Do you See What I See? A matter of printing...

Do you See What I See? A matter of printing...

This is a discussion on Do you See What I See? A matter of printing... within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Okay, I need to figure out if I'm paranoid, a perfectionist, or perceptive. It's all about printing and what one considers printing, even acceptable printing ...

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  1. #1
    Distinguished Member Array Gideon's Avatar
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    Do you See What I See? A matter of printing...

    Okay, I need to figure out if I'm paranoid, a perfectionist, or perceptive. It's all about printing and what one considers printing, even acceptable printing versus another.

    I'm slender, 5' 7", 160lbs and I find it hard to find holster designs that work with my weapons, that also don't print. But I'm beginning to wonder if I'm expecting too much. I know sheep aren't observant but I'm bothered if I can look in the mirror and see any bump or line from a holster. I carry mostly IWB for this very reason but It's hard for me to find a holster that doesn't print.

    It seems that if you're a big tall guy it's easier because the overall package is smaller compared the body size. It also seems that the greater the distance is from front to back on a person, the easier it is to conceal. I carry small weapons like a Kahr P9 or SP101 but the butts tend to poke out behind me more than I like and you can see that bump on my suit. I once bought a kramer horsehide scabbord for my J frame but guess what? the lip of the holster makes a distintive line in my suit. Heavy coats are no problem but dress suit coats are lightweight, usually thin.

    So how much "print" is acceptable to you? I just got an AKJ Concealco for my SP101 and it seems to be a great holster except for the snap on the front belt loop, it protrudes out from the body as the "furthest point" out from the body and prints with my suit.

    Am I expecting too much? Do you guys accept some minimal printing? I realize you can't but a gun on your hip and expect nothing. I even bought a Kahr MK9 for belt use to help and it does actually help!

    I read posts all the time from guys who say they're 6' 150 lbs and can make a full size 1911 disappear

    I don't want to challenge anyone but I can't hardly believe that unless they stand straight all the time. I do watch how I bend or reach but even a little twist of the trunk shows the bump from the snap on my new holster.

    I know folks are expecting a cell phone etc. but still....

    So what are your prespectives? Maybe I need to get real.


  2. #2
    Member Array lopadrino79's Avatar
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    I don't worry to much about it. I am 5' 7 155 and my para warthawg conceals just fine in a high noon split decision IWB. I carry at 4ocllock and have never been outed. I take a peak in the mirror before I leave and make sure that I am aware when getting in and out of my vehicle. Other than that I have total confidence that the small bump is only noticed by me because I know it is there.

  3. #3
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    I am 180 lb and 5-10" . I think no matter what you will always have some printing while moving about. A heavy shirt or coat will make a gun disappear , but realistically you cannot always dress this way.
    I figure as long as I can keep my gun to a unrecognizable small lump under clothing , it is o.k. I tend to carry full size or near full size guns, BTW. Hope this helps.
    "In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock." Thomas Jefferson


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  4. #4
    Member Array samskara's Avatar
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    I'm 5'6" 150lbs and i carry a full sized 1911 and my family can't tell if I don't tell them. I've found that I have to carry a IWB at the 2:30ish area to keep the grip hidden because I have no front to back dimension if I try to wear at the 3 or 3:30 the grip sticks way out there.

  5. #5
    Distinguished Member Array SonofASniper's Avatar
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    Every so often a question like this comes up, and my standard reply is "I just pretend I am invisible."

    I am a big guy, 6'3" and around 230 lbs. Even despite all the "room", my Kahr will even have the proverbial bump or line. In the past, I was as consicious as you are about every single subtlety. I eventually learned to adjust how I dress to fit how I carry, to invest in good quality holsters which are comfortable for me, and to pretend I am invisible. As long as you can make everything contour and look like it should always be there, no one is going to look at that minor bump or line and say "AHA!! You are carrying a gun!".

    Even experienced people have a hard time picking up on subtleties.

    Good luck. Always carry, and don't worry.
    I will support gun control when you can guarantee all guns are removed from this planet. That includes military and law enforcement. When you can accomplish that, then I will be the last person to lay down my gun. Then I will carry the weapon that replaces the gun.

  6. #6
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    I think that printing is more of an issue with new carriers rather than seasoned ones.

    Eventually you'll get to the point that its not an issue. Sure, no one likes to print, but its a bit unrealistic to expect to never print. As long as its covered, you're good to go.
    I would rather stand against the cannons of the wicked than against the prayers of the righteous.


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  7. #7
    Distinguished Member Array Gideon's Avatar
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    Samskara, I have the same problem. I've tried carrying at 3:30 to 4:00 but with an extreme cant in an attempt to get the grip to lay up along the back pointing almost up but that doesn't always work and it's hard to get holsters with that much cant. So I do like you and wear IWB at 3:00 or just before that but that seems to take up more room because it's on the hip.

    I'm not surprised that some of you accept a certain amount of printing as "ok". Hmmm, maybe I'm expecting too much!

  8. #8
    VIP Member Array AZ Husker's Avatar
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    A print shirt helps break up the outline. I also carry a full-size 1911, much easier to conceal than a revolver, much thinner.

  9. #9
    Distinguished Member Array fotomaker57's Avatar
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    Gideon
    It is almost impossible for that gun to disappear. The trick is to make that bump just look like a bump and not a pistol. I don't think any of us can make that gun totally vanish. I am a large man and I can't make it happen all the time. If I look in the mirror I can see a bulge wear my pistol is. However those around me never seem to notice. A case in point. My Wife and I were shopping last Christmas. The weather was cool but not cold. I had on a heavy denim shirt. I was wearing my XD45 compact, IWB at 3:30 and my wife had no idea I was carrying until we were getting ready to go into a place I could not carry at and I pulled it out to lock it up before entering. So don't beat yourself up. Keep it covered and be safe.
    Mike
    The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.
    Thomas Jefferson

  10. #10
    Distinguished Member Array Gideon's Avatar
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    Thanks Mike; noticed your ride, looks like a Yamaha? I ride a Vstar 1100 custom...

    I guess I'm looking for total concealment

  11. #11
    VIP Member Array MNBurl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gideon View Post
    Thanks Mike; noticed your ride, looks like a Yamaha? I ride a Vstar 1100 custom...

    I guess I'm looking for total concealment
    Smartcarry... otherwise you will have some level of printing always.
    MNBurl

    "If everyone is thinking alike, then somebody isn't thinking" - George S. Patton.

  12. #12
    Distinguished Member Array Gideon's Avatar
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    Actually I have a smartcarry. Tied it at first with a J frame; not bad but the grip did print a bit. Again, probably something no one else would ever notice. Then I used it for the P3AT and that works well although it's a bit slow to draw from but I agree it's a good DEEP concealment package...

  13. #13
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    It has not come up, but I am at the age where I can get away with saying it's a backbrace.
    Nobody wants to see a backbrace...

  14. #14
    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    I'm of the mind that everyone prints a bit, but that the normal way of things is that most folks will never notice. Whether that's due to your clothing selection, the folds/colors of the fabric, or simply that your bulges outweigh the bulges of the weapon, it doesn't really matter.

    I think that we can be the best judges, if the "print" is looked at objectively. We know what to look for. We know the bulge means there's a gun. And we ought to be able to determine what's too much.

    That said, you can always improve things. I'd recommend playing around, a bit, with your choice of covering garment. Look to something with a bit more length, girth, billowing nature, color/pattern/texture. Then, acquire three or four of them, to cover the seasons, situations. Might seem a bit expensive, but IMO it's cheaper in the long run.

    With the material and pattern/coloring that suits are typically made of, you've got few choices. They can be more form-fitting than other garments. They tend to have a thinner nature to the material, one that shows curves and bulges easily. They tend to have a plain, regular pattern and coloring, one that doesn't hide anything well. About all you can do is: select something else with a different pattern/color and increase the billow, drape and size of the garment, so that it doesn't show so much; or conceal it another way, if you must wear the suits (ie, SmartCarry, shoulder holster, etc).
    Your best weapon is your brain. Don't leave home without it.
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  15. #15
    VIP Member Array NCHornet's Avatar
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    The sad fact is most people are walking around in condition white and have no clue. I have even OC'd and was amazed how many folks never even knew it was there. We live in a age where countless devices can be worn on the belt, cel phones, pagers, blackberries, insulin pumps etc..... I have carried for 11 years and at first I was over worried about printing, this quickly disappeared the more I carried. Do the best you can, be as comfortable as possible and CARRY ON!!!

    NCH
    When Seconds Count, The Cops Are Just Minutes Away!!
    Carry On!
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