Confessions of an Appendix Carry Convert

I’m a Glock guy. I’m also a “100% carry where legal” guy and a “I don’t want people to know I’m carrying” guy. Glocks aren’t always the easiest thing to conceal in the t-shirt & jeans ensembles I typically wear. And I often find myself carrying in places where it’s legal, but frowned upon. That being the case . . .

I needed a better concealment solution than the strong-side hip IWB holster I’d been using for so long. That location just doesn’t work well for me, especially when carrying my kids or bending down to intercept the newest sidewalk delicacy they’ve discovered before it hits their lips. I find myself worrying too often about blatant printing or my shirt riding up over my gun.

So…last month I began appendix carrying my G19 and G26 in a leather Bianchi Professional IWB holster. Instantly my concealment issues went away; I can bend over, reach up, carry the munchkins or just about anything else I need to do without worrying I’ll inadvertently display my means of protection. But the change wasn’t without a fair amount of concern. At least at first.

The obvious: I’m now pointing a gun directly at an area I really, really, really don’t want to take a bullet. But I got over that pretty quick. We all know guns don’t just ‘go off’ without physical interaction (contrary to what many gun control advocates think). I’m using a high quality holster so the trigger is well protected. Once you get past the realization of where the gun’s pointed and that it’s safe…it’s really becomes a non-issue.

Re-holstering, though, is a different beast. That’s when most accidents happen and I train a lot where I have to re-holster a hot gun. Now, though, I’ve become much more “involved” in this motion – looking closely at the holster, clothing, and just triple checking that there’s no way to send a round where I don’t want it go.

This, after all, is the biggest issue with appendix carry. But it’s easily rectified by just paying attention and being very deliberate in your motions. I realized I was probably not paying as much attention as I should have been, even when re-holstering while carrying strong-side hip.

Comfort is another difference from hip carry. Appendix carry, in my opinion, can be just as comfortable if you accept the fact that the gun is going to “ride-up” a little when sitting, depending on how you wear your pants and the barrel length of your firearm. This doesn’t impact concealment, but this is where you really want a high quality holster that’s going to hang on to your belt. A cheap nylon thing – or frankly even something like a Remora – isn’t the way to go for appendix carry.

So while the deeper level of concealment I get is great, draw speed has also greatly improved. It’s easier and more reliable for me to pull my shirt up in front rather than trying to sweep it to get to a three or four o’clock position. The up-front location results in less reach distance and fewer motions required, so it’s naturally faster.

It’s also a lot better in the car. Strong side hip carry in a vehicle can make it extremely difficult to draw with the seat belt or buckle covering your heater. Appendix carry actually allows the belt to run across the front of the holster, allowing you complete access to the firearm just in case that carjacker sticks a knife to your neck.

Have I totally abandoned my other carry methods? Well, as far as strong-side hip carry goes, yes. That means my beautifully worn and ragged Crossbreed horsehide Supertuck has been retired to the safe. That said, I haven’t totally abandoned ankle carry. But I only use it in situations where I need the deepest level of concealment with my G26. It’s for those situations when I don’t even want the slightest possibility that someone will know I’m carrying. I’m willing to sacrifice accessibility for deeper concealment in those few situations.

So after years of strapping one on my strong-side hip, now I’m officially an appendix carry convert. The “no-touch” zone where my gun now sits insulates me from both visual and felt concealment issues. Pair that with the improved draw speed and we’ve got ourselves a winner.

My G26 is virtually invisible even under a t-shirt and my G19 is easily concealed under most t-shirts, polos and other heavier, looser garments. Go ahead and try it out. Give it a week and you might make the switch, too. Just be sure you put in the practice reps to get comfortable enough on the draw that you don’t sweep yourself or anyone to your weak side, OK?