Carrying your everyday carry handgun on your appendix is a standard concealed-carrying option. Although, many concealed-carry users choose not to carry their weapons in this posture as it can cause discomfort. Following your body’s natural curves, altering the riding height for your activities, modifying the holster, or using holster attachments are all options for reducing pain when appendix carrying.
Continue reading to discover more on how to appendix carry comfortably, how to prevent appendix carrying digging, and more.
What Is An Appendix Carry?
Appendix carrying is when a firearm and holster are carried at the front of the waistline. The most common site is around midway between the trouser pocket and the waistband button near the appendix.
Rather than going around the law, the average individual appendix carrying is a law-abiding and qualified concealed carrier. To assist concealment, this posture is usually combined with an AIWB, also known as an IWB holster.
However, there is no one-size-fits-all solution for concealed carry, so you’ll have to experiment to determine what works best for you. When looking for the correct position of your holster, think of your body as a clock face. The appendix carrying position is generally between 1-2 o’clock, when your belly button is positioned at 12 o’clock.
Granted, a gun in this location is also near the liver, stomach, bottom of the lungs, and both intestines, so appendix carry isn’t the most outstanding or most accurate name. Then again, “colon carry” has some pretty unpleasant connotations.
Are There Any Advantages To Carrying On Your Appendix?
Simple Waistline Insertion
Carrying in this manner is convenient since it is effortless to slide an appendix carry holster safely into place. Before holstering the firearm, some individuals wait until the holster is situated in the waistline. It’s as simple as sliding it in, seating the clip, and fastening the belt.
In terms of accessibility, a handgun carried in the front of the waistband is significantly more convenient than one carried behind the hip. Carrying in this position also makes it easy to clear the cover garment.
Appendix Carrying Allows you to Have More Control of Your Weapon
Whereas carrying on your strong-side hip puts you at a disadvantage when it comes to maintaining gun control, with appendix carrying, you simply push the handgun down into the holster with whatever hand you have accessible.
The ability to narrow the distance between you and your assailant allows you to prevent your attacker from gaining access to your weapon by sandwiching it between you and your body.
Easier Draw from Concealment
The most significant advantage of appendix carrying includes how easy it is to draw your weapon from your belt. Many gun enthusiasts cite the natural sensation of unholstering the pistol from this stance. Many people believe this is true because their hand posture mimics the motion of reaching into their pocket.
It’s also simpler to clean the pistol grip of your weapon from underneath your loose clothes while unholstering a handgun from your appendix carrying position. Loose clothing is considerably less likely to get caught snag on your holster or pistol grip in the AIWB position.
What Is Appendix Carry Digging?
In most cases, appendix carry digging occurs when sitting. Either the pistol grip grinds into the hip bone, or the muzzle digs into the lower abdomen and hip flexors. The handgun slide or hammer, on the other hand, might cause discomfort in the middle abdomen in certain persons.
How To Prevent Appendix Carry Digging
Check to see whether the ride height on your appendix carry holster can be adjusted. The clip is usually held in place by a screw that may be loosened to allow it to move. The clip can sometimes be moved to a different location on the holster. However, adjustment ranges will vary, but most holsters allow for a riding height change of 1-2 inches.
Raising The Ride Height
Raising the riding height of your IWB holster might help avoid the pistol grip from pressing straight into your hip bone. The higher the pistol rides, the more probable the grip will bend at the beltline. As a result, the gun grip protrudes, causing digging.
Furthermore, when the pistol grip is extended away from the body, it might cause pain. A few holster attachments can help lessen this response, but I’ll go over those in more detail later.
Lowering The Ride Height
Another way to make appendix carry more comfortable is to lower the holster ride height. A modest holster cant will usually keep the muzzle from digging into the holster. You’ll be effectively establishing an angle that parallels the crease between your hip flexor and the opposing big toe.
Should You Modify Your Cant When Appendix Carrying?
When concealed carrying by your appendix, the ability to cant your handgun is a fantastic technique to avoid discomfort. Canting some holsters allows the muzzle to be just outside the pubic bone for most people. The holster design will then follow the natural curvature of the hip flexors.
A cross draw is another unconventional approach to carry in the appendix position. Instead of maintaining the holster on your dominant side, your handgun will be on your non-dominant side for cross draw.
The ability to draw the firearm and the comfort when utilizing appendix cross draw can both be affected by pistol cant. If your cant is too significant, though, you’ll have to choose between safety and comfort.
How To Comfortably Appendix Carry By Wearing Appropriate Clothing
Your outfit is also essential for comfortable concealed carrying when appendix carrying. It is strongly recommended that you determine the suitable shirt, belt, and pant sizing for your carry piece.
Limiting Discomfort By Wearing A Compression Shirt
Compression shirts smooth down your pull and make an exposed hammerless prone to snag.
Unlike cotton or other materials, compression-type shirts will not bunch up behind your holster, making your appendix carry much more comfortable. Some holster causes you shirt to bunch to varying degrees. Compression garments can also hug your waistline, making restroom breaks more straightforward.
Furthermore, the polyester material allows the pistol to move smoothly around your contours, preventing the back of the slide from pressing into your stomach. This is useful for holsters that don’t have a cushioned backing that extends all the way up to the top of the slide.
Wearing Comfy Pants And Properly Place Your Holster
If you’re carrying an appendix, make sure your AIWB holster’s clip is to the left or right of the dominant hand’s front belt loop. If you don’t do so, the holster may come disconnected from your waistline.
Furthermore, because there is more material between the clip and the holster, this causes pain and makes holster adjustment difficult while sitting. Aside from correct pant fit and holster placement, the undergarments you choose may help make AIWB carry more comfortable.
The Consideration Of Your Belt
Choose your belt carefully when carrying an appendix. When mounting an appendix carry rig, it’s best to use a belt without a big front buckle, as this will limit your rig’s positioning possibilities or a belt with a buckle that changes from side to side.
When the buckle is out of the way, you’ll have plenty of room at the front of the belt to decide where the rig clips should go.
Appendix Carrying According to Your Body Type To Avoid Discomfort
Whether or not you can carry concealed in the appendix position depends on your body type. Skinny men should minimize holster contact with bony regions, especially while using hard holsters. Adjust the riding height of your personal holster if you’re a bigger guy to avoid pinching your skin and fat.
Appendix Carry For Larger Men
If you want to appendix carry as a large person, you’ll need to lower the riding height of your holster.
Lowering your holster’s riding height can assist keep the excess fat and skin on your stomach from being squeezed by the back of your holster. If you are wearing jeans, ensure they are worn low on the waist. Although this may not be essential to get the optimal riding height, you’ll have to experiment.
If you have a bigger belly, you should cant your appendix carrying position slightly. In most cases, a modest cant in the appendix carrying posture is enough to relieve any pain. Since males with a higher fat percentage have greater padding, they don’t have to worry about their handgun pressing into their hipbone in the appendix position.
However, keep in mind that the more cant you use, the closer to your genitals and your femoral artery your gun will be. Follow your hip flexor line with the curve of your holster to where the trigger guard rests. This will allow appendix carrying to be more comfortable with your holster. The back of your handgun should rest below your stomach with a lower riding height.
The muzzle of your weapon should be aimed toward your opposite foot. When you’re seated, canting the gun will assist you in avoiding digging.
Appendix Carry For Skinny Men
Skinny men are unfortunately going to face more discomfort when it comes to carrying in the appendix position. Bony protrusions, such as their hip bone, are frequently a source of discomfort. Avoid pistol cant if you want to make AIWB carry pleasant for slim guys.
When you cant your handgun, the butt plate of the magazine can grind into your hip bone. For slim males with appendix carry, a vertical orientation will be more comfortable. Alternatively, if a canted holster is more comfortable for you, you may need to shift your IWB holster closer to your body’s center line.
Appendix carrying a holster with a slightly increased riding height is also recommended for slim males. You won’t have to worry about skin being squeezed as much as males with a more significant fat proportion.
When seated, however, the riding height prevents the muzzle from rubbing into your lower belly and hip flexors. Sometimes, due to your weight, the back of the gun might often stab into your abdomen when you’re seated. Your wardrobe choices may be able to assist with a reduction in this issue. It’s ideal to wear smooth, form-fitting apparel like the 5.11 tactical compression shirt.
What Are the Best Guns For Appendix Carrying?
The firearms that are ideal for concealed carry in the appendix are roughly the same as those that are best for concealed carry in any position. Compact and small striker-fired pistols are often favored for a variety of reasons.
The back of the rifle is buried in the stomach when carried in this posture. Pointed backstraps and hammers can easily pierce your skin unless you have a completely flat abdomen. The slab back of the plastic fantastic slide will be a little comfier. For the same reason, hammerless revolvers or those with veiled hammers will be a little more comfortable.
It is important to remember that hiding a full-size handgun anywhere on the body, even in the appendix, leaves tell-tale bulges and impressions. Since your front is so much more apparent, any evident printing, bulging, or other signs of the gun will be noticeable right away.
As a result, smaller firearms are typically simpler to conceal in this manner, but this is true everywhere. Service weapons and hammer-fired pistols, on the other hand, are less suitable to appendix carry.
What Are the Most Popular Appendix Carry Holster Accessories?
Holster Wing Or Claw
A holster claw essentially pushes your handgun to rotate. This in turn tucks the pistol grip back in close to your body.
The muzzle side of your holster has what is called a holster claw connected to it. This is due to the fact that a holster may not always be enough to flush the gun grip close to your body.
By covering a wider surface area and twisting the butt of the grip inward, a holster claw reduces the probability of the muzzle end of your holster digging into a body part like your lower abdomen or thigh.
The holster claw may also be used to determine the riding height of your holster. The claw’s edge will bite through your inner thigh if your holster is too low.
Holster wedges are a common alternative for making carrying an appendix easier. A foam wedge is often attached to the muzzle end of the holster to reduce the hinge of the clip on the beltline. Velcro attachments are frequently used to keep it in place. A non-traditional wedge may be required depending on the kind of appendix holster.
The cushioning offered by a holster wedge is another advantage. Soft foam replaces the harsh edges of a Kydex holster, making it more comfortable to sit with an appendix holster.
How To Choose An Appendix Carry Holster
Like any other concealed carry holster, the holster may make or break your carry rig. To stay comfortable, you’ll need an appendix holster that fits you well and allows you to carry, whereas one that doesn’t will end up in the holster drawer.
Ensure The Trigger Guard Is Covered
It is necessary to hide the trigger guard thoroughly. This is especially critical if you’re carrying a striker-fired poly-frame handgun since there have been several unintended discharges caused by something getting under the trigger guard and catching the trigger.
Your Holster Should Offer Good Retention
In addition, the holster must have adequate retention. Fit is a factor in some of these. A holster should be custom-made to fit the handgun you’ll be carrying, and it should come from the factory with the ability to keep your weapon secure. Adjustable passive retention is another useful feature to look for since it allows you to fine-tune the retention to your liking.
Choosing A Comfortable Holster
Comfort is also crucial, especially given the discomfort that an appendix carry may cause. Remember that this is a personal preference since everyone likes the sit of their holster to feel different.
What Are The Best Holsters For Appendix Carry?
If you’re new to the appendix carry posture, you should invest in an appendix carry holster with adjustable cant. Many appendix-carrying holsters don’t have the capability to manage cant. They do, however, contain additional qualities that can make wearing these holsters more pleasant.
To improve comfort, some holsters contain a leather backing. Moulded Kydex and a second belt clip are often included. This is however more common with side-cart appendix holsters.
For more experienced appendix carrying professionals, fixed holsters with no cant modifications are recommended. After you’ve become used to your holster, you’ll have a considerably more comprehensive range of alternatives.
The Kydex Holster IWB By Fierce Defender
The Fierce Defender IWB Kydex Holster is a concealment option for your handgun that is both comfortable and inexpensive while still being of excellent quality. Fierce Defender, like you, takes carrying a hidden weapon seriously.
As fellow CCW license holders and weapon lovers, they’ve adjusted the way they put their holsters together so that it becomes a part of you when you put it on every morning. You will have a custom-made holster for your handgun and last for years.
You may also carry an additional mag, with twin clips in this strong Kydex construction. However, since there is no adjustable cant on this IWB Kydex Holster from Fierce Defender, it is only advised for more experienced appendix carriers.
For some folks, it may be a little too bulky. Some models even have an additional holster claw to grip the gun and ensure it stays tucked down. Each appendix carrying a Kydex holster is built to fit specific models, much like most other appendix carrying Kydex holsters.
IWB Kydex Holster By Concealment Express
The Concealment Express Kydex holster gives a lot of customizing choices for such a compact and slim IWB holster. Furthermore, the holster is designed to be worn in various positions, ensuring that you are not limited to a single concealed carry posture. The Kydex holster isn’t considered the comfiest holster you’ll ever wear, but it doesn’t obstruct your shooting in such a way that it’s unusable.
Although the Concealment Express holster has adjustable cant, it only goes from 0 to 15 degrees. On the other hand, most people will find the factory setup to be more than enough. You’ll need a Phillips head screwdriver to release the top two screws if you need to change the cant. Simply tighten the screws once you’ve achieved the appropriate pistol cant.
Unfortunately, the same set of screws controls the cant and ride height. When the cant is set to 0 degrees, the handgun is raised a quarter inch. As a result, you won’t be able to alter your ride height with this holster.
The DeSantis Slim Tuk
Over 40 years ago, Gene DeSantis handcrafted the first DeSantis gun hide holster at his kitchen table. DeSantis has evolved into a global corporation since then. They’ve mastered the use of cutting-edge technology and are the holster of choice for most military personnel and law enforcement in the United States.
The Slim-Tuk is a new Kydex ambidextrous IWB holster with a minimalist design. This IWB holster utilizes a tuckable 360 c-clip, which allows the wearer to mount their weapon in a variety of ways. The hardware may simply be reversed to convert from right to left. Precision-moulded with adjustable tension and a tough 1.75″ nylon clip, the Slim-Tuk is a must-have accessory.
If you’re new to appendix carry, this holster will help you determine what position, cant, and riding height you need in future holsters.
Will Appendix Carry Work for Me?
Once you’ve figured out what makes a decent appendix holster and how it should fit on your body, virtually every criticism can be solved with the correct equipment selection. You’re most likely going to be quite uncomfortable if your holster, pistol, or gun belt isn’t designed for the appendix.
Appendix carry can work for everyone; the reality is, it all depends on the holster and style you choose. The discomfort of bearing an appendix puts off the majority of people.
You could think that carrying your appendix is the best thing ever, with no discomfort at all. If not, you’re out of luck.
Everyone’s appendix carrying mileage differs. Carrying on the hip or slightly behind it allows you to be quick, precise, and successful. Appendix carry does not transform you into a tactical mastermind. It simply moves the gun to a different location.
If it works well, you’ve discovered a carry technique that tens of thousands of users are adopting for the simplicity and convenience that standard IWB carrying lacks.
After all, the goal of trying new things is to see what works best for you, and if you’re going to carry, you should do it in the most comfortable way for you.