The Right Tools for the Job: A Personal Journey into Appendix Carry

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.

Your Clothing Adjustments Are Giving Away Your Concealed Carry Gun

Situational Awareness:

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.

Reduced “Printing”:

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.

Matthew, who is only about 5'6″ and 150 lbs is concealing a Glock 19 with a 3-round extended magazine, optic and compensator. The point of the GIF is not an endorsement of a particular everyday carry gun setup, just a demonstration of how proper appendix carry gear can facilitate you carrying a larger gun.

Personal Comfort:

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:

The MonoBlock clip from Discreet Carry Concepts (DCC) is one of the best clips available. It comes standard on the KSG Armory Lexington Holster.

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.

Finding the Best Holster Clip From So Many Options

One or Two Clips on your EDC Holster?

The Concealment King, The ModWing:

KSG Aromory holster with ModWing attachment

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:

concealed carry holster wedge KSG Armory

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.

About Mitch Goerdt

Mitch Goerdt is the Director of Marketing and Events at Born and raised amongst the Northeastern woods and waters of Minnesota, Mitch's childhood was filled with adventure, sports, and a deep appreciation for the outdoor lifestyle. His early career saw him don the hat of a mechanic and welder in the taconite mines. However, the call of distant horizons was too strong to resist. Mitch embarked on a journey across the country, soaking in diverse cultures and landscapes. This quest for knowledge also led him back to school, where he secured a Bachelor's Degree in Marketing Communications. Today, at, Mitch spends his days crafting content and using his imagination and skills to leave an impression on his audience. Outside the professional realm, he is a lifelong learner who finds solace in outdoor adventures and satisfies his love of athletics and competition in the world of competitive slowpitch softball.


  1. Clark Kent on September 21, 2023 at 4:49 pm

    Buddy, don’t worry about the 99 times you ‘do it right’. Worry about the ONE time you ‘do it wrong’. You can only spin the roulette wheel so many times before zero comes up. A word to the wise is sufficient.

  2. Jimmy Lea on September 24, 2023 at 9:33 am

    I wish I was not fat.

    • Clark Kent on September 28, 2023 at 10:56 pm

      You can’t wish away fat. Exercise, proper diet and self discipline are the keys to losing pounds.

    • Bob on October 3, 2023 at 3:04 pm

      I have a pretty big gut, but I’m able to hide a 3.5″ 1911 between about 2 and 2:30 using a Kramer holster that some government folks use. The holster is medium to hi-ride, but the officer-sized grip tucks in very nicely.
      I also have other appendix holsters that carry more toward the center, using a claw and or wedge.

  3. Mike on September 24, 2023 at 12:09 pm

    Shirt material and size and color are factors. Wearing 1 size larger gives me more freedom of movement and coverage when I reach for an item off the top shelf. For me, loose cotton shirts work better than other materials. Black is a popular color and tends to show less than some wild colors. Unfortunately, i don’t know of a solution to walking against the wind. 🙁

  4. Kent O Clark on September 24, 2023 at 3:48 pm

    I also like appendix carry. It works best for me, especially as I have other tools/flashlight that i carry constantly as i use them a LOT. Then my phone is on my other side, so leaves no real area for belt carry except for back carry. Don’t care for that. Its more uncomfortable, and harder to get to.My body size and weight also come into play… skinny, so have to wear a bit baggier shirt.
    I see very few ways to carry that at one time or another you will not cover either a body part of yourself or of someone else.

    • Clark Kent on September 28, 2023 at 10:53 pm

      Perhaps you need to skip the whole concealed carry thing if you can’t figure out how to prevent pointing a loaded firearm at one of your body parts or the body parts of others.

  5. Joe Legault on September 27, 2023 at 2:59 pm

    After having shoulder surgery, I went to AIWB carry, and have never looked back. I have found what I think is the best holster. I have had a couple with the claw, or wing, and hated them. The one I have does not require this, and is very comfortable, I am not skinny, but have no issues with my current holster,

    • Joe on October 11, 2023 at 5:54 am

      What holster works for you? If you don’t mind sharing

  6. Ron Willis on September 29, 2023 at 6:17 pm

    Despite a lifetime of carrying on and off duty OWB at 3 o’clock, and dropping about 40 pounds, in retirement I bite the bullet and decided to try appendix carry. I began carrying AIWB using a Bond Arms Snake Slayer “derringer” on a long road trip after reading an article about road trips and SHTF gun access. I wore it as such driving from the west coast to the Black Hills snake country, very comfortable all the way. Because I was experimenting, I also wore my EDC 9mm on my right hip as a back-up. Long story short: the more I wore it the more comfortable I’ve become. The “experiment” is on-going and I’m up to carrying a 9mm compact AIWB in church as a “sheepdog,” even in t-shirt and blue jeans. I have a couple of 380’s I wear around home AIWB becoming very comfortable. I’m having trouble finding a claw / wing for my new EDC holster for the 9mm, so I’ll check out your web page. Thanks for your article.

  7. Pablo on October 11, 2023 at 6:41 am

    I am a 30 LB’s too heavy Disabled Vet. I tried several belt area carry holsters and never liked any of them. For me having a weapon around my midsection is just a pain in the abdomen/ass.
    After many purchases and trials of holsters and bands I decided to try shoulder carry.
    After a few purchases and trials I ended up combining the harness system of an Alien Gear rig with a Dirty Harry style shoulder holster from Lawman Leather.
    I have to wear an over shirt anyway to carry eye glasses, so I buy Dickies work shirts in size 3X tall and I carry everywhere, and I mean everywhere as long as there are no metal detectors to walk through. I am an old and pretty cripped-up guy and my wife is blind and compromised due to a brain injury and I simply will not allow her nor I to be defenseless in this sick and twisted world.
    I am still losing a pound or two every few months because I am not about to give up on that either and I would encourage all of my fellow fat Americans to do the same. Boy howdy we have have made a mess of ourselves in my lifetime.
    Your method of carry will be determined by many factors that you the individual will make decisions on. I have to laugh at the drawer in my file cabinet that holds about a dozen different holsters! You will figure out what works best for you. And remember also to try and remain calm and steady should you ever have to deploy your weapon. Train, train, and then train some more so that it will be almost as natural as sporking all that food into our pie-holes that made us a bunch of Fat ——— in the first place. Amen? Boy howdy.

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