Pennsylvania Firearm Owners Association
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Allentown, Pennsylvania
    (Lehigh County)
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    Default open carry aesthetics

    Most folks who carry concealed firearms seem to carry (in my opinion) ugly guns. Polymer framed subcompact deals that just don't look that nice. I understand some like that look but I just haven't warmed up to it.

    There may be an old old thread with a similar topic, but I didn't want to go grave-digging. So my question is, do aesthetics play a role in your choice of holster and/or sidearm for open carry duty?

    Back when I started open carrying, all I had was an SW99, which is a pretty good looking gun for it being fantastic plastic, but still very bland; just a big lump of black, especially at a glance. To be honest I liked that at first since it made it less noticeable when carrying openly. However as I grew older and wiser, and more comfortable in terms of carrying, I decided that I wanted some fancier equipment, mostly for better trigger pull, better accuracy, etc.. but also because I figured, if it's going to be openly displayed, may as well be a good looking gun. I briefly carried a 6.5" bbl Smith 610 revolver, but alas, this gun is not just something you strap on and run out the door with. It requires planning in terms of sitting down, since the muzzle ends up whacking things. Beautiful gun, I love carrying it, until I have to sit down.

    So anyway, I moved onto a Para S16-40 Limited, which is by far the most beautiful pistol I own, and it's proven itself quite reliable (not to mention freakishly accurate) about 600 rounds in. So I carry that now (cocked & locked, of course).

    Moving onto holsters. I don't know why, but I just can't get used to kydex. I know it works for lots of folks, but it just doesn't feel right to me. Too rigid, too cold. I like leather. So far my favourite holsters have been Blackhawk pancake (3-slot so you can wear it canted or uncanted) OWB leather holsters, with thumb break retention strap. I have one for my SW99 that I've been using for 3 years and I just recently (last month) got one for the S16-40. Both of them carry very well. They hold the gun nice & tight against your side, they flex just enough to be comfortable when twisting or stretching or bending over, and they look fantastic. The thumb break retention strap is something I've grown used to having, it's a very simple but very effective retention mechanism. I also like that it blocks the hammer from striking the firing pin on the S16-40, since I'm still getting used to carrying a single action pistol (call me paranoid ).

    I carry the Smith 610 in a Bianchi Cyclone holster since Blackhawk doesn't make a holster for it. I don't like it as much (only one belt loop, so it tends to slide between 2:30 and 3:30 positions, depending on the surrounding pant belt loop locations), but it works, and it's also a good looking holster, leather with thumb break strap.


    So, how about you? Do you throw aesthetics to the wind, or do good looks factor into your daily carry equipment?
    Any mission, any conditions, any foe at any range.
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Around, Pennsylvania
    (York County)
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    Default Re: open carry aesthetics

    No, practicality and retention are my only criteria.
    My Glock isn't going to win any beauty contests...and neither am I.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Grove City, Pennsylvania
    (Mercer County)
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    Default Re: open carry aesthetics

    One nice thing about black guns is that they blend in. I think that many people simply don't see guns on the first glance because they see black guns in black holsters...and their minds simply pass it off as a cell phone or PDA.

    Black is beautiful! A shiny, bling-bling gun on the other hand can generate instant attention. Beautiful, yes. But they are more visable.




    Ultimately, who cares? Carry what you want in whatever holster you want.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Dover, Pennsylvania
    (York County)
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    Default Re: open carry aesthetics

    They play a small role in my choice of firearms. If it coems down to a choice between a couple very similar modles that feel well in my hand, are the propper caliber, weight and what not, then I'll gop with the one that "Looks" the best. In other words, all things being equal I'll go with the the one I think has a better look to it, as far as handguns go. Same for the holsters.
    3%

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Lebanon, Pennsylvania
    (Lebanon County)
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    Default Re: open carry aesthetics

    Black matches anything....

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Moscow-ish, Pennsylvania
    (Lackawanna County)
    Age
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    Default Re: open carry aesthetics

    Looks don't matter to me - Though I'll admit that when I OC my GP-100.....it looks pretty good.

    And granted, the 5" XD45 ain't shiny or colorful......but it's big.

    Either way - it does't matter to me.

    I swap back and forth occasionally.
    Gary in Pennsylvania
    -------------------------------
    “No One Can Make You Feel Inferior Without Your Consent.” Eleanor Roosevelt
    “Argue For Your Limitations……And Sure Enough, They’re Yours.” Messiah's Handbook
    “The unexamined life is not worth living.” Socrates 399BC

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Scranton, Pennsylvania
    (Lackawanna County)
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    Default Re: open carry aesthetics

    to be honest, my choice in holsters would partly depend on their appearance, and the appearance of the gun.

    for example, i'm planning on a 1911 purchase soon, probably a Tarus. i found a place that sells different versions of it: the plain blued one, the stainless steel, the two tone, and the blued with wood grips. i'm leaning towards the two tone model.

    now, i already have a 1911 holster, a DeSantis Minislide with a thumb break, in black. i could go and buy a SERPA holster, or any other one, but that one matches the Taurus perfectly. it's important to me that the holster matches; the Taurus wouldn't look right, to me, in a brown holster, or something made from Kydex. on the other hand, the SERPA i use for my Sigma is a prefect match, looks wise.

    is it stupid to care about how a holster looks? probably. but if i'm going to pay more than $30 for one, i better like how it looks as well as functions.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Ann Arbor, Michigan
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    Default Re: open carry aesthetics

    Aesthetics are a big deal to me. Like Brown-bear said, all else being equal, I'd rather things look awesome than not. I'm pretty sure that my next pistol purchase will be a Springfield 1911, probably the Mil-Spec. For some reason, I really want it in stainless. I have no idea what holster I'll be getting, but I'm sure that it'll be a good looker. Maybe the carbon-fibered SERPA, maybe some black leather.
    While the wicked stand confounded, call me with Thy saints surrounded.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Northampton, Pennsylvania
    (Northampton County)
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    Default Re: open carry aesthetics

    I carry a Glock because it makes me look better by comparison.


    But no, I don't really put much thought into the appearance of my carry guns. To me, guns are tools. Granted, as I was trying to decide between a G22 and a Sig P226 Elite with rosewood grips, one of my thoughts was "Well, the Sig would look better while I'm OCing it...". I ended up with the Glock, but the Sig is still on my list.
    Safety is a good tool for tyrants; no one can be against safety.

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  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Reading, Pennsylvania
    (Berks County)
    Age
    33
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    Default Re: open carry aesthetics

    To quote a friend of mine while he was buying his stainless PT92, "Theres a certain style you have to have with it".

    Not to say I'd snub a less attractive but more capable gun, but I cant deny theres a part of me thats wants a hot rod, not a sleeper.

    My Taurus 85CH is butt-ugly, my GP100 gorgeous. Carry both about equally.

    Though I wont own a gun made of anything but stainless/aluminum/plastic.

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