In the day of restrictive no show laws, there seemed to be a need to really deep conceal carry of a gun. And yet, the desire for relatively quick access tended to make waistline carry "better" than shoulder holster, small of back, or ankle, all of which conceal more and in various ways, better.
There was also an ongoing change to more casual clothing, and a suit and tie were going out of style. Office wear was dispensing with a suit coat - which exposed anything hanging on a belt and the entire shoulder holster over a shirt.
What came on the scene was one answer, the IWB holster - in the waistband, and preferentially, under a shirt which would tuck in over the holster hiding it. But, there were disadvantages - it requires a larger waist band size, larger gun belt size, and appropriate management of lubricants so that shirts and pants didn't get stained. It was taken in stride as part of the requirements to carry, concealed, and to prevent being found out. The social stigma of carrying a gun was being politicized and some laws were punitive if the gun was "flashed." Much of that was in the 90's and early 00's when few states issued CCL's.
Now? Over 40 states issue CCL's, and over 25 are Open Carry legal. Open carry can be done more comfortably with a holster outside the belt, not inside. And the public is more accustomed to seeing guns legally carried, openly. It gives rise to asking, do we even need to carry IWB now? It's a much more specific condition of employment or that particular states restrictive laws, and it no longer a given that should be the recommended method across the board. Again, it forces wardrobe changes and belt sizing which doesn't support OWB carry. Most who carry want a specific sized garment or belt, not a one size fits more than few semi universal. A long tail on the belt hanging down or velcro to keep it neat aren't preferred.
Has IWB become like cutting off the ham by Granma? Tradition handed down without the reason? Granma had a small pan, cutting the ham was the only way to fit. Get Granma a bigger pan and it's fixed. We changed the laws a lot about carry, are we still suffering with IWB out of tradition instead of need?
There are advantages & drawbacks to concealed and open carry. The setting and context of a scenario matter. No matter how much you want to normalize open carry, there will be a large segment of the population who reacts negatively to it. For instance, open carry at a feed store in a more rural area will be looked at a lot differently than open carry at a Target in an urban area.
I don't like to advertise myself, so for me 99% of the time the discretion of concealed is what I prefer.
Your comments about open carry becoming more common and accepted may be true about some places, but hardly all. In Colorado, for example, it has long been prohibited in Denver proper and I just learned that it is now restricted throughout the state around voting areas. A relative spent six weeks in a hospital last year and if I had carried openly there I don’t believe I would have gone to jail, but the other consequences would have been extremely inconvenient to say the very least. And even where there are no legal or other restrictions, I can think of three times I saw handguns carried openly in the past decade or more. (The reason I remember them is because of how rare it is.)
I do not advertise I’m carrying even though open carry is allowed and I’ve found some extremely comfortable IWB holsters. I see other people open carry and it doesn’t seem to phase the people around here at least while I’m around. In fact, most people seem oblivious to it and I really have no issues with it. I think it’s crazy to think IWB is no longer needed as has been stated it has advantages and disadvantages as most carry methods do. In the current climate we live in today, I choose to be as invisible as possible.
"An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile - hoping it will eat him last” - Winston Churchil
|I Deal In Lead|
It's legal here, but you don't see it often.
I guess to a lot of people, it just screams "shoot me first" or sneak up and grab my gun.
Whenever I see someone open carrying in a store, I gradually move closer and closer to him while seemingly paying him no attention at all.
It's amazing how close I can get without them getting alarmed.
I carry OWB with just an untucked T-shirt. Comes down to finding the right holster on a good stiff gunbelt. Best of both worlds.
|Just because you can, |
doesn't mean you should
Legal here but not common.
I’d prefer no one knows if I’m carrying and don’t advertise that fact.
Avoid buying ChiCom/CCP products whenever possible.
Keeping the gun IWB concealment has a better chance at being a surprise if one were to find themselves in a deadly situation.
U.S. Army 11F4P Vietnam 69-70 NRA Life Member
IWB when it's warmer and OWB with a thumb snap in the Winter. I can pull off OWB in Winter with a hoodie and a jacket but I can't do it in the Summer.
I'd rather be hated for who I am than loved for who I'm not.
I have started carrying OWB more but still concealed by my shirt. So much more comfortable.
Glock Certified Armorer
NRA Certified Firearms Instructor
|Prepared for the Worst, Providing the Best|
Open carry has been legal here for years. You still won't catch me doing it off-duty. It's tactically unsound, and draws unwanted attention from those around you. I don't carry a gun to make a statement or to intimidate other people...I do it so it's there if I need it, and it's better (for a wide number of reasons) that no-one else knows I have it until I do.
As to holster comfort...it just depends on the holster. I carry OWB sometimes (still concealed), and a good holster and belt combo will allow for concealment and keep the gun secure, especially in the winter months when I wear heavier clothing. However, I also have some good IWB holsters that are just as comfortable.
The biggest comfort benefit I find from IWB is that it keeps the gun tucked tight into my body, and reduces any josteling or "flop". A good, heavy belt can mitigate this, but I've been dealing with some weight loss issues lately and it's been hard to keep everything properly fit. IWB tends to give just that much extra support to keep the gun secure without having to tighten the belt so much that it's cutting into my hips.
|I Deal In Lead|
Some IWB holsters are comfortable, and some are not. I've tried a couple that literally rubbed me raw.
For quite some time now, I've been using an Alien Gear Cloak Tuck IWB and to show you how comfy it is, once in a while I'll reach back and see if I remembered to put the gun on in the morning.
To me concealed means concealed, so for me I am IWB only and don’t think twice about it.
|Each post crafted from |
rich Corinthian leather
My vote, for what it’s worth, is: “Yes, IWB is still needed.”
I mean, how else am I going to effectively conceal and carry this 5-inch barreled N-Frame Smith?
(I realize it’s an unconventional choice, and I don’t carry it often. But it is quite doable. 5” Model 27-2 with gunleather from Barranti shown, the holster being their excellent Summer Classic. For revolvers, this has become my go-to IWB choice. As always, your mileage may vary).
"The sea was angry that day, my friends - like an old man trying to send back soup in a deli." - George Costanza
|A day late, and |
a dollar short
Open carry is legal here in Michigan, but I never do. However, I never worry about printing, or my shirt rising up when I stretch.
NRA Life Member, Annual Member GOA, MGO Annual Member
|Sigforum K9 handler|
Man, it’s a choice like anything else.
If I have pants on, I have a pistol in appendix. I put it on in the morning and take it off at night. And forget it’s there in the in between. I used to be hard core one way or another (and very anti-AIWB), but I’ve softened on the idea of one way or another.
Not a fan of open carry myself, but the streets don’t run red because of it.
"It's a bold strategy, Cotton. Let's see if it works out for them"
|drop and give me |
Personally yes for me even though OWB is legal and allowed unless on property otherwise posted... Just prefer to not draw attention to my actions... ............................................. drill sgt.
|Prepared for the Worst, Providing the Best|
Jones, if you've got a minute, I'd be interested to hear the full story of your process on this. I know AIWB is hugely popular these days, and that it can be done safely. I also know there are numerous advantages...I just have a hard time getting over some of my reservations about reholstering and where the muzzle is pointed as one carries in that manner. As someone who's opinion I respect, I'd be interested to hear how you worked through your concerns and arrived at acceptance.
Do not see but a few Open Carry here. My choice is to keep my business to myself. I do OWB once in a while when dressed to cover the way I feel comfortable.
I usually OWB, but on certain occasions I will still IWB if I need more concealment.
P229 Enhanced Elite
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