Spouse Worries About Appendix Carry With Round In The Chamber

Spouse Worries About Appendix Carry With Round In The Chamber


Dear USA Carry,

Recently, I decided to start carrying a concealed handgun. I took a course, occasionally shoot at the range, and carry concealed every day. I tried a bunch of different carry techniques but found that carrying appendix was the most comfortable for moving around and driving in my car. 

My wife thought I didn’t carry concealed with a round in the chamber. When we went to the range last week, I drew my everyday carry gun from my AIWB (appendix inside-the-waistband) holster and shot on target. She asked if I always carry with a round in the chamber and I told her I do. She said she wasn’t comfortable with that. She says she’s worried about the gun snagging on my clothes or belt and going off. I don’t want to get a gunshot there either, but I still feel it’s the best way for me to carry concealed.

Outside of telling her that it is my call, is there anything I can say to her to make her feel better about it?


Tenor Not Soprano

Dear Tenor Not Soprano,

First off, congratulations on your decision to carry a concealed pistol. The fact that you decided to carry concealed every day shows commitment and discipline. It’s also good that both you and your wife shoot together and discuss personal safety issues. It’s essential, no matter what you decide, that significant others have good, honest discussions about the role of firearms in their lives.

The decision to carry a concealed handgun with a round in the chamber is based upon, I believe, the immediacy in which a person will need to act if he feels his life is in danger. While it’s just fine for actors in movies or television shows to dramatically rack a round in the chamber, it’s just not practical to do this in real life when facing down a threat.

Furthermore, based upon my limited research, it appears incidences with accidental discharges in the holster appear commonly linked with either someone getting something snagged between his holster and his gun or the holster not correctly maintaining retention on the gun. This research indicates that safety concerns rest not so much with the gun but with the way you store the gun.

So long as you use a holster that maintains tight retention over the gun and is appropriately molded to the gun’s shape, you’re not likely to run into any issues carrying with a round in the chamber. Most modern pistols are designed to be drop-safe, but any loaded gun presents a risk — especially if anything gets into the trigger well.

My suggestion to you is to use a high retention appendix IWB holster. I carry a double-action/single-action pistol with a decocker, but there’s no reason why you can’t carry a striker-fired, DAO, or SAO pistol if you so choose.

If all of that fails to win her over, you could always try carrying in an alternate position.

Best of luck and keep on carrying!

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Sean is an avid hunter and firearms enthusiast. He has been carrying concealed since 2005. His main concealed carry setup is a Springfield Armory Mod.2 9mm carried in an Alien Gear Holster ShapeShift IWB although he does have different methods of carrying depending on the situation.
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Sounds like the wife is concerned that the gun might go off while he is putting it into the holster, and the author’s response completely ignored that possibility.

So the solution is to NEVER put the gun into the holster while you are wearing the holster. If you need to holster the gun, take it off of your belt (out of your pants), put the gun into the holster, then put the holster and gun back on your belt (into your pants). The chances of the gun going off while it remains in your holster are very minimal.


That is one option, however I disagree with not being practiced in re-holstering in the appendix position at all. In the event he needed to draw and/or re-holster out in the street, it might be hard to remove your whole holster and do that (especially after a self-defense situation). It is possible to safely re-holster in appendix, me personally I use my non-dominant hand to reach down and sweep the top of the holster to make sure my shirt hasnt come up and landed in it, and then I place my non-dominant hand against my abdomen while re-holstering the weapon to ensure it doesnt snag while re-holstering.


I don’t ever have to worry about re-holstering because I know there is only one way to avoid an ND. Those of you that carry with a round chambered are one potentially fatal step closer (Veronica Rutledge) to accidentally harming someone or yourself than I am. And as far as I’m concerned it’s irresponsible behavior. Even the NRA tells you on the pistol test that a safety is a mechanical device and can fail.


So, what is your solution when instantly confronted with a defensive situation, one you are not prepared for? Will you draw, present, and rack your weapon? Will you do so when the aggressor is within the 21′ circle in which it takes less than a second for an attacker to be on you? Now, carrying chambered or unchambered is a choice every concealed carrier is free to make. For me, I prefer to have a round chambered and ready to go so that I don’t have to fumble with the slide. If you are concerned about NDs, then perhaps carrying a DAO revolver is the best solution. Carry chambered and with a near guarantee of no NDs.


A near guarantee isn’t good enough and irresponsible to think otherwise.