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 The Appendix Holster

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Number of posts : 9110
Registration date : 2007-06-27

PostSubject: The Appendix Holster   Mon 22 Jun 2015, 17:12

If we think of the waist as a clock, then there are various positions where the holster can be located, each with their own access characteristics. At about 1 o’clock is the Appendix position [AP].
This method has been around for many years. Jeff Cooper discussed the position in 1965:

“The Appendix Position [forward of the hip on the strong side, with the muzzle raked about 15° forward] is both faster and safer than the kidney position, but it is a bit more obvious. It is rather good for a plainclothes policeman who doesn’t particularly care whether his sidearm is spotted or not.”

Famed holster maker Bruce Nelson favoured this carriage mode, when working as an undercover narcotics agent in California. His approach was described in "Cooper on Handguns". To quote the Colonel...“He has settled on a .45 Commander, carried in the Appendix Position in a soft leather holster, worn inside the trousers, and beneath a hung out shirt-tail. To blend in with his unsavoury professional environment he has cultivated a sort of peacenik slouch, with arms dangling forward and hands touching. In this pose his right forearm protects his sidearm from surreptitious search; and his left hand is ready to flip the shirttail away if he must draw. And heaven help the pusher who chooses to challenge this particular narc!"

[Bruce Nelson and Jeff Cooper][/i]

[Den in Bulawayo, 1976]

The pistol lies in the natural groove of the leg/belly joint, and conceals well.
As noted above, the arms afford natural and unobtrusive weapon protection. We tend to be aware of activity to our front, because it is within our normal sphere of attention.
Since the arms are normally to the front, especially when facing possible aggression, a very fast weapon access is possible. It is faster than reaching around to the FBI/Kidney position.

The glaring problem is that the muzzle is pointing at highly vulnerable anatomical areas, including the genitals and femoral artery.  Carriage in Appendix Position violates the Second rule of firearms safety “Never point a weapon at something you are not willing to destroy”
The draw and reholster are especially critical from AP carriage, even more so if doing so from a seated position.
The first negligent discharge that I heard of with a Glock happened to a Deputy US Marshal, on prisoner extradition duty aboard an aircraft, from LA to New York, who shifted his Glock from the Kidney area to his front waistband for comfort while seated. The weapon discharged and he was seriously injured.
Responsible firearms handling requires control of the trigger finger. The Glock demands control of the trigger finger. The Glock exposes prior sloppy gunhandling procedures. I believe that the current generation, trained on the Glock, have no safety issues, and are safe with any firearm type [within the bounds of human fallibility]. It is not just the finger that we must be aware of. Remember, anything that gets into the trigger guard as the weapon is reholstered, can activate the trigger. Be aware of clothing, zipper-tags, holster straps, or debris after rolling around on the ground for whatever reason.
For VIP Protection use, another disadvantage is that when wearing a business suit, the holster tends to become visible because of it’s proximity to the frontal opening of the jacket. Bruce Nelson’s “hippy slouch” doesn’t tend to work in the CP environment.

The Appendix Position for Internal-fit carriage

As noted above Bruce Nelson favoured the Appendix position, using his famed “Summer Special, carried within the waistband. This “Appendix Inside Waistband” [AIWB] has been rediscovered by shooters who find it suits their particular needs.

[Summer Special made personally by Bruce Nelson]

[This is the holster currently favoured by Marcus Wynne]

Kydex is very much the modern material, but it has been noted in high-stress scenario training that, under violent retention tussles the weapon can become locked in the holster, or, the Kydex can break. Leather has suppleness which seems to work better in this particular situation.

[Kramer horsehide holster, which works well for AIWB]

One of our American friends has been using AIWB for several years. He covers the kit with a loose shirt..

. which allows access to his twin holsters....

As noted above, there are many noted experts using the AIWB position. However, there are others who like the concept, but are very wary of the problems of reholstering. As I mentioned above "Remember, anything that gets into the trigger guard as the weapon is reholstered, can activate the trigger. Be aware of clothing, zipper-tags, holster straps, or debris after rolling around on the ground for whatever reason."
I once saw one of the most famous competitive shooters in the world, have a negligent disharge while reholstering, during the stress of a World Championships. And this was with a Colt 1911, with a positive safety catch! The thought of holstering a striker-fired pistol, such as the Glock, in a tight holster, pointing at your own groin, has made many shooters shun AIWB.
A recent product goes a long way to assuaging such fears. While in Georgia Shane showed us a Kydex design from a former Delta Force NCO known as "The Sheriff of Baghdad" [SOB], which allows the reholstering in a much safer manner. The "Ripcord" design means that reholstering takes place outside of the waistaband, with the chances of anything fouling the trigger vastly reduced, and with the muzzle controlled in a safe direction. These photos illustrate the concept:

The weapon [a Glock-17] in the waistband...

... upon drawing the holster drops free of the weapon.....

... reholstering is done outside of the waistband. Note, the trigger guard is completely covered, so that, when the package is instered back within the waistband, nothing can foull the trigger. Also, a nice touch, the muzzle is completely enclosed, so that there is no chance of a hot barrel burning the sensitive skin of the groin area.

The holster is available for several different models of the Glock pistol.

 To conceal the AIWB, or any CCW holster, a cover garment is usually employed. This can be an open shirt, over a base layer teeshirt, as worn by Shane, Slacky and myself here...

.... or, it can be a buttoned up shirt, like this...

Whatever method is selected, we must consider weapon access.

If the cover garment is unfastened, then the clearance action is done with the master hand. This leaves the support hand free to fend off, control a VIP in bodyguarding, operate a flashlight etc.
A fastened garment requires a two-handed draw. The support hand lifts the shirt, as the master hand accesses the pistol, draws, then the hands meet for a two-handed firing grip. This, of course, pre-supposes that you will have both hands free, and there are several scenarios which make this doubtful. [There is a method of accessing with the master hand from under a fastened garment, but it is fairly complex]
This video shows the draw from fastened garment...
click link

However, many experienced shooters have made the decision to work from a fastened garment.
With the above AIWB design, reholstering requires both hands, unlike conventional models which allow the weapon to be simply re-inserted into the waistband. However, as pointed out above, the safety feature of rehostering outside of the waistband is so vital, that, in my opinion, this is not a negative factor. If you are willing to rely on a two-handed draw, then the two-handed reholstering would seem to be no further problem.
The AIWB is not for everyone, but the SOB deign makes it more appealing to those who have been held back by safety concerns.

The Appendix Position, whether on the belt, or, AIWB isn’t for everyone. However it may well fit your needs. Before carrying a live weapon, do a lot of dry practice, and always pay attention to safety.
Milt Sparks holsters
Keltac Kydex holsters
Sheriff of Baghdad

Check Six,
Dennis Martin

Last edited by Dennis on Fri 26 Jan 2018, 11:47; edited 22 times in total
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Number of posts : 9110
Registration date : 2007-06-27

PostSubject: Re: The Appendix Holster   Sat 03 Sep 2016, 16:11


While over in America I was given my own SoB holster by Shane. Here is my video evaluation of the system [click on image]

We also got to evaluate another couple of Appendix/internal holsters.
This is another design from John McPhee, which he terms the Glock Condom

Slacky tried it for a couple of days, before deciding to stick with a more familiar kidney position rig

Another decent design was this Kydex AIWB produced by local shooter Dick Ahearn



There are several designs of Internal-fit Appendix holster which feature an open muzzle...

I would suggest that these are not really suitable for sustained range use. That muzzle area gets hot really fast, and any decent range session will require practice on drawing/reholstering and multiple shot strings. Eventually that muzzle will be hot enough to burn flesh,even through a layer of underwear. Having it poking into the sensitive inguinal area will not improve your pistol skills!

This design, termed "The Errand" from Spencer Keeper, completely covers and cushions the muzzle very well....

Details here

Check Six,
Dennis Martin

Last edited by Dennis on Mon 02 Jan 2017, 10:34; edited 1 time in total
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