Concealed Carry Corner: Strong Side Carry vs Appendix Carry. What’s the Best For You?

    Carrying a handgun concealed can be challenging at first because you typically have a semi-heavy object riding around on your pants. Once you start to conceal carry a handgun, there are a few different ways to carry the gun daily. Now I know there are more ways than strong side carry or appendix. There’s also cross draw, small of the back, ankle carry, and a number of other methods. I’ve been getting a fair amount of questions of appendix or strong side carry, so I’ll focus on those for the time being.

    Appendix Carry

    Carrying appendix style has become extremely popular over the last decade. Younger shooters who conceal carry have adopted appendix style carrying and love the ability to draw from concealment and engage a target quickly without a lot of effort. Appendix carry is considered the position where individuals carry at the 12 o’clock position right up front where their belt buckle would traditionally be. People who enjoy appendix carrying say it’s easy to conceal and doesn’t usually print as much as strong side carrying. Appendix carrying is typically easier to conceal and move around while standing up as well since the gun is always in reach. It’s also easy to conceal a spare magazine with an appendix carry setup because the magazine has a spot right next to the firearm which creates the ability to have quick magazine changes.

    People can only carry appendix with an inside the waistband holster because of its position. It is also difficult to adjust when in the sitting position. With time the feeling of having a holster in the front of your stomach will become normal. At first, though, it can be kind of uncomfortable and dig into you. Personally, I struggle to carry in the appendix position because my body type makes it difficult to do it comfortably. Usually, if you’re a larger guy with a little bit of a belly, it will be tougher to conceal appendix. It can be tougher because your gun tends to dig into your stomach. For thinner guys who don’t have that issue, it works really well and tends to conceal nicely with the natural flat spot being there.

    Strong Side Carry

    Carrying strong side is usually referred to as hip carry and is traditionally at the 3-4 o’clock position. This is the more traditional carry style of the two versions. I personally carry strong side because it is more comfortable for my body type. It does take longer to pull your firearm out of a holster, but with practice, it can be very effective. When you decide to run an outside the waistband holster, the gun will always be in the same spot. If you decide to carry outside the waistband and carry appendix, you’ll have to relearn a new draw, where carrying strong side will be the same draw.

    Carrying strong side is usually more comfortable for me to sit down and moving around throughout the day. If you’re a skinny guy it may not be an issue, but bigger guys or people who don’t have a body of a stick will want to consider carrying strong side. Strong side may be traditional or old fashioned to some, but its a really comfortable way to carry all day.

    Overall Thoughts

    At the end of the day, it’s important to carry what feels most comfortable for your lifestyle. I prefer strong side carrying because of my body type. Honestly though, I know plenty of people who carry appendix and absolutely love it. I would say try both or buy a holster that is capable of being an appendix and strong side carry holster. Having a holster that can carry in either position is a great way to try both positions and figure out what you prefer as a daily carry.  Let me know what carry position you guys prefer in the comments below. If you have specific questions for me, don’t be afraid to send me a message on my Instagram page @fridgeoperator. Stay safe out there.

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    I’m an avid shooter and love educating whether it’s at my job or in the shooting community. I’m an average joe that really loves talking with other people about firearms and other passions.
    I’m active on Instagram on @fridgeoperator.