Something I discovered while working with appendix carry

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I’ve been investigating appendix carry since last fall and have already talked about some of its advantages and disadvantages in other venues. I noticed something the other day, though, that surprised me.

Appendix carry (placing the firearm in front of your body, somewhere between the navel and the point of your hip) is quite popular these days. Some people think it’s wonderful while others deride it as nonsensical. I fall somewhere in between.

Needing to do some writing about the practice, and having precious little first-hand experience, I decided some months ago to give it a more thorough trial.

There’s one thing I found and was a little surprised no one really talks about it: the effect it has on your pants size. No, really, stay with me!

My normal everyday attire are the superb Riggs Ranger cargo pants. These are the most non-tactical “tactical” pants on the market: large cargo pockets with snaps (not the accursed Velcro!); deep front pockets constructed of a heavy canvas-like material; double knees; rip-stop cotton fabric. I’ve worn these for more than a decade, and buy them in bulk so that I never run out.

I’ve sized these pants so that I can wear them with or without an inside-the-waistband (IWB) holster just behind my hip, but lately I’ve noticed that they’re starting to get a little tight with one. That tells me I need to drop about ten pounds, but more importantly pointed out an unforeseen advantage of the appendix position.

As it happens, the same gun which now makes my pants uncomfortably tight when worn IWB at the 4:00 position is actually just fine when put in the 1:00 appendix position. My belly is apparently softer, and thus conforms more, than my back and is thus more accepting of a large metal object in its proximity.

This means that an appendix carrier may have a slightly larger range of pants options than someone who carries inside the waistband in any other position.

I’m still not a total convert to appendix carry; there are other comfort issues, like the thing poking into the flesh of my groin when I sit down, as well as the limitations on clothing styles that keep me from adopting it as my normal carry position. Still, some people may find it more comfortable than the traditional IWB position that the majority of the defensive shooting world still champions. It certainly proved so for me!

-=[ Grant ]=-

P.S.: Do NOT attempt to carry in the appendix position without proper instruction on safe drawing and re-holstering techniques from someone with actual experience in appendix carry!


About the Author:

Grant Cunningham is a renowned author and teacher in the fields of self defense, defensive shooting education and personal safety. He’s written several popular books on handguns and defensive shooting, including "The Book of the Revolver", "Shooter’s Guide To Handguns", "Defensive Revolver Fundamentals", "Defensive Pistol Fundamentals", and "Practice Strategies for Defensive Shooting" (Fall 2015.) Grant has also written articles on shooting, self defense, training and teaching for many magazines and shooting websites, including Concealed Carry Magazine, Gun Digest Magazine, the Association of Defensive Shooting Instructors ADSI) and the popular Personal Defense Network training website. He’s produced a DVD in the National Rifle Association’s Personal Firearm Defense series titled "Defensive Revolver Fundamentals" and teaches defensive shooting and personal safety courses all over the United States.
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