printing question
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Thread: printing question

  1. #1

    printing question

    like the title says how do you go about making sure the gun you are carrying on ur belt isnt "printing'

    i carry a fullsize m&p in a blackhawk cqc holster. im 6'2 245 lbs and i cant seem to get the thing not to print no matter what i do and an iwb holster just dont work for me. im currently carring it in a fanny pack, but want to ditch the pack... any advice is more than helpful.

    thank you!

    does the "print factor" really matter??????

  3. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Bellingham, WA, USA

    Exclamation Printing + Texas = TROUBLE!

    Hey, AJ!

    To answer your last question first; "'does the 'print factor' really matter??????", the answer is: It depends. Unfortunately for you, Texas makes no provision for the open carrying of firearms. In fact, in Texas " 'Concealed' means that the weapon cannot be visible, and that its presence cannot be discernible through ordinary observation. It is a criminal offense for a license holder to carry a handgun in plain view, or to intentionally fail to conceal the weapon." see:

    I also see a couple of more practical issues for you in the choice of firearm and holster. If you are going to carry a full sized M&P around as an EDC, you will be extremely hard pressed to find ways to adequately conceal such a firearm. Remember, M(ilitary) & P(olice) carry their duty pistols right out there in the open. Also, it has been my experience that the Blackhawk CQC line seems to wear much more like a duty holster, i.e. on a thick belt clip or paddle, kind of sticking way off the side. Even their CQC pancake sticks out too far.

    My first suggestion to you is that you really think about when and how you carry, and what kind of gun you really need. Most of the literature that I have read indicates that the vast majority of armed conflicts involving the discharge of firearms (police encounters excepted) involve three or fewer shots fired, and take place at ten feet or less.

    For me personally, after much soul searching, I stopped carrying my heavy Steyr M40, left the Beretta 92 at home, and bought myself a nice, light S&W (M&P!) PD340 with a crimson trace laser grip. It is super light, small enough to carry in my front pocket, and fires a .357 magnum round. Granted, with a cylinder capacity of only 5 rounds, it would not be my choice to take on a fire mission, but I really believe that, considering training and practice, I am far more dangerous to the thug or thugs who might try to hurt me than they are to me. Throw in a couple of ammo strips, and I believe that my 5 rounds would get me to cover in case I needed to reload.

    I ran into a great article that you might appreciate:

    Firearm Fun: How To Comfortably Carry Concealed
    "The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government." Thomas Jefferson

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    South Carolina/Charleston
    Hey Boom: "cannot be discernable through ordinary observation" means exactly what? I cannot ever remember looking at people as I walk thru daily life examining their waist or back or stomach area as it is covered with some sort of apparel. It would seem to me that IWB or pocket carry obviously are the farthest away from any conceivable observation, but there is very little to say about OWB unless you have a jacket or heavy apparel hiding firearm. If I OWB with a tee shirt I can "notice something" because I know it is there and I know where to look---I find it kind of reaching to believe that the public is doing the same. Am I violating "discernable/ordinary observation"?

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    East of Cleveland.... FAR East !
    I personally have had great comfort with the Desantis holsters I use. They do not print as bad as plastic. Try wearing patterned shirts. It breaks up the printing.
    "People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf". ~George Orwell / Rudyard Kipling

  6. #5
    i forgot to add that i do have a xd subcompact, but even that is starting to become a problem to get it covered up as well. so far the only thing thats really working is the fannypack. i just dont/ cant afford to buy another gun at this time seeing as i just bought the xd last month.

    maybe i can trade it in for a 5 shot or somthing to the extent.

  7. #6
    aj, while I'm not as large as you, 5'9" ,160, I have no problem carrying and concealing my M&P9. I use a Don Hume H721OT, which is OWB and it hides very well. I'm sure you have heard of "dressing around the gun" and that is what you have to work on. Just get yourself a little larger size shirt than you usually wear and go from there. Most people wouldn't know you are carrying if you carried it on top of your head. With all the cell phones, pda's and things people carry on their waists most people assume that is what is "printing". You are probably much more aware of yourself printing than anyone else. Just walk around your local malls, Walmart, etc. and see if you can see anyone printing. It' s more difficult to spot someone carrying even if you are looking than you think. Good luck.
    Why are you worried about holding up the targets for me? It' s a 9mm!

  8. #7
    Join Date
    May 2009
    True in Texas concealed means concealed. And, the gun must not be "observable" to an ordinary person through casual observation. Of all the people you look many do you look at their WAIST? You look at them generally and/or in the face. The only individuals I look over carefully are those with real baggy clothes and those who are around convenience stores, etc. You know the types...

    I use DeSantis holsters. They are very form fitting, close to body. Also use black handguns, in black holsters, on a black belt. Either wear a bulky vest or dark light weight vest, depending on weather. Stay aware of where my gun is and am careful not to do body movements that might expose my weapon. With the bottom button "buttoned" on the vest, hides my guns very well.

    My town is gun friendly, rural farm & ranch area. I've even passed close to our local Judge in the grocery store when I'm carrying and I didn't have any second thoughts. The local Sheriff's dept also knows I carry. When on one of our two areas, 23 & 160 acres, I carry openly. My rules... Traffic on highway in front goes by too fast...most are on their cell phones...and wouldn't see a water buffalo in front Don't worry about the sure most if not all are armed also... :)

  9. Quote Originally Posted by Running Arrow Bill View Post
    Of all the people you look many do you look at their WAIST? You look at them generally and/or in the face.
    This ^. Not to mention that most people who see an odd shape or catch a glimpse of holster edge will think "cell phone, PDA, pager, etc.". Only gun nuts will think "gun". :)

  10. AJ,
    I'm roughly the same size (6'1" and about 215) and I can hide pretty much whatever (I've used a 5" N-frame Smith as a concealed carry piece before) I want if I do my due diligence and prepare for it. I don't wear vests, 'Tactical Ted' gun toting britches, fancy t-shirts with holsters sewed in them, crotch holsters that put loaded guns pointed at vital parts of the anatomy or belly bands that look like male girdles with holsters and pockets sewed onto them. I wear off the shelf, normal clothes that blend in with the rest of humanity and that don't make me look out of place or sloppy because they so big that it looks like I'm wearing cast off clothes made by Armad the Tent Maker for a giant with a thyroid condition. A GOOD quality belt that was made with the intention of carrying the weight of a firearm (that way the top of the belt won't roll out and angle the gun away from the body), a holster that holds the BUTT of the gun tight against the torso (the lcoser it is, the less it will bulge) and a cover garment that is loose enough to drape well over the bulges (gun and reload), long enough to give me a full range of motion without riding up is all that I need. The barrel you can hide inside your pants (although over about 4 or 5 inches, it gets problematic). Most of my problems when preparing to leave the house carrying concealed is the heel of the butt. IF the holster won't hold the gun tight against your body, you have more to hide.

    Yeah, I know the kydex and plastic holsters are supposed to the the 'latest and greatest' thing in concealed carry and holsters in general but it may not work for YOU due to YOUR body conformation, life style, location and wardrobe. I'd suggest starting by changing holsters and taking a close look at your choice of cover garments. Holsters are pure trial and error. Everybody that's been carrying a gun concealed for any amount of time has a box or drawer full of them.

    Where cover garments are concerned, dark colors show the bulge of a gun less than light colored ones and busy patterns break up any outline there maybe better than solid colors. Big patterns work better than small ones, too. Thick material has less of a tendency to gather and is more likely to hide the bulge than a thinner fabric would. Look at the length as well. If it only comes to the top of your jeans pocket, it's too short. If you raise your arms, you will be showing the bottom edge of your belt and that means the holster is peeking.

    Peeking is just as bad as flashing. Remember, CONCEALED MEANS YOU CAN'T SEE IT AND NOBODY KNOWS IT'S THERE. If you can see it in the mirror before you leave, it can be seen by anybody. If you can't see it and you know where to look, you are good to go. When I worked in a gun shop, the local cops made a game out of trying to find what I had hid where. They weren't real good and I was normally carrying 2 or 3 guns depending on the time of the year and what we had in stock (fullsize on the hip or in a shoulder rig, a BUG on the off side and a derringer or micro semi auto in a pocket or SOB and I wasn't being THAT careful about concealment).

    It may not be a big deal to you or your buddies that there's a 'little' bulge or peeking but what about the rest of the mass of humanity (and we all know how clueless some of them can truly be!) we are around daily? If they see a 'bulge' then they know it's there. If they see a 'little' of the holster, then they know it's there. I ain't gonna bet that the person that sees the edge of my holster will think 'cell phone holder' because if they think 'gun' instead and call the cops, I'm pretty much boned.

  11. #10
    AJ, I am curious what IWBs you have tried? The Crossbreed Supertuck and the Kholster are two very popular IWBs, both renowned for their comfort and concealment. I personally use the Kholster for my Glock (sub-compact, but with a fullsized mag) and would recommend it to anyone. BTW, I am about the same build as you, just on a slightly smaller scale.

    However, if you are set on the OWB, the belt and shirt are key. I also use a Blackhawk SERPA (same gun, same mag) and it is invisible when I wear the right shirt. As mentioned earlier, a good sturdy belt pulled as tight as you can handle it will pull the gun closer to you. Pulling the butt in even a half inch can make a world of difference. Also mentioned, a thicker cloth does a wonderful job at resisting the print and dark colors don't show shadows as well, and therefore blend whatever slight print there may be. I have come to appreciate black polo shirts in the last couple years.

    Of course, if trading away the XD is an option, there are plenty of .380s out there that are much more attuned to concealment.
    The two enemies of the people are criminals and government, so let us tie the second down with the chains of the Constitution so the second will not become the legalized version of the first. - Thomas Jefferson

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