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Appendix Carry: The Pros and Cons

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If you’re a gun owner who has been carrying concealed for some time, you probably know that the appendix carry position is a popular way to conceal your firearm.

Many concealed carry permit holders today prefer appendix carry because it allows them to reach their firearm the fastest. Despite the benefits, appendix carry also has its fair share of disadvantages that we will explore in this post.

What is Appendix Carry?

Appendix carry is a way of concealing your firearm inside your waistband and around your appendix region, hence the name. The appendix region is located in the lower abdomen area between your navel and hip bone. Appendix carry has been one of the most popular ways to concealed carry in recent years, but it has its pros and cons.

The Advantages of the Appendix Carry Position

There are several key advantages of appendix carry.

The primary benefit of appendix carry is that you will be able to access your firearm the fastest. Appendix carry gives you quick and easy access to the firearm because it’s located in an area where you can easily reach it with your dominant hand. Some appendix carriers prefer appendix carry for this reason because they want the most efficient way to get to their weapon.

Secondly, appendix carry has relatively less printing than other concealed carry positions. It’s a great option for skinny guys who wear fitted clothing.

With appendix carry, the gun is positioned in front of your body which means that if someone is watching or observing your waistband, they may not know that there is a gun there. This doesn’t mean that appendix carriers won’t ever print their appendix, but it does lower the chance of doing so significantly.

Lastly, appendix carry is an ideal concealed carry position to use in a car from a seated position. When you are seated in your vehicle, appendix carry gives you easy access to your firearm without having to take off or remove anything first.

Drawbacks of Appendix Carry

Appendix carry is far from perfect. It has a number of disadvantages.

The biggest drawback for many is that appendix carry can be dangerous because gun owners are more likely to shoot themselves if they are inexperienced.

Accidents usually happen when re-holstering. Gun owners’ cover garments can get ‘tied up’ within their guns’ trigger guard causing negligent discharges.

Because of the firearm’s position, appendix-carrying gun owners risk shooting themselves in the groin area or femoral artery if they are not trained well and/or when they are involved in a stressful situation.

Some concealed carriers dislike appendix carry because it might be uncomfortable and even hurt. Everyone’s body is different, so the only way you will know if appendix carry works for you is to try it out for a day or two.

When people complain about the lack of comfort, it usually revolves around the holster digging into one’s appendix and/or abdomen, especially when bending over or crouching.

Some shooters also mention that appendix carry can be uncomfortable in hot weather because sweat builds up between one’s body and the appendix-style holster.

Lastly, if someone has to draw their firearm in a defensive situation, it is difficult to hide the draw from a threat when appendix carrying.

When someone moves to defeat their cover garment and draw from the appendix position, it is pretty clear that person is trying to access their firearm from their holster.

In contrast, if one carried their gun along their hip, one could better disguise or hide the draw from a threat.

Appendix Carry Alternatives

The appendix carry position is not the only way to carry concealed. Some people like it, and some people don’t. Your carry style, body type, and type of handgun all factor into whether the appendix

If you belong to the group of shooters who do not like it, carrying in the 3 o’clock position or the 4 or 5 o’clock position might be great alternatives. With these two positions, there is definitely less chance of shooting yourself in a vital area, but there are trade-offs too–such as losing draw speed.

Regardless of what concealed carry position you choose, there are always pros and cons.

Appendix Carry Holsters

If you do decide to appendix carry, make sure you get the right appendix holster.

Don’t go the low-cost route and get a normal, sub-par inside-the-waistband holster a.k.a. iwb holster). Invest in a high-quality appendix carry holster (a.k.a. aiwb carry holster) that’s safe, reliable, functional, and comfortable.

Many of use and recommend Tenicor’s appendix carry holster models. They make the best holsters for appendix carry in our opinion.

Some of their holsters highlights include:

  • Completely covered trigger guard to avoid a negligent discharge
  • Lightweight with natural contours for comfort
  • Excellent gun retention
  • A minimalist holster claw to aid in concealment
  • Excellent attachments that secure the holster to your gun belt

Here’s a review of Tenicor’s Velo 4 AIWB holster. We also recommend their Certum3.

Both are appendix-carry holsters with slight differences. We usually alternate depending on what we plan to do. The Velo4 provides the best concealment, while the Certum3 is slightly more comfortable.

Again, if you are going to appendix carry, take the time to find the right holster.

The Best Concealed Carry Position?

Appendix carry has become increasingly popular in recent years among concealed carry permit holders, and it’s easy to see why with its numerous benefits like quick access and minimal printing of your handgun. However, there are some disadvantages to appendix carry that should also be considered.

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About the author


Myles is the Founder of Tactical Hyve, a competitive shooter, and a life-long student of all things dealing with the tactical and self-defense worlds.

3 thoughts on “Appendix Carry: The Pros and Cons”

  1. Very helpful and informative article. TH has some of the best videos and articles for concealed carry and competition shooting out there in my opinion. Thank you for doing what you do!!

  2. Appendix carry is the way I always carry to conceal Some of the reasons have been mentioned in this article, but a few have not. To be clear, my experience is carrying weapons professionally overseas military/contract and in the US as law enforcement over 16 years.

    One of the biggest advantage to appendix carry is that it rests near your groin.. Ok ok OK! hear me out. In a crowd you will be jostled and depending where you are in the world also pickpocketed. Nobody bumps into your groin (unless they really like you). People avoid that area on others bodies instinctually, so in a crowd its the best place to keep a gun secret.

    Second, it’s in your “power zone”. You know that instinct you have to cover your private parts when a fast moving object is directed at them? You will have the same reflexive protective action should somebody reach for your gun. It’s hard wired and requires no training. Should somebody try and grab your gun, you will be at the best position to fight it off. its center of gravity, and in a position that allows the best use of both arms and the associated muscles.

    In short, its really the best way to carry concealed for all the reasons in the article as well as what I listed in this comment. As far as shooting yourself in the groin, a good holster and proper firearm handling will negate this completely. Remember, with conceal carry you draw fast, and re-holster OUTSIDE THE BELT.

  3. I have to say this has been more than informative because I have personally always appendix carried and have been confronted by so many saying it just isn’t the way to do things. Seeing the pros of this illustration is definitely the whole basis of why I have felt it necessary to carry this way. Its like the others have said on this forum, if appendix seems to be an issue it really comes down to equipment/training because the cons are pretty much eliminated with some pretty minor adjustments in these areas.


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