A great concealed carry handgun is useless if you don’t carry it. A concealed carry holster gives you no advantage if it appears as a bulging protrusion under you clothing. That may be why the popularity of Inside-the-Waistband (IWB) holsters continues to grow. But, there is something you should take notice of when considering an IWB holster: your pants.
Tucking a concealed carry pistol inside your pants will make the waistband, or belt, a bit tighter. In some cases your pants will need to be an entire size larger. For me, I need to go from a 36-inch waist to a 38 when I carry with an IWB holster. That sometimes means using a different belt, but I do have some pants my kids are fond of calling “fat guy” pants that work well, too. My fat-guy pants have elastic in the waistband that allows for enough stretch to insert the holstered pistol comfortably.
This is a great reason to get a couple different types of holsters, or one holster, like the Galco Doubletime, that you can convert from IWB to standard belt holster riding outside the waistband. The goal of course is to keep the same gun in the same location every time you carry. If you reach to your right hip, that gun is there and ready for action.
IWB holsters offer many advantages. They provide better concealment. They keep the pistol closer to your body. They can be worn without a jacket for vest as a concealment garment. But they have their disadvantages, too. I prefer to wear an undershirt when I carry IWB just to keep the gun off my skin. Gaining access to a pistol tucked in an IWB can be a bit slower than other holsters and there is the aforementioned pants and belt size issue. Do you have enough closet space and room in your budget to buy pants that are holster-specific? This is just another little thing to think of when you carry a fighting handgun.
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About the Author: Kevin Michalowski is the former Senior Editor of Gun Digest the Magazine and Tactical Gear Magazine.
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