View Full Version : IWB handgun holsters - realistically now

Futo Inu
March 18, 2002, 04:20 PM
You know, despite the fact that TFLers and others apparently continue to use and be happy with, inside-the-waisband holsters, I continue to be ever more convinced that these are much more uncomfortable than say a paddle or belt-slide. But, comfort aside, more importantly, perhaps, don't you realistically think that, while wearing an IWB, one not only has to slip the belt out a couple notches to make the extra room, but really, one needs a different sized waist pair of pants, specifically for when one wears IWB, in order to truly be comfortable, no?

I ask this because my pants fit me fine (not too tight or loose) when wearing a paddle or BS holster, but really it's putting a physical strain on that little aluminum clasp on these dress pants while IWB-ing (and this is a small gun setup), as I'm giving an honest try today (IWB'ing, that is), regardless of the belt setting. Sure I could buy bigger pants, but then they would have to be "dedicated IWB pants", or they'd be hangin off my hips otherwise. I suppose that having dedicated IWB pants is is fine if I'm always IWB-ing, but what about those days where I feel like going with a front pocket holster, or paddle, or no gun at all (not by choice, mind you - courthouse and what not)?

Anyone here who's gone back and forth, and come up with a final decision? One advantage of the IWB obviously is it takes a little less cover to conceal it. AND, IWB is the ONLY option if going for the "covered IWB/total concealment" thing...

March 18, 2002, 11:43 PM
About the pants thing, I got a couple of pairs in a larger size, per everybody and their mom's advice.
Turns out, I don't need it.
I wear my pants fit, but not tight, not loose.
When I put a gun in my pants, the weight requires me to cinch my belt up a bit more than usual to keep it from sagging
In effect, my pants are tighter on me with gun than without, but this is regardless of the waistsize. It's just that if it's not really snug up agin' me, it's falling off to one side.
I have Alessi's Watch Six Dual Talon, and it's easy enough for me to slide forward a bit when I'm out driving, then back an inch or so for out-n-about.
Works great, not uncomfortable, no need for different sized pants.

Dave R
March 19, 2002, 12:59 PM
Only my tightest pants have a comfort problem when carrying IWB. I really should get rid of those, in kindness to my fellow man...

I generally relax my belt by one slot when carrying IWB.

To be honest, I have never tried any method othere than IWB or pocket. Paddle-types or belt-slides may be more comfortable, but I assume they are much harder to conceal.

March 19, 2002, 03:44 PM
IWB is realy not my cup of tea ,I find that on the belt much ,more comfortable. I use either a kramer paddle or an holster that is designed to fit between the pant and the belt. works great with my SIGs

Jake 98c/11b
March 19, 2002, 03:49 PM
I usually carry a M1911A1 in a galco NSA without a problem. I think this may be the biggest thing I can carry without going up one pant size, not that I care because it works best for me anyway. I did borrow a friends Kahr 9 and his IWB holster to see if I liked the gun and even though it is a smaller gun it was worse to carry because the holster (a Strong brand holster) was far worse than the NSA. I will eventually buy a Kahr, I have been interested in getting a smaller gun for those rare times when it would be the better choice, but I will get a better holster than the one I borrowed.

March 19, 2002, 08:41 PM
I use a paddle holster because I am just a tad on the heavier side. I wear my shirts untucked and concealment is no problem. If I am in a suit I wear a small of the back holster. I much prefer the paddle due it's comfort factor.

March 19, 2002, 09:38 PM
CCW is not really about a choice of holsters, it's about a change in wardrobe. Personally, I use a FIST Universal K-1 IWB, and it virtually disappears after all day wear. I usually wear Hawian shirts or oversize shirts of cotton with a darker color and random pattern.

March 19, 2002, 11:43 PM
I wear a glock 27 with an ankle holster. No problem with waist or movement. I tried small of the back, which is great as long as you are standing.

March 21, 2002, 07:20 AM
Most of my pants are IWB-ready.

I carry all over my body (except no more shoulder rigs).

My 'always' is pocket-carried in ALWAYS THE SAME PLACE and WAY; my 'back-up' may be IWB, belt holster, fanny pack, another pocket, or up my sleeve.

I have never been accused of being 'stylish'.
I live someplace relatively benign.


"all my handguns are concealed-carry handguns"

March 21, 2002, 09:33 AM
I'm afraid that my once loose pants aren't any longer. I usually carry in an extreme high-rise OWB holster from Rusty Sherrick http://www.c-rusty.com

It's way more comfortable for me than any of my IWB holsters.


Futo Inu
March 21, 2002, 01:35 PM
FYI: of course, "Belt-slide" and "Paddle" in the above poll both mean OWB (whether positioned cross-draw, SOB, or strong-side).

BTW, many of you are voting for IWB in the poll, but not telling me whether your pants are specially purchased too big for this - that's what a really want to know. I don't have too big of a "Buddha" just yet, and I would imagine that my problem is even a bigger of a problem for those more, uhmm, "developed" in the abdominal area than myself.

March 25, 2002, 09:18 PM
I currently use an IWB worn in the small of my back. It just seems to fit better there than on my hip. I'm fairly thin and can carry a Glock 17 with no problem, also with my usual sized pants.

While I'm here, I posted this question on another thread but, anyone have any experience with the Hogue PowerSpeed holster? It looks nice, but before I spend the money.....


David Park
March 29, 2002, 12:02 PM
I carry IWB, and my answer is the same as youngun. My pants are normally a little bit loose (especially "relaxed fit" jeans), since I'm skinny and clothes that actually fit would make me look even more like a beanpole. Plus I find it more comfortable with the pants riding lower on my hips. However, when carrying I tighten up the belt and wear the pants a little bit higher to better support the gun. A lot of my dress slacks are getting old and the waistbands are a bit tight anyway, so I'll probably replace them soon with pants suitable for IWB carry.

I find IWB carry to be more comfortable than belt carry. I think it's because the weight of the gun is being supported by the pants and spread out over a larger area, rather than hanging off the belt and putting pressure on my hips. Everyone is built differently, so what's relatively comfortable for me may be painful for you.

March 29, 2002, 09:34 PM
Futo Inu,
This isn't very definitive, but it depends... I personally don't have different slacks for IWB, and the placement of your holster may affect the fit of your slacks. If you carry at 3:00 at the side of your pelvis, your body may be less yielding than at 4:30, and you may need some extra clearance. A holster worn between the belt and the slacks may be a good compromise. Belt slides can be comfortable and convenient, but be careful when you sit in any chair with armrests, such as in a theater. Planting the muzzle of your gun against the top of the armrest as you sit can launch it out of the holster.

March 30, 2002, 01:41 AM
I'm not as rotund as some of you fellows but I'm not skinny either. My Solution after years of fighting with this same issue is:

Industrial strength suspenders and a relatively soft belt with an IWB. You don't need a hard belt if it is just keeping the IWB close to your body and not holding anything up. I like the Kramer IWB #3. I wear a tee shirt tucked into my pants under the suspenders. I like the "Coolmax" wicking type tee shirt. They don't get soggy. With suspenders you can wear the pants a bit loose for the IWB. Depending on the weather, you can wear a polo type shirt, sweat shirt or vest over this. If anyone asks "aren't you hot wearing that vest?" in warm weather, I just show a suspender and say "I don't like my suspenders to show".