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Thread: Appendix Carry

  1. #1
    ToddG Guest

    Appendix Carry

    (continued from another unrelated thread ... )

    For the past few weeks I've been playing around with appendix carry. It's been a significant change for me after carrying an IWB at the 4 o'clock position for almost a decade.

    I am far from an encyclopedia of knowledge on the issue nor have I run into every one of the myriad possible environments and situations that one could face while carrying. Six months from now I may be carrying regular IWB again. But I have found some significant advantages to it so far:

    • Concealability ... I do not need an open-front garment. That alone increases my wardrobe choices as well as my ability to blend in during all weather conditions. Unless I do a back stretch, the gun doesn't print. I can bend over, reach up high for something, even twist my torso without my clothing tightening around the gun. And when it does print a bit, it looks like a cell phone, etc. I've asked quite a few folks if they could tell where I was carrying (most of them know me and knew that I was carrying somewhere) and not a single one had noticed that I'd switched to appendix carry.
    • Speed ... My presentations from the holster are faster than they were with an open front cover garment, and much faster than they were when I tried to use an untucked closed-front shirt with 4 o'clock carry. This is especially true when sitting in the car or similar positions.
    • One-handed draws ... My strong hand only draw is a bit slower; my weak hand only draw is much faster, I can do it more subtly without the need for acrobatics, and I can do it in more positions.
    • One-handed manipulations ... The holster body serves as a very convenient and easy to reach bucket for holding the gun while performing one-handed reloads; it provides an extremely hard and positive location for racking the slide during stoppages or holding the gun if more drastic one-handed remedial action is required.
    • Retention ... it's very easy to get a hand on the gun in the holster and provide retention. Simply leaning forward provides improved protection for the gun.
    • Sleight of hand ... the gun is much closer at hand during normal everyday activity (including hands in pants pocket) and is more in line with where my hands are during a lot of defensive/reaction moves.


    (there is also a bit of bandwagon effect ... every time I turn around, another one of my BTDT or TNDI friends is adopting appendix carry and singing its praises)

    The negatives:
    • Physique ... my Buddha Belly compromises concealability. Appendix carry is most ideally suited for the kind of narcissistic triathletes who find their ways into top tier operational units. But even with my size 38 waistband I can conceal pretty well with an untucked polo.
    • Holster selection ... there aren't many appendix holsters on the market. The ones that exist are mostly crap. Many of them use a reverse cant, which is not ideal in my limited experience or, more importantly, the experience of the guys who've been carrying this way in non-permissive environments for a long time.
    • Reloads ... while my draw is faster, my reloads have really suffered. I'm still working out the kinks with my technique. Lifting a shirt up over a mag pouch one-handed is just a lot slower than sliding inside a vest. I've found that leaning hard to the gun side helps, but it's not a 100% solution (and there are times when a hard lean to the right might not be feasible).
    • It's pointing at WHAT? ... yeah, it is. I'd be lying if I said it never bothers me anymore. I am much slower back to the holster now and have stolen a particular technique, more like a process, for putting the gun in the holster each time to minimize the chance of eunuchating myself. With a gun with a positive manual safety (a la 1911) it wouldn't bother me, nor a DAO/TDA gun with an external hammer that I could trap as I holster. But a SFA gun is just sort of, well, a test of self-confidence. And/or luck.


    Do I think it's a better mousetrap? Yeah. The best choice for everyone? No. The best choice for me? Ask me again in six months. (let's hope I don't answer in falsetto)

  2. #2
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    LOL

    Yeah, it works. Definitely not for everyone, though.

    Consistency is a good thing...
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  3. #3
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    Which pistol?

  4. #4
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    From the pics in his AAR thread, looks like an M&P full size 9/40.

  5. #5
    ToddG Guest
    Yes, it's my M&P9 test pistol.

    I'm about 6' and 210#, far from tall or skinny.

  6. #6
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    What are your thoughts on comfort, especially from the seated/driving postion? I've toyed around with packing a snubby and a 6906 this way years ago and found it quite uncomfortable, though concealabilty was great. Just curious. I'm always looking for something new for my bag-o-tricks.

  7. #7
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    I have been Running an ACR from Raven for about 4 months now Im 6'5 300 with food blisters.

    the adjustments of the ACR make it work well for me but better for several of my thin friends..

    i think its an ideal carry for those with out a so called frame.. mainly thin to petite female shooters can hide these in for fitting clothes and some others

    as for seated and driving yes it works wel,l and gets the gun up out of the seat belt allowing a good grip.

    it is fast into operation from appendix am i faster yet than my regualr IWB no but thats a traning issue more than anything else

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oscar 319 View Post
    What are your thoughts on comfort, especially from the seated/driving postion? I've toyed around with packing a snubby and a 6906 this way years ago and found it quite uncomfortable, though concealabilty was great. Just curious. I'm always looking for something new for my bag-o-tricks.
    Give it a try, what is uncomfortable for me maybe different for you.

  9. #9
    ToddG Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by Oscar 319 View Post
    What are your thoughts on comfort, especially from the seated/driving postion? I've toyed around with packing a snubby and a 6906 this way years ago and found it quite uncomfortable, though concealabilty was great. Just curious.
    The answers to the "driving" and "general comfort" questions will be the same: I bet it was the holster that made it uncomfortable.

    Guys, this is exactly like IWB. Plenty of people try IWB and say it's uncomfortable because they get poorly designed or poorly manufactured holsters. But an appendix holster is even more particular. Extremely small differences in cant, angle from the body, ride height, and shape have drastic consequences on comfort and functionality.

    One friend of mine has been carrying this way for many years and has designed a couple of different appendix holsters. He took the time to explain a lot of these things to me before I started. Even with all that advice, it took three tries to get it right. Good appendix holsters are hard to come by, as evidenced by the number of people who make reverse-cant styles.

  10. #10
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    Are you using the Looper by Custom Carry Concepts? straight drop I assume?

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