Finding the right holster is crucial if you’re a firearm enthusiast or someone who values personal protection. Outside the Waistband (OWB) holsters are a popular choice for many gun owners due to their comfort, accessibility, and versatility. This comprehensive guide explores everything you need to know about OWB holsters, from their advantages and disadvantages to critical features that make them stand out.
Understanding OWB Holsters
OWB holsters are designed to be worn outside the pants, typically attached to the belt. This positioning provides easy access to your firearm and allows for a comfortable and natural draw. These holsters are widely used by law enforcement, military personnel, and civilians alike.
Advantages of OWB Holsters
- Accessibility: OWB holsters provide quick and easy access to your firearm, making them an excellent choice for self-defense.
- Comfort: The positioning of OWB holsters ensures that the gun doesn’t press against your body, reducing discomfort during extended wear.
- Versatility: OWB holsters are compatible with a wide range of clothing styles, including untucked shirts and jackets, offering flexibility in your wardrobe choices.
- Holster Customization: Many OWB holsters allow for adjustments to accommodate different firearms, providing a secure and personalized fit.
Key Features to Consider
- Material: OWB holsters are commonly made from Kydex, leather, or nylon materials. Each material has its advantages, including durability, comfort, and retention.
- Retention System: Look for a holster with an effective retention system to keep your firearm securely in place. Common retention mechanisms include thumb breaks, friction retention, and passive retention.
- Cant Angle: The cant angle refers to the tilt of the holster on the belt. Adjustable cant hooks allow you to customize the draw to your preference, whether straight drop, forward cant, or backward cant.
- Belt Attachment: Attaching the holster to your belt is crucial for stability. Options include belt loops, paddle attachments, and quick-release systems.
While OWB holsters offer numerous advantages, it’s essential to be aware of potential drawbacks:
- Concealment: OWB holsters may be more challenging to conceal compared to Inside the Waistband (IWB) holsters. Consider your concealment needs before choosing an OWB option.
- Printing: The outline of your firearm may print through clothing, potentially revealing your concealed carry. Proper clothing choices and holster positioning can mitigate this issue.
Choosing the Right OWB Holster
Selecting the right OWB holster depends on various factors, including your firearm type, body shape, and intended use. Here are some tips to guide your decision:
- Firearm Compatibility: Ensure the holster is designed for your firearm model, providing a snug and secure fit.
- Comfort and Adjustability: Look for holsters with adjustable features, such as cant angle and retention, to customize the holster for maximum comfort and functionality.
- Material and Durability: Consider the fabric of the holster for your lifestyle and needs. Kydex is known for its durability, while leather offers a classic and comfortable option.
- Holster Positioning: Experiment with different holster positions on your belt to find the best combination of comfort, accessibility, and concealment.
OWB holsters are popular for those who prioritize accessibility and comfort in their concealed carry setup. By understanding the advantages, features, and potential drawbacks, you can make an informed decision when choosing the right OWB holster for your needs.
Investing time researching and trying out different options will ensure that you find a holster that securely holds your firearm and complements your lifestyle and preferences. Stay safe and carry responsibly!