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Suitable for appendix carry

1900 Views 42 Replies 14 Participants Last post by  balance
Reviewing some pistols I own that are safer for appendix carry I came up with this list:
HK P 2000 ( DA SA pistol )
S&W M&P compact 2.0 with safety
Sig 320 compact with safety
HK P 30 compact ( 10 round limit though )
I would be a bit anxious trying to carry a Glock, PPQ, PDP etc as they have short trigger pulls on them. I imagine there are some more; but those I have.
The Walther P 99 is one sweet pistol and it is too bad Walther dropped it. I understand everyone wants optics and the P 99 does not fit that desire. I still like the P 99 though.
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For appendix carry, I think the most meaningful difference between a Glock/PPQ/PDP and a P99 AS is that the P99 AS can be decocked after chambering a round.
I'd go even further and mention that if the decocker on the P99 is pressed, and held into the slide, it physically blocks the striker from impacting the primer on a chambered round. It is not a "striker control device", but instead, it is a "striker block", in that the trigger can still cock and release the striker, but the striker will stop before the impacting the chambered round if the decocker is pressed and held into the slide while holstering.

That being said, I'm not a fan of AIWB. Something about pointing pistols at femoral arteries and reproductive organs while holstering steers me away. There are workarounds, like removing the holster first, but that is not a practical way to practice on a shooting range, for real life. It surprises me that the same guys who are against manual safeties seem to forget most of their arguments against them when it comes to AIWB.
I’m not against that but I’m pretty sure someone, especially since so many new, inexperienced people are suddenly at it, will make a bad mistake.
I think it happens a whole lot more often than you think, and has been happening for years.

The guys I know who are into pistols have all heard of a few local instances by different people, and I'm not counting the countless reports over the internet. There was one instance in a large mall close to me where one guy had his pistol go off while eating at the food court, everyone thought it was a mass shooter, and the entire mall evacuated in a rush with some people pressed against glass around the exit doors. I know someone who was there at the time, they called me asking what to do, and the words that I used to get this person to get out of there are not allowed on this forum.

This was at a public place, this was in a crowded food court, this was in a mall that has "no guns" signs on most of the entry ways into the mall, everyone panicked, the person carrying shot himself, someone other than the shooter could have gotten shot, and many people could have gotten hurt trying to stampede out of the exits. Think about the consequences, and then ask yourself if you really want to deal with the consequences if something like this happens to you.

Do I think that carrying a DA/SA pistol with a safety on is overkill. I'd say yes, but if that's what you feel safe carrying, go right ahead. I've yet to have an argument with someone claiming that they were too safe. If this person was carrying AIWB, he may be dead, or missing reproductive organs. I've heard of reports of that as well, which is why I stay away from that method of carry.
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Just wish guys would practice and learn more on their own but they don’t.
I'm not so sure about higher standards for qualification, but we're in agreement on a lot here.
The entire premise of appendix carry completely contradicts the non-negotiable 2nd rule of firearm safety: "NEVER point a firearm at ANYTHING that you're not willing to destroy or kill."
I'm not a fan of AIWB. But the second rule is "negotiable" in some circumstances.

I've carried pistols in a shoulder holster before while standing in lines, and I've been upstairs in buildings, hotels, and apartment complexes with pistols on my hip, like everyone else I know.

Maybe I'm selfish, but I don't like the idea of pointing pistols at ME when holstering. This tends to be where most of the NDs that I know of have taken place.
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All holster positions carry some sort of negative muzzle direction when holstering. It may not be the gunner's junk, but a shot down the outside of leg, into the buttock, the front of the leg, the spine, shoulder or side, and someone standing near you still creates the need for medical attention and reported ND.
None of the positions of a holster seem to cause or detract people from making mistakes. The point is that if a mistake is made, there are usually much worse consequences with AIWB.

There have been reports and videos of people making mistakes while carrying in positions OTHER than AIWB on this page. Does anyone here care to put up reports of the after-effects of an ND while carrying AIWB? Anyone?

People have blown off reproductive organs. People have died in a matter of minutes after punching a hole in their femoral artery. I'm not as vocal against it as the author of this link below, but I think people should at least understand the dangers before making a choice of whether or not it is good for them. I prefer to stay away from that method of carry. One of the reasons why is that I see myself as being a realist, in that while I have not yet made a mistake while holstering a pistol, it is more likely to happen than actually needing to use a pistol in a defensive encounter, being that I holster pistols a whole lot more than I actually use them in defensive encounters.

I'm not pointing this to anyone here on this forum specifically, but when people argue the point that "you should holster your pistol safely", "you should keep your finger off the trigger", or whatever else I absolutely agree with, those people don't seem to realize that people can do so on pistols that are arguably more inherently safe as well, or in this case, with a holster position that is arguably more inherently safe.

If the discussion here was "I know the dangers and I do so anyway", I wouldn't have made this post. My issue is more with "there is no greater danger because people have had issues with other holster positions as well". I disagree with that logic.
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….back to Israeli style for me……

Well, it's safer.

I'm now going to be waiting for someone to come up with a report of how someone got injured from Israeli carry, but the bottom line is that there is going to be a balance between safe and effective. A 20lb trigger with two manual safeties carried on the ankle is going to be safer. A 1/2 pound trigger with a 1/2mm trigger travel carried apendix is going to be more effective. Somewhere in between is where I'm comfortable.
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Nothing can get to the trigger when it’s in the holster.
The gun will not “just go off”.
I don't believe that any pistol I choose to carry is going to somehow spontaneously "go off" when it's fully covered in a rigid kydex holster, regardless of where on my body I choose to carry it.
I don't believe anyone here is arguing that the gun will spontaneously go off.

The problem is holstering and unholstering the pistol thousands of times (if you do train and practice), and never making one mistake.

As mentioned earlier in this thread, I insert the pistol first into the holster, and then place the holster on my belt.
If you are in a defensive encounter with the adrenaline flowing, and everything you've trained for has been to move at a fast pace, I'd imagine that it may be difficult to remember to slow down when holstering the pistol after it is over. Even at the range while practicing, I think this should be part of training.

In my mind, safety is paramount, and an ND is possibly more likely than a defensive encounter with a pistol. This is all a question of comfort and safety with a method of carry at this point. I'm not saying anyone else is wrong here. All I'm saying is that I don't believe that a pistol will magically go off, and I'm still not comfortable enough with AIWB.

The good news about the P99 is that if the decocker is pressed and held into the slide, it physically blocks the striker from being able to impact the primer on the chambered cartridge, which may be as effective as a manual thumb safety or a Glock "gadget" for adding one extra layer of safety. I just started carrying a P99 (compact) again, and I've again adopted this method of holstering for this pistol.
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Right, so then the real issue isn't "appendix carry," it's safe and consistent holstering/unholstering technique - where you choose to carry is irrelevant in my mind, because there isn't really a "safe" place on your body to improperly holster and have a ND. Of course, people will respond to that by saying, "Sure, but the consequences are much higher for a ND with appendix carry." I don't really buy that argument at all, and I certainly hope that this not the logic that anyone bases their carry position choice on. There shouldn't be any rational calculation in which one is telling themselves, "this is safer if I have a ND."
The alternative to this would be to say "I will never make a mistake". Whereas my approach is more, "I haven't had one yet, but it is possible, even though I'll do what I can to avoid it".

I don't plan on dropping my pistol. I train not to drop my pistol as much as I train not to shoot myself while holstering the pistol, but if I had a pistol that did not have a drop safety, I wouldn't trust it. The goal is to not make any mistakes, which training helps to achieve, but the reality is that mistakes can happen. If a guy with the training of Travis Haley can have an ND, I have to believe that it is possible for most of us forum members at the best of times.

Similar to proper holster technique for carrying at 3-4 o'clock, where you cock your hip out to the side, so that the muzzle is angled away from your body while holstering, there is a safe holstering technique for appendix carry as well, where you push your pelvis forward, so that the muzzle end of the holster (and thus your pistol when it is being holstered) isn't pointing toward your body, but angled away from it. You aren't going to risk hitting your femoral artery if you use this technique.
This is the technique I would use if I carried appendix. As long as this is practiced even if adrenaline is flowing after an incident, then this should keep you decently safe even if a mistake was made. Massad Ayoob did mention this method, but also mentioned that the muzzle blast could still cause injuries to the region if a shot were to go off even if the bullet didn't hit anything important.

I've noticed that everything firearm related is a balance. If there is a pro, there is also a con. People will pick and chose what they prefer, and people should weigh the pros and cons, and decide for themselves on how much weight to put on each. AIWB leads to extremely fast draws in the correct hands. There are enough positives to it that it is a popular carry method. I'm only trying to point out some possible negatives.

Safe holstering is sometimes an overlooked skill, and particularly one that more experienced shooters can become overly casual about. I'm fortunate enough to have access to a range that allows holster use. But really, this is another skill that doesn't require any ammo at all. One can practice safe holstering to their heart's content with an unloaded pistol, until it is ingrained. This is why I prefer the term "dry practice" to calling it "dry fire," because it can and should encompass practicing a lot of other skills beside just pulling the trigger.
Agreed. People should be practicing with unloaded pistols as much or more than with loaded pistols.
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