Three Factors of IWB Holsters

by Jim Wilson, American Rifleman  |  published on December 8, 2012


Inside-the-waistband holsters are some of the most popular rigs for concealed carry and for good reason, as they are one of the best ways to conceal a defensive handgun. They can be concealed with just about any sort of covering garment, and they adequately minimize the gun’s outline on the clothing. In addition, IWB holsters are manufactured by just about every holster maker in operation, giving consumers a wide selection from which to choose. However, there are three important factors to consider when selecting an IWB holster.

The first of these considerations is not really about the holster as much as it is about the pants in which the holster is carried. In order to comfortably carry a defensive handgun using an IWB holster, your pants need to be a bit larger in the waist. It is a good idea to buy pants that are one waist-size larger than what you would normally wear. And, if your choice of carry pistols is very thick, it might be wise to go to two sizes larger.

Clint Smith says that defensive handguns do not have to be comfortable, they have to be comforting. But the fact is, if the gun and rig are gouging the wearer’s side it won’t be long before he or she is tempted to leave it at home. It is important to make sure that the waist size is large enough to accommodate the handgun comfortably.

Second, IWB holsters are attached to the belt in a variety of ways. The least of which are those that have metal bands that snap down over the belt. It is not uncommon for these to come loose during a defensive pistol presentation. And, when they do, the holster will come out with the handgun. This could not only slow one’s response but could really ruin a day.

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