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Posts tagged Outside-the-Waistband

Springfield Armory Holster & Mag Pouch Review

One of the incentives to purchasing a pistol from Springfield Armory is that they come with a Paddle Holster and Dual Mag Pouch.  This makes it easy to start training and/or carrying as soon as you purchase the gun.  But if you spend time on any gun forum, you will likely see a wide range of comments either giving these holster “freebies” a thumbs up or a thumbs down.  This review is based on my experience with the XD-S Gear line of products, but these are the exact same for all of Springfields handguns (XD, XD(M), 1911), only differing in dimensions for their respective guns (XD Gear, XD(M) Gear, 1911 Gear).

Paddle Holster

Because this was my first holster, my initial thoughts was that this holster is pretty nice and I didn’t really understand why there seemed to be so many negative comments about it.  The factory retention was good (until I had something to compare it to) and the holster didn’t make the gun protrude too far from my waist to cause serious printing (this differs outfit to outfit).   If you desire greater or lesser retention, Springfield supplies a hex key for adjustment.  I also really liked the ability to easily slip this holster on or off, with or without the gun, no matter the type of pants, or if I was wearing a belt or not .  For this reason, The XD-S Gear Paddle Holster is my goto around the house holster.XD-S Gear Paddle Holster w/ Sweatpants

The holster has a very slim profile and does not have a lot of extra material adding unnecessary bulk.  Even though it sits fairly close to the body, you are able to get a solid grip on your pistol before drawing.  There is a slight forward cant that makes for a more natural flow of motion on the draw.  This could take a little getting used to if you are used to stong-side holsters without a cant.

Dual Mag Pouch

Unlike the holster, the XD-S Gear Dual Mag Pouch requires a belt (you do wear belts right?); so there is no easy on and off here.   Factory retention is really good and may even be too tight for some.  As you can see from the above photo, there is a good amount of magazine left exposed for gaining a good grip for mag changes.  You can also see the awkward “V” placement of the magazines in this pouch.  This can create a problem on the draw for some.  The front mag (left) comes out smoothly with a natural motion because of its forward cant, but the rear mag (right) has a backwards cant that sometimes works against the natural draw from standard straight up draw of other mag carriers.  You can train and practice to overcome this obstacle, but if you have un-canted mag pouches for other guns, this may offset your muscle memory.


With their slim profiles, these holsters conceal fairly well.  But the more form fitting your clothing, the more likely you are to be printing.  The “V” shape of the mag pouch makes the magazines sit higher than usual, which causes printing.  I would put these holsters in the category of being dependent on the clothes.


While some may bash on these holsters like they are the worst on the planet, I find them to be adequate enough for training and carry.  Are there better products available on the market?  Certainly, but these are essentially FREE with you handgun purchase.  And if someone is purchasing their first gun, like myself, its great to not have to immediately spend more money on a holster rig that you may or may not like.  The Springfield Armory holsters and mag pouches provide a viable option to carrying a handgun and additional magazines.

Feel free to comment.  I would love to hear your thoughts on this holster combination.

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– Peace

620 Concealment OWB Kydex Holster Review

Even though I prefer IWB carry, I cannot deny the pleasure of carrying OWB with a nice kydex holster.  And the 620 Concealment OWB Kydex Holster is just that.  Let me preface this review by stating that my only prior experience with Outside-the-Waistband holsters was the XDs Gear Paddle Holster that comes with the Springfield Armory XDs Series pistols.


As with every holster that I have purchased or received, the first thing I did after unpacking this holster was UNLOAD my firearm and check the fitment and retention.  The first thing that really stood out to me was that there was this sensationally loud “click” sound when inserting the gun into this holster that I had to recreate several times before further examining this holster.

My first thoughts were, “My XDs Gear holster never sounded like this”. (I soon after dug out the hex key that came with the XDs Gear holster and tightened the retention)

Along side the positive “click” when holstering, unholstering is smooth and requires a minimal amount of force but it is enough to make sure drawing is a deliberate action.  If you have to take off running while carrying with this holster, your gun will not flop out and hit the ground.


I do believe that most will agree that, Outside-the-Waistband carry is probably the most comfortable method of on-body carry; even with the super comfortable Inside-the-Waistband holsters available today.  Even while driving, this holster was comfortable.  But because of tactics I usually remove the pistol from the holster before buckling up when carrying OWB.


The 620 Concealment Kydex OWB Holster lives up to its “concealment” title.  Even on the first day of carrying this holster I immediately noticed the difference between it and my XDs Gear Paddle Holster.  It’s slim design allows the gun to sit very close to the body, which really aids in concealment when wearing shirts that fit.  Even with this there are still some shirts that will cause printing.  But as I stated in the IWB vs OWB Carry article, it is minimal and a person would have to be look very closely to truly notice.


If you are looking for a Kydex OWB Holster for your Everyday Carry (EDC) or to add to your collection, at this price it is hard to beat this holster from 620 Concealment.  Check them out and please let them know who sent you.

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– Peace

IWB vs OWB Carry

Inside-the-Waistband (IWB) and Outside-the-Waistband (OWB) are certainly the two most common ways to carry a handgun, but the debate on which is better will go on for years to come.  Personally I prefer IWB but there are times when I opt for OWB.  If you are new to concealed carry and still trying to decide which method of carry you want to use, I hope to provide you with a resource to help your decision.

Inside-the-Waistband (IWB) Carry

For concealed carry, IWB carry is the easiest way to conceal a handgun.  This is because the slide of the gun is down inside the pants and the only thing left to cover is the grip, which is as easy as throwing on a t-shirt.  Also, inside-the-waistband carry is extremely comfortable, contrary to older beliefs, especially with the current trends of “conceal carry handguns” and the wide range of holsters available.

Printing with IWB carry is relatively minimal compared to OWB depending on the handgun and clothing style.  I am consistently able to wear very fitting clothing without printing.

Appendix carry makes concealment even easier because the average person, man or woman, is not going to be staring into another persons crotch. (Unless they are a flat-out pervert)

Tactically, inside-the-waistband carry gives you better control and access to the firearm at all times, even while driving. (which I do a lot of.)

Outside-the-Waistband (OWB) Carry

When a lot of people hear OWB carry they usually think Open Carry, which is not always the case.  Carrying concealed with an outside-the-wiastband holster is very doable, it just requires a little more attention to detail than carrying inside-the-waistband.  Even though, IWB can be extremely comfortable, there is no denying that OWB is much more comfortable because you do not have the cold, hard handgun slide down your pants rubbing against you.

If you are gravely concerned about printing or you gun being seen, I would not recommend OWB carry for you.  This is because it is very likely that throughout the course of your day, someone will see your gun via printing

or because your shirt has raised up enough to reveal the bottom of the slide, or completely exposing your handgun.  As you can see in the above photos, OWB carry with properly fitting clothing makes me look bulky round the waist and if someone looks hard enough, they will likely see the outline of my pistol.  (Adding a jacket to this outfit, would probably get rid of the awkward wideness around the hips)

One major disadvantage to outside-the-waistband carry is driving.  Once you strap on the seatbelt, your access to your firearm is greatly hindered not only by the seatbelt itself, but also your cover garment.  This tactical disadvantage is at the top of my list for why I do not carry this way on a daily basis.  When I do carry this way; however, I often remove the firearm from the holster and wedge it in-between my seat and the center console area.

(I do plan on getting a Grassburr Mountable Holster for this purpose)

Which one is better?

I would not go on record saying one method is better than the other, but I will say that if you are new to concealed carry and are fashion conscious, IWB carry is the way to go because of the ease of concealment and minimal printing even with extremely fitted clothing.  If you can afford it, I would recommend purchasing a holster for both carry methods because there are pros and cons to both and there are times when one method is clearly more desirable and/or appropriate than the other.

No matter which you chose, ALWAYS carry and look dapper while doing it!

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– Peace

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