Video Down Below!
This is a widely discussed subject. So, how do you do it? Or maybe a better question is, can you even “appendix carry” comfortably? As the internet would have you believe, it’s impossible. It can't be done, especially if you’re bending over or even sitting down while concealed carrying in the appendix position. Let’s discuss.
Aaron is carrying the AGIS Elite holster (that features a row of button snaps in between the gun and spare magazine carrier) in the appendix position with his full-size ZevTech OZ9 Elite Standard with a SureFire x300u weapon mounted light, a pretty large setup. Sawyer is carrying the AXIS Elite holster (with a row of shock cord) for his Glock 19X. These are two of our most popular holsters.
First things first, in order to carry comfortably and conceal well, you need to consider a couple of things. The first is your belt. This helps to keep your pants up primarily but also can help tremendously in concealing the gun and keeping it in the same location for a very consistent and repeatable draw. We sell an EDC belt on our website that is very rigid and sturdy and works great for concealed carry. It is a collaboration belt that we did with Kore Essentials and features their awesome ratchet system. The second thing is to make sure your pants aren’t too tight, or that they have some stretch to them. You have to remember that you’ll be putting the thickness of the firearm itself plus a little extra, in holster material, inside your waistband. Too tight or stiff pants can really make concealed carry a lot more uncomfortable than it should be.
Let’s go over sitting down while carrying “appendix.” This is one of those things people love to talk about and criticize on the internet. There are a few very simple tricks for sitting down and being comfortable with an appendix holster. Keep in mind, having something in your waistline, where your body hinges and pivots when you sit down or bend over, can be tricky. You are going to want to make sure that the holster isn’t too low that it impedes your hinge, but also not too high as that can make other things difficult as well. One method that Sawyer and Aaron commonly use is, using the belt clips to pull the holster setup up and away from your belly area as you bend over or sit down. That removes the bulk of the holster from your pivot point and allows you to move without the holster binding. It doesn’t take much. You’re still going to notice a gun in your pants, don’t get me wrong. Concealed carry is inherently uncomfortable if you think about it.
Another thing to consider, especially if you are new to concealed carry or are transitioning from another carry position, is your clothing choices. You may need to change up your style or sizing to optimize your success and overall experience with concealed carry. It's always a good idea to talk with your friends and seek out advice from people who have experience. But also know what works for one person might not work for everyone. We are all built differently and you have to figure out your way. And we cannot stress this enough, stretchy pants are your friends. And time will help you get used to it and figure out a lot of things.
The next thing is: driving. Do you carry on-body when you sit in a vehicle for a long time? Do you take off your setup and stow it away somewhere? Aaron prefers to keep the holster on him, even though he drives a small, compact car, and he’s a big guy sitting at 6’4” and 240 lbs. As Aaron gets in the Focus RS he uses the same method he would when sitting in a normal chair: he pulls the top part of the gun away from his body so it doesn’t jab him in the stomach as he gets in. Even though his car has pretty aggressive bucket seats, he’s able to get in and out of the car just fine, with minimal discomfort.
One controversial topic revolving around appendix carry and driving is the seatbelt. What do you do with the seatbelt in relation to your appendix rig? Do you wear it normally and let it sit on top of the holster? Do you tuck your t-shirt and seatbelt behind the holster? We don’t have the correct answer for you, you’ll just need to do what you think is best. We have heard stories of people getting in car accidents while carrying appendix with their seatbelt both in front of and behind the holster. Both could potentially cause damage to your body since neither are the “designed” way of wearing your seatbelt. Follow your heart on this one and, no matter what, wear your seatbelt.
But what if you drop something on the ground and have to bend over to pick it up? Sawyer shows us that it can still be extremely easy to carry appendix and pick stuff up off of the ground. There are a few methods that work for a lot of us here but you should go try out your own ways and see what works best for you!
Moving on to an essential subject, featuring our Graphic Designer, Marketing Director, and CMO: Colin Nielsen! How do you go to the bathroom (#1) while carrying appendix? There are many methods, and some of them are dependent on the bathroom environment that you find yourself in. Colin’s favorite method is to keep the holster in your pants and simply remove one belt clip and rotate the holster up slightly. This can give you a lot more room to “thread the needle” under the holster and out your zipper opening to use the urinal. When you’re done, simply push the holster back in place and make sure that the belt clips hook around your belt again and you’re good to go. Some people don’t even need to move the holster at all to thread the needle, and again, this is all dependent on your specific setup and clothing. Another common method is to completely remove the holster from your pants and tuck it under your armpit while you go to the bathroom and you can take it a step further and tuck it under your shirt under your armpit for more concealment in case there might be others in the bathroom. Try out some of these methods and see what works best for you. Going #2 is typically a much easier task, as you will most likely be in a more private, secluded location with a door you can close. Most people take the holster completely off to go #2. The biggest thing with this is keeping control and possession of your gun at all times. You don’t want to drop it on the floor or forget you set it somewhere and leave the bathroom without your gun. Just be smart and responsible.
One final consideration is your belt choice. This can make or break concealed carry for you. We typically always recommend a stiff, rigid belt for concealed carry as this can not only help conceal the firearm but also make things a lot more comfortable. Our EDC belt that we carry features an easy ratchet system to quickly tighten or loosen your belt on the fly. This comes in handy if you go out to eat and overeat, you might feel a little bloated and need to loosen the belt. Or you may need to quickly tighten it after you get out of a certain position where you previously needed to tighten it. This all can be done super easily and quickly with the EDC Belt.
Hopefully, some of these tips and tricks work for you! Keep in mind, once again, everyone is different and your mileage may vary. The most important thing is that you do what works best for you, these are just some guidelines that have worked well for Team Tier 1. Until next time, stay safe, and stay strapped.