IWB vs. OWB
You’re going to carry a gun. You want to conceal it while having fast access and while being comfortable all day.
How are you going to keep it out of sight? In the cooler months you can wear a jacket or a sweater, but the summer months are a challenge.
If you wear a covering garment you can wear a belt holster or an inside the waistband holster (IWB) and conceal your gun easily. An IWB has the advantage of concealing the lower half of the holster in case your jacket/shirt rides up, but many find a pancake style or other OWB (outside the waistband) more comfortable under a vest or jacket.
Some like to stick with one carry method year-round and they choose IWB. That makes sense because your draw is the same every time, especially under stress.
No matter what you carry and how you carry it, you must have fast access to it. Modern IWB holsters put your gun where you can draw it in a fraction of a second. The faster you can react to a threat, the better off you will be.
Another critical choice to make is how deep inside your waistband to carry your gun. Some almost bury it with just part of the grip above the waistband. Yes, it’s easier to conceal, but in extremis, with nerves jangling can you draw the gun with thumb and two fingers and then successfully re-grip to a full firing grip on the way to the target? Maybe not without an untimely fumble and a fatal result. Better to carry higher so you can get a full firing grip from the get-go. (I know. You’re a grown-up and you’re going to do it your way.)
Whether a belt holster or an IWB, you’re going to have to draw from under a vest, jacket, shirt etc. You are going to practice that, right? Break it down to the necessary moves and go slowly at first. Clear the garment, take your grip, clear the holster, bring in your support hand, pickup the front sight on the way to the target, dry fire. Take it to the range if you can, of course. Live fire practice. Speed will come. Confidence as well.
Tuckable holsters are made in such a way that you can holster your gun inside the waistband and tuck your shirt in over the gun and between your pants and the holster. You can wear an IWB holster with a small/medium/large gun, wear a tucked in shirt, and no one will be the wiser. (Barrel length is not usually a critical factor because the barrel will be below your waistband.) No cover garment is required. Most of Tucker Gunleathers IWB holsters are tuckable.
Some people have concern that there’s a visible “bump”. Not if you buy shirts with some extra room and blouse them properly. I’ve worn IWB this way in Houston for years. What about the visible belt clip(s)? People aren’t looking for them and aren’t paying attention. It’s been a non-issue for me.
No matter what you carry, it has to be comfortable. If it is poking you, jabbing you or is a big lump that digs into your side, you won't carry your gun. Well-designed IWB holsters are free of bumps and spikey parts on the side facing your body, so sometimes trial and error is key to finding what works for you. Tucker invented the hybrid holster many years ago The Answer. It has a leather back, two belt clips and a Boltaron (Kydex-like) shell with tension screws. We still sell it. (Unlike some attempted copies the sweat shield is stiff enough to avoid poking into the trigger guard.)
These holsters all get rave reviews for comfort. (We continually listen to your feedback and improve them in response to your comments.)
Body size and how you wear your pants is a major factor in IWB carry. If you are a large person and wear your pants over your stomach, you have more places for a holster than someone who wears pants under the stomach.
Big people have curves. Thin people have angles. In both cases, custom holsters will conform to your shape.
Regardless of your size, an IWB holster ha to meet two criteria:
• Easy Access
• Fast Access
Tucker Gunleather also makes the DC-2 Appendix holster designed to be worn up front on either side of your belt buckle. There is a growing trend toward appendix carry and one important consideration. Consider a pistol with a longer barrel. It helps the holster ride vertically instead of leaning out away from your body. (Example: a Glock 19 instead of a Glock 26.
Yes, there are many considerations for concealed carry. Some of you know exactly what works best for you, but if you’d like to discuss your possibilities before you place your order call Rob at Tucker Gunleather at 800-308-6628.