Wondering how people can sit, or tie their shoes, or drive while carrying aiwb?
The first things you need are a good stiff gun belt and holster that is designed for appendix carry. These are not hacks, but it needs to be said, as anything else will simply be lipstick on a pig. Most of the fairer sex are probably moving to close out this article right now, as they only rarely wear a functional belt. Don’t despair, it can still be done, but “dressing around the gun” becomes more important.
The holster should be all kydex, as a soft backer can collapse, making holstering safely difficult. I like a sweat guard, as it aids in holstering.
You’ll need to experiment with the position, but placing the slide at 12:30 works best for me. This keeps it in between the crown jewels and the leg. You should still be able to place your foot up on a chair in order to tie your shoe. Guys should still be able to use a urinal, depending on their pants.
A common misconception is that a small gun is easier to carry than a large one. I was shocked when I realized I could put a TLR-1 on my G19 and have it conceal better with all that extra bulk! Two things were at play there:
- The extra length helps stabilize it.
- The TLR-1 acted as a wedge which helped tip the rear sights back into the stomach.
When looking for a holster for a sub compact like a G43, look for one that has the slide length extended. The only time you won’t want that is if you wear your pistol very low for maximum concealment.
Don’t over tighten the belt. It’s more comfortable when it’s loose, and just as importantly, some slack will allow the rig to ride up a little when you sit. With a little practice you won’t need to adjust it with your hands, just suck in your stomach as you sit and when you stand back up. If you do need to adjust it, grab the sides of your belt and rotate it slightly, as grabbing the holster itself will be misinterpreted…
Although you don’t want to over tighten the belt, you also don’t want it too loose. It will flop outwards, printing badly, and becomes difficult to draw. Some give to the belt is perfectly acceptable, as shown here:
Notice how much the belt rises with the draw? It’s not like an OWB holster, which requires that the belt be really snug.
Letting it ride up when you sit usually means you need to lower it again when you stand. If you’re one of the blessed few who can leave it in one spot, you have my envy. Most of us have enough of a spare tire that it pushes the top (rear sights) of the gun out, and letting the rig settle a little lower will mitigate that.
Some have reported good results from using a gel sole shoe insert or some similar item as a wedge, attached with a rubber band to the muzzle end, next to the body. Alternatively, you could buy a pre-made closed cell foam version.
So now that you’ve got it in place, it should be obvious to you that you’re not muzzling yourself under normal circumstances. I strongly encourage you to keep it that way. The data that I’ve been able to find shows that most people who shoot themselves were:
- Intoxicated, or otherwise functionally impaired.
- Not using a quality holster, or any holster at all.
- Using a holster, but got distracted when putting it away.
I’ve only found one instance where there was a negligent discharge during the draw from aiwb, and that instance involved a new shooter who was attempting to draw while moving, under time pressure. That’s a bad idea on multiple levels. Please do not carry a gun at any position until your trigger finger discipline is thoroughly ingrained. Go through a short checklist before you holster:
- Finger off the trigger.
- Clear the cover garment with your offhand.
- Verify that the holster is clear.
- Keeping the pistol angled away from the body, place your thumb over the back of the slide and place the rear sights against your stomach. Then rotate the pistol’s slide until it touches the sweat guard, and press downwards until it is secure.
Do not rush! No points are awarded for speed when holstering.
If you’ve read all three articles and still have questions or concerns, please speak up! This is not intended to convince you to appendix carry if you’re opposed to it, as there is no single way that works for all of us.