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Appendix Carry: What say you?

In the 1990s, when I first started going heeled, there was not a lot of info out there. The concealed carry market was smaller and most shooting rags focused on carry for police and not armed citizens. I wasn’t police. So, I was not about to strap on a duty belt and try to cover it with a parka. I did learn from my dad to get a good holster, so I never really went through that cheap holster phase. As an aside, one thing people don’t think about when buying a new gun is accessories. And one should really buy a quality holster. So, I had a damn fine gun and a decent holster (it was similar to this but without the thumb strap). Well, I strapped it up appendix style because it was convenient; fit my style of dress; was very concealable; and I could manipulate it well.

Then, the internet happened. And I learned that going appendix style was stupid because you could shoot your femoral artery or blow your dick off. I was concerned mostly about blowing my dick off.

Well, apparently appendix carry is a thing again, even among people I actually whose gun advice I take seriously.. There are quite a few pros to this method:

  • Control and retention
  • Faster draw
  • Comfort
  • And a few more that apply only to the tacticoolest operatingest war fighters, such as better CQB something or another.

    But, I’m still worried about the whole blowing your dick off thing, which they say is mitigated by paying attention and doing the uncool thing of looking at your holster before reholstering. But on the draw, when your muscles constrict, this doesn’t seem helpful. Because you’re probably going to be focused on the thing you are about to put holes in. So, blowing your dick off or capping a major artery would make you pretty useless in a gun fight.

    What do you think?

    57 Responses to “Appendix Carry: What say you?”

    1. M Gallo Says:

      Alan556 your close mindedness has been noted. I prefer to not teach close minded or otherwise stubborn people (often referred to by other students as “that guy”) so your proposal seems acceptable to me.

      When you are wearing a gun, the muzzle is always pointed somewhere, and rule 2 is constantly broken during proper holstered carry. This only becomes an issue with bad gear, or during manipulations (drawing or holstering). Good guns in good holsters do not “go off.”

    2. LKP Says:

      I hate to tell you this but you can carry behind the hip, have a negligent dishcharge, have the bullet travel through vital organs and still shoot your dick off. Not likely, but still possible. So your advice to keep your finger off the booger switch is still good advice.

    3. Kristophr Says:

      I think an appendix is too squishy and icky to use as a weapon.

      I’d rather carry a pistol.

    4. Daniel Says:

      I’ve been carrying AIWB for years. The main danger is shooting yourself when drawing while seated in a pressure situation. My estimation is that is most likely in a car. Carrying strong-side presents a little less danger in this specific situation, because while you _can_ draw and present while seated without covering yourself at all, I’m talking about a _pressure situation_ where you are likely to cover yourself drawing from strong side anyway. I’ll concede that it is less likely carrying strong-side in that specific situation than AIWB, but still possible given the pressure. As other’s have mentioned, practice, and more practice, mitigates this issue with either carry method.

      Drawing under pressure in a standing position is a non-issue, the muzzle is already away from my body on the draw, and it never crosses it during presentation. For this situation, I believe that AIWB is actually _safer_, as no part of my body is ever muzzled on presentation.

      As far as re-holstering, I can’t think of a situation where I would _have_ to do that while seated. I never re-holster while seated. I’ve practiced-into-habit re-holstering with my strong side leg back, my weak side leg forward, so there is no chance of shooting myself in the leg while re-holstering. Even then, I always look at the holster (why would I re-holster if I can’t afford to look down for a few moments to carefully ensure I’m not going to ND?).

      I’m not worried about the gun “just going off” in my holster and hitting my femoral artery. I carry a reliable gun in good working order in a good (kydex) holster. My current holster is the Raven Concealment ACR. The likely-hood of the gun going off while holstered is well-balanced with the ease/speed of presentation in almost any position, along with the ability to counter the elbow lock maneuver that others have mentioned, along with comfort.

      I’m overweight, but not massively so. I wear my belt _above_ my belly-bulge, and my body shape is such that there is a hollow between my belly bulge and my chest that the butt of the gun naturally goes into. As you might imagine body shape has a lot to do with how comfortable a carry method is for a particular person, and not everything works for everybody. However, just because you’re fat doesn’t mean that it won’t be comfortable, it depends on your shape and where you put your belt that matters the most.

      I’ve drawn and presented 10’s of thousands of times over the years, thousands of those while seated, and hundreds and hundreds of those times while seated, I’ve never once ND’d into my body. That’s the real sauce for any carry method, practice, practice, practice.

    5. Daniel Says:

      * and hundreds and hundreds of those times while _under pressure_

    6. Skip Says:

      Fuck that. A.E Nelson 58H shoulder rig!
      Farmer Frank turned me on to them.
      Been packin’ for years, comfortably,safely, very fast presentation, summer or not.

    7. Sid Says:


      I enjoy this forum. Thank you for responding. But I do not fundamentally misunderstand the issue.

      Negligent discharges are just that. Negligence. Predicting negligence is not practical. What does someone do under stress? Exactly what they have practiced until muscle memory has set. Concealed carry requires practice for any position. Shoulder holstering close to your heart. OWB close to your femoral artery. AIWB close to your other femoral artery.

      Unless you are only considering ankle holsters, you are running the risk of holstering your handgun near a vital organ at all times.