IWB Carry-What Position?


November 5, 2011, 01:42 AM
I hope this is the right place for this. I just ordered a S&W M&P Compact .45 and don't have any holsters for it. I have carried revolvers almost exclusively, which prefer to do IWB about 8 o'clock (lefty). However, when I have tried a semi-auto, I feel like the grip really sticks out with this type of carry. To those that carry semi-autos, do you prefer appendix, behind the hip, or what method? I am considering a Tucker Texas Heritage holster for this gun, but wanted to get opinions of those who already carry semi-autos before I order.

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November 5, 2011, 01:49 AM
I carry mine (G36) at 3:30...but to be honest, it will depend on your build where you need to carry it.

I suggest moving it around between 8 and 9 o'clock, and see what works.

November 5, 2011, 02:49 AM
I carry just behind the point of the hip so that the gun in is the hollow there. The further to the rear you carry from the 9 o'clock, the more rake (angle from vertical) you'll need

The Lone Haranguer
November 5, 2011, 06:28 AM
For me, when mostly standing and walking, behind the hip at 4:00-4:30. If I will be mostly sitting or driving, 11:00 for a slight crossdraw. (I am right-handed.) This would actually require different holsters, a forward-canted for the former, vertical for the latter. Don't be afraid to buy multiple holsters, if you need them.

November 5, 2011, 09:56 AM
I'm a righty. I carry at about 3:30 with a forward cant of I think, like, 11 degrees.

November 5, 2011, 11:56 AM
4:00 seems the best for me seating also.

Ghost Host
November 5, 2011, 12:13 PM
Add me to the 3:30 list. I use a Brommeland Gunleather Max Con V. Also be sure to wear a high quality gun belt. It will make all the difference in comfort level and conceal-ability.

November 5, 2011, 12:18 PM
3:30 - 4:00

November 5, 2011, 12:28 PM
3:30- 4:00 here.

Lex Luthier
November 5, 2011, 01:07 PM
This is a great question that you can only answer after trying a few positions.

I carried gangtsa style (right hand draw, 6:00, but it was uncomfortable sitting and the butt read through my suit coat. It was perfectly fine standing up though.

Now depending on the piece, I wear IWB between 3:00 and 5:00 IWB, usually canted a little forward. Some holsters have an adjustment screw to fix them at that angle, but none of mine do.

I use a leather IWB from the Holster Store (ebay) for the PT709 Slim, and an Uncle Mikes IWB for the P229.

My shoulder rig is sufficient and fits most of my hardware, but cannot find the perfect one for vertical carry in black leather. Never ankle carried.

I have also found that my trousers need only be about an inch bigger to accommodate anything I want to carry.

November 5, 2011, 01:16 PM
If you like 8-9 carry position, then I would change that last. Ideally, you always want your pistol in the same place all the time. I would try changing the cant of your pistol. Extreme forward cant, also known as the FBI cant, places the butt of the grip, the hardest part to conceal usually, over the back of the slide. I found this very helpful when I carried a Beretta M9A1 concealed while in the service. Hope it does the trick for you.

November 5, 2011, 01:36 PM
I usually pocket carry but when I go on a long road trip I IWB carry a Taurus 24/7 Pro DS .45 compact which is similar in size and weight to the OP's M&P. I find that 2:30 carry is best for sitting in a bucket seat for any length of time and it's about the only possible way to carry IWB in my GTO with rather prominent side bolsters in the seat. Conceals the grip pretty well when I get out, too.

I carry in a Supertuck. I've tried knockoffs of the Supertuck and they aren't as comfortable.

November 5, 2011, 01:51 PM
Before you buy a holster, I suggest you take your unloaded pistol and tuck it in your waistband. Move it around to the various positions and vary the cant. When you find a comfortable position that is accessible to you and your body type get someone to take a photo.
Now you have a starting point to deal with the holster maker of your choice.


November 5, 2011, 02:20 PM
3:00 for me with almost no forward angle.

November 5, 2011, 06:52 PM
I carry at the 3:30 IWB position (rightie). This position allows me/you to sit comfortably. Some of the new car seats that wrap around you can be a problem. You may have to move it forward slightly to find that magic spot. The cant is key when it comes to making it hug your body. Look for a holster that will allow you to change the cant. I make my own so I can tweak as much as needed to get the right fit. I prefer a Hydex outer shell with a leather against my body, with a pigskin sweat guard. I also line my Hydex for the silent effect.

November 5, 2011, 08:09 PM
4:30 position for me using either a Crossbreed Supertuck or Milt Sparks VMII.

November 5, 2011, 08:22 PM
I carry my Walther PPS at 10:00, just in front of the hip bone, cross-draw. The usual IWB holsters all position the gun too low (apparently trying to get the handle tucked in under the belt). The result is, it digs into your ribs and the muzzle flares out noticeably under your pants. I made a holster which carries the gun higher, with the belt across the trigger-guard. Keeps the muzzle tucked in, and the tension of the belt tucks the grip into my less than rock-hard abs! ;) It just completely disappears under even a fairly tight tee shirt, and I generally wear my cell phone over the belt clip to hide it from casual view.:cool:

November 5, 2011, 11:01 PM
3 to 3:30 in this holster. http://www.whitehatholsters.com/Default.asp

November 5, 2011, 11:19 PM
I just started carrying my 96D AIWB at about 12:30 (right handed) and it is working great so far. Super fast out of the holster for IWB too.

Before that, I usually carried around 3:00 (depending on where belt loops were, cover garment, etc.).

However, I find AIWB to conceal the best under a very light cover garment (t-shirt only).

I suspect that a M&P 45c would conceal pretty well in that position, just be sure you use a good holster.

1911 guy
November 5, 2011, 11:27 PM
I carry IWB and OWB at about the same position. Just behind the point of my right hip with canted holsters.

November 6, 2011, 01:19 AM
Holsters are not like hats that one fits all. One that would fit me may not work for you and before you know it you may end up several and use only one or two because of your personal preference and what works with your wardrobe. I'd suggest you unload your firearm, wear some of the clothing you wear on a regular bases and IWB carry it around the house at different positions. Sitting, walking around, etc and see what is most comfortable for you. Then take your firearm to your Local Gun Store or to a Gun Show which may have several venders with a wide selection to choose from, and try on whatever hostlers they have and see what fits you best. Some can be expensive and if you find out you don't like it you are stuck with a paperweight. You may like a leather one or one made out of ballistic nylon. I have a DeSantis Dual Carry for a couple of my handguns, I like it because I can use it as an IWB or an OWB carry both with one holster.

November 6, 2011, 05:42 PM
I carry my Glock 27 IWB in the Apex position, which is about 1:00 (I'm really closer to 1:30 if you want to be precise). When I carry owb, it is usually about 3:00, right on the side of my hip.

November 6, 2011, 06:20 PM
I carry at 3:30. Fastest draw is from there for me - (though appendix position may be faster but I just can't tolerate a gun in that area).

November 6, 2011, 09:43 PM
I don't IWB. I Want my Balls.

November 6, 2011, 11:53 PM
Up until a month ago, I carried around 4:30. I noticed that sitting down in certain chairs made my back hurt, so I switched to 3:30, and it's much more comfortable.

November 7, 2011, 12:04 AM
nrastore.org, http://www.concealedcomfort.com/

November 7, 2011, 06:52 PM
I carry my Glock 36 at 3:30 with the Galco SkyOps:

Chase B.

November 7, 2011, 08:23 PM
I carry at about 8:30 Every thing from a Bersa to a 1911

November 8, 2011, 05:40 AM
For concealed EDC I'm a dedicated appendix carrier.

Friendly, Don't Fire!
November 8, 2011, 05:48 AM
four o'clock
spare mags at eight o'clock

This guy does EXCELLENT workmanship:

Big Jim will make sure what you got is RIGHT.

November 8, 2011, 08:41 AM
I seem to prefer appendix carry for most applications. Sometimes I will carry behind the hip with certain clothing. But I really like appendix. It all but disappears in that position. I have even carried my XD45c, which is a 4" barrel gun.

November 9, 2011, 01:11 AM
Due to the shape of my body, I've always (across the span of weight differences of over 50 pounds) found that appendix carry and 5 o'clock are the winning IWB positions for me. Appendix is used for snubby revolver or BG 380 and anything large goes to 5 o'clock.

Shawn Dodson
November 10, 2011, 09:43 AM
I've been using a Milt Sparks Executive's Companion IWB holster, at 4 o'clock, for well over a decade with my Glock 19. It does a great job of holding the pistol close to my body and at just the right grip angle for me.

Prior to that I used the Milt Sparks Executive's Companion with my Star M43 FireStar with the same exellent results. My experience with this particular model IWB holster dates back to 1993.

When shopping for a holster for my Kahr PM-9 a few years ago I chose the Milt Sparks Summer Special II, which I modified by trimming the excess leather flaps so I could use it for Appendix Carry. It works fairly well but I recently ordered a Milt Sparks Expecutive's Companion for it too.

Gabe Suarez seems to offer the best lineup of Appendix Carry IWB holsters. See - http://www.onesourcetactical.com/insidethewaistbandholsters.aspx

Good luck!

November 10, 2011, 12:24 PM
appendix. Surprisingly comfortable and easy to conceal, even in tighter fitting shirts. Once you get over having the muzzle pointing near your junk, it's a great way to carry.

David E
November 10, 2011, 12:35 PM
appendix. Once you get over having the muzzle pointing near your junk, it's a great way to carry.

Yeah, ok, but don't forget about that pesky femoral artery......:eek:

November 10, 2011, 12:39 PM
Yeah, ok, but don't forget about that pesky femoral artery......:eek:
That too. ;)

Just be safe and it's a great way to carry.

November 10, 2011, 03:36 PM
For me, IWB works best just past my hip, (I'm a righty so 4:00/5:00) with a slight cant so the muzzle and butt would make a straight vertical imaginary line. Even when I bend over to pick something up it doesn't really show, and I'm pretty thin. My girlfriend actually has to touch me there to see if I'm carrying IWB (sometimes I opt for shoulder rig). The gun I carry most is a full 5" 1911, and IWB works great for concealing it comfortably.

November 10, 2011, 04:06 PM
I've got an ambi holster, and as a lefty, I've worn 3:00 cross draw, and 8:30 with a slight forward cant. I don't have a CPL yet, so it's mostly OWB OC in those positions, but CC IWB from those positions work just fine, too.
I don't really like appendix draw, and certainly not 6:00 spinal. nor am I really a fan of the gun in the front of the pants, especially when sitting.

November 11, 2011, 05:27 AM
Before you buy a holster, I suggest you take your unloaded pistol and tuck it in your waistband. Move it around to the various positions and vary the cant. When you find a comfortable position that is accessible to you and your body type get someone to take a photo.
Now you have a starting point to deal with the holster maker of your choice.

That was a really cool suggestion that I haven't heard before. Thanks.

November 11, 2011, 05:41 AM
I would've never guessed so many would like a 3-3:30 with a mostly vertical cant, so I really appreciate all the responses. I have a Crossbreed Quickclip and it has 3 different positions for the beltclip. I changed it to the one with the most forward cant (puts the frame and butt in about a Y angle) and carried the pistol at around 8-8:30. That seemed to really work. It pulled the butt up against my back and felt the most like the way I like to carry my revolvers. I am 6' 3" and 195, so I have mostly a slender build, but I'm 49, so I am always battling a gut. Appendix carry really pokes me around the femoral artery area and is uncomfortable to sit. I ordered a holster from American Holster Co. with a lot of cant, so this should probably be a great choice. Thanks for all the help.

David E
November 11, 2011, 10:25 AM
3:30 with slight butt forward works very well.

November 11, 2011, 11:00 AM
When I owned a Glock 26, I used a Mitch Rosen Clipper holster, carried it just to right of belt buckle ( 12:45-1:00 :) );worked well for several years...

November 11, 2011, 11:11 AM
If I don't anticipate sitting, particularly for long periods, I carry at about 2:00. This conceals best for me, but is uncomfortable when sitting. The most comfortable is about 4:00, but bending over/leaning over can expose the grip to imprinting and/or pull a shirt up to show it. Because I typically wear a jacket, 3:00 works well. It is comfortable and isn't likely to show. The only thing you have to worry about there is "bulge" when someone looks at you head-on... but a jacket or something takes care of that pretty well.

Also, type of gun is important. I know one person who carries a SW 686 4" IWB, another who carries a Beretta 92 IWB, and another who carries a Kimber 5" 1911 IWB. The ONLY way that's comfortable to me is at about the 4:00 position, but is big enough to imprint quite a bit--even with a jacket. For IWB, something compact/sub-compact is much more practical. (ie, Kahr CW series)

Big Mike
November 12, 2011, 11:20 AM
I have a FIST ultra thin kydex IWB for a S&W 4043 that I carry at the 1:00, just to the right of the buckle. Have tried others, but for the larger pistols I carry this seems to have worked out the best for me, for the last 10 + years.

November 12, 2011, 09:07 PM
4'o clock, Sigma 40ve and GOV model 1911

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