Open Carry vs. Concealed Carry: When is it Appropriate Video

It looks like rain out today. I’m going to a local grocery here to get a gallon of milk. Do you all need anything? What? What? A bit much? You always want to be prepared. I’ve got my umbrella. Are you sure you don’t need anything? Okay. It might be a bit much. Let me try this again.

Alright, I’m going to get my gallon of milk. Guess what? I’ve got old trusty with me. What a difference, still prepared. Hey guys, I’m Jerry Miculek and I’m going to talk to you a little bit about the sensitive of here lately and that would be open carry versus concealed carry.

What I want to show you are some techniques and some different options that may present to you in a different light to the general public. I’ve got a concealed vest on and I also have a concealed handgun. It’s inside the waistband.

It’s a nice setup. It’s an M&P Shield. It’s a nine millimeter, so it’s a good carry gun. I’ve got a vest on it. I’m just out taking pictures. I’m a fisherman or whatever. What I’m trying to do is lessen who I am in public. If I’m out, an open carry like this is a great option. If I’m out in the woods, cutting grass on the place, I’m usually always going to have something on me, and it’s going to be open carry.

When I go into the general public, what I have to be aware of is there is no retention device on this holster. I can grab it quickly and draw it. Also, anybody around me can grab it quickly and draw it. If I wanted to accept that responsibility of maintaining this firearm safely, I also have to be aware of my surroundings more than if I had it concealed.

If someone would want my pistol as much as I do, it would be very easy for them to come from behind me and take it. What you also want to be aware of guys is all these gang members and all these hardened criminals, when they go through the penitentiaries, this is one of the things they teach them, is how to take firearms from law enforcement people.

That’s why you see a police officer; he’s going to pretty much have a double- or a triple-retention outside holster. He has to do three distinct motions to get that handgun out of the holster. Another thing if you look at a law enforcement belt and rig, the whole rig is structured to where the belt will retain the sidearm even though it has several hundred pounds of force being pulled on it. He can run the other way and hopefully retain his handgun through all this encounter.

This little holster here guys, you could rip it, take it from me without hardly any effort whatsoever. Should you choose to have open carry, you should also train on how to retain your open-carry handgun or firearm in general. Be aware when it’s out in the open like this guys, everybody knows who you are. You might be a target of opportunity. The least you want to do is try to conceal.

This is actually an IDPA (International Defensive Pistol Association) vest, but it’s also a mockup of a photographer’s vest, of a fisherman’s vest. This kind of changes who I am in public. I’m just a guy who likes a vest. Do I have a firearm? Maybe I do, maybe I don’t. Maybe I just like vests. It hides it somewhat. It’s not really deep concealment, but it’s concealment of some sort. It changes the whole presentation of who I am to the general public.

It also brings the safety level up on this firearm somewhat, so if you want to grab it, just something more you’ve got to work against to get my firearms. It’s something to think about. To give you an idea of how these holsters work, I’m just going to draw it and go ahead and shoot a couple shots. Even if I’m concealed, if you work it right…

you can make a relatively quick shot. I had relatively quick access to my handgun. It’s relatively secure. To me, the big advantage is the vision. Nobody really knows who I am or what my intentions are. Open carry, guess what? You know who I am and you know what my intentions are. I also have the problem now of retaining this firearm everywhere I go.

It’s just another level of difficulty. Should you choose to open carry, you want to also train on how to have retention and situational awareness to where you can maintain your firearm.

The next level of concealed carry is pretty much what most of us do anyway. That is just put a pistol in your pocket. I’ve got a pistol in my pocket and I’m pretty happy to see you, by the way. Anyway [Laughter] this is a little semiautomatic handgun. It’s pretty much a standard concealment-type handgun. It’s small, thin, and relatively powerful.

The big advantage of it is it’s small enough and odds are you’re going to have it with you. It might not be the best gun for the application, but guess what? When the time comes, the gun you have is what you have. It’s better to have something than nothing.

It’s something to think about when you choose a concealment handgun. If you’re willing to change your lifestyle and carry a bigger handgun, an extra magazine and a tac light, that’s a good thing guys. Go ahead and train for that level. If you’re like me and you’re kind of lazy, you just want something, you’re more aware of where you’re going to be, a smaller handgun might be the choice. If it’s with you, it’s going to be the one you need.

Usually, I recommend and I personally try to carry some kind of a holster. This little pistol has an external safety. It’s a striker fire double action pistol, so it has an auxiliary safety. That pretty much deactivates the trigger. What you want to be aware of when you stick things in your pockets, you want to have that as the only thing in your pocket. You don’t want a bunch of keys or a bunch of coins getting in the way of the trigger.

The last thing you want to do is pull it out and have a coin stuck behind the trigger and you can’t pull the trigger. The idea behind these holsters in to prevent an occurrence like that. Also, women who conceal their handguns in a purse, the last thing you want to do is pull it out and have a key or a bobby pin, or something stuck behind the trigger and you can’t shoot it.

Another thing you want to realize, if you stick a handgun in your pocket, you’re exposing it to a lot of dirt and debris, so your maintenance level has to be higher. Just because you hadn’t fired it in a year, doesn’t mean it isn’t dirty, guys. Stay on top of your maintenance. If you choose to carry this way, it’s a very humid spot in your pocket. Ammunition deteriorates quickly.

The lack of lubrication really tests the overall gun package if you carry it in your pocket. It’s a very hostile environment, so just be aware of that. I’m going to go ahead and just do a pocket draw. These blue jeans aren’t the best thing, but it’s pretty much what I wear around the property. This is probably what I’m going to do anyway, is just drop it in my pocket like this.

Let’s see if I can go ahead… And that’s another thing you want to do, should you choose to carry concealed. Have a realistic idea of how fast I can actually produce this handgun and get the job done. A lot of guys will stick stuff down in their pocket inside of a holster and God; they’ve never even drawn it in a time perspective of what they’re doing. The same thing with women who carry concealment in their purse.

It’s a great thing, but to get to it in time is just that fact, it takes time. You want to have your training level to be to where you can buy enough time to actually produce your carry gun, should you need it. It’s something to think about. Training goes along with the ownership and the responsibility of concealed carry. We’re just going to work out of the pocket here.

Did you notice I had a lot of pocket coming out with it? That’s what’s bad about not having it in a holster of some kind. Most of these holsters like this have a grippy surface on them to when you’re going to produce the handgun; it’ll slide easily out of the holster and out of your pocket. That was a center shot, relatively, what a second and a half?

If I know something is going to happen, usually within about a second and a half, I can pretty much produce a shot into the target zone that might be of opportunity there. It gives you an idea of what more realistic carry would be. Another thing you want to remember guys, when you have small handguns, it’s very easy to point it at something you’re not willing to destroy.

Keep your safeties on and your fingers out of the trigger guards. When you practice guys, repetition with dry fire is of the utmost importance. The last thing you want to do is ADA [Phonetic] in your pocket. [Laughter] Practicing with your concealed-carry handgun.

Dry fire a lot; get very familiar with this handgun. It doesn’t matter who the manufacturer is, whose make, whose model, what caliber. Know how to reload it and know how to do the stoppage drills. Know how to shoot it well. Train with it.

Another big fallacy guys… I see this all the time when we do concealed-carry classes. We get guys who come through and they’ll run and buy the cheapest ball ammunition you can possibly find, practice with it and the gun runs 100%. Then their carry ammunition is going to be some whiz bang, high-speed holler point that costs about three bucks a round and they’ve never fired a round in that package. Then they put it in there and they’re going to carry it.

What I recommend guys, is if you’re going to have a concealment gun, and is to shoot at least about a hundred rounds of your specified carry ammunition. It doesn’t matter whose make of ammunition it is, but you want to be aware that changing ammunition also changes the way this thing cycles.

With a semiautomatic pistol, if it’s not functioning, you’re not having a good day. When you go out and you practice your concealment with your concealment handgun, you want to shoot it strong hand, you want to shoot it weak hand, you want to shoot it with a limp wrist, you want to shoot it with two hand, and you want to know how this thing is going to function with your ammunition of choice, guys, at least a hundred rounds in these different positions. Then I would say I’m comfortable with carrying that firearm and that ammunition.

Hey guys, we’re going to go to the next level, which is truly open carry with a full-size handgun. If I’m out hunting or I’m on the tractor bush hogging or whatever, if I’m out on my property doing anything, this is pretty much what you’re going to see on me. It’s a full-size semiautomatic handgun. It’s got a light on it. It’s co-witnessed metallic sights. It’s got a laser. It’s mag-na-ported. It’s got all the bells and whistles. It’s got a high-capacity magazine. This is pretty much my, what I’m going to go to gun, okay?

The holster here is a Hogue and it has a retention device on it. There again guys, when I’m open carrying this handgun, I’m not going to be around a bunch of people. The reason I have a retention device is if I’m on a tractor or a four wheeler, the last thing I want to do is sit down and have my handgun fall out under the bush hog or I lose it in the swamp somewhere when I’m hunting.

This retention level to me is what I want. What I don’t have is a police duty belt. This can be broken off the belt and taken as a whole package, which is not a good thing if I’m out in the public. This is my in-the-woods belt, in-the-woods holster. Pretty much what you’re going to see me around my place is going to be a handgun setup similar to this, or it might be a revolver. Anyway it’s going to be a full-size on the outside.

I don’t necessarily want to walk around in public like this. It draws a lot of attention on who I am and it also presents this gun to other people that I’m not willing to give it to just yet. This is my open-carry gun. It’s good for what it is. It’s full power. Let’s go ahead and shoot a couple rounds. You can see it puts them right in the middle. That’s a 40 Smith and Wesson, full caliber.

There you have it guys, an open carry with a full-size gun. Hey guys, I’ve got my open carry guns on. In Louisiana it’s legal to carry open. I’ve got one of my favorite AR’s. I love these things. I make a living with them. I train with them. This is who I am. Both of these guns are who I am.

I want to give you an idea by posturing and by public perception, and also how to be polite with a firearm. Here I am. I’ve got open carry. I’m going to give you a little scenario. Hey, how are you doing sir? Same scenario, what’s changed? All of a sudden I’m posturing that I have a firearm. My hand is on my firearm. That’s really putting the other guy on the spot instantly. You’re in his face. What is he going to do? You don’t know.

The same thing with this long-gun. It’s on my back. Hey I’m just another friendly fellow you know. Hey, how are you doing? Okay. What’s changed? Everything has changed. My posturing has changed. It’s the same firearm, different presentation. Now all of a sudden, you’re on the spot. What am I going to do? What are my intentions? Your window of opportunity to react to who I am and what I’m going to do has been compromised.

This is a sign of respect. Just like carrying a samurai sword. I found out here recently that a samurai sword carried in the right hand was a gesture of friendship, carried in your left hand means you were ready to draw it and go to war. Posturing means a lot and it means a lot to the public, guys. You are a representation of a good gun owner.

Don’t put people on the spot. Nobody likes to be put on the spot. We all want to be friends and good neighbors, so just remember your carrying open like this is considered posturing, and how you do it means a lot to all gun owners in the United States.

There you have it, open carry versus concealed carry. They both have their strong points. One thing you want to be aware of is all the local ordinances that pertain to gun ownership and concealed open carry. What you want to do guys, you want to train hard and you want to present yourself well in public. You are a representation of all the gun owners in the United States, so be safe and represent us well.

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