What does IWB and OWB mean?

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Two of the most common terms used when describing Concealed Carry are IWB and OWB. If you are new to concealed carry or perhaps buying a CCW belt for someone else and you are not familiar with the terms you may not know what they mean. It’s pretty simple so let’s take a look.

IWB Carry

IWB stands for “Inside the Waist Band”. With this type of carry the holster and firearm is concealed inside your pants as shown below:

IWB Carry 

When you carry IWB you can see you may need a bit bigger belt as the firearm and holster under the belt uses up length. If you were not carrying a firearm or carrying OWB you can usually use a bit smaller belt. So what is OWB? Lets explore that.

OWB Carry

OWB carry is the opposite of IWB carry. OWB Stands for “Outside the Waist Band. With this style of carry the holster and firearm is outside the waistband and over the belt as shown below:

 OWB Carry Option
OWB Carry Click


As you can see with OWB carry the belt is going through just the Holster and does not need to go over top of the firearm. This results in you usually being able to buy a smaller size belt than you would need for IWB.

 So in closing the way you carry is usually up to your personal preferences. Of course when you carry OWB then it takes a bit more to conceal your weapon than IWB and prevent printing (printing is when your gun outline shows through your clothing). The whole purpose of CCW is to hide your firearm from view. Most people do not want anyone to know they are carrying a firearm hence why it is called Concealed Carry!


What does IWB and OWB mean? is written by Hanks Belts for www.hanksbelts.com

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