ATFEH: Appendix Carry

[This is an archived post from Mad Science Defense, currently on indefinite hiatus, and may not reflect the usual tone and content of Author J.R. White and/or the Storyteller at Large Blog. If you have arrived here via links from a website elsewhere in the tactical and combatives training community, we wish you the best in your skill development journey.]

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This post is Part 2 in a series. Please check out Part 1 and Part 3.

In our last post, I explained the benefits of having access to a defensive tool with either hand (Good) or dual-hand access to all your tools (Better). I also explained what I think those tools should be: Gun, Knife, Tourniquet & Reload (optional). Now let’s talk about our first method of carry.

“By having all your tools close to the centerline of your body they become very easy to access and protect with either hand.”

I’m a big proponent of appendix or forward-of-the-hip carry. By having all your tools close to the centerline of your body they become very easy to access and protect with either hand. Centerline works very well with how the body moves. Think about zipping your jacket or buttoning a shirt; it’s right down the centerline. If there was an easier way to do it, we wouldn’t design our clothes that way.

In addition to allowing access with either hand, appendix carry is also very good for accessing the tools while seated in a vehicle or while in physical contact with a dangerous threat. This includes both fighting from the Clinch (standing grapple) and on the Ground, even if on your back. I also find appendix carry to be one of the most comfortable ways to carry.

There are some ‘Con’s to this method however, and it is not without its detractors. The concern I hear most often is from shooters who want to carry appendix, but because of their body type just can’t pull it off or who find it uncomfortable. This issue seems to vary widely, despite the usual assumption that it works for skinny guys and won’t work for heavy guys. Truth is, I’ve seen big guys that could and skinny guys that couldn’t, so the only way to tell is to try it yourself.

“In addition to allowing access with either hand, appendix carry is also very good for accessing the tools while seated in a vehicle or while in physical contact with a dangerous threat.”

Another concern I hear about appendix carry is from guys who think it’s inherently unsafe and that if you do it you’re instantly doomed to someday shoot yourself in the leg or genitals. They especially mention the genitals a lot, seems to be a theme with those guys. Personally, I think their concerns are overblown; just adhere to safe gun-handling, keep your finger OFF the trigger and ALWAYS look while you reholster and you’re not in any more danger than any other carry method. However, they’re your body parts, so if you’re not comfortable carrying in this fashion then I won’t blame you for giving it a pass.

Below are some photos to help illustrate this method. See if anything looks like it would work for you and let me know in the comments. Next week we’ll take a look at a more traditional carry arrangement that is also worth examining. As always, feel free to share your thoughts with me in the comment section or on the Mad Science Defense Facebook page.

Until Next Time,

Justin White

This modified I.C.E. Belly Band holster from Crossbreed is my current concealed carry rig. It allows me to reach all my tools with either hand and integrates well with my combatives skillset. Since it doesn't require a belt, it can be work with a wider range of clothing.
This modified I.C.E. Belly Band holster from Crossbreed is my current concealed carry rig. It allows me to reach all my tools with either hand and integrates well with my combatives skillset. Since it doesn’t require a belt, it can be worn with a wide range of clothing.
This is the I.C.E. Belly Band as I wore it on a recent trip to AZ. You can see I added a layer of neoprene behind the knife to keep me from ripping out navel hair when drawing it. These are things you learn by training in the gear.
This is the I.C.E. Belly Band as I wore it on a recent trip to AZ. You can see I added a layer of neoprene behind the knife to keep me from ripping out navel hair when drawing it. These are things you learn by training in the gear.
Sometimes shorts and a T-shirt just won't cut it. In this case, a slimmer gun and knife allows me to rock a 3-piece suit. My tourniquet is in the inside jacket pocket. I like the 3-piece in part because getting to my tools is easier under the vest than under a tucked shirt.
Sometimes shorts and a T-shirt just won’t cut it. In this case, a slimmer gun and knife allows me to rock a 3-piece suit. My tourniquet is in the inside jacket pocket. I like the 3-piece in part because getting to my tools is easier under the vest than under a tucked shirt.
This rig looked awesome, but just wasn't ready for prime time. Trying to carry too much gun restricted my range of motion, comfort and concealment. Again, theses are the lessons we learn by testing gear in context.
This rig looked awesome, but just wasn’t ready for prime time. Trying to carry too much gun (in this case a 5″ XD with mounted light) restricted my range of motion, comfort and concealment. Again, these are the lessons we learn by testing gear in context.

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