Outside Waistband Holsters (OWB)


The outside waistband holster (OWB) is worn externally on your belt. Not many people use OWB holsters for concealed carry because they are difficult to conceal when compared to other methods. That’s not to say it isn’t possible to conceal carry with an OWB holster especially with heavy winter clothing. In any case, OWB holsters are much more common for open carry purposes.


  • Most comfortable. OWB is generally considered as comfortable as it gets when carrying a gun.
  • Easy accessibility when drawing.


  • Hard to conceal, may draw unwanted attention. Extremely hard to not print when wearing less than Siberian clothing.
  • Thumb break. Many OWB holsters come with a thumb break to protect the gun when worn externally.

Gun Choice:
I don’t do OWB carry often unless out in the woods. For that purpose I carry a S&W 629, .44 Magnum.

concealed carry holsters 3

26 Responses to “Outside Waistband Holsters (OWB)”

  1. Darin says:

    I have tried most styles of holsters. I highly recommend the beltster, try it and you will not go back. http://banderagunleather.com/

  2. Paul says:

    I am looking for a owb holster that would fit my interarms firestar 9mm what size is this and how much is it?
    thank you

  3. Spencer Tirrell says:

    I am on the heavy side. I have a Browning 9MM High Power. I can’t fine a belt holster that does not pull my pants down. What do I do?

  4. ConcealedCarryAdvocate says:


    Your problem is with the belt, not the holster. What you need is a thick belt made specifically for carrying a gun. Check my belt page for more info.

    - ConcealedCarryAdvocate

  5. Aaron says:

    I am looking for a side by side holster for my my 1911’s so I can carry my weapons on my belt and behind me

  6. Tleonard says:

    Aaron, my favorite owb holster is Fobus 1911. I’m a pretty small guy, and I live in Alaska, this holster, when worn under a 3/4 length jacket, is perfect for concealed carry. Now, as you know, any weapon worn on your back, presents a number of problems. Specifically when sitting or bending over. I’d recommend going to your local gun shop and trying a few of the holsters there.

  7. RUSTY GERBER says:


    I have a Glock 23, I am looking for an outside the waistband clip on – I do not where a belt, also I am a little over weight, so soft or a flab or something would be good, this will be my first conceal carry holster so I am sure I will learn a lot.

    I am not comfortable carry a gun, the holster must cover the trigger guard, must fit and secure the gun.

    Thank you in advance
    Rusty Gerber

  8. Adam says:

    Hi Rusty, as someone said before Fobus is a good way to go as far as outside the waistband holsters. I have a few and they are really inexpensive for what you get (quality and super durable).

    if you look at their site they use a ‘passive retention’ which keeps the gun secure using the trigger guard (im just paraphrasing what they wrote, but i know they work nice).

    so in your case i would say go with a paddle holster, they slide into the pants pretty easy and stay in place, and believe it or not they are really comfortable. sometimes i dont even notice i am wearing it.

    check out the site, it has a ‘find your holster’ so you just plug in what gun you have and it shows if they have one.


    hope it helps!

  9. Jim Oakley says:

    I absolutely love my Blackhawk Serpa CQC OWB holster! I tried the Fobus for a while and I was not happy with it. This holster does not have a thumb brake, but it does have an index finger trigger guard release button. The holster rides high on your hip, so it is fairly easy to conceal.

  10. Mike says:

    Do holsters without a thumb break retain a gun well? I’m looking for a OWB holster for a 1911 which will be mostly used for camping/hiking.

  11. charles says:

    i’m looking for a owb for taurus pt709 any suggestions?


  12. Trevor says:

    Rusty, remember, some of the inside the waistband paddle holsters come out of your pants along with the gun when you draw.

  13. Kevin S. says:

    Looking for a OWB holster for my Taurus 24/7. Seems they are very hard to find.

  14. Siberious says:

    Why not a OWB holster that fully conceals your pistol, even if you’re wearing only a tank-top or t-shirt tucked into your pants? I got myself one of these, and while its not glamorous, and I get my fair share of ribbing from guys that I ride motorcycles with, I love it. I carry my Glock 23 in it, and it even carries / hides a spare mag as well.

    Called a Pistol Pouch. Yu can find it at http://www.dragonleatherworks.com

  15. Chris says:

    I have a sub-compact I carry here in the state of GA. I am looking for a Good Sub-Compact holster…. Any thoughts. Please send me an email.

  16. Sgt Rock says:

    HighNoon holsters, Slide guard. Great retention w/o thumb break, custom fit, FBI cant and adjusting screw. Conceals my heavy stainless S&W 9mm quite well.

  17. Jay says:

    Looking for a OWB for my Bersa Thunder 380. Any suggestions?

  18. Elizabeth says:

    I am looking for a OWB but I’m a woman so none of my husband’s holsters work well for me. They are all kind of big and clunky so I was wondering if you had any suggestions for me? Oh I have a Beretta Px4 Storm.

  19. BuddyinStL says:

    Ugly Bald Guy will make you a holster to fit YOUR gun for the price of a store bought holster.

  20. Dragon says:

    OWB For a Bersa! We got ‘em. 1911? Those too. Good looking, tough, hand-made in the USA, no foreign assembly or foreign labor AT ALL!


    All of our product pages have links to reviews. Look for yourself, and see that Dragon Leatherworks holsters are a top-notch product at a price everyone can afford!

  21. Barbara Gonzalez says:

    While I am more comfortable shooting my 357 magnum, it’s heavy to wear in a holster all day. Would this holster work with a Ruger SR9?

  22. Pdd executive says:

    We have come up with this concealed carry case at pdd. The case pretty much allows you to open carry since it does not resemble the shape of a handgun at all. Check us out @ Pddexecutivecarry.com for more details.

  23. Blackbeard says:

    I use a Don Hume 721OT for my 1911.Its a belt holster;but with an un-tucked shirt,you can’t tell I am armed.

  24. Big Bear says:

    I’m looking for an OWB for my Llama Model lll-A .380
    Any suggestions?

  25. Glen says:

    I’m interested in an OWB for a Keltec P11 9mm. Any thoughts?


  26. John says:

    Just wanted to say that I carry OWB just about all the time. It is not more difficult to conceal, just different. In the summer time I wear button down shirts that come down below my waist, and don’t have any more problems with printing than I do with a IWB. It is all in the holster. I have a High Noon Slide Guard that sits up high and is just about an inch below the belt line. So much more comfortable than the IWB, no pulling on my crotch because I have the gun in my waistband:) You just have to take the time to choose your clothing appropriately and you can conceal anything!

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