This Friday, is more or less my appendix carry anniversary. That's right, for one year now I've been toting around a Glock 26L loaded with one defensively crafted hollow point in the chamber, inches away from the area that each and every one of us males hold sacred-the family jewels. In case you didn't get the tacticool memo, appendix carry gets it's name from the 12 to 2 O'clock positioning of the holstered handgun which sits in the same region as your eight lettered vestigial organ.
All word weaving aside, carrying in this position has been one huge science experiment. My hypothesis from the start: there's a 61.5% chance that I'm going to shoot myself in the genitalia.
While that earlier guess might have been a little off, I've learned quite a bit about this carry method.
Now I have to admit, when I first started carrying in this position, it was with a universal leather holster designed for generic IWB carry. Without this turning into a rant about the negatives of leather holsters, I quickly realized this was NOT the ideal way to carry my 25 ounce hunk of polymer and steel. After way too many youtube video searches and scouring the forums until my eyes bled, I came across the G-Code INCOG holster.
I can say that this holster might just be (spoiler alert) the reason why I've become so crazy about appendix carry. The holster has perfect retention out of the box without any tweaking of set screws or going to town with the Ol lady's blow dryer. In true minimalist fashion, it also takes up the least amount of space which is extremely important considering where its resting while tucked in your pantalones. BUT WAIT, there's more! On top of the already sound design, the belt clips on the holster are the best on the market. They allow you to put the whole holster with firearm into place without having to weave or unbuckle your belt. This also means that taking your gun off at the end of the day is a safe two second process.
All awesomeness of the INCOG holster aside, appendix carry has an extensive list of advantages for someone of a slimmish (5'10" 165lb) build.
Speed of Draw
Sure the above video isn't mind blowingly fast but it's quick and accurate enough for any defensive situation I could find myself in. What you didn't see in the video is the the second, third, and subsequent draws which were performed with the same efficiency and speed. This isn't me trying to brag or show off, what I'm getting at is that the average shooter (me) can retrieve his or her firearm swiftly and achieve boring like repeatability with that crucial master grip.
If we're talking concealed carry and using a firearm to defend our very existence, consistency is the name of the game. Maybe it's just me but drawing from the small of the back always proved to be a gamble depending on the shirt I had on. Wearing a T-shirt was straightforward when getting the gun out in that position but soon as you wear a lighter button up or dress shirt, forget about it. The standard for 99% of mens shirts is that the same sized shirt will be pretty close the same length in front no matter which style shirt it is. Because some dress shirts and button ups have varied tapered backs, the amount of shirt you have to grab and pull up on makes that whole consistency thing difficult when using the small of the back position. That is unless you're planning on only carrying when you have a t-shirt on. A non issue with appendix carry.
For those of you that like to wear baggy, non fitting clothing, this section need not apply to you. The rest of us that wear clothes that fit our body closer, tucking a gun and keeping it undetectable to the general populous is tough in any other method besides appendix carry. I've worn everything from the occasional shmedium Tshirt to a tailored suit with the aforementioned holster at the 1 O'clock location and as much as I glanced at every reflective surface to ensure you couldn't tell I had a gun on me, I've never been spotted.
-Side note.... Considering a lot of guys that carry go one size up on shirts just to eliminate the chance of printing, just think about all of the money you'd save wearing your actual size and carrying this way.
Just like death and taxes, the other surety in life is that if carrying becomes a chore that is unbearably uncomfortable, you'll start by leaving that gun at home one day and another and before you know it, your carry gun finds its way to the back of your safe. Short of laying on your stomach for hours on end while appendix carrying, I've yet to find a normal daily body position that causes this carry location to give me any pains or discomfort. Now that I think about it, I drove for 300 miles straight without stopping with my gun exactly like the picture you see above. I know I'll get trolled for this but it's pretty easy to forget you're even carrying with this setup/style of carry.
Probably my top thing I like about appendix carry is the ease and safety of reholstering. Call it a fear of turning myself into a Ken doll from the waist down and the fact the holster is right in front of me and in clear view, I feel like it's the easiest to IWB reholster. It's not as if I'm slamming the gun back in the holster but some of those other positions that are out of your view can turn into a game of thread the gun shaped needle.
What Do I Really Think?
Like I said earlier, when I set out practically twelve months ago, it was nothing more than a science experiment for me to see what all the rage was about with appendix carry. Instead of navy silk ribbons for this long and at first terrifying endeavor, I'm awarded the conviction that this is hands down the best way for me to carry a real handgun daily.
*Your experience may differ