There are numerous ways to conceal a firearm, but one of the most popular is with an inside the waistband (IWB) holster. Compared to other methods, IWB concealment is pretty easy to achieve. However, outside the waistband, or OWB, concealment isn’t difficult either. In this article, we’ll give you some tips and tricks to show you how to conceal an OWB holster, and then tell you why it might be even better than IWB concealment.
QUICK STEPS FOR CONCEALED OWB HOLSTERS
If you want to use an OWB holster for concealed carry, follow these simple steps:
- Choose a carrying location that’s comfortable & where you can hide the bulk of the gun and holster.
- Get a holster that sits tight and preferably high against your waist.
- Purchase a high-quality gun belt.
- Choose a shirt or outer garment that’s long enough to conceal the holster.
Once you’ve done the above, you’ll be able to successfully conceal your weapon. Now let’s discuss each of the above steps in more detail below.
WHERE SHOULD YOU CARRY?
You’ve probably seen characters in movies and on TV carrying a holster at their hip. This is a great option for open carrying, but not necessarily the easiest way to conceal a weapon.
With the holster at your hip, you create considerable bulk that looks very unnatural. Now, we know that the bulk of a gun is never “natural”, but stick with us.
If you position your holster in a spot where your body naturally curves inward, like at your appendix or kidney, you’ll have an easier time concealing your weapon.
The first piece of gear you’ll want to purchase for any type of concealed carry is a good holster. The holster should be a good fit for your weapon and should have some form of retention, either a strap, a button, or a snug fit to ensure that your weapon stays put until you decide to draw it.
You might also consider getting a holster with a forward cant, also called an FBI cant. The cant of a holster refers to its forward or backward angle. Some holsters hold a gun vertically, but a holster with a forward cant allows for an easier draw for many shooters. The angle is more natural and puts you into a defensive position better than a vertical draw.
Also consider the ride of your holster, or how high it sits on your belt. The higher the ride, the easier it will be to conceal. If the end of your barrel sits just slightly under the bottom of your belt, you’ll have a much easier time concealing it than if the barrel extends to the bottom of your pocket.
The slimmer your holster is the better. You certainly want a sturdy, well-made holster, but try to find one without unnecessary bulk. It should also fit tight to your body. Some holsters even come pre-curved to sit snugly against the natural curve of your waist. You’re not a lego person, so your holster shouldn’t be designed to fit one.
Another important piece of gear for concealed carry is a good gun belt. Regular fashion belts, no matter how expensive, can sag under the weight of your holster and gun. This is a dead giveaway that you’re carrying a weapon. Gun belts come with strong cores that keep your gun riding high.
A final consideration is the type of weapon you’re trying to conceal. While it’s possible to conceal basically any pistol, smaller weapons are easier to hide. If you want to be the most inconspicuous shooter in the world, choose a gun with a single-stack magazine and a shorter barrel.
Choosing the right clothing will go a long way in keeping your weapon concealed. With OWB concealment, you’ll need something that’s long enough to cover the entirety of your holster. This is why you should consider a holster that rides high and has a forward cant.
Wearing a jacket or coat of some sort is a popular way to conceal. High-ride holsters can be concealed relatively easily with a shirt, but mid and low-ride holsters will require some sort of coat or jacket. Your outerwear should fit a little loose to reduce printing. (Printing is when the outline of your gun shows through your clothing.)
Suit jackets are a great option for OWB carry, but be careful about where the vents are located or you’ll give yourself away. If you carry at your kidney, choose a jacket with vents on the sides. If you carry at your hip, choose a jacket with vents in the back.
If your body can accommodate purchasing tall shirts rather than regular, they’re a great option for OWB concealment. Tall shirts typically have an extra inch or two of length at the bottom, giving you more fabric to drape over your holster. Also, consider shirts with a straight bottom hem rather than the curved hem of a dress shirt.
For ladies, consider wearing an A-line shirt that’s longer in the back to help conceal at your kidney and pair it with a camisole to reduce printing.
Even when it’s too warm outside for a jacket, it’s possible to conceal an OWB holster. Choose button-up short sleeve shirts with a thicker Oxford weave or a sturdy polo shirt over light, clingy athletic-wear shirts that will print more.
WHY CHOOSE OWB FOR CONCEALING
People often choose IWB holsters for concealment because they tuck neatly into your waistband and are easily covered by a shirt, but there are some definite advantages to OWB holsters.
First, OWB holsters are more comfortable for many gun owners than IWB holsters. You don’t need to buy larger pants to wear an OWB holster and you’ll never have a gun barrel poking you when you sit or bend down.
Another benefit of OWB holsters is that it’s easier to draw your weapon if it isn’t tucked into your pants. This particular benefit is enough for many people to choose to carry OWB, despite it being a little more difficult to keep concealed.
Concealing an OWB holster isn’t as challenging as it may seem. If you have a holster that sits tight to your body and you wear a gun belt that won’t sag, it’ll be easier to cover your weapon with your clothing. Choose jackets with a little extra room or shirts with extra length made from thicker fabrics and you’ll be golden. With our easy tips and tricks, we hope you now feel comfortable with how to conceal an OWB holster.