Inside-the-Waistband IWB Carrying Positions


Carrying a concealed firearm is a serious responsibility, and choosing the right method and position for concealed carry is essential for both safety and comfort. Inside-the-Waistband (IWB) carrying positions have gained popularity among concealed carry enthusiasts due to their ability to maintain a low profile while offering quick access to your firearm. In this blog, we'll delve into the various IWB carrying positions, discussing their advantages, drawbacks, and factors to consider when selecting the best option for your needs.

  1. Appendix Carry

Appendix carry is one of the most popular IWB carrying positions. In this method, the firearm is holstered at the front of the body, typically around the 1 o'clock to 2 o'clock position for a right-handed shooter. It offers several advantages:


  • Quick and easy access to the firearm.
  • Minimal printing (visible outline) of the firearm under clothing.
  • Maintains a high level of muzzle control, enhancing safety.


  • Some find it uncomfortable when sitting for extended periods.
  • Can be challenging for individuals with larger waistlines.
  1. Strong-Side Carry

The strong-side carry involves placing the firearm on your hip, typically around the 3 o'clock to 5 o'clock position for right-handed shooters. This position has its own set of pros and cons:


  • Comfortable for most individuals, especially when sitting.
  • Provides a natural draw motion.
  • Conceals well with the right holster and clothing.


  • Potential for printing, especially when bending or reaching.
  • Limited concealment options in warm weather with lighter clothing.
  1. Small of the Back Carry

Small of the back carry positions the firearm directly behind your back, at the 6 o'clock position. It's discreet but comes with some unique considerations:


  • Excellent concealment, especially with untucked shirts or jackets.
  • Offers great comfort for some individuals.


  • Draws from the small of the back can be challenging and less intuitive.
  • Potential safety issues when falling backward.
  • May not be ideal for individuals with back problems.
  1. Cross-Draw Carry

In the cross-draw IWB position, the firearm is holstered on the opposite side of your dominant hand, typically around the 9 o'clock position for right-handed shooters. This is a less common option, but it has its own merits:


  • Excellent concealment, as the firearm is oriented towards the body.
  • Convenient for those who prefer to draw with their non-dominant hand.
  • Comfortable while sitting.


  • May be slower to access than other positions.
  • Can be less secure when moving or in crowded environments.
  1. Hybrid Carry

Hybrid carry is a versatile IWB position that combines two or more positions. For example, an AIWB (Appendix Inside the Waistband) carry can transition to a strong-side carry when seated. This allows for adaptability and comfort.

Factors to Consider When Choosing an IWB Carry Position:

  1. Body type: Consider your body shape, size, and any physical limitations when choosing a carry position.

  2. Clothing: Your choice of clothing and your ability to conceal the firearm effectively will play a significant role.

  3. Comfort: The comfort of your chosen position, especially when sitting or standing for extended periods, is crucial.

  4. Access: Evaluate how quickly and easily you can access your firearm from the chosen position.

  5. Training: Proper training is essential for safety and proficiency in any carry position.


Selecting the right IWB carrying position is a personal decision that requires careful consideration of your body, lifestyle, and preferences. What works for one person may not work for another. Ultimately, the goal is to find a balance between comfort, concealment, and access to your concealed firearm. Remember that concealed carry is a serious commitment, and safety should always be the top priority. Before adopting any carry position, seek professional training to ensure that you are both safe and proficient in your chosen method.

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