Two of the most common terms used when describing Concealed Carry are IWB and OWB. If you are new to concealed carry or perhaps buying a CCW belt for someone else and you are not familiar with the terms you may not know what they mean. It's pretty simple so let's take a look.
IWB stands for "Inside the Waist Band". With this type of carry the holster and firearm is concealed inside your pants as shown below:
When you carry IWB you can see you may need a bit bigger belt as the firearm and holster under the belt uses up length. If you were not carrying a firearm or carrying OWB you can usually use a bit smaller belt. So what is OWB? Lets explore that.
OWB carry is the opposite of IWB carry. OWB Stands for "Outside the Waist Band. With this style of carry the holster and firearm is outside the waistband and over the belt as shown below:
OWB Carry Click
As you can see with OWB carry the belt is going through just the Holster and does not need to go over top of the firearm. This results in you usually being able to buy a smaller size belt than you would need for IWB.
So in closing the way you carry is usually up to your personal preferences. Of course when you carry OWB then it takes a bit more to conceal your weapon than IWB and prevent printing (printing is when your gun outline shows through your clothing). The whole purpose of CCW is to hide your firearm from view. Most people do not want anyone to know they are carrying a firearm hence why it is called Concealed Carry!
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If you are using your belt to carry a firearm
BUY 2 SIZES LARGER THAN PANT SIZE:
EX: 36 PANTS...BUY 40 BELT
For use without carrying items on the belt.
BUY 1 SIZE LARGER THAN PANT SIZE:
EX: 36 PANTS...BUY 38 BELT
THIS RESULTS IN A GREAT FIT OVER 95% OF THE TIME.
100% PERFECT FIT:
MEASURE A BELT YOU ARE CURRENTLY WEARING
This is super easy to do, only takes a few minutes, and virtually guarantees a perfect fit. Just follow the below instructions and make sure the belt you measure fits you well the way you will be using it with any gear attached.
Lay out your belt on a smooth flat surface. It is probably slightly curved but don't worry about that. Just measure through the curve.
Place a tape measure where the buckle meets the leather (do not include buckle length in measurement) and measure, in inches, to the hole you currently use to buckle your belt:
Scroll down to the description on the page and click on the tab that says "Additional
Sizing Help" (on mobile phones scroll down under the description, and you will see the
Now scroll down to the belt sizing chart and match the measurement you got above with the number in the "Measurement to the 4th Hole" column in the chart.
If you are between measurements, size up one unless you plan on losing weight in which case you should size down one.
For example, if you measured 37" to the hole you currently use you should purchase a 38" belt size. If you measured 38" you should purchase a 40" belt size.
Note that our belts are made by hand and variances in measurements can occur. Variances are slight, though, and will not affect the sizing.
That's it! Select your size, double check it is correct on the add to cart button, and add to cart.
And just to be safe, Hanks Belts offers free exchanges if needed, so you never have to worry about additional cost if you do order an incorrect size.