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Glock 19 Holster: IWB vs. OWB Pros and Cons

Glock 19 Holster: IWB vs. OWB Pros and Cons

Americans who have taken advantage of their constitutional right to arm themselves have been using holsters to safely and conveniently keep a firearm on their body for hundreds of years. Although the styles of holsters have evolved significantly over the years, the general principle has remained consistent. The ability to have a firearm on your body has been providing protection and peace of mind for American citizens since the early western expansion.

There is a wide variety of options to consider when you’re looking for the best way to carry your Glock 19. Depending on the state that you live in, you may be allowed to carry your firearm openly. In addition to abiding by your state laws, you will also need to factor in your personal comfort, ease of use, and safety. With so many options on the market in regard to IWB and OWB holsters for your Glock 19, responsible gun owners should educate themselves on the pros and cons of holsters that go inside their waistband and those that stay on the outside.

Inside the Waistband Holsters (IWB)

Inside the waistband holsters, or IWB holsters, have been popular since the late 1700s. There are plenty of reasons to consider this option for carrying your Glock 19.

Pros of IWB Holsters

Superior Concealment Options

The first, and most glaringly option reason to consider an IWB holster is that it provides superior concealment capabilities. Unlike their OWB counterparts, IWB holsters allow you to conceal your weapon without needing baggy clothes or a jacket of some sort. Your IWB holster allows you to put your firearm inside your pants, keeping it out of the public eye.

No Need of a Belt

Since most IWB holsters come equipped with their own clips that are designed to attach to the top hem of your pants, you won’t have to worry about wearing a belt that is strong enough to support the weight of your holster and your Glock 19.There are several types of clips on IWB holsters which means you can find the right style of holster for the type of pants that you wear most often. 

More Wardrobe Options

IWB holsters allow you to wear essentially any style of clothing. During warm summer months, you may want to wear lighter clothing, which can be difficult with an OWB holster. Since IWB holsters are specifically designed to fit your body’s natural contours, you can wear virtually any style of clothing without making it obvious that you have a weapon.

Ability to Untuck Your Shirt

Plenty of people don’t like the idea of walking around with their shirt tucked into their pants for a variety of options. Comfort, style and other factors come into play when looking for a way to carry your gun without having to tuck your shirt in. Having an untucked shirt isn’t really an option with most OWB holsters, but IWB holsters allow you to wear your shirt however you’d like.

Reduced Likelihood of Losing Control of Your Weapon

In the event that you are physically attacked, your assailant probably won’t even realize that you’re carrying a firearm if your Glock 19 is on the inside of your waistband. This means that the person who comes after you won’t know that there is a gun that they may be able to wrestle away from you. In the event you find yourself in a physical altercation, having your gun inside your waistband can help prevent an already tense situation from becoming more tense, while also ensuring that your assailant can’t take control of your firearm. 

Cons of IWB Holsters

Lack of Comfort

Ultimately, there is no way to guarantee constant comfort when carrying a holstered weapon inside your clothing. Depending on how tight your clothes fit, the position of your body for an extended period of time and a host of other factors, IWB holsters can be downright uncomfortable. You are certainly willing to exchange comfort for the convenience that IWB holsters offer, but having a holster rubbing against your skin all day can lead to significant discomfort.

Requires Oversized Pants

If you want to experience comfort while carrying your Glock 19 in an IWB holster, you will probably need to consider loose fitting pants. Since the Glock 19 is larger than many other concealed carry firearm options, pants that are already tight fitting won’t be conducive to IWB holsters. Not everyone likes loose fitting clothing, but they don’t have many other options if they want to carry their Glock 19 inside their waistband.

Harder to Draw

While you certainly aren’t looking for reasons to draw your firearm, should the situation arise, you need to be able to do so quickly. In a situation where every second matters, there is no arguing that it will take more time to get your firearm from inside your waistband than one that is carried on the outside. There is also the potential for a part of your weapon to get snagged on your pants or shirt meaning that you could lose even more time in a situation where you don’t have time to waste. If you choose an IWB holster, you should spend time practicing pulling the weapon quickly.

More Difficult to Reholster

Trying to re-holster your Glock 19 back into a holster that is inside your waistband without looking can be difficult for the most seasoned of gun enthusiasts. However, if you are in a high-pressure situation where you don’t want to take your eyes away from what is going on in front of you, IWB holsters may leave you with no other option but to look down while you attempt to put your Glock 19 back in your IWB holster. Not being fully aware of everything going on around you in a situation where you need your gun isn’t a risk a lot of people want to take. Much like the process of pulling your firearm from your IWB holster, you should spend time quickly re-holstering your weapon without spending time looking for where it goes.

Decreased Gun Safety

While the odds of an accidental discharge are minimal, responsible gun owners know that anything is possible. Guns that are concealed inside your waistband are pointed directly at your lower body. This means that a slip of the finger when you are trying to draw or re-holster your weapon could have disastrous results. 

Outside the Waistband Holsters (OWB)

Lots of firearm enthusiasts have stated their dedication to holsters that stay on the outside of their waistbands for years. OWB holsters provide a plethora of benefits making them incredibly popular among first responders, gun enthusiasts, and even hobbyists.

Pros of OWB Holsters:

Holsters Are Often More Comfortable

Since your OWB holster allows your gun to rest on the outside of your pants, they are typically considered the more comfortable option. Since an OWB holster is on the outside, no part of your holster or firearm is pressed directly against your waist or upper leg. This is especially useful if you are carrying your weapon on a car ride or other situations in which you are seated. Since Glock 19s are relatively large handguns, the added comfort of keeping it on the outside of your clothes is even more important.

Ease of Drawing Your Weapon 

According to We The People Holsters, most firearm carriers prefer OWB holsters because they are easier to draw if the need arises. Since IWB holsters keep your firearm inside your clothing, some parts of the gun or even your holster itself can get snagged on your clothing when drawing your weapon. This is especially important in a situation where every second counts. 

The ease of drawing a weapon from an OWB holster is only rivaled by the ease of re-holstering your weapon. If you are in a situation where you need to draw your weapon, you will not want to break your line of vision and fumble around with reholstering. OWB waistbands ensure that you can keep your eye on the situation.

Gun Safety

Responsible gun owners recognize that the most important part of carrying a firearm is doing so safely. IWB holsters automatically point the barrel of your gun towards your lower body. Conversely, OWB holsters allow you to keep the barrel of your handgun pointed away from your body. One of the most fundamental aspects of gun safety is only pointing your weapon towards something you’re prepared to shoot. OWB ensures that you’re not pointing at your own foot or leg.

Cons of OWB Holsters:

Potential for Gun Snatching
If a criminal still decides to attack you after seeing your 
weapon, having your gun on the outside of your waistband makes it more likely that they can wrestle your firearm away from you. Even with the snaps and other safety features that a good holster provides, an assailant may have the opportunity to get your Glock 19 from your OWB holster and use it against you or someone else.

You May Need a Special Belt

Your Glock 19 has some weight to it, which means your OWB holster will require a sturdy belt to ensure that there is no sagging or stretching. While this may seem like a minor inconvenience, not everyone wants to have to replace their belt for the sole purpose of being able to carry their weapon. 

Difficulty Concealing Your Weapon
Depending on the situation, you may want to keep your Glock 19 concealed even if you are allowed to carry it openly. It is important to note that in most places, if your firearm is concealed behind a jacket or other baggy clothing, it is still considered a concealed weapon. Depending on your usual style of clothing, it may be significantly more difficult to conceal your Glock 19 in an OWB holster.

Final Thoughts

Ultimately, the holster that you choose will be dependent on what you are looking for when carrying your weapon. You will need to consider your own personal comfort, how comfortable you are drawing and re-holstering a weapon, and a myriad of other factors. At the end of the day, the most important part of choosing your holster is finding one that ensures that you are safely in full control of your Glock 19.

At We The People Holsters we know that choosing the right holster is every bit as important as choosing the right firearm or ammunition when defending yourself, your loved ones and defending your Second Amendment rights. In addition to OWB and IWB holsters, we also offer a wide variety of magazine holsters that allow you to carry extra rounds for your Glock 19 so you are always prepared for whatever situation you may find yourself in. Be sure to look at our magazine holster options here.