No X-Ray Vision

As it says in the book, other people do not have X-ray vision. You just think they must when you’re first walking around in public with a gun.

With my Kahr K40 or my Taurus 85 in my pocket with these particular denim shorts, I feel like I’m blatantly obvious. The weight slams into my leg with every step, I can see the fabric bunching up strangely, and worst, the pocket tends to gape and the outer lip gets pulled down by the weight in the pocket. Looking down, I can often see the handle just below the lip of the pocket. When I sit down it makes a huge lump, and often slides off sideways, twisting the fabric around strangely.

I started this project to try to photograph these particular problems, as part of my ongoing dialog about “people are different”. (“No, really. More than you think. More than that even.”) Probably having another photographer would help. But the results I got on my own are somewhat interesting — as a demonstration of how much more obvious these things are to me than to people looking on.

So, which is which?

It’s a bit more obvious from your own perspective — straight above the pocket, looking down. The first one shows a really clear case of the lip of the pocket being dragged in by the weight hanging in the lining. In the second two you can actually see bits of the handle of the gun. And the third one isn’t from my own position, it’s from close in and out in front — pretty much where somebody else’s head would be if they were standing there talking to you.

(In the first set of examples, it’s no, yes, yes, no. But I can’t now reconstruct which was the Kahr K40 and which was the Taurus 85. In both cases they’re in the Uncle Mike’s Sidekick pocket holster that I reviewed yesterday.)

This is also probably useful in learning what to look for in others — although that’s a sport, I think, more than it’s a useful skill. I suspect what the key things to look for are varies widely (or even wildly) with style and cut of the clothing. In this particular pair of pants, what’s obvious is the weight of the gun pulling down the lip of the pocket.

Women at a Disadvantage?

Stylish women are at a considerable disadvantage in regards to carrying. I very frequently see women wearing pants that I’m absolutely sure aren’t concealing a gun, in the pocket, inside the waistband, or anywhere else. (I’ve never actually seen anybody try to wear Thunderwear under pants that tightly fitted, but given the details of anatomy revealed I believe a gun in Thunderwear would be quite obvious.) Similarly, many of their pants, skirts, and dresses don’t have pockets, or have small useless pockets. Bare midriffs pretty much sink any hope of IWB carry even with looser pants. Of course with other styles of dress all these options open up again. The advice to “dress around the gun” applies to both sexes. But I think people in general pay more attention to how women are dressed.

Shallow Concealment

People talk about “deep cover” and sometimes “deep concealment”, so there must be such a thing as “shallow concealment” (or “lite”). Since Minnesota law doesn’t require concealment at all, perhaps styles will trend that way after a while — maybe not worrying if the muzzle of your 45 shows from under your vest when you bend over, or your Taurus 85 is visible if you look down into the pocket it’s in. People already mostly don’t worry about a mysterious loop around your belt (connected to an IWB tucked under your shirt). Maybe they’ll stop worrying about the loop matching the belt color.

Then there’s the North American Arms belt buckle gun.

I doubt we’ll see women wearing shoulder holsters under sheer blouses, though.

Business Meeting

Today I went armed to a business meeting for the first time. With the Kahr in the pocket of the shorts, as pictured above. Nothing interesting happened. (Joel and I were placing a series of ads in Citypages for carry courses, but the person we were talking to never asked if we were carrying, and my mind-reading skills never caught him wondering particularly loudly. Look for “Need a Carry Permit?” for 6 weeks starting 2-Jul-2003.)

I haven’t yet encountered a “posted” location while armed, or planned to avoid one I already knew about. There’s only one location I’ve frequently gone that is now posted, that I’ve noticed. I do, however, have my plans in place for securing my weapon in the car if I do need to. It’s an interim plan, and I should work on upgrading it.

By the way, that very stiff (and very nice) Galco gun belt in the pictures is also a bit of a giveaway to anybody who is paying attention.

So My Permit Came Today

I’d been watching the mail for a while. I applied the morning of May 28th, the first day they accepted applications. I got a phone call a few days later asking for information about my instructor’s certificate and AACFI — meaning they were at least looking at my application. I was afraid they’d set them aside in an “aging” file and mail the permits at the last possible second, as sort of a final gesture of scorn. I was also keeping in touch with a few other Hennepin County residents, and they hadn’t gotten theirs yet either.

Image of permit So it came today. Pamela brought in the mail, noticed what it was, and brought it right down to me. First I’ve seen the new card; I don’t remember anyplace publishing what it was going to look like. I sent email to a few friends and the CCRN web master, and then went for a quick walk around the block. No, I didn’t have to get a gun out, I’ve been carrying in the house most of the time for a couple of months now. (Taurus 85 with bobbed hammer, in Uncle Mike’s “Sidekick” size 3 pocket holster, if you must know.)

Examination of the letter and envelope show the letter dated June 16, and the envelope postmarked (actually postage meter date) June 24, which isn’t all that bad by bureaucratic standards.

So far, in three trips, I have not:

  • Left my gun behind in a restaurant
  • Dropped my gun on the floor
  • Accidentally shown it to anybody
  • Needed it

So far, so good. I have, however, started working through the infinite list of required jokes, starting with “Actually, dear, I am happy to see you.”

Review of Uncle Mike’s Sidekick

Uncle Mike’s makes a large variety of holsters, and they’re widely carried in stores, and they’re quite cheap. Nothing to complain about in any of that!

I’ve got their Sidekick (size 3) pocket holster. It’s supposed to be the right size for my Taurus 85 revolver and my Kahr K40 semi-auto. It’s really cheap — about $13.

By my standards, it doesn’t really fit the Taurus. The trigger guard isn’t really covered. And the revolver is not held firmly in place, and will wiggle considerably (and hence work its way out a little).

It fits the Kahr K40 much more nicely. But I find the Kahr a rather heavy lump in my pocket.

It’s also not wide enough, and not stiff enough. In the last picture, note that the corner is bent up. This is the result of using it around the house some for a couple of months, plus one walk around the block. With the corner bent like that, the Taurus is already starting to rotate some in my pocket; and revolvers aren’t nearly as butt-heavy as automatics are, so they don’t have as much tendency to tip.

In the cheap denim shorts I’m wearing today, the pocket hangs rather strangely when there’s the weight of a gun in it. It’s also a rather big lump bumping against my thigh, sliding off my thigh when I’m sitting in a chair, and just a big lump generally. It looks kinda rectangular, though, not particularly like a gun.

I think when I figure out which of my larger guns I’m going to carry in my pockets sometimes, I’m going to be shopping for some more specialized and more stable pocket holsters.