to you, the thing needs must require undoing some type of fastener to release it. So, purses don’t count as attached, but fanny packs do. A backpack doesn’t count either, if it is only slung over one shoulder. BUT, put in on in the normal backpack way, and now it DOES count as attached.
    So, in short, my perception is that: any such seemingly weird and unusual choice as open carrying a subcompact is likely driven by weird, unusual, and stupid ‘laws’ (Statutes, really, not laws. The differences are too varied and subtle to go into in less than a whole book).

  25. avatar Cloudbuster says:

    Well, when I open carry, I like it to be a SAA revolver in a cowboy rig with shiny cartridges on the belt. Style.

    1. avatar Knute(ken) says:

      I really do that sometimes. Usually at parades or other events with Stetson, boots, 2 1/2 inch gunbelt with cartridge loops, etc. It goes over real well. But then, this is Montana. Nobody ever even asks about whether the gun is a prop or real.
      I do get a lot of “nice getup”, or “sharp” comments.

      1. avatar uncommon_sense says:

        Knute(Ken),

        I have a similar get-up that I wear for Halloween — with the addition of an obviously phony “Sheriff” badge and toy handcuffs on my belt. I have actually had a few people ask if my revolvers are real.

        Since the revolvers are scaled versions of Colt 1873 Peacemakers, I tell those people that my revolvers are genuine (pronounced “gen-u-wine” with the emphasis on “wine” like I am a carnival salesperson) miniature scale replicas of Colt 1873 Peacemaker revolvers. Of course I never volunteer the fact that they are chambered in .22 WMR, loaded, and fully capable of slow single-action or rapid fanning fire.

        1. avatar Knute(ken) says:

          I have a little trick in the same vein. The gun is loaded, but the cartridge loops are filled with wax bullet rounds. I think that might lead some to think that the gun is a prop, but nobody’s ever asked.
          This way, I can reload with the wax bullets and demo cowboy action shooting almost anywhere. But it’s never come up.
          I do still keep 6 real rounds in a pocket, though. Just in case.

        2. avatar Knute(ken) says:

          I forgot to mention, the wax bullets are loaded over Gen-u-EIN black powder. I mean that literally. Not pyrodex, but real charcoal, saltpeter, and sulfur. Nothing like all that smoke and stink to make a demo just that much more impressive.
          Unfortunately, the shooting of these loads means instant, hot water gun cleaning. Maybe I’m lucky that its never come up.
          Ahhh, even cleaning black powder residue isn’t that bad on a handgun. I just remove the grips, throw it in a sink full of hot water and dish soap, and scrub it like it was dirty dishes. Rinse it off good, let it dry in the dish rack while I go take care of the grip panels, shoot some spray lube up into the cracks, rub with an oily rag, and done.
          I do not like cleaning black powder rifles though. They’re too big for the sink trick, and if you can’t soak it off in hot soapy water, black powder residue is tough to clean off. If anybody knows a neat trick to clean a 53″ long flintlock, I would sure like to know it…. Anybody have any ideas????
          Too long for my tub, I already thought of that one. I guess I could build a special tank of some kind for it, but that seems pretty excessive for a gun I only shoot a few times once every couple of years.

        3. avatar Geoff "I'm getting too old for this shit" PR says:

          ” If anybody knows a neat trick to clean a 53″ long flintlock, I would sure like to know it…. Anybody have any ideas????”

          Head to your local home supply store and get a length of PVC pipe large enough and long enough to fit the barrel. And one end cap.

          Glue the cap on one end of the PVC (Clean the pipe and inside the cap first). Viola! one vertical barrel-cleaning tank for maybe 10 bucks. Add support braces if you’re feeling frisky. If not, prop it up in a corner somewhere.

          Or put a cap on both ends and saw the whole thing in half lengthwise. Sell or give the other half away to another black-powder shooter.

          Boiling water is the ideal rinse. The heat dries the steel thoroughly and nearly instantly. Oil it up and put it away…

        4. avatar uncommon_sense says:

          Knute(Ken),

          I was going to say the same thing that Geoff PR said.

          And I want to elaborate on boiling water:
          I use teflon coated kitchen tongs to hold the barrel while I pour boiling water out of a kettle and down the barrel for a final rinse. The barrel dries almost instantly from the heat. Then, while the barrel is still hot enough to melt butter/shortening, I run a patch with Bore Butter down the barrel, followed by a dry patch to remove the excess. I also put a tiny bit of Bore Butter on a cloth and apply it to the outside of the barrel as well.

          Caveat: I have a modern muzzleloader with a breach plug which makes cleaning an extremely easy and simple affair. I have never studied/examined flint-lock muzzleloaders so I don’t know if my boiling water technique above would work. If you do not have any orifice in the breach which is sufficient to quickly drain water in the barrel, I suppose you could just use tepid water for cleaning and rinsing — filling the barrel and pouring it out the same way that you would empty a drinking glass — and then do a final fill-and-empty with boiling water just to heat the barrel.

          Oh, and I tip my hat to you for carrying real black powder. I would buy it if it was available locally. Alas, all I can get is Pyrodex and White Hots black powder substitutes.

        5. avatar Knute(ken) says:

          Geoff: That’s a good idea. I’ll just do the plug on the bottom end and fill it with hot water from the shower hose. I can do the whole thing right in the tub upright. I can build that in just a few minutes, and then stick in the closet in a corner when not in use. Being a machinist, I was thinking of cutting and welding steel to make a trough, like one would for hot water bluing salts. But a plastic tube upright would make it easy enough there’s no reason not to do it. I might even start shooting my flintlock more than one time every few years!

        6. avatar Knute(ken) says:

          Uncommon Sense:
          I think that should work fine. Flintlocks have just a tiny, sideways hole going into the barrel from under the frizzen. That’s that big finger shaped thing that sticks straight up on the right side of the gun in front of the lockwork. There’s no nipple, or other thing to remove to make the hole any bigger, and the touch hole plugs often enough that the shooter carries a pick tool to clean it after every firing. But I’ll just use the “schedule B”, or whatever they call that plastic sewer pipe that has the really thick walls that can tolerate steam under pressure. Then I’ll just dump the soapy water down the tub, and bring a bucket of boiling water from the kitchen for the rinse. This should make rifle cleaning almost as easy as pistols. Many thanks.
          Oh, and if you shoot percussion cap muzzleloaders only, did you know that if the sulfur gets left out of the mix, the resulting black powder is even slightly more potent? But, one cannot buy this powder, one must make it oneself. Selling such powder would be problematic, since mere sparks, like from off of a frizzen, will not ignite it. The sulfur makes the chemical reaction less vigorous, but it also decreases the ignition temp, making it a lot easier to ingite. But any modern, in line ignition muzzleloader can use it. The percussion caps produce much more heat than the few sparks that come off of a flintlock’s ignition system.
          If you like chemistry, its not hard to make your own black powder, with sulfur or without. Other than mixing the two (or three) powders together, the only problem is; as powders with vastly different densities, they don’t want to stay mixed. So, one needs to wet them, just slightly, with alcohol(like from a mist sprayer) and then knead the goo into a thick paste, roll that out on some flat surface, let it dry out, and then break it up and rub it through a screen. The mesh size of this screen determines whether it will be 2F, 3F, 4F, or whatever.
          I could leave the sulfur out for the cowboy pistols too, because shooting black powder in brass cases is also in line, percussion cap type ignition. But I tried it and without the sulfur there’s no stink! It just wasn’t the same without the odor…. so I went back to regular.

    2. avatar John in Ohio says:

      Before moving back to the city, a stainless Vaquero in .45 ACP was my EDC and I did open carry it. I used a 1911 magazine as a speed loader and kept it on my belt in a horizontal scabbard (much like a lock blade knife scabbard). Now that I’m settled in the city, it’s a stainless 1911. The only thing that changed in my loadout was the holster and sidearm. My cowboy hat and boots now have given way to memory foam slip-ons and a driver’s cap.

  26. avatar Kevin says:

    Carry whatever you can handle safely and are allowed to carry legally – open or concealed.

    Just don’t be an idiot like the lady carrying her handgun in a belt attached upside down on her belt.

    Don’t be that person.

  27. avatar Big Al says:

    Who the hell are you to judge how another person carries??? As for me, I ALWAYS carry concealed. In MS, no CC permit required. Plus, I do not want a potential adversary to know who is carrying and who is not. Keep the vermin guessing.

    1. avatar Grumpy says:

      “Who the hell are you to judge how another person carries???” Couldn’t agree more. Criticizing another for the way they legally and safely carry is deciding you know best for EVERYONE. Sound familiar? It should.

      1. avatar HellBelly says:

        Yep. Sounds like he’s a nanny state liberal.

    2. Saw a video of a guy getting pulled over for having the words:
      I EAT ASS
      emblazoned across his back window of his truck.
      Charges were dismissed based on the first amendment but I still have the right to judge him as being a fucktard.

  28. avatar FedUp says:

    I’ve seen P938s and P238s at open carry events.
    Why not?
    They’re reasonably light, don’t get in the way, and I don’t know about the others but I can shoot my P938 more accurately than most of my 5″ 1911s.

  29. avatar Moltar says:

    Maybe he’s new? Maybe he just picked the gun up and hasn’t gotten his CCW yet but wants to practice carrying a weapon and get familiar with it before he takes his CCW test. Maybe his car has a super tiny glovebox and he can’t carry at work. Maybe he’s a human being doing those oh so funny and odd things you humans do.

    1. avatar Geoff "I'm getting too old for this shit" PR says:

      “Maybe he’s new?”

      Mike has been in TTAG for *years*…

      1. He’s talking about the guy I observed.
        And being new is a valid reason why that person does it. So is the only gun you have, assuming that in the future, you will upgrade.
        Most people are missing the point.
        As a general practice, I don’t think smaller handguns have advantages over full size except in one category. Concealment. So take the restrictions off as to the need to conceal. It’s like competing with iron sights in an open class division.

  30. avatar Specialist38 says:

    Smaller and tidier makes it easy to carry.

    As someone who has knocked around my own property with an N framed S&W, I can tell you it gets the crap beat out of it on a regular basis. Even in a high ride Three Persons holster.

    So many people dont want their gun to become an encumbrance to going about daily life.

    If that is a tactical disadvantage, it is their tactical disadvantage.

    If FL had open carry, I would still prefer my Glock 48 over a 19. More slim and tidy and a little lighter.

    Of course, I would sometime carry a Ruger Blackhawk which is not slim and tidy but is a great gun. Maybe just to Walmart where I probably wouldn’t bonk into too many things.

  31. avatar Randy Soles says:

    Maybe this will help. I live in Texas and am not familiar with GA. concealed or open carry laws. I carry A Glock 43 in a OSW BlackHawk holster. Which I carry covered by my shirt (concealed).
    If I go to enter a business I look at the doors for posted signs about firearms, If I see 30.06 posted I lift my shirt and tuck it in behind my holster now I can legally enter that business while carrying open. We also have 30.07 which is the opposite.
    A 30.06 sign is a sign that a business owner can post to restrict a LTC (License to Carry) holder from entering the business with a concealed handgun. The sign must contain the exact words required by Section 30.06 in both English and Spanish, be placed in an area visible to the public, and have 1″ lettering or it will not be considered a legally-binding 30.06 sign. “Gunbuster” signs, or signs with a red slash through a gun, are not considered valid 30.06 postings.

    A 30.07 sign is a sign that a business owner can post to restrict a LTC holder from entering the business with a handgun carried openly. The sign must contain the exact words required by Section 30.07 in both English and Spanish, be placed in an area visible to the public, and have 1″ lettering or it will not be considered a legally-binding 30.07 sign. “Gunbuster” signs, or signs with a red slash through a gun, are not considered valid 30.07 postings.

    1. avatar Knute(ken) says:

      So you get to cover both possibilities just by either tucking your shirt in, or pulling it out. Nice, easy, life hack. I don’t supposed there’s any way around disarming if they thought to post both -06 AND -07 signage though. Although I doubt very many anti gunners would be that thorough. They just aren’t very bright.
      Like you mentioned, just look at all the places with impotent, gun with the red line signs that mean exactly nothing. Well… not quite nothing. What they mean to me is: “I, the owner of this business, want to drive away customers by giving whatever money I do have left until I go bankrupt to multi-billionaires in return for impotent signs that make me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.”
      That’s my perception of it anyway. That’s why I think they aren’t the sharpest tools in the shed.

      1. avatar John in Ohio says:

        We got our share of that tuck, untuck stuff doing the Buckeye Tuck before the CHL law was changed. The sidearm had to be “in the open” in or on (motorcycle) a motor vehicle. It was a PITA.

  32. avatar NORDNEG says:

    I personally would prefer to carry open, but the state I live in is full of worry worts, you wouldn’t get two blocks without having cops all over you,, you show your permit & carry on then two blocks later it happens all over again,,, it can be very embarrassing & time consuming. I carry concealed in order to avoid all that, compact or sub compact are the best for concealed carry in my opinion. I happen to have a large selection of weapons to choose from so I’ve tried them all , my two favorites for concealed carry is a 9mm Star Megastar, alloy , 13 rounder, & my absolute fave is my Para Ordinance P-12 in 45…just my preference.

    1. avatar John in Ohio says:

      That cop-not-following-the-law issue seems to be best fixed by a bunch of people open carrying. The more government broke the law, the more of us open carried. Some successful court cases helped a lot. They got the message.

  33. avatar The Astrodome Kid says:

    When I went to work at my civilian job, I had my Shield 9mm with me, very concealable (don’t ask, don’t tell?). I was also a Sheriff Reserve Deputy. When I was off duty out in public (the State made Reserves with full PO license Peace Officers) I wore sometimes a P229, sometimes a P226, or a SA 1911A1. I go big. Now I usually carry on my LTC a P226 or a S&W M&P 2.0 9mm 4″. I qualify for LEOSA but I was told the last 2 sheriffs didn’t allow retired reserves to use their firearms facility. Uh, cops lives matter, they must have exceptions.

  34. avatar Jim Perry says:

    Carry what you’re comfortable with. If the man digs his Shield, then whatever. His right, his gun. 6 in the pipe are better than none.

    I’ve carried a G19, a G26, and occasionally go all east bloc and carry my Makarov. Just depends on what I’m wearing, where I’m going, who’s with me (kid). Comfortable with all three, open or concealed (well more the 26 or the Mak), but have carried the 19 that way as well.

  35. avatar Nate in CA says:

    Even if open carry were legal here, I still wouldn’t regularly carry a full-sized gun – it’s simply to bulky and heavy for my lifestyle. Capacity means nothing when I decide to leave my bulky carry piece at home. I know I can carry my j-frame every single day. I know I can carry my Shield almost every single day. I can carry my G26 most days. I could only carry a full-size on days involving jeans and a sturdy belt – which would only be during 3 months of the year.

    1. avatar Specialist38 says:

      You don’t wear pants for 9 months…..bohemian! 😁

  36. avatar Gun Hipsters Are THE Worst says:

    Michael’s wife seems like more of a person of the gun than him. She sees someone carrying and gets excited. This should teach Michael something: it’s not the size of the fish, but confidence. Hehehehehehehe.

    1. She just inherited my Glock 19 as her full size since I got my Walther Q5 Match. She has a G43 but shoots the 19 better and with more confidence. She purse carries (uuhg) so she doesn’t mind the extra size.
      She is still perpetually stuck in condition white, at least when I am with her. She has yet to notice other people carrying before I do. And in my neck of the woods, a lot of people carry. I do appreciate it.

  37. avatar TomC says:

    The original whine mentioned where but nothing about when or what the person was wearing (besides the gun). It is entirely possible that he had been carrying concealed and had simply taken off his jacket at some point.

    I live in an area where open carry has always been legal, uncommon, and generally unnoticed. There certainly have been occasions when I have been carrying with the gun concealed by a jacket in the morning but ended up open carrying in the afternoon.

    As others have suggested, the subcompact gun might have been his only gun, or it might have been chosen for its size and especially its light weight. My usual carry gun is a subcompact because it is more comfortable either concealed or discrete open carry. If I step up to my car gun, the only comfortable way to carry is basically a duty rig (which is not as discrete).

  38. avatar American Patriot says:

    Starting to sound like a liberal about personal choice of firearms…..Not a good thing!

  39. avatar former water walker says:

    Mind yer bidness…I WISH I had the option to open carry any gun!

  40. avatar Ralph says:

    What a nag.

  41. avatar MB says:

    Not a crazy idea, the man could live in a place (like Texas) where some places allow open carry but not concealed carry, the next place he goes, he might be required to conceal carry only and not be able to open carry. I rather be able to carry concealed with a small gun than get called out for trying to conceal a full size gun and failing, and getting arrested…. Smart man, the guy with the S&W Shield, the author, not so much.

  42. avatar Pork rind says:

    Looking at the number of comments this page already has my thoughts might get lost in the fray, but oh well. I’ll put in my two cents anyway.

    To paraphrase Lewis Fyne: “I’m 6’1”, and maintain a very consistent panda bear shape”. What that translates into is that I’m comfortable caring full-size handguns IWB. They tend to blend in to my love handles rather discreetly and I can get away with a T-shirt and jeans for the most part. As such I am a proponent of IWB, And would suggest anyone to exhaust all their options along that route before resorting to OWB or full on open carry.

    To answer the question posed by the article, A few other questions must be asked. What is the circumstance? Who is the person? I recall a Law Enforcement conference earlier this year I attended Where I saw a few P365s, Compact Glocks and Shields in open carry holsters on the other attendees. I would wager that the reasoning was that they would be sitting listening to conference sessions and wanted the most comfortable set up they could get with their off-duty Carry option. While it might not be a valid reason for someone like myself and the author of this article, it is no less valid reason for anyone else.

  43. avatar enuf says:

    The size of the gun owner, could be a small person.

    The budget of the gun owner, could be they can only afford one gun.

    The preferences of the gun owner, possibly he or she likes what they have and that is good enough.

  44. avatar kahlil says:

    gun snobs waxing poetically ’bout how big their “gun” is compared to someone else’s. Next thing you know we’ll be taking about which gun “sock” protects the best.

  45. avatar WI Patriot says:

    “Why Would Someone Open Carry A Sub-Compact Pistol?”

    Because when push comes to shove, it’s better than nothing at all…

  46. avatar GlockMeAmadeus says:

    “If you cant solve the problem with 7 rds of 45 Ball, you better call in an airstrike.”

    Famous anon person

  47. avatar Hannibal says:

    If you’re comfortable shooting and carrying one gun, who cares. Sure, you’re giving up some theoretical tactical advantage by reducing your capacity, sight radius, etc but those aspects are very marginal in a realistic civilian* carry scenario outside of your own house that I’d say it’s dwarfed by being able to use your gun- of any size- well.

  48. avatar Hannibal says:

    That said…I bet it’s easier to get retention holsters for duty-sized guns. And if you’re open carrying in a public\urban area without a retention holster, you are doing something wrong.

    1. avatar Specialist38 says:

      My OWB holster qll have thumbsnaps for retention.

  49. avatar Will Drider says:

    Could be OC guy had other stops to make in gun free zones and his car gun lock box won’t accommodate a full size handgun. Some folks just don’t want the weight or bulk of a full size handgun. The small gun carrier made a decision that his choice was adequate for his skills & envisioned requirements. The Wife was Right: Not your monkey, Not your circus. Lol

  50. avatar Terry Tyson says:

    A friend at work open caries a compact and says most people never even notice it on her. Also, seems like it would get caught on/bump into things less than a full size.

  51. avatar JOHNNY DALE CRAWLEY says:

    Comfortable size and weight – carry!
    Large and uncomfortable pulling your belt down – stays at home.

  52. avatar John in Ohio says:

    Weight, costs, ease of concealment when you want it… There are many reasons.

    My adult children carry Taurus G2C sidearms openly. The firearms were $170 each, weigh very little, stow easily, and can be concealed with a cover garment with little effort. I carry a 1911 openly but have considered scaling back to a G2C as I age because of cost and weight.

  53. avatar Mark says:

    I only have one center fire handgun. I compromised. I have a Ruger American Compact. It fits in nicely between a full size and a subcompact. I have holsters to carry it OWB, IWB or in a shoulder holster.

  54. avatar Red says:

    All Open Carry does is alert the bad guys who is armed and also might make him think he might be able to snatch the gun. Better to make the criminal sweat who is carrying. Makes them think twice.

    1. avatar John in Ohio says:

      Actually not true.

      I open carry every day. When the few people actually carrying conceal their sidearms, the criminals forget people are actually armed. A good mixture of open and concealed works. Open reminds everyone of the possibility of armed resistance while concealed keeps criminals guessing who is armed and who is not.

      When you open carried, did someone snatch your gun or are you just pontificating?

  55. avatar strych9 says:

    There are a few reasons to OC a compact or subcompact that come to mind in terms of doing it a lot. Those mostly revolve around money, emphasis on being comfortable/lazy or just not having fucks to give.

    But I think one of the things to consider here is that when we see someone do something once that doesn’t mean they do it all the time. The reason for OCing a subcompact could well be temporary and simple. Waiting on a different holster but using the one you currently have. Injury or illness as well. Or even something silly like not having a pair of pants that fits with that gun IWB.

    I OC’d for a couple months earlier this year because I had basically no pants that fit with IWB too big or too small… which might be kinda normal when you gain 53lbs in 61 days. I don’t do it any much any more.

    Or the guy might just OC everything. Nothing wrong with that either. Not everyone buys into the whole “CC is bettah!” concept, and quite frankly, there are valid reasons not to.

  56. avatar John Allen says:

    I open carry my Khar on occasion as I own an IWB as well as an OWB holster fit it. It doesn’t weigh near as much as my .44 or M&P full size. It will do the job 9 times out of 10 and besides I might not live in #10 no matter what gun I have on me.

  57. avatar Ronald West says:

    It should not have affected them at all unless he was threatening them,other wise mind your own business, he has a right too defend his freedom, and stand for the right too bare arms. Concerned or open.

  58. avatar daveinwyo says:

    I live in a free state. I don’t need a CCW to carry. I have a CCW so I can go out of state. Open carry is not too common but some do. I really don”t care either way EXCEPT the kid in the store that ain’t old enough to shave has some big gun w/a droopy belt dressed in cammies and it’s not hunting season. Now that scares me!

    1. avatar Specialist38 says:

      Wouldn’t bother me……unless he kept patting it like Barney on Andy Griffith…..then I might worry.

  59. avatar Mikial says:

    Carry the gun you have, and make it the one you’re comfortable and competent with.

  60. avatar Clark Kent says:

    Ah yes, open carry, the ‘free gun zone’. All it takes is someone behind you with a hammer, club, or even a rock and now your firearm is theirs. And no, you don’t have eyes in the back of your skull. As my old man is wont to say: ‘You don’t wear your d*ck on your forehead’. Truer words have never been spoken.

    1. avatar jwm says:

      Yet you cannot resist every opportunity to prove yourself a dick.

    2. avatar Valhalla1776 says:

      So would your gun be any less theirs if you had it concealed when they hit you with so called blunt instrument?

    3. avatar Specialist38 says:

      And so many cops are bludgeoned and disarmed every day, right?

      No? And it’s not because their spidey senses tell them when someone is going to attack.

      Its because most felons are chickenshits and damned sure dont want to risk getting shot..

  61. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

    There are reasons for “open carry” of a sub-compact piece.

    Here in Wyoming, it can tend to get chilly in the winter. There are people who both OC and CC the same sub-compact gun within minutes of each instance.

    Someone puts their OWB holster on, over their long underwear, jeans or Carhartt dungarees. When you put on enough thermal underwear, guess what? Your IWB holster starts getting pretty uncomfortable.

    So someone uses an OWB holster for their normal piece. Then they put on a heavy overcoat to go outside. They’re carrying concealed. Then they decide to go get something for lunch. They’re in the diner and they take off their heavy overcoat, they’re open carrying. Open carry, concealed carry – same holster, same gun, within minutes of each instance.

    Oh, and apropos of today’s “springtime” weather in Wyoming, for those “scientists” who are trying to gaslight most of civilization about AGW, allow me to NB that we had about 2 to 3″ of snow today. A bit further east in the Black Hills area of South Dakota, they had anywhere from 8″ to 25″ of snow today.

    Back to the sub-compact piece in OC: Some people have far too much time on their hands to worry about other people’s problems here.

    1. So discussing best practices concerning defensive carry is worrying about other people problems?

  62. avatar tmm says:

    Not sure I would classify the Shield as a sub-compact. Compact, yes. fwiw, S&W classifies the Shield as a compact, the .380 Bodyguard and SW1911 as sub-compact.

    Title of the article made me think someone was open carrying a P3AT.

    But if you want to open carry a whatever, then whatever. Carry on.

    1. The M&P9c is a compact. The Shield is a sub compact. And the Bodyguard is a pocket gun.

  63. I do not think anybody open carries a gun designed for concealment. It defeats the purpose of the design. Being forced to conceal by placing in trunk or keeping in a way you do not have access to it is wrong but so is charging someone with a crime for hiding it discreetly when they want to.

    Open carry is to normlaize gun ownership and take the shame away from being a gun enthusiast. Concealed carry is for tactical reasons as well as social ones in terms of privacy and how you do not share personal information with strangers or tell everbody what is in your wallet. It is none of their business. The problem is when people get charged with carrying a weapon illegally without a cpl. It causes legal problems based on technicality of overzealous laws and represents unfair taxation.

  64. avatar Bigus Dickus says:

    This sounds like the same gun snobbery that says you’re an idiot if you don’t carry an 45 ACP.

    Own, practice with and carry what you as the gun owner want to carry. If you’re in a self defence situation, carrying a full sized (whatever) with 15 up the spout instead of a sub-compact with 7 isn’t going to matter. If you’re faced with a situation where 7 doesn’t resolve it, 15 isn’t likely to either. Besides, I carry a Shield 9 with 2 reloads, that’s 22 rounds….I’m good.

  65. avatar Snake Plisskin says:

    My 02. worth.

    Open carry is like advertising. Why advertised you’re strapped? A big ‘shoot me first” sign in IMO.

    Now if we every a major social upheaval or event where the “rule of law” might be in question or at least late to the party, sure; open carry it is with extra mags….

    As far as “gun size”….carry what you shoot well and are comfortable with.

    1. avatar John in Ohio says:

      “Why advertised you’re strapped? A big ‘shoot me first” sign in IMO.”

      My children, my friends, I, and others open carry every day and it doesn’t happen.

      1. If open carrying makes one a target, why are 99.999% of attacks on perceived unarmed victims?

        1. avatar Viejo Torro says:

          The “open carry will get you shot” claim as well as open carry serves as a deterrent argument seems resistant to reason. Open carry has been legal and common in my state for decades before legal concealed carry became an option. Our streets don’t run read with blood.
          That said I choose concealed carry as it simpler for me. I carry any where it is isnt illegal. I don’t face social approbation. Also I have significant physical issues that are obvious and would make a gun grab more likely.

        2. avatar John in Ohio says:

          “If open carrying makes one a target, why are 99.999% of attacks on perceived unarmed victims?”

          Exactly. We just had a situation earlier tonight that I am sure OC prevented an incident for my son and me.

          https://www.thetruthaboutguns.com/2019/05/daniel-zimmerman/why-would-someone-open-carry-a-sub-compact-pistol/#comment-4261645

  66. avatar John Smith says:

    Speaking on the Shield specifically, you left out the most important “advantage” and that is the ability to shoot it well.
    I personally own a Shield because it is a single stack. Most double stack guns simply do not fit well in my hand making it difficult to get a good grip.
    A common piece of advice for new CCW’s is carry the biggest gun you can shoot well with. Maybe this person is just better with a single stack.

  67. avatar Sid says:

    I have trained several women and elderly shooters in the past year. Thankfully, I have a variety of handguns for them to try. My advice on buying is pick up the handgun. If it does not fit your hand or feel good in your hand, put it back down and don’t consider it.

    They have chosen smaller framed handguns. They shoot them well enough to qualify. I encourage them all to find several holsters for each handgun. Variety will allow them to carry as needed based on clothing choices. Some are very comfortable carrying OWB with a jacket or shirt concealing the holster. I am actually trying to help one find a good OWB holster for her Sig P290 at the moment.

    But really, those are just the thoughts that go into our reasoning…..

    My honest reply to the gentleman would be “SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED”.

  68. avatar MIO says:

    WTF kinda gun snob article is this?
    freakin 2A crowd tearing itself apart like idiots

    1. I don’t think discussing tactics does a disservice to the 2A crowd. On the contrary. If you can refrain from name calling or insults, it is food for thought.

  69. avatar Ed says:

    You lose a tremendous advantage carrying open. No open carry with any gun. Even if it’s legal. 30 years of training pistol craft as a martial art, plus other tools; conclusion? Never show your hand.

    1. avatar Cuteandfuzzybunnies says:

      Actually open carry is likely an advantage. The best way to survive a gunfight is NOT to get in a gun fight. If the bad guy decides not to rob you because you are armed , you are better off than if he robs you and finds out by surprise.

      Most criminals will not attack an armed person esp for the gun, watch and 20 dollars cash they would likely get IF they survived. Even IF they can successfully rob an armed man without getting shot , they are way more likely to go to prison for a robbery where guns are used.
      Robbers don’t want to shoot anybody. That’s a sure fire way to prison for a while.

    2. avatar John in Ohio says:

      “You lose a tremendous advantage carrying open. No open carry with any gun. Even if it’s legal. 30 years of training pistol craft as a martial art, plus other tools; conclusion? Never show your hand.”

      That’s absolute bullshit unless one is just itching to shoot at someone. We OC everywhere and it darned well does deter problems in our high crime neighborhood and surrounding neighborhoods. CC and OC serve a purpose in society. Open carry reminds people that others may well be armed and CC keeps criminals guessing who is armed. A good mixture of both is ideal.

      “30 years of training” and that’s the best you learned about armed deterrence. Perhaps less classroom and more time in the hood would educate you better.

  70. avatar raptor jesus says:

    Aside from being a target for robbery or the first person to get shot in a gunfight . . . . . maybe they shoot that gun better than any other gun?

    I shoot my VP9 SK better than any gun I own. I don’t open carry, but I do carry OWB with a suit jacket over it.

    The other benefit is because it’s small, it carries well, thus ensuring program compliance.

    1. avatar John in Ohio says:

      “Aside from being a target for robbery or the first person to get shot in a gunfight . . . . . ”

      The latter is possibly closer to truth but the former is complete nonsense. Criminals generally seek softer targets, not harder ones.

  71. avatar Dave w says:

    Maybe he wanted a beer at this restaurant. In some states, concealed carry while consuming alcohol in a restaurant isn’t legal. Virginia is one.

  72. avatar fteter says:

    Normally, my thinking would be that it seems a bit odd to open carry a subcompact. As long as you’re going to OC anyway, take up the advantages of a full-size pistol.

    But, on the other hand, I think of my own situation. Both my wife and I CC Bersa Thunder .380s. But a few times each year, we go on an “open carry date”. We’ll go out to dinner, maybe play some mini-golf, do a little shopping, whatever… all while we both conspicuously open carry those same Bersas. These dates make us more comfortable about carrying and also make something of a statement about the 2nd Amendment. Now I’ve got full-size pistols, but have never thought of open carrying those during one of these dates. Dunno why I’ve never thought of it.

    I know we’re not the only people to do this – maybe what Michael in GA saw was another person doing the same thing?

  73. avatar GunDick says:

    I carry a S&W M&P Shield 380 openly in an open carry state. At my age, I’m not likely to be particularly good in some gun battle, but I will defend myself to the best of my ability (Boy Scout, military, NRA training). I don’t want to gunfight, but a good defensive carry is within my capability. My second problem is my Dunlap’s disease: my belly done lapped over my belt, so IWB carry is difficult at best. I love my several full and compact size pistols, but hanging on my belt, they pull my pants down. So within my limitations, I am more comfortable with the smaller, lighter defensive pistol. I carried the Glock 42 for several years, but find my old hands can manipulate the Shield more easily. To each whatever works for them! Just enjoy practice like I did when a detective….

  74. avatar Cuteandfuzzybunnies says:

    Was the dude really OC or was he carrying OWB and you could just see it because he has taken his vest , jacket , etc off and his shirt was back from sitting down ?

    1. No jacket. This wasn’t that kind of establishment. Doesn’t matter anyway.
      If I were going to cover my gun with a jacket, I would carry OWB full size.

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