sidecar1I know appendix carry enjoys increasing popularity among younger shooters and not a few hipsters. It’s also the choice of many keyboard commandos who want to be just like their heroes in the gun community. To say nothing of the folks who think they can buy skills in a bubble-pack on aisle three of their local Cabelas/Bass Pro.

I’m no fan of appendix carry (sometimes called AIWB – appendix inside the waistband) for one reason: it’s unsafe. If you screw up your holstering, you will likely die.

I’ll repeat that for those who speed-read past it the first time: if you mess up while holstering with appendix carry, you will be in serious trouble. At best, you’ll probably blow apart your reproductive parts. Just about as likely, you’ll going poke one or more holes in your femoral artery. At that point, you’ll have the rest of your life to regret your AIWB carry method…which won’t be very long.

sidecar_supportthetroops_glock_ccw_1

Granted, appendix carry offers good concealment and fast presentation. With a good rig and the right body type it can be every bit as comfortable as other carry options. But it won’t work with all body types.

aiwbnot

If your skills are minimal or marginal, AIWB is a disaster waiting to happen. If you’re an appendix carry devotee, you can’t practice until you get it right. You better be practicing until you can’t get it wrong.

So you’re an appendix carry aficionado and you say that you’re confident in your reholstering skills, eh? Stuff happens, even to the best of us. Want an example of what can happen to even those with extensive training and experience?

A few years ago, a training school here in Illinois had an instructor development class. These instructors, all highly experienced trainers and shooters, had excellent gun handling skills.  At the end of the day, they “gunned up” for a trip to a more gun-friendly state for dinner.

As they did their thing preparing to go out for some grub, one of the females discharged her firearm as she holstered into her AIWB rig. As I recall, she was talking with another person when her gun fired. “Ah, [bleep]!  I shot myself,” she uttered.  The state-of-the-art hollow-point entered her leg at about the crease at the hip and traveled downward.

These instructors knew more than just how to poke holes in paper. As a group, they had good medical training – indeed some were former military and had at least one tourniquet on her in less than half a minute.

EMTs responded quickly from a nearby station and got her to an ER most riky-tik, pumping fluids into her during the ambulance ride. She went right into surgery and then spent a week or more in intensive care, having ruptured her femoral in three places. She was extremely lucky to have survived.

My question to any appendix carrier (or anyone flirting with trying it):  do you think you’re going to have some medically trained friends nearby to put a CAT tourniquet on you if you screw up your re-holstering? What if you’re out in the sticks at a range by yourself with spotty cellular service and little or no help available?

raptor

“I’m cautious and skilled. I’m not worried about an accidental or negligent discharge,” you say.

Maybe you just met Mongo the Mauler in a dark alley and he wanted to do some thoracic surgery on you with his half-rusty Buck knife after you declined to surrender your wallet in a timely enough manner. You just applied some ballistic therapy to end his attack. Do you really think you’re going to be able to flawlessly execute a reholster as you’re shaking like a leaf thanks to that adrenaline dump?

Maybe you’ll actually be able to stay cool as a cucumber. Are you willing to bet your life on it? It would be a shame to survive a violent criminal attack only to do yourself in with an accident upon reholstering.

I’ve heard AIWB practitioners explain away some of these risks. “Well, I take the holster out of my pants to reholster every time.” Sure you do. “Just put the gun down somewhere instead of reholstering after a defensive gun use.” Not a bad plan, but what if you need it again quickly? “It’s safer than other carry methods.” Uh huh. Keep telling yourself that.

Yes, if I make a mistake holstering in my “late afternoon” carry position, at worst I get a new scar across my butt, but I’m not going to die of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. I’ve seriously considered AIWB carry because of its utility, but I just can’t get over the high cost of a mistake. My life’s worth more than that. Ditto for yours.

I’ve donned my asbestos suit as I expect a few flaming arrows for taking on a topic that a lot of people consider a sacred cow. Let’s hear it.

 

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188 Responses to Why I’m No Fan of Appendix Carry

  1. You didn’t mention the most important reason; if you have a small package, might as well fill the area with something!

    I have no personal knowledge.

    • Those that lack in the area, could instead rig up a system like a strap-on, so the barrel points outwards… This same system could utilize a cord trigger leading to your pocket, where you could fire the gun out your britches at your intended target. If you had time, and the skill, you could even master unzipping fast enough so you wouldn’t blow a hole in your pants. Of course that would probably lead to a competition of men carrying handguns with much longer barrels than usual….

    • Solved this valid concern with preemptive gender reassignment surgery. Now my balls don’t hurt anymore. Because, you see, I don’t have balls anymore.

    • I assume the OP assumes everyone carries a Glock or other similiar striker fired pistol with no manual safety. I have no issue whatsoever carrying a PX4. Another bit of advice would be to reholster to your holster out of the pants then place the holstered pistol inside the pants if you go the striker fired route.

  2. I won’t appendix carry. Ever. For all the reasons mentioned. 4 o’clock IWB or OWB, ankle, pocket all work for me just fine.

    I saw the aftermath of a dude that shot himself sticking a .45 in his waistband. I believe he survived but that’s the biggest puddle of blood my son has ever seen. I couldn’t see the floor from my vantage point but it looked like he $#!+ his pants. Blood on jeans looks brown.

    • I’m guessing if you put one through the back of your own taint, you’ll probably shit yourself as well as bleed a lot.

    • As the man said, “With …the right body type it can be every bit as comfortable as other carry options.” Well, I am not the “right body type,” so I don’t have to worry about the rest.

    • Ah, but think of it this way your beer gut naturally provides maximum concealment and acts as a built in pistol retention holster!

  3. Not an issue for me… my pants keep getting too tight to carry IWB anyhow. Every time I buy bigger pants, I fill ’em back up.

  4. Didn’t make it past the “everyone but me is an idiot” first paragraph.

    They really are digging in the gutter to find people to write articles.

    • Thank you for volunteering to write a interesting, original, and well reasoned article for TTAG. I can’t wait to read it!

      • This isn’t the Peace Corps and it isn’t voting. There is no rule that says we don’t get to point out bullshit like this entire article unless we’re willing to provide content for the place for free. Go get bent with that nonsense.

        Besides, he’s already doing his part by dealing with the horrible ads and with page views and clicks. Not to mention the fact that we are all already providing content by commenting. Lurkers look.

        This tripe is typical of everything Boch the Man In The Bubble writes.

        • Boch puts out a much better product than Tipton. And he don’t have all the white knights riding in every time he is criticized.

        • Gotta love the “don’t criticize me for criticizing you” attitude. Kinda hypocritical, dontcha think?

    • I agree with Greg. There’s a way to write an article without taking the first paragraph to crap on anyone who doesn’t agree with you, and most people- and writers here- recognize that.

  5. That’s why I’d never appendix carry a striker fire gun. I do carry a SA/DA at about 12:30. When I holster I put the safety on (also a decocker) and muscle memory (unconsciously and without fail) places my thumb on the back of the hammer. I’ll bet my life on it. Different strokes I guess, but I can always see my gun and anyone who can see it, I can draw very quickly, and I can draw easily from a seated position. And I can conceal a full size pistol in khaki shorts and a reasonably sized t shirt.

    • 100% agreed. I also carry appendix at 12:30 but only with DA revolvers and DA/SA autos. I do not carry any other way, so I do not carry any other type of gun. Appendix carry is indeed very risky with “safe action” style pistols and I would never even consider doing so. Appendix conceals the best for me, offers the fastest presentation and the most conformable means of carry. I am 5’10 and 150#, so all other means of carry print like crazy unless I wear clothing that is overly large to the point of silliness. With AIWB carry, I can conceal a CZ P01 all day everyday in regular fitting clothing as light as shorts & t-shirt or jeans & a short sleeved polo. It works for me and has enabled me to carry everyday for 3 years when no other carry position worked. That being said, there are some concessions to be made when you decide to carry this way, and to not admit that is setting yourself up for a tragedy.

      • It’s good that you thought your choice through but it seems to me that since the chances of your carry piece being needed are one in a zillion, going for a safer method may be in order? Pocket carry works pretty well and is about as convenient as it gets.

      • I carry a Glock 19 in AIWB daily. It’s not for everyone. There are serious risks involved as the author mentioned, if you holster incorrectly. I had a lot of those same concerns. But what I found for me and my body type, is that the muzzle never crosses any part of my body as long as I’m not leaning forward. And I never reholster while sitting. Yeah, I’m skinny. I tested it to be sure by using a chamber mounted laser, when standing up the muzzle points down in front of me, especially when my belt is snug. So for me, the risk became tolerable based on good technique.

        I’ve seen plenty of guys who carry 4 o’clock who cant the muzzle in while reholstering. I’ve even seen one of the hosts on Guns and Ammo TV do this. It’s definitely cringe-worthy.

  6. No fan because you have no control over A) your trigger finger; B) can’t pay attention to what you’re doing; C) have absolutely no idea how to safely holster a sidearm; D) like to think you’re more cool than everyone else.

    Take your pick. I’ve IWB carried forever, even while shooting steel competition and have yet to have an ND. Of course, no one has ever had an ND with a hip carry or shoulder holster or SOB, ‘cuz we know those are the only prescribed safe methods of carrying a sidearm. After all, it is a sidearm, not a belly gun.

    One great thing about carrying a gun is that we don’t have to do what armchair commandos suggest. I’ll continue IWB, thank you very much, and consider my ‘junk’ just as safe as yours.

    • I think you missed the point. It’s not that the likelyhood of ND increases, it’s that the consequences of an ND are worse when the gun is positioned there. Most of those pics come from T-rex Arms, a big proponent of AIWB. Here’s what HE had to say:
      “With all of this said, A-C is probably the most dangerous way to carry a firearm. You have to understand the risks, be willing to train carefully and diligently, and never become complacent. But the rewards of appendix carry are great.”
      The 4 rules are what they are. If you can appendix carry without breaking them, great. If not, well it’s weird to rationalize pointing a gun at yourself is OK because “I’m being very careful”. To me that’s like someone pointed a gun and me and said “It’s unloaded”. Still not OK.
      Wait, rereading your comment it’s not clear you understand the diff b/t IWB and AIWB. The article is not denigrating carry IWB.

      • Yes, I got the acronym right, and I still Apendix carry. And I understood very well what the author of this piece is saying and he’s still wrong.

  7. I’ve always thought the same thing, double for people who carry striker-fired pistols with no external safety.

    It always seemed that the notion of “not pointing a loaded gun at anything you’re not willing to destroy” where “anything” happens to be my hangy-down parts pretty well covered the issue of AIWB carry.

    But hey, wanna-be operators gonna operate.

  8. Why is reholstering such a concern? Like it has to be done at all or if it has to be done it needs to be done blind and as fast as possible? Reholstering is such an invalid concern.

    Before you leave the house stick gun in holster, holster in pants.
    If you have to remove it to take a dump remove it with the holster.
    If you have a DGU while out and about just drop the thing. Or hold onto it until the cops show up then drop it. Cops will be taking it away from you anyway. Or, take a moment to empty it, clear it and reholster. Or remove holster, place gun into holster, put holster into pants.

    The way people talk about the dangers of reholstering you’d think people were running 3-gun AIWB or playing moviestar action hero or some shit. Even if carrying/training/competing OWB you shouldnt be blindly jamming your gun into its holster. It doenst look cool. Its not a race. Theres no reason to unless you want to shoot yourself, the ground or a bystander.

    I can’t think of one good reason why reholstering should be an issue at all unless youre the kind of moron who fidgets and fools with your gun all day, shoots himself in the leg and bleeds out in the truck while his wife is in the supermarket.

    Try not being a dumbass and if you are a dumbass the sooner you bleed out the better.

    • Pretty simple, really. If you train a lot, you re-holster a lot. That gives Murphy’s Law an uncomfortable margin of opportunity. I use my schmekl every day for metabolic disposal, dryfire, and miscellaneous training. My wife even uses it occasionally after date nights. If you care as much about barrel life, accuracy and reliability as I do, the risk just isn’t worth it.

      • I train handling/drawing/dry fire everyday and live fire at least once a week.
        Getting it out may need to be fast but getting it put away can take as long as it has to.
        I don’t rush my training. It’s deliberate, scheduled, and meticulous with purpose like any other training with goals, benchmarks and year round planning.

        If I’m just some asshole slinging my gun around then sure it’s unsafe.

    • Probably why you seem to hear more about accidents amongst ostensibly “very proficient” instructor/cop/competitor types, than amongst your average Mexican. The former draw and reholster so many orders of magnitude more than their “lesser” brethren, that the law of large numbers catch up with them. I addition, after a while, reholstering becomes a non-event, ran on autopilot. And, like Teslas, they occasionally get involved in really stupid accidents.

      While, for regular Joes who carry a gun on them “just in case”, and at best make the occasional range trip, holstering/reholstering a loaded gun is an event. Enough so, that they are doubly/triply/quadruply alert, to the point of OCD, about quadruple verifying nothing is near the trigger guard, no foreign object has fallen into the holster, all fingers not consciously on the grip and hammer is pointing outwards as if broken, cover garment is lifted up to above nipples, etc…

      But then, members of the latter camp do have a greater propensity to shoot themselves on the draw, as they are less practiced doing it…….. And seemingly doubly when attempting to draw the kind of safety less, slippery, truncated grip plastic gun with a “hair trigger,” most commonly carried in aiwb holsters these days. Whether by Darwinian selection or not, the Mexicans at least seem to have arrived at just sticking a giant revolver or chrome and gold adorned, Chalino style, 1911 down there….

  9. Been carrying a Glock 19 appendix-carry in a soft holster for 8 years. I still have my goods. Of course, I remove the holster from my pants before re-holstering. It takes two seconds to re-holster and re-insert, but that’s with two hands. If I had to do it one-handed, the process would be a little more complicated – that is one disadvantage. The other disadvantage is while carrying in a vehicle, the safety belt must be unbuckled to easily draw the pistol.

    What I do like about AIWB carry is the ease of concealability and the high level of weapon retention.

    In my opinion, those who are rag on others for AIWB carry are simply jealous because they have a belly that prevents them from carrying that way. Just saying.

  10. I AIWB every time I am driving and will continue to do so because I know how to safely handle a firearm.
    I hate this “you’ll shoot your eye out kid” mentality from our own people.

  11. I appendix carry. My waist is to narrow to not significantly print at 4, and if I carry small of the back the gun shows every time I sit down or bend over.

  12. LEGAL OFWG fanny pack carry. Concealed. I do not care wtf anyone thinks…better than blowing your junk off.

    • Fanny pack carry you don’t know the direction of the muzzle (unless it’s a really good fit in which case it’s still a hassle to retrieve in your time of need).

      • In a realistic man/men on man (or woman) civilian DGU, the time it takes to assess whether presenting a gun is the appropriate response, so completely dwarfs the time it physically takes to do so, as to render most carry methods largely equivalent in that regard.

        Even for police officers, who do tend to get into situations where getting to their guns quickly is paramount, quickdraw, holster to 1st round fired, drills are vastly over rated. In competition, it’s obviously important, but in competition, there’s none of the ambiguity faced, particularly by civilians, in real world encounters. And the time it takes to resolve that ambiguity, completely overshadows the mere mechanicals. For most any normal means of carry, at least. Swallowing the gun and waiting for it to come out the other end to get ready for action, is obviously excepted.

        Drawing a gun in a civilian setting, needs to be a deliberate act even for IPSC rockstars. It should never be a reflex. No matter how spinal you’ve gotten your draw for competition (or perhaps from duty in Afghanistan or Sadr City), it still has to be a deliberate and well thought out (hence comparatively slow) act, in a US civilian setting.

        Now, for bear and moose protection, the tables are completely turned. There, getting the gun out ASAP, is pretty much all there is to it. But a charge by a 600+lb animal, in the woods in the middle of nowhere, is hardly all that ambiguous to begin with.

  13. I carry a Glock 17 AIWB and I’m not the slightest concerned. There is never a need for a fast re-holster and like a good boy, my finger is never in the trigger guard. I guess I don’t see why this is so difficult. I also carry on my hip. Just depends on the occasion.

    • Same as Mark aiwb or 3:00 as situation a clothes warrant.

      By the way, I’m not hearing a lot of references in this discussion about ND associated with stricker fired handguns while in effective holsters. So is the contention that the REAL problem is just holstering? Well training – duh

    • The rate of accidents seem unusually concentrated around the very people who are over represented amongst those who write about guns. Advanced level, “practical shooting” instructors etc.

      Students at their courses, and even instructors themselves, cram a regular CCW’ers lifetime’s worth of draws and reholsters into a weekend course. Against the backdrop of time constraints, onsetting cognitive fatigue, and doing what to most are a rare event (reholstering after an intense shotstring) enough times in rapid succession, that it becomes a routine. So their guard is lowered.

  14. I don’t see a real advantage in AIWB for me. I haven’t run into problems with IWB or OWN that many apparently have. I tend to use paddles of OWB and don’t have problems with sitting, cars, etc nor have one of them come out with my draw. It is easy to perform a minor adjustment if needed. I don’t tend to overly worry about staying concealed as most people are oblivious. I have noticed a lot more people who are going appendix carry which means they really aren’t all that concealed.

  15. Not a big fan of appendix carry.
    Id like to keep my jewels safe literally. Plus I carry only single action cocked and locked. Don’t need a barrel that close thank you.

  16. I was extremely disappointed when I started carrying that I was unable to find a rig that comfortably allowed me to carry my EDC in the AIWB position. Now, almost two years later, I can barely remember why. 5 o’clock is, for my purposes, easier to access and easier to conceal. The only real downside is that it makes it difficult to draw when in a car, but with practice, even that becomes minimal [and I’m considering getting a car-specific holster that mounts near the seat for longer trips anyway].

    I still toy with the idea whenever I’m considering getting a smaller gun to be able to conceal more effectively in sweltering heat, but honestly, all it takes for me to maintain cover is to wear a light jacket or a baggy t-shirt and move my carry position from 5 o’clock to 6 o’clock, and even that is nearly entirely mitigated. No need for a separate rig and gun for hot days, if I’m honest with myself. I still see the appeal of AIWB, but I no longer seriously consider it an option for me.

    • You might want to check out the gum creek car holster. It mounts under the steering column and is fairly accessible. I got the concealed version which just looks like a nylon pouch. Main issue with it is I drive a manual subaru and it can get mighty cramped down there sometimes, you definitely have to play around with fitment. But it definitely helps on long roadtrips; I used to unholster, clear the chamber, and replace the magazine, then cram the gun in between my seat and the center console. Total hassle.

  17. Your article would have been better titled why I don’t carry in condition 1 appendix style
    I know I’m going to catch a lot of heat here but I carry “Israeli style”, loaded magazine, empty chamber
    I accept the extra one or two seconds slower draw for the extra safety that the gun CANNOT go off until I rack the slide.
    The Israelis carry this way and they stop plenty of terrorist attacks with empty chamber carry
    This way I always have a gun with me even if it takes me one second longer to draw it and takes two hands to get it into action
    I handle my gun every morning and every evening and so I accept the extra safety in exchange for the slower draw

    • This! I carry Israeli-style as well. I usually only get flack from people on the internet. In person, I’ve only been criticized by people who didn’t have any gun on them at all–not even a pocket knife.

    • “The Israelis” are military. Operating, almost exclusively, in groups of at least two. And sanctioned to draw and chamber early.

      The additional time it takes, as a civilian, to get the gun ready, is likely less detrimental than the fact that it requires both hands free in a coordinated fashion (unless you are very proficient in rack on the belt kind of drills. Which I can’t imagine being risk free either…) In a very large share of typical civilian shootings, there is a literal physical altercation going on at the time the decisive shot(s) are fired. Needing both hands free, and unobstructed, in order to get the gun ready, can really put a crimp on it’s usefulness in those situations.

      What about a single action revolver (with a transfer bar safety)? Get a hammer and grip set up to cock easy with one hand. Or, going with the Israeli theme, get a well trained Belgian Sheppard to go along with the “Israeli” carried gun 🙂 That should cut down on the likelihood of your weak hand being occupied in a tussle when you need to draw….. In general, a good dog is a civilian CCW’ers absolute best friend. It’s a synergistic match made in heaven. In that virtually all means available for an aspiring perp to get by a good dog, will necessarily justify you drawing and using your gun. Pooch got your back, you’ve got his, like a well oiled team.

  18. I wonder what the guys at T-Rex Arms think about their photos taken from their website (probably not with their permission) to promote against a a product that they make.

  19. Some weapons are more dangerous than others in that department.

    Striker-fired, one in the pipe – Never. Ever. Period. But that’s me.

    Those of you that carry that way, it’s your decision. You put on your ‘Big Kid’ pants when you chose to carry a weapon.

    Snubbie revolver with a LONG…HEAVY… trigger – It takes serious effort to ND that weapon. However, it *could* happen. Understand the potential risks…

      • What am I looking at?

        What’s the scary part here?

        All I see is a reference to her answering 20-somthing questions…

        • That link should take you to a page that’s screen grabs from a conversation involving the head of Media Matters and Clinton folks about using NSA spy software to rig everything online. It seems to still work for me. Do some googling on ACIDFOX… it’s a pretty interesting program. In the hands of political operatives… it’s straight out KGB/NKVD type shit.

          If it doesn’t work for you I’ll anony it for you. These channels have been getting ban hammered on 4chan, so it could be happening on 8chan too. I saved the screen grab.

        • The 25 questions were answered 20 times she could not recall, and 2 she declined to answer at all.

          End story, she skates…

      • That is straight-up one of the scariest images I have ever seen. The ’18-2381′ and ‘google Seth Rich’ comments that seem casual and natural in the exchange are haunting. Pizza or sushi with your treason and murder; we are IN THE DARK.

        I would like to know more.

      • Yeah, the exploit I am up to speed on. The operatives also mention AMTS and MMSE scores for their own candidate. Google-fu those the scary gets scarier.

      • I trust that you DO know (not really, because Internet trust ≠ real trust without time together at the range). But, to the point, where can I lurk (being a lurker and all, feel free to check) to view actual discussions? It is getting way too hard for an older guy to find information resources that don’t have the odor of propaganda.

        • I can’t link that here. You’re gonna have to do some homework over on 8chan or the reddit.

          No offense, just opsec. My friends who are former military SIGINT folks are freaking about this and for good reason.

          If it ain’t https, or similar don’t do it. That’s really all I can say.

      • copy.
        Research is what I can do. I was thrown by the text content of that first .png post. Thank you for spreading awareness. And then, after plowing through the very same file with a hex editor worried that it was a FA plant, we’re good- thank you again for the awareness.

        Cheers,
        Knowdog Inthehunt

  20. I’m not a fan of “one size fits no one” like this. There are body types and circumstances where AIWB is unsafe, and bodies and circumstances where it is as safe as any other on-body carry.

    In my own case, I have two pistols that I carry. When slimness is critical, I carry a Ruger LC9s Pro, a striker-fired gun with no external safety. I’d sooner try to cross the Interstate blindfolded and with earplugs than carry this pistol AIWG.

    The other one is a nice, old Keltec P11. It’s a bit fatter as it has a double-stack mag, and so I don’t carry it when I wear snug clothes. But it is a double action only pistol with a 9-10 lb trigger pull. I can carry it pretty much any way I please and do so safely as long as I follow the basic safety rules, and I always do.

    Telling me I can’t safely AIWB carry the Keltec is plain bad advice.

  21. And before anyone starts with their stupid comments of the “best safety is between the ears “and “you might as well be carrying a club”…
    We in Anesthesia have been studying safety for years in our patient safety foundation
    We have a highly trained workforce with continuing education, dedicated to patient safety
    We still see safety lapses due to complacency, fatigue and inattention.
    And that is with people who are professionals
    It works for an entire nation to carry empty chamber
    Our own Army also carries pistols with empty chamber unless in a combat zone and expecting contact
    Everyone has to make their own decision regarding safety versus speed
    The first rule is always carry a gun
    The second is don’t shoot yourself
    Then come the other rules of gun safety

  22. If you’re going to appendix carry, make sure that your pistol is cocked and locked or you might go off half cocked or completely uncocked. Which would be bad. Because where would you put the tourniquet?

  23. Appendix carry always seemed to me like a continuous violation of Rule #2.

    If I manage to shoot myself in the rump, I’ll most likely heal. But up front, directly beneath my belt buckle, there are parts I would rather keep.

    To each his own. Don’t shoot yourself, because I”m fresh out of tourniquets.

  24. ONE WORD PEOPLE

    SHOULDER HOLSTER. . .

    Don Johnson didn’t just score Melanie Griffith (in the good ol days) and teach the 80’s how to dress, he did Miami Vice, and the only real thing on that show was one alligator in the opening credits and Don Johnson’s shoulder holster.

    They are comfortable on, but off, the body carry. You can sleep in them, swim in them, they are the #1 carry position for fully naked sex [ladies thigh holster being #2, ankle holster is #3, and distant #3 if the lights are left on], and they are kind of an armpit door gunner inverted pintle-mount thing. Good for everyday carry and sick close-in fighting: https://youtu.be/i_v2zUJu2qo

    ; )

    • Shoulder rigs are my preference, because most anything at the waist prints or isn’t concealed.

      Here’s the thing about most waist rigs: They assume something to cover the gun – like keeping your shirt untucked.

      Anyone who knows me knows that if I’m wearing a shirt that isn’t tucked in, I must be carrying. I almost never wear an untucked shirt, regardless of the type of shirt. Sooo… how is one to conceal a IWB/OWB rig without wearing a suit or sport jacket?

      • +

        The only people I’ve ever seen carry ‘clean’ (no print/no show) were US Secret Service, and they exude “threat protection” until whipping out the hardware (from seemingly a different dimension Aeon Flux style) anyway, so it’s somewhat ironic.
        IWB / OWB carry has terrible tells, you swing your carry side arm less or not at all, yoiu posture your carry side away from what you telegraph as your perceived threat. You can’t erase that with shoulder holster carry, but you do tend to get a lot of shioulder holster [armpit slung hate machines] with the Secret Service guys, strangely, even when they wear polo shirts.

        • Sorry, let me be exact in my references. Not Cherlize Theron in Aeon Flux, it was Mila Jovovich in UltraViolet. Neither are great movies, but still great to watch.

  25. What’s better is that everybody that appendix carries is a Glock aficionado. With no manual safety to protect them from trigger snags, I expect Darwin to thin out the herd a bit.

    • I’ll let you know. Been doing it for over 20 years. you might be waiting a long, long, long time. Trigger snag? Really? Get a good appendix rig (Raven Concealment) and reholster slowly with finger out of the trigger guard like it is supposed to be. It is not rocket science.

    • Geez, anti appendix-carry folks talk like everyone is carrying “Mexican-Style” with no holster. Trigger snag? In a properly fitting holster, there isn’t anything for the trigger to snag on… Sounds like liberal talk where people think a gun sitting on a table just randomly “goes off” and kills someone.

  26. Yeah yeah yeah, I knew a guy who heard about a person who was an ultra experienced gun god who accidentally shot himself re-holstering AIWB…………..blah blah blah.

    Here it is in a nutshell. AIWB isn’t for everybody. It’s unforgiving for careless weapon handling. I wouldn’t carry a 1911 or a striker-fired weapon that way. I carry a DA/SA. However, if carried slightly canted with the butt of the gun down against the belt in about the 1:00 position and not 12:00 as pictured, it’s extremely comfortable even seated and can be drawn seat-belted in a car. If Carried at 1:00 and canted down, the grip on the weapon is angled or positioned where your arm naturally rests without bending your wrists. That is VERY important which is one of the reasons presentation is so damn fast. I’ve been carrying about 40 years now and AIWB is ideal for casual everyday carry. I use a Sticky Holster, which is perfect for this style of carry. With practice, presentation is incredibly fast. 1:00, butt of gun canted down so there is just enough room for fingers to go between the top of the belt and grip the weapon in a Sticky Holster and someone would be hard pressed to present faster.

  27. I awib carry a Glock 19 with a tlr1 daily. It is the only way for me to conceal a decent sized gun as medical conditions have made my 6ft frame 150lb. Reholstering is simply a matter of good technique. When reholstering, lean the upper body back slightly while ensuring that the strong side leg is behind the weak side leg, you will not even muzzle yourself. There is also no reason to attempt to reholster with the speed of unholstering. Calm down, ensure the threat is no longer a threat and reholster properly.

    I know it is hard to lookup more than one article and do some t&e of a carry method prior to bashing it but you could’ve at least feigned the effort.

    Ps. Carrying medical gear should be a goal of all firearm carriers, since the criminals we seek to protect ourselves from dont have any regard for our well-being

  28. My body type doesn’t allow for aiwb. On the plus side, I have a natural layer of body armor. By the time a bullet gets thru the fat it’ll be too tired to mess with the important stuff.

  29. I’ll respect your opinion as long as you respect my right to carry aiwb if I so choose. And don’t worry. If I shoot myself because of my own ignorance, live or die feel free to say I told you so.

  30. I do not like a gun point so close to my penis and gonads, besides, it is uncomfortable when walking or seating. Cross draw, small of the back, shoulder or just strong side hip carry are all fine and more ergonomic, less accident prone.

  31. I simply cannot carry my SR9C anywhere except AIWB without it printing, even with a jacket on (I could possibly see a shoulder holster, but this means you must leave the jacket on) . AIWB it disappears at 1 o’clock and being that it is has a light, short trigger, any carrying has to be with the safety on. I can’t even get the SR9C into the holster when I am wearing it (leather, not formed Kydex). I put the safety on and even if I didn’t, I point the gun and holster away from me when it is being placed in the holster. I don’t mean to diss those of you who live in states where open carry is openly done, but in VA and NC where I work and live, although OC is legal, it is very rare, and 3 or 5 o’clock does not work with every body type or every gun. I think that AIWB is safe if you have a long trigger, a thumb safety, a grip safety, or any combination. I would not carry a striker fired pistol without a safety in AIWB position with a round in the chamber.

  32. I reckon, I’m in the minority here…

    Not just because I carry appendix with a chambered, striker-fired pistol. Also, because I’m a flat belly, non-OFWG.

  33. Personally I don’t care how other people carry. I don’t like AIWB because I don’t find it comfortable when sitting or when walking both which I do a lot of these days. That 57 mile commute each way makes for A LOT of sitting. Crisscrossing campus makes for a lot of walking. I carry IWB at about 4:30-5 o’clock.

    I don’t really see the re-holstering issue as a big one. Shaking after a DGU? Cops are minutes away. You’ve got some time for square breathing before reholstering.

    If you’re seriously concerned about blasting your own leg rocking an AWIB, then I suggest you carry Combat Gauze, EMT sheers and the knowledge to use both.

  34. After the sciatica walloped 80% of the strength of my strong side leg 18 months ago a behind the hip IWB is not an option for me. I AIWB a revolver because that is what works with my limitations and body type. Not being able to carry another way is a valid reason for a particular style.

  35. I appendix carry a j-frame in a kydex holster for deep concealment during work. It works great for me. With only 5 shots I won’t be reholstering a hot weapon under stress. I plan to empty the gun during a fight. That being said this author is a condescending asshole. Just because you think YOU will blow your junk off doesn’t mean I feel that way. Projection much? Your opinion is your own but don’t put down others because they differ from how you would do things.

  36. I always carry AIWB. It’s the most comfortable, concealed, and accessible method for me. About the only time I carry differently is offside IWB, with my LCP as a secondary.

    A Remora holster at home or one of a variety of leather or kydex rigs out and about. There is no physical way for a trigger pull when holstered. None. Ever. Glock, LC9s Pro, XDM, all have been a non issue.

    Now, if I had one of those guns that “just went off” like you hear about on CNN, I can see how that would be a problem.

    I avoid those…

    Reholstering? Remove holster, holster firearm, replace holster. And you do it that way every time including dry fire practice to program the movement from repetition.

    I’m not a keyboard commando, I’m not a wannabe operational operator. I’m just a guy who safely carries a gun daily.

    • It’s really quite simple, if you have a striker fire type of pistol ,don’t appendix carry, if you have da/sa. No frigging problem .

  37. Yesterday I spent a couple of hours well above the ground working to limb and top some trees. I can’t imagine doing that with anything larger than a piece of gum tucked into that location, especially anything with edges even remotely removed from smoothly curved.

    Many occupations and hobbies rule out this sort of carry no matter how safe the item in question.

  38. One of the surgeons that I work with says: outside of the leg he can do, no issues. Once you cross the midline of the femur the risk goes up substantially and he ships them to a level one. I asked him about appendix carry and he knew of 2 ND in the area and he didn’t have to worry about those. They were DOA. Sooo if you want a positive to appendix carry you can say your local surgery crew thanks you because if you hit the femoral we don’t have to worry about coming in!!

    • Yep.

      BTW, folks oughta know that there isn’t a single Level I ER in all of Wyoming. You have to go to Denver or SLC to find a Level I trauma shop.

      That’s true of much of the rural west, BTW – in small towns, many of your hospitals might be only Level III. In cities of 40K or more, they might be Level II.

  39. Good stuff. I can’t find a single ccw person that does this in real life. It’s all internet tough, trendy men apparently. They also love them the FBI quote about selecting the 9mm over other calibers, but not a single one agrees with their decision not to recommend Hilary’s indictment. Go figure….

  40. I am not going to have a negligent discharge holstering. Yes, I bet my life on it. I also bet my life, and others, on being able to carry a gun responsibly regardless of holster use. If I wasn’t willing to bet my life on being able to avoid shooting myself I wouldn’t carry at all. I have also had to unholster and holster under stress quickly plenty of times, and I am comfortable doing so. I cast no dispersion on people who prefer not to carry a certain way (some get nervous about horizontal shoulder holsters for similar reasons) but let’s keep in mind that we do things every day that are a whole lot more likely to kill us than the series of events feared above.

  41. So what is to prevent you from shooting yourself with a duty rig type holster? As to the body style comment yes you need to wear pants that are not hip huggers. I have seen 2 people shoot themselves with duty holsters it entered the leg in much the same fashion you describe. Advantages to appendix are you can protect the gun much easier, you can draw in a car much easier.

    So to me the risk is about the same but I get the advantages above. You can AD into your leg with any holster which is why you should be careful anytime you holster a firearm. Same rules and generally the same risk.

  42. I carry a full size M&P iwb with minir printing @ 3:00. I have never considered AIWB due to gun size. I have gone through the comments and people that do carry in this style seem to all say to take off the holster, put the gun in the holster and then put the holster on your belt. Why is that? Wouldn’t there be less fidgeting with the gun if you reholstered while the holster is already on your belt? I am ignorant as far as AIWB goes and am genuinely curious about why you should reholster that way.

    • No more or less fidgeting with the gun to remove the holster to re-holster (at least in my case) as I use a single clip AIWB holster. The weapon is in your strong hand, remove the holster from your belt with your weak hand, insert weapon into the holster, replace holster in AIWB position on the belt.

  43. So in 2 days I counted 4 people who were carrying AIWB on a recent trip to a decent size city (500,000). They weren’t as concealed as they thought they were. Maybe they were just bad at it….

    For those who do and take your holster out to reholster, how much training are you really doing?

  44. I understand some have strong feelings about these things – that is to be expected – and I am all for educating those new to concealed carry about the risks… Like anything important, method of carry should be an informed decision – not something one adopts blindly. It would be nice, though, to see opinion pieces like this try to be a little more balanced. Perhaps that goes against the very nature of the thing, though.

    I have carried strong side behind the hip and appendix, both for a number of years. Both have pros and cons… These days appendix carry is the only method I use. I have a long list of reasons why but suffice to say that none of them involve videos of cool dudes on YouTube or Instagram 😉

    I use a properly designed, purpose-built holster and carry a TDA hammer-fired gun for extra safety and tactile feedback when I reholster. Reholstering is never done “fast” or blindly and I have trained to the point where I *always* have my thumb on the hammer when the decocked gun is going back in the holster. Any movement of the hammer and I stop and assess.

    AIWB can be done safely. It does (in all fairness) take more planning and training… and more awareness when drawing or reholstering.

    I do not see that as a bad thing, though. Really, it is how we all should be, regardless of how we carry…

  45. I definitely get this point of view. The goal is to never shoot yourself, but stuff happens. I still think appendix carry is viable, though.

    I think I’d say, if you have to reholster while appendix carrying, don’t. Just Mexican carry or something. But still that’s not the best solution.

  46. WOW! Lots of comments here… but I didn’t see one where AIWB is actually breaking at least 1 of the 4 “Rules”?

    1. Don’t point the gun at anything you don’t intend to destroy

    In order to AIWB, you do have to point the gun at yourself to holster it… am I missing something here??

    • You sweep yourself drawing from 3 o’clock as well. Risk is the same shot placement may be different but shot is shot. This whole article is not all that well thought out. It comes across as someone with a particular bias and not counterweighting the facts very well. But to each his or her own I personally am a very large man and have found Apendix to be the way to go for me. Other people are welcome to do what they like. With a good holster reholstering is no more difficult then strong side.

      Also of note I dont carry apendix because it’s cool I have a lot of hours of training into this and lots of top tier instructors carry this way.

  47. Other than the condescending tone, you raise a valid concern. Of course you need to be careful of shooting yourself when reholstering, doubly so when carrying appendix because of the important anatomy directly in the way, thanks for the PSA.

    I carry appendix frequently. I carry a DA revolver all the time anyways but regardless of that fact, I haven’t personally crossed the mental hurtle of carrying a semi auto pistol appendix; the DA revolver definitely isn’t shooting anything without me pulling the trigger and the exposed hammer allows me to put my thumb on it to prevent cocking/firing if I am reholstering it.

    I also happen to favor semi auto pistols with an external hammer which can also be utilized, in the same manner as above, to prevent accidental/negligent firing when reholstering.

    Regardless of your opinion, I would say it is safe to call it a fact that appendix carry gives you excellent control over your firearm and allows very easy drawing while sitting.

  48. What a condescending tool.
    Here’s a novel idea…remove the holster from your belt (if possible) before you re-holster. I use a single clip KnightFall Customs AIWB holster just for this reason.

  49. AIWB, every day, from clothes on to clothes off. Cooks CF texture kydex holster. XD sub compact 9mm.
    some observations :
    so comfortable I often fall asleep with it on.
    when drawing, I index my trigger finger.
    when holstering, I “loose grip” so I don’t engage the grip safety.
    I remove the entire holster and gun otherwise.
    Recently got jumped in a pub parking lot at 2am (yeah yeah.. save the lecture, I know SPSP) I was clipped at the waist, picked clean up and body slammed on my back and right side, resulting in a concussion and head trauma when my head snapped back and bounced off the concrete. If I had been 4 o’clock carrying it would probably have broken my back. As it was, I was able to draw my firearm from my ground position and effectively end the fight without firing a shot. You carry your way, I’ll carry mine. Arrogant know it alls who declare their way is the “One True Way” to carry are just as obnoxious as the “One True Pistol Round” folk in the perennial .45/.40/9mm argument.

  50. No 12 or 12:30 carrying for me. If I need deeper concealment I will carry at about 2 o’clock but that’s about as far as I’ll go toward the center. I home carry at 3 o’clock. I’ll carry at about 4:30 position if I’m playing guitar. I have a few dings in the back of my guitars from forgetting to move my holster back. Oops.

    • I carry AIWB but it’s more in the 1 o’clock position, muzzle sits more against the hip crease than in front of my junk. No problems peeing.

  51. That’s why you take your gun on and off with the holster. You only draw it when you need to use it.

    Re-holstering IWB with a loaded handgun has dangers in any position.

  52. Appendix carry is incredibly uncomfortable for me, and I’m a fairly trim guy at 5’10” and 165lb. In seated positions especially it gouges at everything…the grip into the abdomen, muzzle into leg/genitals…I considered the idea for about 5 minutes before discarding it entirely.

    I have found the carry methods that work well for me. To each his own. FWIW, judging a carry method by what would happen during a negligent discharge from the holstered/holstering position is just goofy.

  53. I am with you on this one, heck I will not even carry a striker fired pistol without a manual safety even carrying in my side of back.

  54. Smart move,if the attacker comes from behind and gets you in a FULL NELSON you cant get to your gun. Read Mosuad Aubuad.

  55. This is my opinion and I am not trying to change yours But, If it does not bother you to have the business end of a 380, 9mm, or 45Auto pointed at your Johnson (which will inevitably happy at some point with Apex carry) you are flirting with insanity. Striker fire is obviously easier to AD but I would not rely on a mechanical mechanism to protect my manhood. And if you think your brain will work properly after an altercation you have never been in one. Adrenalin dump does not make you smarter. I’m not telling anyone what to do, this is a free world with free choices and this is your choice. If you believe in the basic rule, “never point a firearm at anything you do not intend to shoot” the answer is clear. That’s my opinion which is worth exactly what you paid for it.
    I appreciate the article and think it does a good job of pointing out the risk.

  56. Holster outside the pants. Shouldnt be re-holstering after shooting someone anyway. Get a manual safety pistol. Most ppl are dumbasses…. they dont apply to me.

  57. Well written and reasoned. People DO make mistakes, no matter how highly trained or proficient they are. In an airplane, all procedures are geared to prevent mistakes and constant retraining is the norm, yet crashes due to stupid silly things still happen, killing hundreds at once.

    So, routinely putting yourself in a position where a gun handling mistake will most probably make you thoroughly dead is greatly overestimating yourself, and greatly underestimating Murphy. Both are not good ideas.

  58. I’m chubby. I AIWB. It works with the right holster. I use the XD Mod.2 Subcompact 9 and also an XD(m) 9 OSP (Optic Sight Pistol). Not at the same time though. For some reason I feel like I have to clarify that from what I’ve been reading in the comments.

    My choice of Arms utilizes Grip, Trigger and Firepin safeties. I reholster with loose grip (which will engage the grip safety) with the holster leg stepped back.

    I have to admit, I was totally not expecting AWIB to work for me (BMI 34.3 = obese); but it does amazingly!

    I get the concerns though.

    I always think that #2 applies only to when you draw and aim your weapon, not 100% of the time in any configuration. That’s just me I guess.

    I agree with one of the previous commenters though in that this is almost like which round is better, etc.

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