Holster Industry Terms, Phrases, and Abbreviations Explained

So many times, we are asked to explain the various Holster Industry Terms, Phrases, and Abbreviations. And in many cases people assume something different. We thought it would be a great idea and a tool for our customers to try to define some of these terms, phrases and Abbreviations commonly used in the handgun and holster industry.

IWB Holster – IWB Holster stands for Inside the Waistband Holster.  This means the holster is placed inside the pants against your body. If you are right-handed the clip of the holster would be on the right side of the holster. An Example of this holster is our Protector Plus IWB Holster.

OWB Holster OWB Holster stands for Outside the Waistband Holster. This means the holster is placed on the outside of your pants. In this case, if you are right-handed then the clips, paddles, or belt loops would be on the left side of the holster. Some common examples of OWB Holsters are Paddle Holsters and Pancake Holsters.

AIWB Holsters -AIWB Holsters stands for Appendix Inside the Waist Band Holsters and is a definition of the position at which you wear the holster. In this case this means wearing the holster to the front of your body near the Appendix area on the Inside of the Pants.

Sweat Shield/Slide Guard – Sweat Shield also known as Slide Guard is most commonly found on IWB Holsters but is also found on OWB Holsters. This is the part of the holster that will extend up the inside of the gun covering all or almost all the Slide of the gun. This protects the gun from body sweat or the gun serrations rubbing on the skin. Here is a sample picture of a Sweat Shield.

CANT – CANT in the Holster industry refers to the angle at which the gun sits when you are wearing it. Typically, most holsters are at a Zero Cant or a 15 degree Cant. The purpose of CANT is either to make it easier to draw guns with longer barrels, or to help conceal the firearm by rotating the gun so the butt of the grip does not protrude as much. Another application of CANT is when you wear the holster in a Cross draw position. This is then a reverse cant in that the holster angles back instead of forward.

Crossdraw Holster – This holster is typically worn on the opposite side from your draw hand. The holster is typically canted towards your draw hand and the holster is worn traditionally slightly forward.

Claw Attachment– A claw attachment is used to help rotate the butt of the gun against your body more, helping to conceal the gun. Depending on the style of the claw attachment it can be mounted on the holster in a variety of locations.  The claw typically extends away from the holster, but parallel with the holster. The belt then presses on the Claw attachment rotating the holster so the butt of the gun is pressed inward against your body. Here is an example of a Claw Attachment.

Versa Clip– The Versa Clip is our version of a over the belt clip. The Versa Clip allows for adjustable cant of the holster without needing to take the screws out completely. The Versa Clip is most commonly used on our IWB Holsters and specifically the Protector Plus referenced above. This provides for a thinner profile and more sturdy carry when used in conjunction with a rigid belt. This style of Clip is also called a FOMI Clip. FOMI means Fold Over Mold Injected Clip.

UltiClip – Ulticlip is another style of clip that replaces the Versa Clip or FOMI Clip. It is designed much like a suspender clip and will clamp onto any fabric, from jeans, to leggings not requiring a belt or any other support. The UltiClip also allows you to tuck your shirt in when wearing it. There are several different style of UltiClips.

Paddle Holster -Paddle Holsters are a specific version of OWB Holsters. A Paddle Holster utilizes a blade style clip that contours to the body providing more support to the holster. Paddle Holsters can be worn with or without a belt. Here is an example of a Paddle Holster.

Hybrid Holster – Hybrid means the combination of 2 different materials. Unlike traditional holsters that are either all plastic or all Leather.  Hybrid Holsters include a plastic shell or holster attached to typically either leather, nylon, or some other soft material. Hybrid Holsters come in a variety of sizes and configurations. Hybrid Holsters can be used either as an IWB Holster or OWB Holster. An example is our Storm Hybrid Holster.

SIDECAR – This term typically refers to the addition of a magazine holder attached to the holster. This is commonly used when wearing a AIWB Holster.

Rail/Addon Rail– Rail refers to a channel on the front of the gun under the barrel, but in front of the trigger guard. These can be either permanently part of the frame of the gun or there are after market Rails. Also called Addon Rails that can be attached to guns without a Rail. An example of Addon Rails is made by a company called Recovery Tactical.  Rails are used to attach accessories such as Lasers or Lights.

RMR/MOS-  RMR means Ruggedized Miniature Reflex sight, while MOS means Modular Optic System. Both of these are typically mounted on the top of the gun in front of or replacing the rear sight. In many cases these replace traditional sights. When ordering a holster you need to let the company know you have one of these so the holster can be cut to accommodate the RMR or MOS.

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