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Gunfighter Moment – Jeff Gonzales

Do you ever get that feeling someone is paying way too much attention to you. Did you ever think you may be drawing that attention because of some poor choices for your method and behavior while carrying concealed.

We run a boatload of students through our Concealed Carry Tactics class and one thing we always get them to do is a “peer review”. This is where they walk the line looking over each other’s method of carry. Some are better than others, but having someone give you a once over is worth it big time. There is a mutual benefit through the feedback, honest feedback. Then the other person becomes more familiar with common mistakes and what they look like for real.

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There are so many things people do that give away the fact they are carrying concealed, but the most obvious is when the gun actually is recognizable through the clothing. You really only see this one with poor selection in clothing options, mainly too tight or too light in nature. However, another method of printing is through what we call a “uniform”. While you may not actually be standing their in your dress blues, you fit the profile. Traveling overseas taught me a lot about this and in some parts of the world I absolutely did not want to be associated with my fellow Americans. Just about every single one of them looked like they stepped out of an REI catalogue. It was actually a bit funny when you stopped to look at it and while working on vulnerability studies it was something I would look for on the bad guy side, so it makes sense we do the same thing.

While we may not be walking around in little clusters of catalog models, I still see a lot of people making poor choices of clothing. So, while yes you want to conceal the weapon well, you also don’t want to draw attention to how you conceal the weapon. A year in the life.

– Jeff Gonzales
Trident Concepts, LLC

Gunfighter Moment is a weekly feature brought to you by Alias Training & Security Services. Each week Alias brings us a different Trainer and in turn, they offer some words of wisdom.

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28 Responses to “Gunfighter Moment – Jeff Gonzales

  1. Pieter Thirion says:

    True story. 5.11 pants, desert boots and a paracord skull fob hanging out of a pocket = almost definitely a tac folder and, chances are, concealed handgun.
    GAP cargo shorts, flip flops and check shirt? come on…. not a chance?

  2. Dev says:

    Hence it’ll be awesome if more quality-focused companies made more stuff for the “grey man” without any loss in functionality and qualit .

    Also if not too much to ask for, more on SSD worthy of the “grey man” tag.

    • D says:

      Most attempts at this result in quasi-tactical clothes that still don’t blend. In most cases, you’re better off making regular clothes work. Then again, I carry in an appendix holster, so I can make pretty much anything work as long as it’s got belt loops.

    • Pieter Thirion says:

      +1 on that!

    • Jeremy says:

      It seems like every piece of clothing on here that would blend in gets some velcro thrown on it at the last minute so the mall ninjas can put patches on it.

  3. ray forest says:

    Its a cycle. A company comes out with something cool, functional, and lowpro. Maybe they are not even a tactical company. Somebody starts wearing it. Maybe even a “Somebody” is seen sporting it. Everyone sees it in publications and industry media and starts to wear it until its not low pro anymore. Heaven forbid it gets labeled as “tactical” then its burned even faster. Within a 24-36 month cycle its recognizable and associated with the industry. When it comes to simple clothing designs thats probably a hard cycle to stay infront of.

  4. kris says:

    It would help if 90% of the the lopro stuff on the market came in normal colorsand had no webbing or velcro on it.

  5. Solid instructor and a great guy! Keep up the awesome work Jeff.

    Vic

  6. Mohican says:

    Good to have Jeff Gonzales writing here.

    So true about uniform. I don’t understand how you can dress in low profile if all your clothes has tags stating you are my objective for the bad guys.

  7. Jbgleason says:

    Ref getting the industry to make lo pro clothes. I had the chance to speak at length with one of the head designers at Kuhl during OR two years ago. I pointed out that I love the cut and the technical fabrics but would they please (PLEASE!) resist the urge to put pockets, zippers and other items all over the legs of the pants. Just make me some good fitting, quality pants that don’t scream “Tactical” or “outdoors”. Her answer? An exact quote: “Nope. That won’t sell.”

  8. Luke says:

    Why is everyone asking for lopro clothing? just go buy clothes, nothing intentionally made to look “low profile” is going to look as inconspicuous as something made by people that don’t know what low profile even means. Compare any companies “sneaky bag” to a beat up Timbuk2 and tell me which is sneakier.

    I decided a long time ago that if I ever felt the need to buy special clothing to accommodate how I carried, I was doing it wrong (looking at you velcro side-seam shirts).

    I also have to say that 80% of the clothing (or most products for that matter) that people ask for over and over again already exist. There are tons of companies making casual looking technical clothing that seem to be overlooked by the masses constantly searching for the next Gray Man uniform.

  9. Vince says:

    I always found that it’s best to do your homework for the the environment and local that you anticipate encountering. Dress like the locals or else you’ll stand out. That also goes with customs, courtesies and mannerisms. It’s all part of the threat assessment work up that should be part of every trip. A little bit of education on the AOR can go a long way to keep you low pro. As far as functionality of clothing goes, if it don’t work, make it work. Even if that means you need to bust out the thread and needle. Be safe.

    • mark says:

      Another thing that gets overlooked is that if you’re headed to a warm environment, get a tan. I was in Brazil a few months ago and you could spot some tourists from 75+ yards away by how much paler they were than the locals.

  10. Will says:

    Get an Adidas sweatsuit and a man purse … problem solved.

  11. ray forest says:

    The problem with non tactical clothing is it becomes tactical. Case in point Royal Robbins climbing pants becoming the defacto LEO/tactical pants. Ruined. Vertx is on the way there now even though I do dearly love the fit and utility of those pants. Kuhl and Mountain Khakis maybe next. We are all guilty of loving something to death I suppose.

  12. SC1911 says:

    Great topic from Jeff complimented by spot on follow up observations. Thank you all.

    There are many clothing manufacturers out there which provide robust, comfortable attire without making one look like a poser from the “he’s wearing/she’s wearing” issue of Outside magazine. Their price point is considerably less then what has recently appeared on this site (no offense SSD). I can buy several Arborwear or Carhart pants along with some shirts from Ex Officio for the price of one Glock GTX coat. Save the 5.11 Shoot-Me-First vest for the range. Get something like a guatemalan vest to cover that gat on your hip. Sure, you may look gay, but no one will ever think you’re carrying.

    Don’t just look at clothing from the usual suspects. Keep an eye out for novel concealment clothes. I travel all over the world and pick up clothing specifically for concealed carry back in the states. I carry a large handgun. Everyday. All my friends (both) know I carry. It’s a safe bet that everyone else doesn’t.

    Lastly and I hope I’m not stepping on anyone’s sensitivities here, but the best way to conceal a sidearm on the hip is to stay in shape. In other words, keep a slim waist. No gun will be printed under a shirt and thus, seen faster on a hot summer day then someone whose belt size is a third or more greater then their shoulders.

  13. Dellis says:

    I am not LEO or Military yet for the last 15 years I have worn nothing but boots. Because of my profession I was only in and around water and chemicals which tore up my sneakers and trashed my feet. One day a pair of black “cop looking” Magnum boots on sale at a shoe store and they were “waterproof”! So I bought some and never looked back. Then about 10 years ago, again for my profession, I always wanted some of those paramedic pants cause of the pockets but I could not justify the cost of the local uniform place price of $75!

    So I went to a surplus store and found some for $30. Again I found them highly functional and durable. Far more comfortable, especially in Texas summers! So fast forward to today I own 3 jeans, 2 slacks and 30 pair of “tactical/cargo” pants from all makers. Not to look tactical but because they wear well, are durable, functional and allows one to wear a belt with conceal in a supportive manner. Same with the shirts and jackets from companies like 5.1, VERTX, Propper and others. You don’t want to stick out like a sore thumb but then again I now hate wearing jeans and slacks.

    My solution? If I am wearing “tactical” pants I try to wear a untactical shirt and jacket. If I am doing something less work related, like dinner or shopping I will opt for the more slack like “tactical” pants and wear the loose fitting button up shirts from 5.11 and Blackhawk. Bass Pro also has some really nice shirts that wear well with conceal. I try to dress around the gun…lol. If that don’t sound like a line from my wife!

  14. Blaine B. says:

    I used to agree with Jeff but now I’m not so sure. I think pros zero in on uniform. Civilians and your run of the mill scumbag isn’t that situation-ally aware. If you’re rocking REI, Cabelas, or other outdoor type wear, I don’t think people immediately equate that to gun. And there are degrees of tactical. Rocking door kicker patches and certain camo patterns will make you stand out more than most. But again, I always end up thinking people care more than they do. Most of them have their noses stuck in their phone 75% of the time anyway. Just my two cents.

    • I hear you on the run of the mill civilian, but I would exercise caution still. There are resources available for various professional workplaces that provide guidance on how to spot someone carrying concealed. This is mainly an effort to deal with workplace violence and active shooter scenarios. The point should be obvious, there is greater scrutiny these days. As far as bad guys are concerned, I would certainly exercise caution as they are not as dumb as we want them to be.

  15. Walter says:

    People who know what to look for notice. Regular folks dont notice a thing. You zero in on it because you are doing it. Non carry folks can hardly keep from bumping into one another because theyre sunk too deep in their own head. Just wear a slightly heavier, loose shirt and a good belt. And the dont be a fat pig advice from earlier is good to.

  16. Shawn Rogers says:

    These are the most respectful and adult comments I have EVER read about anything! Not to mention spot on. I bought a Maxpedition bag two or three years ago and I love it. It still looks brand new. My only complaint – I wish it didn’t have all the M.O.L.L.E. straps. As SC1911 stated: ‘shoot me first’, I still love my bag, but it’s now in my trunk as a first aid/bug out bag.

  17. Steve says:

    I like the ‘old man, shorts, ragged shirt, flip flops, black socks and fanny pack thats packing’ look.

    😉

    • Dellis says:

      Fanny pack?…yea, dead giveaway. Especially one of them Maxpedition man-purse deals!

      Big jacket on a hot summer day…most likely a shoulder rig with a hand cannon.

      Odd really, as at the range I will always see people there and just based on looks you think, “These people (or person) should not own a gun!”

      Loose fitting clothes, open toed sandals and nylon work out pants.

  18. Riceball says:

    I don’t know if this is an issue or not but somehow I’d imagine that new CCW owners also stand out because they’re either looking nervous or constantly checking to see that their weapon is still there because they’re not used to carrying out in public yet. I think that if I were ever to get a CCW I’d probably be acting a bit sketchy the first few months or so until I got used to carrying in public and certain that I got my wardrobe right so that I’m not printing.