The ins and outs of Appendix Carry

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You have seen it even if you did not know what it was. That love it or leave it method of carrying a pistol just forward of your hip and just backward of your zipper otherwise known as the Appendix. Like it or hate it, we are gonna spend some time on it so come along and grab your notes.

What is it?

The ins and outs of Appendix Carry - christophereger - appendix-1897.jpg

Appendix carry is so named as it is over the side of your waistband that your appendix, that most adorable of vestigial organs, is located. If your ran a clock around your waistline with the 12 at your navel, the appendix area would be about at your 1 o'clock and 2 o'clock positions. Your pocket line and side would be at your 3. The dead center of your back your 6, and so forth.

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(This guy from the show Criminal Minds-- not a plug-- I have to mention when talking about appendix its the only way he seems to carry a his service weapon, in an open-carry fashion)

For southpaws, there is 'left hand appendix', which is at the 10/11 position.
This can be carried either outside the waistband (which works well for open carry) or inside the waistband. As such, the abbreviations AOWB and AIWB are sometimes seen. As I feel too many abbreviations make people go cross-eyed, we will not be using those but just know they are out there if some hipster concealed carry aficionado mentions them.

The good

Appendix carry is comfortable. The body, (provided you don't shop in the husky section) has a natural indent in this area, which conceals a small to medium frame handgun very nicely. This keeps the gun from 'printing' as bad as it does when carried on the side. It also better enables to gun to be drawn while sitting which is good if you ever worry about carjacking, or active shooter situations while at work or at a restaurant.

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(Many females prefer appendix carry as it allows easier concealment especially with form fitting clothing that hugs at the hip area)

Likewise, this form of carry is lightning fast to deploy as it is inside your natural 'green zone' of your arm's ergonomic motion. Your arms do not have to extend fully to your side, reach around your back, or fish in your pockets, purse, or socks for a firearm. Since it's directly inside your core strength, this also helps with weapon's retention should someone want your piece. Remember, the further it is away from your core the less control you have over it should someone try to take it from you.

The Bad

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(See those blue and red things running down your legs from the hips to to the inside of the knees..they are bad news if they get shot, and appendix carry, either right or left, can tend to flash the muzzle over these areas.)

Open or shut, no matter who you are, boy, girl, old, young, whatever, when using the appendix carry you will have the muzzle oriented down the side of your femoral artery. This is bad relatively speaking insomuch as if the gun goes off while pointing that way, you run the risk of bleeding out in a very dramatic and horrible way.

That being said, almost any position that you have the gun oriented on your body means that it could, provided the right unfortunate chain of events, put a smoky hole somewhere in your body. This can be mitigated with training (specifically in proper holstering and unholstering with a cold weapon), and good holsters that cover the trigger guard and maintain enough rigidity to reholster properly.

The only way to completely eliminate this possibility is in having a semi-automatic on condition 3 (full magazine, empty chamber) or in having a handgun with a manual safety control.

The ins and outs of Appendix Carry - christophereger - appendix-gone-wrong-1899.jpg
Another bad thing about appendix carry is that for wide body types (present company included), that layer of bellah may prevent rapid presentation of the pistol. I personally carry in the 3-4 o'clock position most often due to this fact.

Our thoughts

Like with many things in the gunworld, there are some who like it or hate it while others are indifferent. Personally, I believe that the appendix carry has its place and have carried in that manner from time to time. Like any carry method, technique, and employment, the best thing to do is to try several different combinations until you come across one that works for you, and then train with it safely until you can master it enough to use it when you are experiencing extreme stress, auditory exclusion, and tunnel vision.

Or else you are just fooling yourself.

Firearms instructor Rob Pincus and his thoughts on the Appendix

Now that you have your notes, what is your favorite method of carry? Please enter it below.

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February 17, 2014  •  11:47 AM
I carry appendix every time I wear a belt. I use a Blackhawk leather tuckable. My pistol is a Taurus SS 709 slim, selected because it is a single stack and has both a long double action trigger pull and manual safety. These and the Never put your finger on the trigger until clear of the vitals make this a very safe means of concealed carry. Appendix carry, single stack, and this holster makes this a totally invisible and extremely comfortable carry.

When not wearing a belt or with light clothing, I use a Remora IWB, which can be placed anywhere you desire and remains in position utilizing a sticky surface and keeps it in place.

Because these holsters are both super soft and collapsable, I always remove them from my body before reholstering.

I do not get the idea of appendix being unsafe. Like Rob Pincus demonstrates, the way you draw the gun from an appendix position makes it super safe. I recommend people check this out. It is my way to carry, and absolutely no one ever knows. I think this is how we are supposed to do it.
February 21, 2014  •  08:15 AM
I carry at the 3-4 o'clock....Imma big boy, and the appendix will defiantly not work for me. I use a Blackhawk Serpa with my SIG SP2022.
March 7, 2014  •  11:03 AM
The big gut is still my problem and I find I can conceal fairly comfy with a belly band type of holster worn just above the big belly but under the man boobs, in a under the left arm cross draw shoulder holster fashion. This also works great while seated or driving. I wear over a undershirt but under a snap closure outer shirt which allows me to draw and fire in the under 2 second limit. The only real draw back I've found from this method of carry is the re-holstering requires 2 hands which I'm not too bothered by since I don't draw my gun unless I'm going to use it. If I don't have time to use 2 hands to re-holster, then I'm probably dead anyway.