Best Holster Positions for Concealed Carry thumbnail image

Best Holster Positions for Concealed Carry

80 Percent Arms   |   Apr 19th 2021

The number of Americans that carry a handgun for protection has risen significantly since 2020. While there are many different holsters out there, carrying in the waistband has become very popular.

What is appendix in-the-waistband carry?

AIWB carry

Appendix Carry is primarily named for the position of the gun and holster. It allows you to conceal and carry your pistol right between body and clothing in the abdomen area right where the appendix is located. This method is often carried in the 1 o’clock position. Utilizing appendix in the waistband carry opposed to strong side and behind-the-hip carry has many advantages such as a secure position that allows someone to quick draw- especially in a seated position. AIWB may be used either over the waistband (OWB) or in the waistband (IWB). However, some people may find this position to be the most uncomfortable depending on their body type. 

For instance, if you are skinny, your hips may protrude causing the holster and pistol to dig into that area. If this is an issue, make sure your holster isn't canted and opt for a vertical holster instead, or move your holster closer to the center of your body.  Now, if you are a bigger person, digging is a main concern. 

Most bigger guys may experience their skin getting pinched or pistol digging into their abdomen area. To help eliminate these concerns, you would need to use a canted holster and lower the ride height of your holster. It may also help to wear pants with a low rise fit.  

In the Waistband Carry (IWB)

IWB Carry

In the waistband carry means exactly what it sounds like. An IWB holster is most commonly positioned in the waistband of your clothing at either 1 or 3 o’clock position making it far more concealable than most options. 

One of the major advantages of carrying in this method is that the holster positions your pistol close to your body making it very easy to conceal and less likely to print. Although there are some drawbacks to this method. If you find yourself wearing fitted clothing, it may get in the way of your IWB holster and since it's directly contacting your skin, it may dig into your body making this method of carry a bit uncomfortable.

Over the Waistband Carry (OWB)

OWB Carry

Over the waistband holsters are the alternative to in the waistband holsters. Although they are designed very similarly to IWB, the difference between the two is that OWB is designed to be worn outside of your clothing whereas IWB is worn inside. 

This carrying method is most commonly worn in the 3 or 9 o clock position on your waistband. One of the advantages to this carrying style is that OWB holsters do not make contact with your skin and they also have some distance from your body which makes it a pretty comfortable option.

Although, because it is worn on the outside of your clothes, it may be a bit more difficult to conceal. If you are thinking of going this route, you would need to equip yourself with some long or baggy clothing to help prevent your pistol from printing or from being seen. 

Drawing from IWB/OWB

Drawing from IWB

After you have chosen a position and holster, it is best to practice drawing with your GST-9 or pistol unloaded. 

Once you have the position and location figured out, begin to practice drawing your pistol using dry fire methods. If you are experiencing any complications during practice, you may need to adjust the location of your holster. Be sure to look out for any hangups on your clothing or with the holster. If clothing is an issue, you may want to look into purchasing some concealment clothes

Once you feel comfortable and are confident with your drawing abilities, head to range and further improve your skills! Waistband holsters are quick to draw from, but that’s only if you’ve regularly practiced drills with your holster.