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Practicality and etiquette questions re: open carry

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by Mitlov, Sep 19, 2013.

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  1. Mitlov

    Mitlov Member

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    This isn't a question about the legality of open carry. I've reviewed the relevant laws and it's legal in Oregon except for a limited number of municipalities. It's more about the practicalities of it, as it's nothing I've ever done before.

    I got my 1911 in part because I want to be able to defend my family against predators (two-legged and four-legged) while we're out camping or hiking in rural Oregon. Conceal carry is not feasible given that I'm a small-framed guy and a 1911 is, well, a 1911.

    First question: is this an appropriate holster for open carry? The guy who sold me the gun threw in this holster as part of the deal. It has a lever on it so you can't just grab the gun and pull it out, so I thought it would be, but I wanted to double-check.

    http://www.blackhawk.com/product/SERPA-CQC-wMatte-Finish,1145,1410.htm

    Second question: should I anticipate any problem with other individuals while walking around campgrounds, small-town cafes, etc having this holstered and on my hip? How frequently does someone object?

    Third question: if someone does decide to give me grief about it, how do you handle that? Ignore them? Say something in response, and if so, what?
     
  2. Warp

    Warp Member

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    That is an adequate holster, but I would consider stepping up from a Serpa. It's cheap, readily available, and there's one to fit almost every common pistol out there...but it's cheap and everybody who looks at it immediately knows how to defeat the retention device. Not that that is probably much of a problem out rural/in the woods.

    I can't speak for your locality, but I have open carried in 6 different states dating back to about 2006 and I have only had somebody object one time, ever (and that one time was overturned when I went home and talked to corporate, and I now actually open carry at that same store when I work a georgiacarry.org booth...I even carried an AR last time, though they required a trigger lock on it since it wasn't holstered)

    Anyway...probably you won't have to deal with anybody objecting, but it is always a possibility
     
  3. MErl

    MErl Member

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    You say CC is not feasible. You mean that you would not be able to completely conceal right? I'd recommend still putting a shirt over it and hiding it 80% (assuming you have any necessary permit).

    Cannot comment on the holster.

    Re quasi open carry as described above. I'd expect no issues from that. Based on my experience (albeit in a different state) there isn't an issue just going about your normal business with a little printing or a barrel peeking out. I bicycle and it gets hot, shirt comes off and gun shows 100%, still have had no issues at all.

    #3: Don't be baited, ignore individuals and respect property owners wishes while on their property.
     
  4. Warp

    Warp Member

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    My personal opinion, take it FWIW (and what you paid for it)...IMO firearms should either be concealed (adequately) or carried openly.

    I think the best way to make people nervous, or make people question whether or not you should be doing what you are doing, is to try to hide your gun and fail. If you are going to hide it...hide it.
     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2013
  5. Mitlov

    Mitlov Member

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    I do have a CHL, so there's no legal problem with me concealing. It's just that I'm 5'6" so a 1911 with a 5" barrel is pretty visible.

    As for the 80% concealment (tee-shirt over it) versus 0% (tee-shirt tucked into the belt at that point)...I'd be interested to hear other people's views as well. I don't want to make anyone nervous or uncomfortable (not only does it make my life harder, but it's just not a respectful thing to do to other people) and I'm not sure which is the better approach.
     
  6. Bobson

    Bobson Member

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    I disagree with what Warp said on this topic, as long as both CC and OC are legal. For instance, both CC and OC are legal in my state. I only CC (G19 IWB with a tee shirt over), but I also know my gun prints a lot of the time. I don't care. It's now late September and still over 100 degrees every day in the Arizona valley. I carry as concealed as possible. If someone (either civi or LEO) says something to me, I'm prepared to quote the law to the letter. Anyone who carries a firearm should be ready to do the same, IMO.
     
  7. Outlaw Man

    Outlaw Man Member

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    Not trying to start an argument with you, but I have a friend that's no more than two inches taller than you, and he carries a full size Beretta 92 concealed very regularly. The options are there for you if you want to carry concealed. Your choice, though.

    But since you didn't ask about concealed carry...

    Since it just became legal in our state (and it's still questionable), I don't have much experience. I have open carried out of state, but not much. I think if you dress nice (relatively speaking, for out in the woods), most people won't pay a bit of attention. It's one of those things where if you look and act like you're supposed to be doing it, people assume you're supposed to be doing it.

    In the woods, I can't imagine you'd get even a second glance. To me, that seems perfectly natural.

    That holster is decent, and has a level of retention, so it's already better than what a lot of people use. I'd suggest a class in weapon retention, though, as it will better help you know how to react when someone approaches you physically.

    If they're just talking, often times it's best to ignore them. Do NOT do what my CHL instructor (undercover cop) did one time. He was at an open air concert, and before the show started, he got some beers for his friends. His hands were full, and when his shirt rode up, he couldn't pull it back down. A man with a baby in his arms stepped in front of what he thought was an average Joe with a gun (absolutely ignorant move, if you ask me) and asked in no uncertain terms why he had a gun (open carry was quite illegal at the time). My instructor replied, "to shoot people," and stepped around him. Obviously, the uniformed police showed up a couple minutes later. He showed them his undercover ID, turned, and winked at the man with the baby.

    Definitely didn't help our cause.
     
  8. Outlaw Man

    Outlaw Man Member

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    I completely agree with you from a legal standpoint. Tactically speaking, I'd be hesitant to do it for one reason - you're likely to avoid that situation altogether, and thus will be much less likely to make a negative experience for a fence-sitter that just may be a little uncertain of the law.

    On the other hand, you might strike up a conversation and win them over, so...your call.
     
  9. rondog

    rondog Member

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    Even at your size, you should be able to CC a 1911 just fine, people have been doing it for 100 years. A 1911 may seem large, but it's really quite flat compared to many other autos. Check into some of the inside-the-waistband (IWB) holsters that tuck it in close to you. The holster you have hangs off the belt, outside the waistband (OWB), so naturally it will be a lot harder to conceal.
     
  10. Warp

    Warp Member

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    I thought I was pretty clear. What I said in no way, whatsoever, at all, had anything to do with legality.

    The OP of this thread is concerned with his perception and with how his firearm will make other people feel/react/respond.

    It is my opinion that OPEN carry or successfully-hidden carry are better in this regard because I believe people are most likely to be concerned, or worried, or uncomfortable if you are trying to hide your gun but fail.

    If it's hidden/concealed well, nobody (or very few) will know.

    If it's open, you obviously don't have anything to hide and don't care that people know you have it.

    If you are trying to hide it...but they see it...why are you trying to hide it? Are you up to no good? Are you going to do something with it? Are you not licensed? These are some of the things that will go through some people's heads. Right, wrong, legal, illegal, indifferent, whatever...people are how they are.
     
  11. USAF_Vet

    USAF_Vet Member

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    I have a CPL, and would just as soon not advertise to the world I'm carrying, but in the great outdoors, I don't bother covering it. The wildlife doesn't care, and usually other people don't care either.
    Out and about in town, it stays covered, but if it gets exposed, not a big deal. I took the dog into Tractor Supply last week, carrying OWB, and he twisted around me at the checkout lane when the clerk offered him some beef jerky. When we did that, my shirt tucked behind my holster, exposing the gun. Didn't even notice until I was in the parking lot loading the car. I think the only person who noticed the exposed gun was the guy in the truck parked behind me.

    Before I got my CPL, I would open carry quite a bit. No one ever seemed to care, or even notice.

    To answer the OPs questions: 1) its fine, not my preferred holster, but better than a cheap nylon Uncle Mike's or Bulldog. 2) in my experience, rural folk are more comfortable around guns, so I don't expect problems. 3) if you are confronted over it, and not by the police or business owner, either ignore them, or inform them what you are doing is legal. Whatever you do, don't get an attitude or get rude.
     
  12. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    Open carry is legal here.

    But there would be 41 airheads with cell phones calling in 'Man with a Gun' to 911 before I could get from the truck in the parking lot to the front door of Wal-Mart.

    So I just don't do it.

    rc
     
  13. Bobson

    Bobson Member

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    I didn't even hint that your post had something to do with legality; I mentioned legality to make sure the OP understood my opinion. The only reason I even mentioned your name is to say I disagreed.

    And I understand the OP's concern in this thread, which is exactly what I addressed. Following your first post, the OP explicitly asked for further opinions on the matter. I gave him what he asked for.
     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2013
  14. Warp

    Warp Member

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    You said that you don't care, and that if if somebody says something to you, you are prepared to quote the letter of the law.

    I don't think that's the kind of thing the OP wants to be doing.

    I think that's exactly what he wants to avoid.
     
  15. md2lgyk

    md2lgyk Member

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    It is also legal here, though I've never seen anyone doing it. I personally choose not to, though I've been tempted lately to give it a try.
     
  16. Mayvik

    Mayvik Member

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    RE holster, should work fine if it is in good working order. I would probably opt for something leather for OC, just to avoid that potential "tacticool" stigma - more of a "my camping gun" vibe and less "my camping and shooting Taliban" vibe that people may get.

    Also agree that OC is open and CC is hidden, don't halfass it. If you look like you are supposed to have a gun, people are less likely to think you are doing something shady.
     
  17. MErl

    MErl Member

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    It is possible I'm underestimating how effective my concealment is but I know I print at times and I've not had any issues. The other gun I carry (owb) sometimes is 1911 sized and the barrel will peek in addition at times in addition to printing, again not an issue.

    I think it is your actions and attitude that make others nervous. A partially concealed and observed handgun will play a part in that but should not be instant issue if just going about everyday actions.
     
  18. Bobson

    Bobson Member

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    He specifically asked what he ought to do if someone questions him about his carry of a firearm. To me that means, what should I do if someone asks about my gun? I think he should do what I would do - which is clearly and politely quote the law. I'm not sure what part of that you find to be less than ideal.
     
  19. Warp

    Warp Member

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    I follow now
     
  20. Ifishsum

    Ifishsum Member

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    I've done plenty of open carrying in rural parts of Oregon, and generally don't even get a second glance. East of the cascades you're usually fine, but I generally avoid it here in the valley because too many small-minded folks either get frightened or make stupid remarks. I'd rather avoid the attention.
     
  21. BADUNAME2

    BADUNAME2 Member

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    First, about concealing a 1911. It is very possible, even for a smaller guy to do. It's probably not possible with that holster, though. It just rides too far away from the body. IWB holsters in general, and some designs of OWB, like pancakes, are designed to pull the gun in close. The IWB, additionally, hides most of the slide inside your britches. That, combined with the 1911's slim profile, makes for a surprisingly good carry package. A good heavy, reinforced 1.5 or 1.75" belt makes this a lot easier and more comfortable than the usual piece of leather linguine, of course. It still may not be the route you choose to go, but don't be too quick to dismiss it as completely unfeasible, either.

    As to open carry, that holster would work, but it wouldn't be my first choice. As the multipart nature of your question indicated, whether a product will work for open carry is more complex than simply "Will this thing hold my gun?" The Serpa will do that, and it even has a simple retention feature built in. However, a big part of open carry is psychology, particularly how people react to you. That's greatly influenced by what sort of image you project. As another poster already said:

    Being well dressed, well groomed, and carrying a good looking rig will take you a lot further than a $40 piece of plastic, no matter how well it holds onto the gun. IMHO, anyhow.

    As to what Oregonians think about it, I couldn't tell you. I haven't been out that way in years.
     
  22. Warp

    Warp Member

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    I agree.

    I use:

    [​IMG]


    Which, most importantly, is "Level III" retention (according to Safariland, I think level II is more accurate) + a hood guard, which is more gun-grab resistant than a Serpa. And looks a hell of a lot more appropriate, too
     
  23. Frank Ettin

    Frank Ettin Moderator

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    Getting back to the holster question, the Serpa would not be my choice. The design makes it possible to, upon releasing the retention mechanism, put your finger in the trigger guard, on the trigger. There have been reported unintended discharges as a result, and a number of instructors will not allow the use of the Sherpa holster in their classes.

    The issue with the Serpa relates to the subject of human factor engineering.

    Human factor engineering is about designing things in a way that considers human capabilities and limitations to reduce the possibilities for operational errors, especially under stress, and to reduce training requirements. The Serpa doesn't seem to do that well.

    While it is possible to train to use the Serpa properly and safely, its design makes it especially easy to make a particular, natural and predictable operational error that is dangerous to the user. If you are really good at using it correctly, that will be fine. But it is designed and operated in a way that makes it especially easy to make a particular mistake that can get you hurt.
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2013
  24. Mitlov

    Mitlov Member

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    Thanks for the information on the Serpa holster and the Safariland alternative. Gives me some food for thought, whether I end up using the Serpa holster or not. I already own the Serpa, though the Safariland Level 3 looks like a much nicer (though much more expensive) option for open carry. I'll also experiment with IWB with the 1911, particularly if I succeed in my goal of losing 10-20 lbs this winter.

    As for the well-groomed and well-mannered stuff, haha, I think I'm probably okay there. I've been told I give off a vibe somewhere between "east coast private school" and "Mormon missionary," and there's a good chance I'll be with my two boys (7 and 4) and open-carrying a camera. Don't smoke or drink, and don't swear unless stubbed toes are involved (no objection to people who do, just not my thing). Can only do so much with "well-groomed" after camping for three nights straight, but I'm certainly not the brash/loud/in-your-face kind.
     
  25. BADUNAME2

    BADUNAME2 Member

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    Kind of hard to tell through an Internet forum. After all, you did say you were from Oregon, which is where they keep Portland, last I heard. :neener:
     
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