How do I carry IWB comfortably?

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by brewer12345, Mar 24, 2021.

  1. brewer12345

    brewer12345 Member

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    I have always carried a snub 38 in my pocket despite its limitations. With a decent holster, pocket carry is comfy and discreet. I'd like to have the option of carrying something the size of a Glock 19, but it doesn't seem like pocket carry is feasible. I have shied away from IWB because it has never been comfortable to me. Is there a way to do this better so that I can comfortably carry IWB? What am I doing wrong, since I know many carry this way?
     
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  2. .38 Special

    .38 Special Member

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    I went through several before finding a style that worked. I'm sure I'm not alone in that. Ultimately, I found that I needed a fairly big, smooth piece of leather between me and the gun, and then a layer of cloth (a longish tee shirt, most of the time) between me and the leather. I also need a really good gun belt - something made for the task, and not just some big hunk of leather from Sears. So I've been using the Tucker Gunleather "Texas Heritage" and a Beltman "Dual Layer Bullhide" gun belt. This works well for "service" size guns and can even be used for large caliber hunting guns with the addition of leather suspenders - I have carried a 4" S&W 500 thoroughly concealed and in passable comfort.
     
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  3. Corpral_Agarn

    Corpral_Agarn Member

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    stiiiiiiff belt, expensive holster.

    I've moved to AIWB mostly but the same holds true.
     
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  4. brewer12345

    brewer12345 Member

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    What is AIWB?
     
  5. Corpral_Agarn

    Corpral_Agarn Member

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    Appendix IWB.

    gun up front.
    DSC_1491.jpg
     
  6. Hangingrock

    Hangingrock Member

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    Take 2 plus inches of your waist measurement (been there done that) then its a lot more comfortable.:)
     
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  7. brewer12345

    brewer12345 Member

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    Looks like the "shoot myself in the junk" carry position, heh.
     
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  8. Ohen Cepel
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    Ohen Cepel Contributing Member

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    Need a good holster and a gun belt. Have been doing it for years. Takes a little getting used to but now I don't even think about it.

    Thinner guns help at around the 4 o'clock position (just past your hip).
     
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  9. brewer12345

    brewer12345 Member

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    Anyone care to throw out a few ideas as to which holsters I should be looking at?
     
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  10. daniel craig

    daniel craig Member

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    I’m tooo fat for that.
     
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  11. daniel craig

    daniel craig Member

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    What helped me? A military style riggers belt, like one with the buckle and Velcro. They’re nice and wide and firm.

    I carry in a Kydex holster but it comes up high enough that no metal from the gun is touching me.

    I also carry at roughly a 35-45 degree angle. Instead of having the pistol straight up any down the grip is canted forward. Not only do I find this more comfortable but I also find it easier to grip correctly quickly.

    I never could carry in the front of my body because my gut gets in the way.

    I have carried, using a lefty holster, in the small of my back. I found that the most comfortable but not the quickest to draw.



    Here’s something nobody tells you but after you find out it sounds self explanatory:

    Get a pair of pants a half to a full size larger in the waist and a shirt the next size up.
     
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  12. JR24

    JR24 Member

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    It's hard because everyone is so different. Most comfortable, in my opinion would be either a full leather, like the Milt Sparks Criterion, or one of the hybrid kydex/leather backed options like Crossbreed, Aliengear, Comp tac minotaur or any number of other options.

    I find those more comfortable at the 3 o'clock spot but sadly that doesn't conceal best with my body type, so I stick with a single clip kydex, my favorite is Vedder Light tuck, at 1-2 o'clock.

    For comfort, I've found I never find a gun truly comfortable or "forget it's there", it's always at least a little noticable IWB or OWB, but if I stick with a new setup for a couple weeks it gets much more tolerable.

    Even the same relative size holster for a slightly different gun takes a bit for my body to adjust to, so I would never expect a new holster to feel good for at least a few weeks of every day carry.

    But also as noted, a good stiff belt (leather or nylon, I prefer nylon) really helps and buying a size up on your pants can help, bit I haven't found fully necessary*.

    * Of note, even before carry I always wore a belt. I have thicker thighs and any waist size that didn't need a belt to stay up is ludicrously uncomfortable in my legs and crotchal region, so I probably am already a size too big on even my jeans that "fit" without a gun.
     
  13. .308 Norma

    .308 Norma Member

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    Brewer12345, I'm not trying to sound flippant - I really am trying to do exactly as Hangingrock said, "Take 2 plus inches" off my waist measurement (from 38+ down to 36) so that I can comfortably carry my Glock 19 IWB - without buying bigger pants and a longer belt.
    I'm getting there. And when I do, trying out the IWB holster I bought when I bought my Glock 19 last spring will be my reward.:thumbup:
     
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  14. brewer12345

    brewer12345 Member

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    Not flippant at all. The battle of the bulge is one I fight at least a skirmish on every day. Several years ago I lost a bunch of weight (20+ pounds), but I simply could not keep it off. So these days I just shoot for stability within a narrow range and when I am feeling optimistic I try to move the range down a little bit at a time.

    I have solid belts, so that isn't too much of an issue. Guess I will have to look for an appropriate holster and try it with my baggiest pants.
     
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  15. earlthegoat2

    earlthegoat2 Member

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    This is a situation where there is going to be a lot of crying. Cry once with the belt. They are a justifiable purchase every time. Not so with cheap stuff.

    Then comes the crying when experimenting with holsters. Maybe you can get lucky with the first one but most likely it will be progressively more crying as more and more money is spent on each holster until you find the right one.

    I went straight to a Belt Man belt and a Milt Sparks Versa Max holster for my Browning Hi Power and that worked out perfectly. Most comfortable carry of any gun I have ever had.
     
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  16. edwardware

    edwardware Member

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    A Gun Belt is absolutely necessary, otherwise you'll be cranking your cheaptastic belt so tight you'll stop breathing. I've carried on a Lenwood Leather Hybrid for 10 years.

    A good holster is also necessary: Milt Sparks VM2.

    Your pants and belt will need ~1.5" to spare.
     
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  17. Goes211

    Goes211 Member

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    I've tried every carry option under the sun and I finally settled on pocket carry.
    I mostly wear Carhartt or Duluth carpenter pants rather than jeans. The Duluth pants have a short of built in pocket holster. a loop in the bottom of the pocket that holds the muzzle.
     
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  18. brewer12345

    brewer12345 Member

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    What size gun do you do this with?
     
  19. memtb

    memtb Member

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    Small gun.....big pants! :rofl: ;) memtb
     
  20. Kleanbore

    Kleanbore Moderator Staff Member

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    I started out with a revolver in a pants pocket. Okay for carry, but I could not draw from a seated position, or while moving off line.

    IWB seemed like an obvious solution But it proved uncomfortable, and it was difficult to draw quickly.

    I now carry OWB, with an untucked shirt or a sport coat.
     
  21. RetiredUSNChief

    RetiredUSNChief Member

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    There are several things which contribute to comfortable IWB carry.

    First, the belt/holster (two things) cannot be understated.

    Belt: Must be sturdy enough to support the not-insignificant weight of the pistol and holster. Spend the money to get a good one, or you'll just end up spending the money later after discovering this the hard way.

    Holster: There are many styles out there, and there are also many different levels of quality as well. This, too, is a field where "you get what you pay for". You want a holster that will properly house the weapon, which includes the trigger guard and the manual safety (if any). You will want one that will fit your belt width and properly secure the holster so that it does not shift around.

    Search the titles for "holsters" and read through some of the threads.

    Again...if you don't get a quality holster, you'll just end up buying one later when you discover this the hard way.

    Second: Body geometry.

    Like it or not, body shape makes a difference. It makes a BIG difference. If you have a gut, then appendix carry probably isn't going to work for you. Carrying a spare tire around limits your options here. If you're serious about wanting to carry IWB and you're carrying some extra weight, you might honestly want to trim down some.

    Third: Personal preference.

    Personal preference is important because not everybody likes, or is comfortable, with carrying certain ways. For me, as an IWB carrying guy, I am not going to appendix carry. There's just something not right to me about having a loaded gun pointing at my junk or my femoral artery. However, plenty of other people carry appendix carry and that's perfectly fine.

    I carry strong side IWB at about the 4 O'clock position. It works for me, including when I'm driving or riding in vehicles.

    Question:

    What, exactly, is "uncomfortable" about carrying IWB for you? We can better help you if we know what your perceived problem is.
     
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  22. Spats McGee

    Spats McGee Moderator Staff Member

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    I've tried IWB, OWB, leather kydex, ..... For an IWB hybrid, the (far and away) most comfortable holster I've found in the Stealth Gear Revolution. https://stealthgearusa.com/ I carried a 1911 in a Theis hybrid for a few years, then carried a G19 in a CBST for a few years. The ventilated back on the SG Revolution makes a world of difference.

    And throw my vote in with the crowd that said "get a good belt."
     
  23. brewer12345

    brewer12345 Member

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    It has been so long since I tried that I don't remember.
     
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  24. AK103K

    AK103K member

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    Unfortunately, the only way to really figure this out, is to figure it out. Everyone is different and many seem to be pretty opinionated, and often sensitive about somehtings. :)

    Ive carried IWB most of my life, and at around 4-4:30. These days I carry AIWB, just not as centered as the pic above.Wish Id switched a lot sooner too.

    I wear my normal sized clothes. Over-sized clothes look like they don't fit and don't look natural, unless maybe you wear those kinds of shorts. :)

    I like the Wilderness Rigger or Frequent Flyer belts. Stiff, comfortable, and infinitely adjustable. The FF isn't as "gun" looking, and mostly what I use these days.

    Ive had great luck with Blade Tech kydex holsters and still use them. They helped stop most of my rusting problems, and are comfortable. Especially so if your tee shirt rides up and the holster ends up against bare skin. Wet leather against bare skin is miserable and painful, especially after a long day.

    This is how I AIWB. A little more off to about 12:45 - 1:00 than 12:00.

    enhance.jpg
     
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  25. 1942bull
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    1942bull Contributing Member

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    Yes indeed. I went from a 36” waist to a 33” and IWB became very comfortable.
     
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