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How To Spot A Concealed Handgun

The Art of Manliness (a blog to which I sometimes refer) not only addresses etiquette, style and proper behavior, but also delves into ‘manly’ things such as camping, hunting, shooting, unarmed combat and other esoterica.  (Of course, many of these subjects may be of interest to women, as well!) 🙂

A recent guest post was entitled as above.  I’m posting it below, in it’s entirety, not just to entertain and inform, but to show those who do carry behaviors and appearances which may bring to them unwarranted attention.


How to Spot a Concealed Handgun

By A Manly Guest Contributor on Oct 21, 2016 02:10 pm

The following is an excerpt from 100 Deadly Skills: Survival Edition — The SEAL Operative’s Guide to Surviving in the Wild and Being Prepared for Any Disaster. A follow-up to Clint’s first bestseller — 100 Deadly Skills: The SEAL Operative’s Guide to Eluding Pursuers, Evading Capture, and Surviving Any Dangerous Situation — this new survival edition offers primers on any survival situation imaginable, from wilderness scenarios, to terrorism and kidnappings, to natural disasters.


CONOP: Concept of Operations; COA: Course of Action; BLUF: Bottom Line Up Front

Individuals who carry a handgun professionally are well attuned to the range of mannerisms that can indicate the presence of a concealed weapon within their vicinity. Civilians, too, can learn to familiarize themselves with these signs and signals. When combined with suspicious behavior, the suspected presence of a concealed weapon should put bystanders on high alert.

Body Language: People carrying handguns tend to subconsciously telegraph the location of the weapon via their body language. They may reflexively palpate the gun to make sure the weapon is still safely in its holster, subtly re-position the weapon prior to sitting or standing, or shift their weight away from nearby bystanders to avoid accidental contact with or theft of the weapon.

Asymmetry: Another telltale sign is asymmetry in clothing. Guns are heavy and bulky, and thus will betray signs of their presence to anyone who’s paying attention. An outside-the-waistband holster may cause a visible midline bulge, while an ankle holster may cause a bulge or tightening of the fabric at the lower leg. A gun held in a jacket pocket will weight down one side of the jacket unevenly.

Environment: Hot or inclement weather can make concealed weapons easier to spot. Rain, wind, or sweat can reveal the outline of a gun, which will generally be much easier to hide under multiple layers of cold-weather clothing.

Negligence: Weapons are also frequently exposed due to temporary negligence, flashed or inadvertently dropped as a gunman reaches for his wallet. Dropped weapons are an all-too-common scenario at public urinals, where inexperienced perpetrators may thoughtlessly unzip their pants — thereby releasing the tension that was holding up the holster.

The post How to Spot a Concealed Handgun appeared first on The Art of Manliness.

About guffaw1952

I'm a child of the 50's. libertarian, now medically-retired. I've been a certified firearms trainer, a private investigator, and worked for a major credit card company for almost 22 years. I am a proud NRA Life Member. I am a limited-government, free-market capitalist, who believes in the U.S. Constitution and the Rule of Law.


5 thoughts on “How To Spot A Concealed Handgun

  1. There’s an unwritten subtext here, conveying the wisdom of open carry. I realize that it’s not advisable, nor even legal, in some locations or circumstances. But up here it’s a “so what?” situation, most of the time, except when wandering through a large crowd of tourists. A loose-fitting, medium-weight jacket or vest is a friend, most of the time. Since there’s no requirement to avoid “printing” or accidental exposure, it takes the pressure off. Like the local peace officers say, “Just assume everyone is armed, and you can’t go wrong. Much.” 🙂

    Posted by Rev. Paul | October 25, 2016, 8:58 am
    • Agreed. I used to open carry a lot, when there were mostly native Arizonans. But, the influx from the coasts, coupled with the passing of CCW (and subsequent Constitutional Carry), it’s become less polite to O.C.
      Still legal, just less socially accepted.

      Posted by guffaw1952 | October 25, 2016, 9:05 am
  2. One reason why I like AIWB carry, it’s much harder to do a “bump frisk”. When you have to basically get into kissing range with someone to bump their belt buckle area, it just isn’t a natural thing.

    OC that I see has never drawn so much as a second look. Except from me who asks, “What are you carrying?” That usually leads to some conversation about guns, holsters, etc., so I only do it when I’m not trying to get somewhere in X amount of time. 🙂

    Posted by KM | October 25, 2016, 10:27 am
  3. Interesting, and pretty much true for ‘new’ CCW types… Old hands have pretty well mitigated those issues. I’ve carried for years, and have been asked by LEOs if I was carrying, because they couldn’t determine where it was…LOL

    Posted by Old NFO | October 25, 2016, 1:00 pm

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