IWB Holsters vs. OWB Holsters
on 18th Jan 2018
Once you choose to carry a concealed weapon, it is crucial to make sure that how you opt to conceal your weapon is not only comfortable but most importantly, safe.
If you are new to the world of holsters, it can be overwhelming to pick the type that best suits your needs. At Tucker Gunleather, we encourage customers to research a variety of holsters before deciding what style best suits their concealed weapon of choice and their needs.
For starters, a holster must hold your concealed carry firearm securely in a place on your body. It should be easily accessible, comfortable, and keep your weapon hidden.
Ultimately, the function of the holster is to protect the trigger guard to prevent an accidental discharge. Holsters also serve many other functions, including keeping your gun secure, protecting its surface and finish, and providing a stable system for simple carrying.
Choosing the Right Holster For Your Needs
Let’s face it: if your holster is not comfortable, you will likely not wear it. As you start researching options, keep in mind that elements including weather, your clothing, and activity level might require different holster types.
The key to finding a holster that works for you is understanding that a quality concealed carry holster should not only strike a balance between accessibility and concealment but also should be comfortable enough to wear from day to day.
There are numerous places on your body to conceal a firearm, and there is a wide range of holster styles to accommodate your preferred method. Two of the most popular ways of carrying a concealed firearm are commonly referred to as inside the waistband (IWB) holster and outside the waistband (OWB) holster.
An IWB holster is strapped around your waist between your body and your pants. A clip that you can opt to wear either over your belt of the waistband of your pants keeps it securely in place.
With this style, the grip of your gun sticks outside of the pants, while the barrel remains concealed inside. Some IWB holsters are described as “tuckable” meaning there is a space between the holster and the holster’s clip so you can tuck your shirt into the space. All of the IWB’s available from Tucker Gunleather are tuckable.
An OWB holster is one of the more common ways of carrying a handgun. With this style, you carry the gun on the waistline of your body and use a cover garment, such as a jacket or untucked shirt, to conceal the gun and holster.
Pros and Cons of IWB Holsters and OWB Holsters
There are different advantages to IWB holsters and OWB holsters. Here at Tucker Gunleather, we want you to know the pros and cons of each style to help you make your decision.
IWB Holster Pros
- Are often more stable. An IWB holster has three points-of-contact with your body: two on the belt itself, and one where the holster presses up against your body.
- Conceals more of your gun. With an IWB holster, you tuck the majority of the gun into your pants, so less of it shows on the outside. Also, since it is inside the shape of your pants, your body’s curves can help disguise the fact that you are carrying.
IWB Holster Cons
- Can make it challenging to grip the gun. Your gun is a lot closer to your body with an IWB holster. As such, it can take extra effort to wrap your thumb around the grip when you are drawing your gun. Tucker Gunleather’s IWB’s provide for a full-firing grip so you don’t have to draw the gun with your thumb and two fingers and then re-grip it on the way to your target.
OWB Holster Pros
- Does not require a significant lifestyle change. Aside from your gun belt, you are typically ready to roll with an OWB holster.
- Can be easier to grip your gun. With an OWB holster, your gun is further away from your body (rather than inside your pants). Therefore, it’s easier for you to get a firm grip on your gun before you draw – essential for both accuracy and speed.
OWB Holster Cons
- Is further from your body, more difficult to conceal. It is important to conduct your research on this one. The challenge can be overcome with a style like a pancake OWB holster that “hugs” your body a little more than other OWB models. Tucker Gunleather’s HF Series holsters conceal as well as a pancake holster thanks to their innovative design.
- There are two points of contact on your body versus three. What does this mean? It means your gun can move around along your waistband if you do not have a good gun belt to secure it in place.
The Bottom Line
At the end of the day, which style is best: an IWB holster or OWB holster?
At Tucker Gunleather, we believe that finding the right type of holster is a very personal decision. What works for one person may not work for another individual, so it is important to view picking a concealed carry holster as an art and not a science.
If you need a good starting place, check out our wide range of custom holster styles. Feel free to contact us for a prompt reply to your questions.