Thursday, January 12, 2012

Appendix Carry


Appendix Carry seems to be a reoccurring theme lately, so I thought I would drop my two cents on the subject.
   For those that are unfamiliar with the technique; it involves positioning an IWB (Inside the Waist Band) holster forward of the hip so that it sits between 12 o'clock and 3 o'clock on the body.
   Some of the Pro's of this particular carry are:

1) Better concealment (less "printing"), especially when bending over.

2) Easier/faster draw stroke while wearing cover shirt or jacket.

3) Easier/faster access while driving or seated.

4) Better retainment in a close proximity struggle or grapple scenario.

   While the list above is not exhaustive, it sufficiently makes the point for the advocates of said technique.
    Now for the Con's:

1) Personally, I find it quite uncomfortable... and think what you will about "toughing it out" if it's a good technique; I know human nature and myself well enough to know that procrastination and bad carry habits lie at the end of that road.

2) It orients the muzzle towards your genitals and/or femoral channel, especially while seated; thus violating the 2nd rule of firearms handling (Do not place anything in front of the muzzle that you do not wish to destroy). And that's where this style of carry loses me (I dislike the horizontal shoulder holster carry for similar reasons).
    Some may counter my supposition by stating that, based on their advanced level of training/experience, they would never make a "rookie" mistake like that. Be that as it may, I believe, it quite frankly, falls under Murphy's law. The number of AD/ND incidents when reholstering are quite numerous and more often than not, are due to wardrobe or gear malfunction as opposed to faulty trigger discipline (Rule 3). One factor I would have to point out is that, with very few exceptions, this is a striker fired-no manual safety-pistol phenomenon (ie, Glock, M&P, Kahr, etc). The culprit often being a bunched-up bit of shirt tail, or an errant zipper pull finding it's way into the unoccupied trigger well as the weapon is being forced downward into what will, tragically,  become it's final firing position....the holster. You don't have to be a medical doctor to know that a gunshot to the genitals and femoral area of the quadriceps can quickly become a life altering scenario.
   I felt compelled to address this style of carry as I am seeing it more and more lately. Some of my co-workers use it, as it does help lower their carry profile while working in a non-permissive environment and Raven Concealment even started making a special Appendix Carry holster at the request of the Modern Army Combatives cadre down at Benning.
    In closing, while appendix carry does have some useful benefits, it is not something that I would choose to employ, largely based on con #2 mentioned above. If you do decide to use this style of carry then I would stick with a hammer fired pistol with a manual safety/decock, which would allow you to "ride" the hammer down while holstering; thus ensuring that the weapon could not fire.
  

3 comments:

  1. That simply looks very uncomfortable. I have found two techniques to reduce printing while packing using hip or small of the back. 1, pick the right sidearm for your body type. I have a friend who is a really big guy who can conceal a full size 1911. At 5'11" and 185 pounds, I cannot. My solution? Glock 19 with 15 rounds of 9mm HP +P. 2, instead of bending over, kneel down. After a couple of trips to winco wearing my glock in a cheapo Uncle Miles iwb holster on my left hip, kneeling down rather than bending over became second nature.
    Not seeing the driving issue. If you're driving in a high stress situation, your hands belong on the wheel. If you're the passenger, unless the weapon is in the small of your back, accessing your weapon shouldn't be an issue. I'm with you; the advantages don't seem to outweigh possibly getting shot in the junk.

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    1. Yeah, spot-on....a driver's job is to drive and let the passengers/team do the nasty. I only bring it up because a gent was on a move by himself a short while back and got into a situation he could not drive out of and consequently had to shoot his way out. (But I have never seen him use appendix carry, FWIW)

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  2. Thanks for the good thoughts on AIWB. All the cool guys are buzzing about it so it is good to read some sense. I find it comfortable and concealable even with the G19 but simply don't do it because of violating the rule on muzzling something I'm not willing to shoot. Also, I have found that running, jumping, and specifically, squatting with AIWB sucks.

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