IWB Vs. OWB – The Differences

Gun holster is a device used, most often in a position where it can be quickly removed for immediate use, to hold or limit the unnecessary movement of a handgun. Gun holsters are mostly attached to a belt or waistband, although other places of the body may be attached to them.

Outside waistband and Inside waistband.

OWB is kept outside your pants, while IWB means the gun is held inside your pants, with the grip sticking out above your waistline so that before drawing, you can secure a complete firing grip over the weapon.

In order to avoid the possibility of an accidental discharge, both IWB and OWB holsters are intended to shield your trigger guard. They also keep the gun locked in one place, protect the surface and the finish from the external parts, and ensure your day’s stability.

Inside The Waistband


For an IWB holster, the first and greatest advantage is that it is much more concealable. With only the gun’s grip visible above, the holster and much of your gun vanish under your trousers, and it can be covered under your shirt.

Stability is another major advantage of IWB holsters. This is because IWB holsters come with your body with three touch points, two on the belt, and one where your torso is pressed against the holster. This is advantageous because the holster and the gun will stay secure while you go about your day and not move about as much. It helps to make everything more concealable, making it easier to forget that you do have your gun with you.

The fact that you have a multitude of different carry positions is another advantage of IWB holsters, as you can carry a heavy side hip, appendix carry, or at the small of your back.


The biggest downside to IWB holsters is that they are not always the most comfortable, depending on the person or what you’re wearing. The holster and gun are kept inside your trousers, after all. In order to fit the gun, many individuals are required to purchase pants or shorts that are one size larger around the waist than they would typically wear, but again, it really depends on the individual.

It could also make your jeans feel tighter and dig higher into your body by getting a gun inside your pants. That’s also not to mention that you’re also going to have a gun all day right up against your skin. This can lead to red marks and rashes in some instances.

Outside The Waistband


An OWB holster also has many benefits over an IWB. OWB is going to be more convenient for most folks. You simply tie the holster to the outside of your pants or lock it. An IWB holster would be held in your pants, which may cause you to get a larger pant size, as we discussed previously. At the very least, an IWB holster would most likely cause your pants to pull against your body more tightly.

Another advantage of an OWB holster, and perhaps most important of all, is that drawing your weapon makes it easier.


Many individuals assume that OWB holsters are not concealable, but the reality is that it depends on the individual and the holster. To be more concealable, those OWB holsters keep the body more closely. They might be concealable with a long enough T-shirt, sweatshirt, sweater, or coat. It’s up to you to try out various choices for yourself to see.

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