The Myth of the Shoot-Me Vest.

“Don’t wear a Tactical/Photographer Vest! Bad Guys may recognize it and will shoot you first!”

We all read & heard comments like this all in many gun forums and even on TV shows. Yet I have not seen anywhere a single solitary case where a vest had anything to do with somebody’s criminal-related death or even injury.

Yes, some people may realize you might be carrying a gun, but usually they are either civilians that carry or understand concealed carry (and that you are a good guy) or police officers that know the same thing. Both types are not into revealing to the world that you are legally armed so there is no problem there. 99% of those who see you wearing a vest have no idea that your vest might be an indicator of firepower at all.

I’ve been carrying for a over decade now and my cover garment has been a vest in almost all cases. The most common question asked is if I am going fishing to which I answer yes. I’ve been asked twice if I am a photographer and said no, just a fisherman which pretty much ended the conversation.

I do wear a vest because it is a great way to carry wallet, light, bandana, cell phone, smokes, lighter and whatever else I might need. It is basically a Manly Man Purse that has no point reduction for the Man Card. I don’t have to chase individual items or spend 10 minutes loading and unloading anything: I just put on and take off my vest and all items will be there. It is comfortable up to 90 degree & 80% humidity weather, after that it gets a bit nasty in the South Florida climate.

So, wear your damn vest with pride and ignore the Gun Forum Experts.

PS: Some people actually support Open Carry and oppose wearing a vest. Go figure.

22 Replies to “The Myth of the Shoot-Me Vest.”

  1. “Yet I have not seen anywhere a single solitary case where a vest had anything to do with somebody’s criminal-related death or even injury.”

    Wardrobe is rarely part of a police report.

    If it was something that was regularly documented, not seeing any evidence of a correlation between being “made” for wearing an out-of-place vest might be a valid observation.

    But, since wardrobe is not documented with any regularity, “not seeing” any correlation is not equivalent to there being no correlation.




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  2. Then again,not even the Gun Forum Experts can mention a case either. The “I know a guy whose second cousin met a waitress from Arby’s who said…” type of “evidence.”
    I believe that the whole anti-vest thing comes from the same crowd that writes about how IDPA will kill you.




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  3. I didn’t realize it was that long ago. 😮

    I just laughed when you mentioned the “getting mistaken for a photographer” thing. The dude that day was so oblivious that I could have been carrying an M4 and I don’t think he’d have noticed… 😀




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  4. I do not wear a vest just because I find the look kind of dumb. But that is a personal preference. I have been known, however, to wear, on occasion, a suit vest without a jacket. *shudder*

    If it makes you feel more comfortable, wear the vest – if average folks do not seem to care about the 686 strapped to my hip, I cannot see them particularly caring over a cargo-pocket-bedecked vest.




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  5. My wife’s family has several members who wear vests just for the pockets. No gun. I’ve seen other people wearing vests and later realized they likely weren’t packing.

    I conceal under a cotton shirt or a flannel depending on the weather.

    I think its only internet commandos who think this.




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  6. I don’t wear a vest because I live in Houston. That extra layer of clothing just don’t seem sane here.




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  7. Eotac Lightweight Vest. I own two: one black one Kahki.

    http://www.rogueelite.net/102_Men_s_Operator_Grade_Lightweight_Vest_p/102.htm

    Emphasis on ‘lightweight’ for hot climates. I had 5.11 and Woolrich too but I am staying with Eotac. I actually consider 5.11 vests as POS just because they fabric will wear away where it makes contact with the gun and might compromise a draw.
    Woolrich is nice, but I was not comfortable with the neck. It might be just a personal issue so do not take it against the vest. I actually use it for my IDPA matches.




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  8. I actually consider 5.11 vests as POS just because they fabric will wear away where it makes contact with the gun and might compromise a draw.

    Huh.

    I bought my vest, a “5.11” model from Royal Robbins, back before we invaded Iraq and Blackwater was still just some company that sold steel targets. It still has little hiking dudes stamped on the snaps. It doesn’t even say “tactical” anywhere on the labeling.

    I did notice that eight years of rubbing by a 20-lpi checkered piece of steel has made a shiny spot with the beginnings of a little hole. I should do something about that.

    Are the current ones made by the “5.11” spinoff company of Royal Robbins that much flimsier?




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  9. “It is basically a Manly Man Purse that has no point reduction for the Man Card”

    It’s not a “fanny pack” level reduction. But they are still pretty dorky. I haven’t even seen any pro-photographers using them in years.




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  10. Tam, I think I threw my 5.11 vest away or I’d take a pic and post it, but I can’t find the damn thing. At the time I was carrying a Beretta 8045 Mini Cougar and it could not take the abuse from the hammer. I switched to the Woolrich and not a mark on it.




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  11. I agree, I have been wearing a vest for years and I am usually asked if I am going fishing. A couple of years ago I noticed a man in a Tennessee Mall, wearing a vest sitting and waiting for his spouse(as we all do in malls) and caught him adjusting his gun under the vest. Did not alarm me, only made me feel good that there was at least one other good guy armed!




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