You know what makes me crazy? When people just repeat stuff they hear. Just because I do that too doesn’t make it any better.
One of those topics that gets passed around and judged with great vigor and enthusiasm is appendix carry. You’ve probably heard some comments, you know, like…
“Appendix carry is the greatest thing ever. It’s so fast I can draw my gun before I ever even knew I owned a gun.”
“Appendix carry is how Japanese Samurai committed Seppuku.”
Being a holster geek, I’ve been feeling inadequate, irresponsible, and even ashamed that I’ve not yet given appendix carry the cool ol’ college try. I decided to give it a whirl for a while. I figured that at the end of my experiment I would either be dead or the most tactical-est middle aged guy ever.
For my trial, I picked up a Blackhawk! A.R.C. IWB holster. This one is designed specifically for appendix carry. Besides, my good friend Chuck who runs the Blackhawk! Products Division swears by it, and he only lies to me on weekdays. Just kidding Chuck! My model was for a Glock 19, but I only had a Glock 26 handy. No worries, the only difference is that the holster is a hair longer than the muzzle of the Glock 26, so it secured my Glock just fine.
I did some homework and got some great tips from friends, acquaintances and the repository of truth, the internet. Some of what I learned was obviously credible considering the source, and some put the “erp” in “derp.” That’s OK, I’m a big believer in learning something from everyone I talk to. I can even learn things from Dianne Feinstein, only if its expert tips on how to be a hypocritical ninny.
After absorbing some knowledge, I got busy testing. I started with a couple of days trying all sorts of minor variations with an unloaded gun and forced myself carry all day with complete disregard for any forthcoming pain levels.
Here’s what I learned.
1. I kinda get it.
I might have a few extra pounds around the midsection, so I’d always assumed this method wouldn’t work very well for me. You know what they say about the word assume, right? It makes an ass out of “u” and “me.” Well, consider me piqued. Once I figured out a couple of the secrets, it was surprisingly comfortable, even though I’m not cut like an American Ninja Warrior.
2. Drawing is fast and concealment is excellent
Advocates of appendix carry swear that the draw is super fast compared to traditional hip carry positions. Granted, I’ve only been studious about this for a little over a week, but I don’t see a big difference either way. The appendix position is may be closer and require less arm movement depending on the natural resting position of your hand. If your natural arm position is hanging straight down, you raise it vertically for a traditional position draw and raise it at an angle to reach an appendix gun. Make no mistake, the draw is smooth and natural, but it will behoove you to ingrain proper muzzle control into your draw motion. I found that rotating the gun out from an appendix position immediately moved the muzzle forward and away from me. If you “pull” up and out, you can muzzle yourself during the beginning portion of the draw stroke.
What I did notice right off the bat was the concealment benefit. With hip carry, you have a protrusion sticking out from your body. With appendix carry, your body makes that a nonissue. You won’t bonk your gun when passing by a close person or object. If your waist is smaller than your chest, your shirt will also hang over the gun and cover it well. I think there’s a great retention benefit too as your gun is in an area that’s more under your direct control at all times.
3. The length of your muzzle matters.