With break action firearms and long guns without a sling, the side or elbow carry position is typically considered a safe way to carry. With commonly used handguns, the inside the waistband (IWB) position is often recommended for concealability, access, and convenience, although this is somewhat subjective. Today, the firearms safety and training experts from Online Texas LTC, your premier choice if you want to take a high-quality Texas CHL class, go over what to consider with common firearm carrying positions so you can use a carrying method that’s both safe and comfortable for you.
Elbow/Side Carry (for Long Guns)
Side carry or elbow carry is comfortable and natural for many individuals regularly using long guns like the ones used for hunting. It’s generally considered a safe carrying position, since the firearm rests in your elbow where it naturally bends so the barrel points downward. This is generally the recommended carry without a sling. If your long gun has a sling, there are additional carry methods available.
Inside the Waistband (for Handguns)
This is the most popular style of carrying for concealed handguns. As long as proper safety rules are followed and a proper holster is used with the handgun, IWB is a very safe method of carry as well. Since the firearm is inside your waistband, it’s firmly held in place when it’s in a properly sized and used holster.
Typically, IWB means the 4 o’clock position if you’re right-handed and 8 o’clock if you’re left-handed. There’s the risk of printing with certain shirts or tops with this position. This isn’t much of an issue, though, if you’re mindful of what you’re wearing when you’re carrying. AIWB means “appendix inside the waistband.” This method of carry has become more popular recently and positions the handgun at the 10 o’clock to the 2 o’clock position at the front of your waist.
Making Other Carrying Positions Safe
Having a natural draw position tends to lend itself to safety. Otherwise, you may be struggling a bit if you need to quickly access your firearm, which can present some personal safety risks. For example, outside the waistband (OWB) is another popular carrying position many handgun users find flexible and natural. The downside is you’re somewhat limited with what you can wear when you conceal carry rather than open carry.
Personal comfort is an understandable factor to consider with the position for carrying that’s safest for you. Balance this out with safety by:
• Avoiding positions that leave your firearm pointing in a potentially dangerous direction
• Ensuring your handgun is in a correctly sized and properly secured holster
• Avoiding positions that make it too difficult to safely and quickly access your firearm
Being Mindful of Carrying Safety Tips
A good starting point with firearms safety when carrying is to find a position you’re comfortable with—one that doesn’t significantly affect your personal comfort or safety and keeps your firearm safely positioned. Further enhance the safety of your carrying position by keeping the following safe carrying tips in mind:
• Select the right firearm for your needs
• Use a higher-quality kydex holster that firmly supports your handgun
• Choose a holster that covers the trigger guard
• Wear clothing that still allows you to safely carry and access your firearm
• Practice accessing and using your firearm in an appropriate location to increase your comfort and confidence
Whichever method of carry you choose, make sure to practice with an unloaded gun first to become comfortable with drawing.
No matter which carrying position you choose, safety should always be your top priority. If you’d like to learn more about gun safety, taking an LTC class, or any other aspect of firearms ownership, reach out to the experts at Online Texas LTC today at 512-675-2206.