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A suitable inside-the-waistband holster can be difficult to locate because there are so many variations available. In this article, We’ll not only list the top IWB holsters currently on the market, but also explain how to choose the right one for you.
Performance and material of construction were the main considerations in this selection. A durable IWB holster that protects the trigger from unintentional exposure is what you should look for when purchasing one. You’ll also see that the Kydex, a plastic that can be heated and molded, is used as the shell on every single holster on this list. Holsters made of it will survive over time because they are frequently molded for a certain make and model.
What To Consider When Choosing The Best Inside the Waistband Holsters
When choosing the ideal IWB holster for your needs, there are a few factors to take into account. The first thing to consider is what type of weapon and what size will fit in the holster. Second, evaluate if a standard or cross draw holster is preferable for you and whether an open or closed design holster is better.
What kind of weapon you want to use in the holster is the first thing to consider. Standard, compact, sub-compact, and revolver handguns, as well as others, can all be carried with an IWB holster.
- Compared to other handguns, standard handguns feature larger frames and longer barrels. They also frequently weigh more, which gives them a larger, bulkier appearance. Standard holsters typically ride lower on the hip than other types of holsters because this wider frame requires a larger hole in the waistband.
- Compared to regular handguns, compact handguns have smaller frames and shorter barrels. They are slightly more comfortable to wear than normal models since they weigh less and fit into a smaller hole in the waistband.
- Even smaller than compact handguns, sub-compact variants feature barrels that are shorter. These little guns are much more comfortable to wear because they are lighter and can slip through a smaller hole in the waistband.
- Although they have a distinctive appearance and a catchy name, revolver handguns don’t truly resemble any type of revolver that has ever been made. When cocked, they fire a single bullet from small frames with big hammers. They might not seem like much, but they have a lot of power, thus they should be carried in an IWB holster.
Size and Fit
It’s important to know where a holster fits on the body and how well it does so. Most IWB holsters fall into one of the three primary size categories: small, medium, and big. While larger handguns might benefit from a more roomy fit in a larger holster, smaller guns should fit tightly in a tiny holster without slipping out.
Finding the ideal fit is frequently a question of preference because waistbands come in a range of designs, including straight, contoured, and D-shaped. While a D-shaped belt creates a more conventional rectangle shape, a contoured waistline fits around the hips and allows the holster to sit at an angle.
Kydex or a substance that resembles Kydex is one of the most popular forms of material for IWB. A holster maker may heat and shape the tough plastic known as kydex to precisely match the specifics of your handgun’s frame. IWBs constructed of Kydex come in two different styles; the most basic one is a Kydex shell with a sturdy metal clip that fits over your belt and waistband.
Another popular material for inside-the-waistband holsters is leather. With use, leather holsters and the leather portion of the holster that acts as a barrier between your skin and the holster become almost custom-fit to your unique body type, increasing comfort. Leather holsters can make some users sweaty, especially in extremely hot climates. It may be challenging to put your pistol back if the leather is flexible rather than solid since the opening will shut once the firearm is taken out.
The holster’s design should also be considered while choosing the best IWB holster for your needs. IWB holsters come in both open and closed versions.
- A flap on an open holster swings open to expose the weapon. They are usually more comfortable than closed holsters because they require less effort to remove the gun from them. These holsters are exposed, though, which makes them more prone to harm from things like being dropped on a hard surface.
- In a closed holster, the pistol is wrapped by a piece of fabric that latches onto a loop or D-ring to keep it in place. This design is more resistant to shock damage to the weapon even if it provides slightly less comfort than an open model.
Start by choosing a waistband that fits appropriately and isn’t too tight to get the best IWB holster for your needs. Next, seek for a holster that fastens around the waist, making sure the belt loops are high enough to prevent the holster from slipping down. In general, IWB holsters are made of polyester or nylon because they are both rather soft textiles. Leather tends to be used only for high-end IWB holsters because it is a more durable material. Look for a thin IWB holster, regardless of the material.
Keep the gun close to your body and make sure it doesn’t move in the holster – these are two of the most crucial aspects of concealment when utilizing an IWB holster. Because holsters have a point of retention around your trigger guard, your gun is safe and there is no chance that something will become stuck in the trigger guard and accidentally discharge. Additionally, you may rest easy knowing that your holster moves with you and will be there when you need your firearm because the weapon is retained securely in the holster.
A good IWB holster can provide some level of security for a gun. A locking mechanism on the holster may act as a deterrent to someone attempting to take the weapon. However, the security of a pistol depends on its owner, so keep these suggestions in mind when putting your new IWB holster:
- Select a spot that is hidden from view to keep the holster. Put the holster in a closet with other things like coats and jackets, a drawer, or under the bed.
- If possible, fasten the holster with a cable. To fasten the holster, a cable can be extended across the floor or the ceiling. Although a chain would function just as well, installing cables is easier.
- Think about securing the holster with several cable or chain links. It may be more difficult for an intruder to rip the holster loose if there are multiple points of contact.
- To further improve security, use a combination lock. A holster can be locked with just a simple padlock, but a combination lock might make access for intruders more difficult.
Types Of I.W.B. Holsters
IWB holsters come in a huge variety. Although there are countless combinations, they are frequently grouped by the location and type of clothing they are made from. Words like “strong side,” “appendix,” “Kydex,” and “hybrid” are frequently used. We ‘ll go over what they mean in this part.
Strongside carry refers to carrying your firearm on the side that is closest to your dominant hand. You’ll draw and present your pistol more quickly because it is literally in your hand. The opposite is weak-side carry, which requires reaching across your body to draw your weapon. The majority of trainers and experts don’t recommend weak-side carry.
The term “appendix carry” refers to holding your holster near your appendix, which is located in the lower right side of your belly, typically to the right of your belt buckle. Many people find it to be an easy spot to conceal a gun and a more comfortable place to draw from. Appendix holsters come in two basic varieties. In contrast to the second type, which has a sidecar that can accommodate a knife and/or a magazine, the first is straightforward and can only handle a gun. Because the latter will require more room and be less comfortable, it could complicate things.
A polymer blend with the trademarked name “Kydex” is used for many different things, but in the realm of guns, holsters are made from it. Kydex is a sturdy, lightweight, and handgun-safe alternative to conventional holster materials like leather.
Kydex and another material are commonly used in hybrid holsters. The comfort of a hybrid holster is its key advantage. Although the external material (whether it’s leather or nylon) is substantially more comfortable than bare Kydex, the performance of Kydex is still present. Leather and nylon in a hybrid will eventually deteriorate because they absorb moisture. Because of this, the best hybrid holsters include a three-quarters Kydex shell to protect the trigger area especially and soft material where it touches your body.
How We Chose Our Top Picks
Each choice was based on either our own or other firearm instructors’ experiences. We specifically left out items like small-of-the-back IWB holsters and those made of leather or nylon. Some of the holsters on the list are ones we have owned. Aside from that, one of them I personally examined while taking a training course, and the other was actually utilized by a friend of mine who is an instructor. Each holster was also tested for toughness and safety.
Frequently Asked Questions About Inside Waistband Holsters
Why do you need a holster?
Holsters make it possible to carry your gun in a variety of locations, including your pocket, waist, ankle, and more. Comfort: Holsters let you carry your handgun in the location that most matches your comfort level.
How tight should an IWB holster be?
In this case, “it depends” is the best response. If you run, you might want something that will fit your hands better when you’re moving. You could prefer something with less give if you spend most of your time sitting.
What is the best concealed carry position?
Inside the Waistband (IWB) because it conceals your pistol the most without many drawbacks, inside the waistband is regarded as one of the greatest concealed carry positions. In order to facilitate a natural draw, the majority of gun owners prefer strong side carrying with inside waistband carry.
What size gun do you need for an IWB holster?
If you intend to carry a revolver, you should likely look for an IWB holster that can hold a full-size or larger pistol. An IWB holster with a minimum five-round magazine capacity is recommended if you intend to carry a semi-automatic weapon. You should generally look for an IWB holster that can hold a magazine length of seven rounds or more if you intend to carry a long gun. You should generally have two different IWB holsters (one for each weapon) if you intend to carry more than one firearm. Don’t just assume it will fit; make sure to purchase the correct size for your firearm(s). You won’t want to have to dig your gun out every time you need it. Additionally, it’s crucial to keep in mind that some manufacturers provide both small and large holster sizes, so be sure to double check before you buy.
Do you have to wear a belt with a IWB holster?
This simple IWB holster is made to fit comfortably inside the waistband without a belt. You don’t need to change your outfit to constantly wear a belt for concealed carry.
Is it better to carry IWB or OWB?
IWB holsters are typically recommended for scenarios when it is crucial to keep your firearm disguised, such as in daily life, but OWB holsters are better in situations where it is not as critical to keep the firearm concealed (such as when you’re going on a trek in the woods).