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IWB vs OWB Holsters

Outside-the-Waistband (OWB) and Inside-the-Waistband (IWB) holsters are two of the most common ways to conceal a pistol. Both have advantages and disadvantages, and the decision between the two depends on personal preference and intended use.

IWB holsters are meant to be worn within the waistband of pants or shorts. This concealing method is popular because it keeps the pistol close to the body and reduces printing (the outline of the firearm visible through clothing). In addition, IWB holsters often provide excellent retention, ensuring that the weapon remains firmly in place while the wearer moves.

However, IWB holsters can be unpleasant to use for long periods of time, especially when carrying in warm temperatures. The close proximity of the handgun and holster to the skin might create discomfort and perspiration. IWB holsters further require a better fitting waistline, as the holster must be tight to the body for optimal concealment.

Outside the Waistband Holsters (OWB) OWB holsters are intended to be worn outside of the waistband of pants or shorts. Popular due to its accessibility and simplicity of draw, since the pistol is easily ready when required. Additionally, OWB holsters are often more comfortable to wear than IWB holsters since there is greater space between the pistol and the skin.

However, OWB holsters are less concealable than IWB holsters due to the firearm's greater visibility. Additionally, OWB holsters are less secure since the weapon is not as close to the body and might shift or slip out if not securely secured. In addition, OWB holsters require a bigger waistline because they are worn outside the body.


IWB and OWB holsters are selected based on personal taste and intended use. If ultimate concealment is desired, an IWB holster may be the best option. If you place a premium on accessibility and simplicity of draw, an OWB holster may be the superior choice. Both types offer benefits and drawbacks, so it is essential to select the one that best meets your needs.

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