converting owb to iwb

converting owb to iwb

This is a discussion on converting owb to iwb within the Defensive Carry Holsters & Carry Options forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; hello everyone: this one is for the holstermakers. Has anyone came up with an idea to convert owb holsters to iwb holsters using existing belt ...

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  1. #1
    New Member Array rocknocker's Avatar
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    Talking converting owb to iwb

    hello everyone: this one is for the holstermakers. Has anyone came up with an idea to convert owb holsters to iwb holsters using existing belt loops. maybe some type of snap on device thats simple and strong. Well anyway just a thought.Maybe im just cheap.


  2. #2
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    I considered this with my kydex holster I made. However, I already have a BH Serpa holster for OWB. I think no matter the material, you would need to have the IWB loops(at least the attaching points) built into the holster, not just attached to the belt loops.

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    rocknocker, welcome

    Just one thought comes to mind initially - which is whether an OWB has any upstand behind gun - something the IWB would probably need. Plus too perhaps even the suitability of attaching belt hooks to the OWB ''wings'' and having a good fit under the belt after.

    Only my 2c but - I'd think way way better to go for a new custom IWB - get everything right.
    Chris - P95
    NRA Certified Instructor & NRA Life Member.

    "To own a gun and assume that you are armed
    is like owning a piano and assuming that you are a musician!."


    http://www.rkba-2a.com/ - a portal for 2A links, articles and some videos.

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    los
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    If converting from OWB to IWB, the OWB (if leather) would have to have a reinforced opening to keep it from collapsing once the Gun is drawn. I haven't seen an IWB leather holster without one, at least, not a good funtional one.

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    New Member Array rocknocker's Avatar
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    I only began thinking about this after purchasing an alessi cqc with the belt loops. The holster has an additional piece of reinforcement for easy reholstering. Iwas thinking maybe a snap on device made of kydex or maybe thin aluminum. Just a thought

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    Senior Member Array KC135's Avatar
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    Easy to do with a wellmade pancake holster.

    Order belt loops with hardware from any holster maker. I like Bladetech stuff the best.
    Keep the shotgun handy!!

  7. #7
    Senior Member Array Eric Larsen's Avatar
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    Hmmm interesting. Mark Garrity and K&D both make holsters that work both ways...as far as converting an existing OWB. A pancake is the only viable option. Punching holes in it and adding loops would be quite easy....if the design and layout of the holster would be correct for the conversion. Hope that makes sense.
    Shoot well.
    If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice..........Rush

  8. #8
    Member Array K-Man's Avatar
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    As Eric mentioned, both I and Mark make holsters that easily convert simply by moving the clips from front to back. Here is Mark's holster, the Triskel: http://www.garritysgunleather.com/IWBHolsters.htm

    and here is mine, the Cochise Defender:
    http://www.kdholsters.com/iwb-defend.shtml

    Either of us would be happy to answer any questions you may have. Good luck in your search.

  9. #9
    New Member Array rocknocker's Avatar
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    As I suggested earlier it would have to be a reinforced holster. But without punching holes in a nice rig just some type of snap in device that would fit in the belt loops. Easy on-off and just have a simple j hook that would be adjustable for the degree of cant a person would prefer. Any thoughts. If a person was on a tight budget this could be a welcome option

  10. #10
    Member Array Mark Garrity's Avatar
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    Like Kevin and Eric said, it's easy enough to dowith a pancake-style holster; but I don't think you're going to accomplish it without punching holes or stitching. Even a snap is going to need a hole punched to set it. The easiest way would be to punch a hole above the existing belt slot, and use a Chiago screw-post to attached a folded over leather loop. I have made my In-cognito IWB with removable screw-on belt loops for IWB and belt slots for OWB wear.
    But even though the basic pattern for my Enforcer OWB and my In-Cognito IWB are essentially the same, the wings on the In-Cognito are higher to accomodate attachment of the snap loops.
    Here-in lies the problem with your concept: if using the existing belt slots as attachment points, or even mounting above the existing slots on a conventional OWB you're converting, the rig will probably sit too high to function as a good IWB. Most OWBs are slightly high ride. An Iwb needs to sit lower so it doesn't feel like it's going to tumble up out of your waistband, or worse yet actually tumble up and over your waistband.
    Addressing reinforced mouthbands on IWBs. They are not essential when quality leather and other materials are used. I'll avoid tooting my own horn here and just go out on a limb and say I dare anyone claim that a Brommeland Max-Con, a Spark's Watch Six, or an Alessi PCH are not the highest quality, best functional IWBs; but none of them have reinforced mouthbands.
    "He who makes things with his hands is a laborer, he who makes things with his hands and his head is a craftsman, he who makes things with his hands, his head, and his heart is an artist."
    www.garritysgunleather.com

  11. #11
    los
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Garrity
    Addressing reinforced mouthbands on IWBs. They are not essential when quality leather and other materials are used. I'll avoid tooting my own horn here and just go out on a limb and say I dare anyone claim that a Brommeland Max-Con, a Spark's Watch Six, or an Alessi PCH are not the highest quality, best functional IWBs; but none of them have reinforced mouthbands.
    The Watch Six is the only un-reinforced IWB holster Sparks sells. If you visit his site, Milt Sparks has these instructions/recommendations posted regarding the Watch Six:

    To ensure the mouth of the holster retains it shape over time and remains open, we offer the following recommendations.

    When putting the holster on or taking it off, it is recommended that the pistol always be in the holster.

    It is imperative that the belt never be tightened over the holster without first having the gun in place.

    It is not a good idea to remove the gun from the holster while sitting down over extended periods. If you would rather not wear the gun while sitting, then the holster should be removed with the gun.

    Over a period of time (YMMV), the un-reinforced mouth of the WS-1 may begin to close when the gun is withdrawn. Even then, the design of the WS-1 will still allow you to wedge the gun into the holster one handed, with little effort.


    The above stated instructions/recommendations are not given with any of the other 5 IWB reinforced holster models Sparks sells. Including the Summer Special and the VM-2.

    With that being addressed, I do agree with you Mark Garrity, in that the holster makers you mentioned, yourself included, make some of the best quality IWB and OWB leather holsters in the market!!

  12. #12
    Senior Member Array Eric Larsen's Avatar
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    Well I'll jump in here briefly.....most of the IWB's I make are not reinforced because they simply wont need it for years. The hide we use is very stiff when done...and will soften over time. My personal DC Special was made in 2002 and has been worn almost everyday.
    It still allows a one handed reholstering of the weapon......

    Even if it didnt its still a trade off I like. I like the flexibility/thinness/comfort in a simple 2 pc leather design without the reinforced mouth. Reholstering my gun is very very easily accomplished, even on softer holsters I wear with other guns.

    Look at the gun you are wearing and your carry location. If you carry a BHP/1911 you have a fairly narrow muzzled gun that will always be easy to reholster...once you get the muzzle started its just a push away. It you carry a 3rd gen Glock or an XD with a rail, then you have a much squarer and thicker muzzle to get started into the holster.
    If you carry at 3.00...the shape of your body is going to put more pressure on the holster with the pants and belt because you have a tighter curve or "are at the apex of your body shape". Carrying at 4.30 may put less pressure on the holster as its a flatter part of the body.

    Shoot well.........
    If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice..........Rush

  13. #13
    New Member Array rocknocker's Avatar
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    First let me say u guys are true craftsman. A couple bordering on artist. See u guys are reinforcing my idea of converting nearly every owb we own with just one simple gadget. And i also agree just simply attaching a leather belt loop isnt the best idea.With this little gizmo u can drop the holster and kant it as much as you like. Without drilling holes or mutilating your favorite holster.Just a thought.But I bet theres a market for it. I know i would buy one. Oh and Mr garrity those snake skin holsters are artwork very nice.

  14. #14
    Senior Member Array Zundfolge's Avatar
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    I took a simple pancake holster, ordered a couple of clips from Eric, bought some Chicago screws, drilled holes in the clips (this was difficult and will require a drill press as the clips are HARD steel).

    Here's how it turned out.




    No changes made to the holster, and the clips are easily removed if you want to use the holster as a OWB again (plus its completely adjustable for ride height and cant)

  15. #15
    VIP Member Array Bud White's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zundfolge
    I took a simple pancake holster, ordered a couple of clips from Eric, bought some Chicago screws, drilled holes in the clips (this was difficult and will require a drill press as the clips are HARD steel).

    Here's how it turned out.




    No changes made to the holster, and the clips are easily removed if you want to use the holster as a OWB again (plus its completely adjustable for ride height and cant)

    That looks like a way to go if you all ready have a holster and don't want to order a new one

    Plus as you said ya still have the option of switching back and forth from iwb to owb

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