Appendix carry vs 4 O’clock Pistol Carry

appendix vs 4 o'clock

My holster works for appendix carry and 4 o’clock carry. I have carried in both positions. I learned there are advantages and disadvantages to both. The paragraph below summaries these.

Appendix carry and 4 o’clock carry offer great concealment. They can both be done safely. Appendix carry drawing is faster. However, 4 o’clock is more comfortable and it works better with a tucked shirt.


Both carry places offer good concealment. At 4 o’clock, an open in the front cover garment can conceal a pistol. This is great when the temperature calls for a light, unbutton, or unzipped jacket. Also, with the pistol being behind the hip, small amounts of printing won’t be noticed by those looking face-to-face.

With a good appendix holster, and cover garment, pistols on the appendix stay concealed. The holster needs to have a claw. The claw gets pushed by the belt thereby forcing the pistol flat on the body. Look at me pushing on my appendix holster claw.

pushing on appendix claw

Pushing on Holster Claw

The cover garment needs to not be tight. It also helps to wear a shirt with a pattern or picture. A little bit of printing can show through a solid shirt.

Husky people will have a hard time concealing on the appendix. For them, it’s like trying to lay something flat on a round surface. There will be a gap between the holster and pistol that can’t touch the body. This is especially true for men because they store fat around the abdomen.

To learn more about concealing a pistol on the appendix, checkout my article on How to Appendix Carry Without Printing.

Winner: Tie

Draw Speed

Appendix carried pistols can be drawn faster. They are closer to the face and they can get to the face faster than a pistol at 4 o’clock. I carry on the appendix because of this.

Having said that, appendix drawing and holstering should be practiced slowing at first. There are a lot of valuable body parts around the appendix. These include leg arteries, intestines, and sex organs.

Winner: Appendix Carry


Appendix carry has a reputation for being unsafe. There is some truth to this belief. In the holster, an appendix pistol is pointed at or close to very important body parts. Also, muzzling these body points while touching the trigger can be done when drawing or holstering. This makes slow, and thoughtful practice a must for appendix carry. The GIFs below show me drawing and holstering from the appendix.

demonstrating how to draw and fire from an appendix holster

Drawing from the Appendix

demonstrating how to holster with an appendix holster

Holstering on the Appendix

When done correctly, appendix carry is just as safe as 4 o’clock carry. Furthermore, pistols don’t just fire. They need a trigger pull to fire. In a holster with a trigger cover, an appendix pistol is as harmless as an unloaded gun.

To learn about safety and appendix carry, checkout my article on How to Safely Appendix Carry.

With 4 o’clock, it’s easier to avoid muzzling the body. However, poor muzzle and trigger control can still result in self-harm when drawing or holstering at 4 o’clock. You can see this at a shooting range were holsters are used. Shooters will point the muzzle at their side or leg when putting their pistol in.

4 o’clock carry will not substitute for safe gun handling.

Winner: Tie


How comfortable a holster place is largely depends on the shooter’s body. As a skinny guy, I never found 4 o’clock carry to be uncomfortable when standing or walking. It does bother me some when driving. With a seat belt on, the seat pushes the pistol into my body. Modern car seats are made to put us deep in the seat. This prevent us from keeping the lower back off the back rest.

When I first started to appendix carry, it was uncomfortable. I don’t have much fresh covering my hip bones. My belt made those two areas bothersome. When I got a good load-bearing gun belt, the pressure was taking off my hip bones. Now, appendix carry is as comfortable as 4 o’clock for me.

Sitting and bending forward with an appendix pistol can be rough. I have to loosen my belt when I sit. Also, my ability to bend forward is reduced with appendix carry.

Winner: 4 o’clock

Formal Dress and Shirt Tucking

4 o’clock is a better option if you needed a tucked shirt. An appendix holster with a tucked shirt is still going to show the holster belt clips. At 4 o’clock, the clips can be hidden with a second cover garment like a coat.

Holster’s with ulticlip retention can allow for tucked shirt appendix carry without showing belt clips. Ulticlips connect the holster directly to the pants. The clips are concealed by the belt. I haven’t used ulticlips before but I hear they work good.

To learn more about concealed carry with a tucked shirt, read my article Concealed Carry with a Tucked in Shirt.

Winner: 4 o’clock

Concealed Carry For Women

Most ladies are curvy. Because of this, it’s often difficult for women to conceal a pistol. Imagine putting a holstered pistol on a basketball and a sheet over both of them. The space between the basketball and holstered pistol will cause the pistol to print through the sheet.

The belly below the navel is one place women often don’t retain fat. This is usually one of the flattest places on the female body. Because of this, appendix carry is one of the most discreet places for women to carry a pistol. 4 o’clock isn’t as good because of round lady butts. 

Winner: Appendix Carry

Andrew Jordan

I’m a lifelong native of Memphis, TN. Shooting drills especially with 22LR are one of my passions. My concealed carry permit application was submitted on my 21st birthday. The P10C is my EDC pistol. I invented the patented 15 round 5.56 stripper clip. You can also find me on the “Concealed Carry Andrew” Youtube channel.

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