There are many ways to carry your concealed handguns, which brings up the argument of appendix carry vs the four o’clock, small of back or under the armpit position, etc.
Appendix carry has grown in popularity, whether that’s by watching too many Hollywood movies or experimenting with the different position. Another thing that’s talked about is the carrier body composition as a factor. Seems like the thinner folks have an easier time concealing the handguns versus another who’s a little on the heavier side.
Whoa, lets put the brakes on here, in the video below Rob Leatham(Team Springfield) is talking with Rob Pincus (Personal Defense World) on the subject.
As you know Leatham isn’t fat by obesity standard, but pudgy. As you can see with the correct body posture and technique, its easy to get the pistol out without pointing it at yourself, its quick and efficient. Appendix carry’s concept is straight forward: The handgun is holstered at the front of the body where the hands are at most of the time. The advantages are many: a fast, intuitive, and easy to draw from nearly any body position; provides excellent retention and some comfort.
Some experts like Massad Ayoob of Personal Defense World have stated, “our hands are more likely to be in front of our torsos instead of down by our sides most in the time in everyday life,” which means “in real life,” our hands may be closer to the gun if the weapon is also at the front of the body.
For the weapon retention minded, “an attempt by a criminal to snatch your gun out of its holster from behind will probably be harder if your sidearm is in the appendix position.”
So how effective is the carry?
One way is to implement it through a course of fire, but is that adequate for a gun fight?
Maybe, run the test while going through a force on force test with air guns. The results may vary based on your training and experience level.
Here are some sentiments on the subject from Reddit, USACarry and Glock Talk: Nodpete: I prefer the appendix carry. It just feels better with my body shape and I think that you get less printing at this position. It’s also comfortable when your sitting/driving and doesn’t show when you bend forward. I use an Aliengear Tuck 2.0 and love it. It comes stock with a 15 degree FBI carry but I modified it to the straight up position.
bofh: I carry a Glock 26 (and sometimes a Glock 19 or Glock 20) at 4 o’clock, but that shouldn’t influence your decision at all. There are pros and cons for both. You need to try it out. In any case, a good belt and holster make the difference.
mudshark100: I find 4:00 more comfortable, especially when sitting. But more importantly, consider where the barrel is pointing in both positions. An accidental discharge at 4:00, you maybe loose a little of your backside. At appendix, particularly while sitting, an accidental discharge means major damage into the upper thigh, possibly hitting an artery……or worse yet, the family jewels. Just my thoughts.
grantar2: the answer will be based on feel. I personally carry at 3 0’clock, but I carry a full size M&P. It’s also the position I carry when I compete in IDPA. Appendix position is the stronger position If you are attacked your arms, movement and hands will work best close to center of body. You can bring the gun straight up, roll the wrist for a shot from retention. If the bad guy is driving on you, having your primary weapon behind you even slightly puts your arm in a weaker position. This is true even if your blading into the threat.
At the 4 0’clock position clearing a garment may be harder as well. Practice is what you normally wear will help you decide. The appendix position is easy, grasp and lift shirt, draw weapons. The act of lifting the shirt keeps the free hand out of the way until you drive the gun our and the hand joins up. If you clawing one hand well engaging with the other, being up front is easier as well.
tcox4freedom: I’ve personally seen a close family member shoot himself; severing his femoral artery and almost all the other blood vessels in his upper mangled leg. It took us over 4hr to get him to the hospital because we were so far out in the boonies. He never lost consciousness. (Known other people that have had similar damage and survived as well.) I carry appendix because it’s more comfortable, provides the fastest access (even while sitting & buckled up) and it affords you better retention should you ever find your self in a grappling match with a drunk MMA fighter.
SR9: I carry with more of a 5:00 O’clock position and with the cant of my holster, I see not major problem. If my gun should accidently fire, and considering my age, and build, I don’t have a lot of butt to lose, if any.
Appendix carry with Glock19
Damn_Yankee: Very comfortable even while seated and driving. I am 5′ 7″ and 160 lbs and I can conceal my G19 in just about anything I want to wear.
F14Scott: This $16 holster is thin and perfect. I wear it with a leather gun belt, and it keeps the G19 tight against my belly. It is very comfortable.
ken grant: Tried several different AIWB holsters but then decided on a trigger guard type and it hit the sweet spot for me.
I tried several different lanyard lengths and found one that lets the pistol ride where wanted and also lets it float a little with my movements.
The guard is pulled off as soon as the pistol clears the belt and pointed forward away from my body.
OutWest: I carry a G19 AIWB. My preference is for a low carry. On my body this conceals the best. I’ve tried several kydex holsters and they tend to carry the gun higher than I like. This results in obvious and goofy printing from the grip frame. What I’ve found to work best for me is a cheap Uncle Mike’s cloth holster. It rides low and disappears.
The disadvantage of the low ride is getting a good grip when drawing. As with any holster, practice makes perfect.
Some complaints with carry at small of back
MichaelsPerHour: My issue with SOB is that you’re placing a hard metal object in a place where your body has basically no padding of your spine, which means if you slip and fall on your back, bad things can happen. There are other advantages to AIWB like draw speed, retention, easier to see if your shirt is riding up, etc. But the fear of slipping on ice and making myself a paraplegic is number one.
LumberCockSucker: I never thought of that, I don’t like SOB because you don’t have eyes on the back of your head and it seems like it would be easier for someone to sneak up behind you and snag your firearm.
crazyScott90: I avoid small of back. It’s the slowest draw stroke on the waist, has increased chances of printing/your shirt riding up, and it’s not very comfortable when sitting. Also, if you have to draw while sitting, it’s going to be fairly difficult.
Daraholsters: I carry appendix and 4:30-5 o’clock. I’m female, so I have wider hips than a guy would and these positions are easier to conceal than the hip. I carry with a mid ride & straight draw so I can switch back and forth.
crazyScott90: If you check out our FAQ section, you’ll see I’ve made a point to include some holster options for women. Theres bra holsters and inside thigh holsters to name a couple. Maybe one of those would work.
AnonomyousFemale: I’ve tried the bra holsters but I don’t like looking like I am at Mardi Gras to grab my gun LOL
PincersofPower: It would create a moment of “WTF? Is this woman seriously gonna… Oh shit!” Tactical advantage.
Bottom line is if its for tactical reason, appendix may rule as the position to carry. For comfort and concealing your print, try a different position. What do you all think?
Source: Reddit, USACarry, GlockTalk, Springfield Armory Youtube, Personal Defense World
Photos from Google Image