5 Things You Need to Know About Appendix Carry

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Before I became the full-time CEO of Alpha Concealment Systems, I helped run one of the largest and most successful medical courier companies in New England. But being the man in charge often meant that when couriers called in sick or simply didn’t show up, those urgent deliveries suddenly became my responsibility. Sometimes, I’d find myself stuck in my car for 12 hours a day, driving all across the region.

With my Glock 19 by my side, things got pretty uncomfortable. Not to mention, lots of hospitals and doctor’s offices have policies prohibiting firearms, and these were the main places I was delivering to each day. Toss in the fact that I was living in a very unfriendly state for firearm owners, and carrying in the 3 o’clock position started giving me reason for concern. Aside from the uncomfortable feeling of a Glock digging into my hip all day, I was constantly worried about printing, or my shirt getting bunched up and giving me away.

That’s when I decided to try appendix carry.

Since the day I gave it a try (more than two years ago), I’ve never gone back.

Perhaps the number one question I get from Alpha customers – other than “What is a sweatshield and should I opt for one on my holster?” – is about the comfort and security of appendix carry.

So here’s a handy list of 5 things you need to know about appendix carry if you’re a first-timer:

1.You will probably not like it at first

This is something I learned right away when switching to appendix carry, and so will you. It’s a whole different animal, compared to carrying on your hip. It takes some time to discover the perfect position – anywhere from 12 o’clock to 2 o’clock. There is a natural “pocket” that is created where your upper thigh meets your pelvic region, and this, in my opinion, is the optimum location for your firearm. It just fits.

My advice is to commit to wearing your gun in the appendix position for a minimum of two weeks, before you decide if you’re in favor of the position, or against it.

On day one, you are overly cognizant of the fact that it’s there – you’re constantly touching it, adjusting it and checking it. But on day two, you’ll find yourself touching and fooling with it less and less. By day three or four, you’ll have found that “sweet spot” I mentioned earlier. And by the end of the first week, your gun is right at home in the appendix position. Give it another week, and you’ll be able to make an informed decision about whether or not it’s the carry position for you.

2.But, it’s surprisingly comfortable

Once you’ve found the “sweet spot,” you quickly forget the gun is even there. Add in the fact that Alpha Concealment’s Apollo Appendix IWB has rounded corners and silky, buffed edges, and you’ve got a holster that is extremely comfortable.

At almost every gun show I’ve exhibited at with our employees, there is at least one person who is convinced that Kydex is the most uncomfortable thing when worn inside the waistband. That’s when I hand them our Apollo, and ask them to try it on. The reaction is almost identical every single time: “Wow! I can’t even feel that! I had no idea it would be so comfortable.”

Then they give it the “sit test,” to see how it feels when sitting down. Once again, they’re surprised at how comfortable the holster is.

I promise you, I would never sell you a piece of gear that I didn’t rely on and swear by myself. So when I say it’s pretty darn comfortable, you know you can have faith in my words.

3.You will not shoot yourself in the nuts

One of the biggest misconceptions about appendix carry is that it’s dangerous. Don’t get me wrong, it definitely can be; but only when you’re using the wrong holster.

When we think about a nylon or leather holster, the main issue is that these materials are flexible, and that’s what makes it unsafe. Think about this: you draw your weapon, and the holster -- because it's made of a flimsy material -- collapses the minute the firearm is withdrawn. In order to reholster your gun, you'll need two hands -- one to open the holster back up, and the second to actually put the gun into the holster. All it takes is one snag of the trigger against the edge of the holster, or your hand, and you've got yourself a bullet hole. You may be saying to yourself, "The chances of that happening are so slim." Google it...you'd be surprised how often it happens with leather and nylon.

That's the problem with a one-size-fits-all holster: there's no retention. The retention is what keeps your gun locked into place while it's in the holster, thus making it safer and more secure. Using a nylon or leather holster to carry your gun is basically the equivalent of not wearing a seat belt in the car, and expecting to remain in the exact same position when you crash into a tree.

With our Kydex holsters, the gun is completely secure when it is holstered. The retention screws keep it safety secured in one position, and the trigger guard is completely covered. And because it’s a rigid material, it’s actually impossible to accidentally snag the trigger on the edge of the holster. It physically doesn’t line up.

4.It’s easier to conceal

This one goes for both men and women.

First, think about where your arms and hands naturally settle – by your side, but more in the 2 o’clock position, than the 3-4 o’clock position. Why does this matter? Because should the need arise to use your weapon, you don’t want to have to reach very far. That gives you more time to draw your weapon without completely giving away the fact that you’re carrying.

Second, clothing tends to be looser and longer in the front (and back) than the sides. This especially goes for women’s blouses and tops. The point is that with a little extra material, you avoid printing altogether, instead of sticking out like a sore thumb with a giant lovehandle of a gun on your hip.

5.Your belt buckle should be off center

This is important because of the concealability factor. Think about this: your belt buckle already adds some bulk to the front of your pants. Add in a holster, and now you have a considerable amount of bulk in your pants, all in one spot. This bulk can be pretty noticeable, depending on the shirt you’re wearing (or if you’re a woman), and can be a dead giveaway that you’re carrying. 

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