Concealed carry is more popular now than ever before and with the explosion of concealed carriers taking advantage of their Second Amendment Right, new options for carrying concealed guns easily and conveniently are being adopted all the time. One of the current fads among concealed carry advocates is appendix carry.
Unlike the old western movies featuring gunslingers carrying on their strong side hip, the new trend in appendix carry sees the gun concealed inside the waistband slightly to one side of the centreline of your pants. This carry option allows for a relatively fast draw while still effectively concealing the firearm.
Should You Appendix Carry?
Appendix carry is not the safest form of concealed carry as it puts your firearm in a position where it is pointing at your groin and thigh while holstered and presents particular dangers when drawing and reholstering. More accidents, including more fatal accidents, are experienced with appendix carry than any other form of concealed carry.
Additionally because of the guns position when holstered it can press into your belly and be quite uncomfortable, especially when you are sitting down, this is ironic as one of the reasons people often choose to appendix carry in the first place is because it allows easy access to your firearms while sitting or driving.
One key advantage of appendix carry, other than the ease of concealment that the method provides, is the very secure retention of your firearm it offers. Carrying inside the waistband tight against the front of your body and hidden under clothing allows you to easily protect it in case anyone ever attempted to snatch your gun.
Appendix carry is often said to be a very fast way of drawing a concealed firearm but it’s not a ‘quick draw’ solution compared to almost any open carry option and and shouldn’t be compared with them in terms of draw time or comfort.
If you are going to try appendix carry you are going to need the best holster you can get your hands on, here are the top five best appendix carry holster on the market and some tips the help you decide if this is the right concealed carry method for you.
Best Appendix Carry Holster Review
1 Concealment Express KYDEX IWB Gun Holster - For Smith & Wesson M&P Shield 9MM
Concealment Express makes some of the best high quality kydex designs that are available off the shelf. For someone who is looking for an appendix carry holster and doesn’t want to wait weeks or even months from a custom shop, this is one of the best value products on the market.
One of the great things about this holster is that you get everything you need and nothing you don’t. A particularly innovative feature of this holster is the adjustable retention which allows you to adjust the pressure required to draw and re-holster the gun, making it very secure and customizable to your needs.
This is an extremely low profile design that is made from a single piece of folded kydex with absolutely no excess material to add bulk or weight. It is one of the smallest full holsters on the market and is completely safe for appendix carry.
If there’s a downside to this holster, it’s definitely the plastic clip. While it does mean you won't scratch your car or furniture, or tear your clothing, like you might with a metal belt clip the durability of the clip is somewhat in question but this holster does come with a lifetime guarantee and plastic belt clips are not uncommon amongst other manufacturers.
This appendix carry holster for the M&P Shield is an extremely well-balanced design that you shouldn’t have any problems with.
2 Blade Tech Industries Inside the Waistband Klipt Appendix Holster
Blade Tech Holsters are known for their excellent competition ready kydex designs. Born out of the need for a high-quality holster that stands up to repeated use, these are excellent holsters for everyday carry, especially if you plan on practicing a lot.
Many kydex holsters have the problem of delaminating and coming apart but holsters from Blade Tech don’t have a problem because they are made from a single piece of very high quality kydex and they are made to very exacting standards by experts using premium machinery and well thought out designs.
The kydex holsters from Blade Tech are much more rigid and provide a better value for your money than some others and will last much longer than other option and will provide a high degree of functionality for many, many years.
If there’s one downside of this holster it’s that the belt clip is not strong enough if you’re going to carry a large gun like a full-size 1911 pistol, there’s just not enough retention against the belt itself. The 1911 would be a very large gun to carry in the appendix carry position in the first place though so this probably won’t be a problem. The retention of the belt clip might cause a real problem though as a particularly energetic craw could see you pull the holster off your belt with the gun rather than draw the gun, in an emergency this could be disastrous.
3 CYA Supply Co. IWB Holster
This is a general inside the waistband holster, not specifically designed for appendix carry but it can be adapted for it. It’s made from rigid kydex and a plastic clip that can be placed anywhere inside the waistband and excels as an appendix holster for small guns.
The thing that sets this kydex holster apart from others is its rigidity. While other kydex holsters have a tendency to flex slightly this holster maintains its shape really well. This makes it an ideal holster for appendix carry because it is not going to flex much as you move around.
For a small gun, this is great because it is going to distribute the weight of the gun well while protecting the trigger guard and the gun itself. This is not ideal for a large, or even a medium-sized pistol because it is going to be extremely uncomfortable while sitting.
This holster certainly has its place for small guns and overall is an excellent holster for concealed appendix carry. Avoid it though if you’re carrying a medium or full-size gun and as with any holster make sure you practice with it so you get used to its idiosyncrasies and get used to drawing and holstering safely.
4 BLACKHAWK Ambidextrous Appendix Reversible - Fit Perfect for Glock 19
If you are looking for is an extremely low profile and simple to use a holster that is bombproof, look no further than this offering from the experts from Blackhawk. Blackhawk makes a ton of different products ranging from tactical gear and boots to AR 15 parts and accessories.
This holster is an excellent example of one of their injection molded plastic holsters that encompasses everything from full-blown duty rigs for cops and soldiers to more subdued models like this one for civilian concealed carry.
This holster is made using the well proven construction methods that Blackhawk has developed over the years but is slimmed-down to be as small as humanly possible while still supporting the weight of your gun.
This holster for the glock 19 is designed specifically for inside the waistband appendix carry and is reversible for left or right handed shooters. The injection molded plastic is extremely tough and includes a heavy-duty belt loop and adjustable retention.
As far as costs go, this is one of the most inexpensive holsters to get for appendix carry. It’s going to last a long time because of the hard wearing injection molded plastic and for convenience you can buy right off the shelf. There’s no need to wait for a custom holster you can just order one of these excellent models from Blackhawk and use it forever.
5 CrossBreed Holsters - Appendix Carry Kydex Holster for Springfield XDs
Crossbreed Holsters are some of the highest-quality leather and kydex combination holsters available. With this design, you get a comfortable leather holster with the security and durability of kydex. This is especially important for appendix carry as many people find it uncomfortable.
This holster makes use of a high-quality dyed leather and black kydex along with a metal loop to make sure your gun is made safe while you carry it. Overall this is an extremely nice holster that anyone who has used it will tell you of its high quality.
The only downside this holster is the weight and bulk associated with a heavy duty metal clip and thick leather.
With a holster like this, it is very easy to conceal a large gun, even in appendix carry, because it supports the weight and distributes it so well across your belt, although it is quite heavy.
If you’ve never used a hybrid design holster before, this crossbreed appendix holster is an excellent starting point because it combines some of the best quality on the market with a quick to ship product that you can have your hands in just a few days.
Do be aware that appendix carry is one of the more dangerous methods of concealed carry. You literally walk around all day with a gun pointed at your genitals and important arteries.
Stories abound of people suffering negligent discharges and life altering or fatal wounds are not uncommon as a result of poor firearms handling and the intricacy of drawing and re-holstering in the appendix carry position. When you conceal carry, no matter what the method but especially with appendix carry, take every precaution to make sure your finger is off the trigger, the muzzle doesn't cover your body and all appropriate precautions are taken the when you draw and re-holster your gun.
Most self-inflicted gunshot wounds happen when people are putting the gun back in the holster and rushing. Rushing with an appendix carry holster can literally kill you.
Other things to watch out for are negligent discharges as the result of clothing or spent brass falling into the holster and setting the gun off on reupholstering. Make sure each and every time you draw and re-holster your gun there is nothing in the holster itself.
In fact, you may want to even consider completely removing the holster off of your body each and every time you re-holster your gun with appendix carry. Yes, this is going to make range work and learning to draw your gun from concealment much, much harder but it is overall the safest way to re-holster a gun with appendix carry.
If you decided the appendix carry is the best concealed carry method for you make sure you get your hands on the best appendix carry holster and get used to carrying your gun. Overall, most people will conceal carry in the appendix position with no problems if they have the right gear and know what they’re doing.