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Deputy's Observations: Concealed Carry

Deputy's Observations:  Concealed Carry

Back in the day I carried an S&W 4” Model 19 with an Airweight Chief Special for backup, but for tactical assignments I added a Government Model .45 under my chill-chaser. I carried an extra magazine for it on the tanker-style shoulder holster.

Frank Hinkle

There is much discussion in law enforcement circles and among civilians with concealed carry permits about the best way to carry their weapons and which weapons to carry.

This is a subject that I’ve spent a lot of time experimenting with myself during my law enforcement career, and I’m going to attempt to share some of my own experiences with you, hopefully to save you some time, trouble and money.

To start with, what is “concealed carry”? My department’s Policy & Procedure manual spelled it out pretty succinctly; the off-duty weapon was to be concealed from view at all times while being worn. Standing upright and stretching, bending over, seated; it was not to be visible to the passerby. From personal experience and my own research I have to agree with that statement. As others have said, there’s nothing that says, “Kill me” more than revealing a concealed weapon during a robbery or other violent encounter. If the bad guy is going to see your weapon, it should be while you are pointing it at him from a position of advantage and cover, not as you are lying on the floor of a bank.

Next, with my particular stocky frame I can conceal a howitzer, but is it accessible? I’ve seen different concealment rigs that just didn’t fit me because I could not access the weapon quickly enough or without getting half undressed. I’m not kidding. I had a really good concealment holster that put a 2” revolver on my calf inside the top of my boot. But I couldn’t get my pant leg up high enough over my stocky calves to draw my weapon. In a hurry I was better off dropping my pants to get to it but that led to other tactical problems. I sold that holster to a guy with a different body type than me, and he loved it. The holster has to be practical and accessible.

My department held us to the same standard when we carried a second firearm on duty: it was to remain concealed. Over the years I carried everything from a palm sized .25ACP auto to 2” .38 revolvers, compact .380 autos, to a full-sized 1911 .45ACP. In tactical situations I wore a tanker style shoulder holster for my .45 and put a chill-chaser on over it. It might be 100 degrees out but I had the weapon that I wanted to carry and it was concealed. I had met my department’s regulations. I looked like a dork and I might pass out from the heat, but I was in compliance and I was prepared.

Something else to be discussed here are the terms “backup” or “2nd gun” and “hideout weapon.” To my thinking a backup or 2nd gun fit one tactical niche, while a hideout gun is slightly different. There have been cases where an officer’s side arm has jammed or run out of ammunition and he had resorted to his 2nd weapon to finish the engagement. That is a situation that we should train for and prepare for. I had a friend who was at his department qualification course when his sidearm malfunctioned. He did not stop and put up his hand and call “alibi.” He holstered his weapon, drew his backup weapon from his ankle and finished that stage of the course. And then he continued the qualification shoot with his 2” revolver, just like he’d finish it in the field. When it came time to reload he opened his speedloaders inside the pouches and then reloaded his 5-shot revolver out of the pouches. That is the mindset of an officer who is going to win fights. And nobody told him how to reload; he figured it out right there how to do it. That’s the guy that I want covering me; calm, thinking and resourceful.

But to me, carrying a “hideout” weapon is in preparation for an Onion Field event. An officer is aware that he might be taken hostage and searched, and wants to arm himself for that possibility. We’ve all seen the movies where that situation happens and the bad guys take the officer’s backup weapon off of his ankle. The bad guys watch movies too, usually when they are up at state prison, aka “the gladiator school.” To my mind that’s where the difference in these weapons comes into play. To me, a hideout weapon is small enough and concealed well enough to be missed in a crook’s initial pat down of the hostage officer. I carried a .25ACP automatic in a wallet holster in my back pocket, and I practiced pulling it out and shooting it with my left (weak) hand, because that fit the design of the holster. The officer above carried a hideout knife with an armor piercing tanto point. His knife didn’t have the range of my .25 auto, but it had far greater penetration and never “ran dry.”

So when a police administrator berates an officer for carrying three weapons as being “paranoid,” he is showing his lack of understanding for the officer’s mindset and level of preparedness. He is also demonstrating that he is no longer a warrior, if he ever was one. My way around that was to try to comply with the Department regulations while still making my safety my primary concern.

The method of carrying is as important as the choice of weapon. And we will discuss that further in my next article. But let me cut to the chase and save us all some time; I have easily concealed not only a full sized 1911 .45 ACP pistol, but handcuffs, extra ammunition AND a 2” revolver and extra ammunition for it, a sap and a mini-flashlight underneath my clothing. At times I had so much equipment on my belt and inside my pants pockets that I had to wear suspenders to hold it all up. But it was concealed and at the time I felt that I needed all of it.

The point that I am trying to make is that you should not let your style of dress dictate how you carry or conceal your weapon. Decide what weapon you are going to carry and dress accordingly to conceal it. How fashionable you look will not save your life if you wander into harm’s way, but your equipment and training will.

Stay safe, and stay alert.

  • 10173740_280469362151488_2138136795935452954_n_max50


    4 months ago


    Good article about how hard police job..
    this make me wanna read it and bookmark it..\
    thank you for sharing this..

  • Img00033-20091202-1845_1__max50


    over 3 years ago


    I am a LEO and my standard load out for patrol is as follows: Kimber Warrior II with a TLR2 Light as a duty weapon with four eight round magazines on my duty belt. I carry ten eight round magazines in external pouches on my external vest cover and two spare AR-15 30 round magazines. I also carry a Para Ordnance 3 inch Warthog on the inside of my vest as a secondary weapon. Standing 6'5 and weighing 310 lbs I can carry all of this easily. Off duty I carry the same Kimber Warrior II in a pancake holster or vertical shoulder holster. I also carry three extra magazines and a pair of handcuffs while off duty. I can draw the weapon and address any threat with ease without any issue. I do not believe in being unprepared on duty or off duty. Some of my fellow officer do call me "Tackleberry," however, when things get hot and tense. They take solace in the fact that I ameither there or on the way. I have always carried a full size .45 caliber handgun either with their makes either Para Ordnance or Kimber and I will continue to do so (unless department regulations change.)

  • Texas-flag_max50


    about 4 years ago


    I'm a civy, 6'1", only weigh 135lbs, and can conceal a full size 1911 in a IWB holster, a 2" snub nose revolver in a belly-band, an extra mag, and a good knife while wearing shorts and a tucked in polo. Sure, it ain't comfortable, but at the last store I worked at 1/3 of us were almost victims of car-jackings, and I want to be prepared. When wearing dress clothes, I have a Ruger LCp .380 that is very concealable, it's no bigger than a wallet.

  • Justified_max50


    over 4 years ago


    I'm still civilian, so had to cough up the dough for my concealed permit. Immediately got the Smith and Wesson M&P 9mm compact with an undershirt holster that I'm pretty sure could conceal my old 92FS on my 6'6" 230 lbs frame without issue. Had to get used to wearing button down shirts everywhere in order to access it easily but totally worth it as far as I'm concerned.

  • Lion_cub__masai_mara__kenya_max50


    over 4 years ago


    Yeah, i've seen a couple guys that carry the bare minimum that the department requires... yes they are dressed and pressed and look great at a duty lineup but criminals aren't going to be taking pictures of you...

  • Wings_max50


    over 4 years ago


    As far as practicing goes, this is important also because you need to know if that little backup (sometimes a POS) is worthy of trusting with your life...IT needs to work all the time, because it is what you will have to count on when the primary goes bad or runs out. Take the time and money to buy a good weapon, not just one that fits.

  • Larry_apache_dist_13_max50


    over 4 years ago


    Well if you are going to carry concealed you still have to factor in clothing to be worn, size of weapon and holster choices, whether your on duty or off. When I,m off duty in the summer I prefer Kel-Tec 32 with a wallet holster, in the spring, fall or winter a small 40/ 45 Glock or Sig with locking paddle holster. On duty is a little different depending on the Department's policy usually the the policy writers want every one looking and carrying the same.
    But theres noting like a good sharp lock blade knife to help even the odds. In Arizona however it isn't a concern you can wear your Citizen hat and carry anyway you want, I would rather go before a policy and review board than be carried by six.

    The Federal Law for retired Officers, when they wrote that bill must have been brain dead requiring that we had to qualify every year to carry concealed, who in the hell forgets how to shoot a pistol. It was like after 911 when they hired all the Sky Marshals, they didn't want retired cops, they wanted someone to fly on a airplane for 20 years sounds boring to me!! Bottom line if you want to enjoy your gun rights move to Arizona, we have alot of places to shoot and people to shoot with or at!!!!!!!

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 4 years ago


    'Enforcement', I know what you mean. I carried while on the job for 28 years, but I had to drive out of the City I worked for all that time (AND the county) for about an hour and a half to be able to qualify for the
    Retired Officer Concealed Carry permit. Un-believable! But there has to be someone in your area who is
    doing the qualifications for Retired Officer Concealed Carry....make it your business to find them, and do
    it! I wouldn't walk around in the midwest where I live without being armed, I'm sure you probably feel the same way where you reside. As always, be safe!

  • 2011_range_day_2-19-10_max50


    over 4 years ago


    Awesome article.
    And about the "Tackleberries" out there, I've been called that a few times over the years but I'd rather be in a SHTF situation with "Tackleberry" than anyone else.

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 4 years ago


    Good article.

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 4 years ago

    Great article!

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 4 years ago


    Good article...but unfortunately, sometimes our style of dress WILL dictate what you will carry, and that can't be avoided. Walking around with a 'chill chaser' on in 100 degree heat brings attention, be it from citizens and other law enforcement professionals, which could be a detriment from what you are attempting to accomplish, whether on duty or off. My way of thinking is, be proficient with different types of firearms, and depending on what you carry, be especially cognizant of the weaknesses of whatever
    firearm you are carrying when it may be pressed into service. I would feel better having my 16 shot
    Beretta 92FS on my person, but in the heat of the summer it's just impractical to carry it. I would opt to
    carry one of my magnum snubs in an 'inside the pants' holster. In a situation where I might need it, I know that I have to make every shot count, and would fire it as sparingly as possible (carrying magnum loads, I might not need so many shots anyway)! You've got to do the best you can with the equipment you have
    available when you need it, and you have to adjust your tactics accordingly.

  • 0001_max50


    over 4 years ago


    Great article! This was one of my biggest concerns when I started to carry concealed (something that was unheard of in the UK). As a Private Investigator in California, one challenge is that the State requires exposed carry, but bans display of any sort of badge or ID, while local law enforcement refuses a CCW permit on the basis of requiring 12 month residency in the county before considering issue - left you the choice of open carry in plain clothes or not carrying. We should now see changes in CA, as recent court decisions have indicated that the 12 month residency requirement is unconstitutional and counties are starting to remove it.

  • Cp5_max50


    about 6 years ago


    Frank, you were obviously a Boy Scout once, because "Be Prepared" comes through loud and clear in all your writing. Thanks, and keep it up!

  • Lgfp1322100-authentic-ogre-shrek-2-poster_max50


    about 6 years ago


    I have also been called "tackleberry" I now like knifes as well.

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