One individual's account of trying out Open Carry (OC). There are of course the tactical ninja folks that pooh-pooh not concealing your weapon for one reason or another, but I've always been a big fan.
The greatest advantage (for me) is comfort; IWB holsters are not nearly as comfy as a leather belt holster, and it's a pain in the ass to wear a jacket all the time. And it's not only faster to draw from OC than from concealment, there's also less to go wrong with the draw. Raise your hand if you've ever done concealed draws on a range and had your weapon snag on your clothing or bind up in your hand? I have, plenty of times; and if you haven't, then you may not have spent much time on the range. Or maybe I'm just a klutz. That's a possibility too. Another bonus is that lots of shooting academies teach from an open holster, not from concealment. It blows my mind to read after action reviews of some academy where the shooter spend five days and 5,000 rounds shooting from a thigh holster made for Afghanistan operations, and not a carry holster made for WAWA operations. If you're going to war, then by all means, train for war. If you're going to the mall, then train for going to the mall.
Also, draws and shooting should be practiced from non-traditional and non-static positions, which is easier if you don't have to sweep a jacket out of the way or rip up a shirt to get to your heater. I'm going to call myself out as a hypocrite on this for the time being because I don't practice what I preach due to time constraints and other stuff, but I plan on getting into a realistic training tempo shortly. It's important though to know that attacks on people don't generally look like what they do on the CCW shows on TV. What few fights I've been into never started or ended with me facing an opponent at 7 to 15 yards, giving me time to think; actually, I can't recall a single time where I wasn't on the ground and already the recipient of several blows before I even knew I was in a fight. This is exactly the argument against OC though, in that a scumbag(s) will take your gun before you know they're there, but I tend to disagree on the likelihood of that happening. I was far less paranoid back then and had no sense of my surroundings, which is paramount to maintaining a good defense. I think carrying a weapon necessarily makes me conscious of what's going on around me, and much more so when I'm OCing.
One day in near future I hope to have some realistic training under my belt that includes both CCW and OC. I'm thinking of something more hands on than what's offered at a traditional range, something resembling this:
I don't plan on ever fighting a drug dealer in the car, specifically because I don't allow drug dealers in my car and am not a LEO, but it is realistic to train for fighting in close quarters. Training to draw on an approaching scumbag at a mock-up ATM is good too, but there are other areas to improve on. I also think that those who have never OCed before owe it to themselves to try it out at least temporarily so that they may learn something. Again, OC makes you think all the more about what is going on around you, and that's more valuable to your defense than any shooting you might do, and you may be surprised that no one around you even notices you're armed.