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IWB or OWB?

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by Captain America, Jul 20, 2006.

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  1. 12 Volt Man

    12 Volt Man Member

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    My first thought in looking at that, is how could you draw quickly with that thing???

    I am an IWB fan. I am tall and "husky" ;) That seems to be the best way for me.
     
  2. Lupinus

    Lupinus Member

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    that is one of the things I was wondering, however a tucked in shirt and no jacket creates limited options and something like that while not as fast as an iwb might be faster then an ankle holster and able to carry a bigger gun then a pocket holster.
     
  3. Khornet

    Khornet Member

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    My 2 cents

    In my fifth year of daily carry now. I've carried (and still do on weekends) a Glock 22, Para Tac Four, Ruger P90, and now my everyday gun, a Smith 1911 Scandium. After getting tired of worrying whether my holster was poking out from under my jacket or other cover garment every time I raise my arm, and dealing with having to remove gun and holster when entering a place where a cover garment was obvious or would have to be removed, which involved removing the belt to get the holster off since walking around with an empty holster in plain view still raises eyebrows, etc. I settled on a Tucker Texas Heritage. It's all-leather, a tuckable IWB. In cool weather I don't bother to tuck since I'll always have a cover garment, and I don't have to worry about the nose of a .45 poking out. In warm weather I tuck it. The body side of a good IWB will have a tab or 'ear' extending above the mouth of the holster to keep the hammer, beavertail, and end of slide from chafing or being sweated on. With sharp grip checkering, the first week of summer wear without an undershirt can lead to discomfort, but it goes away afterward. Maybe the skin over my love handle gets tougher.

    I can wear a dress shirt and tie with a full-size auto underneath with no problem. I can wear the gun all day and drive for hours. I can do yard work all day with it.

    So I stay with IWB because it's so versatile.

    My only complaint is the belt clips which, as you can see from the above photos, can be very conspicuous. I finally ordered some 1" wide 1/8" thick spring stock steel from Brownells. After a few attempts, I learned to shape it into belt clips roughly the same as the stock ones, then cut them down to about 3/8" wide or a little wider so they're about the same width as most belt loops on pants. Then I re-tempered them, gave the exposed surface a slightly rough, non-glare finish, and blued them. They are VERY inconspicuous now and they hold the gun just fine.

    A good gun belt is key. Bulman Gunleather makes one that is fairly dressy, so I can wear it with office clothes without it screaming GUNBELT.

    Friends who know I carry will usually have to pat me down to know whether it's there; my shirts tend to blouse over my belt loops a little because of my slim, trim, manly physique (I wish), giving better concealment.

    No concealment method is perfect. I cannot deploy my gun as fast as I could with an OWB, no doubt about it. But I accept the tradeoff because with my IWB tuckable, I'm far more likely to have that gun on me when, God forbid, I need it.
     
  4. Khornet

    Khornet Member

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    I should add

    that when concealment isn't essential, as on fishing trips, trips to the range, out in the woods for whatever reason, etc., I use an OWB and love it.
     
  5. Thor67

    Thor67 Member

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    Lupinus,

    I'd stay away from the t-shirt, belly-bands, and ankle holster rigs. They may conceal the weapon well (I don't think the ankle rigs are that great for concealment either BTW), but think about all of the gyrations you'd have to go through to get to the weapon.

    When you really need to draw a gun, you REALLY NEED to draw a gun!
     
  6. ORAG

    ORAG Member

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    Many years ago I attended a workshop at the California Specialized Training Institute in San Louis Obispo, CA. The day I arrived I went down to the hotel bar to get a couple of beers. Shortly after I arrived I started to notice that almost everyone in the bar was armed with some kind of concealed weapon. I left shortly and went back to my room. I thought it must be some gang bar or really had a rough crowd. I laughed my butt off the next morning in my first class when I found out that almost everyone in the bar was a policeman, sheriff's officer or Highway Patrolman who were required to carry their weapons when off duty in California. People notice who is packing and I am glad. Kansas will start alowing CCW this year for the first time. I guess it is time to get legal.
     
  7. Bartholomew Roberts

    Bartholomew Roberts Moderator Emeritus

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    I'd just add that I usually wear an undershirt, even when I am not carrying. So for me sweat has never been an issue and it does help with comfort too since I have some sharp-checkered Spegel grips on the Hi-Power. If you aren't planning on wearing an undershirt, the waterproof lining is probably well worth it and you may experience a bit less comfort than I've found.

    I wear mine without an undershirt occasionally; but the VM2 really tucks it up into your side so you'll notice it more. The VM2 also can be changed over to tuckable kydex clips and worn with the shirt tucked in. You'll lose a lot of speed that way; but it does allow you to carry a full-size pistol in a business environment (though it works best if the tuck on your shirt is a bit sloppy). One thing I really like about the VM2 is that whatever position I put the pistol in is the position the pistol will stay in regardless of what I am doing.

    The big problem I've had with belly bands is they tend to let the grip and magazine of the pistol flop about and print. The one I have (Action Direct) is always poking the pistol into you when you don't want it (sitting for long periods) and then letting it poke out to the side when you want it up against you (reaching for things, bending over).
     
  8. hapuna

    hapuna Member

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    IWB better concealment.
    OWB more comfortable
     
  9. thumper723

    thumper723 Member

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    I am 6'3", 230#. I wear 38x36 Pants CCW, 36X36 normally.

    I carry a SA 1911 Double Stack full size. With a pair of jeans or khakis and a hawaiian shirt (or similar shirt) my 1911 disappears.

    I use a Andrews Leather Macdaniel II IWB, at about 4-5 o'clock, depending on what pant/shirt combo I have. Great craftsmanship. I fell into a drainage ditch (stepped in a gopher hole, and tumbled) and my gun stayed put. It is comfortable for reasonable trips in the care (less than 2 hours) and I can sit through a full movie with it with no problems.

    http://www.andrewsleather.com
    macdaniel2_a.jpg macdaniel2_b.jpg
     
  10. Chipperman

    Chipperman Member

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    Thanks. I have a Watch Six also for a 1911. The VM-2 is definitely more stable than the Watch Six. Sounds like you may have gotten the belt loops too large also. If you use a wider belt, it should help.
     
  11. GT

    GT Member

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    I use a crossbreed IWB holster:

    www.crossbreedholsters.com

    All the parts of the gun that stick into you (safety, slide release etc.) are covered by a large piece of leather, while the gun is retained by a piece of moulded kydex.
    Tuckable kydex belt clips complete the picture.

    Works very well for the Colt ltw Commander.
    The full size all-steel guns tend to pull too much on one side for me.

    G
     
  12. rhubarb

    rhubarb Member

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    What is this discomfort of which you speak?:confused:

    I carry a chunky Ruger P95 all my waking hours in complete comfort IWB in a homemade holster. It disappears with a minimal cover garment. I can walk, run, drive, sit or whatever without discomfort. I wear a cheap, thin, soft leather belt that I bought in the flea market for $5. My gun is completely secure.

    I always wear an undershirt and I believe that it is important to the success of IWB carry. It provides a comfortable barrier between me and the gun. The undershirt also wicks up sweat. It allows more movement than if the holster were against skin. I think that this helps keep the gun where I put it on the belt rather than dragging against my skin and working out of place.

    To me, wearing OWB is uncomfortable as far as concealment is concerned. I can see where a duty belt is necessary to secure the gun. A cheap belt won't cut the mustard for OWB. By the time you cinch your stiff belt down tight enough to pull the gun in to your body, you've probably lost out on the so-called comfort benefit. I have a belt slide holster but I never wear it because I can't feel the gun. I have to consciously check with my elbow to be sure it's there. Although my OWB holster could hardly hold the gun tighter to my body, it prints vastly more than IWB.
     
  13. DoubleTapDrew

    DoubleTapDrew Member

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    I have a pocket holster for my .380 backup which is my "work gun". I've tried carrying my XD in a CTAC at work but I not only have to dress nice, I also have to do a lot of bending, squatting, leaning over things, etc. installing computers and it can make me print (or even worse have the whole shirt come up over the gun).
    I don't like ankle holsters for 2.5 reasons (the .5 is because the last one is just something to consider):
    1. They are hard to get at unless you are seated, and if you aren't it requires you to either bring your ankle up ballerina style under stress, or lower your head to get it, exposing you to a nasty beating.
    2. If you run away (usually the best option, especially if you are going for your BUG and can escape) I haven't seen any ankle holsters that look like they would stay put or the gun would stay put. Show Flo-Jo winning a race with one and I'll buy it.
    2.5. Anyone that has studied sports medicine or has a personal trainer knows having weight on your extremeties is BAD for your joints. Thats why people use weight vests now instead of ankle or hand weights when working out. I already have bad knees so i'm not going to compound the problem.
     
  14. biere

    biere Member

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    I wear a t shirt and a button up shirt every day. Most days the button up shirt is not tucked in.

    Even with shirts for extra tall people I would be worried about the holster showing if I was wearing an owb setup.

    I work outside most days and I do construction and maintenance so I am always bending and moving and I need something that will conceal pretty well.

    An iwb does that for me. If I was stuck to using owb I don't think even a glock 27 would conceal for me with what I do.

    As far as comfort goes the biggest thing I have found is you have to have the extra two inches in your pants to give the gun and holster some room.

    If you are worried about sweat soaking the leather I would consider just buying two holsters. You can alternate holsters on a daily basis and this lets the wet one dry out completely. I do this with my leather work boots and it makes the boots more comfortable to wear since they are always dry.

    I had kydex in the past and I just don't find it comfortable even with a t-shirt between it and me. But everyone is different so it works for lots of folks and that is something to consider.

    But no way would I want to wear an owb in tn and try to conceal it. Even in the winter you would be looking at a longer coat in my opinion and even then you get into games when you go inside and take the coat off.

    I have a cheap iwb and it conceals my 5 inch 1911 pretty well. I am now looking for a higher quality iwb setup and I want to buy it with a belt since I need a better belt as well.
     
  15. EZ CZ75

    EZ CZ75 Member

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    CZ75BD in an IWB Com3 tuckable holster by HBE Leatherworks. On the tuckable issue, I still figure that I can get to it just as quickly as any pocket pistol. Anyone should be able to untuck a shirt quickly. It really isn't much different than lifting my shirt for a draw. Admitedly slower, but not by much.

    Another lover of the undershirt here. I wear one all the time and it just happened to be a great benefit when I started carrying.
     
  16. OrvilleYertleson

    OrvilleYertleson Member.

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    I am a skinny guy and I really have to go IWB if I want to effectively conceal my pistol under a loose shirt. I used to carry OWB (and I still do occasionally during winter months) but it was too easy to accidentally expose the bottom of my weapon when getting my wallet, moving around, etc. Also, for me, an IWB holster is the only thing that holds my pistol close enough to my body for it to not print with the clothes I wear. I also use a thin kydex holster for this reason, though it isn't as comfortable as leather.

    In the end I guess what works best for you will depend largely on your lifestyle.
     
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