When I first put on my appendix holster, I noticed a lot of printing. The mass of the pistol and extra magazine poked the shirt underneath and reduced concealment. After some research and troubleshooting, I learned how to appendix carry without printing.
To appendix carry without printing use a holster with adjustable ride height and a claw. Wear a belt with plenty of notches above the hips and wear a loose fitting cover garment.
Use a Holster With Adjustable Ride Height
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.
Use a Holster With a Claw
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.
Wear Your Belt Above the Hips
The belt needs to be worn above the hips. When a belt is wrapped around the hips, the hips will limit how tight the belt can be. The tighter the belt the more the claw gets pushed.
Use a Belt With Enough Notches
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.
Making Extra Belt Notches
Wear a Loose Fitting Cover Garment
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.