How to Pick A Good Appendix Carry Gun

Picking A Good Appendix Carry Gun

Picking A Good Appendix Carry Gun

Decided to appendix carry or think that’s how you’ll want to carry once you get the right CCW pistol? Good for you! While not for everyone, some people prefer appendix carry over any other carry method out there. Not every carry pistol is necessarily well-suited to appendix carry, however. There are certain types of pistol that you might wish to reconsider, features that may make it a little more unpleasant and so on.

What do you want to look for? Mostly pistols that would be comfortable to carry in any case, it’s just that there are certain things to keep an eye out for.

Hammer-Fired Guns Are Less Suited To Appendix Carry

One of the first things to look at is the rear profile of the pistol, as what you want to avoid is a sharp profile as it may jab you if you happen to bend forward at all – as a result, hammer-fired guns are probably best left for carrying elsewhere.

Granted, ANY gun is going to be felt when appendix carrying; it’s just that some guns will be felt a little less!

It’s not that you can’t, of course. There are plenty of people out there that appendix carry a hammer-fired gun every day without issue, but as a general rule you may want to avoid it. Top tip, however – look for a bobbed hammer. A bobbed hammer lacks the sharp profile of a spur hammer and as a result won’t be as uncomfortable.

This would also apply to revolvers as well as semi-autos. For those that carry a wheelgun, DAO configuration revolvers would be a bit more ideally suited to this manner of carry, though a shrouded hammer will also work.

Also pay attention to the tail of the slide. Extended beavertail grips, just like spurred hammers, are more likely to jab right into you as you bend forward. In other words, the rounded rear of a Sig Sauer is preferable to, say, a government 1911.

Shorter Barrel Length, Thinner Width Are Better For Appendix Carry

Other aspects that make an impact are barrel length and overall width. Width is rather obvious; with appendix carry, you’re putting a pistol and a holster in the front of your waistline. A bulge from a holster and fat pistol can become fairly obvious, so double-stack service pistols aren’t exactly the best choice.

You aren’t necessarily restricted to single-stacks, however; it’s just that the wider the gun is, the more likely printing becomes. On that basis, you may want to forego the Sig P226 in lieu of, say, a Glock 26, Taurus PT111 G2 or M&P9 Compact.

Another aspect to be aware of is barrel length, though how much impact this has…is rather relative. Why is this important?

As you hinge at the waist, the holster and also your muzzle tilt upward. If you continue to hinge to a squatting or sitting position, the holster and muzzle may come to rest on your upper thigh. Yes, this is where the purported danger of appendix carry comes in, but it’s more to do with the fact that this will be uncomfortable.

The shorter the barrel, the less likely this is to happen. However, exactly where your beltline sits is another factor. For some people, their pants hang naturally at the hips. For others, it’s higher up the waist – in fact, some people wear their pants/shorts/trousers at or even above the belly button. For the latter sort, barrel length isn’t likely to be as much of an issue. The former, however, will need a shorter gun to carry comfortably.

Therefore, slimmer, shorter pistols with a relatively rounded rear profile are best suited for appendix carry. It just so happens that many of the most popular CCW guns already fit that description anyway, but if you’re considering appendix carry…those are the pistols to have.

If you’d like to know more about appendix carrying, I’ve just published a guide to appendix carry on the Alien Gear Holsters website. Though not for everyone, it’s a fantastic way to CCW.

$599.99 (Reg.$ 799.99)
No Code Needed
Sig Sauer P365 9mm Pistol 12 Rd RTT Tacpac, Coyote

Sig Sauer P365 9mm Pistol 12 Rd RTT Tacpac, Coyote

The award-winning P365 has redefined the micro-compact pistol category, quickly becoming one of the most coveted firearms in the industry.

$449.99 (Reg. $549.99)
No Code Needed
Smith & Wesson M&p Shield Ez 9mm Pistol With Manual Safety, Black - 12436

Smith & Wesson M&P Shield EZ 9mm Pistol With Manual Safety, Black

The next evolution of the M&P Shield EZ pistol, the M&P9 Shield EZ encompasses all of the M&P Shield EZ features, now in the powerful 9mm caliber.

No Code Needed
3 Pack Of Blem Psa Stealth Ar-15 Lowers

3 Pack Of BLEM PSA Stealth AR-15 Lowers

These forged lowers are quality made using material is 7075-T6 and are marked "CAL MULTI" to accommodate most builds. The finish is Black Hardcoat Anodize per MIL-8625 Type 3 class 2.

1 2 3 17
Previous articleThunder Ranch Defensive Revolver DVD Review
Next articleWhen Should You Use Your Concealed Carry Gun in Defense of Others?
Sam Hoober is Contributing Editor for Alien Gear Holsters, where he writes about gun accessories, gun safety, open and concealed carry tips. He also contributes a bi-weekly column for Daily Caller. In his free time, Sam enjoys camping, hunting and spending time at the gun range as often as possible.
0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Jim Lagnese

I’m just not sold on appendix carry. A mistake could be costly if not life ending. Lots of guys have shot their package off.


Shooting yourself in the “tacticals” is never a good thing.


I carry both my Kimber Ultra TacticalII and my H&K p2000SK appendix and love them both especially the H&K. Hammer never an issue.


I’ve heard a lot of people are switching to hammer fired guns specifically for appendix carry for the ability to ride the hammer while re-holstering to prevent accidentally shooting off your junk. Just watch out for long, sharp beaver tails or you might impale yourself when bending over.



Donald Amarescu

Is cross draw considered a form of appendix carry ?

Jim L

Only if you have Situs inversus

Matthew Smart

Appendix carry, this is the way.