Finding that "perfect" concealed carry holster is almost a never ending quest for individuals who carry concealed. Most people go through a series of holsters in a trial and error process trying to find the perfect combination of comfort and concealment.

In most cases, handgun owners end up with the proverbial "box of holsters" that end up sitting around without being used.

Monday, December 28, 2009

What's An IWB Holster?

IWB is an acronym for "inside the waistband", and it is generally used to describe weapon holsters that are worn in that way. IWB holsters can mount to the belt via a number of methods including a steel clip, leather snap straps, kydex clips, or even velcro.

IWB holsters generally offer the best option for concealed carry as the largest part of the weapon is hidden below the waistband inside the pants. While the barrel is covered within the waistline, the grip rides just above the belt. For optimal concealment results, stick with smaller to mid sized weapons with IWB carry. With IWB holsters, you'll find that the larger the pistol, the more difficult it is to conceal. Large framed weapons like a H&K full size USP or Glock 34 will be much harder to conceal than a Glock 26. Single action, single stack weapons such as the Colt 1911 series may be as long barrel-wise as a full size pistol, but the reduced single stack width makes that type of weapon easier to hide.

Some IWB designs also come with added features that are designed to increase their usefulness or performance. Some of those features include:

Cant or Ride - This option references the angle that the holster sits or rides while on the belt or waist. Some IWB holsters offer a forward cant ride while others ride straight up and down. Some of the more hihg end models even offer an adjustable cant feature where you can set the cant angle yourself.

Bodyshield - A body shield is a special item on the holster that prevents the grip of the handgun from actually making direct contact with the user. This feature can help with comfort as the rough edges of the weapon don't touch the user. For many leather IWB holsters, the bodyshield is built into the design. Bodyshield or sweatguard - This term refers to a piece of the holster that is built to keep the handweapon from touching the shooter. Most bodyshields or sweatguards are part of the holster design, and are considered a nice option to have.Body shield (also called a sweatguard) - These are special flaps of leather or kydex that serve to protect the user from the rough parts of the weapon. The device "shields" the owner so the weapon doesn't physically come in contact with the shooter.

Thumb break - A thumb break or retention strap as it's sometimes calledknown as, is a leather snap strap that fits over the end of the weaponhandweaponpistol or the grip area to keep it in place within the holster. Most retention straps are single ply and featureconsist of some type of button, snap, or release mechanism that has to be activatedinitiated before the weaponpistolhandpistol can be drawnremoved from the holster.Retention Strap - This is a strap that fits over the rear slide or grip of the weaponhandweaponpistol and servesfunctions to keep it in place. Most retention straps requireneed some type of activation so the weapon can be drawnwithdrawnremoved from the holster. In most cases, the retention strap can be released via a snap or button. Retention straps are beneficial for shooters who are active or off duty law enforcement officers.Thumbreak or retention strap - The term refers to a strap or retention device of some sort that keeps the weapon seatedaffixed in the holster until it's ready to be drawn Most retention straps use a snap or other device to release the retention so the weapon can be drawn.

Tension screw - A tension is a device that is different from a thumb break. The tension screw is a screw designfeature that allows the draw tension on the holster to be adjusted to the shooter's preferencestastes. Tightening the screw down means that the weapon will need more force to draw it, while loosening the screw makes the weapon draw easier.Tension adjustment screw - A tension screw is usually a single or double set of screws that built into the holster so that the draw tension can be adjusted. This allows the draw tension to be set to the users personal preferences.Tension screw - This refers to a screw or set of screw adjustments that allow the draw tension to be adjusted. The tension screw or screws give the shooter the ability to tighten or loosen the tension of the draw.

If you are still trying to find a good concealed carry holster for your weapon, you might want to try an IWB holster as it can be an excellent option.Used with an appropriately sized weapon, an IWB holster can be an outstanding choice for conceealed carry. IWB holsters provide a good, stable platform for concealed carry as they allow the weapon to remain concealed within the waistband.


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