Inside Waistband (IWB) vs. Outside Waistband (OWB) Holsters

There are many different benefits to IWB and OWB holsters.  Here at Muddy River Tactical, we want you to know benefits of both to help you make your decision when purchasing a holster.

1.) Inside Waistband Carry Prints Less

IWB breaks up the outline much better, especially with tighter fitting concealment clothing. The IWB holster has far less of a profile to “print,” or expose the shape of the holstered weapon underneath the hiding garment. Try out the very best IWB and OWB holsters by the same makers with the very same firearms then stand in front of a mirror at various angles.

2.) IWB Conceals Much Better Than OWB

IWB lets the hiding garment sit higher without exposing the holster. When holster and weapon are inside the waistband, their direct exposure stops at the bottom of the belt and the holster accessories (loops or clips) on that belt. When the weapon is outside the waistband, the bottom edge of the holster extends significantly beyond that. If you want to reach for a high shelf or do anything that pulls the hiding garment up, an outside the waistband is more likely to be exposed than an inside the waistband.

3.) IWB Permits Un-Tucked Tops

Inside the waistband functions way better than outside the waistband when placed under un-tucked shirts. If the weather is warm and a coat or vest isn’t really in the cards, carrying under an un-tucked shirt is a tested alternative. Considering that even un-tucked shirts, if they are closed, will hug the body tighter than coats, vests or open un-tucked shirts, IWB is plainly the method to go.

4.) IWB Needs Larger Sized Clothes

This style requires that you use pants with bigger waistbands. When you bought the pants that you have, you purchased them with a waistband sized to fit you. Now that waistband needs to incorporate you and a holstered gun, and perhaps even an extra magazine pouch. Those people who routinely carry inside the waistband learn as time passes to purchase pants or skirts with waistbands a couple of inches bigger than usual. Your belt also needs to be bigger.

5.) OWB Is More Comfortable 

With OWB, you can utilize the clothing you currently have, without any real discomfort. You merely require an OWB holster that pulls the weapon close to you versus your lower body, so it does not lean out and reveal itself.

6.) OWB Comes with Faster Accessibility

Why does inside the waistband hide much better than outside the waistband? For one thing, the belt pulls the weapon tighter to the body than OWB. Especially with a flat-sided handgun, that suggests your fingers need to dig a little more in between your gun and body to get a grip as you start your draw, slowing you down a bit. With an excellent holster, the distinction is minimal; however, it can be significant.

7.) OWB Re-Holsters Effortlessly

The inside the waistband holster, when the weapon has been taken out, is under pressure from the belt. The belt pushes on the holster and will make it slower and more difficult for you to get the weapon back into the holster. Considering that the outside the waistband holster is not under the same pressure, it will be the most convenient of all to quickly and safely re-holster.

8.) Carry Placement Matters

Neither option is at its best for concealment or comfort if used at the point of the hip or middle of the back. Worn behind the hip bone, the concealing clothes drape down and tend to conceal the weapon holstered there. At the point of the hip, the holster will stand out like a sore thumb. This holds true for both styles which are pulled against that bone structure by the belt. It coincides with the center of the back, which is also difficult to prevent a snatch effort and can worsen back injuries if you end up in a supine position. Positioning behind (or ahead of) the hip works much better.

9.) Give Yourself Options

The majority of us see our weight changing, and our waist sizes increasing and decreasing as well. Some of our articles of clothing might be sized with bigger waistbands for IWB carry, however, some not. Some baggage consists of both IWB and OWB holsters for whatever gun is the preferred one a person that travels chooses to take with them. If that is important to somebody who lives out of suitcases with space at a cost, it’s also important to somebody with a steady house life and a lot of spots to store their holsters and clothing.

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