Sidecar inside the waistband holster
Courtesy T.Rex Arms
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Sidecar inside the waistband holster
Courtesy T.Rex Arms

I know appendix carry enjoys increasing popularity among a lot of people including a good number of younger shooters. It also seems to be 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 Cabela’s or Academy Sports.

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, there’s a good chance you’ll 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’re going poke one or more holes in your femoral artery. At that point, you’ll have the rest of your life to regret your carry method…which won’t be very long.

Courtesy T.Rex Arms

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.

AIWB isn't for everyone.
AIWB isn’t for everyone.

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. Here’s 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 instructors 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 yelled. 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 very good first aid training. Indeed some were former military and they 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 riki-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 thinking about 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 inside the waistband holster
Courtesy T.Rex Arms

“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 Case knife after you declined to surrender your wallet in a timely enough manner. You just applied some ballistic therapy to end the 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.” Keep telling yourself that.

concealed carry mistakes
A safer alternative (Bigstock)

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 speed and 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.


[This post was originally published in 2016.]

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  1. 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.

  2. “This post was originally published in 2016”

    You don’t say.

    There isn’t a respected trainer in the country today who does not endorse AIWB. Millions of people carry AIWB all day without issue. Utilize a proper holster, don’t be a moron, and it’s not a problem. Get this outdated fudd shit outta here.

    • … and yet… it’s still a bad idea to point a loaded gun directly at your junk. Holster or no holster.

      • It really depends on the gun.

        I specifically bought my CZ 2075 RAMI to carry DA on the first round AIWB.

        It’s not perfectly safe, because nothing is perfectly safe.

        But DA/SA carry is reasonably safe. The long, heavy trigger pull is the safety.

        I personally will never carry striker-fired AIWB…

        • +1 for long heavy triggers on pistols. Its not fool-proof, but with a 6-8lb trigger, accidentally shooting someone in an adrenaline dump is less likely compared to a 2-3lb trigger.

        • I don’t appendix carry, but if I did it would be something with a heavy double action trigger. I could see myself doing it with a J-frame revolver, but have no need since I pocket carry the 642 anyway.

          Frankly, I’m a bit chubby for appendix carry.

      • Ooooh, oooh, I’m scared I’ll shoot my wiener. Fine, then don’t carry that way, nobody gives a f*ck.

    • You are proof that you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink (even if you hold his head underwater until he drowns)

      Just because you have not shot your self YET, does not mean that you won’t. Fortunately with appendix carry, it’s only the idiot that gets shot.

      • This strikes me as something written to stir the pot, but just in case…. Once again, someone brings their fears and experiences to dictate “The Truth” for all to bow down to. Nothing is universally true for everyone in all situations. Good judgement is required to safely handle a gun on a continuous basis. Absolutes and dictates are for small minds and not to be listened to. And…that’s “The Truth”. 😉

      • That reminds me, on gun blogs I see a lot of accusations of idiocy based on minor differences. I’d like to take this time to point out actual idiocy among a few people, and perhaps we should have an article about that.

        1. A guy who thought it would be a good idea to have the first round in his carry gun be a snake shot round. His words, “first a shot round to be like a warning, then I’ll tell him the next round is the real deal.”

        2. A guy who referred to soft points as “take down rounds.”

        3. A guy who thought an AR is powered by electricity.

        4. A guy who thought there was such a thing as glass triggers. As in made out of glass.

        5. People who think lasers can “guide” bullets.

        6. A guy who thought magazines in an AR or AK get to hot to touch when firing.

    • I touch my phone, keys, wallet, penknife, earbuds, etc, every day. I’ve never had to touch my gun and (hopefully) never will, so to my mind my gun should be the least obtrusive thing on me. That alone is enough to convince that pocket carrying a mouse gun is sufficient for my needs.

      Even if you disregard the issue of a loaded piece being pointed right at your ‘nads, I’d rather not have a gun digging into my abdominal area all day.

      • Ever try it? It’s actually surprisingly comfortable, safe (as any carry method can be) and accessible with the right gun and holster.

    • “There isn’t a respected trainer in the country today who does not endorse AIWB.” Where did you get that from? I haven’t heard or seen that anywhere else before.

      • Vic, he pulled it out of his ass. Or, it just popped into his head. I’m sorry. I repeat myself.

        • Conrad, jumping out of airplanes is dangerous, but the army kept having parachutes built, giving them to me and making me jump out of the damned things. Dangerous has nothing to do with holsters. Holsters aren’t dangerous. I could beat myself over the head with my Milt Sparks Summer Special all day without injury. It’s the weapon that’s dangerous. And the way you carry/deploy/use it. Are you stupid or something?

      • True, and I can think of one that’s not an AIWB fan, Bill Rapier. His stated reason being that he feels IWB side carry is a better mode for going hands-on. I’m not religious about holster carry positions, but a logical person should be able to understand that AIWB is inherently riskier due to proximity to the femoral. What they do with that understanding is not my concern.

    • I train with a former SEAL and Global Response Staff lead trainer. Not a household name or YouTube star, but somebody respected by those who do know him. Appendix carry is not allowed in the program, but what you do outside of class is your business.
      Someone not in the school lost a testicle to AIWB carry while practicing at the main range a few months ago. Obviously his own fault — he had a gun without a separate manual safety, didn’t get a proper grip during the draw, and shot himself when he tried to regrasp.

    • AIWB isn’t for everyone. With regards to the photo that is captioned “ AIWB isn’t for everyone.” If the guy in the photo gains another fifty pounds his belly will completely cover his gat. Won’t even need a holster to keep it in place. Maybe go through metal detectors undetected. Obesity for the win!!!!

      BTW, I hope I haven’t offended anyone. I am obese and having a difficult time losing weight.

      • Don’t feel bad. Losing weight, and keeping it off, is one of the (if not the most) difficult thing a human can do. You have to turn off literally billions of years of biology to do it.

      • No offense taken here, from another fat guy.

        I don’t like appendix carry either……………………………..for me. What other people do is their own business.

        Maybe someone needs to do a study of negligent discharges and see what the ratio of NDs and the rate of injuries are between AIWB and other carry methods.

        I always prefered OWB carry between 2:30 and 4:30. Since I got the alien Gear Shape Shift I discovered IWB carry in the “strongside” style (IWB with 2 clips/loops, one in front of and one behind the gun) also works well for me in about the same location. I have seen guys point guns straight into their hips or sides while fishing them into the holster in both of those styles of holster. Apparently if you want to shoot yourself you can find a way to do it with any holster style and location

        • I have an Alien Gear stealth something holster and not only are the clips are ripping out of the material, but they always getting hung up on something. The hard interior plastic snapped apart on the edges, dug through the neoprene and was stabbing me until I clipped it off. The clips also ride off my belt and sometimes will work their way off entirely if I don’t discretely adjust.

          They might be great for some people but I won’t be buying again.
          My $2.00.

      • My and my wife each lost over 60 lbs and all our diabetes medication by going keto. It worked so well that I can now appendix carry a Glock 43!

      • I love that you use the word “gat” . This method of carry takes me back to my younger days when i was stupid and carried like this. I would never chamber a round as i was always worried, and rightfully so, that id shoot off my dick. These days i carry on my hip or iwb above my butt cheek. I just keep laughing about the gat and if you carry that way is it mandatory you hold your gat sideways lol ,” a kill shot.”

    • I collect negligent discharge on body parts photos from the internet and save them on my phone. I occasionally look at them to sober me up and help me go into super-vigilant mode when I go shooting. I recommend this to everyone.

      • I read that too fast and thought it was a porn joke. Couldn’t figure out why anyone would want a range boner. What you were actually talking about makes more sense. Carry on…

    • I’ve heard in many forums and anecdotes in gun magazines about the consequences of hasty AIWB carry. Sometimes it’s a Darwin Award nominee or winner. Other times it’s a trip to the hospital and/or morgue.

      Should be encouraged among the criminally inclined

    • I prefer IWB 4-5 @ 4-5 clock.

      I prefer condition three with my G19 until I get a manual safety pistol, then I’ll carry condition one. Before someone scream’s about how having to rack the slide makes it ineffective, people’s circumstance vary; mine simply don’t warrant condition one carry at all times. Since I’m almost always on a farm, I see people coming long before they see me and can decide if I want to chamber one before speaking with uninvited guests. I’m always bending, kneeling, lifting, and shifting around and I think having a Glock in condition one is a liability regardless of how good or bad the holster is.

    • The biggest problem I see isn’t using a cheap holster, it’s snagging part of your cover garment when you re-holster. It’s easy on the range when you are just wearing a shirt. But what about when you are wearing heavier clothing? Does your jacket have elastic sliders that dangle?

      I’m not going to tell experienced people how to carry a gun, but appendix carry isn’t for the new shooter.

    • The main reason I don’t appendix carry is I look a little too much like the guy in the third pic. 🤨

      Choice of carry gun is the single most important factor in this carry method. A DA pistol with an exposed hammer goes a LONG way towards mitigating the risks of shooting yourself.

    • I disagree. I’ve been to several advanced classes and no one ever is moving around the course with an appendix holster. It would be dopey – you bend over, kneel down, run and the your thigh bumps the holster up or it digs into your gut.

      Appendix carry violates Rule #2, which of course every trainer teaches at every class (basic or advanced). That is why for plain clothes cops they also teach a low sweep up to the target with a cross draw or vertical shoulder holster to at least REDUCE violating rule #2. Don’t know who you mean by “respected trainers,” but in my limited experience:

      1. Every NRA certified instuctor I have ever had – about 10 and counting over many years- has discouraged appendix carry, and most absolutely prohibited it in their class. Some even show a drawing of the femoral artery and refer people to the the many news articles on negligent discharges with appendix carry. (Net search on: “shoots/shot himself” + “thigh/leg.” Dozens of articles on likely appendix carry where the person bled out hitting the artery. They weren’t all morons and the instructor mentioned above in the TTAG article was likely not a moron either. They either made a minor mistake, or got clothes/belt loop/seat belt caught inside the trigger guard & BOOM. Dead in minutes.

      2. Thunder Ranch discourages/prohibits appendix carry (I’d say they are respected).

      3. All the Midwest area instructions associated with GSL, including obviously the author of this TTAG article (John Boch) discourage/prohibit appendix carry (respected also).

      4. I have been to many ranges around the country where they prohibit appendix carry holsters, cross draw, and shoulder holsters due to Rule #2. When any holsters are allowed at all, they must be strong-side belt holsters.

      • The following was posted previously on TTAG and elsewhere online regarding appendix carry.

        A Note from Thunder Ranch to clients.

        Thunder Ranch
        WARNING: Most of you know that Clint and I are not that WILD about appendix type holsters. IF you use one and use it correctly then thats your gig….continue to do that. Many choose to use this holster and the FACT is that when you are seated the muzzle IS pointed at YOUR privates. You MUST make sure that your finger is OFF the trigger when you get the gun out and keep it out of the trigger guard until you get the gun up into the threat area. I personally do not like them because I do not want anyone trapping my hand in that area when I go for the gun…but thats Clint and I. We mention this because one of our students who is a Doc just treated a guy this morning that shot himself by mistake in the nuts drawing from his appendix carry holster. He was lucky….he only shot his privates and not his femoral artery…so…just a helping tip for the day…do NOT shoot yourself in the crotch. Heidi

  3. I don’t care for AIWB for one simple reason: the distance between my belt line and my groin is so short when I sit that I can’t sit down without ramming the barrel into myself very uncomfortably, even with a compact pistol. Fortunately, there is a nice pocket right behind my femur where a gun fits very nicely.

  4. I do not carry appendix style. Because … BIOLOGY!

    Quite simply the potential damage from a momentary act of screwing up is less when carrying with the line of unintended destruction traveling anywhere but things like femoral arteries and reproductive organs. Not that it is impossible to shoot yourself in the femoral artery while holstering on your right hip, it is simply far less likely than when the holstered gun would normally point that way.

    Millions of people carry guns in all sorts of positions with nothing bad ever happening. That is not a reason to select the highest risk of death option.

  5. Main problem with an appendix carry is that it violates safety rule #1:

    • That’s the thing isn’t it? Either the rules are important, or they aren’t. It’s hard to claim these rules are sacred, then turn around and break one of them all day, every day.

        • What about ricochets off hard surfaces like pavement? Or uses a horizontal shoulder rig. Plus see my comment further down about small of the back carry.

      • What planet did you train on? Anyone with two weeks of training can reholster without flagging themselves or others, and a quality holster doesn’t point into your body.

        • Which is why my comment addressed not flagging others. Maybe if you spent more time reading fine details rather than assuming my holster of choice is a shoulder rig pointing at people behind me, you wouldn’t have to explain to your doctor why your head is stuck so far up your rectum. #wreckedhim

  6. I have not found IWB comfortable, appendix carry or not. Always OWB.

    My brother tells me he would prefer appendix carry, but he had his removed. 😉

  7. Y’all won’t need a CATT y’all will need a RATS cause it won’t compress enough lmao

    • RATS are terrible for legs, and in general. There is no provision to apply pressure. They aren’t CoTCCC approved, and they formed their own group called TCCC to say they were “TCCC Approved.” They have since forfeited the TCCC trademark. If you’re worried about compressing a big thigh, a thin tourniquet needs more pressure to stop blood flow, and you won’t find many thinner than a RATS (you’re supposed to do multiple wraps, but there’s nothing to tighten those wraps). Try a SOFTT-W or other appeoved tourniquet that had a metal windlass if you don’t trust a CAT. The TX3 is wide and recently approved, but I haven’t tried the ratcheting TQs personally.

      • Lol you miss the joke much in your rush to educate everyone? Thank you for the unnecessary and long information you read somewhere on the net but haven’t actually done. It was a joke

  8. I SO don’t care if dumbazzes shoot their “parts” off…just don’t shoot me or anyone else. Duh.

  9. I tried it once upon a time…all it did was jab and annoy me.

    To each their own though.

  10. I don’t really understand why AIWB is a thing. I carry right on my hip and throw a shirt on over it. Are you concerned about printing? Don’t be. I think people overthink this all too much.

    • Ron,

      “…overthink…” probably correct. Printing could be an issue when ignoring “No gun” signs. Other than that, I do not care if people realize my concealed carry is not so concealed.

    • This is an instructive comment because it illustrates the “Argument from Ignorance” fallacy. Simply because you don’t understand something doesn’t mean that it isn’t real or valuable. Real value is obviously circumstantial. The fact of the matter is that a practiced AIWB time to first shot is appreciably faster than probably any other concealed draw stroke. So, you have to decide whether that matters to you or not and whether you are willing to bear the potential costs.

      IF most defensive gun uses are at a short distance, which we are told they are, AND IF, on average 2.7 shots are fired, (assuming any shots need to be fired at all) as the state of California recently argued before the 9th circuit, then first guy to 2.7 wins.

      How long would like it to take you to do that? I know a lot of PoG don’t actually go the range with a shot timer, but if you did, you might be shocked.

      If you will recall the recent Texas church shooting in which one poor gentleman took an excessively long time to draw his weapon, and was killed, then you can see that there is at least some value in a quick practiced draw stroke from a location that is readily available whether standing or sitting. This of course gets us back to the making personal decisions, whose potential consequences, both good and bad, are acceptable to you.

      The reality, I suspect, based of many of the comments here and on my own anecdotal experiences, is that most who criticize AIWB have never tried it, never timed it, never timed their preferred draw, and really are just dog piling based on RULE #1, which everyone who carries violates – AIWB muzzles your junk, IWB anywhere else muzzles your feet or your ass, OWB muzzles feet of those you stand close to, Pocket carry muzzles everyone whenever you sit down, shoulder carry either muzzles feet or everyone behind you, depending on type of holster, and last but not least, when you disarm and place your weapon on the nightstand, either in or out of the holster, you muzzle yourself and all of your family members that walk past the nightstand.

      Nuf said…

      • If raw speed is your primary goal, then why not pocket carry a revolver? You don’t even have to draw, and you can discreetly keep your hand on the gun whenever you feel the need. You can even keep your hand on the gun at all times and who’s going to know?

        • So tell me…

          How has this method of pocket carry worked out for you when you tested it at the range? Is the pocket in which you carried this revolver attached to a jacket? If so, are you willing to wear that jacket everywhere, all year long, whether it is hot or cold? Or is this pocket in your pants? If it is in your pants, can you reliably make hits and if so how? (seems rather awkward, but I’m willing to learn) Where there functionality issues? Of the shots fired, how many where A-zone hits? How did your time to first shot compare with AIWB / iWB / OWB etc. How many pairs of pants or jackets do you go through in an average month training? Or is this just another imaginary scenario that sounds good on the inter-webs? If you have answers to these questions I’d actually love to hear them. Perhaps my eyes will be opened to a whole new better way to carry.

        • Cute. It actually doesn’t take all that to realize which is the *fastest* way to shoot. Notice in the post above, he doesn’t mention accuracy. Only speed. Obviously pocket carry has zero effect for any kind of distance. This is pure logic. But that’s lost on a moron if your caliber.

        • So not an answer to a single one of the questions? Not even an answer to the have you tried this question? Well never mind. What was I thinking. Clearly you must be right, I mean, pure logic, right? I mean that’s how all of the best things come to be, and that is certainly how gun fights are won and survived, you just think about them, and viola MAGIC! Works perfectly first time. Why the hell would you want to test anything in the real world? Total waste of time.

  11. I’ve never even thought about carrying this way honestly.
    I have a few good holsters and it’s IWB at about 4 o’ clock in warmer weather or OWB in a retention holster when I can wear a good cover garment.

  12. AIWB, especially with the light trigger pistols with no manual safety that are so popular is just asking for trouble. It’s based on the idea that nothing will go wrong, and if that assumption is the basis of your plans I have wonder why you bother carrying a gun.

    • Random,

      “It’s based on the idea that nothing will go wrong…”

      You’ve boiled it down to its simplist form. Nicely done.

    • True. People get a striker fired pistol without a manual safety, then add an aftermarket super light trigger.

      • Ha! I did that, though it is merely a lighter than average trigger. It wasn’t a carry pistol, but a 5″ barrel home defense pistol. My excuse is that it was my first time buying a pistol.

  13. Tips to safely appendix carry… Get a good kydex holster. You can practice speed draws but don’t practice speed re holstering. Don’t be fat. Only re holster while slightly leaning back so even if you ND you will only shoot the ground in front of you.

    Tips to appendix carry comfortably… Again, don’t be fat. Don’t sit down. Don’t bend over. Don’t appendix carry.

  14. I saw a guy shoot himself in the leg while re-holstering. He was carrying OWB at 3:00 so he didn’t die but he was still seriously hurt. The bullet entered his leg just below the knee and exited just above his heel. Seeing that happen gave me the habit of slow re-holstering and made me very unlikely to try AIWB.

  15. Point and case. Violation of rules 1/3. Dont point you’re firearm at your cock/balls. Since the photo at the top clearly shows violation of this rule, it’s inherently stupid.

    • Welcome to every holster. The gun is going to be pointed at least at your feet on occasion, more likely your ass and leg all the time with strongside carry.

  16. Many of the problems related to appendix carry come from using striker fired pistols. Carry something with a hammer so you can feel if the trigger is catching on anything while re-holstering.

  17. I used to appendix carry a full size 1911.
    It was unloaded of course and the whole point WAS to ‘print’
    Drove the girls wild.

  18. I’ve carried AIWB for years. My firearm has never spontaneously gone off on its own, and I NEVER reholster with the holster in place. It’s comfortable and concealable with my body type.

    So frankly it’s just not an issue.

    And for the record I’m not trying to be tacticool like my gunslinging heroes, John, but thanks for taking the time to be being demeaning to many TTAG readers.

    • John was NOT demeaning to anyone. He was just showing with appendix carry is dangerous (and stupid).

      Just because YOU took offense, doesn’t mean what he said was offensive.

      • i have no issue debating safety concerns. AIWB isn’t a great choice for some people.

        But these aren’t safety comments :”It also seems to be 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 Cabela’s or Academy Sports.“

        I’ve been shooting for nearly five decades and have a number of instructor ratings. If only I had known I could have picked the skills up at Cabela’s.

        So yes. I did take offense.

  19. So the author assumes after a defensive gun use everyone is is going to do some rapid reholstering like a samurai in some Kirwasoa movie.

    Oh, and then where is his outrage about anyone who carries in the small of the back?

  20. Opinions are like azzholes, everyone has one. Just as anti-gun knobs do, this starts out with in the first few sentences disparaging people and making immediate examples of the worst case. It starts out with “number of younger shooters It also seems to be the choice of many keyboard commandoswho want to be just like their heroes in the gun community”

    The guy lost me right there. It was all I could do to read the rest of his page filling garbage. I’m not a keyboard commando by any stretch. I have taken advanced formal training and have also carried every method there is with the exception of an ankle holster in 40 years of carrying.

    There are truths to it though, AIWB does NOT lend itself well to careless mistakes, particularly re-holstering. That said, every holster manufacturer that makes holsters for IWB have specific instructions NOT to re-holster while the holster is still in the waistband.

    I carry a hammer fired DA/SA and sure if I fire off a round and re-holster with the holster in the WB, with the weapon in SA mode because I failed to de-cock the weapon with the decocker and my finger on the trigger, I am GOING to shoot myself.

    In my opinion, AIWB is NOT ideal for new carriers and those who are inexperienced still on the early learning curve. Clearly AIWB is an excellent method for advanced carriers. Advantages are obvious and some not so obvious but concealability, the ability to draw and present while seated in the car seat belted in, and probably the most important, it’s fast, REAL fast. No other carry method is going to be as quick as appendix carry PERIOD unless you are one of these trick quick draw folks but comparing against those guys is pointless.

    Would I recommend AIWB to careless DBs or newbies, no. I’d hesitate to even recommend it for anyone packing a striker fired pistol as the easy trigger pull can create problems, even for those who are experienced make mistakes. But the heavy DA first pull on my P229 and decades of experience lend itself well to AIWB carry.

    As I have said many times, no method of carry, no weapon or caliber is perfect for every person for every occasion.

      • Thats because most internet commandos dont really shoot or train. They read it on the internet. Shooting a da/sa gun takes skill and practice.

    • “every holster manufacturer that makes holsters for IWB have specific instructions NOT to re-holster while the holster is still in the waistband”

      Nope. Didn’t bother reading past this laughable statement.

      • Go look. Speaking of laughable, ignorance is bliss. Pick up a holster designed for appendix carry and read it the instructions. Oh wait, you don’t read very long. Never mind.

      • Eric:
        a. What instructions? I’ve never bought a holster that came with instructions.
        b. I long-ago decided that the only safe way for me to carry a striker-fired pistol was in the four o’clock position AND to holster/re-holster it with the holster dismounted from my belt. I’m no “operator,” but that’s what makes sense to me.

  21. We have so many tards here….carry appendix is more for the ladies & that is fine as long as they acknowledge the inherent risk…..and the fact if they get slammed on their face they will never get to their gun…if they survive the crash on their face…oh yeah men too…

    IF i come up from behind and throw u down to the ground face first with a skull crushing blow ur done….

    …oh yeah 4 those thinking they will push someone off after 20 punches to the brain and spinal kill area ur retarded & will die… bother who is really strong …stronger than most …never did that in the 10,000+ fights we had…..

    Keep ur gun where u can access it @ all times standing or crawling….& u can thank me later….when u go home to the kids!

    • Was this in English? Spewnonstopbsmuch? About as coherent as the Boch article maybe TTAG can pick this guy up too?

    • @ Just
      Your comment ranks right up there with about the most ignorant, narrow minded, uniformed comment I have ever read here on TTAG. Congratulations.
      You picked out a far-fetched scenario to fit your point. Yeah sure, if you carry in the small of your back and someone grabs you in a arms pinned bear hug, you can’t reach your gun etc.

    • If you come up behind someone and get the first blow, how they carry is pretty meaningless.

      Make sure you wear a hat to cover that point on top of your head.

    • For “u”, I recommend NCAA method. No Carry At All. Please don’t handle firearms. “U” can thank me later when go home to the ki …oh, please, don’t do that either.

      • The Ballad of Buster Scruggs.

        I just found a new movie to watch! His looks funny. Thnx!

  22. Put gun in holster.
    Put holster in pants.
    Sure, it gets tedious at the range. So what? Tedium is part of practice.

  23. One of those rare times I have agreed with Boch.

    Something I have noticed when shooting with others is their tendency to get on the trigger waaaaay before they are on target.

    Practicing draw strokes with an empty pistol (myself), I notice my hand muscles are under much different tension than when draw from 3:30.

    So I can understand why folks tend to get the trigger sooner which AIWB.

    I suppose just a training issue but AIWB is not for me.

    • “Something I have noticed when shooting with others is their tendency to get on the trigger waaaaay before they are on target.”

      That’s what training is for, you never break a bad habit like that unless somebody’s busting your balls every time you do it.

      • The guys i have observed are trained.

        When they “practice” , they arch their back when they draw.

        When they shoot against the timer, they lean forward and are trying to get on target. So they tend to be in the trigger guard when the barrel is still pointing down.

        Like i have worked with some, but it seems to be more effort for a less than ideal carry position.


        • “The guys i have observed are trained.”

          Not very well then. Getting on the trigger before you’re on target will get you DQ’d whether you’re using an unsafe carry style or not. If it doesn’t your competition isn’t serious.

        • Mebbe.

          But what people think they do and what they actually do are often two different things.

          As a technical trainer, I usually use video.

          Perhaps I should film these guys, cause they get pissed when you tell em they’re on the go pedal too soon.

          Like i said… nor for me

  24. I don’t appendix carry because I’m very attached to my nads, literally and figuratively, and do not wish to be detached.

    I carry OWB at 3 o’clock or IWB at 4 o’clock. In either case, the muzzle is pointed at the ground, not at any of my favorite organs. Even if appendix carry is relatively safe, it still gives me the heebie-jeebies. Years of muzzle avoidance will do that to a person.

    Just spitballing here, but if appendix carry was called testicle carry, would anyone do it? Prolly not. However, I am familiar with a couple of cases of vagina carry, but they were all internal.

    • Was the woman’s gun pointing inward or outward?
      Just trying to understand her intentions.

      • Word on the street in China is, it was pointed outward, and she had mastered hands free operation.

    • Ralph, “In either case, the muzzle is pointed at the ground, not at any of my favorite organs”, so you are saying you like the snausage? J/K dont hate.

  25. “You’ll shoot your d*** off,” Ralphie’s mom and Ms. Shields taunted as little Ralphie one day dreamed of carrying a pistol aimed at his genitalia.

  26. Why do you keep posting articles from this tool? Boch is worse for gun rights than that Kate person.

      • Aren’t you that psycho that also claims to wear 30 pounds of unnecessary EDC gear? And you have the temerity to call others keyboard commandos?

      • Are you coming out of the closet? You are not helping the cause unless it is to alienate gun owners and get them labeled as racist. I get it you live in Illinois but that is still not an excuse.

  27. My take’s always been there are two distinct risk factors to consider with appendix carry: The likelihood of an incident, and the severity of the incident should you have one.

    The first one can be addressed with training. Just like any other method of carry, practice, practice, and practice. There’s always a chance for a mishap no matter how you carry – especially drawing under stress in a real world DGU – but the risk can certainly be minimized.

    The second risk factor is a constant that no amount of training can reduce. The gun will always be pointed at one’s groin and a major artery in the leg. A negligent discharge will result in a far more serious injury than in other methods of carry, and one that will almost certainly be life-threatening and likely to involve a very fast “bleed out” without immediate aid.

    Personally, it’s not for me. I have more faith in good situational awareness to give me the extra seconds (or even better, avoid the threat entirely) I might need in most situations. YMMV.

    • How much did White settle for? Was that the one where guy sued for the ND while unloading a van awhile back? I can’t remember if he sued the holster company or the gun company or both. If I remember correctly the gun was a glock or sig. Forgive me I don’t particularly remember that case law very well.

  28. There are very few circumstances I’d give Appendix a credible consideration. Most of them involve double action revolvers.

  29. I took a pistol course around October 2019. The instructor is well known and highly respected. I think I was the only student who was strong side iwb. The others were a mix of strong side owb or aiwb. The instructor spent time explaining how to draw for every carry method but mine. He then instructed us to line up to shoot the next drill but stopped when he saw me and remembered my carry method. He gathered us back again to talk about strong side iwb. Awib is so hawt right now.

    • AIWB is generally easier to conceal.

      Never underestimate the value of convenience.

      It’s why I pocket carry all the time and carry other ways as backup.

  30. “You’ll shoot your di*k off”. I knew the point before reading the article, and yes, that’s why I don’t carry this way. Any gun that can be concealed this way can be done so between 3 o’clock and 9 o’clock (lefty).

    It’s a free country but probably should google “glock leg” or stick to double action/exposed hammers if you must to keep that control. IMO

  31. I prefer a chest rig. All day comfort my weapon is always accessible even on the shitter. Available at

    • Don’t re-holster in a hurry or you’ll shoot your heart out. See guys, every style of carry has its attendant body part that you really don’t want to blow a hole in. 😉

  32. never liked it. don’t like a gun in the vicinity of the jewels and i could never sit down comfortably.

    8:00 carry for the win (i’m wrong handed)

    • Ok…your going to be the subject of an inflammatory, insulting article telling you why your going to shoot yourself because you USE THE WRONG HAND TO SHOOT WITH!!! Just kidding, man.

  33. The only rig that I ever learned to holster quickly without looking at was a retention duty holster and that’s because of the need to transition to handcuffs quickly.

    You shouldn’t be reholstering AT ALL in the immediate wake of a defensive shooting as a conceal carrier.

    Do I have to repeat that for the folks in the back?

    If you shot the guy, why are you re-holstering? He’s still a threat unless his brains are laying in a heap next to him. And even in THAT case, his friend that you don’t know about is still a threat. Forget about those armchair lawyers that suggest that you go render first aid. You just shot the guy which means he was a danger to your life (uh, right?). Shooting him got you the chance to get away. USE IT. Get somewhere safer where you can take the time to reholster safely or simply put the gun down and then call the police so that they can come make the scene secure and render medical assistance.

    • “Forget about those armchair lawyers that suggest that you go render first aid.“

      Thank you!!!!

      Rendering first aid to an attacker, especially if you really don’t know what you’re doing, is the stupidest advice I’ve ever heard.

  34. “You’ll shoot your nads off! You’ll shoot your nads off!”

    Oh, wait…wrong movie.

  35. Option1: Double action, cover hammer with thumb upon reholster.
    Option 2: Hk P7 master race.

  36. I orginally started with an aliengear cloak tuck holster at 4:30 position, but with time, unholsteing was killing my shoulder, sharp pain. Went to 3:00 position, less shoulder pain, but even my Shield was printing. I have an athletic build and refuse to wear baggy clothes, but I don’t wear tight clothes either, I’m in my late 40’s, but active lifestyle with my children and the outdoors. I switched to Appendix because it made sense for me, no shoulder pain, no printing, fast draw from sitting position (from my car seat), can unholster from my weakhand, I can roll onto my back. I trained appendix for my CCW classes and I still practice my draw stroke daily. I’m aware of the Pros and Cons and am very mindful since it’s not the most comfortable way to carry concealed. As for some comfort, prior to sitting down, I simply pull up my pants a little. Maybe when I get older and develop dickiedo, I’ll wear baggy shirts, and OWB strong side or pocket carry.

    • A well reasoned response.
      I’m the same way. Literally and figuratively.

      Though, if I’m wearing a heavy coat, I’ll switch to my chest rig.

  37. There are WAY more fudd idiots posting here than I thought….
    AIWB carry is perfectly fine if you’re not a fat ass moron (millennial)….
    Otherwise, don’t fkn worry about how I carry my pistol…… you’re wife doesn’t seem to mind how I carry my pistol 😉

    • Dude this community is full of FUDDs. It’s a constant political debate and tons of “I support the 2nd BUT…”

  38. Obviously, there are a lot of guys here who need to stop worrying about the health of other guys’ junk.

  39. Beat that dead horse like anyone gives a fuck what your personal preference is. Post some EDC shit and shut the fuck up.

  40. I never understood appendix carry. I have no idea how you can sit down or bend over carrying that way. My 4 o’clock carry could result in ass or leg wound but my jewels won’t be destroyed. Seems like a stupid way to hide a firearm to me.

  41. People can carry their gun with a lanyard around the trigger as it hangs from their neck for all I care. But I’m neither going to do it nor endorse it. To me it’s a solution in search of a problem while holding one’s nards hostage at gunpoint. Have some respect for poor old Captain Willy…

  42. Always keep the firearm pointed in a safe direction. Or, never let the muzzle cover anything you are not willing to destroy. Hello Anyone???
    I’m an engineer – even a firearms engineer. No mechanical device is full proof. Just bending over and putting force on a firearm in an unexpected way could cause a malfunction. Especially with flexible plastic frames.
    Pointed at your femoral, or reproductive organs isn’t pointed in a safe direction, or at something you’re willing to destroy.
    Strong side carry all the time, every day.
    The benefit is it’s in the same place if you are open carrying or wearing a battle rig.
    Not fast enough? Got watch Jerry’s latest fast draw from concealment video. I’m not Jerry, but get a shot timer and practice.
    You’ll shout out your eye! Oh, I mean… you’ll shoot off your NUTS!

    • Guess you’ve never heard of DOA pistols…. with manual safety….. with handset DOWN….
      So although you MIGHT be a firearms engineer, you sure sound like a FUDD TO ME!

  43. The same bunch of fudd retards that poo poo on AIWB are the ones that won’t carry with one in the chamber either “because it’s dangerous.” Carry it in your purse or whatever stupid way you want, nobody gives a shit.

    • Evidently you and Suspicious Fisherman care.

      Seems like y’all have case of the vapors from folks nay-sayin AIWB.

      Kinda funny….

  44. I was an appendix carry skeptic until I lost the spare tire, set my Kydex holster to zero cant and tried it. I’m comfortable with it now, but also very careful when holstering / re-holstering. Not that I wasn’t careful at 4 o’clock, but without the visual QC I was more likely to snag a garment or not hit the holster perfectly. Also, if need be, removing the holster entirely is much easier / quicker with AIWB. It works well for my DA Kahr, but I’ll stick with OWB holsters for my Glocks and 1911 if/when I feel the need to carry those.

  45. This isn’t “your opinion” this is a hit article blasting people who carry AIWB. Using your superiority complex and anecdotal evidence to discredit anyone you disagree with. Congratulations, you belong on Reddit and in the comment section, not in an article.

  46. Mr. Boch,
    First you start with insults, go to your “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, there’s a good chance you’ll die.”: The Specter of gloom and doom disparaging AIWB carry. Is AIWB the Root Cause of of your suggested maleficent results? No, and that’s why your wrong.

    Everything we do with firearms has the inherent risk of the firearm discharging, this is why we have the basic safety rules. The potential violation of any of them can result in a negligent discharge (ND), injury or death. Is the act of holstering a handgun AIWB is no more “UNSAFE” or dangerous than holstering at rear hip IWB or small of back? Your opinion of YES is flawed because you assume AIWB users will error while all other IWB/OWB carriers will not. Be honest and admit how many times you have seen others cant the handgun muzzel at their body as they make multiple blind attempts to find the mouth of the holster!

    You also omit the root cause for your hate of AIWB carry IS EXACTLY the same for all IWB/OWC NDs: a finger or obstruction depressing the trigger while holstering. If the vast majority (almost all) of daily carriers can avoid NDs in other body carry locations why conclude AIWB carriers are less capable?

    You also make assumption on types of injuries that may occur and give an example. Well theres plenty of injuries from draw and holstering from OWB users including supervised Matches with ROs having “inspected Empty handguns”. I’m sure your capable of finding examples, it just doesn’t fit your opinion and narrative. I knen a person who was doing “fast” draw/ shoot range work from OWB/1911. Shot himself in the stomach and exited Left butt cheek. NDs will go wherever they are pointed. The true issue is to AVOID the root cause, where your entire premise is to minimize the extent of injury based on carry location. Again, you basically express that people WILL shoot themselves, so mitigate what part(s) of the body will be injured. You might as well push gun control since you don’t have a cure for your preceiced opinion of gun owner incompetence.

  47. I have an idea. How about you carry the way you want and mind your own damn business about how others carry?

  48. Im gonna say it one more time

  49. I’m getting a kick out of everyone getting reflexively defensive. Let’s be clear, it’s unlikely appendix carry will kill you. However, it’s much more likely to kill you than regular IWB, though. Appendix violates a fundamental rule of gun safety – “Never point the gun at anything that you do not intend to shoot.” In this case, that would be either your genitalia or a main artery, as the article points out..

  50. Can’t really train appendix carry under stress (timer + targets) because IDPA / USPSA doesn’t allow you to draw from that position.

  51. I carried a Chief’s Special appendix-style routinely, before I ‘graduated’ to semi-auto pistols. I wouldn’t hesitate to do it again if the occasion called for it, but only with that type of handgun.

  52. As per usual, I learnt more from the comments than the article. Which is not to mean that I didn’t like the article. Here is my question to all:

    Carrying a DA/SA with a manual safety (FNX), how can you shoot yourself if the safety is on? With the FNX and my hands, the safety almost automatically comes off when I put my thumbs in place.

  53. Clearly many here are not women with child bearing hips, that cannot physically accommodate any other comfortable, yet quickly accessible position, other than AIWB. Hmmmm. Wear a RELIABLE holster. Build the neural pathway through consistent training to tip the hips up to draw and to reholster WITH good trigger discipline WHILE slowly and smoothly looking the gun back into the holster. Any position of carry can be potentially problematic if one doesn’t consistently train safely with it.

  54. I look at it this way. Its easy for trainers to endorse appendix carry. Why not its the hottest new thing to do and they run a business and need popularity to build their business. They sure dont want to be like this guy and get the fiery darts of hell shot at them. No money in that! When selecting a trainer, does he tell you you should conceal appendix or does he just help you with fundamentals whether you are carrying strong side or appendix? If he tells you that you should carry appendix then run all he wants is your money. No doubt its faster. No doubt it can conceal really well. Ive tried it and dont like it for for a few reasons. I would never suggest it to my sons who know very well how to run a gun. Why? I dont want a simple mistake to end their life. How about your sons? Go ahead and call me a fudd. Im sure it will make you feel better about your choices!

  55. Anybody CAN screw up anything. The purpose of the basic rules of safety is to mitigate bad consequences from the screw-ups that WILL and DO happen to even the most seasoned professionals.

    Now, you have a carry method where “I shot my nuts off!!!” is the LUCKY outcome of an AD, the unlucky one being “He shot his femoral artery off…”, but this will be said by someone else for obvious reasons.

    The alternative is a carry method where, at best you shoot the ground, or in most of the bad cases you shoot your right butt cheek, or the outside of your leg.

    Take your pick…

    Having shot for only 55 years, and carried guns professionally for only two or three decades, I’ll be prudent and risk my butt cheeks… but then what do I know.

    Real men can shoot their junk off if it makes them feel better. Having nothing to prove to anyone, I’ll keep mine, thank you.

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