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Tips for OWB Concealed Carry

Feb 13, 2020 8:30:00 AM

OWB concealed carry, otherwise known as the ‘Outside the Waist Band’ carry, is one of the most popular methods of carrying due to its convenient draw, accessibility, and greater comfort compared to IWB carry for many people.

However, the challenge with carrying in this manner is concealment, as an OWB holster isn’t quite as easy to cover up as fully as an IWB holster. Clothing, the holster itself, and your choice of carry gun all matter, so it takes a balance of factors to get it right.

If you’re leaning towards an OWB concealed carry method, let’s talk about what you need to do to make OWB concealed carry a whole lot easier to get right.

Choose The Right Layer For OWB Concealed Carry

wearing OWB holster under shirt
Tactica Defense Fashion's OWB Holster

One of the most important aspects to OWB concealed carry is selecting the covering layer.

How much of one you need depends on the OWB holster and pistol you’re carrying. Some people can get away with an untucked baggy shirt, sometimes you might need an extra layer of a coat, sweater or maybe a flannel shirt.

This is why OWB concealed carry is the perfect choice for the winter season.

The shirt or coat should also be long enough to conceal the OWB holster even with your arms raised entirely. A suit can also work, depending on how form-fitting it is.

Thicker and stiffer fabrics of clothing also conceal better than thin, stretchy fabrics. Therefore, cotton fabrics, khaki, and denim might be preferable for minimal printing.

A Good Concealed Carry Belt Is Required

womens gun belt
Tactica Defense Fashion's Women's Western Leather Gun Belt W/ Floral Emboss

There is no undermining the importance of a good gun belt for OWB carry. An ordinary fashion belt is not adequate for this method of concealed carry.

For a comfortable carry, it is crucial to select a strong belt that can support the weight of both the holster and the gun without sagging or warping. Thick leather belts and tactical belts work best in this case and should be firmly fit to press the holster as close to your body as possible.

A suitable OWB carry belt secures your holster in place without any flopping or vertical movements. It is also crucial to select a belt that fits into the loops of most of your pants, typically less than 2 inches wide. Otherwise, you might have to reinvent your entire wardrobe around your gun belt.

OWB Holster Selection

womens owb holster

The best OWB holster for this purpose will cause less printing on clothes and therefore reduces the number of layers or bagginess of the clothes you need to wear for complete concealment.

The best OWB holsters for concealed carry are those that tuck onto your body and hence reduce the print on your clothes.

A good holster should not stick out from your body but should instead pin the gun to your midsection. It should also sit high on the belt to hide the bulge of the gun. A high-riding holster will ensure that the muzzle stays higher on your waist and not below your belt, down to your pockets, hence eliminating the need for longer shirts.

Choice of Gun

S&W M&P shield 380 EZ

As with all other forms of concealed carry, the smaller the firearm, the more concealable it is. Choosing a small gun will make it much easier to conceal with minimum effort. A taller person is more likely to conceal a longer firearm along their midsection than a shorter person.

However, more compact and subcompact handguns are more suitable for OWB carry.

Find The Right Holster Position For OWB Concealed Carry

Where to wear an OWB holster

The position of the holster can influence its concealability, including for OWB concealed carry. The better it’s placed, the greater the degree of concealment.

Positioning your OWB concealed carry holster on parts of your body that are more curved inwards would make it more concealable. Consider positioning your OWB holster slightly to your back in the curve along your waistline, as opposed to the hips. This way, it will neither stick out nor be visible from your front profile.

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