Question of the Day: Appendix Carry?

If I had to guess, I reckon the youth who pulled a gun from his waistband lacked a proper holster. He certainly lacked trigger discipline. Or muzzle control. Given that big old artery in his leg, he’s lucky he didn’t bleed out. (Always have a tourniquet nearby!) Be that as it most probably is, the self-inflicted gunshot wound raises a question: do you appendix carry? If so, would you recommend it? Have you considered AIWB and rejected it? If so, why?

comments

  1. avatar Pwrserge says:

    Two words. Femoral artery. Never a good idea to point a gun, no matter how safe, at one of the most vulnerable parts of your body.

    1. avatar kevin says:

      You’ve got to know the four rules of gun safety so that you know how to safely break them.

    2. avatar Rick the Bear (MA to NH!!) says:

      Two more words for me: kidney transplant. No AIWB or AOWB for me.

  2. avatar Mark says:

    oh no, not this again. Here we go. I carry appendix sometimes and 4 o’clock, and pocket as well. Do as thou will.

    1. avatar Badgerman says:

      I carry very similar to you Mark, I carry appendix more than the others especially in the winter. I probably carry 50/50 appendix or pocket during the summer.

  3. avatar DDUB says:

    I can’t carry inside the waist band, too much of me in there, not comfy. I have nothing against those who do, probably safer than off body carry.

  4. avatar Ed says:

    I’ve said it before and i’ll say it again…One of the FIRST things most of us learned as children about gun saftey is NEVER point a firearm at ANYTHING you dont want to destroy ESPECIALLY yourself or others.
    No one can justify to me pointing a gun at your naughty bits and femoral artery. Not even a little bit, or just for a second.
    Firearms are machines, and even the best machines have failure rates…nothing is perfect. I’m not willing to take that chance (even if i lost 40 lbs. and thought i could.)

    1. avatar Eric in Oregon says:

      This, appendix carry is just never acceptable. Even if you’re indifferent to the threat to yourself, it sets a bad example to other shooters that it’s both OK to point the gun at themselves and to trust the safety for protection while doing so.

    2. avatar Montesa_VR says:

      Right. So I presume you guys never carry a gun in a range bag, because you can’t be certain what direction the muzzle is pointing. And never sit in a recliner with a holstered gun. And never pocket carry. Appendix carry without a holster, like any carry without a holster, is dangerous. A gun in a proper holster is just as safe as a gun in a range bag, no matter how it’s hanging.

      1. avatar Ed says:

        Only an absolute MORON carries a firearm in a range bag with a round in the chamber. I sit in a recliner every evening with a owb holstered pistol and my muzzle points directly into the seat cushion. When i pocket carry in a Ace case holster the WORST thing during a accidental discharge would be a leg graze and a powder burn.
        Please, by all means continue to apendix carry…something tells me that people who carry chambered rounds in pistols in range bags could use a little self-sterilization.

        1. avatar Dave M says:

          “WORST thing during a accidental discharge would be a leg graze and a powder burn” Have you ever seen a ‘leg graze’ enter above the knee, travel down the leg & exit at the heel? Don’t be so sure of yourself.

        2. avatar Ed says:

          “Have you ever seen a ‘leg graze’ enter above the knee, travel down the leg & exit at the heel?” No but i have seen a .380 travel less than 3 inches and glance.off the femur and exit. What magnum hand cannon do you picture pocket carrying to do that kind of excessive damage traveling through at least 4 major bones.
          And so, by your logic i might as well just go ahead and point it at my dick daily. Smart.

        3. avatar Badgerman says:

          I don’t think anyone was saying they carry their firearm loaded in a range bag or case. The purpose of the case in the conversation was the muzzle direction.

          Damn fellas someone pleas pass some popcorn. Lol

    3. avatar anonymoose says:

      What if you’re a suicidal transwoman? Would it be justified then?

    4. avatar Hannibal says:

      Hopefully one of the other things you learned about guns is that modern ones don’t go off by themselves. Hell, even old ones didn’t really ‘go off by themselves.’ Good luck finding a carry method that never points your gun at anyone, including yourself, your leg, your buttcheck, etc.

      The ‘gun rules’ are useful but simplistic. They are simply not valid in the real world unless you add all sorts of amendments- try cleaning your gun while following the rules, or stripping a glock. Oh, but you say, the gun’s not loaded! But wait, the first rule says to treat guns always as loaded! Well, we don’t really mean that, we just mean you should check if it’s loaded first. Okay, so what about being sure of what’s behind your target? What’s beyond that wall at the indoor range? You don’t know? Why not? Oh, so that’s ‘safe’ so you don’t need to know what’s behind your target if you don’t think anything will get through. What about if you ever have to use your gun in self defense? How much time will you take to conduct a survey to make sure there’s nothing behind your target while said target is shooting at you?

      I could go on. The only thing as bad as someone not following (the idea of ) the rules is someone who acts like anyone can follow the letter of the rules in the real world. Don’t pull your gun out and point it at people. When it’s holstered it’s not going off any more than an unloaded gun. Unholstering is a concern, but one that can be dealt with.

      1. avatar Ed says:

        The more of these comments I read the more I know I don’t want half of you carrying around me and i am reminded more than ever why I dont go to public shooting ranges. You really cant carry your weapon without muzzling other people? Your going to equate the four rules of saftey with a Glock dissasembly? I’ll put that right next to carrying a range bag or rifle case with a loaded chambered firearm in it, wich seems by TTAG comment standards just okey dokey. Jezzus H.

        1. avatar LarryinTX says:

          It is really easy for the youthful among us to assume that a given situation could never happen to them, they are so smart. Around 15 years ago I was at the National Matches when a long time competitor in Long Range discharged a high power rifle in his range bag while carrying it from the line to his vehicle, after competing. If you haven’t attended, let me say there are hundreds of other competitors all around you and thousands of spectators. Bragging about how much better you are than everybody else is asking for an eye opening surprise. Good luck.

  5. avatar John says:

    All IWB carry is uncomfortable for me as a full figure guy. Other than my P938 in a pocket holster, it’s always OWB in a good holster and an untucked shirt.

  6. avatar James says:

    Based on my body shape, I have almost always appendix carried. I don’t really see the reason for the negative stigma. It works and is extremely concealable for most any pistol. And most people won’t stare at your crotch trying to see if you’re carrying. And pretty much any act of holstering a firearm will be pointing at your body at some point, especially pocket carry or any IWB.

    1. avatar strych9 says:

      I think you nailed that in your opening: it depends heavily on your body shape/type, specifically how your hips and legs are built.

      I haven’t found a gun on the market I could carry comfortably AWIB. It doesn’t dig into my leg, it digs into my hip/pelvis. I just don’t find it comfortable at all.

    2. avatar Badgerman says:

      I think a lot people here who disparage apendix carry don’t even realize if they muzzle their thigh, feet, or ass as holster or unholster. Haters going to hate. Lol.

      1. avatar Ed says:

        I carry both owb and iwb (mostly out) and i have this thing called muzzle dicipine. Its when you are aware of where your muzzle is pointed at ALL TIMES ….and i dont point it at my foot, ass or any other body part, unlike the aiwb where its going to happen,period.

        1. avatar Badgerman says:

          So, if you have a rifle or a pistol in a case and you carry the case do you muzzle people as you carry your firearm in the case? Is that considered muzzling? If your wear a shoulder holster do you muzzle people people that are behind you? Is it muzzling when the trigger in fully covered by a holster or case? What is the definition? Or is it a matter of the firearm being unloaded in said case or holster. See my point?

        2. avatar Ed says:

          Ok, first no one should be carrying any cased weapon loaded with a round on the chamber, period. Second I have a galco VHS shoulder holster specifically because of not wanting to muzzle anyone behind me. Third, the definition of muzzling to me means a LOADED firearm pointed at a person, be it in the hand or not. When i unholster my weapon i do not put it down pointing at myself, do you?

        3. avatar Badgerman says:

          I don’t think you got my point. If your definition of muzzling is only if the firearm that is loaded, I think you have some safety issues you
          need to reconsider. Stay with me here, if you point (MUZZLE) any person with an UNLOADED (your word) or LOADED firearm you will get kicked out whatever range you are at, or drawn on for self defense purposes.

        4. avatar Hannibal says:

          “Third, the definition of muzzling to me means a LOADED firearm pointed at a person, be it in the hand or not.”

          Oh? And how do you come to that definition? Is an unloaded gun more likely to fire than a loaded gun with a safety on in a holster?

          No. Neither one is going to fire.

        5. avatar Ed says:

          Hannibal you really are a simple s.o.b. Ever hear of a Remington 700? They fire without anyone touching them if you get one of the million or so floating around that are defective…what makes you think that its impossible for that to happen again. Pistols get recalled for drop saftey failures somewhat regularly do they not? Did Walther not have a recall not a month ago? Machinery is not perfect and can fail for seemingly no reason. Does it happen often? No, of course not. COULD it happen? If you say absolutely never…you have problems. If you answer its a possibility then why take that chance?

      2. avatar Paul B. says:

        Agreed, it is difficult when using a strong-side hip holster to avoid crossing the outside of your butt or thigh. But I would much rather have a hole in those areas, than have one in my junk or my femoral artery.

        And I know that by leaning backward and thrusting your hips forward it is possible to draw or reholster with AIWB without crossing your junk or femoral artery. The problem is that that technique is not what happens in a fight. In a fight the natural instinct of one’s body is to crouch somewhat, round a little bit forward, and keep one’s hips directly underneath center of gravity.

        I have no issue with anyone else making an informed choice to carry appendix, but to me taking a quarter second or so off draw time isn’t worth the risk.

    3. avatar Kendahl says:

      In pocket carry, the barrel is parallel to the outside of your thigh. Danger is limited to a grazing flesh wound with the possible exception of your foot if you are carrying in front. When you are sitting with a handgun in your front pocket, it points at everyone who passes in front of you. That isn’t an issue with back pocket carry.

      1. avatar LarryinTX says:

        WTF kind of rig are you carrying if you can sit down with a gun in your back pocket? And where would it be pointed if you are not muzzling yourself, constantly? I am thinking all these “rules” were dreamed up before we started *carrying*, because if carry is considered, they are not sensible. Probably not with home defense, either. They comply well with keeping your gun and your ammo in separate locked compartments.

  7. avatar Aven says:

    I have done for years and will always do it. If someone can’t do it safely, I’m not sure they should be around guns at all.

  8. avatar strych9 says:

    I rejected AIWB because I’m just not built for it. Sitting down the gun digs into my pelvis.

    Perhaps I could remedy that with different pants but I find IWB between 4 and 5 o’clock comfortable with a full sized pistol so I roll with that, a shoulder holster, chest rig or OWB depending on what I’m wearing/doing.

    As a nod to some others here, I will say that carrying AWIB doesn’t bother me from a safety stand point but manipulation of the gun does, and what’s the point in carrying a gun in a way that drawing/holstering it is something you find sketchy?

  9. avatar TheOtherDavid says:

    Appendix is where I carry pretty much all the time.

    We talk about the risks of carry like this but I’m curious how many times anyone (other than a criminal stashing a gun) has actually shot him or herself? It is not infrequent that we hear of someone having a negligent discharge wIth a belt mounted rig, not paying attention, something caught in trigger guard, etc.

    Given the thousands of people that carry AIWB every day in the US if it were an issue I’d assume we would have heard about it.

    1. avatar uncommon_sense says:

      I want to say that I heard of such an incident in the last few years. Something about a man was trying to adjust his handgun before exiting his van, shot himself in the leg, and died within minutes from the wound. Unfortunately, I don’t have the time right now to find a link to the story. I thought he had a Glock handgun and it happened in the parking lot of a store or shopping mall with wife and children present.

      1. avatar Jeff K says:

        Just stay the hell away from Glocks.

        1. avatar LarryinTX says:

          Rule # 5!

      2. avatar Hannibal says:

        There was a man who shot himself in a similar circumstance that I remember but, like all such incidents, he was fiddling with the gun at the time. In the case I’m thinking of, fabric from his shirt got pulled around the trigger as he went to holster his gun (or push it down into the holster, which I think was a Mike’s Wal Mart special or something) and it activated the trigger.

  10. avatar uncommon_sense says:

    I do not appendix carry. Aside from the risk of pointing your firearm at your leg, it can be quite uncomfortable when you are sitting down. (The barrel of your handgun would dig into your leg.) Furthermore, it is sub-optimal if you wear a seat belt in a car. (The seat belt would jam your handgun into your abdomen in an accident. And the seat belt potentially interferes with drawing.)

    I could imagine appendix carry for sub-compact, single-stack pistols in some situations — assuming that you carry the pistol in a really good holster that secures the entire trigger guard or carry without a round in the chamber.

    1. avatar Mark N. says:

      Yup, it is a body shape issue. When I sit–which is most of every day–the gun not only digs into my groin, it tries very hard to push out over the top of my belt. Extremely uncomfortable. Crossdraw is suffers the same fate. Because of my particular shape, I can comfortably carry only at 4 o’clock, both IWB and OWB.

  11. avatar jake says:

    I usually carry a little S&W air-weight AIWB. It is comfortable for me and my body type and I feel like I have more control over the firearm with it up front and in reach of both hands. Plus I can practically wear a compression shirt and you wouldn’t be able to see if I’m carrying! I wouldn’t do it with a glock or other similar gun with no safety and lighter trigger, but for what I use, DA/SA pistols and revolvers, it works great! I’m not too worried about shooting myself as I always take the holster out, put the gun in the holster so the trigger is covered, and then insert the holster into my pants. It’s not for everyone, but it works great for me.

  12. avatar Joe R. says:

    Two words people:

    Don Johnson.

    Appendix Carry all you want, in the SHOULDER HOLSTER POSITION.

    You can run, walk jump, sleep, swim, and copulate in the damn thing.

    Buy one at your local Airsoft store for $20 to try it out then go here: http://www.safariland.com/search?q=shoulder+holster

  13. avatar unknown says:

    I guess you would call my IWB carry position 11 o’clock. Right hand cross draw lets me access the gun no matter if I’m walking, seated, driving or whatever. Also practice retrieval using left hand. I can use this for a Ruger LCP Custom, LC9S, SR9C, .357 LCR & SR22. When driving, just pull your cover garment up out of the seat belt & the gun is very accessible, something that driving often makes very hard to do. Each gun has it’s own dedicated holster. However, I would NEVER, EVER, carry a Glock this way. To each their own, but a Glock is a calamity just waiting to happen.

    1. avatar Boba Fett says:

      I do have a Glock 42 that I carry in the same IWB position as you (11 o’clock). Only difference is I’m left handed, so the mag well points left. When you say you would “NEVER EVER” carry a Glock this way, is it because you don’t trust their reliability?

      1. avatar unknown says:

        No, I personally do not trust a Glock as far as I could throw it. Plus, IMO, find their trigger mechanism a horror waiting to happen. I practice total trigger discipline, but still want nothing to do with Glock. Your experience may differ.

        1. avatar Kevin says:

          “I practice total trigger discipline,”

          If that’s the case, it wouldn’t matter what handgun you carry.

          Except Hi-Point. No one should ever carry a Hi-point. 🙂

        2. avatar kevin says:

          “I practice total trigger discipline”

          Practice makes perfect.

        3. avatar Boba Fett says:

          Fair enough.

  14. avatar EJQ says:

    I don’t have the body type for AIWB.

  15. avatar Xcom says:

    You can be as safe as you should be/want to be. Fact is guns are machines, and machines fail. Humans are fallible. Your femoral Arty is more important than your butcheek. AIWB just doesn’t make sense.

    Proponents of AIWB preach how good they are at gun safety while violating one of the rules.

  16. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

    Never tried it. Seems an effective way to conceal a pistol until you have to sit down or bend over. I carry at around the 2:30 position just on the front side of the hip, canted forward so if somehow by, I don’t know – the hand of God, my GP 100 discharged in a ho lster that covers the entire trig ger guard, the bullet might graze the outside of my thigh (200 stitches tops). With most IWB hol sters you could easily remove the hol ster, insert the firearm into the hols ter and then clip it in. If pointing the g un at your naughty bits while holstering gives you the willies.

  17. avatar Rusty Chains says:

    Maybe appendix carry works with really short bbl guns, but the few times I tried it with my 9mm Shield were really uncomfortable. The gun either dug into my leg or into other sensitive bits. Perhaps I wear my pants too low on my hips, but dang, how do you guys sit down?

  18. avatar Dan says:

    Allow me to direct you to a youtube video by John Johnston entitied

    “You’ll shoot your junk off” anatomy of an AIWB ND

    Sounds like a lot of people who are disparaging AIWB carry have never done it. I know, I know, people on the internet commenting on things they have zero direct experience with? Parish the thought, especially when it comes to guns, self defense, and survival.

    1. avatar Av Willis says:

      The alleged dangers of appendix carry have been discredited ages ago. When combined with a decent holster and propper technique, it’s perfectly safe. I normally favor strong side, but that’s because of body type and consistency in training, not out of some irrational fear.

      https://youtu.be/JGU7HbgDIvE

  19. avatar kevin says:

    Yes, nothing else works as well for me. I’m a skinny guy, but a midsize glock disappears there.
    As for muzzling my junk, legs, etc., just be careful and use a good holster and get your cholesterol checked. That last one’s a killer, for sure.

  20. avatar passthebrass says:

    “Whats that?”

    “Me belt buckle Turkish.”

  21. avatar Badgerman says:

    I think Mr. Farago just sits and smiles as he drinks his scotch reading the this argument every 4 months. Lmao.

  22. avatar Ralph says:

    Uncomfortable as hell.

  23. avatar DrewR says:

    Not for me. I’m not a fan of pointing a loaded gun at places that will kill me or places that will make me wish I was dead.

  24. avatar Hannibal says:

    When I need to conceal under a t-shirt it works well.

    My firearms do not go off without pulling the trigger. I don’t put my finger on the trigger unless I’m shooting.

    But feel free to not carry that way. Though be aware, I might also wear a shoulder holster which, in some circumstance, may be pointing a gun at you without you knowing.

    (You’ll be alright. It’s an inanimate object, not a magic death wand like some people seem to think)

    1. avatar Hannibal says:

      And if you guys think appendix carry is scary, you’d wet your pants and what I’ve sometimes done when there were reasons I had to carry VERY concealed (hint: Archer would approve).

      1. avatar Badgerman says:

        Can you win this today by mentioning Archer!! Pew Pew

      2. avatar Ed says:

        I have NO doubt that you smuggle things in your ass.

  25. Yes. I don’t suffer from Appendophobia.

  26. avatar Grey Mas says:

    When I first saw an instructor carrying a full size Beretta 92 AIWB with no printing under a thin tshirt, I decided to give it a try. I now AIWB a Sig P229. It is a fast draw and conceals better for me. Its a bit more uncomfortable than IWB in traditional positions. Every once in a while the thought of a loaded gun pointing at my vitals makes me squirm a bit. I will not carry my G19 in this position. My Sig is DA/SA has a 10LB trigger pull. I do wonder about that mythical situation where the gun goes off by itself, but I have yet to find that unicorn.

  27. avatar Chris. says:

    To me walking around with a cased or holstered firearm is not the same thing. Doesn’t count as muzzling as you are not manipulating the firearm. The most dangerous points in manipulating the firearm , (outside of stupidly playing with it) is Holstering/ or drawing.

    To compare the manipulation with “not touching it” is disegenuous.

    Now, shoulder holster, yes if you don’t pay attention when you draw you will sweep yourself or others. I personally am not a fan. The only thing I carry in the appendix position is my Ruger LCR; which like some others here the holster would be pulled out from the belt; firearm secured into it, then the holstered firearm could be tucked into the pants.

    Otherwise, just not worth it to me.

  28. avatar Ralph says:

    Poor Jesse is struggling for relevancy since he lost his judgment against the estate of Chris Kyle.

  29. avatar Andrew Lias says:

    If I did I certainly would do it with something like a J-frame, not with a polymer striker fired Glock style pistol

  30. avatar Stoney Man says:

    Watch this, then shut the fvck up.

    A holstered gun is a safe gun, and the only way you could possibly shoot yourself, is if you are an incompetent rube becasue you either cant draw or cant re-holster.

  31. avatar Tacbear says:

    I DON’T allow Appendix Carry on my range…PERIOD!

    1. Sounds like a challenge. Where’s your range?

      1. avatar Jon in CO says:

        I don’t appendix carry, but I would for that.

    2. avatar Coffee Addict says:

      Name your range so I know where to avoid. Stand by your convictions.

    3. avatar Badgerman says:

      But, I thought concealed means concealed. Good luck with that rule.

  32. avatar Dude2017 says:

    AIWB is the only way I carry as it’s the best way for me to carry. I’ve tried other ways and appendix just works best. I don’t understand why some folks feel the need to tell others what is best for them. I carry a reliable, safe firearm and handle it with care. Why do you care where I carry it? Everybody has to decide what is best for them.

  33. avatar Dude2017 says:

    If you won’t appendix carry you either don’t trust your firearm or don’t trust yourself

    1. avatar Frank in VA says:

      Or you prefer to follow basic safety rules like not muzzling yourself every time you bend over.

      1. But it’s okay to muzzle the head of your five year old when they run up and give you a hug?
        Muzzle rule only applies when the gun is in hand.

  34. avatar Jon in CO says:

    4-5 o’clock works just fine IWB for me. If you want to AIWB, go for it. Last I checked, freedom was still somewhat around. Just don’t shoot yourself. That goes for every carry option. Keep your finger out of and off of the trigger and you’ll be fine, unless your gun is a total waste of space and has a catastrophic issue. Just because some people are stupid and shoot themselves doesn’t mean everyone shouldn’t do something or will do the same stupid thing.

  35. avatar Dude2017 says:

    Amen brother

  36. avatar Coffee Addict says:

    I got picked up and body slammed onto concrete by a drunk in a bar parking lot. ( No, I wasn’t drinking, yes I had a valid reason to be there. OK?) I was carrying AIWB. When I hit the ground, it was with my back flat. My head bounced off the pavement with a nice melon “thunk”. Lying on my back, I was able to still draw and dissuade my attacker from achieving the mount position for ground and pound without firing a shot, despite the ringing in my ears, the greying out and the disorientation of the ensuing concussion. Even maintained trigger discipline.

    Next day the tremendous bruise on my back told the story of a potentially broken spine had I landed on my piece being carried at 4 o’clock.

    Carry however you want. AIWB worked very well for me.

  37. avatar Frank in VA says:

    I suspect this was an a case of Mexican carry. In every respect.

  38. avatar Chris A says:

    After tearing 2 rotator cuff tendons, most days I cannot draw from my hip. AIWB is about the most comfortable position from which I can draw. Pocket carry is my second choice. Although still struggling to find a holster(AIWB) that’s comfortable all day, and while sitting/driving, I’d rather be a little uncomfortable, than not be able to draw if required. Even an Urban carry gen2 doesn’t quite bend where my body does. Sig p938 in a sticky holster, cocked, locked & chambered, doesn’t make me nervous, pocket or AIWB. If I know I’m going to be walking or standing, 40 cal.PX4 compact IN A HOLSTER, is my 2nd. option. Both with safeties on.

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