​HOW TO: Adjusting the Ride Height on Your IWB Holster

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Adjustable ride height is an awesome feature on many of our holsters. And when carrying inside-the-waistband (IWB), it can help alleviate a number of common complaints that CCWers often face.

  • Issues with printing
  • Issues with comfort
  • Issues with the holster flopping forward
  • Issues with accessibility to holster (not being able to get a full grip on the gun)

This tutorial will give you step-by-step instructions on how to adjust the ride height on the following Alpha Concealment Systems holsters:

First, identify the issue you’re facing. That will help you determine if you need to move the ride height higher or lower. Use the list below to help.

What’s my issue?

  • Printing
    • Meaning: The firearm is extremely noticeable when concealed.
    • Solution: Lower the ride height on your holster.

Try this first: Your pants and your shirt may be too small. Adjust your pant and shirt size, and make sure you’re using a good quality belt. This blog post can help you further with that.

Keep in mind: some printing is entirely normal.

  • Comfort
    • Meaning: The firearm is extremely uncomfortable and digs into your pelvic area.
    • Solution: Raise the ride height on your holster

Try this first: Your pants may be too big or too small. Adjust your pant size, and make sure you’re using a good quality belt. This blog post can help you further with that.

Keep in mind: Carrying inside the waistband will always come with some discomfort; you may never find it 110% comfortable, no matter what techniques you try.

  • My holster keeps flopping forward
    • Meaning: when wearing the holster with your firearm, the weight of the firearm causes the holster to lean forward in your pants, and away from your body.
    • Solution: Lower the ride height on your holster

Try this first: Your pants may be too big, and your belt may not be sturdy enough. Adjust your pant size, and make sure you’re using a good quality belt. This blog post can help you further with that.

Keep in mind: Your gun has a center of gravity. If most of the gun and holster is above your beltline, it’s going to be very top-heavy and lean forward.

  • Accessibility to holster
    • Meaning: I can’t get a full grip on my gun when I draw.
    • Solution: Raise the ride height of your holster.

Keep in mind: There’s always going to be a balance between accessibility and concealment, and you need to decide what’s right for you.

Now that you know what issues you’re facing, and how to alleviate them, you’ll want to identify which Alpha Concealment Systems IWB holster you’re using, to ensure it comes with adjustable ride height – you can reference the list mentioned earlier.

Remember, not every IWB holster we make comes with adjustable ride height. If it’s not on the list above, it doesn’t feature this option, and you’ll have to explore other methods for alleviating the issues you may be facing.

(Psst! All of our OWB holsters have adjustable ride height. If you’re using one of those, click here to access a tutorial on how to adjust the ride height.)

What will you need?

  • Grab a Phillips screwdriver

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Step 1:

Every IWB holster we make that offers adjustable ride height features either TWO or FOUR screws on the front of it – these screws control the adjustable retention, and also allow you to adjust the ride height.

      

Above: An IWB holster with two screws (The Apollo Appendix IWB Holster)

Above: An IWB holster with four screws (The Phoenix Ultimate IWB Holster)

Locate those screws, and remove them, as well as the 1/8” rubber spacers on the backside of the clip (or clips), and the clip (or clips) itself. Keep all other hardware in place.

Step 2:

To raise the ride height of your IWB holster:

  • Move the clip (or clips) downwards by one hole on the clip.
  • Reposition the two screws into the top two holes on the clip, and reposition each 1/8” rubber spacer behind those holes, between the holster and the backside of the clip.
  • Insert the screws and tighten – do this slowly! Even a half turn of the screws makes a major impact on your retention. If you crank the screws down all the way at first, the internal rubber spacers will become too compressed, and may not expand fully when you loosen the screws to your desired retention.
  • If your holster has a second clip, repeat the process.

The lower the ride height of your IWB holster:

  • Move the clip (or clips) upwards by one hole on the clip.
  • Reposition the two screws into the bottom two holes on the clip, and reposition each 1/8” rubber spacer behind those holes, between the holster and the backside of the clip.
  • Insert the screws and tighten – do this slowly! Even a half turn of the screws makes a major impact on your retention. If you crank the screws down all the way at first, the internal rubber spacers will become too compressed, and may not expand fully when you loosen the screws to your desired retention.
  • If your holster has a second clip, repeat the process.

Keep in mind:

  • When screwing in the screws, be sure to hold the post into place.
  • The posts may fall out of the holster once you’ve unscrewed the clip (or clips). That’s OK. Just set them aside and remember that you’ll need to reinsert them once repositioning the clip (or clips).
  • When repositioning two clips, it may be a bit tricky to hold the posts into place. It may take a few tries.
  • Alpha Concealment Systems advises customers to always use safe handling practices, and use an unloaded firearm, when testing the retention of an Alpha Concealment Systems product. Afterwards, the customer should exercise safe handling practices every time an Alpha Concealment Systems product is used in conjunction with a firearm - please consult the NRA's Gun Safety Rules

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