OWB vs IWB with a 3-4" Pistol?

This is a discussion on OWB vs IWB with a 3-4" Pistol? within the Defensive Carry Holsters & Carry Options forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I am having a heck of time trying to make 2 Big decisions. First is - IWB or OWB. If I could find something comfortable ...

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Thread: OWB vs IWB with a 3-4" Pistol?

  1. #1
    Member Array MTHall49's Avatar
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    OWB vs IWB with a 3-4" Pistol?

    I am having a heck of time trying to make 2 Big decisions.

    First is - IWB or OWB. If I could find something comfortable enough I am tempted to go IWB. Anyone have a holster, either OWB or IWB which you feel is very comfortable for carrying a realtively heavy 3-4 inch semi auto? My holster I have now drives me absolutely nuts. It is the Fobus OWB which I complained about last time. OK, now I know what my first mistake was. I was wearing it wrong. Now that I am wearing it the "right" way it still drives me crazy. Part of the time I feel like my pants are going to come off, and the rest of the time it "feels" like my holster keeps shifting. After practicing carrying around the house I have concluded I need something different. My belt is wide but is kind of flimsy so I am open to ideas on that too. Will consider the Liger.

    Sorry to get long winded. Oh yeah, the other "gun related" decision I have to post in a different section since that involves keeping my HK USP Compact 45 OR going with something else.

    Thanks All.
    The Price of Freedom is Eternal Vigilance

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  3. #2
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    Array P95Carry's Avatar
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    I use OWB only and dislike IWB a lot - maybe I am too bony where it matters!

    Many might agree OWB is more comfortable, it is for me - and as long as cover garment options are there sufficient to do the job - OWB it'll remain.

    I post pics quite often of my 226 in K&D Defender rig and even with belt one hole short of fully cinched - it holds in real tight.

    Good leather rig and good belt will make either method about best possible. A good rig set-up cannot be skimped on.
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    VIP Member Array Bud White's Avatar
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    I've Carried both ways Still prefer IWb for best concealment but this time of year OWB works fine..

    As for the Fobus brun it bury it trow it as far as you can and also paddel holsters stick out quite a bit more than a belt holster

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    VIP Member Array ELCruisr's Avatar
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    I'm in the IWB camp. Preferences are highly individual though and what works for others may not work for you. Just keep in mind it's a whole package of gun, holster and belt. Different guns might like different holsters on you but they all need a good belt. This forum is blessed with some very fine practitioners of the art of holster making to be sure. Talk with different makers about your likes and dislikes and I bet you'll get some excellent advice.

    My favorite right now is a McDaniel II from Andrews Leather on a Rafter S belt for my 1911's. A Commander and a Micro.
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    Member Array MTHall49's Avatar
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    I just looked at the link for holsters. Man - that is a very well done list. Is there a way to tell at a glance which of those on the list are members on this site? Thanks.
    The Price of Freedom is Eternal Vigilance

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    Distinguished Member Array RSSZ's Avatar
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    I'm probably not as worried as most about concealment. If somebody thinks they see something "under there" I don't really care. (Printing..??..huh ?)

    Given this, it's strickly OWB for me. This with a 3" 1911. The 3" Kimber is carried in a Galco Concealment(CON424H).

    Very tight into waist,perfect fit for weapon,tough holster. Good retention,but ease of draw.Would reccommend it(w/ good belt).-------

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    Member Array MTHall49's Avatar
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    A little off topic - but in reference to the Kimber 3"?

    Quote Originally Posted by RSSZ View Post
    I'm probably not as worried as most about concealment. If somebody thinks they see something "under there" I don't really care. (Printing..??..huh ?)

    Given this, it's strickly OWB for me. This with a 3" 1911. The 3" Kimber is carried in a Galco Concealment(CON424H).

    Very tight into waist,perfect fit for weapon,tough holster. Good retention,but ease of draw.Would reccommend it(w/ good belt).-------
    How is the recoil with the Kimber? I used to have a full size Colt Government and am still adjusting to the HK USP Compact. I shot a few other guys guns at the range, and so far have found (for me) that the Polymer light weight 3" guns felt like there was more recoil than I wanted. I have not tried a 3" all metal gun though. I assume Kimber is all metal right? Thanks.
    The Price of Freedom is Eternal Vigilance

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    VIP Member Array Bud White's Avatar
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    I would say the Kimber is metal slide aluminum frame

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    Member Array Gary Brommeland's Avatar
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    Howdy!

    The USP Compact is a fine pistol. However, it is pretty "chunky". The only way I believe IWB will ever work well with such a firearm is to go with a holster that has a closed muzzle - otherwise it's gonna poke you.

    OWB is certainly possible and practical with a good holster and the right wardrobe choices. For almost any other pistol, I'd recommend that you give IWB a try because it gives you a much higher level of concealment and more clothing choices. However, in the case of the USP's, I think that you're on the right track to go OWB. Good luck!

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    Member Array windowman2's Avatar
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    I carry IWB for concealment. I have a Milt Sparks Summer Special for my 1911 Commander, with a Max Con on the way.
    With what I wear for work, IWB is the way to go for me.

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    VIP Member Array pogo2's Avatar
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    Suggestion - OWB but under the belt

    You asked about a comfortable way to carry your USP 45c with a "flimsy" belt. I would suggest a type of holster that is not commonly seen, but is offered by many holster makers - one that goes between the belt and the pants, but is worn outside the waistband. The advantages of this type, as shown below in the Milt Sparks version called "Mirage", are:

    1. Rather than having the weight of the gun and holster hanging from the belt on the outside, dragging it downward and outward, the belt goes over the gun and pulls it tight against your body when it is tightened, much like the hoop on a barrel holds the barrel together. The force of the belt over the gun is directly inward toward the body, and the gun is fixed in place, tight against you. You don't need a particularly thick or heavy belt - a thin belt cinched tight will accomplish the goal.

    2. The holster is minimal, without a lot of leather, so it doesn't add much to the package size.



    I have an H&K USP 40c, very similar to your USP 45c, and I have carried it with a Galco JAK slide, much like the Sparks Mirage shown above. If you cinch your belt tight, the gun is as tight against you as any IWB holster, and you don't need to buy larger pants as you do with IWB. Other companies that make this general type of holster include Mitch Rosen, Del Fatti and Haugen. Here is Haugen's version, called the "V slide":


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    Member Array MTHall49's Avatar
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    THanks I will keep that in mind.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Brommeland View Post
    Howdy!

    The USP Compact is a fine pistol. However, it is pretty "chunky". The only way I believe IWB will ever work well with such a firearm is to go with a holster that has a closed muzzle - otherwise it's gonna poke you.

    OWB is certainly possible and practical with a good holster and the right wardrobe choices. For almost any other pistol, I'd recommend that you give IWB a try because it gives you a much higher level of concealment and more clothing choices. However, in the case of the USP's, I think that you're on the right track to go OWB. Good luck!
    The USP is a bit on the chunky side in my opinion. I like many things about it except for the carry issue.
    The Price of Freedom is Eternal Vigilance

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    VIP Member Array MNBurl's Avatar
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    Here is a review I did of my Highnoon Holster with my 3.5" 6946. http://www.combatcarry.com/vbulletin...ad.php?t=16632

    I like pancake style OWB holsters that are high ride type.

    I also like IWB rigs from Highnoon Holsters (no I'm not an employee) and Bianchi 100 Professional with the side guard is a well worth it feature IMHO.

    Belts are very important and the one is the review I picked up at Sportsman's Wharehouse for @39.
    MNBurl

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    I Only Use IWB...

    and I have tried 'I' & 'O'...WB's...
    I can feed 'off of the land' for the winter...so I'm not particularily thin.
    I have tried various methods of CCW...IWB seems to make the weapon disappear...OWB has always felt like something WAS hanging there...
    IWB feels safer, easier to conceal, and 'really'...more comfortable...

    OMO

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    Senior Member Array LoveLeather's Avatar
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    Most of us here have both since no one holster works for all situations....it's a bit easier to get away with just a t-shirt with an IWB....I would suggest buying a nice OWB first since an IWB can seem uncomfortable if you are not used to carrying that way...and some of the better OWBs that ride real close can hide a decent sized gun under a t-shirt

    If you try IWB and don't like it, you can still use it for another comfortable way to carry which is between the belt and pants...my Del Fatti ISP-WR works well in that capacity due to the slotted pad...I don't think it would work as well with wide spaced loops...but two loops right over the gun will also work that way....




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