Appendix Carry vs. Hip Carry: Weighing the Pros and Cons

Find out which concealed carry position will work best for you.

“Appendix carry” is trending upward in popularity among off-duty police officers and armed citizens alike. It’s certainly not new, but it is very much in vogue. Appendix carry means the handgun is situated somewhere between your navel and strong-side hip in front of your abdomen. For concealment purposes, you normally carry the holster inside your waistband. Hence the term “appendix inside the waistband” (AIWB) carry.

The most common technique is to carry your gun in a holster on or just behind your hip, either inside or outside the waistband (OWB). This has advantages that go far beyond conventionality. Many handgun sports—IDPA and PPC, to name two—forbid carry forward of the hip for safety reasons. The same is true of some police academies and some shooting schools. And by carrying your gun in same place on your own time, all of the repetitions on the range carry over to a self-defense draw if one becomes necessary.