Defensive Carry banner

Printing - your take.

6415 Views 45 Replies 30 Participants Last post by  P95Carry
Discussing this yesterday with a shooting (and CCW) buddy.

Ideally nothing shows at all, made easier if the cover garment ''hangs right''.

However - I got to wondering how different folks view this, in as much as I regard true printing as something akin to the gun's outline being suggested or displayed. If occasionally when I bend forward the butt produces a slight bulge to rear - I do not really see that as printing per se - it is more in the category of - ''that could be a gun - or pager, or cell phone, or multi-tool.

As we mostly agree Joe (cond' white) Average is not overly observant and so while I reckon my concealment is pretty much 99.9% with always attempt at 100% - I do not lose much sleep over a slight and very temporary bulge. Add to that - I choose when bending such that any bulge should it be evident, is facing away from any possible viewers.

I think if an outline is showing - what I regard as true printing - something is wrong. usually that will be the cover garment and most likely it being too tight over the piece and/or being of too shere a fabric.

This extends to pocket carry too and tends to highlight the usefulness of a pocket holster - a bulge in pocket could be about anything but an outline is not very subtle! Unholstered revo even in a sloppy pocket could qualify.

So to me, cover garment choice and mode of wear is the bottom line but - how do you guys regard printing - any hint of gun? Or more of an obvious outline problem?
1 - 20 of 46 Posts
Most non-carrying people are so unobservant that a little outline is no big deal. I have been carrying for more than 10 years legally in TX andhave been questioned about ehether I was carrying a total of ONE time. Was in a restaurant seated with my Kimber in my first OWB (Uncle Mike's) and it showed somehow. A gentleman wallked over to my table, showed me a S.A.P.D. badge and asked me if I was carrying. I rersponded that I was and asked if I could show him my CHL. He allowed me to show him and then suggested that with my build I should consider another mode of carry. 5'7" 155lbs, fill sized 1911. (Suggested IWB)
I switched the U.M. holster to IWB and carried like that for a couple of months while looking for a better mode. This was just after the CHL law passed and the PD were more vigilant due to the newness of the law.
I bought my Beltster then and have had no problems.

More on topic, I feel that a little bulge is no big deal. In today's society, there are so many cell phones, PDAs, multi tools, and other guff around our waists that the telltale bulge is not so telltale anymore.

just my $0.02.
See less See more
I consider printing to be enough of an outline to show a suspicious shape, whether it's a gun butt poking out well over the "it might be a cellphone" area, or the tell-tale "triangle" shape. If it's a small lump and it is in an area where cellphones and pagers are commonly located, it's okay. I've seen some really bad, obvious printing (see attached picture!).

Learning how to bend over to reach things without printing can get interesting. I've had spinal fusion, so I've had to learn to compensate for a long time now. I bend at the knees and kneel down so all I have to do is stretch my arm out with my back still straight. It looks much more elegant anyway, since you're not sticking your butt in anyone's face, and it prevents back strains if you're lifting something heavy.

When I first started carrying, I was made several times. I think with enough experience and holster and clothes testing, most everybody can completely conceal their guns.
yep, a slight bulge, once in a while seems to go unnoticed, even by PD. I don't worry about it , even my close friends need to pat me down to check for a pistol. I really liek the deep concealment Desantis Tuck this holster for light shirt carry. I can carry in the summer under a loose t-shirt tucked in and not print.
''that could be a gun - or pager, or cell phone, or multi-tool.
I've had my handcuffs and even a thermometer mistaken for a firearm in my day.

Well, I wear the ever present uniform of the day a Banana Republic photographers vest and so anybody who carries also usually has one in his closet so I get some smirks on that score. I'm a pretty big guy so my Blade Tech IWB virtually disappears inside my pants. Today, I wore my Sig P245 to church. Left it in the car but didn't take off the IWB and sp mag so I wore the vest inside. One of the Board Member's from my IDPA club is a church elder and he spotted it (the vest and what it means for me) right off. He was carrying his 45 cocked and locked as he always does....with full knowledge and approval of the Pastor. He looked at me and automatically asked "What's up?" I replied quietly and a little tersely "RAMADAN." He looked a bit startled and then he sighed and said...."Gee thanks now I'll be thinking about THAT all day." I told him it would never leave my mind until the 2nd of November.
I've figured something out. I no longer wear white T shirts. All my T shirts are dark colored now.

It just depends. If I'm going to be up close and personal with people I want to print none at all, if I'm going to the grocery store I find I don't have to work too hard at it.
I find that the Dickies work shirts worn outside of the pants are great. You can get them from Wal-mart 13.00. They are in now and they have plenty of colors. The little 38 disappears. I am still working on the 45 although I have carried it in my Fobus while shopping with the wife wearing a white polo shirt untucked..
Suggestion: Blue Lion

Just my opinion but, your problem concealing your .45 likely starts with your Fobus holster.
NOT a great holster for concealed carry.
Fobus just does not pull in tight enough to the body.
Not meaning to get anybody POed at me but, if Fobus or Uncle Mike's GAVE me a free Kydex holster (for concealed carry) & topped it off with a hundred dollar bill.
Absolute Truth...I would hand both right back to them.
Buy a good leather concealment holster AND a good stiff thick Gun Belt from a good maker & your problem will be solved.

As per Euc.
I have said this for years. Buy Extra High Quality DARK slightly oversize T-shirts.
The higher quality all cotton Tshirts have some extra fabric weight to them.
Dark Blue - Black - Deep Green.

Deep Dark Blue (almost black) actually hides a possible "print" best according to my artistic type eye.

Dark printed fabric is also good for breaking up possible "print" lines.
See less See more
QK, I actually don't have a problem with the 1911. I guess I should have been more clear. I am working on getting use to the weight. Although I have considered getting a better holster and belt for it. However, my old garrison belt and fobus does fine for the 38 or 1911. :cool:
Sorry but I have other (more important ) things to worry about than what someone thinks could be on my waste. Don't get me wrong. I buy clothes with CCW in mind. I also wear clother with CCW in mind. But-----no fretting here. With all the things that people wear nowadays on the belt,do you really know that I have a pistol,revo,or,shotgun,on my belt or otherwise strapped to my waste. My wife's daily dress for work is loose shirt,and jeans or shorts. On her belt is her private phone,work phone,Spyderco in sheath,and small flashlight. In my area lots of people wear at least two phones. Some wear a Blackberry and other gadgets. I don't wan't my mode of dress to scream gun, but if what I wear makes someone wonder,"what's under there" then so what. I don't feel that very many people go around trying to get a peek a us anyway. It's(IMO) far,far,better to watch what you say,and how you handle yourself then to wear the perfect garment anyway. After getting dressed in the AM,how many of you stand in front of your full legnth mirror and put on a mini-fashon show for yourself ?? Not me. ---------
See less See more
Do This Test

I think we are over concerned about printing especially in front of strangers and unknown other common everyday people.

Do this test now...don't go out today and walk around and do it tomorrow.

Of the 10 or 50 or 100 people that you happened to see YESTERDAY just going about the course your daily many had cell phones on their waist? How many had pagers? What color were their shoes? What else do remember about their respective midsections? Did any have a fat wallet in their back pocket?
Most people do not look down at crotch & a$$ areas in public.
Most people look at things but, don't see anything anyway.
Of the others that do look and see the majority of them don't give a doggone dang about anything anyway.
Some folks (of course) will check out a hot bum on the babe but, does anybody reall scope out the tush on the dumpy Wall Mart clerk? :rolleyes: just wondering.
Hmmm, QK, that hasn't been my experience with Fobus at all. I have run into a few models that don't work as well as others, but for the most part they work great for me and I've got a lot of premium leather holsters to compare them to.

I have not tried to carry a 1911 in a Fobus. That does seem a bit big and heavy and there may indeed be some problems with the Fobus and a 1911. I also haven't tried carrying under just a tee shirt; I almost always have some kind of light vest on for concealment and that may make a difference.

One thing I found with my latest leather holster, the Alessi CQC/S, is that it pulls the gun in so tight, that I begin to feel the gun in my side after wearing it a short while and it gets pretty uncomfortable. That may go away some as it breaks in a bit.
QKShooter, SOMETHING'S WRONG (??) I actually agree with you again(your post #12). We all look but we do not really ponder what we see. I am aware of my general situation.The scruffy "hey dude" that sonder's into the Bugger King. The guy that keeps glanceing around in a bank. (and others)These types in this environment. I stereotype heavily. That's my right. I feel the we CCWer's and you LEO's don't really look hard. So I know that the average guy/girl on the street doesn't. They don't even know what to look for.If I happen to(possibly) make someone I keep an extra eye on them but this passes in a couple of seconds. I've tried actually trying to see how many people I could make in one days travels. My ? is how do we know that we have made them?? Just cuz it seems to look like a weapon,doesn't really mean that it really is. Ask yourself this. How many times have you actually seen a weapon?? Not a bulge,not a print,not even a holster,but a weapon. For myself---maybe 3. Out of how many thousands of people. Then if by chance the wind blows your shirt up and reveals your entire weapon,out of the 10(or so) people that could see it,how many of them will really GAF ?? --------
See less See more
I am somewhat concerned about the weapon showing but I agree that MOST people do not pay attention to what is going on. Since I have to carry a cell phone and Blackberry (in addition to wallet, knife what ever else), I feel very comfortable with my XDsc in the front pocket. Away from work I wear shortd and a Hawaian style loose shirt when away from home (around the house it may be a tshirt) so covering hasnt been a problem. Just the way I dress anyway.

"QKShooter, SOMETHING'S WRONG (??) I actually agree with you again(your post #12)."

I don't know...something must be wrong. What's going on?:biggrin:
I carry OWB all the time with my 5" Kimber. I have never had an issue woth somebody making my gun other than the few cops around here that know I am caarying. I live in VA and have to carry in a method that makes it easy to open carry when I enter a restaurant (stupid VA law, CCW illegal, open carry just fine) that serves alcohol. Shirt over the top or a mid length jacket in the winter and I'm fine. Along with the gun I carry 2 spares and my surefie 6p. All in handmade holsters from a local guy "Backwoods Leather" here in Chesapeake. Great work!!
The LEO's haven't been trying to "make" people as much, now that there are so many CCW'ers out there. They're looking at stealth and guilt signs. The public can't tell a print from a pop can. Those who know, like us, don't mind. It's the BG I don't want to tip off. The cover garment should be loose and open in the front. The rest can be Armani.
I concern my self naught with worrying about printing. I have a T-shirt cover, but bend and move as I am wont. So what if someone notices my bulge. Most people do not have a clue, nor would they do anything about it anyway.

I was with 6 very close friends one evening and we were playing cards and various other games. We stood and moved and bent over through out the evening. Just as we were about to go, one of the women, who knows I carry, asked if I was carrying that night. I told her I was and she said she never even noticed. With some many other things to worry about, this issue is way low on my radar.
If I print, it only helps the antis and the criminals.
1 - 20 of 46 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.