One long-running debate among everyday carry enthusiasts has surrounded one’s preference for inside-the-waistband (IWB) or outside-the-waistband (OWB) designs, a topic that Massad Ayoob tried to clarify with 10 straightforward pointers for the 2015 issue of CONCEALED CARRY HANDGUNS.

Regarding issues of concealment, Ayoob began by talking about the IWB’s advantages in terms of its less-visible outline on the user’s body. “IWB breaks up the outline better, particularly with tighter fitting concealment garments. Being inside the trousers, the IWB holster has much less of a profile to ‘print,’ or reveal the shape of the holstered gun beneath the concealing garment. Try on the best IWB and OWB holsters by the same makers with the same guns and then stand in front of a mirror at different angles. You’ll see for yourself.”

As an advantage for OWB designs, Ayoob also discussed the ease of re-holstering offered by these designs versus their IWB counterparts.

“The IWB holster, with the gun having been drawn out of it, is under pressure from the surrounding belt.
This compresses the holster and will make it slower and more awkward for you to get the gun muzzle back into the holster mouth and return the weapon to its scabbard. A steel-reinforced holster mouth is therefore imperative in IWB design, and a Kydex IWB may be even better in this respect,” said Ayoob. “But, unquestionably, since the OWB is not being ‘pulled shut by belt pressure,’ it will be the easiest of all to quickly and safely re-holster. Obviously, this element presumes that you are not carrying in a floppy holster that’s made out of chicken hide or some shapeless nylon thing that should probably carry a “Fruit of the Loom” brand tag.”

To read the full article, check out the 2015 issue of CONCEALED CARRY HANDGUNS, available on September 9, 2014. To subscribe, go to

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