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Inside the Waistband Carry Positions

Inside the Waistband Carry Positions

When it comes to everyday carry, you want to be as comfortable as possible without compromising the concealment of your pistol nor do you want to compromise your safety and the safety of those around you. Taking these factors into account, let us go over the most popular carry positions for inside the waistband concealed carry.


appendix carry

Appendix carry- (10 o'clock to 2 o'clock)There is a lot of discussion concerning the safety of appendix carry in regards to the potential of shooting yourself in the femoral artery or in the groin. Frankly, if you have this concern with your pistol you may want to reconsider what your daily carry is or how you draw. Modern firearms are equipped with a number of safety mechanisms for the sole purpose of preventing the pistol from discharging a round out of the blue. Unless, you are carrying a single action revolver with a full cylinder I would not be too worried. There are many advantages of carrying from the appendix position, you reduce the amount of movement required to draw, the direction of the muzzle is most easily manipulated to avoid "flagging" those in your vicinity, the ability to conceal is more manageable, and clearing clothing whilst drawing is done with considerably more ease as there is less material to clear than carrying from the back. The most notable disadvantage of appendix carry would be comfort, granted, a few minor adjustments can go a long way to mitigate discomfort whilst carrying from the appendix position.


kidney carry

Kidney carry- Kidney carry, (8 o'clock and 4 o'clock) is generally considered to be more comfortable than appendix carry and is the safest of the two "behind the back" carry options. kidney carry requires more movement to draw your pistol however, it allows you to do so with your palm facing your body. Drawing with your palm facing your body ensures the ability to draw without having to rotate one's shoulder thus; you can draw and get on target without having to point the muzzle of your barrel at anything that is not the target and the ground. The primary disadvantage of carrying from this position is that it is typically more difficult to conceal your pistol as the grip of this pistol will, in many cases, extend past your body and result in some printing. Of course, your build and cant/ride height adjustments will have a large affect on the ability to conceal from this position.


Small of Back Carry- Small of back carry is widely perceived to be the safest position to carry from however, this is not the case. Carrying from this position as it does with the mentality that it is not pointing at anything "important" is pernicious to say the least. While carrying from this position can be executed safely, there are some considerations that need to be taken into account. If you are to lose your balance and fall backwards you are putting that pistol's drop safety capabilities to the test. Further, many people find it most comfortable to draw with their palm facing away from their body when carrying from the small of their backs. Drawing in such a fashion requires you to rotate your shoulder either 90 degrees clockwise (if you are right handed) immediately after the draw or to rotate your shoulder 180 degrees counterclockwise. Potentially sweeping/flagging anything in a 180 degree range is nothing short of superfluous and it produces more opportunities for an accident to occur. Small of the back carry is an attractive choice nonetheless as it does offer a high level of concealment and comfort. Granted, I have personally seen a number of people carry from this position compromise the concealment of their pistol from their shirt riding up or from their shirt resting on part of the pistol.


Hip carry/Strong Side -(3 o'clock or 9 o'clock) Although hip carry is most commonly used for outside the waistband carry or open carry, it is still a viable option for inside the waistband concealed carry. Hip carry offers the most natural feeling draw and does not come with the stigmatic perceptions of appendix carry or small of the back carry. Concealment and comfort are quite the subjective experience carrying from this position as the pistol grip will be facing either straight forward (if you are to cross draw) or straight backward. Depending on the size of the pistol/magazine extension you have that could create quite a visible profile of your pistol as it may not be completely against your body. The most common cause for discomfort associated with hip carry is due to the pistol pushing against one's ribs, this discomfort may be exacerbated by features such as a hammer or beaver-tail.

Every position has its unique advantages and disadvantages, also the ability to adjust ride height as well as the cant becomes crucial in finding that perfect spot to accommodate your pistol in accordance with your body's build. Take some time to figure out what works for you and put in the necessary practice/training to become as proficient as possible from wherever you intend to carry.