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Appendix or Center-Line Carry.

ZeeZee Posts: 28,161 Senior Member
I have been Center-Line or Appendix carrying my handguns for the better part of about 5-8 years now. Whether it be a MaxPedition Man Sack, a Kelty Chest Rig, or an actual Appendix Holster, it has become my dominate carry method. I've transitioned so much so, that even for field carry, I've moved my guns to either a cross-draw, chest-rig, or OWB appendix position.

This morning, I ordered a Comp-Tac Infidel Holster from Midway that I'd been eyeing because it went on clearance. That one holster will fit my G27/23/17/34 for appendix or side carry. It will be my third appendix carry holster to go along with those from 511 and Blackhawk.


After I ordered the Comp-Tac Holster, I Googled it and was looking at pictures of the holster to try and get a better idea of the different style belt clips. In the process, I found an interesting article on appendix carry. Thought I'd share it here.

By: Ron Larimer

Appendix carry is among the most controversial method of concealed carry for many concealed carriers.

It also happens to be one of the most common for many combatives instructors including Mike Seeklander, Rob Pincus, Kyle Lamb, Todd G, Paul Carlson… Why is that?
[h=1]Appendix Carry can be scary.
[/h]After you have carried for a while it can be easy to forget the moment when you decided that you wanted to keep a firearm with you AND that you were prepared to use lethal force in the defense of yourself and those you care about.
This moment can also change the way you think about firearms.
They are no longer just tools that you plink with, or hunt with, but they become tools that can be used against humans. Granted they are bad guys determined to cause death or grave bodily injury to you or a loved one, but since you aren’t a sociopath (are you?) it can be hard to get past the idea that they are people and their death would have an impact of those that love them.
If your firearm can cause incapacitation to an attacker, then if it is misused it can do the same to you or a family member… at this point you really internalize the power and responsibility you have.
So if you are like me and other responsible concealed carriers, you begin studying…
First the safety rules
  1. All guns are always loaded.
  2. Never let the muzzle cover anything you are not willing to destroy.
  3. Keep your finger off the trigger till your sights are on the target.
  4. Identify your target, and what is behind it.
Number 2, always captivates us, because we think if we do that one thing and we screw-up up everything else it will still be ok.
The problem is, we take it too far.
We get nervous walking through a gun store and seeing muzzles in the cabinet or seeing photos/videos of muzzles pointed at the camera. We succumb to the idea that there is a laser coming out of the barrel and that it could go off at any time… it won’t.

Then we study terminal ballistics to make sure that the gun we chose will be enough to stop a threat.
Uh oh! We chose pistols and “All pistols suck!”
How can that be?!?
So we start looking for what we can do to make them more effective and we learn about the human anatomy and the location of cranio-ocular cavity, the thoracic triangle, the brain stem, the pelvic girdle, the spine and of course the arteries that could cause incapacitation… including the femoral artery.
Now we know that the handgun we chose to carry isn’t the devastating tool of mass murder the media tells us it is and that we have to be able to hit a relatively small area, under stress to make the threat stop and protect our family and we think
“I need to train! But how… I know I’ll take a class! Doh that is expensive, I need another solution YouTube!!! Who is Tex Grebner?”
And then as a new shooter we see a video of a guy shooting himself in the leg… video available here

There are a number of great lesson’s to be learned in that video, but the only one we internalize is that the draw and reholstering are very dangerous times for the shooter. (They are I’m not debating it.) But we miss the facts that all holsters can position the gun to be pointed at yourself (or at the person behind you in the case of a shoulder holster or purse carry) and that rule 3 is just as important as rule 2!

At this point have all the information we need to develop well-articulated fear of appendix carry…
A) It is possible to shoot yourself on a draw or while reholstering
B) It points the gun at a part of the human anatomy that many men prize above all others
C) Past that there is a femoral artery that could be a lethal hit even with a pistol

Some people either don’t think it through or realize that with liberal use of rule 3 and training that you can in fact mitigate the risks of shooting yourself to the point they are a statistical non-issue. They also realize that a holstered pistol is effectively stored and therefore it isn’t going to go off on its own, so they buy an appendix carry holster and realize…
[h=1]Appendix Carry is Uncomfortable[/h]If you look at us on the whole we really only bend one way so a gun carried on the waist is never really in the way of our bodies from 3-6 o’clock because we typically bend either parallel to it or away from it.
Appendix carry is a whole ‘nother thing because we tend to bend towards it and guns tend to both not bend and have sharp edges. This isn’t a problem when we are standing (unless you have a tactical shelf) but when we sit or bend over it can be quite the issue.
There are a few things we can do to mitigate this issue that all relate to selecting “Gear that Just Works!”
First the gun that we choose to carry should have a muzzle length that permits it to sit above anything that bends. When I sit the pubic bone become the biggest issue. (Go ahead and chuckle, I’ll wait)
You can control this by selecting a gun with a short muzzle or a holster that doesn’t sit as low.
The next concern for me is that I am relatively short from hip to rib.
When I am carrying a few extra pounds, like the 10-15 I am carting around now, my gut helps keep the gun from getting in under my ribs and makes it much more comfortable.
I am not saying that gaining weight is a good answer, it isn’t… but selecting a holster that tends to guide the gun away from your ribs or a gun with a short slide can help.
[h=1]If it is scary and uncomfortable, why do many top trainers carry appendix carry?[/h][h=2]Appendix Carry is extremely concealable.[/h]If you are reasonably fit you shirt will naturally be pretty loose near your waist and many guns that are well suited for appendix carry have shorter grips that make them more concealable. However there is a psychological reason as well. People (at least Americans) don’t feel comfortable looking at another person on their centerline at or below their waist.
If you don’t believe me greet the next person you come into contact with by staring at their crotch. See how you feel and they react.
[h=2]Appendix Carry is easier to protect.[/h]A gun grab is one of the biggest fears of many concealed pistol carriers, because it can be done fairly easily from behind if you are caught unaware. Because the appendix carry holster is on your front (and near the same sensitive parts nobody wants to look at) there is little risk of a surprise.
It is harder to foul an appendix carry draw.
[/h]When we draw from a hip it takes a fairly large movement and a lot space behind us for our elbow. This can be a difficult movement if we are in a tight space like in a bucket seat or on our back.
[h=2]Appendix Carry is more natural.[/h]As Monkeys we tend to flinch towards our centerline, once there all we have to do is drop our hands and we can access our firearm.
[h=2]Appendix Carry is FAST (with a capital F, A, S and T)[/h]Because the movements are natural and shorter you can access an appendix carried gun much quicker than you can a hip holster. Since we are already going to be behind the curve, the faster we can respond the better.
Learning to carry in an appendix holster is about getting over some fears about firearms and their handling and finding a holster and gun combination that works with your body, but there are many defensive reasons to do so if you are willing and able.

"To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith


  • ZeeZee Posts: 28,161 Senior Member
    It's probably not a widely accepted carry method on this forum. Which means that I am, yet again, the odd man out. But, it has become the fastest, most effective way for me to do things over the past few years. That doesn't mean I have completely given up on "Strong-Side" carry. Just that I find it more comfortable, convenient, expedient, and practical to carry over a wide range of situations.

    ESPECIALLY sitting on the ground, in a chair, or while driving. My (your) hands just naturally remain at my center-line (in lap or on steering wheel) and it takes FAR less movement to draw from center-line and is FAR more comfortable to lean back against a tree or seat without a gun poking me in the kidney.

    It just works. Whether open carry, field carry, or concealed carry.

    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • VarmintmistVarmintmist Posts: 8,285 Senior Member
    Driving with that rig would point the muzzle at my butt and give me pain in my abdomen. I guess I have the "tactical shelf".

    Theory works though.

    I have always thought the chest rig more centered makes more sense than a armpit carry, and a man sack.... well, I guess if you wear one, that is where you would wear it.
    It's boring, and your lack of creativity knows no bounds.
  • Ernie BishopErnie Bishop Posts: 8,566 Senior Member
    I will be learning more about it in the future

    "The Un-Tactical"
  • Diver43Diver43 Posts: 12,630 Senior Member
    Not being in the best shape, it just does not work for me, but for someone with a thinner build I can see it working well.
    Logistics cannot win a war, but its absence or inadequacy can cause defeat. FM100-5
  • shushshush Posts: 6,259 Senior Member
    Does this mean you are not doing any more crochet work?


  • JayhawkerJayhawker Posts: 18,313 Senior Member
    Depending on what I'm carrying, appendix carry has always been an option I'm comfortable with....my G36 was very happy there...
    Sharps Model 1874 - "The rifle that made the west safe for Winchester"
  • ZeeZee Posts: 28,161 Senior Member
    shush wrote: »
    Does this mean you are not doing any more crochet work?



    Yeah. I gave up on the crutches. Wasn't getting enough sympathy.
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • tubabucknuttubabucknut Posts: 3,520 Senior Member
    I have been carrying appendix for almost ten years now. I find the firearm accessible at all times.
  • NNNN Posts: 25,226 Senior Member
    I carry that way more than not
  • NCFUBARNCFUBAR Posts: 4,324 Senior Member
    In a time long ago we carried cross draw appendix in the vehicle. It worked well for access and when you think how "convenient" it was from draw to engage on the driver side it made sense. If it works ... it works!
    “The further a society drifts from truth ... the more it will hate those who speak it."
    - George Orwell
  • NNNN Posts: 25,226 Senior Member
    NCFUBAR wrote: »
    In a time long ago we carried cross draw appendix in the vehicle. It worked well for access and when you think how "convenient" it was from draw to engage on the driver side it made sense. If it works ... it works!
    It is about the best way other than a vehicle mounted holster.
  • jbp-ohiojbp-ohio Posts: 10,871 Senior Member
    I keep my holster between my belt and pants so I can move it to 9:00 when I sit in car, then push it to 11:00 when I stand.......

    "The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not." Thomas Jefferson
  • DanChamberlainDanChamberlain Posts: 3,395 Senior Member
    A couple thoughts come to mind. First, having tried that position, it does offer max concealment while standing, but I find it simply a bit too uncomfortable while sitting, or squatting. In my current line of work, I spend a lot of time squatting before patients while doing dressing changes on lower extremities, or examining things that will be left unsaid. I find cross draw the most comfortable while sitting, and it offers accessibility to the firearm for either hand. The problem with cross draw (for me), is it "prints" the gun butt more readily under flimsy clothing (like scrubs) or light shirts.

    The easiest position for me to both conceal and remain comfortable in the majority of contortionist positions I find myself engaging in on the job, is 3 or 4 O'Clock. For this reason, I've gone to a holster that doesn't require any clips at all. I can quickly slip in into the waist band of my "uniform" or street clothes in any position I care to, quickly, easily and without a lot of exposed time. And, while in place, I can surruptitiously make minor shifts of it with my arm if I find I need to.

    Also, I don't holster the weapon with the holster in place. The trigger is always covered during the positioning of the holster, so I don't fear an accidental discharge when holstering if the trigger should catch on something.

    I have a lot of holsters. But the only one I use anymore is the Remora. It never fails to remain in place during the draw. It has its disadvantages, but I find its advantages greater.
    It's a source of great pride for me, that when my name is googled, one finds book titles and not mug shots. Daniel C. Chamberlain
  • EliEli Posts: 3,074 Senior Member
    Appendix carry works a little different for fat guys, most simply can't find a position that's comfortable or if they do, the gun prints too much. It isn't a huge problem for me because I wear the waist of my pants under my stomach, rather than on top of it. While being as fat as I am, I PREFER to carry in the 3 o'clock position (and do, when I'm out in street clothes), I simply can't conceal a gun that way in my work clothes. AIWB is how I carry every day, and am able to completely conceal a a Glock 19. I actually have my holster set up with a bit of reverse cant, so the grip is basically parallel with my belt, and the slide/holster fits very naturally in the crease of my thigh.

    I've also carried AIWB at home, in lounge wear ever since I started carrying a gun at home (which was several years before I could legally carry a gun in public). pinning the holster at the 12 o'clock position on a pair of thin draw-string shorts sort of "anchors" the shorts around your hips, rather than just pulling one side of the shorts off, like if you were carrying on your hip.
  • EliEli Posts: 3,074 Senior Member
    cpj wrote: »
    Dude. You carry on your waist what Zed has to use a back pack for. I've seen the "bat belt".


    Well, I've got more spaces to put stuff. One of the very few advantages to being the size of a Miata.
  • bullsi1911bullsi1911 Posts: 12,357 Senior Member
    cpj wrote: »
    I've got to try one of of those

    You should. They are cheap and work. One of the few 'gimmick' holsters that delivers on its promise

    As for the question on AIWB never tried it. Been carrying for 25 years at 3-4 o clock. Hard to retrain that
    To make something simple is a thousand times more difficult than to make something complex.
    -Mikhail Kalashnikov
  • jbp-ohiojbp-ohio Posts: 10,871 Senior Member
    Wambli Ska wrote: »
    The Remora is one of the few holsters that fully delivers on its promise. I can wear a full size .45 inside the waistband of sweatpants or even athletic shorts with an elastic band.

    I've tried with a PM9 when walking dog in the morning........ No go
    "The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not." Thomas Jefferson
  • DanChamberlainDanChamberlain Posts: 3,395 Senior Member
    I wear mine with scrubs, just about as tight as jogging pants. It stays in place.
    It's a source of great pride for me, that when my name is googled, one finds book titles and not mug shots. Daniel C. Chamberlain
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