1. Sign up now and join over 35,000 northwest gun owners. It's quick, easy, and 100% free!
  2. We're giving away over $1,000 in prizes this month in the Northwest Firearms Winter Giveaway!
    Dismiss Notice

First time OC

Discussion in 'Handgun Discussion' started by ArgyleAdams, Feb 10, 2013.

  1. ArgyleAdams

    ArgyleAdams Portland, OR Active Member

    Likes Received:
    This forum's been pretty depressing lately, so I thought I'd add something uplifting.

    I guess this belongs in the Handgun Discussion section?

    Following is a field report of my first time open (and concealed) carrying (same day).

    A couple of weeks ago some friends and I went snowshoeing at Mirror Lake (a fairly popular destination).

    Flashback: Last time I was up there (last summer) one of those friends and I camped and had a large predator encounter (or maybe bigfoot :cool:. It was pretty foggy but there were some really low and loud growl/grunts coming from about 30' away and his dog was flipping out). I had felt woefully underprepared with only a pocketknife and a glowing stick from the fire, so I decided that henceforth it wouldn't be a bad idea to bring a gun whenever I go to the woods. I also applied for my CHL so that I wouldn't have to worry about driving in Portland with a loaded magazine :rolleyes:.

    Back to the present: Anyway, on the way to the trailhead we stopped in Government Camp, and I had a Glock 17 (yeah, I know, worthless for bears, maybe OK for cougars, but the biggest handgun I had at the time, and I wanted to work out a woods carrying system) in a Blackhawk SERPA paddle holster under a thin, light-colored fleece jacket. I was printing really badly, but nobody seemed to notice (even one of my friends who knew I brought it said she hadn't noticed until I asked).

    Anyway, to the trail head. It was a fairly warm day for snowshoeing (upper 30's?) so we were all down to snow pants and long sleeved shirts. My gun was openly on my hip just below my daypack's waist belt (I need to figure out a better system than this. It works for a light daypack, but I think it would be pretty uncomfortable with a >10 lb pack). We came across about 15 other groups of snowshoers who didn't even seem to notice (with hands at my sides it was pretty hard to see, though I wasn't consciously trying to hide the thing). We paused at the lake for a snack, so I had my pack off and my arms up eating when a couple of hikers passed by who I think noticed (they did a slight doubletake, but still smiled and said hey). We ran into them again at the summit and they took a picture for us, and in general seemed friendly and not nervous (but who knows?).

    We got back to the car and headed to a brewpub for some eats. I disarmed because I planned on ordering some beer.

    The end :).

    Moral of the story? Even when open carrying most people didn't notice, and those that did didn't seem to care.

    So yeah, overall a very positive experience, and one that has me thinking about carrying in town too. Hopefully I'll have a G20 for the next hike (and I already have a plan for making something to allow a SERPA holster to attach to my pack's waistbelt so it can sit in the right place).

    Sorry about all the parenthetical statements (it's mostly how I think, and I find them preferable to footnotes).
    ls2gto and (deleted member) like this.
  2. the4thshake

    the4thshake Portland Active Member

    Likes Received:
    You open carried in the woods and nobody noticed. Who would have thought.:laugh:

    A dropped and offset holster from blade tech should give clearance for your pack.

    Dropped & Offset Holster w/SRB Loop :: OWB Belt Holsters :: Blade-Tech Industries

    Your 9mm might not be big enough for black bears but odds are it will scare them away just fine. I have encountered numerous black bears in the woods and none have seemed interested in sticking around after they notice me.

    Tim Sundles of Buffalo Bore Ammunition wrote this:
    "To stop black bears, all you have to do is hurt them; you do not need to kill them. Almost any center fire handgun cartridge will dissuade a black bear if you hit them well with it. The more powerful the cartridge, the more damage you’ll potentially do to the bear, but nearly any black bear will turn tail if he is hit with a cartridge such as good stiff 9mm load. I know this argues against prevailing wisdom, but prevailing wisdom is based mostly on speculation, not real world experience and is not really wisdom."

  3. ArgyleAdams

    ArgyleAdams Portland, OR Active Member

    Likes Received:
    Yeah, it wasn't exactly the boldest OC ever :). I guess I've technically open carried before while hunting, but I don't really count that because there was pretty much zero chance of running into casual recreators (is that a word?), or anyone at all for that matter. "If a man carries in the forest and there's no one around to see him..." Something like that, maybe? Plus, I was wearing camo, so I was concealed (hardy har). At Mirror Lake, though, we passed a number of families with variously-sized children, none of whom seemed to notice.

    Interesting holster. I've seen something similar to that in leather, but not in Kydex. I'll heve to check it out (though I'm a little concerned about a heavier pack's waist strap pressing the belt loop into my hip).

    Also interesting to hear that analysis of bears/wildlife, especially from Buffalo Bore. I kinda figured that the report alone would be enough to end a predator encounter 99% of the time. Still, that extra mm would make me feel better. Looks like one of the rare instances where a warning shot into a stump might be preferable (and 10mm makes a louder warning shot than 9mm :rolleyes:). Still, good to know.