I hate Appendix Carry

Appendix Carry is fad that I wish would go away.

The 4 Rules of Firearms Safety:
1.  Handle all firearms as if they were loaded.
2.  Never point the gun at anything you’re not willing to destroy.
3.  Keep your finger off the trigger and out of the trigger guard until you have made the decision to fire the weapon.
4.  Know your target, and know what is beyond the target.

These 4 rules are pretty simple.   But with Appendix Carry, you violate Rule #2.  I can’t get past this.  Forgive the crude language, but I hate the fact that when I tried Appendix Carry, I was muzzling my Cock and Balls.  Should an accident have happened – it would have been a Contact Shot.   WARNING: The LINKED TEXT is GRAPHIC:  I’ve seen the photos of what Contact Shots do to human beings, but never one that happened to a man’s Junk.   This filled my mind with graphic images that I wish never popped in there.  Horrific.
I know that I have friends that carry Appendix, and I have friends who teach Appendix Carry.  Because the position does offer some great tactical advantages.  It really does.  The speed and ease of the draw is an advantage.  Easier draw from awkward positions.  While driving.  While laying on either side.  Drawing with the weak hand.  Yes yes yes… I know all of this.   It makes sense.
But then there is Rule #2.
You see, in the more traditional position of 3:00 or 4:00, should an accident happen… a Negligent Discharge… The results are usually a visit to the hospital for a session of Shame and Stitches and you are back out again.  Because nothing vital was destroyed.  Usually.  Not always, but most of the time.  I personally know two guys that ND’d from the holster.  I will not say the names… They know who they are.  One, the weapon was at the 3:00 and the bullet went in and out of his leg.  He was out of the ER in 2 hours and on his feet the next day.  The other fellow was packing at the 4:00 position and he suffered a Flash Burn to his Ass.   No ER visit.   As they had been considering Appendix carry before… I asked both fellows how they would have faired if they had been packing Appendix.   There was much uncomfortable silence  as they both considered the results of a Ballistic Castration.  No, neither of them are packing Appendix now.

This isn’t just an unreasonable fear.  I remember reading more than one news article about some thug that shot his balls off packing in the appendix position.  Usually with a very sad mug shot to go with it.  But there was another story of a guy – not a thug – and with a holster… in a car with his family.  He didn’t survive.  That’s not a way that I would want to go out.

So you want the advantages of Appendix, but without the liability… What is the option?   Cross Draw.


It’s not just for Cowboys and Peacemakers.  The muzzle is NOT pointing at your dick.  You can access the gun quickly with either hand.  You have more control over it in a weapon retention tussle than in the 4:00 position.  And it’s just badass.  So you get the advantages of Appendix, with none of the liability.    There is a downside though, and that is problem with most cross draw rigs out there… and that’s concealment.    But most cross draw rigs I’ve seen were not designed for concealment.  But there are some.  I believe DeSanti is still making the Skymarshal rig.  And Kirkpatrick is making their Texas Cross Draw rig, which looks excellent.  I’d like to see more Cross Draws come out and I’d like to see less Appendix.




25 thoughts on “I hate Appendix Carry”

  1. Only reason I could see for that carry would be with a Thunderware holster. This is a deep cover set up for situations where you don’t want anyone to be aware that you are carrying. And with that holster set-up you wants to be verrry carefull when you grip and pull and also pretty select in What you choose to carry.

  2. Agree, Ogre. I cringe every time I see one of these “Tactical Operators Operating Tactically” toting appendix carry. Rule 4, man, for Heaven’s sake. And your future wife’s.

  3. I’m shopping for a holster right now. Crossdraw isn’t of interest to me, but I’d be interested should you write a followup.

      1. I do a crossdraw as well but I normally wouldn’t recommend it for most guys, strong side in my opinion works better for most. That said it does carry and conceal fairly well with most medium to small guns. I carried my Officers 1911 Crossdraw under a suit several times. Right now strangely(because it’s not my normal position) I’m carrying the same thing under a sweatshirt and it’s pretty invisible. It’s doable but strong side is easier at least for me;)

  4. Appendix carry for me places the muzzle at my femoral artery. Certainly lethal if I screw up, so I’m never in a rush to reholster. It certainly isn’t for everyone and should be considered an advance method of carry.

  5. A proper appendix holster, adherence to Rule #3, and a slow re-holstering makes this type of carry no more dangerous than any other.

    1. Exactly. When holstering I verify my holster is clear, ensure my finger is off the trigger, then slowly holster up. When standing, I arch my back slightly and angle the hips out to keep the muzzle clear of any body parts. Once the pistol is in the holster I’m GTG.

  6. I’ve been carrying my Glock 29 in a Kramer Horsehide crossdraw holster for about 13 years at this point. There is the disadvantage of concealment, and it is a little slower to draw than strong side carry, but only under the conditions that most favor strong side. It doesn’t have any of the fatal flaws, either, such as difficulty in drawing from a seated position, or weak handed, so on average I think it may be a little faster overall. The biggest drawback I have found besides concealment is that it interferes with carrying a rifle on my weak side, muzzle down, which is my preference.

  7. I’m confused George – you move across the country from the beauty of Utah to work for a company that strongly markets appendix carry holsters (which they can’t seem to manufacture and deliver) and then you leave the company and trash appendix carry. I’m going to go with the thought that you’re a man of integrity.

    1. If you had called GCode and asked how I carried the Incog, id have told you I carried it at the 4:00 position. Using only one clip angled. I never said I carried it Appendix.

  8. Not real sure about cross draw Org. In uniform or if your opponent is close and knows about the gun, there have been instances of the bad guy reaching out and drawing YOUR gun from YOUR holster cause its presented to him (considerately right handed mostly) butt forward. It’s the main reason that most LE’s don’t allow it as carry any more while in uniform. It did have a vogue with Staters cause it allows fast draw from a seat belted in position in a cruiser…

  9. I would have to agree with your assessment. Many years ago I had a superior try to pull a .38 snub out of waistband, he lost a testicle in the process and had some powder burns as well. Now to be honest, the supervisor was not the sharpest tool in the shed. He did survive the gunshot wound, but never did the notoriety, he quit the security company we were working for.
    Now that was when revolvers were common to police and security. The most commonly carried now are Glocks with the safe action, or variations of them. Now most try to carry a smaller version of their duty weapons or the duty weapon itself concealed. I don’t put a lot of muzzles near my happy tool, and find I am not as freaked about deep concealment as others.

  10. I’ve been trying it for about a year now, and I’m definitely not 100% comfortable with it, but I like it for the most part. The mantra is “If you f up, you die”, and thats something that you have to be ok with.

    My rule is that the pistol NEVER gets holstered while the holster is in my pants. Everything comes out, pistol gets holstered, everything goes back in. Having said all this, I’ve still found myself migrating away from AIWB.

  11. I have been appendix carrying a Colt Detective Special in a IWB belt-clip holster for over 15 years and wont carry any other way.

    The advantages that you mention along with the retention benefits that IWB AC offers…and the the fact that I haven’t had to pull my weapon a single time in all those years pretty much translates to that I am not worried about a negligent discharge or contact wound.

    IF I do pull have to my weapon, when it is time to re-holster, I will simply remove my belt clip IWB holster from my pants, re-holster and then re-clip my holster and weapon as one unit back in my usual carry position.

    It’s not rocket science, people.

  12. Let’s see: GSW and/or powder burns to genitals. Ruptured femoral artery. Nope!
    My SuperTuck is at 3:00.
    Watched a video recently of an off-duty cop in a gun store reholstering on his hip, not appendix. Bungie clip from his jacket caught in trigger. He had a furrow in his leg, junk still intact.

    1. Not just an off-duty cop. The chief. Pulled his carry piece in a gun store to compare to a gun he was looking at, rather than requesting to look at a similar model from behind the glass. And that was the second time he has shot himself. Not the smartest guy, but one of the luckiest ones, to have survived two gun fights. With himself.

  13. I carry an LCR in left appendix carry. Yes, I know where it’s pointed. But it goes in the holster, then the holster goes in the pants. If it needs to come out of the holster, the holster collapses, so the holster has to be removed for the gun to be reholstered. It isn’t ideal, but it works well enough, and allows me to carry when I otherwise wouldn’t be able to.

    I don’t think I would ever carry any gun with an exposed hammer this way though.

  14. Appendix is not a “fad” SOF units have been carrying appendix since the 80s. I think if you have an ND that is on you. If you follow the rules and look as you holster. You will not have an issue. Some of the best names carry and advocate appendix. Kyle lamb, mike pannone, Paul Howe. All former delta/CAG. Get educated and realize because you carry appendix doesn’t make you more likely to have an ND

  15. While I fully support ones choice to carry appendix, I can’t think of a way to sweep oneself worse or more often than using appendix carry, or drawing from a seated position while carrying appendix. (I guess you could hang your pistol, barrel up, from a lanyard around your neck :)).

    We don’t want to shoot ourselves anywhere, but there are certain places we must not shoot ourselves. The iliac artery/femoral artery is a place we MUST not shoot ourselves! I have seen several femoral artery GSW’s on the streets and in houses. There is an impressive amount of blood loss (think horror movie with blood spurts across white walls). These are rapidly life threatening within minutes.

    Also, if you shoot your iliac or very proximal femoral, you will not be able to place a tourniquet.

    So no appy carry for me. Not to say that I never have a muzzle pointed at myself, I pocket carry (cargo pocket) at times so I’m sure the muzzle is pointed at my foot from time to time, that is a risk that is acceptable to me. The iliac and femoral are risks I can’t accept, but I respect one’s right to accept those risks.

    I also find it interesting that people find appendix carry, with its associated potential for life-ending hemorrhage,acceptable, yet get in a tizzy over small of the back carry. Personally I see no real use for small of the back carry and have never carried there. However, the worst case scenario medical risk of a lumbar spine injury pale in comparison to a large hole in your iliac artery. The spinal cord itself typically ends before the level at which one would carry a pistol, leaving the cauda equina, a horse tail of nerves, running through the lumbar and sacral spine.
    Injury to the lumbar spine can result in:
    Injuries generally result in some loss of function in the hips and legs.
    Little or no voluntary control of bowel or bladder, but can manage on their own with special equipment
    Depending on strength in the legs, may need a wheelchair and may also walk with braces.

    Compare that with dead.

    I think there are much safer ways to carry than appendix or small of back, so I don’t carry in either.

  16. But with Appendix Carry, you violate Rule #2.

    Note the second half of rule #2. It doesn’t just say “Never point the gun at anything.” It’s only a violation if you’re not willing to destroy what you’re pointing at. I assume that if you decide to appendix carry, the benefits of doing so outweigh the risks. In other words, they are willing to destroy their femoral artery or genitalia in order to carry consistently and comfortably (or whatever the reason for choosing AIWB is), so then that’s not a violation of the rule. If you aren’t willing to do that, the you would be violating the rule. There’s a difference between not wanting to be shot there and being willing to take the risk of being shot there. No one wants the former, but plenty of people might accept the latter.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *