I’ve been playing around with appendix carry of a pistol lately. For those who don’t know, appendix carry is carrying the pistol, usually inside the waistband, just to the strong side of the belt buckle.
So far, I’ve found quite a few things to like about appendix carry (AIWB.)
- The drawstroke is actually a bit faster than with traditional strong-side carry. I average about a 1.5-second draw to the first shot, from concealment, at 7 yards. From AIWB, I’ve hit a couple of draws under 1.3 seconds.
- AIWB is somewhat more accessible from a seated position, especially while driving. It’s also much easier to draw weak-hand.
- It opens up a whole world of options for cover garments. With traditional strong-side carry, you either have to wear an open-front shirt, vest, or jacket, or accept a cripplingly slow draw. With AIWB carry, you can conceal a pretty large pistol under pretty much anything, as long as it’s untucked. AIWB carry works very well with my usual cargos-and-golf-shirt casual dress.
Of course, nothing is perfect.
- If you fuck up and light a round off while reholstering, you stand a very good chance of castrating yourself. And that’s the best case scenario – worst case, you get to experience a severed femoral artery and the joys of rapid exsanguination…
- Okay, you did read the last part, about blowing your jimmy off while reholstering?
- If you have to draw strong-hand only, it’s gonna be a little slower clearing your cover garment.
- Reloading from under a closed-front cover garment is also going to be a little slower.
- Seriously, go back and re-read the part about castrating yourself.
I’m going to continue carrying appendix-IWB for a while, just to wring the technique out. I think that it has a ton of potential for concealed carry. But as much as I hate to say this, AIWB is an experts-only carry method. If you want to try it out, carry empty around the house for a week or so, and do a few thousand unloaded draws and reholsters. DO NOT GET IN A HURRY WHILE REHOLSTERING!
For those who care, I’m carrying a Smith and Wesson M&P 9mm full-size in a Custom Carry Concepts Looper (thanks again, Todd!)