The weapon carry position

In the previous blog, we spoke about the importance of carrying a gun in a holster. We compared the three main requirements- safety, effectiveness, and wearing comfort. Following these guidelines, holsters were sorted into basic categories: IWB, OWB, Shoulder Rig, and Leg holster. Today we will be moving further and talk about other criteria for choosing the right holster.

The three important questions:

Let us sum this up. You decided to wear a gun in the holster. You know that holsters are sorted by the style of carrying into categories such as IWB, OWB, Shoulder Rig, and Leg holster. What else should you consider while choosing your favorite holster? It should be the cant of the gun, the weapon carries position about the dominant hand, and finally the design of the holster. Just break this down quickly.

Concealed carry holster A805 worn at 2 o'clock. Credit: Luca Muccichini

The weapon carry position

The belt position of a holster about the dominant hand. See our clock face for better imagination. The 12 o’clock position stands for a belt buckle, while the 3 o’clock represents the right hip of a righthander and so on. The most common positions for gun carry on a belt are:

1 o’clock (Appendix carry)  

2 o’clock (right side front)

3 o’clock (right hip)

4 o’clock

5 o’clock

6 o’clock (Small of the Back)

11 o’clock (front of the left hip - Cross draw)

Every position of gun carry represents a different combination of factors considering safety, effectiveness, and wearing comfort.

The tilt of a gun

Two factors are affecting the tilt itself. The first is the gun carry position and the second is your biomechanics. This puzzling term stands for the mechanics of your movement- the correct palpation of the gun, that affects the gun draw. The IWB and OWB holsters usually deliver the classic 90° angle (vertical) or a positive/negative 10°-20° tilt. To assure effectiveness, certain holster types are made with even a 45° tilt. In the case of Shoulder Holsters, it is usually vertical or horizontal carry.

The design

A very individual aspect that is formed by several elements. The first and most important is a material the holster is made from. The most common are nylon, leather, and Kydex. We will go through all of the materials in another blog. Another element is the fact, if you wish to carry just a gun alone, or also some other accessories such as a light or a magazine. This affects the size and the wearing comfort of a holster. As a third element is what occasion do you need your holster for. Are you looking for a holster to use at a shooting range or for your EDC? Do you prefer sportswear or business casual? Naturally, aesthetics plays an important role, everybody has a different taste.

Pros and Cons of the common positions

12 – 1 o’clock

Used mostly with IWB holsters- the so-called appendix carry. Very suitable carry position if you sit or drive a lot. The gun draw is fast. Also, the seat belt does not obstruct while drawing. However, it needs to be said that this carry position is recommended only to those, who mastered the safe gun manipulation- while carrying in this position, the gun is aimed at your legs. In this case, a positive/negative 90° angle gun tilt is ideal.

The drawing from our Appendix carry holster A110 HARRIER. Credit: NDP Armory

2 o’clock

Very fitting position allowing quick and effective gun draw. Although it might be uncomfortable for people with stronger/bigger body type. The grip of a gun might cause pressure on the abdomen, especially in the sitting position. This discomfort can be diminished by tilting the gun more horizontally. Mainly used with IWB holsters. 

The drawing from our Kydex holster C901 at 2 o'clock. Credit: Instructor Zero

3 o’clock

The most comfortable position for longer periods of gun carrying, and very suitable in terms of achieving a quick gun draw. This position is the most universal, equally popular with IWB and OWB holsters. The holster is worn on the hip and over time becomes a part of you. The gun tilt is usually 90°, sometimes with small variation to achieve better palpation of the carried gun. This is also a wearing position you get when carrying your gun in a Belly Band.

Wearing our Premium Nylon holster C805 MAYER at 3 o'clock.

5 o’clock

The major advantage of this position consists in concealing the gun better than the 3 o’clock carry does. The carry is very comfortable while standing, somehow less while sitting. If the holster is from tougher material, this position might cause certain discomfort. While drawing a gun, your movement forms an arc that is not effective and quick. Mainly OWB holsters are carried in this position.

6 o’clock

OWB holsters include Small of the back carry. If you need maximal concealment of your gun, this is an option for you. However, it has several disadvantages. Firstly, the gun draw is not effective concerning the speed, also in the case of self-defence. Once you find yourself in a situation that requires defending yourself, you might not be allowed to reach your back and draw the gun. Moreover, the majority of physical conflict ends on the ground level when the gun carried in this position is either out of your reach or might be taken from you. This is not a very comfortable solution for your EDC and might prove very limiting to sitting or driving.

Wearing our leather holster C127 ARMADILLO at 5 o'clock.

 11 o’clock

So-called Cross Draw. Primarily used with OWB holsters. With a righthander, the gun is carried in the front of the left hip and the gun draw is done across the body. The draw itself takes a long time and is thus ineffective. This is an alternative for people who need to sit or drive a lot. The gun carry is less concealed but more comfortable.

Wearing our Premium Nylon holster C826 COOPER as a cross draw on 11 o'clock.

The outline of a gun can be ideally concealed by 2-3 layers of clothing.


You should consider well which holster you choose. Take into account your lifestyle, dressing style and when will you carry your gun: daily, or occasionally at a shooting range.

,, The gun carry style is core to effective carry and gun draw“

Mgr. Michal Bernadič

If you liked our blog, or eventually you can write better about some interesting content, please contact us here. We would be happy to publish it!

Michal Bernadič

obchodný manažér SR

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