Tips for increasing comfort when carrying IWB?

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by Skribs, May 8, 2012.

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  1. Skribs

    Skribs Member

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    When I carry my XDm IWB, I'm fine for the most part, but it tends to bother me around the side/ribs area where the butt of the gun is, and if I carry for a while it can start to ache a little. I'm almost positive it is something I'm doing wrong, and I've noticed with the Blade Tech holster I carried right-handed and the Comp Tac I carry left handed.

    I've tried leather holsters, and don't like the way they grip the gun, and I've tried fabric holsters but don't like the way they collapse. I like the Kydex holsters, and I'm thinking that hard plastic is part of my problem.

    Does anyone have any advice for carrying more comfortably IWB? My current setup is a galco instructor belt and a Comp Tac IWB holster for a XDm .40 compact.
     
  2. leadaddict

    leadaddict Member

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    I carry the same gun (in 9mm) IWB most days. I use either my crossbreed supertuck or my own homemade kydex holster. Does the comp tac have a piece of leather that contacts your skin? The crossbreed style leather/kydex holsters are nice because you don't have metal or plastic contacing your side.

    I ended up making another holster completely out of kydex. I like it becase it rides lower and is smaller than the crossbreed.

    Can you adjust the height and/or angle of the holster? That may be all you need as well. Trial and error with more holsters may be the only way to find what works.
     
  3. Skribs

    Skribs Member

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    The Comp Tac does not. Does the Crossbreed have Kydex on both sides of the gun, or just the outside? How does the feel of it compare with an all kydex or an all leather holster?

    One of the things I like about the kydex holsters is that when you put the gun in, you can feel and hear the little pop of it snapping into place and you know it's locked in. With leather holsters I feel it's more of the pressure on the gun than the form of it.
     
  4. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator Staff Member

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    Are you talking about a abrasion ache...rubbing from the texture on the grip...or ache as in muscle/joint ache...from displacement of your spine?

    The best advice I ever had about comfortable IWB carry was to stop...it was either that or lose weight. Carrying IWB, behind the hip, usually causes pressure that causes problems with your L3-L4 vertebrae. It is much easier on your body to carry IWB in the appendix position in front of the hip
     
  5. Telekinesis

    Telekinesis Member

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    I carry a Sig 228 in a crossbreed and find its actually pretty comfortable. The holster has a leather backing with the kydex only on the outside, but its more like 3/4 of the holster is kydex (front, outside, and back; only the inside portion is leather). Its a bit expensive, but I'd definitely recommend it. Its hard to describe the feel of the holster, but drawing wise it feels like a kydex holster. Eventually the leather backing of the holster begins to form to your body shape and feels like it fits you perfectly.

    You do get a pretty positive feel that the gun is in place. Its not really an audible click, but you can definitely feel that it is in the correct place and it has just a tad bit of friction retention, similar to other kydex holsters.
     
  6. Skribs

    Skribs Member

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    9mm, I generally carry in the 9:00-10:00 range. The pain I was talking about was more like a small sore in the ribs from getting poked by either the butt of the gun or the top of the holster (it was something hard and in that region). I don't think weight is the issue, I'm 5'6, 150 lb. It wasn't the grip, it was the slide or the holster next to the slide.

    I'll give the cross breed a try.
     
  7. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator Staff Member

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    I was 5'11", 140 when I carried IWB, when I got to 150,it started affecting my back

    If it is the holster, just take some sandpaper to the rough edges
     
  8. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

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    Just me, I started carrying in a pocket and never looked back. Big guns are a pain to carry....literally. With a comfy rig, I can do it for a few hours at a time, but not all day every day. Hell, my 9mm pocket carry is as accurate as many service guns and packs 11 rounds of +P. I go with confidence.
     
  9. Skribs

    Skribs Member

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    It's not an abrasion from rough edges, it's a constant poking in the ribs.
     
  10. josephbw

    josephbw Member

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    I use a Smartcarry front and center at about the 12:30 position. I can carry all day and typically forget I'm carrying. The only issue with this setup, is that it is a PITA to put and take off, and you have an issue when you need to do a #2. :eek:
     
  11. SharpsDressedMan

    SharpsDressedMan member

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    Losing weight can sometimes help. :D
     
  12. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator Emeritus

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    You'll always need to shift the rig around until you find your comfortable spot. And that may be different with different guns and holsters.

    I've got one kydex IWB rig -- a Hoffners miurage for my 629 -- and that's probably all I'll ever have.

    A good leather IWB rig of proper design, with a substantial back-piece, can be very very comfortable.

    I'm quite surprised that you have concerns about the security of the gun in a leather IWB rig! QUITE surprised. Mine are both noticably tighter to draw from than any of my OWBs and/or Kydex rigs.

    I've never -- ONCE -- had a qualm about how securely the holster (and belt, too, remember!) held my gun. That includes while riding roller-coasters at 60 mph upside down, hiking/rock-climbing, and through one memorable rollover auto wreck.
     
  13. Skribs

    Skribs Member

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    It's not about how secure it is, but my experience with the leather holsters that I have tried is that putting the gun in the holster that is specifically designed for it is like trying to get back into those pants I wore when I was 125 lb. It's a very tight fit, so much that in order to cover the trigger guard you have to push it in far enough to take it out of battery. Then the draw requires an extra good tug to break free. Plus I've never been a huge leather fan, anyway - I pretty much wear black most of the time, and a black holster hides better than a brown one.
     
  14. Notoast

    Notoast Member

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    I carry my Glock IWB comfortably with the holster (MTAC) just behind the point of my right hip (3:30-4:00 position) on a stiff 1.5" belt with pants that are 2" larger than my normal waist size.
     
  15. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator Emeritus

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    Oh. Ok. Well that's an issue that dissappears after a few days' use. The leather conforms to the gun for a smooooooth draw. They can be a little stiff at first.

    They do make leather in black, you know:

    0910110025-1.jpg

    That's hands-down, bar none, the most comfortable holster I've ever used.
     
  16. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

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    Tried it, didn't like it at all. Can't get to the gun very fast and not at all when seated. What good is a gun that takes 3 minutes and/or undressing to get to? With the proper pants (Wrangler cargo, my favorite), one can draw from a front pocket easy enough even seated and much faster. I bought the "Thunderwear', but same concept as Smart Carry. I tried it, don't even know where I put the thing. Be a good way to carry spare cash on a trip, I suppose, credit card, CCW license, drivers license, give the crook your wallet with 20 bucks in it if you get mugged. :D

    I've found OWB much more comfy. I bought a Don Hume JIT Side for my Taurus 66 3". It is all day comfy, but in coastal south Texas, ain't many days I can use it. I'd rather keep the gun IWB, feel better about concealment even if it's a pain in the side after a few hours. I can do it, just prefer pocket carry. I ignore the gun pocket carry, not a bother at all.

    I have an IWB for my revolvers I made that is more comfy than anything I've bought. Weird, eh, but it's a favorite if I want to carry IWB. I have a Sparks Summer Special for my two Ruger P guns and glued a chunk of light leather to it to protect skin from the decocker and hammer. It works as well as any, I guess, for those big, heavy guns.

    I have a Mitch Rosen tuckable "Workman" for my Kel Tec P11, but it used to irritate me, too, even wear big puss blisters on my side. So, I started the pocket carry about a dozen years ago and it's been my main carry system since. I've tried it all, nothing beats pocket carry for me in south Texas where it's already over 90 and the weatherman claimed the air was dry the other day....85 percent humidity...:rolleyes: Everyone is different. If you live at altitude in Montana or Fairbanks or something where it never gets over 85 degrees in August and it's 80 below mid winter, hell, you can probably conceal a shotgun most of the year. LOL In Fairbanks, that might be desirable at times considering the wildlife there.

    Anyhow, I don't think that if you find IWB uncomfortable, that there is much way to MAKE it comfy for you. I get folks that carry 40+ ounce handguns IWB telling me I'm full of it and I'm going to die in a gun fight because I carry a small 9. BS. I out shoot most of the 1911 shooters I know with my friggin' Kel Tec, not because I'm good, just because they think they don't have to place that big bullet, will kill just from the pressure wave off that big bullet as it passes the BG's ear or something. :rolleyes: I'm as comfy and confident with my 9mm in my pocket as they think they are with their metal brick IWB. What works for them simply doesn't work for me and what works for me doesn't seem to work for them, so we're even. :D

    My advice, experiment. Yeah, you'll wind up with a cardboard box full of leather you don't like, I did, but you'll finally settle on what works for you eventually. Hey, if that's "Smart Carry", then that's what works for YOU. Don't mean I'll like it, but you ain't trying to make ME happy.
     
  17. Skribs

    Skribs Member

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    Sam, my personal opinion is that a holster should be good from the get-go, and not require days of use to function properly.

    MC, getting a new gun is a ways off for me. I have a LCP I can pocket carry, but I'd like a comfortable option for my XDm.
     
  18. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator Emeritus

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    If that's how you feel, you probably won't be happy with a leather holster. But, I will counter that life is longer than "today" or "this week" and when I consider how much better the leather rig is (once broken in) than the kydex I find that I'm more than willing to spend the afternoon practicing my draw as the holster breaks in.

    If you buy a good pair of boots, you'd never expect them to be perfectly comfortable the first time you put them on. But after a week, they fit like you were born in them.

    Same deal.
     
  19. ARIZONA ROSE

    ARIZONA ROSE Member

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    Hi All,
    I was reading this blog to my son and he had some suggestions for you all.
    My son works as a Security contractor, about his holster situation. He wears a Safariland Tactical Thigh Rig #6005 Series. He is a big guy and had same issue with the rubbing. Likes this style and it has a 3 point connection so when nature calls can quick disconnect but bad guys have to undo 3 points so rig can't be easily taken off by a bad guy. Holster can be worn on a regular belt it is on an angle so it is more comfortable.
    The Black Hawk Serpa level 2 concealable holster for the XD/XDM is easy to wear and comfortable and easy to deal with also when nature calls. His particular firearm is a XDM 45 ACP, it fits very comfortably.
    Thanks for the conversation.
    Always,
    Arizona Rose
     
  20. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

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    Well, experiment is STILL my answer. :D Do you live in a cooler climate or the south? OWB IS much more comfy than IWB, but it's harder to keep from flashing unless you can wear outer layers of clothing. ALSO, IWB comfort can be significantly increased by wearing under shirts that the gun leather can rest against, long tailed to tuck down all the way where leather cannot hit skin. I can't do this in south Texas, don't even own an undershirt.

    It's all about your personal situation. Hard to give hard pat advice on such things as everyone's situation, body type, tolerance for pain, is different. :D Try the holsters recommended by others. You're going to spend some money, I'm betting, to find what you like. And, yes, leather needs a break in period, even a belt, let alone a holster, just like a pair of boots or shoes.
     
  21. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator Staff Member

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    Well, that is certainly a different take on holsters, but I do think it is a byproduct of the Plastic Culture that I have seen more of since the introduction of polymers handguns.

    I'll add that a leather holster will become more comfortable and smoother with use, while a polymer one will never improve over it's initial fit...it's just the nature of the material
     
  22. joecil

    joecil Member

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    I must have 6 different IWB holsters and finally found the Crossbreed Supertuck. I have never looked back since and carry a 1911 or a Taurus PT111 Pro and it is equally comfortable regardless of the differences in weight. Another thing is a good belt and I've used Beltman for years now and have a couple and get them with the 3/4" instead of the standard 1" hole centers. It simply has more adjustment which is especially true with IWB holsters.
     
  23. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

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    And, no kydex manufacturer that I know of custom fits to the customer. What you'll get is a holster for the "average" build, perhaps. It may or may not fit. The leather holster will take your shape, that's what "break in" is about. It will somewhat custom form to YOU.
     
  24. Dnaltrop

    Dnaltrop Member

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    I'm 6'5", 200 (ish, it seesaws with my jaw dislocations)

    When not wearing the Shoulder rig with the Blackhawk, I'm wearing a full-size M&P .40 in a Ted Blocker #12 IWB at 5 o'clock. and it literally disappears to the degree that at times I have to shift in my seat to make sure I feel it there.

    The only time it's accidentally come out of it's holster is when I've failed to engage the snap, and hung my pants on the hook in the bathroom before a shower. The Belt-loop has never become unintentionally disengaged, it's designed to only snap on at one specific direction/angle to keep it attached.

    I enjoy the extra leeway I get being a big guy, I can hide guns with no discomfort most folks wouldn't consider. Good luck Neighbor.

    IMAG0401-1.jpg
    IMAG0398-1.jpg
     
  25. Skribs

    Skribs Member

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    What is entailed in making your own kydex holster? My DIY abilities rival that of Abraham Lincoln's knowledge of Star Wars lore, so I'm not too sure if that's an option.
     
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