This article has been on the schedule for a couple of months (since before the whole appendix carry project started) at is not in reaction to the “No Look Reholster” post by Caleb or ToddG’s “Appendix Carry Controversy” post… In fact I was so worried about piling on that almost skipped it.
However, it is good information and it is worth sharing so here it goes…
As ToddG mentions…
Appendix carry is becoming more and more popular and in some circles it has evolved into “the cool way to carry” completely bereft* of any understanding of its benefits and dangers.
I can’t agrue with that, but hopefully that isn’t the case of frequent readers of this site. In the article “What many experts know about appendix carry that you may not?” I listed the benefits as
- Appendix Carry is extremely concealable
- Appendix Carry is easier to protect
- It is harder to foul an appendix carry draw
- Appendix Carry is more natural
- Appendix Carry is Faster
Of course I also mention it can be very scary and uncomfortable… so it isn’t all rosy.
If you are going to carry AIWB (Appendix Inside the Waistband) successfully, there are a few things you will need.
Gear – Like any carry method the ability to do it well requires the right combination of gun, holster and belt; although since the belt is slightly less important inside the waistband, I’m going to ignore it today.
Next you have to make sure that if you have a short torso (like me) that your gun’s slide is short enough that when it is at the proper height it either says under your ribs or that your holster keeps it from getting under your ribs. In my test I found that this can be done with leather backer quite successfully.
You will still need to find a gun that has a slide short enough that when you sit the barrel doesn’t cause pain or press on you pubic bone or anything else that might be in the way and still keeps the trigger below the top of your waistband.
For me a Glock 19 is starting to get a little long.
|But Ron… I know a guy that carries a Glock 17 or a 34 and he says is it completely comfortable! What do you have to say about that? Either A) he wears his pants higher than I wear mine or B) he is tougher than me.|
Lastly you want to make sure that your holster hold the gun in a position that you can get a good grip on it. If the gun is too low this can be difficult and negates the speed of the platform in exchange for concealibility and/or comfort.
For me… I found the M&P Shield worked great with a variety holsters, YMMV.
Training – To appendix carry for a long time you need to have very good trigger discipline and following ToddG’s holstering recommendations are good too, but this is something you should do anyway.
Your finger should ALWAYS be off the trigger unless the gun has been rotated down range or when you are done shooting.
You should ALWAYS reholster reluctantly. I like to take a deep breath before I do it. I put my support hand in the center of my chest to make sure it is out-of-the-way and because that is where it would be on the draw. I look at my holster. I ensure there is nothing in the way that may snag on the trigger. I rotate the muzzle away from me as much as possible. I reholster slowly feeling for anything that may catch. And if the gun has a hammer I put my thumb on it to feel if it starts to move. (Sounds a lot like ToddG’s suggestion right?)
Administrative gun handling is some of the most dangerous times of shooting, but since it is the most common we tend to get lax on it. DON’T.
Practice – If you are a competition shooter or even a long-time defensive shooter, you will have to learn a different draw and you may even get surprised once or twice trying to draw from your hip… this is one reason you need to practice.
But you also need to practice carrying in this manner. You may find that you need to wear your pants a little higher, the gun needs to be moved an inch one way or another, of your belt can’t be centered on your pants or that you need to press your stomach out before you sit or bend over.
All of these learnings come with practice and the best method of getting it is to commit to carrying AIWB for a week or a month… just take it slow at the range until you have your training up to speed.
Next Tuesday, I’ll announce which holsters I liked enough to stock and do a short wrap-up.
If you carry AWIB, what do you think of these tips? Are there any I missed or you disagree with? Let me know in the comments below.
*be·reft /biˈreft/ Adjective 1) Deprived of or lacking something, esp. a nonmaterial asset: “her room was stark and bereft of color”