Preparing for Weather - How to OWB Carry
Carrying a firearm responsibly and safely is a fundamental skill for any gun owner, whether it's for concealed carry, duty use, or competition shooting. One of the key aspects of carrying a firearm is selecting and wearing the right holster. In particular, Outside the Waistband (OWB) holsters are popular among gun enthusiasts. Correctly wearing an OWB holster not only ensures the safe and secure carry of your firearm but also guarantees comfort and easy access when needed.
While OWB holsters have several advantages, they are particularly favored during the colder parts of the year for concealed carriers. However, if you’re like me, holsters like the Falco LVL II Duty Kydex Holster C911 L 2021 are great for training and range use rather than concealed carry. In this guide, we'll delve into the intricacies of wearing an OWB holster and explore why it's often more optimal during the colder seasons or training use at the range.
Get the Right Holster and Clothing for the Situation
Selecting the right holster is the foundation of safe and comfortable OWB carry. Your holster should be designed explicitly for your firearm model. This ensures that it securely holds the gun and provides proper trigger guard protection. The materials used in the holster's construction matter as well. Quality holsters are typically crafted from materials like Kydex, leather, or nylon. Each material has its advantages, so the choice may depend on your specific needs and preferences. For instance, Kydex offers a sleek, durable, and moisture-resistant option, while leather provides a more traditional appearance and comfort. When selecting your OWB holster, consider your intended use, whether it's for concealed carry, competition shooting, or duty use. In colder parts of the year, the OWB holster's added bulk can be concealed more easily beneath thicker clothing like jackets, raincoats, and sweaters.
The next step in wearing an OWB holster is ensuring that your clothing either conceals or doesn’t interfere with the holster and firearm, especially when the objective is concealed carry. Concealment is a critical aspect of responsibly carrying a firearm in public, as it helps maintain a low profile and avoids alarming others. Loose-fitting shirts or jackets are practical options for concealing OWB holsters, and during the colder months, such clothing is both practical and comfortable for those carrying OWB holsters. If your goal is range and training, you will want to do the exact opposite and tuck your shirt in, and find jackets and sweaters that can be sinched up at the bottom so your clothing can clear your gun belt, mag pouches, and holster.
How to Wear OWB Holster
An OWB holster is designed to be worn on the outside of your waistband, typically on your strong side, which is the side you draw your firearm from. If you are right-handed, you should position the holster on your right hip, while left-handed individuals should place it on their left hip. The positioning should be comfortable for you, allowing easy access to your firearm while not interfering with your movements.
Once you've selected the appropriate holster and decided on the right position, the next step is to attach the holster securely. The holster typically has belt loops or clips, and you should thread your belt through them. This is an essential step to maintain the holster's stability. A properly attached holster should sit firmly on your waist without wobbling. A secure attachment ensures that the holster stays in place and doesn't move around during daily activities, which is essential for both safety and convenience.
Train, Train, and Train Some More
With the holster securely attached, you can proceed to insert your firearm. However, before doing so, always ensure that your firearm is unloaded or cleared of live ammunition. Safety should be a top priority when handling firearms. Once you've confirmed that the firearm is safe, insert it into the OWB holster. Make sure the trigger guard is fully covered by the holster, and the gun is securely retained. This is crucial to prevent any accidental discharges or unauthorized access to your firearm.
Most OWB holsters come with adjustable retention features. These features allow you to customize the level of retention according to your preference. The ideal retention level strikes a balance between holding the firearm securely in place and allowing for a smooth draw when needed. Testing the retention is essential to ensure that your firearm won't fall out of the holster accidentally and that it can be drawn easily and quickly when required.
Before carrying your firearm in public, it's essential to practice drawing from your OWB holster in a controlled and safe environment. Regular practice helps you become proficient in drawing your firearm smoothly and safely. This is crucial for your safety and the safety of those around you. The more you practice, the more confident and skilled you'll become in handling your firearm when it matters most.
Safety should always be the top priority when carrying a firearm. Adhering to firearm safety rules is non-negotiable. Keep your finger off the trigger until you're ready to fire, and treat every firearm as if it's loaded. A commitment to safety is not only a personal responsibility but also a moral and legal one. Responsible gun ownership and carrying require strict adherence to these safety principles.
As a responsible firearm owner, it's crucial to be aware of local concealed carry laws and regulations in your area. Laws regarding the use of OWB holsters and concealed carry, in general, can vary significantly by jurisdiction. Even if you’re carrying the holster openly on your way to the range and that is legal in your state, even partially concealing the OWB holster and firearm can be construed as “concealed carry” and this could land you in legal trouble in some circumstances.
Wearing an OWB holster during the colder parts of the year offers several advantages. The added bulk of thicker clothing and multiple layers helps conceal the holster more effectively, making it easier to maintain a low profile. When combined with the right holster, clothing, and adherence to safety and legal regulations, carrying a firearm with an OWB holster can be both practical and comfortable.
Responsible firearm ownership and carry are about more than just the physical act of carrying a weapon; they encompass a commitment to safety, knowledge, and adherence to the law. By following the steps and guidelines provided in this guide, you can carry your firearm with confidence, responsibility, and peace of mind, whether it's a chilly winter day or any other season.