The inside waistband holster (IWB) is one of, if not the most common method for concealed carry. Unlike the outside waistband holster (OWB), the IWB holster keeps the gun within your belt line. This means that the gun will stick out no farther than your belt, minus the grip. The IWB holster allows for a very natural, quick draw especially if you are used to OWB. I think IWB is an excellent first choice to get into concealed carry.
- High concealment. Still need to be wary of printing when bending or crouching.
- Allows for shirt to be tucked in if desired.
- Wide range of customization. The IWB holster can be worn anywhere on your waist line (think of a clock). I typically wear mine at around 3:30-4:00 o’clock. You can also apply a cant on the holster which will tilt the gun forward or backward.
- No thumb break. OWB holsters typically come with a thumb break to keep retention on the gun. This is more needed for open carry purposes since the gun is fully exposed. However, for a concealed draw I see it as a plus to have only natural holster retention on the gun and no need for a thumb break.
- Sometimes not as comfortable. I find OWB or Shoulder holster offerings to be more comfortable than IWB. Driving for long periods of time becomes especially uncomfortable for me with IWB. You’ll definitely always know your gun is there, but that could be thought of as a good thing.
- Usually a ½” to 1” larger pant size will be needed (i.e. if a 33” pant is tight you will need a 34” for IWB carry)
I normally carry either my Glock 30 or Kahr PM9 when I use IWB carry. The Glock 30 is a little wide, but that is expected for a double stack .45ACP. The Kahr PM9, on the other hand, can really disappear with the right holster.