IWB vs OWB - Which one is better?
There are a lot of concealed handgun holsters on the market. Choosing a holster that fits your lifestyle is essential to carrying comfortably every day.
When deciding whether to carry IWB or OWB there are a few things to consider. They include the following:
Concealed carry vs Open Carry
First off, what is your stance on concealed carry vs open carry? In a hostile situation, many people believe that open carrying with an OWB is better than carrying concealed.
The thought is that open carrying will deter an attack altogether because the aggressor can see that you are carrying and will not want to attack. Supporters of IWB carry believe that carrying concealed gives you the upper hand.
If an aggressor does not know you are carrying, chances are he will not target you specifically. Allowing you the opportunity to defend yourself if an attack occurs.
Both sides address valid points. However, it is important to note that if you choose to carry OWB you are not always limited to open carry.
Some OWB holsters are designed with a slimmer low profile design perfect for both concealed carry and open carry. It is up to you to decide what you feel most comfortable with.
Outside of the decision to open carry vs concealed, comfort is another important element to consider. You want a holster that is comfortable enough to wear every day.
If your holster is not comfortable, you won’t wear it. When carrying OWB, there is naturally a gap between your handgun and your body, some people find this more comfortable.
A good OWB holster, paired up with a good gun belt will make you forget you are even carrying.
That being said, a quality IWB holster made from flexible, durable materials will allow you to comfortably carry as well. There is no one-size-fits-all solution. What works well for one person may not work at all for another.
Concealment is extremely important to consider when deciding between carrying IWB or OWB. IWB holsters that have wings on either side disperse the weight of the handgun better and contour to your side more easily than the OWB option, this offers deeper concealment.
IWB holsters are generally worn at the 4:30 position. The benefit of this placement is that the majority of the holster is inside the pants following the body’s natural contour, which aids in concealment. OWBs on the other hand tend to be worn directly off the hip. This causes the holster to protrude from your side.
Keep in mind that if you decide to carry an OWB holster concealed vs open. This protrusion would require you to wear loose-fitting clothing over the OWB in order to conceal your sidearm.
Unlike OWB holsters, many IWB holsters have also been designed to be tuckable. This means the holster has been made to allow the wearer to tuck his or her shirt into their pants, over the gun.
Tuckable IWB holsters eliminate the need for additional articles of clothing and offer the highest level of concealment. When carrying an IWB it is important to purchase pants slightly larger than your normal size.
The increase in pant size allows for adequate space for your holster ensuring the perfect amount of comfort and concealment.
Confidence really is the deciding factor when it comes to carrying concealed. It does not matter what system you use, if you are not confident using it, it could be disastrous or prevent you from protecting yourself in a defensive situation.
There are a lot of people who feel that an OWB holster is easier to draw from and also easier to reholster. Others swear by IWB holsters, stating that the comfort and concealability is hard to beat.
Regardless of which holster type you chose to carry, remember that it’s important to become familiar with every aspect of your holster, from its draw stroke to your ability to re-holster your firearm.
Through consistent training and practice, both OWB and IWB holsters can be an efficient way to carry. If you are considering an OWB for concealed carry, look for a slimmed-down, low-profile holster that will meet your concealability needs.
Four Rules of Gun Safety
Treat Every Firearm as if it is Loaded
The reason that we do this is so that we learn to maintain a healthy level of respect for the firearm no matter what situation we are in.
Never Point a Firearm at Anything You are Not Willing to Destroy
A firearm is meant to destroy, not injure or not even warn. You need to go through training and practice before you are ready to take on whatever is on the other side of your barrel, you are willing to destroy.
If you put your firearm at someone else, not only are they now in danger, but you are also now perceived as a threat. And with a firearm, this quickly escalates the situation.
So you need to know through practice and training that if you put your firearm at someone, then you must be ready to use it.
One thing that we do see a lot with beginners, is that when handling a firearm, they may not be paying as close attention as they should, they might accidentally be pointing it at people; whether they're talking with friends, or maybe at the range. This is what we call flagging. It is something that we really want to watch out for, and really pay close attention to, to keep ourselves and other people out of danger.
Always be Sure of Your Target and What is Beyond it
Not only do we want to know what we are shooting at, but we also want to know what we could possibly hit. So if you engage with the target inside a building, you need to know what is beyond certain walls.
If you are engaged in a concealed carry self-defense situation with the target, you need to know whether or not there is an innocent bystander beyond them.
You need to be aware of the entire situation and what you could possibly hit before ever discharging your firearm. This rule applies that you should have regular practice with whatever firearm you plan on using.
Not only do you want to learn the effective range of your weapon, you also want to know the effective range of yourself so that you can be sure of your target and your accuracy.
Keep Your Finger Off The Trigger Until You are on Target and Ready to Fire
This is a huge safety step towards preventing misfires. In fact, a large majority of misfires occur because somebody had their finger on the trigger before they were ready to fire.