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CCW Fashion & Firearms: A Chat with Gun Blogger Shawn Thompson

Q+A  June 01 2012
 — By Nora Holloway
CCW Fashion & Firearms: A Chat with Gun Blogger Shawn Thompson

Does the name Shawn Thompson ring a bell? Chances are if the name sounds familiar you may have read a gun-friendly fashion movement piece called the “New Fashion Wrinkle: Stylishly Hiding the Gun,” which was recently published in the New York Times. He was quoted in the article and gave his opinion of the latest Woolrich Elite Tactical concealed carry line.

“Most of the clothes I used in the past to hide my sidearm looked pretty sloppy and had my girlfriend complaining about my looks,” he disclosed on his blog, Loose Rounds. Later, during the NYT interview he explained why he liked the Woolrich line. “I’m not James Bond or nothing, but these look pretty nice.”

And with that last one-liner, we knew we had to talk to Thompson. Who was this man who so succinctly described what the average gun owner wanted out of CCW apparel? The answer? A very busy blogger/gun enthusiast.

Although it was started just this year, Loose Rounds has taken off. Covering items like firearms and accessories reviews to sharing pertinent news, the blog has easily gained a large following. The NYT article has furthered its notoriety, ensuring its readership continues to grow.

[Shawn takes aim.]

How long have you been writing for Loose Rounds? Do you write for any other blogs?

I, and a friend (Howard Hatfield), started talking about doing a blog around the first of the year. We talk a lot about guns, tactics, gear and self-defense. We came to the conclusion that some of the stuff we say actually turns up some nuggets once and a while and maybe someone would like to hear about it.

So we started the blog in early February he had worked on it and got it ready. We went live a short time later. I have not written for any other bogs, but both Howard and I have written a little on websites like ar15.com. I had a few small articles in some older precision shooting magazines back in the late 90s now that are no longer published.

What is your firearms background?

This is a good question. I started shooting many years ago around age nine. My Dad was always a gun nut and was in the Vietnam War. I always idolized him and guns because of that. He always taught me from a very early age to buy the best guns I could and I would never be let down. His love for his M16 Colt during the war impressed him. He made it a point to teach me how wonderful the system is. I spent a lot of early years hunting and pistol shooting in small matches.

Then during college I got to know an accomplished benchrest (BR) shooter who was a ballistic reconstruction expert. I worked for him after college for about five years. I was exposed to BR, high-power and bullseye pistol shooting and introduced to some well-known names (at the time) in those areas of the shooting world. I even helped develop a couple of wildcat rounds at the time. During this time I went pretty deep into the high-power and BR world, which led to long range (LR) shooting.

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Locally, I and three others are members of the one mile shot club. After years of LR shooting with a friend in the state police sniper team, we began helping others locally with it. During this time I had also keep up the “tactical” skills of shooting, mainly with the handgun and carbine/AR-15. Like most others I have been to several carbine and handgun classes through the years and did some part-time gunsmithing on LR bolt guns and 1911s. Recently, I have kept up with all this while sometimes helping my police friend train some of his teammates on the State Police SRT. And of course there are the years of hunting and varmint shooting.

Howard, my partner and co-blogger, is a former infantry Marine that served in Iraq and was wounded. He is a range and safety officer. He is the go-to guy for AKs, SBRs and all the more exotic hardware. He is also knowledgeable on infantry tactics and Systema, the Russian martial art.

When did you shoot your first gun? What was it?

I shot my first gun around eight or nine-years-old, maybe a little younger. My first gun was actually a Colt 1911-A1 surplus gun at 10 years old believe it or not. I spent all of my pre-teen and teenage years shooting—it is all I have ever done.

What is your go-to concealed weapon?

My go-to gun is a Colt 1911 XSE SS .45CP. It’s always been a Colt 1911, but I have carried the stainless XSE for about six years now. For the last two years I have a Colt Rail Gun with SureFire X300 I wear at night for CCW—always with two extra Wilson 10 round mags.

[Shawn's Colt 1911 of choice.]

In the New York Times article, you said you were a fan of the Woolrich CCW shirt. What are a few of your other favorite pieces?

In the Woolrich line, I love the lightweight operator pants. I know most roll their eyes over the name now, but they are really great pants. Of course, I like the ever-present 5.11 pants.

This may surprise a lot of people but I was recently given a pair of pants by Craghoppers, which is the brand Bear Grylls wears. I was shocked to find them very tough, comfortable and with plenty of room and pockets in some handy places. They seem pricey but if you see them on a discount I would try them out if you can stand them having the Bear Grylls logo on them. Since the NYT article, have you received a ton of attention? If so, is it more on a national level or local?

Yes! Both on a national and international level. We are read in Vietnam, China, some in the Middle East and Africa. It’s growing every day. I think it was over 35 or 40 countries the last time I counted. Some German newspapers reprinted the article a few weeks after it hit here, so Europe had a good look at us. I was even asked for an interview by the BBC, but turned that one down.

What is the weirdest question or comment you’ve heard someone make about a gun?

That is tough. I have heard a lot of asinine stuff just like everyone else.  I guess the one that really got me was the “fact” just seeing a gun made people more violent and made them want to hurt others, but of course the top spot is changing every day thanks to constant left wing blather.

What’s your favorite piece of CCW clothing? 

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