Appendix Carry: How I Decided to Make the Change

AppendixCarryThe gun industry is cliquish. And opinionated. There, I said it. Anyone who’s spent any time in a gun shop, at a gun show, on a range or within earshot of a “gun guy” knows that opinions are offered freely, with authority and as fact.

Take, for example, “The Old Timer.” This fellow eschews anything with any plastic/polymer parts, anything designed after 1990 and anything that isn’t a Colt 1911, because “John Moses Browning got it right” and “I don’t want to be relying on a piece of plastic when my life depends on it.”

There’s also “The Safety Guy” who will argue that carrying a gun without a manual safety is the stupidest thing you could ever do, ever, and will only end up one way: with you shooting your stupid self (never mind that Glock, the single best selling handgun manufacturer in the world, doesn’t make a single handgun with a manual safety. All those negligent discharges by the millions of Glock-carrying police officers in the world are just under-reported.).

My personal favorite is the “American Gun Guy.” I had a run in with this guy recently. I was talking (to someone else) at the shop about how I’d picked up a Beretta Nano for the wife and how much I liked it. I hear an audible “snort” from about 15 feet down the counter and glance over. American Gun Guy is standing there waiting for my attention to tell me that he only likes ‘Murican guns and anything made offshore is crap. I’m about to make an argument about FNHGlockCZHKSIG or any of the other universally respected offshore brands but I can’t help myself. I ask the gentleman running the store to let me see the Nano under the counter, examine it carefully before walking down the counter to American Gun Guy where I point out “Accokeek, MD” stamped right on the grip. Not only American, but LOCAL. Accokeek is maybe 40 minutes from where we stood.

I discovered my own bias recently. I carry, and have carried, a firearm almost daily for the past 8 years. I’ve carried at the 4:30 position every single time. It’s safe, it’s standard, etc. It’s the “vanilla” of carrying.

So you can imagine my curmudgeon-like chagrin when I found out that one of my shooting friends had adopted the appendix carry. “GAH,” I scoffed, “You NEVER point a gun at yourself, particularly THAT part of your self. You’ll shoot your balls off or, worse, shoot your femoral!” We went back and forth about the safety (or lack thereof) in carrying at the appendix position, which, for the unwitting is, if you’ll imagine looking down at yourself from above and assigning clock positions to your waist, between the 12 and 2:30 position, depending on where it’s comfortable. (See picture above)

appendix_carry-300x196He began extolling the virtues of appendix carry: a faster, often times up to a second faster, presentation time over the more traditional carry positions, a more secure firearm being as it’s in your periphery instead of behind you, making people grabbing it successfully much less likely, and a more comfortable, more concealed carry position.

Still not convinced, we did some dry fire drills. He was faster. We did concealment comparisons. He printed less. His gun, being right to the right of his belt buckle, would be impossible to grab without him getting a hand on you. My 4:30 position, not so much.

I walked away still not convinced, with a very “Old Timer-esque” attitude about not wanting to point a gun at my balls. “What about reholstering, for crying out loud? If something gets caught in the trigger, you’ll kill yourself!”

But… I’ve carried for almost a decade with nary even a close call when reholstering. There’s no reason for me to think that simply moving my gun will change my discipline. High-end holsters always have a covered and secure trigger box. I remember stopping by a holster booth at a gun show and talking for 20 minutes or so to the saleswoman, a petite little thing, couldn’t have been 110 lbs fully dressed. I asked her about the concealability of the holsters and she raised her shirt, showing, to my great surprise, not one, not two, but three┬álarge pistols between 10 o’clock and 2′ o’clock. It does conceal well and, if you remember Part 1 of my Principles of Concealed Carry series, you’ll remember that that’s kind of a big deal for me.

And I don’t want to be a curmudgeon gun guy.

So I’m going to give it a shot. I’ve got a holster on order for my Springfield XDS and I will keep you all posted.

If I don’t shoot myself in the balls.

About Andy

Andy is a veteran of OEF and OIF and currently works in the surveillance industry, keeping an eye on the bad guys. He's been an NRA Certified instructor for over two years.
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