What Are The Different IWB Carry Positions?

What Are The Different IWB Carry Positions?

Now that you have purchased your holster what do you do next? After you’ve adjusted the tension and carry angle, you need to learn how where to  place the holster in your waistband, and where it’s most comfortable to carry.

You bought an inside waistband holster because it’s concealable and you would want to keep it that way, right? So, let’s learn more about carrying this holster.

There are four ways to carry a pistol. You can determine which one is best based on comfort, concealability, and easy draw.

The description of each gives you an understanding of what to expect if you carry your holster in that position.

The Different IWB Carry Positions

What Are The Different IWB Carry Positions?

The positions match that of the hour hand of a clock. These positions are placed on the right side of the body. The left-handed positions are therefore the number opposite when looking at a clock.

The 2 O’clock Position 

  • The holster is placed close to the appendix or close to the front pockets. This position is ideal if you want to execute a cross draw. This means you grab the holster with the hand opposite of it
  • A reason why many prefer this maneuver is the elbow motion required doesn’t make it too obvious that you intend to draw the gun. This gives you an advantage
  • You don’t need to only perform the cross draw. The position makes it easier for your both hands to access the gun

There are a couple of carrying issues with this position.

  • One downfall of this position is mostly relevant to people that are heavier. The belly may dig into the holster which can be very uncomfortable
  • The position points the barrel towards the feet or private parts. One bad move and you can accidentally shoot these body parts
  • Sitting may also be a problem with the appendix carry position. The trigger may dig into your abdomen. Before you sit you must make adjustments

This position is not ideal if you’re carrying a full size pistol. It doesn’t conceal the pistol as well as those that are more subcompact.

3 O’clock IWB Carry Position 

  • The holster is placed on the hip. Everyday gun carriers prefer this position because it offers the greatest amount of comfort and concealability
  • The holster is positioned closer to your hand. It makes drawing straightforward and quicker

The 3 o’clock position can bring some discomfort. When you sit the tip of the holster can dig into the top of your thigh. There are two ways to rectify this.

You can adjust the carry angle to place the tip facing more upwards. Or you can purchase a holster with a hammer guard.

5 O’clock IWB Carry Position

  • The descriptive name for this is the kidney carry. It sits between your hip and the middle of your back. Similar to the 3 o’clock position, it offers great concealability and comfort. Drawing the pistol is also quick and easy.
  • The best way to conceal the holster in this position is not to tuck your shirt in. This doesn’t limit you if you do want to wear a tucked shirt. However, the problem is you can’t draw as fast because you need to first discreetly untuck the shirt, find the handle, then draw. It wastes a few important seconds during an emergency.
  • You may find it uncomfortable to sit in this carry position. You’ll experience a bit of discomfort because it feels as if your sitting against someone’s arm.

The holster can also press against the side of the chair. It then digs into your skin which can be slightly painful.

Want more knowledge? Check this out:

Best Kydex IWB Holster of 2018 – Complete Reviews with Comparison

6 O’clock IWB Carry Position

  • This is referred to as the small-of-the-back carry and it’s one of the easiest concealed positions. The holster is placed flat on your back
  • Although it has the highest concealment there are other characteristics that make it unfavorable
  • It’s best if you don’t tuck in your shirt. If you do and you sit down the tightness of the shirt outlines the holster. If you need to have your shirt tucked in you must wear some form of jacket over it. The looser material doesn’t hug your body
  • It’s more difficult to draw your gun from this position. You must bend your arms to grab hold of the handle. The motion makes it obvious that you’re trying to draw the gun

It’ll be best for you to sit on a chair with no back—such as a stool—to prevent the holster from digging into your body. If you’re sitting on a chair with a back, drawing may be slightly difficult.

You can’t swing the firearm out. You must remove it with your arm in a stiff position parallel to the chair’s back


Out of all these positions the 3 o’clock is the most popular. It offers the greatest amount of comfort, concealment, and easy draw. Now you know how to be optimally prepared in future.  Let us know what you think down below. 

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