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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Beyond The Wall



    Thursday, December 07, 2017

    This material is taught to security operatives and to law enforcement in the spirit of detecting "illegal" gun carry. I offer it here in the spirit of the fact that you should know who around you is also armed because their motivations may not be in favor of your interests. As well in the spirit of knowing what others may be looking for as well. If you know target indicators, you can avoid producing them.

    I am not even going to get into show-giving-away moves like wearing "gun clothing".

    Common Behaviors

    Security Check: Often those who are uncomfortable carrying weapons will touch and/or adjust the weapons on their bodies as the go through the day. This may be as subtle as a soft bump with the elbow, wrist or hand. Or it could be a distinct grasping of the weapon as they adjust it. The more comfortable the gun carrier is in their position of legitimacy, the less they might care about giving away the fact they are armed. Some carrying in a less legitimate manner might wish to security check more often, but they will be self-conscious about doing so. The manner in which they execute this may give some background on who they are and why they are present.
    Unnatural Walk
    : Specifically with the concealed carry of long guns. These guys may walk in an unusual manner, as if limping, and fail to fully bend their knees. One common way to conceal a rifle by urban gangs is down the leg of their pants, or under a large overcoat. As well, it was a common carry manner to put a small handgun in a shoe, which would lead to a limp of sorts. Look at possible feigned disabilities, as well as out of place clothing. Again, the total circumstances will indicate the likelihood of a weapon being present.

    A man with a disability may also not bend the leg or walk with an unnatural gait, but he will probably not be nervous, nor dressed in a manner that is out of place. A man in a business suit limping is not the same as a man wearing oversized gangland clothing, sweating profusely and muttering to himself.

    Clothing Tells
    : When you place a handgun in a jacket pocket, the coat typically hangs lower on the side where the weapon is located. Same thing for pants. In addition, you will often see the fabric pulled tight from the weight of the gun, and the weapon may swing during walking. Look for the clothing being out of place for the environment and weather. A man wearing a knee high rain coat in Scottsdale in July is out of place. A man wearing gangland attire when everyone else is dressed differently is out of place. Don't dismiss this, it bears further watching.

    : When trying to conceal a shotgun or rifle under a coat while walking, the butt of the weapon will bulge behind the armpit. Additionally, the jacket does not move naturally because it is supported by the outline of the weapon. Much the same may happen when wearing a shoulder holster. Also, look for the print of straps or slings under the clothing.

    Visible Weapon Part
    : Look at the images of active shooter events and you will realize that parts of the weapons were often visible as the bad guy walked into the scene. The problem is that people do not look. Same thing with knives...the clip on the folding knife is a tell.

    Additional Considerations

    Most Common Carry For A Primary Weapon is tucked into the right front waistband between the navel and hip. Amazing that with all of the marketing done by the Modern Technique people, holsterless appendix is what the "untrained" gravitate to. This is "bad guy carry", and the easiest to hide and hardest to detect.

    Second most common place is at the small of the back, or just to the strong side. What do all have in common? They are at the waistband area so any cursory visual examination of a potential adversary should begin at the waistband (after seeing his hands of course).

    Another good thing to do is to determine a personís primary side. Wrist watches are usually worn in the weak hand, except in Europe where they may be worn on the primary side. First steps are generally taken with the weak side leg. Use of the primary hand for everyday activities like, moving objects, writing, dialing a phone. If one guy high fives the others with his left hand while his right hand is in his jacket pocket, it could be a tell.

    For our students in areas where weapon carry is prevalent, I suggest a field study. Go to a public place, such as a food court at a mall, a Starbucks, or any place where there is a constant flow of people. Buy yourself a coffee and sit and watch. Look for the tells described and see if you can spot the hidden gun. Some will be obvious, others will be difficult to spot, and some may be imperceptible.

    Consider that it is quite possible to hide the weapon so deep in the clothing that anything short of a pat down will not reveal it...but a speedy draw will not be the result.

    There is a move in some circles as well to pioneer thermal detection devices to "spot the gunman". I suspect these can be easily thwarted with a bit of cleverness, and that may be the basis for additional study.
    Gabriel Suarez

    Turning Lambs into Lions Since 1995

    Suarez International USA Headquarters

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2016
    My family & I returned from a trip over
    the Thanksgiving week, from a major park
    here in the south. I commented to one
    security officers that the big hole was that
    children under 16 were not checked at all.
    He confided that the bag checks & metal
    detectors at the park entrances were only
    a small portion of the whole scheme & were
    as much just for show. He then mentioned
    that they had a minimum of 300 plain clothes
    officers in each park during working hours,
    and that they had thermal cameras in the parks,
    which should show anything concealed of significant
    mass. I intend to check that out with my thermal
    camera, when I get a chance.

    Interesting times, indeed.

    "Play stupid games, win stupid prizes" Alan Temby
    "Give a man a mask and he will tell you the truth"- Oscar Wilde.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Ignore most of what's written in the link and watch the video.


    "To spit on your hands and lower the pike; to stand fast over the body of Leonidas the King; to be rear guard at Kunu-Ri; to stand and be still to the Birkenhead Drill; these are not rational acts. They are often merely necessary." Pournelle

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Quote Originally Posted by Sam Spade View Post
    Ignore most of what's written in the link and watch the video.

    That’s extremely noticeable... something to watch myself and others for.
    "We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act, but a habit." -Aristotle

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Quote Originally Posted by Sam Spade View Post
    Ignore most of what's written in the link and watch the video.

    Definitely, ignore some of what's written. How stupid can an educated person be? He walks like that because he used to carry a gun? Yeah, OK. The question in my mind isn't if or why Putin packs a heater. The question is why don't all heads of state don't pack?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Palmer, Alaska
    Years ago, I recall reading a bulletin that warned of thugs carrying pistols in the hood of a hoodie. At the time, I scoffed. It seemed ludicrous. In addition to bouncing all around, and being awkward to draw from, it would also be pretty obvious that you were carrying something small and heavy in the hood because it would drag it down. Fast forward several years and I spot an urban 'yout' at the mall, walking with a "pimp limp," scanning the crowd like a python in a room full of blind mice, and obviously carrying something in the hood of his jacket that was roughly the size of a paperback book and would have weighed a few pounds. If it weren't for that stupid bulletin, I probably would have convinced myself that it was something else. I mean, really, who the hell would carry a pistol in their hood? At that moment, I had wandered away from my post outside the women's fitting rooms. I locked eyes with the guy and was mentally rehearsing--get off the X, draw, present, bang, bang, bang, bang. I can only imagine how odd I must have looked standing there with my wife's purse in my left hand and death in my eyes. Watching the change in his demeanor was hilarious. He flipped instantly from predator to prey, and scurried out of there as fast as he could.

    Usually, when I spot someone carrying a gun, they are immediately identifiable as one of "us." I'm certain that most of them are off-duty cops. Cops are generally indifferent to concealment. I fortunately have a look that leads a lot of people to assume that I myself am a cop. I consider that as an advantage in the event that I inadvertently print or reveal my pistol. A disadvantage is that it could make me a first target in a bank robbery or similar event. But if you look like a clean-cut professional, and you slip up and let someone see your gun, they probably won't run to call the police--even in NYC.
    Virtute et Armis

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Quote Originally Posted by Sam Spade View Post
    Ignore most of what's written in the link and watch the video.

    Right hip 4:00 position


  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Once while driving in a bad neighborhood in Brazil I spotted a group of usual suspects on the corner I was approaching. Something happened that casued them all to run. As they did all of their right hands went to appendix outside their clothes to secure their guns. I had seen this before, guys trotting along with their right hand hovering over appendix, but this time it was blatantly obvious. In the tropics people tend to wear light clothing and elastic waistbands abound so a concealed handgun is typically only supported by a tied drawstring at best causing reflexive gun checking. It also makes any gang banger type wearing pants or shorts that can take a proper belt highly suspect.

    They also have a habit of carrying a bi-fold wallet tucked half in/half out of their waistbands, usually at appendix, so this kind of tell doesn't always mean gun. If you stand in enough lines in stores you will see guys pull wallets from there often enough. They tend to tap check the wallet relfexively but don't need to actually hold it in place if they start to run like the guys on the corner did.

    Tells can also be used to make a subtle bluff when you are not armed and suspect someone started their victim selection assessment. Once walking downtown I noticed two guys noticing me as I approached. I glanced at both of them and unzipped my rain jacket. They picked up on it instantly, one signalled a no-go and they moved off. Another time I was being followed by a road-rager for some perceived slight in traffic. I checked him in my rearview mirror, leaned over and got the airweight nothing out of my glove compartment, checked to make sure the handful of air was loaded, and rechecked my mirror. The guy calmed down and backed off.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    I enjoy sitting down town at the sidewalk coffee shop playing "who's got the gun". As I watch people walking by.
    I am in a sunny place full of shady people

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Pict View Post

    Tells can also be used to make a subtle bluff when you are not armed .
    I could see this backfiring.

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