View Full Version : The right way to carry IWB?

Oleg Volk
April 24, 2001, 12:12 PM
I am trying to figure out if IWB can ever be comfortable.
What kind of a belt is needed? How high relative to the hipbone should the gun ride? I tried Sidearmor and it isn't all that comfy though ohters swear by it...

April 24, 2001, 01:27 PM
A good belt and holster is needed. For a good cheap belt go for the Wilderness instructor belt. Your pants also need to be big at the waist. You may want to try different Cants to the holster as well. When carry Straight drop, I place the frontsite along the seem of my pants. If I am using a Canted holster, I place the gun a little further back.

April 24, 2001, 01:27 PM
Good stiff 1.5 belt...1.25 minimum...
Wear just behind point of hip...You can feel the point with your fingers...This will place it very close to your rear pocket...A good IWB will not shift and will give you a high grip on the gun stock...I can wear my Kramer all day with no discomfort...PS..The belt is as crucial as the holster...

April 24, 2001, 05:09 PM

Belts are key. I use 1.25” (small/medium frame, 145lb, 31” waist). I have bought belts from stores and holster makers. The most comfortable “gun belts” I have were bought from Rosen and Alessi, others dig into my hip too much. I try and wear just above the hip so as not to drag down too much. Btw I carry a Beretta Mini-Cougar, 8040F, 27oz dry and ~32oz fully stoked. I also, carry a Colt Mustang and Pocket Nine but those two don’t require any real planning.

Different holsters will feel different (well, duh :) ) but what I'm trying to say is as you review the different styles you will notice "similar" styles from different makers. And it will boil down to 3 or 4 distinctly different styles. Some are more straight up and down others have fairly severe forward cants. The key, for me, has been finding my sensitive areas and natural hollows and working with them. I have several Alessi Talons that over extended periods move around; but I can also re-position them when sitting for more comfort. My Rosen ARG-Slim fits very well and when worn with my Rosen belt does not move a bit. But there are times after a long day my right hip is sore. One other factor, sometimes overlooked, is different pants have different belt loop spacing resulting in different placement and an inch or two does matter.

When I got my first IWB I bought several (relatively cheap) different styles and dissected what worked and what didn't. I used that info when ordering the next set.

Best of luck,

-- Chuck

April 25, 2001, 04:37 PM
The belt loop issue is one I hadn't given much thought to until recently when I was trying to keep the butt of my IWB-holstered .45 from printing through a leather vest. I had a seamstress move the rear belt loop up 5/8". That keeps the holster a little closer to my hip than to the rear pocket, and it doesn't print unless I bend over pretty far.


April 25, 2001, 05:24 PM
Ditto on CJO & CTC's comment(the belt)...the Rosen ARG's are very comfortable. I've tried several different materials(kydex,etc) but I always come back to a leather rig. It's much like picking out a good baseball glove...when you get the right one it just 'feels' right.

Just my $0.02...

April 25, 2001, 10:10 PM
Using a DeSantis IWB 028-85 w/BHP & "just the belt I've always had" (about 1 1/4" but fairly pliable).

Holster goes just behind the hip bone, have good access to front & rear pockets of my jeans - it's very comfy & accessible - everything you'd want.

CCW does take some playin' around to get that "just so" feeling.

April 26, 2001, 12:54 AM
One little trick I had to get used to when carrying my G30 in its Sidearmor IWB is to remember to put my wallet in my left rear pocket instead of the usual right rear pocket. It has since become second nature to always put my wallet in the left rear, but for a while I wasn't comfortable carrying IWB because of all the weight/thickness on one side. My Sidearmor is really comfortable so long as I keep it off the point of my hip and not over/behind the rear pocket. There's a very small area that is really comfortable, and I can wind up with some really bad aches and pains in my butt or hip if it's not placed correctly. But if it *is* placed correctly it's *very* comfortable.

Double Naught Spy
April 26, 2001, 07:08 AM
Belts and holsters are very personal decisions. I won't comment on the holster since that issue is more complex and requires hands-on time to find what actually fits well for you. However, holsters are another matter and the choices are more limited in terms of form and fit, although there are many choices in materials and style.
For carrying larger guns, what I have found that helps is to have a slightly wider than normal belt, thicker too. I can get away with a 1" belt for normal pants and no gun, but 1 1/4 or 1 1/2" is more comfortable for a bigger gun, say a full size 1911. I find the wider belt holds everything more securely as it has a wider surface area to do this. Most jeans seem to do okay with up to a 1 1/2" belt. Dress pants may be a little trickier to find loops that big, but the Dockers I have do okay with them. By the way, I wear a 34" waist. Belt loops seem smaller for pants 30" and smaller, to cross check the belt to the pants.

The belt ends up riding on the hip bone, sooner or later. As such the wider aspect and thicker too will help to keep there from being much discomfort as compared to a narrower and thinner belt that may tend to dig into you.

All leather belts will stretch and conform to you. So don't let your first wearing or two get you down if you find you have a sore hip or other part. This passes quickly as the belt does its thing and becomes personal to your form.

April 26, 2001, 09:32 AM
I had forgotten about the wallet, good advice. Many years ago my right leg was giving me problems - tingling, pain, etc. and my chiropractor suggested moving the wallet to the left side. And like magic the problem was gone.

-- Chuck

April 26, 2001, 10:12 AM
The single most comfortable IWB I have ever used is the Milt Sparks Executive Companion. It spreads the pressure of the gun over a larger area, and carries it lower than most. It is expensive, and you have to wait about 4-8 weeks, but it is well worth it.

The Sniper
May 5, 2001, 03:10 AM

Just behind the point of the hip (with most belted slacks, jeans, etc. there is a belt loop that you can straddle with the straps of an IWB holster - this adds stability)


Match the belt width with the straps or clip on the holster. This keeps the weapon from canting backward or forward. Obviously the wider the belt - the more stable your rig will be.

May 5, 2001, 05:17 AM
I bought a Wilderness Instructor belt because I seldom dress up.My clothing basically consists of jeans and Dockers.I carry a P.O. P12-45 in a Braveheart IWB holster and the combination really carries the weight well.Braveheart's do not move on your belt.The Rock-Lock keeps it where you put it.For a comfortable carry you can't skimp out on the belt and holster.All of the brands mentioned here are quality products and many of the companies will let you try their products for free.If you don't like it,send it back.

May 5, 2001, 08:46 AM
My normal winter carry is a five inch S&W 627PC (N frame). This requires both a good holster and a good belt. Both the pieces I'm using came from AKJ Concealco. I like their designs and they were the first place I found willing to make an IWB for a five inch N frame! With the optional front strap I find the big N frame no problem in concealing, or carrying. Needless to say the same type holster and belt work great with my Kimber Ultra CDP (although I sometimes forget that one is there!) The Concealco design has two features I particularly like, first of all the straps are moved away from the gun itself, thus reducing overall thickness, and you can adjust the cant or rake of the holster to suit YOU and the particular gun. I find that I like a slightly different rake with the revolver than with the semi-auto (butts are quite different). Both are worn behind the right hip. I have three different belts, one black and one brown in 1.25" and one brown in 1.5" for jeans. All are from Concealco and are double thickness with internal reinforcement in the carry area. Work extremely well, in fact they are so comfortable I use them all the time, even when not carrying.

Scott Evans
May 5, 2001, 05:32 PM

For which gun?