In the last five years, appendix carry has grown in popularity; but a lot of people still don’t know what it is, or more importantly, what the pros and cons are for appendix carry.
Appendix Inside the Waistband (AIWB) or appendix carry appears to be one of the oldest methods of carrying a handgun that exists. The concept is pretty simple: Keep the handgun at the front of the body where the hands spend most of their time.
Appendix Carry: The Good
According to Guns & Ammo, the advantages of appendix carry are many. For years, IPSC and USPSA shooters have realized the benefits of not having to reach behind their centerline to draw, and created race holsters that position the gun in front of the point of the hip. Not only does appendix carry allow you to quickly access your firearm when you’re on your back, it also places your handgun in a position where you have the greatest strength to maintain control of it. Some other advantages include:
- Draw Speed- Appendix carry allows for a fast, intuitive, and uncomplicated draw from nearly any body position.
- Concealment- AIWB carry gives the carrier the ability to conceal a fairly large handgun without “printing”.
- Comfort- For some, comfort is one of the biggest advantages to AIWB carry. Keep in mind, however, that this depends on personal preference, body type and clothing choices.
The Bad & The Ugly
Just like with anything else, appendix carry isn’t for everyone. A few drawbacks of AIWB carry include:
- Comfort- Just as it can be very comfortable for some individuals, appendix carry can be downright painful for others.
- Restricted movement- Depending on what kind of activity an individual is engaged in, AIWB carry can make it difficult to bend forward when carrying, as the handgun impacts the abdomen. The size and specific position of the handgun (not to mention the size of the abdomen) can be key factors here.
- Concealment Options- AIWB carry doesn’t lend itself to as many concealment options as traditional inside-the-waistband carry from a clothing standpoint.
- Consequences of Discharge- People are very uncomfortable with the thought of a handgun’s muzzle pointing at their groin or thigh. The very concept of appendix carry seems to fly in the face of one of the fundamentals of gun safety: Never point a gun at anything that you aren’t willing to destroy.
A faster draw and ease in concealing full sized guns are big deals for a lot of people, but with those advantages come certain risks, and it’s up to you as the shooter to analyze those risks and determine if appendix carry is for you.