Waist Carry Option Considerations

By George Devinny. August 15th, 2018

The uptake on concealed carry continues to increase but overall it seems the percentage nationally remains quite low. That aside, there are numerous factors that need to be addressed by those who seek to carry, perhaps the most important being the acceptance and implementation of the implicit responsibility. Further to that is the need to be totally familiar with a particular firearm as well as safe competence in handling - usually improved by at least some degree of training and practice.

This short analysis is primarily looking at actual carry methods and the relationship between those and body type - primarily the on body holster approach using either inside the waist band (IWB) or the outside the waist band (OWB) method. Of course various other options are possible such as shoulder holster, pocket carry, purse carry etc, which all have to also be chosen according to environment, gun size, clothing (cover) choices and general preferences.

So, IWB and OWB - which will suit the individual who chooses waist carry? Consider now the image above which shows two rather exaggerated profiles - the one on the left is representing the endomorph body type and on the right the ectomorph type. These are the two extremes with mesomorph between the two - a sort of 'straight up and down' shape. The point to take away here is how clothing can hang such that the endomorph with relatively broad shoulders and narrow waist can easily manage OWB because the cover garment hangs away, reducing the chance of printing. Of course IWB is equally suitable if chosen. The ectomorph however, being rather narrow above and a bit generous round the middle, will easily print with OWB because the clothing is hanging against the body instead of away - thus IWB is much the preferred method for more successful concealment. A 'tuckable' being another option.

This is a very simplified opinion on waist carry options but it's surprising how some people do not realize the importance of selecting their waist holster method to suit their body type, along with suitable choice of cover garment (that almost another subject in itself). This still only scratches the surface with regard to carry aspects but hopefully provides some food for thought when making a choice.

Addendum, from Bob M:
As a physician subscriber to the JPFO emails, I just thought you'd like to know that George Devinny got his physiotypes completely wrong --
The ectomorph is the thin-boned, thin-muscled physique, typified diagrammatically by a vertical, narrow rectangle.
The mesomorph is the broad-shouldered, narrow-hipped, heavily-muscled sort, typified diagrammatically by an inverted triangle.
The endomorph, defined as "having a tendency toward globularity", is the traditionally fat person, typified diagrammatically by a circle.
The figure pictured on the left in the article is essentially mesomorphic, while that on the right is essentially endomorphic.
No ectomorphic figure appears.

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