Appendix carry has exploded in the last few years, and many people like to think it’s a new “phenomenon.” This couldn’t be further from the truth. You can see professional IPSC shooter Jim Zubiena use an appendix holster in his guest appearance in episode 4 of season 1 of Miami Vice, which premiered in 1984. The firearms industry isn’t immune to the ‘what's old is new again,’ phenomenon. If we can see it in TV with shows like Stranger Things, and the return of 80’s synth music we can see it with holsters.
What’s New With Appendix Carry
While Appendix carry isn’t exactly new, what is new is the materials used to produce appendix carry holsters. Back in the day you were pretty much limited to leather. Leather appendix holsters still exist, and aren’t a bad selection. However, times change, and holsters get better. Leather has one major problem when it comes to appendix carry.
The holster will flatten against the body when the gun is removed, even holsters with built in reinforcement will still somewhat collapse when the gun is removed. This makes re holstering the weapon difficult, and even unsafe without undoing your pants.
What came to save the day is polymer materials and their introduction into their holster world. The most common polymer holster material is known as kydex. Kydex is an ultra-thin, lightweight, and incredibly tough material. When it comes to appendix carry kydex offers a substantial advantage over leather. Kydex doesn’t collapse when you draw your firearm. That’s the main advantage, but is it the only advantage?
No. No it's not.
Kydex can be molded specifically to a gun, leather cannot be molded in the same way. Molding a holster to the gun aids in retention, makings drawing easier, and doesn’t have the, “will this fit?”, effect when you purchase it.
Kydex is weather and moisture proof, which is critical when held tightly to the body and being exposed to sweat on a daily basis. Kydex will also last forever. It’s comfortable against the body, dependable, durable, and is superior to leather for appendix carry.
The real question is appendix carry for you? Well there are a few advantages to consider before you make the decision.
Drawing from the appendix position is fast, really, really fast. Going from strongside to AIWB was an eye opener for me. I was able to cut time significantly when it came to drawing and getting a shot on target. The reason it's faster is because your hands are naturally closer to the gun, and less movement overall is required to draw the gun. If you examine where you naturally have your hands sitting when standing and walking, you'll realize reaching in the general vicinity of your belt buckle is faster than reaching for your 3 or 4 o’clock position.
Easier to Conceal
The position of the holster in the appendix area cuts out the necessary bulge that occurs when carrying in a more traditional strongside position. When the holster is in the appendix position it’s nearly impossible to see because there is little to no noticeable bulge. In general, for anyone to even look at your gun in the appendix position they need to be staring in a very inappropriate area for an extended amount of time.
You can also carry a larger gun comfortably in the same position. I personally find it easy to conceal a full-sized gun in an appendix position compared to a strong or weak side position. It’s simple, in the appendix position you avoid bulges, printing, and other ‘tells’ when it comes to concealing a gun.
It’s Easier to Retain
When the gun is mounted on the strongside position it’s still somewhat hanging out the window, even with a holster than clings to your body. It can still be grabbed and taken from you. With appendix carry the gun is set against the body. No one can approach you from behind and try to steal it from you. You can defend your gun much easier from the front than you can from the rear or from the side if someone does try to take it from you.
The only person who can decide is appendix is for you is you. Concealed carry is a lifetime of learning, adapting and experimenting. You should always be willing to grow, and willing to experiment. If you are interested in appendix carry check out our line of concealed carry holsters here. ( https://wethepeopleholsters.com/collections/iwb )