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Different Ways to Concealed Carry Around the Waist

So, you’re interested in getting your CCL! it’s time to look at the different concealed carry positions, or at least get familiar with the different styles to find what works right for you. Concealed carry around the waist is likely what comes to mind when someone says they’re carrying. Some of the popular concealed carry positions would be: Around the Waist
  • 3 o’clock position
  • 1 o’clock position
  • 6 o’clock position
  • 4 o’clock position
  • Inside the waistband
  • Outside the waistband
Each position has its own upsides. So let’s take a closer look at which might work best for you depending on what your preferences are:

Around the Waist

The most popular place for concealed carry is around the waist. Sometimes known as “around the clock,” this style of concealed carry is depicted as looking down at your waist as a clock face. Carrying in this fashion places your firearm at an easy-to-grab location. There are a variety of different ways to carry around the waist.

3 O’Clock Position

Arguably the most iconic way to carry a weapon, the 3 o’clock position places the firearm on your right hip. It’s common for people who open carry also to place their firearms in this location. The benefits of 3 o’clock position are that it’s a really comfortable way to carry and hold. Any body type can make this one work. Plus, it’s extremely easy to access a firearm from a standing position. And if you have a variety of firearms, most firearms can be carried in this position. Now for the not-so-great parts. This position isn’t easy to access from a seated position, and it will probably require more clothing to conceal. Smaller people might experience some weapon visibility/printing depending on the clothes.

H3: 1 O’Clock Position

Another popular area to carry is at the 1 o’clock position or the appendix carry. Here, the firearm is placed on your waist’s front, right side. This is most often an inside-waistband (IWB) carry. Drawing your gun from this position is less obvious than others, and you can use either a strong-side or cross-draw for the 1 o’clock position. The cons are that this position is primarily used for smaller weapons. Bigger people with larger midsections are going to struggle carrying in the 1 o’clock. You have to play it safe; the firearm is always pointed at the sensitive spots of your body while carrying. Because of that, you can’t really sit because it’ll press into your stomach.

6 O’Clock Position

The small of the back is another name for the 6 o’clock position. This is where the firearm rests in the center of your waist on your backside. Many people use this as a place to carry a second weapon. Some perks to this carry style include excellent coverage for the firearm, with negligible printing. Plus, most firearms can comfortably fit here. However, at a 6 o’clock, you’ll have a noticeable draw that might be slower than in other positions. Sitting down can also be complicated.

4 O’Clock Position

This position is known as the kidney carry. Firearms are placed behind the hip and to the right side of the small of the back. (If you know anatomy, you get the name now.) Some perks of the kidney carry are that most people can easily carry from this position, no matter your body type. Secondly, it doesn’t need specific types of clothing to conceal. The downsides are 1) a more exaggerated draw and 2) awkward sitting, as you’re nearly sitting on the firearm in this position.

Inside the Waistband

When carrying around the waist, there are two styles to do so. The first of which is the inside waistband (IWB) carry. Firearms are placed on the interior of your pants when carrying in this manner. Some perks to IWB carry: 1) it’s less dependent on clothing to conceal the firearm, 2) it doesn’t often have printing issues (being seen in the clothes), 3) is pretty good at fully concealing a firearm. The downsides are that it can restrict the size of the firearm you carry. It places that firearm much closer to the ‘crown jewels’ or sensitive personal spots. And, lastly, your body type will play a role in how comfortable this carry style is for you.

Outside the Waistband

The other way to carry around the waist is outside the waistband. The firearm is carried in a holster on the outside of the pants. Also, this is the most obvious way to carry a weapon. It’s also how to conceal carry with a tucked-in shirt for you tucked-shirt fans. Some pros to outside-the-waistband carry are that it offers easy access to your firearm. It’s also one of the most comfortable ways to carry. However, it’s not easy to conceal without oversized clothing. You’ll also likely need both hands to draw. Drawing while seated is also limited. At Split 2nd Training, Florida’s premier concealed carry trainers, we want people of all backgrounds to feel confident and comfortable properly handling guns. We’ll help you get comfortable with firearms and their placement.  To learn more about our classes, see which one is a fit for you.