IWB vs. OWB: Find Out What Works for You

Jul 30th 2020

If you’re new to the gun world, or you just got your LTC, you may be wondering which kind of holster is best for your sidearm. There are a lot of different holster styles, and deciding which one is right for you can seem overwhelming at first. With a few key decisions, you can narrow it down quickly and take your new holster to the gun range for practice.

IWB Carry

IWB Carry

Inside-the-waistband, or IWB holsters, are the ultimate for concealed carry purposes. Your gun sits inside a holster that slides onto a gun belt, which helps keep the weight of the gun from pulling down on your pants.

With an inside-the-waistband holster, you can choose to appendix carry, back carry, or hip carry. Most people choose to holster their weapon on the same side as their dominant hand, but you can also carry on your weaker side to cross-draw with your dominant hand. This has some drawbacks, especially if you’re wearing bulky clothing because cross-drawing takes longer.

With IWB carry, you don’t have to worry about your clothing as much as you do with an OWB holster. Women can wear more form-fitting clothing with a compact or subcompact pistol. You also don’t have to be concerned with the barrel of the firearm jutting out under your clothes since it is secured between your body and waistband.

OWB Carry

Gun owners who prefer open carrying often like OWB holsters. Outside-the-waistband (OWB) holsters are a better choice for full-sized pistols that may be too bulky to wear against your body. Open carry is legal in many states and jurisdictions, but some people carry at home as well.

An OWB holster secures to your gun belt, but it sits on the outside of pants. If you want to conceal your OWB holster, you’ll need a long, loose, or bulky cover garment such as a windbreaker, hoodie, or suit jacket.

Make sure your OWB holster is completely concealed by trying on different outfits to ensure you can move without revealing the location of your firearm. You may need to position the holster higher than you would if you were open carrying. This is especially true for those with body types that are slim and trim, since loose-fitting clothing is not always practical or preferred.

OWB Carry

Head to the Range

Once you have your holster, head to the range and practice, practice, practice. Try moving and drawing from different positions, with your gun situated in different places along your waist. You want your draw, aim, and shoot to feel completely natural, almost like an extension of your own arm. If you’re carrying concealed, you also don’t want certain movements to reveal your firearm to bystanders. Find the carry spot that doesn’t cause the gun to shift, requiring frequent repositioning which can also alert others that you are packing heat.

You may find that you want both an OWB and IWB holster for different times during your daily routine. Practice with both these holsters and decide which ones you prefer for work, hanging out at home, working in the yard, or traveling.

Choosing a Holster from Incognito Concealment

At Incognito Concealment, we offer custom-molded Kydex holsters for most makes and models of firearms. Kydex, a durable thermoplastic, is moisture-resistant and strong enough to protect your firearm from blunt force trauma. It is simple to clean, requiring just a simple wipe with a clean rag at the end of the day.

Our holster designs include IWB, OWB, and paddle. Paddle holsters are another style of OWB holster, except that the holster can easily be detached and reattached to the paddle, which is secured to your belt and sits against your waist.

Final Thoughts

No matter which kind of gun you carry, our holsters come with a lifetime guarantee to provide peak performance and durability. Choose from 30 color schemes and patterns, some of which are fun and bold to make a statement about how much you love carrying your pistol.

For more information on IWB, OWB, and paddle holsters, give us a call today at (586) 333-4240, and let us help you find the perfect holster to take with you on your daily excursions.