Methods of Carrying a Handgun

There are various options for carrying a handgun for self-defense. They include on-body and off-body options as well as whether to carry concealed or openly.

Off-Body Carry

handgun in purse
handgun in fanny pack

Off-body carry refers typically to concealed carry of a firearm off of a person’s body but on his or her person. Off-body carry options include backpacks, fanny packs, purses and briefcases (preferably specially designed to accommodate the firearm being carried). There are many commercially available, specially designed, concealed carry accessories on the market.

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On-Body Carry

Outside-the-Waistband (OWB)

open carry revolver in holster
outside the waistband holdter

Outside-the-waistband (OWB) refers to a holster that can be worn outside an individual’s pants or waistband. Typically, an OWB holster is worn on the side of the hip at the 3 o’clock position (if the person is right handed). There are plenty of choices when it comes to OWB holsters. But it’s most important to find a holster that will remain tight against your body and flex as you move. OWB carry can be done openly or in a concealed manner with a garment that covers the firearm.

Inside-the-Waistband (IWB)

inside the waistband holster
IWB holster

Inside-the-waistband (IWB) refers to carrying a firearm inside the waistband of your pants. They can be made of various materials including molded hard plastic, leather, and nylon.

Appendix Carry (AIWB)

appendix carry
AIWB

Appendix carry (AIWB) means to carry a firearm inside the waistband of your pants at the 12 to 1 o’clock position (if the person is right handed).

Strong-Side Carry (IWB)

strong side carry
closeup image of strong side carry

Strong-side carry (IWB) means to carry a firearm inside the waistband of your pants at the 4 or 5 o’clock position (if the person is right handed).


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The information contained on this website is provided as a service to USCCA, Inc. members and the concealed carry community, and does not constitute legal advice. We make no claims, representations, warranties, promises or guarantees as to the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information disclosed.