IWB vs OWB – Detailed Guide

So we have gotten to that point, you chose a gun, you bought a gun, you know what your state requires to carry it concealed legally, you got that in line, you’re familiar with the firearm and have shot it a few times, you feel confident that carrying on a daily basis is the right decision for you, you even think you know what position you want to carry in. Now, it’s time to choose the last thing, do you want that gun Inside the Waistband(IWB) , Outside the Waistband(OWB)? Let’s look at the final step of concealed carry, which is likely the one that will make a difference in your daily life.


Image Source: exactdn.com

Outside the waistband or OWB is the old-school way of carrying a gun. The Police carry OWB, you likely go to the range OWB, military carry OWB and with certain clothing choices or situations, OWB makes sense. OWB is great when driving, wearing a coat or jacket that needs to be defeated to draw or hiking in dangerous country (around bears and lions).

The biggest reason many folks will look at OWb carry is comfort, followed by making the gun readily accessible. Your body can move naturally when you’re carrying OWB. Defeating clothing is a touch easier in some cases when you’re carrying OWB. With those high points in mind we need to look at the downsides too.

OWB doesn’t conceal as well as IWB, plain and simple. Also, in an altercation OWB makes it easier for an assaulter to capture your gun. This is a constant concern for the police, and it should be in the realm of considerations for you when choosing how to carry.


Image Source: roundedgear.com

As concealed carry has become more and more common, IWB has stepped to the forefront as THE preferred method to carry a gun. When not at the range, on a hike, in gym clothes or at a business meeting IWB is the way to go if possible. The gun is in a known position, with close physical contact, it is well hidden, well controlled and in a position to save a life, yours or someone else’s if need be.

IWB is also great at being versatile. In every situation, OWB can be used so can IWB. The same cannot be said in reverse. The other aspect is that a hard-sided IWB holster can be put at just about any clock position around your waist. Again OWB is not practical for that.

If there are downsides to IWB, it can be a bit less comfortable for some folks when sitting, depending on body type and you will have to practice defeating clothing to get to your gun. You should practice drawing with different clothing on anyway, this can be done in your own home, and comfort is relative for each person.

With the most tactile control over your gun while still being the most concealed firearm possible, it’s hard to be wrong with IWB. Another cool thing is that with current rigid IWB rigs you can often add a little personal flair to your kit with custom colors that you might be the only one who sees, like boxers with cartoon characters. Carrying a gun is a right and responsibility, and it is our belief that IWB is the best way to do that while still honoring your choice to conceal it.

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