IWB Carry

May 2, 2005
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Just curious how many of you cary IWB, and what position do you prefer. I have been trying various positions with a cheep Uncle Mikes IWB holster waiting for my new holster to come in. I find that behind my hip (about 5 o'clock ish) feels pretty good, but when I get into the car I am getting stabbed in the back a bit. Right on the hip (about 3:30 ish) feels much better while driving, but I keep hitting it with my arm. I am new to carrying concealed and just trying to test to see what feels the best for me, but I am looking for some tips and hints from the experienced folks here.

Thanks in advance
Hey man.

I think half your problem will be the "cheap uncle mikes". You'ce GOT to invest in a good quality holster AND belt for CCing....

Anyways, I had the same problem. I drive a lot (300 miles+/day), but am very slender, so a bulge on my hip at 3o'clock made it obvious I had something in there, becasue of how it pulls the pants out.

I switched to OWB with a Galco Cop Slide. (see below). I put one of the loops on the holster on each side of my belt loop. I slide foward for car, rearward for out of car. Works great

And do you have a real gun belt? Aker, Wilderness (My preference) Galco, and all the smaller holster manufacturers make belts especialy for packing, and it makes the world of a differance.

Thanks for the info.
I ordered an IWB holster from Sidearmor. http://www.sidearmor.com/cart/customer/product.php?productid=3&cat=17&page=1 about 3.5 weeks ago. The site said there was a 3 week delay on this holster so I will be calling today to check the status. As for the gun belt, no I am using the belt I had which is 1.5" wide thick leather. I was talking to a guy here at work today and he told me just what you did, that flat out you NEED a belt made for carrying. I will have to order one of those as well. I opted for an IWB holster thinking that it would be easier to conceal with not having to wear a cover garment all the time. How do you cover an OWB holster say during the warmer months when it isn't likely you would be wearing a jacket or light coat?

Again thanks, I am still new to this and don't want to make any mistakes.


Ps. Your picture didn't make it through.

ONLY belt worth considering for carry is the Wilderness Instructors Belt (5-stitch). Wilderness Tactical makes them. Best price for in-stock delivery is Milt Sparks (1 week delivery) at $34.95 + 7.50 S/H. Wilderness Tactical says add 2" to belt size for IWB, but MY experience was that that was TOO LOOSE . . . I kept that belt for outside jacket wear on the range in Winter, but ordered a second belt for "clothing" wear and love it . . . same size as my standard belt size.

Go to http://www.miltsparks.com/ and click on "New Products" (flipper at bottom left). You need to call Milt Sparks to order (cc OK). Very nice folks and they only make/carry the best products.

If you go to Products, IWB and check out the Summer Special 2, you'll find the best holster for IWB. Long lead times here, but if you carry a 1911 or Glock you can order from Brownell's for in-stock delivery within a week (cheaper price too). www.brownells.com
I can second the Milt Sparks IWB holster. I got my Summer Special 2 from Brownell's for my Glock 23 and it is extremely comfortable in many positions, even driving (when I've got it slightly forward of the hip). I've already ordered a Wilderness Instructor's belt and am awaiting delivery (hopefully it will get here in time for my upcoming training in mid-June).
Thanks for the info..
Have you tried the other nice looking IWB holsters listed on the site? The Versa Max 2 looks like a pretty nice rig. Also how large of a gun are you carrying, and what do you use to cover it during the warmer months?

Also, a question about printing... I know that if for instance I reach for something in the store and my gun is seen by someone who freaks out and calls the police, that could be an assault charge and I would lose my license. What about just light printing? Would my gun simply printing carry the same consequences?

Thanks again
Never tried any other Milt Sparks holsters.

Summer wear: Lots of folks wear shirt over, without tucking it in. Another alternative is a tropical button-down shirt worn over anything, but not buttoned (they have long tails).

NOTHING written in MGLs about exposed carry, printing, etc. being illegal. However, it is up to the responding officers if someone calls police and thus it will vary from a "be more careful" warning to an arrest and charges of any/all sort. Simply printing may or may not lead to a conviction if charged, depends on the DA/police/judge. If charged you will likely lose your LTC for life in MA as an "unsuitable person". This could also happen if the local PD calls your licensing authority for damn near anything.

Always a good idea to minimize your exposure (in any of the 50 states . . . leaves you the advantage if you ever need it and nobody need know unless/until . . . )!
Hubby and I had to do some fashion changes when we started carrying. He was never one for the "Burmuda shirt" look, but now he wears the longer boxie type short sleeve shirts in the summer. He's never had a problem with the gun or holster showing in any way. I've also changed to longer, looser fitting tops (much to the shagrin of hubby :D ), unless it's chilly, then I wear a jacket. Course, it also depends on how I'm carrying, but ya definately need to assess the wardrobe.
IWB holsters

I never liked the concept because I wear jeans a lot. Always thought if I had my pants loose enough to get a IWB in them, they would be slipping down. Always wear leather hip holsters. I kept reading posting from packing.com, this forum, and others about guys(and gals) always carrying IWB. I liked the concealability so I placed a post to everyone using IWB's asking for info and advice, comfortability, and mostly to correct any misconceptions I had about IWB. After getting lot of replies and advice, I ordered a Fist #1A for my S&W CS45. Still feels a little strange, but I am told I'll get used to it. I must admit as far as a method for warm weather carry(shorts and tee shirts), it has a great advantage.
I've got a Don Hume IWB holster (open top) for my SW99 .40 and it works pretty well. The SW99 is a full sized variant (not the compact) and if I don't place it just right it pokes the hell out of my side. 'Course, that might have something to do with the ol' love handles... ;)

Then again, most of the time I carry a j-frame .357 Magnum in an ankle holster. Since it's the 12 ounce scandium frame 360, it's light enough to carry all day.

Just don't go for long walks pushing two kids in a trailer with it. Even 12 ounces feels like a boat anchor after 3 - 4 miles... ;)

'Course, the North American Arms Mini-22 fits into the coin pocket of my jeans, but I'm not real keen on trusting my life to 5 rounds of .22LR coming out of a 1 1/8" barrel... It DOES allow me to obey Rule #1 of Gunfighting: Have a gun...
I basically have the same gun; a Walther P99 in .40 so your info helps a bunch. With that holster what do you use as a cover garment?


I find that an oversized sweatshirt or sweater works fine in the late fall/winter/early spring. In the warmer weather, I wear a fleece vest that conceals it well.

One of the advantages of living in MA is that with all the "metrosexuals" around, wearing a fleece vest is not out of the ordinary. It's not a "shoot the guy with the vest" case like it would be in other areas... ;)

When it gets real hot (which this year so far doesn't seem to be a problem... [evil] ), I switch to the j-frame either in the ankle holster or in a pocket holster. That's where the Airweight REALLY shines... FWIW, I have found LL Bean "cargo" shorts to be PERFECT for the j-frame in an Uncle Mike's pocket holster. The design of the shorts has a boxy-ish front pocket that hides the gun well.

And the aluminum .38 special j-frames only weigh 15 ounces and sell for ~ $350!
A dozen tips for the beginner CCW.

1) Take a handgun retention class as soon as you can. Take some kind of defensive tactics class. Learn about the legalities. 'nuff said about that.

2) You will feel like everyone can see the gun. It's natural. Even after years of carry i have times with new outfits that I wonder if things are showing more than they should.

3) Small exposure will NOT be noticed by most. In fact, people usually dismiss bulges like cell phones and such all the time. I know one person who carries in a PDA holster in open sight because looking at it, he looks like a geek with a palm.

4) Learn to squat to reach low. Don't bend over.

5) Strong Side belt is the most common carry, but there are other methods that work. Pocket holsters with a seecamp or similar is not the 'best' but better than nothing. I can easily hide my .32 in a normal bathing suit. Some love the 'Thunderware' holsters, but others find it not so comfortable. My favorite carry in an 'on the belt' holster that isn't much wider than the belt. Very comfortable, easy to hide with the untucked shirt/vest/jacket. Since the gun is all black, and just the barrel sticks out the end of the holster, any peeking from under the shirt is never seen as 'gun'.

6) Gun belts are for guns, dress belts are for dressing. The difference between a solid gun belt and a flimsy dress belt are amazing. There are a lot of great quality gun belts out there that also look good too. They can get pricy, but they also last a long time. I've had great luck with Mitch Rosen and Kramer Leather belts. I'd try others, but I'm still waiting for these to wear out. (^_^)

7) Nobody Knows. Period. Yes, your wife will, but that's it. in fact, my tailor probably know more about my carry habits than my best friend does. As with anything, the fewer people who know a secret, the better.

8) Everyone is different. No matter what people reccomend or suggest, if something looks better to you, try it. We all have a collection of holsters that didn't quite do it for us. It's just a fact of the art.

9) CCW is 99% reliability and 1% skill at arms. No use being the best shot there is if you get a jam with your life on the line. Run hundreds of rounds through the gun and find the combo that best works. Same deal with you. You need to practice so that your actions are instinct as you will not have time to think beyond the decision to act. Draw, engagement, and all the other motions have to be smooth and reliable. Facing Mungo is not the time to learn that your pistol's hammer likes to snag on that stylish fleece vest.

10) Understand that 'gun' is the last answer in a series of techniques you should have. If 'gun' is your only answer, you are going to be in some legal trouble.

11) While not required by law, carry a cellphone. Usually the first person to report a crime is the victim. You don't want to have to start hunting for a phone while a witness calls about a 'man with a gun'.

12) Don't be a hero. While it is legal to assist another, unless you know the person very well (like family) don't do it. Instead, call for help and be a good witness. You never know who is the real 'good guy' and who is the real 'bad guy'. Cops have been shot jumping into situations of mistaken identity.


Understand that using the gun for self-defense very well may cost you EVERYTHING. Your home, your job, your life savings, your freedom, your family, your friends, your life as you know it. Be sure that when you use it, circumstances are so dire that it is worth that loss.
Chris said:


Understand that using the gun for self-defense very well may cost you EVERYTHING. Your home, your job, your life savings, your freedom, your family, your friends, your life as you know it. Be sure that when you use it, circumstances are so dire that it is worth that loss.

The most important part of that post IMO.
derek said:
Chris said:


Understand that using the gun for self-defense very well may cost you EVERYTHING. Your home, your job, your life savings, your freedom, your family, your friends, your life as you know it. Be sure that when you use it, circumstances are so dire that it is worth that loss.

The most important part of that post IMO.

Too true. Sad, isn't it, when it's more acceptable to be a victim in this state than it is to be someone who refuses to be?
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