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Thread: IWB vs. OWB open carry

  1. #1
    Regular Member macfly's Avatar
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    IWB vs. OWB open carry

    Hey all, new to this open carry and had a question regarding 'concealed' vs. open. I know about the 'Virginia Tuck' but feel a little uneasy about wearing an IWB even though the butt will show. I plan to wear jeans/slacks with belt and tucked in collar shirt but dont know if it is better to wear OWB or IWB to avoid any problems.
    Anyone have any reports on IWB carry and whether that is more likely to get police running out of nowhere with guns pointed at me?
    And if you are either OWB or IWB and then get in your car what do you do with your gun? are you required to remove it and put it away or not. I am not yet a CCP holder so I assume that changes my requirements.
    thanks.

  2. #2
    Accomplished Advocate peter nap's Avatar
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    I've not heard of particular reports of police problems.

    My personal opinion and not supported by fact, is that IWB is a little more acceptable to some people. I think they feel you must be someone that has permission to carry if it's IWB.

    I did some experiments a long time ago and found some things get noticed less. Black holsters tend to get fewer stares than brown. Cross draw gets more attention than strong side.

    Auto's get noticed less than revolvers...Etc.

    I may try IWB vs OB one day.

  3. #3
    Activist Member swinokur's Avatar
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    I use the same holster for both, either a Crossbreed Supertuck or a Comp Tac MTAC, depending on which gun I'm carrying. IWB is not uncomfortable for me and is certainly less noticeable. When carried at 3:30 you don't even notice it. I carry either aa G30 or a full size 1911.When OC'ing I just tuck my shirt in. As long as the gun is not concealed from " common observation" you're legal. I can't carry in MD so I come to VA a lot. ;>)

    In a car same rule but being covered by a seat belt may be an issue. You can leave it in plain view or put it in your glove box-still legal

    Good luck
    Last edited by swinokur; 10-05-2010 at 08:11 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by peter nap View Post
    I've not heard of particular reports of police problems.

    My personal opinion and not supported by fact, is that IWB is a little more acceptable to some people. I think they feel you must be someone that has permission to carry if it's IWB.

    I did some experiments a long time ago and found some things get noticed less. Black holsters tend to get fewer stares than brown. Cross draw gets more attention than strong side.

    Auto's get noticed less than revolvers...Etc.

    I may try IWB vs OB one day.
    Glad to see you did not float away with the tree stand

  5. #5
    Accomplished Advocate peter nap's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by xdm guy View Post
    Glad to see you did not float away with the tree stand
    Not float...stuck to the axles though.

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    I'm thinkin' the opposite of Peter's opinion...

    I feel that the media has instilled a more negative opinion of someone who carrys IWB while OCing, as it looks careless and 'thuggish'. It looks like someone grabbed their gun out of their glove box and stuffed it in their waistband, then head out looking for trouble. IWB holsters are meant to not be seen, therefore it looks just like I said, like it's just carelessly stuffed in your belt. When I started carrying (which was less than a month ago), I was new to the idea of IWB/concealment holsters, and those were MY first thoughts about the Virginia Tuck.

    I feel that someone wearing a nice fancy leather/kydex holster openly is more likely to be construed as someone who 'has permission' (or as us gun owners know it, a right) to carry. It proudly displays that we have nothing to hide and appears less likely that we are out looking for trouble. Seriously, how many movies/tv shows have you seen where a robber/thug/gang member is wearing a $115 Don Hume leather holster or Blackhawk Serpa on their hip?

    I'm not saying either opinion is right or wrong, just trying to give you an idea of how I see things from my point of view.

    Just my 2 cents...
    ~Jonathan

  7. #7
    Regular Member ProShooter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jonton View Post
    IWB holsters are meant to not be seen
    I've said that for years, yet few agree with me. IWB's are sold as concealment holsters. Wearing it in a more visible manner does not equate to it being an OC holster.
    James Reynolds

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    Instructor Bio - http://proactiveshooters.com/about-us/

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    Activist Member swinokur's Avatar
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    Jim et al,

    I kinda agree with you but not having most people even notice most of the time. it would be hard to know what their actual perceptions are. The only real advantage of IWB is I can switch to CC if I felt the need. My OWB for all my pistols is a Serpa and while an acceptable holster for OC, it doesn't conceal well.

    We can spend almost as much money on holsters as firearms in some cases while trying to find just the right one!!

  9. #9
    Regular Member Eeyore's Avatar
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    Look into K & D Holsters' Maverick Defender. It gives you the option of inside or outside the waistband.
    http://www.kdholsters.com/iwb-owb-defend.php

    I'm considering one for my M & P, but I don't have one yet, so I can't comment on its comfort.

    Edited to change the URL and photo. Now you can see there's leather behind the beavertail/slide area to provide some extra comfort/protection.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by Eeyore; 10-07-2010 at 12:35 PM.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by swinokur View Post
    Jim et al,
    My OWB for all my pistols is a Serpa and while an acceptable holster for OC, it doesn't conceal well.
    For whatever it's worth...
    I didn't start OCing until I got my CCW, just in case I unconsciously covered it, especially because I wear sport coats almost every day from October to May. My Serpa is perfect when carried at 3:30 with a sport coat. Albeit I'm a very small framed guy, and I dont have to worry about bulging too much. However I'll also OC with a SOB holster when I'm continually putting on and taking off my jacket (usually when the weather is warm, but not too warm to wear a jacket for most of the day).

    ~Jonathan

    PS - That maverick looks incredibly well made. I dig the design. However, I don't like the gun rubbing against me, so I'd only wear it with a tucked in button down or polo. Until then, I'll stick with my Kholster ( <3 <3 <3 ).

  11. #11
    Regular Member SnarlyWino's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ProShooter View Post
    I've said that for years, yet few agree with me. IWB's are sold as concealment holsters. Wearing it in a more visible manner does not equate to it being an OC holster.
    +1 here. I have an IWB for CC and an OWB for OC. That does not meen that I won't remove my cover and OC with the IWB, but if my intention is to OC then outside it goes.
    Keep Calm and Carry On,

    Snarly

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  12. #12
    Regular Member DCKilla's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SnarlyWino View Post
    +1 here. I have an IWB for CC and an OWB for OC. That does not meen that I won't remove my cover and OC with the IWB, but if my intention is to OC then outside it goes.
    +2

  13. #13
    Regular Member MKEgal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by swinokur View Post
    IWB is not uncomfortable for me and is certainly less noticeable. When carried at 3:30 you don't even notice it.
    OK, here's a question...
    When CCing, wherever is comfortable & accesible[sp?] is good.
    When OCing, I have a little tiny bit of paranoia about someone walking up behind me & trying to take it, so I carry just forward of my hip. (Might also have something to do with curves that men don't have...)
    Am I out of line for worrying about it, even as little as I do? I know there have been attempts from behind, one of which ended very badly for the BigBox door greeter guy.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by MKEgal View Post
    OK, here's a question...
    When CCing, wherever is comfortable & accesible[sp?] is good.
    When OCing, I have a little tiny bit of paranoia about someone walking up behind me & trying to take it, so I carry just forward of my hip. (Might also have something to do with curves that men don't have...)
    Am I out of line for worrying about it, even as little as I do? I know there have been attempts from behind, one of which ended very badly for the BigBox door greeter guy.

    I don't think you are out of line worrying about it, I think you are being realistic. Men (the smart ones, anyway) are concerned about it as well, whether they admit it or not. I am left handed, not that that makes that much of a difference. My holster holds it fairly high (I have a 1911) and my arm/elbow naturally falls over it.

    A group of us here in the central Puget Sound area are in the process of putting together a training session on this very thing. Don't know yet when, but it will probably be soon. We will be using the "blubie" guns, the fake plastic ones. There are a few knowledgeable people in our group who will be instructing. I would recommend this kind of training for anyone who OCs. Although it is fairly rare at the present time, I would not want to be disarmed at any time. The training will be worth it just as a little bit more "life insurance."
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  15. #15
    Regular Member DCKilla's Avatar
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    My pistol grip is right where my elbow is. In close quarters or when the situations warrants, I squeeze the pistol with my elbow up against my side. I think that it discourages gun grabs and covers the grip.

  16. #16
    Activist Member swinokur's Avatar
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    This is why I use a Serpa. Level II retention. Not perfect but certainly better than none or just level I

  17. #17
    Regular Member SnarlyWino's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by swinokur View Post
    This is why I use a Serpa. Level II retention. Not perfect but certainly better than none or just level I
    +1 there. Level II retention will buy you that extra second to react accordingly to a potential gun grab.
    Keep Calm and Carry On,

    Snarly

    Pro Deo, Pro Familia, Pro Patria

  18. #18
    Regular Member DCKilla's Avatar
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    I use the Serpa level 2 as well. You still need to be aware.

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