What Does IWB Mean?
If you check the definitions page, you’ll find that IWB stands for Inside the Waistband.
It is a holster that is primarily covered by one’s trousers and belt, the gun butt/handle protrudes just above the pant line, a clip of some sort secures the holster to the belt over the top of the pants. Even a light fabric shirt can cover the gun, which is held close against the body and therefore is more easily concealed.
Shapes of IWB Holsters
So concealment with the IWB holster is much easier than with a holster on the Waistband (OWB)…such as what you’d see a patrol officer wear. But other factors also come into play with a holster held so close to the body…there is the issue of perspiration, comfort and accessibility.
While others take on the shape of the gun extending up (see photo left) to prevent the weapon from jabbing the wearer, finally there are still others that take on a very broad shape well beyond the weapon’s shape (no photo yet) and not really dictated by it into which the weapon sits against.
Comfort of IWB Holsters
As would be expected, the more the holster insulates you from direct contact with your weapon, the more comfortable it normally will be to wear; however, insulation is not always a guarantee since insulation could increase perspiration and increased perspiration will definitely make carrying a weapon uncomfortable. Perspiration aside from its effect on comfort may also have negative effects on your gun. Remember, moisture causes rust and some parts of the gun will always be made of metal. Perspiration is most affected by the type and quality of materials utilized in the construction of the holster. Leather, I know as a former shoe salesman when I was a young man, has a wicking characteristic and absorbs moisture, whereas I am told, polyester does not.
My Personal Preference
My favorite and most commonly used holster is IWB. I prefer them because of my girth. With a little “blousing” of my shirt I am often able to significantly block the view of my weapon. I have easy access and because I use a leather holster it takes care of the perspiration issue both for me and the weapon. In addition, with an Allens wrench I can remove the clip and use it as a pocket holster. This particular holster is sold by DeSantis Sof-Tuck, there may be a model for your specific weapon.
N.B. For some, in many states, that would not be sufficient for concealment. If your state has a “concealed carry” permit law, “blousing” your shirt would not be wise, you’d better be certain with a vest or over-shirt to cover the weapon completely.
If you have questions, just ask. Tell me which is your favorite holster.