Appendix Carry - Comfortable, Concealable, Quickest
This is a discussion on Appendix Carry - Comfortable, Concealable, Quickest within the Defensive Carry Holsters & Carry Options forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I first began working with what is called “Appendix Carry” when two things happened concurrently. I jammed up my right shoulder doing overhead presses in ...
February 6th, 2011 02:26 PM
Appendix Carry - Comfortable, Concealable, Quickest
I first began working with what is called “Appendix Carry” when two things happened concurrently. I jammed up my right shoulder doing overhead presses in the gym, and I began to work in some ground fighting Jujitsu into the skill sets (I hate ground fighting, but you never know right?)
I had normally carried in the 4:00/5:00 position, but now found my shoulder got very sore reaching back there. You know the story the doc tells you when you tell him it hurts to do something right? He usually says, “well stupid…don’t do that”. Moving the pistol forward of the hip fixed that right away.
The other issue was that if I was fighting someone on the ground, it was exceedingly difficult to reach back to grab a pistol that was sandwiched between the ground and my body. Yet Appendix Carry still allowed me to do so.
When we tried Appendix carry in our force on force drills we also found that it is very fast to draw from. And mind you, we judge this speed of draw from dynamically moving positions not from the “gunfighter’s ready to go position” often seen in traditional "stand and deliver" range work.
Of course, the range Nazis almost had heart attack when they saw what we were doing. Carrying up front was seen as unsafe, savage, and something only a caveman would do. Resistance mounted and dating back to 2003, there was virtually nobody in the USA making an Appendix Carry, Inside the Waistband Holster.
From Jeff Cooper on Handguns - copyright 1979
(ISBN 0-8227-2121-X) Page 86.
"Raked forward in front of the right hip is the appendix position. This is a good one for a detective whose need for concealment is not overriding. The pistol can be seen when if the coat falls open, and is somewhat uncomfortable when the wearer is seated, but it is faster than the kidney position and it permits a locked wrist.
The only man I know who is both a Class A combat shot and a highly skilled holster designer is also a full-time narcotics agent. (I would like to call him by name but his line of work prevents me).
He has settled on a .45 Commander, carried in the appendix position in a soft leather holster worn inside the trousers and beneath a hung out shirt tail. To blend with his unsavory professional environment, he has cultivated a sort of peacenik slouch with arms dangling forward and hands touching.
In this pose, his right forearm protects his sidearm from surreptitious search, and his left hand is ready to flip the shirt tail away if his right hand must draw. And heaven help the pusher who chooses to challenge this particular narc!"
The man Cooper was writing about was none other than the inventor of the entire IWB Summer Special concept, Bruce Nelson.
Immediate Advantages of Appendix Carry/IWB:
1). Protect the gun in crowded situations – One of the fears of most armed guys is going into a large crowd where you can’t keep everyone 21 feet away like they tell you at the range, you can’t keep your back to the wall like they did in the old westerns, and all manner of strangers will be bumping into and rubbing across your strong side holstered CCW pistol. With Appendix Carry, you can simply keep your arm across the holster and no one will ever know you are armed.
2). Easier covert deployment due to less arm motion in the draw - Some folks never worry about covert deployment. This is probably because they have never been in an armed robbery where any fast motions indicative of a draw would be met with gun fire.
The shoulder articulation needed to bring the hand up to the belt buckle area is considerably les, and includes less travel time, than what is needed to reach for a wallet kept in the right cheek pocket. Less motion draws less attention, and is faster.
3). Easier deployment in grappling or stalemate situations - Think of your fight starting with the bad guy knocking you down and now pummeling you on the ground. If you tell me that such a thing will never happen you must be the baddest hombre ever to strap on a gun. Me, I know it could happen. Look at the lead photo above. Could you get your pistol out?
Finding yourself in that situation, a draw from Appendix Carry will be much easier and faster, not to mention physically safer than traditional strong side carry.
4). It is faster than any other kind of carry. Don't believe it? I will prove it to you on based on physics and geometry alone....and then we'll go out on the Force On Force floor.
Try an experiment right now. Stand with your arms at your sides. Now move your “strong side” hand to the Appendix Position (just to the right of the belt buckle). Try again with what would be the cross draw position, and the strong side position. You will notice that the distance to grip is much less in appendix carry. Left handed guys, simply reverse the exercise.
A second experiment. From each one of those positions, move your hand now to the fully extended position as if you were going to shoot. Just do it one handed now for simplicity. The Appendix position is still less movement, and thus faster.
5). Unless you are extremely overweight, Appendix Carry is easier to conceal than other types of carry. Guys, my job is to produce people that can win a gunfight decissively and not to validate poor eating habits. You know those guys that fly armed on airplanes in case there is a terrorist on board? They tend toward appendix carry as well because their concealment requirements are quite high.
Important points about Appendix Carry holsters.
1). Height of the holster from the beltline is a compromise. The guys who want total concealment want it to ride as low as possible. Problem is that the lower it rides, the harder it is to get a grip on the gun when you draw. The higher it rides, the harder it is to conceal.
A rule of thumb is that the holster should allow your middle finger, ring finger, and pinky finger to wrap around the front strap of the pistol. If you can't do that, you will not be able to draw the gun at speed. Oh, you might pull some decent draws standing still shooting at some cardboard monkey on the range, but the minute you have to move and your body is not in the perfect position, forget it. Don't believe me? Come on out to class and see for yourself.
2). Positioning of the holster. The holster has to be placed on the belt in the same spot so when your hand habitually moves to it, it will not have shifted somewhere else. Usually riding a belt loop is enough to satisfy this need.
3). It must be mobile. Wait...didn't you just say it needed to the fixed? No. I said it needed to be positioned on the same spot every time. But unlike the side holster or the near-behind-the-back holster, the front of the torso flexes and moves considerably more and in various ways. A holster placed there needs to be able to move with the body, while remaining stationary on the belt.
Again, don't judge the holster by how you did at a gun game where you always shoot and draw from stationary points. That is a gun game and not a gun fight. Determine how well the holster works for you in how well you can still draw from true street concealment and fight in a force on force event, while running for your life "off the X".
If you have been looking for a good concealed carry concept that gives nothing up in terms of speed of access, this is it guys. Give it a serious try with an open mind. I think you will like it.
February 6th, 2011 02:56 PM
Excellent thread Gabe thanx for the post. I believe we talked about this subject on WT in the past, but it needs to be reviewed every now and again. I remember watching a Lenny Mcgill video from the mid '90's and he also advocated the appendix carry. He used the Galco version of the Summer Special, and drew from concealment, one handed and his body bladed toward the target. I also believe that appendix carry is the easiest to defend against a gun-grab (Weapon Retention). Always easier to protect your front than it is your back. Kydex in the appendix position, however for me, Is really uncomfortable. I am not fat by any means, but have had my appendix removed . Leather is more comfortable. I don't know of any major holster makers that make a leather rig exclusivley for appendix carry. As you mentioned most IWB rigs are carryed to deep for real appendix carry.
A armed person is a citizen-An unarmed person is a future victim.
February 6th, 2011 03:10 PM
Agree completely. Been carrying that way for a lot of years now. I carry at about 1:30 and it fits my needs for concealed carry. As I get older and mobility decreases I would like to see someone develope a Level II or Level III duty holster with a slight rake to the rear that could be carried more to the front say around 1:30. Easier to access and easier to defend.
High Noon Public Secret holster.
Last edited by Old School; February 6th, 2011 at 06:45 PM.
February 6th, 2011 03:49 PM
Excellent report, Gabe.
AIWB is my prefered method of carry with my G30.
What we've got here is failure to communicate.
February 6th, 2011 04:05 PM
Ok. You just sold me. I'm going to buy a High Noon Mr. Softy, specifically for appendix carry...
I am no expert, but in my experimenting, appendix is more concealable. It seems that the most difficult thing for us to conceal is the butt of our pistol.
I have found that appendix carry eliminates this kind of printing. For me though, it does eliminate full size pistols. I just ain't tall enough to facilitate my 1911 at that position.
Now, if I had a reverse cant and rode crossdraw from the weak side appendix, that might give me a bit more space for a longer barrel.
If appendix is fast (in other words efficient), then how 'bout crossdraw appendix?
Trust in God and keep your powder dry
"A heavily armed citizenry is not about overthrowing the government; it is about preventing the government from overthrowing liberty. A people stripped of their right of self defense is defenseless against their own government." -source
February 6th, 2011 05:27 PM
My appendix is too big!
Treat me good, I'll treat you better. Treat me bad, I'll treat you worse.
February 6th, 2011 05:51 PM
I thought about getting that for my SP101, but I need something with a body shield so that the hammer doesn't end up removing my appendix!
Originally Posted by zacii
February 6th, 2011 06:40 PM
checked out the Mr. Softy y'all were talking about. It's a nice one but it would sit to low IWB for me. it would be sitting right on top of my sugical site. OWW! Really like the design though, and no cant.
A armed person is a citizen-An unarmed person is a future victim.
February 6th, 2011 08:35 PM
Good confirmation of what I've been doing...it just feels more comfortable for me to carry about 2, 2:30...
In pratice, it appears to me that I can draw easier, quicker, with much less effort...
I like the fact that I can keep my forearm comfortably against the weapon in a crowd...
"Let us speak courteously, deal fairly, and keep ourselves armed and ready."
February 6th, 2011 08:38 PM
Go with the extreme duty appendex, combat grip version http://highnoonholsters.com/Product_...et_w_clip.html
Originally Posted by paknheat
February 6th, 2011 09:08 PM
Originally Posted by AZ Husker
February 6th, 2011 10:15 PM
Well mine's too small. I'm known as the skinny girl, so if I'm carrying somewhere remotely appendix area it looks like I gained 20lbs overnight. At least it does to me, and I presume anyone that KNOWS me. Not exactly what I call "concealed" though it wouldn't matter if I were around strangers who didn't know any better.
Originally Posted by AZ Husker
I do agree with the points in the post.
I won't be wronged, I won't be insulted, I won't be laid a hand on. I don't do these things to other people and I expect the same from them. -- John Wayne as John B. Books in "The Shootist"
February 7th, 2011 12:21 AM
I think that everyone should experiment with methods in which they carry to find what works best for them and I agree that many will find appendix to be a very good way for them to carry.
I do not find it to be so for me and I will explain why in # 5.
First let me describe how I carry. My rig sits relatively high. Three o'clock goes through the middle of the trigger, but I have a forty degree forward cant. (see thumbnail)
I do not have to reach as far back as conventional three or four o'clock carry.
If fighting from my back on the ground, the positioning and cant eiminate sandwiching.
My rig allows a quick draw on the move as well as stationary.
I personally have nothing against up front carry if it suits the individual.
I believe that appendix carry with an open front cover garment, as in your pic, is much more prone to accidental exposure than carry in the vicinity of three o'clock.
From Jeff Cooper on Handguns
"This is a good one for a detective whose need for concealment is not overriding."
Whether this is a concern is up to the individual.
Re: Immediate Advantages of Appendix Carry/IWB
1). The positioning of my rig puts my hanging arm directly over the base of the grip or if my arm is bent, the forearm directly over the grip of the gun.
2). I think that there might be a slight advantage to appendix in this, but the draw will expose the rig and even if the rig is covered by the off hand the gun must come high enough during the draw to be seen above the average dinner table.
3), I have no trouble drawing from on my back.
4.) Debatable. Should a compatible opportunity to test this and the other aspects arise, I would be more than happy to do so in an atmosphere of friendship and experimentation. Being the gentleman that you are, I trust that you would provide me with a handicap suitable to my advanced age, to provide for a difinitive test.
5). I am not overweight, but I am short from the natural waist to the crotch and lateral leg line. This presents problems when carrying a full size to near full size gun, which I prefer, in appendix.
Important Points About Appendix Carry Holsters
These relate specifically to appendix carry so I will not address them.
My rig allows for drawing and shooting while stationary, running for my life or on the ground.
To reiterate what I stated in the beginning, I have nothing aginst appendix carry and I believe that it may prove to be and ideal carry method for many. I have not found it to be so for me for the reasons stated.
"I do what I do." Cpl 'coach' Bowden, "Southern Comfort".
February 7th, 2011 01:06 AM
I have not yet been able to try it out, but I just picked up a Serpa Level 3 duty holster for my soon to arrive M&P. I did not know this before, but the Serpa can be adjusted for a slight rearward (or forward) rake. I set it rearward for the exact same mobility/ shoulder reasons. I will post when I get to test it out.
Originally Posted by Old School
February 7th, 2011 03:07 AM
When I do front-carry - I use a Colt Snub and do a variation: BTB - using a clip holster. clipped on the belt but kept in front of the pants. Offers best of both IWB and OWB and with a vest left open, conceals fine with a short-barreled gun. It is more comfortable than IWB, especially at 1:00, but is pulled by the belt into the body like IWB so it rides close. Because it is half-OWB much easier to get a good grip. Try it with a short-barreled gun.
I'd like an adjustable cant clip holster ideally, makes sitting more comfortable with the gun canted to my right. Now I kind of move it to that angle when I sit - but would be easier if that was built in. I have an Alessi now, great and I'd hate to get another, so I'm going to ask if they'd do a custom, move the clip to an angle.
I was watching a very good film the other night: MISSISSIPPI BURNING - based on the Civil Rights murders of the 3 students in 1964. Had a lot of FBI parts in it. They had the actors all wear their guns - revolvers then - in the 1:00 position. I assume that was historically accurate.
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