As a skinny dude, I had to learn some things before I could comfortably appendix carry. When I first put on my appendix holster, my pistol printed like a Webster’s Dictionary publisher. After researching, trial, and error I figured out how to appendix carry as a skinny guy. This is what I learned.
Skinny guys need pants or shorts with belt loops and slack for a waistband holster. The holster needs to have a claw and adjustable ride height. Also, a gun belt and loose fitting shirt will help with comfort and concealment.
How to Appendix Carry, What You Need, and the Right Pants
The best appendix carry solution is a belt attached holster. No holster appendix carry, also know as Mexican carry, is unwise. Without a holster, an appendix pistol can fall out, move, and it has no trigger cover. Moving is bad because it prevents consistent, and fast drawing. Not having the trigger covered is dangerous especially when an appendix pistol is pointed at leg arteries, and other valuable body parts.
There are holsters that attach directly to the waistband with clips. I don’t recommend this. The cloth waistbands on pants and shorts are not designed to be load bearing. There are comfort and concealment advantages to using an appendix holster attached to a gun belt. If you already have one of these inside-the-pant clip holster, then go ahead and try it out. You might be happy with the comfort and concealment.
Tight pants like skinny jeans can be worn if there is room in the waist for a holster. If your pants would fall down without a belt, then there is room for a holster. Also, whatever waist size would be tight on you can be increased by 2 to allow room for an appendix holster.
Appendix Carry Holster
The importance of a high quality appendix holster cannot be over stated. Appendix holsters need two things to conceal without printing. One of these is the ability to adjust the ride height. The ride height is how high the pistol grip rises above the belt. Ride height adjustments are done by raising or lowering the belt clips. The pistol grip should be just high enough to be grabbed quickly. Having excess ride height exposes more of the pistol above the belt than is necessary. Doing this increases printing.
The pictures below show my holster with the highest and lower ride heights.
Highest Ride Height
Lowest Right Height
The difference between the highest and lowest ride height for my holster is 1/2 inch.
Because I have long slender fingers, I can still draw quickly with the lowest ride height. However, someone with thick fingers or who wears thick shooting gloves might have trouble getting a fast grip with the lowest ride height.
The second feature of a good appendix holster is the claw. The claw’s purpose is to get pushed by the belt. This pushing forces the pistol especially the grip closer to the belly. Look at what my pistol’s grip does when I push on the claw.
Pushing on Holster Claw
By pushing the full width of the belt on the full width of the claw, all of the pistol grip moves into my belly.
A belt for appendix carry needs to be worn a certain way. I’ll show you how below.
The Right Gun Belt and How to Wear It
Making Extra Belt Notches
The belt needs to be worn above the hips. The hip bones put a hard limit on how tight the belt can be. The tighter the belt the more the claw gets pushed.
Something else that limits that sweet, sweet claw pushing is the belt notches. A standard leather belt might not have enough notches. Mine did not. Because of this, I twisted the point of a knife to make more notches.
Tightening my belt with those extra notches stopped me from printing. However, appendix carry was still uncomfortable for me. The discomfort came from the weight of the belt on top of my hip bones.
There are two reasons for the discomfort.
First, these kinds of belts are not designed to bear weight. They sag down a lot from the weight of a holstered gun. This put pressure on my hip bones. Second, the notch increments are larger than a gun belts notch increments. From the factory, my leather non-gun belt has 1 inch notch increments. The notches I made had ½ increments.
Because of these problems, I upgraded to a gun belt, the Nexbelt Titan. The Titan is designed to carry the weight of a holstered pistol. It also has much smaller notch increments. The belt notches are pictured below.
Clearly, the titan gun belt is designed to give fine belt adjustments. This close up picture shows the distance between notches.
There is about a .6 centimeter or 1/4 inch distance between notches. That’s 4x more notches than my non-gun belt has from the factory.
The Right Shirt for Appendix Carry
A shirt for appendix carry needs to not cling tightly around the belly. A tight shirt will print the outline of the pistol. Look at me concealing with a tight and loose shirt.
tight shirt and appendix pistol
That is a lot of printing. It looks like a Batman utility belt under there. The shirt below is much better.
loose shirt and appendix pistol
The pistol totally disappears from the front view. There is a small amount of printing from the side. An edge on the bottom of the magazine is pushing the shirt. Nobody would notice this in public.
Another thing that helps appendix carry concealment is to not wear solid colors. Solid color shirts make hard, unnatural objects poking underneath easier to see. Patterns, words, and pictures will make small amounts of printing unnoticeable. Solid colors shirts can work just fine as long as there is no printing.