Appendix Carry Part 1

My students have been asking me about appendix carry (carrying a handgun in the waistline between the 10 and 2 o’clock position) for a few years, I have only been able to talk about it from academically. I have told students that I have not carried that way due to appendix as it violates the first rule of gun safety, Always point a gun in a safe direction. At my genitals or femoral artery is not in my opinion a safe direction. It takes about 3-4 minutes to bleed out from the femoral artery and I am pretty attached to my genitals. For my experiment I was carrying a P-64 Radom, “The Poor Man’s Walther PPK”, in a On Your 6 Designs, inside the waistband holster at about the 1 o’clock position. I was carrying a spare magazine in a On Your 6 Designs in the 11 o’clock position, which wasn’t great, and then a Magholder in there and the on On Your 6 Designs at 9 o’clock. It should be mentioned that you need to be careful when reholstering no matter what way you carry, always look at what you are doing and be slow and purposeful, never be in a rush to re-holster. Let’s pro-con this.

The positives, easy, comfortable, fast enough with practice, and ease of concealment. I found it to be a very easy way to carry and a fast set up. I would get home from work and throw it on and I was good to go. One clip for the holster and one each for the mag holders, untuck my shirt and I was done. I could even carry this way in my weekend, bumming around the house attire, I would just throw the holster in and tie the drawstring, not bad, not great. I found it relatively comfortable, obviously bending over at the waist caused some pressure but nothing horrible, was not in any discomfort. I was doing everything from watching TV to building snowmen with no problem. Like everything appendix had advantages and disadvantages over other methods of carry. I practiced for a few weeks with learning the draw and presentation in all different types of clothing and position to get proficient enough to feel like I could deploy it if actually needed. From a standing position I found it very close in speed to say a 3 o’clock position. It was a lot fast from a seated position in the car with the seat belt on. I did notice when I switched back that I actually had an easier time concealing in appendix however. I was no longer doing the obligatory pulling my shirt down all the time. I felt like when I was working that I did not have keep readjusting and pulling on my shirt.

The negatives, the glaring safety issue and selecting the right gun . The whole time I was carrying that way I was VERY aware of where my muzzle was, pressing against my femoral artery, it was disturbing. This was one of the reasons why I had picked a gun with a manual safety. I would needed that extra layer of protection between me and a round being fired. The P-64 Radom‘s safety is does three functions, it disables the trigger, places a firing pin block in the way of the hammer, and it is also a decocker. I am not endorsing it for carry, in full disclosure the thing has a 20 lbs trigger from the factory and a european magazine release (on the bottom of the gun at the base of the magazine). I did replace the factory mainspring to bring it down so I could pull the trigger with one finger rather than two. Learning the magazine release was just a training issue but not as efficient and the american style mag release on the side of the gun. The P-64 Radom is large for a single stack  but smaller from many carry options. When you carry inside the waistband the length of the barrel is almost irrelevant, the barrel rides down the side of your hip to the bottom of your buttocks. When appendix carrying the barrel goes from your waistline to the top of your thigh. This makes barrel length an important factor in selecting a firearm.

My conclusion, if it works for you, you can do it safe, it will be comfortable enough that you will carry it, and you practice your clothing and holster. It is not going to change my regular carry method, that being said I will appendix carry when it becomes the best method for me due to clothing or situational requirements. I would just say make sure you really pay attention when you are reholstering. You want to look, roll your hips forward and lean back to create an angle for you to have a clear holster to push into, and reholster slowly.

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