Part 1 - What Color?

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troglodyte
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Part 1 - What Color?

#1

Post by troglodyte » Thu Aug 09, 2018 5:48 pm

I started pondering as sometimes I do and pondered this up, what color(s) is/are the most neutral, blends with all but extreme environments (i.e. totally white well-lit room), inside a building to out in the open, under bright light to inky darkness, no matter what color of clothes I wear? This has to consider at least color, contrast, and gloss/matte. Let's also throw in distances from contact to say 100 yds or so.

We've had several discussions about EDC/Truck rifles. If, for whatever reason, I have to deploy my truck AR pistol, and maybe move with it exposed, what color (not camo pattern) would be the hardest for the human eye to pick up, or at least focus on to determine what I'm carrying? What's going to be the hardest for the BG to see (assuming we aren't already engaged with each other), observable by bystanders (whether in a firing position or held low against the body while moving or staying discreet), and possibly less observable by LEOs as they arrive (with the thought that it gives you a little extra time to react before they pay a lot of attention to you)?

I realize this is an odd question but I got to thinking there should be at least one color that can do a decent job of blending in from desert, to forest, to urban, day or night or there may be several with similar optic qualities. I don't expect it to be hidden as we think with camo, just harder to discern what it is that you are carrying, assuming you're not pulling the trigger at the time. I also realize that there are some instances where being back lit or some other silhouette situation will negate any color.

I want to avoid camo patterns, at least for the moment, as I feel a lot of camo is like fishing lures, more to catch the fisherman's eye and wallet than fish. I also what to do what is likely the impossible, ignore AO. While my AO is mostly dry grassland and red dirt farmland there is urban and, sometimes, lots of green or even snow.

I have my initial hypothesis but I thought it might be a good discussion. So look around you while you go through your day and try to figure out what color will fit the Jack-of-all-trades role. No fair using the cloaking device.
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Re: Part 1 - What Color?

#2

Post by Jusme » Thu Aug 09, 2018 6:18 pm

Great thread. Generally earth tones, i.e. O.D. green, FDE, matte grey, etc, tend to blend as a solid color better than say solid black, or solid white. There are several considerations, not only for your AR, but also your vehicle, and your clothing. A lot of people subscribe to the greyman theory, which is to try to blend into whatever environment you are in, and not stand out from the crowd, to avoid unwanted attention.

But a FDE AR, against a bright yellow, truck, will still stand out. Just the same as it would if you are wearing a brightly colored Hawaiian shirt and orange pants. But if everything around you is muted, it will blend much better. JMHO
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Re: Part 1 - What Color?

#3

Post by troglodyte » Thu Aug 09, 2018 6:54 pm

Being familiar with and trying to practice the grey man theory I was holding off on it to try not to introduce a color bias. The grey man is what got me to thinking about weapon color. I agree, a black gun stands out and not any color will be best in all cases but is there a middle ground? I think there is.
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Re: Part 1 - What Color?

#4

Post by apostate » Thu Aug 09, 2018 7:26 pm

I think Magpul's foliage green is a good choice for a solid color that blends in a wide variety of environments. A gray similar to clean, dry concrete is also a decent option. Neither is likely to be best in any one particular situation but a matte, non-reflective, medium tone attracts the least attention my opinion.

I understand your view on commercial camoflage patterns but I think there is value in breaking up the shape of something you don't want noticed. Even two similar colors, with random splotches or streaks, can make a difference.

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Re: Part 1 - What Color?

#5

Post by lonestar144 » Thu Aug 09, 2018 7:34 pm

I have been contemplating the same issue. I want to paint my AR, but don't want the usual camo patterns or the use of FDE furniture. IMO, FDE is not very good at masking a weapon, unless you are surrounded by miles of desert. Looking around at nature, you see browns, greens and grays. So my idea on a paint job, would be a tan base, with gray and green accents. For the base, prolly will do my own paint mixture of tan and add dark brown a bit at a time and test to get a good earthy tone. Also toyed with the idea of all gray. Primer gray as base with wide, light accents of varying shades of gray. Whatever I decide, there will absolutely be no black paint involved.
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Re: Part 1 - What Color?

#6

Post by Jusme » Fri Aug 10, 2018 5:47 am

troglodyte wrote:
Thu Aug 09, 2018 6:54 pm
Being familiar with and trying to practice the grey man theory I was holding off on it to try not to introduce a color bias. The grey man is what got me to thinking about weapon color. I agree, a black gun stands out and not any color will be best in all cases but is there a middle ground? I think there is.
Yeah, the greyman theory, doesn't necessarily mean you would wear grey, or surround yourself with that color. There are times when grey will stand out as odd. It just means that you become chameleon-like, in that you blend into whichever environment you find yourself. That may mean a Hawaiian shirt and orange pants, if that's what everyone around you is wearing.

Most of the time for me it is tan or beige work pants, plain leather belt, and a dull colored polo, or button up shirt, but that could change if I go into an area, say an executive meeting, in a large office building, then it may be a dark suit and tie with a white shirt. But back to your question: I have been playing with several ideas, for my AR, as far as what coloration, add-ons, etc, would be less obtrusive. I don't know that there is a one color fits all situation, because you never know exactly where you may find yourself, if you ever need to deploy it. but, I plan to "camo" if you will, with a combination, of FDE, grey, and beige. I want, to colorize, my red dot, sling and all other add-ons, in similar colorations, Not necessarily, in a traditional, camo pattern, but something that breaks up the outline some, and would have at least a couple of the colors not stand out against what I wear normally. JMHO
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Re: Part 1 - What Color?

#7

Post by troglodyte » Fri Aug 10, 2018 6:58 am

Even though grey man does not mean you wear grey all the time, I didn't want to put any color out there to skew anyone's thinking thus I didn't want to refer to "grey".

We've jumped pretty quickly to "camo" with splotches and patterns. Something was hoping to stay away from initially, thus the Part 1.
I was going to introduce patterns, textures, ect. in Part 2.

What I was fishing for is what color(s) are going to blend in with most environments most times, even if everyone is wearing Hawaiian shirts and orange pants. Yes, Hawaiian patterns and orange paint would blend in great but stand out like a sore thumb anywhere else.

My thinking is, like y'all have said, muted colors in browns and greys, seem to blend in with most environments fairly well and, maybe more importantly, are harder for the eye to pick up or focus on. Primer grey just seems hard to focus on. My AR Pistol is Magpul FDE and I think it works OK but just OK. I might can do better.

Since we've already broached the subject of patterns and camo, I tend to think soft open pattern splotchs and texture seem to break up shapes better than photo-type or hard lines and angles. Or maybe a base coat with a light overspray of the second (or third) color. Now I'm getting into painting techniques, of which I am not experienced.

So I'm thinking a grey or brown base with shadows of the other color blended in. The tints would need to be something that is fairly middle ground between dark and light so they don't stand out in the dark or bright light. Something that's just a blah color that is hard to focus on. I've even been looking at a set of dumpsters on my way to town that is an interesting chalky taupe with a hint of pink or amber or ?? They are almost impossible to "see".
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Re: Part 1 - What Color?

#8

Post by Jusme » Fri Aug 10, 2018 7:56 am

Yeah that is similar to what my thinking was, a softer faded-in, type pattern, rather than something more suited for jungle camo. I have looked on line at several different patterns and techniques, but nothing seemed to "fit" what I had in mind, so, I'll probably just have to play around with some things. I'm thinking of getting just a toy gun, to practice on, then place it against different backgrounds and see what will work best before, I start on my AR.

I had even considered trying to replicate, something that looks like it's covered, in sawdust. Where I work now, there is a lot of sawdust produced, and it makes things normally bright and shiny, almost impossible to see. so maybe one flat color with a second flat color, used as an over spray type look I am not an artist, so, I don't know how it would work. Of course all of this requires, time, that seems to be in short supply right now.


I'm glad you started this thread, I look forward to other's ideas, and comments. :tiphat:
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Re: Part 1 - What Color?

#9

Post by Rob72 » Fri Aug 10, 2018 8:06 am

In context of carrying a long gun "covertly," pick a handful of clothing covers (think ripstop wind breakers, or FrogTogs-type light rain gear), and a coloring on your long gun that fades nicely into those. The visual image then becomes more innocuous, what you're carrying blends with you, not necessarily with the surroundings.

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Re: Part 1 - What Color?

#10

Post by troglodyte » Fri Aug 10, 2018 8:23 am

Rob72 wrote:
Fri Aug 10, 2018 8:06 am
In context of carrying a long gun "covertly," pick a handful of clothing covers (think ripstop wind breakers, or FrogTogs-type light rain gear), and a coloring on your long gun that fades nicely into those. The visual image then becomes more innocuous, what you're carrying blends with you, not necessarily with the surroundings.
I like this thought. You become the defining background. While I might not always be able to put it on, having a light weight cover garment that the gun will blend into should work well.

Now to find a good color scheme and a cover garment.
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Re: Part 1 - What Color?

#11

Post by RPBrown » Fri Aug 10, 2018 8:29 am

My first thought was grey. However, I think a tan would blend better than most. I sit here looking out my office window and I see green shrubs with rock walls behind them and white trucks parked in front. The windows to the offices are tinted dark brown to almost black. I tried picturing what single color would work best and I came up with a slightly darker than middle of the road tan. It seems it would blend in well with everything around unless you were standing in full view next to one of the white trucks, which in a fight you wouldn't be.
Black or green would be too dark and white too light and all 3 would stand out like a sore thumb, at least what I am looking at from here which, IMHO, is probably 75% of the type of surroundings we encounter.
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Re: Part 1 - What Color?

#12

Post by Rob72 » Fri Aug 10, 2018 9:56 am

Just a couple of easy/reasonable options:
https://www.academy.com/shop/pdp/frogg- ... tid=754256
https://www.academy.com/shop/pdp/ariat- ... id=5403024

Very urban/metro in appearance, too. ;-)

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Re: Part 1 - What Color?

#13

Post by Syntyr » Fri Aug 10, 2018 11:36 am

apostate wrote:
Thu Aug 09, 2018 7:26 pm
a matte, non-reflective, medium tone attracts the least attention my opinion.

Seems like a good place to start. I can't see any one color being the best in all situations but the qualities described above applied to the color of choice would seem to be a great starting point.

Not trying to force the conversation down the camo route but from other research I have done you definitely want to soften or break up the edges or long lines of the weapon.
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Re: Part 1 - What Color?

#14

Post by AndyC » Fri Aug 10, 2018 11:47 pm

Earthy yet contrasting tones in broad non-patterns which break up the outlines (Shape, Silhouette) of the rifle make it hard to identify it as such; something like this:

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I'm not at all fond of the modern trend of fine camo like below - it still looks exactly like a rifle at a distance:

Image

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Re: Part 1 - What Color?

#15

Post by spectre » Sat Aug 11, 2018 3:18 pm

:iagree: The paint job on the Spike's is more fashion than function. There's nothing wrong with it if that's what the owner was going for, and they like the skulls motif.

The pic in cmgee67's thread is a good example of practical camouflage. I don't use black, but that may be a good color combination for the places he hunts. viewtopic.php?f=23&t=93275
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