When it comes to concealed carry, the inside-the-waistband (IWB) holster exists somewhere between shoulder holsters, pocket holsters and ankle holsters. Among these carry methods, utilizing the IWB is one of the more demanding disciplines. Your height, build and weight must all be taken into account. If you are trim around the waist, an IWB rig will work flawlessly, but for those who carry a little extra weight around the middle, it can become annoying because the frame or grips will tend to poke into your side or just below the ribcage, especially when sitting or riding in a car. The same applies if you are short-waisted, but in some cases this can be lessened by wearing the rig at the four o’clock position or even slightly further back.

Another caveat of the IWB rig is that you may need to step up at least 1 inch in pants waist to accommodate the width of the gun and the thickness of the holster. Of course, this depends upon your choice in weapons. If you’re packing a subcompact .380 like a Ruger LCP, an IWB rig works for just about anyone. J-frame-sized revolvers are a bit more demanding because they are wider. Step up in caliber and gun size and the rules begin to change incrementally. At some point, you will need a larger pants-waist size to compensate.

To offer a broad view of IWB carry, we have assembled a variety of IWB rigs designed for different sizes and calibers of semi-autos and revolvers, from .380 ACP, 9mm and .40 S&W to .38 Special and .357 Magnum. Let’s try some on.

DeSantis Intruder

These leather and molded Kydex concealment rigs from DeSantis are made for revolvers and semi-autos. While physically very large, the Intruder is designed to provide a new level of comfort for concealed carry. The Intruder uses a large, contoured-leather skirt that softens and forms to the body, with a molded Kydex holster riveted to it. For ultra-compact semi-autos like the Ruger LC9, the rig has a slight forward cant for an easy draw from concealment. Two large spring-steel clips going over the belt are used to secure the Intruder, and an included set of alternate clips can make it a fully tuckable concealed carry rig. Covered by a shirt, sweater, sweatshirt or jacket, the Intruder provides excellent concealment and quick access. The molded Kydex holster is formed to the contours of each make and model; the gun firmly clicks into place. The Intruder is also adjustable for both height and cant. The Intruder is available for a wide variety of revolvers and semi-autos.

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