Help with first time OC advice

Help with first time OC advice

This is a discussion on Help with first time OC advice within the Open Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Guys, What tips would you give someone who wanted to try OC for the first time? I am wondering things like holster selection (I.e. is ...

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  1. #1
    VIP Member Array smolck's Avatar
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    Help with first time OC advice

    Guys,

    What tips would you give someone who wanted to try OC for the first time? I am wondering things like holster selection (I.e. is a Fobus paddle holster sufficient or do you prefer thumb break type stuff), tips for dealing with people who notice, etc?

    Thinking it might be fun to try it out, but don't want to do something stupid (ask my wife, I am prone to do that)
    As Benjamin Franklin left the hall in Philadelphia, he was asked, “What kind of government have you given us, Dr. Franklin?” He replied: “A republic, if you can keep it.”


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    I'd skip the Fobus in favor of something more substantial. IWB works fine for OC if the shirt is tucked in and there's no cover garment, and that's a pretty secure means of carrying the gun. In the "ready to wear" category, the Galco and DeSantis holsters are usually pretty good with respect to fit and finish. A thumb break or other retention feature is a personal choice; just make sure the gun is a good fit in the holster. If you invert the holstered gun and give it a few good shakes, the gun should not fall out.
    Smitty
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    I've found that pancake holsters hold a gun snug against the side, thus more discreet--that being what I consider most important. Armed or not, I don't like attention.
    Retired USAF E-8. Lighten up and enjoy life because:
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    Ex Member Array autogateman's Avatar
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    Help with first time OC advice

    Take my advice- get a good leather owb holster like a galco or similar. People will most likely think you're a detective if you're dressed nice. If I saw someone in dress slacks or khakis, a polo or dress shirt and a nice leather holster, I would def think plain clothes detective. Just my .02

    Rod

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    VIP Member Array smolck's Avatar
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    Thanks guys. I thought about just wearing my normal EDC holster which is a crossbreed type and just not wear a cover garment, but wasn't sure if that would be too weird for people to grasp.
    As Benjamin Franklin left the hall in Philadelphia, he was asked, “What kind of government have you given us, Dr. Franklin?” He replied: “A republic, if you can keep it.”

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    Member Array bigtime_077's Avatar
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    I would have to echo one of the previous posts and say pancake holster. I have a few of them, leather and made by Rob Leahy at Simply Rugged. As far as how do you handle someone who notices. Just stay cool and give them a simple hello. You definitely want to show kindness because when you are open carrying not only are you exercising a right you are also showing people that guns are not bad only some of the people who have them illegally which you are not one of them. Make them feel comfortable by staying comfortable yourself. If you show them you are nervous about it they will be even more nervous. Remember your the one with the gun. I think you will be suprised when most people won't even notice. Just the other day I OCed in Walmart in Saginaw and I don't think anyone noticed until I was standing still in the checkout line. I heard them whispering and I turned around and with a big smile said Hello how are you all doing today. They said just fine. And you know what they didn't seem nearly as nervous as before because I talked to them and I guess showed them they had nothing to worry about.

    Remember to be cool if someone notices because you don't want nervous people to make others nervous if they point it out. I believe the average person by themselves are fairly intelligent its the large mass of people that compound things and they feed off of that.

    Good Luck

    Jason

    Let us know how it goes
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  7. #7
    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by smolck View Post
    What tips would you give someone who wanted to try OC for the first time?
    As with concealed carry ...

    • Don't fidget, toy with the gun, holster, belt or clothing at that spot. Don't keep adjusting things.
    • Don't act self-conscious or conspicuous.
    • Just go about your business of errands, or whatever. Ignore the fact that you're carrying, as most everyone else will be as well.
    • Have appropriately discreet gear ... belt, holster that holds the firearm snugly to your body. Consider color/pattern matching appropriate to the level of discreetness you're wanting to project. ie, Black gun, black holster/loops, black belt, darker shirt, pants/slacks.


    Works for CC. Should work equally well for OC, except for the fact that the firearm isn't concealed with a covering garment.


    I am wondering things like holster selection (I.e. is a Fobus paddle holster sufficient or do you prefer thumb break type stuff) ...
    My suggestion is for something (OWB or IWB) that's discreet, snugly fits close-in to your body, is positioned to fit as closely to you as is comfortable and practical, matched in color to your gear/clothing so that you're as innocuous as makes sense in that environment and for your preferences.

    Holster selection isn't any more difficult than for concealment. Though, some prefer to add a thumb-break top if going OC. Up to you, depending on how you train to draw and carry.

    IMO, just treat it like another piece of clothing ... say, a jacket, or your watch. Wear it, ignore it, go about your business.

    I've carried many times openly, mostly with a discreet gear/clothing/color selection, sometimes not. Generally speaking, I get noticed most when not considering such things, when it's painfully obvious I'm carrying a gun that's either "hanging out there" with a looser-fitting paddle holster, or is in sharp color contrast to my clothing/belt choice that day.

    I don't have holsters with thumb-break tops. I OC "open," in that respect. YMMV.


    tips for dealing with people who notice ...
    You have every right to carry. It's your right, as a citizen. But then, it's everyone's right to be observant, to be concerned about potential threats around them, etc. Act like a normal, upstanding citizen who's going about his normal, unthreatening business, and do so in an unthreatening manner. If someone inquires why you're carrying, perhaps consider asking (nicely), "Doesn't everyone?"


    Thinking it might be fun to try it out, but don't want to do something stupid (ask my wife, I am prone to do that)
    Perhaps consider doing so the first handful of times while out and about with your spouse, going to mundane spots around town such as the park, or the ice cream shop, or possibly the corner grocery. Might consider heading to the nearest Wal-Mart, too, considering it's tradition (and it's a large spot with lots of people, most of whom won't notice, some of whom might and who might well freak). Once you're comfortable, then consider going to all the spots you normally go to, so long as you don't mind everyone knowing you're carrying.
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    VIP Member Array mprp's Avatar
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    smolck, good luck to you sir. Exercise that OC when you can. Just avoid being on YouTube or the news. I don't have the right to OC so I can only watch with envy from here. (some may not understand unless it's illegal for them too) Let us know how it went.
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigtime_077 View Post
    I would have to echo one of the previous posts and say pancake holster. I have a few of them, leather and made by Rob Leahy at Simply Rugged. As far as how do you handle someone who notices. Just stay cool and give them a simple hello. You definitely want to show kindness because when you are open carrying not only are you exercising a right you are also showing people that guns are not bad only some of the people who have them illegally which you are not one of them. Make them feel comfortable by staying comfortable yourself. If you show them you are nervous about it they will be even more nervous. Remember your the one with the gun. I think you will be suprised when most people won't even notice. Just the other day I OCed in Walmart in Saginaw and I don't think anyone noticed until I was standing still in the checkout line. I heard them whispering and I turned around and with a big smile said Hello how are you all doing today. They said just fine. And you know what they didn't seem nearly as nervous as before because I talked to them and I guess showed them they had nothing to worry about.

    Remember to be cool if someone notices because you don't want nervous people to make others nervous if they point it out. I believe the average person by themselves are fairly intelligent its the large mass of people that compound things and they feed off of that.

    Good Luck

    Jason

    Let us know how it goes
    Noticed what? You or the firearm?

    Wish I could OC here but I can't unless it is on my property.
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  10. #10
    Member Array bigtime_077's Avatar
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    I would have to say firearm. I myself am not a small guy. I am 6'2" and 250lbs so maybe thats why the gun wasn't noticed until I was standing still.

    Carry On!

    Jason
    I would rather die on my feet then live on my knees.

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    Member Array CJ_mp40c's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gasmitty View Post
    I'd skip the Fobus in favor of something more substantial. IWB works fine for OC if the shirt is tucked in and there's no cover garment,t.
    I thought that none of the gun could be covered by clothing.

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    Senior Member Array Sig35seven's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by smolck View Post
    Guys,

    What tips would you give someone who wanted to try OC for the first time? I am wondering things like holster selection (I.e. is a Fobus paddle holster sufficient or do you prefer thumb break type stuff), tips for dealing with people who notice, etc?

    Thinking it might be fun to try it out, but don't want to do something stupid (ask my wife, I am prone to do that)
    The reason to carry is for self defense not self amusement. Why would open carry be fun? You're looking for "tips for dealing with people who notice". Getting a rise out of people, appears to be a strong point for you and part of the 'fun' experience.
    "Confidence is food for the wise man but liquor for the fool"

  13. #13
    Senior Member Array DJC7's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sig35seven View Post
    The reason to carry is for self defense not self amusement. Why would open carry be fun? You're looking for "tips for dealing with people who notice". Getting a rise out of people, appears to be a strong point for you and part of the 'fun' experience.
    I found a game I think you might like.
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  14. #14
    Member Array carracer's Avatar
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    I was really hesitant and self conscious as I started carrying. Concealed first then open. I started by carrying open when on the way to the range and other outdoor activities until I found that few people in Idaho care or even notice. Now I probably open carry more than conceal. Especially in good weather.

    Difficult in the winter as I have to wear coats and jackets nearly everywhere. I rotate between my LC9 in iwb holster and 1911 in Serpa retention. I like my holsters high and tight. Don't like that floppy feel.

    I dress nice as I usually do anyway. Have only had a few comments in 5 years of carry. None negative and only 1 security guard stopping me until his supervisor confirmed I was allowed to carry in their venue. My wife was really worried about my carry but has since been ok since have had no negative experiences that would embarrass her.

    Just be yourself, start slow and you'll find out it's not the trauma causing panic starting thing that people would have you believe.

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    I live in Pennsylvania where Open Carry is legal and I also have a CCP. My EDC is a S&W M&P9c in a Fobus Evolution paddle holster either concealed or open. I am not a fan of open carry because I would rather be inconspicuous. I have no reason to flaunt the fact that I am carrying. This is not a fun thing, it is a very serious proposition to be armed and I take every opportunity to avoid any kind of confrontation. Therefore, I am much more of a gentleman, even in touchy situations I do on occasion carry open when I forget to take my cover shirt or jacket along but it's not for me. If you ever have to draw your firearm and use it, your life will change forever. Think about it carefully and then make your decision on what you want to do.

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