Two of the most common terms used when describing Concealed Carry are IWB and OWB Holster.
Smartnoble IWB Carry
IWB stands for "Inside the Waist Band". With this type of carry the holster and firearm is concealed inside your pants as shown below:
When you carry IWB you can see you may need a bit bigger belt as the firearm and holster under the belt uses up length. If you were not carrying a firearm or carrying OWB you can usually use a bit smaller belt. So what is OWB? Lets explore that.
OWB carry is the opposite of IWB carry. OWB Stands for "Outside the Waist Band. With this style of carry the holster and firearm is outside the waistband and over the belt as shown below:
As you can see with OWB carry the belt is going through just the Holster and does not need to go over top of the firearm.
This results in you usually being able to buy a smaller size belt than you would need for IWB.
So in closing the way you carry is usually up to your personal preferences.
Of course when you carry OWB then it takes a bit more to conceal your weapon than IWB and prevent printing (printing is when your gun outline shows through your clothing).
The whole purpose of CCW is to hide your firearm from view. Most people do not want anyone to know they are carrying a firearm hence why it is called Concealed Carry!
Which one is better and why?
Well, to tackle this question, we first have to take a step back and look at the relative advantages and disadvantages of both.
Advantages of Open Carry and Smartnoble OWB Holsters
Carrying openly is thought to be a deterrent to a potential attacker.
Someone scoping out a place is more likely to see a handgun on the hip of an open carrier than a concealed one. That means he knows there will be resistance – which dramatically changes the game and the incentives.
Most violent criminals aren't looking for a stand-up, shoot-out. They want to hit the target, get what they came for, and get out before police arrive. That means an open carrier, right off the bat, is going to interrupt that. This can be seen as a possible advantage, but it's also spray-painting a big bullseye on your back.
Armed criminals know that you're target A before they get to target B.
That's if they decide to pursue it at all. For armed criminals interested in living to see another day, they'll see open carriers as more than an inconvenience. There may be
one – but what if there's more? More importantly, attacking an open carrier outright generally jeopardizes “flying under the radar”. Certainly, those are some factors going into open carry.
The second big piece is comfort and holstering/re-holstering. Open carriers generally like being able to position their handguns outside the waistband and have an easier time drawing,
firing, and re-holstering. Plus, with the right outside the waistband holster, it can be easily concealed beneath a jacket or sweater – meaning OWB holsters can still be a concealed carry option.
Advantages of Concealed Carry and IWB Holsters
On the opposite side of the fence, concealed carriers would argue that the element of surprise is theirs.
When armed criminals enter a place, they can't immediately identify a concealed carrier. This gives the concealed carrier the opportunity to draw his pistol from his inside
the waistband also called a iwb holster and effectively engage opponents at his pace – not theirs.
Additionally, sometimes armed criminals scout a place before hitting it. This means that a concealed carrier will fall beneath the purview of a criminal scouting a location.
Armed criminals can't plan for what they can't see – and you've suddenly turned into that unpleasant surprise.
The biggest hindrance to concealed carry is the comfort and viability of its holsters. Ankle holsters are bulky and have a random track record in terms of retention.
Shoulder holsters print badly and tend to provide safety concerns in some models. Additionally, when it comes to speed, the easiest draw point is close to the natural positioning of one's hands – the waistline.
Here is how to properly use and draw from an IWB Holster:
With a good inside the waistband holsters, your response time will increase considerably. But that's also why it needs to be comfortable.
If you're able to put your IWB on without having to think of it as an inconvenience or a nuisance, you're more likely to use it.
This is where OWB tends to beat out IWB: comfort. But this can be allayed through using the right IWB holster with a sturdy gun belt.
It's your carry style – Selecting the best option for yourself.