Today, I’m gonna dive into the world of appendix carry. Now, I know what you're thinking: “Mitch, aren't you going to shoot your junk off?” Let's clear the air—no, you won't, not if you're doing it right. Now that is out of the way, let’s get into the real stuff.
I've been on a rollercoaster ride with my weight, fluctuating between 225 and 315 pounds for most of my adult life. Trust me, as I have been rocking a spare tire around my waist pretty much my whole life, finding a comfortable way to carry concealed felt like a pipe dream. But guess what? Just like any job, concealed carry gets a whole lot easier when you've got the right tools for the job.
What is Appendix Inside the Waistband Carry (AIWB)?
Appendix carry is all about tucking your firearm in front of your hips, usually just to the right or left of your belly button. It's a method that offers quick draw speeds and easy access, in any position, whether standing, seated, or on your back, but let's be real—it can be uncomfortable, especially for us bigger guys. But don't write it off just yet; I can attest that the right tools can make all the difference.
Appendix carry has gained significant popularity for several reasons, each contributing to its widespread adoption among concealed carry enthusiasts. Here are some key factors that have made it my go-to carry position:
Quick Draw Speed:
One of the most compelling advantages of appendix carry is the quick draw speed it offers. AIWB positions the firearm in a location that is naturally within the line of sight and easy to reach, allowing for a faster draw compared to other carry methods like small of the back or ankle carry.
Ease of Access:
Positioning your gun in front of the hips makes the firearm easily accessible. Whether you're standing, walking, or even sitting in your car, your weapon is within a natural arm's reach. This ease of access can be crucial in high-stress situations where every second counts.
Better Retention of Your Gun:
Having the firearm in front of you allows for better weapon retention. In a close-quarters struggle, it's easier to defend your weapon from an assailant when it's carried in the appendix position, as opposed to the small of the back or side hip.
Appendix carry is versatile and you can adapt it to various situations and clothing options. Whether you're wearing a t-shirt and jeans or a suit, appendix carry allows you to conceal and easily access your gun.
With the firearm positioned in front of you, it's easier to maintain situational awareness. You can see if someone is attempting to access your weapon, giving you a crucial advantage in maintaining control over it.
With the right holster and clothing, appendix carry can reduce the visible “printing” of the firearm against your clothes. This is especially true when using accessories like claws or wings that help tuck the grip closer to the body.
While comfort can be subjective and vary from person to person, many find appendix carry to be more comfortable, especially when using accessories like wedges that improve the fit between the holster and the body.
Trend and Community Endorsement:
The method has also gained traction partially because of endorsements from firearms instructors, self-defense experts, and the concealed carry community at large. Social proof plays a role in its popularity, as people are more likely to try something that is widely recommended by those they trust.
The Right Tools Make All the Difference-
You wouldn't use a hammer to screw in a light bulb, right? The same logic applies to appendix carry. The right holster and accessories are not just about comfort; they're about safety, too. Let's break down some of the game-changing tools that have made my appendix carry journey a whole lot smoother.
A Clip That Really Grips:
If you're still using plastic or generic holster clips, it’s likely that your carry setup is not reaching its full comfort and concealability potential. If your clip is loose around your belt and made of an easily breakable material, it's time for an upgrade. Metal Clips and multiple grip points are key. My favorite clip is the Discreet Carry Concepts MonoBlock, and it is the real deal. This clip grips your belt like a champ, ensuring your holster doesn't take a vacation mid-draw. It's a small investment for a big payoff in both safety and comfort.
The Concealment King, The ModWing:
A claw or wing attachment is another essential accessory for appendix carry. My pick in this department is the ModWing. This little piece of magic attaches to your holster and uses pressure from your tightened belt to push the grip of your gun closer to your body. It's like the wingman your appendix carry setup didn't know it needed. If you struggle with printing, a claw or wing will be the tool for you.
The Unsung Hero, the Holster Wedge:
Wedges were a game-changer for me! These little foam attachments fit in between your holster and your body. A wedge will tip the grip of your handgun into your body more for better concealment and the foam will protect you from those hot spots where your holster used to dig into your body. Wedges make IWB carry for big guys like me so much easier and more comfortable. As someone who's always battled the bulge, the wedge made appendix carry go from a “no way” to a “hell yeah” for me.
Special Shoutout to the KSG Armory Lexington Holster:
If you're looking for a holster that's got it all, you should check out the KSG Armory Lexington Holster. This bad boy comes standard with the MonoBlock, ModWing, and a Wedge. Full disclosure is that I work for KSG Armory Holsters, but that’s not why I wear this holster. I wear it because it’s simply the most well thought out and comfortable holster that I have ever strapped on. It’s designed by people that carry their firearm all day, every day, and that shines through with every holster that comes out of the shop.
Stop settling for discomfort and compromise. Invest in the KSG Armory Lexington Holster today and experience the difference the right tools can make!
Look, I get it. Appendix carry can be a tough sell, especially for those of us carrying a few extra pounds. We’ve been told by so many companies that their holster is the most comfortable and most of us have a box full of those holsters tucked away in our closet because they didn’t work for us. But I'm living proof that with the right tools, it's not just possible; it's comfortable and safe. Invest in the right tools for the job and make your concealed carry experience a whole lot better.