Often maligned and frequently misunderstood, Appendix Inside the Waistband (AIWB) carry is not a new concept. For those that don’t know, AIWB is a reference to carrying a pistol at the front of the body inside the belt line.It goes back to the old west. It was also popular with gang members (sans holster) going back 20+ years. It has just seen a resurgence in popularity over the last couple of years. With that popularity has followed cries of “you’ll shoot your balls off!” or “you’ll shoot yourself in the femoral artery and bleed to death!” Another complaint I’ve heard is “you can’t draw/reholster one handed”.
ARE THERE ISSUES?
While I know a couple of related deaths, they are very few and far between. I haven’t gone looking for deaths from outside the waist band carry but I can probably find a couple. This isn’t hard to imagine when you see someone trying to reholster by pointing their muzzle directly at their hip. One death I’m aware of was a reholster while seated in a car and the gun was discharged, hitting the person in the femoral artery. Note that this was while seated.
What this serves to tell us is that finger discipline is key. If you aren’t yet conditioned to keeping your finger off the trigger unless you’re on target and ready to shoot, regardless of whether or not the gun is loaded, I’d say you need more work on your trigger discipline. This goes a long way towards alleviating the dangers of shooting one self. There is also a case for proper holstering drawing techniques. If you are pointing the gun muzzle inwards towards you’re body, you’re doing it wrong.
So what are the benefits of AIWB? One is that it is located where you have easy control of it. Second, is that is an easily concealable position. Meaning I can conceal a pistol with a t-shirt. This is particularly nice in the summer.
Some may complain that AIWB carry is uncomfortable and it certainly can be for certain body types. A lot of the time, AIWB carry can be made more comfortable by backing the belt off a notch and going to pants with a one size larger waist band.
If you want to try it, holsters from Phlster (available from www.snakehoundmachine.com), Spencer Keepers at www.keepersconcealment.com, Conrad at www.echodeltacharlie.com, and Raven Concealment Systems www.rcsgear.com all have good options. Generally you the holster options are mostlly aimed at Glock though all of them are frequently updating their inventory. One thing I have learned though, holsters for the larger guns work pretty good for their smaller counterparts. By this I mean a Glock 17 holster tucks a Glock 19 pretty well.
Only you can make the decision. Some hate it. Some like it. Go forth and choose wisely.