The Gray man as a concept is simple to understand. It’s someone who is trying to keep an incredibly low profile, to avoid drawing attention to themselves. Throughout a normal day, a normal person doesn’t worry about this, but if you are planning to do something dangerous then its best not to be noticed. A gray man can be any number of people, from criminals to cops, to the civilians in situations they don’t want to be in. The gray man doesn’t carry a MOLLE’d out backpack or laptop bag, doesn’t wear that sweet NRA shirt or hat and typically wants to look unassuming. This got me thinking what type of gun would be perfect for an “Operational” gray man, someone doing dangerous things in dangerous places.
The Local Choice
Clearly, the logical winner would be what are the locals carrying? You need logistics and what’s local might be easy to acquire. It blends in, extra magazines and ammo will be available so you can just drop one and possibly pick another one up when things go bad. So the local flavor is the number one choice, be it a Makarov, a TT-33, a Glock, or a Taurus PT 92.
The Option You Bring
When it comes to bringing a gun to a dangerous place where a logistics might be a nightmare, ammo may be hard to source, as well as magazines, and other gear. Initially, I thought about some kind of 80 lower receiver firearm like a home built 1911 or Polymer 80 Glock, but then that doesn’t solve my logistics issues for magazines.
So if the gray man cannot source magazines why not bring a firearm that doesn’t need a magazine? That leads us to the revolver. The 38 Special is a classic round but is it used worldwide? Yes and no. It’s popular but not likely to be the most common round out there. Neither is 44 Magnum, 45 Colt, or most revolver cartridges. One round that is common around the world that is compatible with some revolvers is the 9mm round.
The 9mm round is everywhere and in use by the majority of police and military forces. The ammunition is widely available and in a revolver, the varying qualities will be less of an issue when it comes to failure to fire, extracts, or eject. Most automatics are incredibly well made and well-made, but junk ammo is junk ammo. Revolvers have less ammo issues.
5 Rounds for a Gray Man?
It’s not the most common revolver, but if you are bringing one with you that’s not a problem. My particular model is the Ruger LCR 9mm. S&W and Taurus also make 9mm revolvers and Ruger also has the SP 101 in 9mm. While it does use moon clips they aren’t required to fire the gun, just to easily eject all the rounds. The gray man shouldn’t be getting in full-on firefights, but the lower 5 round capacity may be an issue if things get really bad.
At the same time as a revolver, it doesn’t leave cases behind. This makes it easier to stay gray and keep moving. Policing calling brass is for Privates. The gray man doesn’t have time for that. A snub nose revolver is also very easy to conceal in a variety of ways. Due to their small size, you can carry them any way you choose. From ankle to shoulder rig the classic J frame design is easily concealable.
The more I think about the more I lean towards the revolver for this particular task. It’s not the best option for every scenario, but its a functional choice driven by a particular need. The revolver fits in with the gray man in a variety of ways, including the fact it’s unassuming. Revolvers aren’t used by police or military forces much, or really even government agencies. The guns would potentially be as much a mystery as the man carrying it. If it’s ditched it doesn’t lead back to a three letter agency.
Obviously, the mission will dictate the weapons the gray man carries, but for day to day use the 9mm revolver is, in my opinion, an outstanding choice.
Sign up for the Crate Club to get gear that’s hand-picked by Special Ops veterans and Outdoor Professionals, delivered to your door every month.
Originally published on the Crate Club Knowledgebase
If you enjoyed this article, please consider supporting our Veteran Editorial by becoming a SOFREP subscriber. Click here to get 3 months of full ad-free access for only $1