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I see a lot of posts here and on other websites talking about strapping on a gun and walking around in public. Most recommend wal-mart aka wally world as the first destination. I've carried concealed for a couple years now, and want to share a few observations.

If your family (wife, children, parents, etc) can't tell if you're armed, you are doing it right. My personal goal was to carry around my wife and have her have to ask if I was armed. Since I can do this at will, I am confident that even a LEO (Law Enforcement Officer) is going to be uncertain if I am armed or not. Your family will be your most critical observers.

99% of the "walmartians" will have no clue you are even within 10 feet of them. A few "shoppers" will look alert, and will be keeping an eye on their surroundings. Likely they are armed also, give em a nod, and keep walking.

In your car, or when seated at a restaurant consider where your gun is, how can you access it, and is it pressing against your clothing hard enough to print its outline.

I'm sure others have more to offer, so lets let them have at it:
 

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Kind of funny... the last few times I've been out and seen a 'black, holster-looking' attachment peeking out on someone's hip, it has been a phone.
 

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Kind of funny... the last few times I've been out and seen a 'black, holster-looking' attachment peeking out on someone's hip, it has been a phone.
My experience also.

I have my cell phone on one side and my gun on the other. The cell phone is much more evident than my gun.
 

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I'd say 99% of the "walmartians" around here don't really care if you're carrying concealed. More than a few are carrying themselves, or have a family member who is.
 

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The vast majority of people are in such a Condition Oblivious you could walk by them with a slung AR-15 and unless you bumped them it would never be noticed. The same goes for printing, unless you are carrying a Desert Eagle under skin tight shirt 99.99% of the time you will not be noticed.
 

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Can we add more advice for newbees to carry?

1. Remove the ammo from your gun and place in other room, have other member of house verify your gun is dry.

2. Dry fire practice with your gun toward the fireplace or safe direction in the following manner.
A. Practice accessing your gun in holster through concealment and become good at instantly getting your grip, don't draw.
B. Repeat but begin removing the gun from holster and coming up to low ready with finger out of trigger, repeat.
C. Begin drawing and presenting the gun as if firing with finger always out and down frame
D. Buy some fake ammo snap caps and start practicing dry firing so you reduce the wear and tear on your firing pin
E. Practice mag changes by dry fire once, change your magazine (speed loader), dry fire once more and scan 360 for threats, repeat.

Repeat that thousands of times in 10-15 minute practice sessions. If the phone rings, doorbell, etc, reverify the gun is clear and ammo in other room before restarting. Never ever start practicing without checking over again, a couple times. And then still point in safe direction.

Next go on Netflix or have a friend order the "STREET SAFE" DVD they have. It's a little old with out of date hair styles and 80s look but a priceless 1 hour training DVD on avoiding crime, shootouts and how to escape them. It does NOT train you on gun use. It's all about showing how crimes develop on the streets and you can halt that process once you understand it. You may never actually need to use your gun after these skills are learned. Especially women.

I would also add one last nugget. Never walk a street, enter a situation, or area that you would NOT enter without a gun. Just because you HAVE a gun should never change this decision. Do not walk down that dark sidewalk with a gun if you would be too afraid to without the gun. Never assume the gun is actually going to help you. It's a last resort and you should assume in any gun shootout you will likely be shot at least once.

Start looking at other people and detecting if they carry. There's a long list somewhere of things to detect, and it's very accurate. I can tell just how someone walks, adjusts, wears their clothes and gear. Trust me, not everyone is oblivious.

I wish others here would add some more advice along these lines.
 

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For me, the wallmart walk was not about testing my concealment (primarily), but more for getting over the initial nervousness of carrying in public, training myself to have confidence that I can go about my day without constantly brushing my arm against it.
 

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Spovik makes a valid point, Walmart is a good way to get the confidence that you aren't being eyeballed by every patron you walk by, but if you want to test concealment go visit some friends or family, most of the time they are closer to your proximity, will either hug you straight away or when you are parting ways and are (usually) more observant of your behavior and what you do with your hands/arms while just having a normal conversation. Unless you are CC by way of OWB under a shirt you are not really going to print enough to be noticed. Bending or stretching will be the only way you'll show and most of the time it's going to be some little kid standing near you that will notice. If someone does spot a bulge then they are either carrying/do carry or they are looking for it. It takes a while to get used to having a heavy object in your belt, but most people are either too busy, way too oblivious or have their head way too far up their own......well you know.......to even be bothered with the fact that you have a pistol with you.
 

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I am new to CC. Took class in Feb, got permit in April. Carried for the first time in public in May (stupid IL).

To prepare myself, I first read up a lot on what to expect. I also got my carry holster quickly after taking my class. I carried my gun around the house (full mag, empty chamber) and yard every chance I got for a few weeks. Then switched to loaded. I did not tell my wife or kids and went about life as normal, wearing whatever I wore while out in public. Everything from hoodies to t-shirts.

After about a month of doing this, and no one point it out, I asked my wife if she had noticed I had been carrying for the past month in the house. She said "carrying what?" She and my daughter had bumped my gun a few times, but were none the wiser.

Carried for the first time in public in May. Took my daughter to the Doctor, went to lowes, clothes shopping (it was the wife's b-day), lunch and a few other places. I made a conscious effort to not tug at or pull my shirt. I did initially have the "everyone is staring at me" feeling, but that quickly lessened. (dont know that it went away) I did find myself more aware of my surroundings than I normally am, and I usually consider myself to be pretty aware of what is going on.

I think carrying around the house before hand, without telling anyone, and having no one notice, helped a lot. Also helped a lot to be aware of what other first time carriers go through.

BTW, I carry my full size px4, IWB.
 

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Spovik makes a valid point, Walmart is a good way to get the confidence that you aren't being eyeballed by every patron you walk by, but if you want to test concealment go visit some friends or family, most of the time they are closer to your proximity, will either hug you straight away or when you are parting ways and are (usually) more observant of your behavior and what you do with your hands/arms while just having a normal conversation. Unless you are CC by way of OWB under a shirt you are not really going to print enough to be noticed. Bending or stretching will be the only way you'll show and most of the time it's going to be some little kid standing near you that will notice. If someone does spot a bulge then they are either carrying/do carry or they are looking for it. It takes a while to get used to having a heavy object in your belt, but most people are either too busy, way too oblivious or have their head way too far up their own......well you know.......to even be bothered with the fact that you have a pistol with you.
We were recently visited for a week by our Massachusetts anti-gunner relatives. We didn't talk guns while they were here. When they left, they asked my wife if I still carried a gun and when I did so. When she told them that I was armed at all times during the week they lived in our house, they were surprised. I think concealment worked! :smile:
 

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Ruger & 3speedHolster.jpg DSCN4581b.jpg

Not a conventional carry system (3speed Holster).
It was three weeks into wearing it that my wife finally asked me, If I was concealing my gun. when I told her It's been everywhere with us for the last three weeks, she just rolled her eyes.
 

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I'd say 99% of the "walmartians" around here don't really care if you're carrying concealed. More than a few are carrying themselves, or have a family member who is.
A certain percentage of Walmartians are also the types of people who do things that give me reason to carry...In the last month i have seen in and around Walmart:
1)Police officer assaulted
2)Drive by shooting homicide block away while I was inside the store
3)Two men having loud and possibly physical dispute of money in parking lot featuring statements such as "I gonna kill yo ass MFer"...I drove way promptly from the area.
 

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a walmart about an hour from here had a shooting last week. A guy was shot in the back as he was running into the store for safety trying to get away from the shooter. Reports are that it started as road rage.
 

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a walmart about an hour from here had a shooting last week. A guy was shot in the back as he was running into the store for safety trying to get away from the shooter. Reports are that it started as road rage.
Too bad he didn't have an IL permit and could have defended himself...oh,wait...
 

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I was on a work project in Virginia before I got my FL CCW. As we know VA is a "Gold Star" open carry state, so I took advantage of that and OC'd. I found doing that allowed me to get over that first "fear" of carrying.

I've only had my CCW for a few months but it now feels "old hat" (so to speak) when I CC to the point when I'm in states/areas I can't carry I almost feel naked.
 
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