I think it’s a strange name. The “bladder position” would probably be a more descriptive than appendix carry, because that’s actually where you carry the concealed pistol when using this technique, but, I guess bladder doesn’t sound too appealing either.
Regardless of what you call it, I personally believe it is the best place to carry a concealed handgun. (And so does former Delta Force operator, author and custom 1911 gunsmith Dalton Fury, who told me last year that he prefers to carry in the appendix position.)
First, I’m going to go over what I like about the appendix carry position. Then I’ll get into a few places where I find it lacking.
What I like
Depending on the size of your gun and maybe the size of your belly, you can conceal a weapon very well in the appendix position, relatively comfortably (for some people), and without printing. As an undercover Federal Air Marshal, I carried in the appendix position all the time. It worked for my body type since I don’t have a lot of—to put it politely—“tactical girth”.
Tuckable holsters that show no IWB belt clips like Thunderwear or SmartCarry keep my wife happy “in that way,” as she says, too because I don’t have to dress like a slob if we’re going out somewhere nice and I see a need to be armed. For a time, as a Federal Air Marshal, we were required to wear suits on the job. Of course, no one flies while wearing a suit coat, so sporting a SmartCarry holster was ideal for me.
Additionally, the appendix position, right in the front of the waistline, allows for excellent weapon retention. I can also draw very quickly from this position. In fact, I think it’s easier to lift my shirt up with my support hand and pull my gun from my waistline then it is to lift my shirt up and over a gun and holster on my strong side.
If the handgun grip is below your belt, then you can still draw pretty quickly, but drawing can be very rapid if the grip is above the belt.
What I don’t like
For guys, sometimes the appendix carry can pinch, squeeze and generally irritate our man parts. This is especially true if your equipment is big (I’m talking about the size of the gun).
One day I sat down next to an older lady on a plane. It was one of those very uncomfortable days and I was doing more “adjusting” than usual. She looked at me like I was an uncouth pervert. I don’t think she said a word to me the entire flight.
I was working undercover at the time, but I remember thinking it would be fun to lean over and whisper to her, “Sorry about all this, but I sneaked a gun onto the plane and I’m having a hard time concealing it. I just hope it doesn’t go off.” Then again, I have a dark sense of humor.
Speaking of which, in addition to occasional discomfort with the appendix carry, the only other thing I don’t like is the psychological inference of the gun going off, especially when I’m sitting since the gun has a tendency to point at your inner thigh or other tender areas.
Really, I don’t know whether I’d rather take a bullet to the femoral artery and bleed out or lose a part (or parts) of my male anatomy. I don’t think I’m the only guy who would have a hard time answering that question either. When I first started carrying in the appendix position that thought used to cross my mind quite a bit but, thankfully, it doesn’t much anymore.
That is because I always buy quality holsters that are specifically made for my gun brands and models, and I make safety a huge priority. Negligent discharges cannot only kill us but they can also injure our manhood forever… sometimes literally.
The views and opinions expressed in this post are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the position of Guns.com.
Safety warning: Jeffrey Denning is a long time professional in the art of self-defense and any training methods or information he describes in his articles are intended to be put into practice only by serious shooters with proper training. Please read, but do not attempt anything posted here without first seeking out proper training.