What defines "printing"? A topic for the new concealed carry folks

Curious to see what people define as “printing”. Depending on a person’s body type, size of firearm, type of holster, and amount of accessories (extra magazines, pepper spray, knife, etc.) Getting rid of that “bulge” or the fact you are carrying “something” under your shirt can be difficult. I carry at 8 O’clock (left handed), and during the summer it is usually jeans and a t-shirt. So I end up with a “bulge” on the back side of my hip. So is that printing if it is not a recognizable bulge shaped like a pistol? It could be a cellphone (I know who walks around with their cellphone in a belt clip instead of holding it in their face the whole time anymore) or any number of belt mounted items. Obviously colder weather affords more coverage, and when i go out in the evening I may wear an untucked button up to mitigate the bulge some, but we are anywbere from 95 to 105 degrees right now in Texas so heavier clothing is out. What do you consider “printing”?

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I’d consider enough of a visible outline to recognize the “bulge” as a gun. With a good IWB holster, it’s pretty hard to print to that degree.

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:joy::rofl::joy::rofl::joy::rofl::joy::rofl::joy:

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@BigdodgedemoN - I live in Florida and have similar weather to what you described. I wear UnderTech undershirts/holsters and carry under my arm, beneath a tucked in “fishing shirt” (Columbia, etc.) or untucked “Hawaiian” shirt. I have carried IWB with both shirts untucked. They do a good job of preventing printing. My wife always checks for me and it has been a very long time since she has mentioned printing.

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I define printing as something that is obvious. Like wearing an OWB holster under a T- Shirt. If you try your best to conceal it it won’t stick out. Because we are trained we know what to look for to see if someone is carrying. Most people out and about are not looking to see who’s printing or carrying. So IMHO it’s printing when it’s obvious.

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So as @Matt_W has eloquently show us…:joy:…it can be subjective, and very dependent on the observer. As long as it is concealed and not definable as a weapon, it’s not really “printing”. Of course the person obsevering you could be either A. An educated CC person themselves who is pretty sure you are or B. A “Nervous Nancy” who is paranoid about everything and just “knows” you are carrying. I only ask because new, or as in my case newer, folks to concealed carry may not be comfortable with that “bulge” if they think they are breaking the printing rules.

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I can’t get away with the Hawaiian look here…clashes with my cowboy hat :wink:. But seriously, I actually bought a belly band style setup for when I am going with shorts and t-shirt, and recently found UnderTech. I have considered using a few of their products. :+1:

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Consider what you do while in public. When standing upright, your weapon should not bulge or otherwise print recognizable shape of its handle. But do you also lift, lean, reach, etc. The gun will print through your t-shirt and even a jacket if you have to lean forward, or your t-shirt may snag and expose the holster. That’s what appendix and pocket carry avoids.

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Ironically I find that while I “bulge” less with appendix I actually “print” worse. For ME, with appendix the firearm’s shape is actually more distinct. Again it may be a body type thing, but atleast a undefined bulge on my hip could be from a cellphone. I do strongly agree with taking what you do during the day into consideration. That is one of the reason I have different types of holsters to fit the occasion.

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My Glock 17 only prints when it is in my CAA MCK and belt holster…

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Nah, bro…totally discreet…totally. :joy:

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… Not if you’re a fan of Hawkeye Pierce :wink:

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PSX_20200821_110528
Some folks can pull it off…some can’t :joy::+1:

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The only person that has ever “made” me, is a good friend, that is a retired SWAT/Assistant Chief of Police. I was in dress clothes, shirt tucked in, with a tuckable holster, and a fairly form fitting dress shirt. He noticed the little bulge, and the metal clips on my belt. He already knows I carry everywhere I can.
Most of society, live in condition white, and is oblivious to what is going on around them, let alone the details of the people they interact with.

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I don’t worry at all about printing and just wear what’s comfortable. Like 45IPAC said above, most people are oblivious to what is happening around them.

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Funny stuff :rofl::laughing:

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Before I received my non-resident UT permit, I went on a road trip. My daughter thought I was carrying but it was my sunglasses carrying case on my belt.

I’m a lefty and appendix carry works for me. I was like this when I started :wink:

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I just naturally assume everyone in Texas is armed or at very least within a couple steps of a weapon. :joy:
As far as printing? IMO not necessarily a bulge, like you said it could be most anything & you have 4th Amendment protections, but I’ve noticed I print when I bend over to pick something up. The grip section is clearly obvious due to my narrow butt. In those situations I just make sure to check that my shirt or jacket is covering pistol when I return to a standing position.

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I am probably in the same mindset, just make sure it is not actually “visible”, or distinguishable as a firearm. The other reason I carry at 8 O’clock is if someone does ask about the “bulge”, it’s close enough I can say “why you checking out my butt?”. Then again I guess same could be said for appendix carry…:thinking:

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