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Do Small of the Back Holsters Really Work?

Updated: 12/26/2023
Small Of The Back Holster

SOB is an acronym for small of the back and refers to gun holsters that are worn in the small of the back. These holsters can be worn on the belt or clipped on inside the waistband. A number of holster makers produce SOB models, while others flat out refuse to produce them due to liability. There is no doubt that there has always been a fair amount of controversy over this style.

Why the controversy? It stems from some opinions about the safety and functionality of this type of holster. Those issues include:


There are three points in regard to potential safety issues.


The premise here is that the gun will be difficult to retain during an attempted grab or take-away. There are some concerns from a weapon retention standpoint that a person behind you could certainly make an attempt to take the weapon, and it would be very difficult to defend from that position.

Back Injury

Many detractors also talk about the position of the handgun on the spine in the event of a fall. You certainly could injure your spine if you fell down and landed on your back carrying a handgun in this position. Here’s a true story: once, a law enforcement officer slipped on icy steps leaving his house and injured his spine when he fell on his weapon being carried in the SOB position. Did the weapon or the SOB carry do all the damage? Who knows.

Sweeping the Body

Another major concern associated with this style of carry involves potentially sweeping the kidney area with the muzzle during the draw. The thought process here is that, during a moment of stress, the shooter makes an attempted draw and the muzzle does sweep the kidney area. An accidental discharge in this scenario could certainly cause significant injury or death.


From a functionality standpoint, the biggest question seems to center around the overall effectiveness of the holster in terms of performance and concealment. For most gun owners, the SOB holster doesn’t conceal well and doesn’t allow for rapid deployment.

Not a lot of gun owners are a fan of the SOB holster style. They don’t like the holster position from a defensive standpoint and the way it’s drawn. Most of them prefer a good old fashion strong side holster.

However, your own mileage may vary and you may find SOB holsters are the perfect gun holster for you. Your opinions shouldn’t stem from rumors or internet opinions on this style but from your own personal experiences. Try various SOB holsters to test and formulate your own thoughts.

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