SKILLS: The Case For Appendix Carry

Picking a holster position for concealed carry is a very important decision to make. Here’s one opinion from a trusted source. READ MORE

appendix carry

SOURCE: Team Springfield, posted by Mike Seeklander

I am often asked about my handgun carry position and the reason for my choice. There are some subtle, yet important, differences in the defensive draw process versus the competitive draw process. There are several crucial steps to performing a lightning-fast concealed draw.

While drawing a handgun quickly under the stress of an attack is important, there are other critical factors in accessing your handgun.

In previous years, I always used some sort of strong-side carry method, including belt-type concealed carry holsters in leather gear made by Bianchi and Safariland, as well as duty holsters when I was a police officer in Knoxville, Tenn. I also carried in a custom shoulder holster for a bit of time after I moved on to the Federal Air Marshal Service and spent a significant amount of time in a seated position.

It was during that mission that I began to consider the downsides to carrying a handgun in the typical strong-side position, simply because accessing the gun while seated was so difficult. I began my first experimentation carrying in the appendix position at that time. In the end, I had key reasons I ended up picking the appendix position as my primary carry method.

The appendix carry position offers me more flexibility — the pros vastly outweigh the cons. Whether seated at a desk or in a car, it’s my position of choice. And with shorter, more compact guns like the XD® Mod.2™ Sub-Compact, comfort and concealment are not an issue. Appendix carry allows me to draw the handgun quickly, efficiently and with my support hand if necessary.

Finding the ideal holster that allows for safe re-holstering is a primary consideration when appendix carrying. If safety rules are violated in any way, you will get hurt. Years ago, I took a class with Todd Green that was specific to the appendix carry position. He taught a very deliberate method of re-holstering that stressed keeping the gun pointed in a safe direction at all times. In my own classes, I make students that wish to carry in the appendix position demonstrate safe re-holstering several times with an unloaded gun before allowing it in the class.

The bottom line? The one risk to the appendix carry position is that the gun can be pointed at the lower extremities while re-holstering if the shooter is negligent. This carry position requires attention to detail and training. If you are not committed to both, select a different carry method. Remember:

Select a high-quality holster designed for IWB (“inside the waistband”) carry, and never try the appendix carry position without a holster.

Keep the muzzle pointed away from your body while safely indexing the muzzle in the holster. 

Keep your finger indexed along the slide — not in or on the trigger guard.

Use the support hand to clear your cover garment.

Be very slow and deliberate — there’s no rush to put the gun away once it is out.

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4 thoughts on “SKILLS: The Case For Appendix Carry”

  1. I will NEVER Appendix Carry for simple reasons of: 1. Don’t want an accidental discharge (they happen) to shoot my nuts off. 2. Shoot my Femur Artery and Bleed out. 3. It is NOT a Natural Draw and takes a few more mille-seconds to bring it to bear

  2. Appendix carry isn’t for those of us who don’t have flat bellies. I liked strong side carry for years until it started causing sciatic nerve problems. Now I carry with a cross draw holster. Easy to deal with standing, seated, driving, etc. All it takes is some practices with the right holster, in or out of the waistband.

  3. There is a second “risk” – concealment may not be as easy as other positions with the same clothing and carry style. I could never completely conceal one there with my daily dress, though I can conceal a full size pistol in other positions.

    I have been carrying a 1911 at the appendix for MANY years, for the reasons you state- drawing from sitting/standing/kneeling is always possible, and nobody has ever seen the handgun print and know it is there, untll or unless I show them.
    BTW- I am only 5’5″, and that IS the best way to conceal I have found.

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