I appendix carry daily and have no intention of changing that anytime soon. Recently, a video has been making the rounds on social media of a man holstering his firearm into an appendix carry holster and discharging into his lower body as he bends over. The man appears to be standing in the back office of a gun store or shooting range when the incident occurs.
He picks up the pistol and chambers a round before inserting the pistol into a holster located in his waistband at the 1 o’clock position. He then walks over to pick up something on the floor, plausibly a bag. As he bends over to reach for the object, the gun discharges loudly and the man has clearly been struck by the round given his reaction. The pistol was supposedly a 9mm Glock 43 and the holster was a G-Code Incog, both known for being quality products. The video is below.
First off, I’d like to address something, primarily his reaction. Throwing the gun to the floor was the wrong answer, if he had the cognitive function to unholster the weapon, unbutton his pants, and respond to the woman attempting to render medical aid after being shot then he could have put the gun on a table rather than dropping it and risking another discharge. Who knows if the discharge was a mechanical failure, it probably didn’t cycle properly given the compressed position but regardless it’s best not to take chances. I fully understand that he was just shot but it was still not the right course of action, it further endangered himself and everyone else in the room.
Judging by the footage, it appears his undershirt may have gotten into the holster and set off the pistol but that’s unconfirmed. The pistol may have had modifications made to it that aided in the discharge as well. The holster may have had an unseen foreign object in it. This could happen with any concealed carry based holster system or for that matter any holster period. The difference here is that his choice to use appendix carry lined the muzzle up with his nether regions. That being said, if the negligent discharge had occurred at a traditional carry position such as on the hip, would it really have made a difference? Maybe, maybe not; a round into your leg or ass cheek still has the potential to deviate to something vital once it’s entered flesh. Below is a video of Derek “Tex” Grebner shooting himself in the leg while drawing his pistol from a holster located on his hip.
I really don’t see any real detriment to carrying appendix when looking at it in this regard. With a proper firearm and holster set-up, i.e. not a 1.5-pound trigger and a cheap ass holster, the risk to having a holstered weapon discharge is extremely unlikely. If great care is taken to prevent foreign obstructions from entering holster when holstering up the gun, there will be even less risk. Personally, I remove the holster before admin loading the gun and sheathing it, then I insert the holstered weapon into my waistband. When re-holstering after shooting, I take extreme care and time because at that point I’m not really in a rush.
The benefits to appendix carry far outweigh the dangers in my mind. For starters it is the most concealed position for a pistol in the waistband. It can be drawn from the position very quickly and inconspicuously with ease in a variety of positions. Carrying the gun in the front gives me great manipulation capability, especially when drawing and holstering because I just look down if the need arises. It’s comfortable provided I keep going to the gym regularly. Lastly, it gives me a level of lethal capability that isn’t there with other methods. Really, I don’t care about muzzling myself (but I avoid it at all costs) near as much as I care about being able to drop bodies with ease so I use what gives me the edge. Someone once said, “Carry and think like a thug without permission, not like a cop with a badge.” I follow this philosophy when it comes to conceal carry so when it comes time to pull my weapon I will have the advantage, appendix carry gives me this capability regarding deception and concealment.
All in all, this type of mishap can happen to anyone and in any configuration of holster system and firearm combo. Train routinely and thoroughly to prevent negligent mishaps of all kinds. Carry in a manner that best suits you provided it isn’t in your sock or something weird like that. Just remember that if you happen to shoot yourself, don’t throw your gun across the room, set it down somewhere safely and bonus points for clearing it out first (although unlikely). Also, big shocker here, you better be well trained if you’re carrying a gun concealed routinely and even more so if you want to carry appendix. There’s a bunch of other stuff I could say but I’m just going to leave it with this, firearms are inherently dangerous and no matter where you stick them in your pants, it does not make them any safer or more dangerous.
Photo courtesy of the Author