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5 Best Guns for AIWB Appendix Carry [Ultimate Guide]

So, you decided to carry appendix.

Congratulations and welcome to the SUPERIOR side of concealed carry.

Womens Brands Alexo Athletica Leggings

We kid, we kid.

But seriously, this style might not always be the most comfortable for everyone, but Appendix Inside Waistband Carry is a great way to carry your firearm.

Appendix carry was and still is pretty controversial in some circles of the gun community. After all, pointing the business end of a hot and loaded gun straight at your nether regions can be…ill-advised.

Looking at you, “Mexican Carry.”

AIWB No Holster
C’mon bro, we’re better than this.

Still, with adequate training, a quality holster, and a reliable firearm, appendix carry is generally safe.

We’re not talking about specific holsters today, but I would recommend a Kydex holster that fully covers the trigger guard and has a concealment wing.

Looking for a recommendation? Check out our Best Concealed Carry Holsters.

Table of Contents

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Advantages of Appendix Carry

Think about how many times throughout the day you sit in the car or in a chair. It’s probably pretty often.

It’s possible — and in a car, pretty likely — that your sides and back are harder to access than your front.

Logic follows that drawing from appendix is the easiest and fastest solution, especially while sitting.

Concealed Carry AIWB Holster

When it comes to speed, the name of the game is economy of motion.

Eliminating any excess movement will increase efficiency. Since your hands spend most of their time at the front of your body, it makes sense that an AIWB holster front and center makes it easy to draw and present.

Also, we can’t forget to mention that appendix carry is pretty secure.

G19 AIWB Draw Out
It’s pretty secure

It’s easy to retain the gun. Not to mention, the likelihood of someone snatching your gun is probably pretty slim.

What’s something else AIWB has going for it?

Ease of concealment. Carrying in the AIWB position proves much easier to conceal than the 3 o’clock for some folks.

Concealment Express G19 AIWB Hidden
Would you guess there’s a Glock under there?

The gun is less likely to print or be seen in AIWB when you bend over.  

Want to dig into AIWB a bit more? Check out our guide on Concealed Carry: Benefits of AIWB.

Top 5 Guns for Appendix Carry

Now that we’ve covered WHY appendix is a popular concealed carry method let’s dig into what I consider to be some of the best guns for AIWB carry.

1. Sig P365 XL

It’s no secret. Sig Sauer is on the cutting edge of innovation and at the forefront of firearms technology.

As a Glock fanboy, it pains me to admit that this is probably the best AIWB firearm on the market right now.

When it comes to size, the P365XL sits between the Glock 43 and the Glock 43x.

Sig Sauer P365 Upgrades
Sig Sauer P365

It comes with 12+1 or 15+1 (with extended mag) straight out of the box.

That’s pretty impressive compared to the stock 43x’s measly 10 rounds.

Plus, this easily concealable beast comes with an optics-ready slide, a flat face trigger, and an integrated mag well.

The kicker?

Sig Sauer P365 Upgrades
All the upgrades!!

It all comes in cheaper than if you were to Gucci out your Glock to the same specs.

The Sig P365XL is a modern concealed carry option for the modern shooter.

It is good to go straight out of the box.

Check out our review of the Sig Sauer P365. While you’re at it, see how fellow writer Travis decked out his P365!

2. Glock 43x

The Glock 43x is a formidable competitor in the concealed carry market.

It is ultra-concealable with the stark reliability of Glock.

Glock G43X
Glock G43X

Like the Sig P365 XL, if you grab the G43x MOS variant, it comes optics ready.

That means the shorter sight radius is no longer a drawback. You can shoot a smaller gun more easily.

BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE.

Thanks to the fine people at Shield Arms, you can up the capacity from 10+1 to 15+1 without any changes to form or function.

Glock G43X and G48 and Mags
Glock G43X and G48 and mags

You can even add a mag extension from them if you were so inclined.

Of course, no Glock recommendation would be complete without some reference to aftermarket availability.

You could get a ton of work done to this pistol.

It would far surpass the Sig P365 XL in performance.

However, not everyone has the time or money to do all that. Still, wishful thinking is fun.

479
at Brownells

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Want to read more on the Glock G43X? Check out our review here.

3. M&P .380 Shield EZ

The Smith and Wesson M&P Shield EZ…what a mouthful. Let’s just call it the M&P EZ.

This pistol is an awesome option for concealed carry and an amazing firearm.

Sure, it’s in .380 ACP, but proper shot placement proves more important than caliber.

S&W M&P Shield EZ .380
S&W M&P Shield EZ .380

The M&P EZ was made for shooters who have weaker grip strength or trouble operating handguns. Slide is easier to rack, and the gun is just easier to load overall.

Great job, Smith and Wesson. Y’all really knocked it out of the park with this one!

Not to mention, this model measures pretty small. Overall length comes in at 6.7-inches, and it weighs just 18.5-ounces.

Shield EZ 9mm Vs EZ380 on the farm

The pistol ships with two 8-round mags and offers a Picatinny-style rail for laser or light attachments.

For safety-conscious consumers, it’s also worth mentioning that the M&P EZ sports a grip safety. This mechanism is fitted on the grip and must be engaged for the gun to fire.

The grip safety

It’s a nice add-on if you prefer a safety mechanism on your AIWB guns.

Though this model comes in .380 ACP if that just isn’t your thing, no worries. S&W offers a 9mm version too.

Ready to learn more? See our review on the S&W M&P Shield EZ in both 9mm and .380 ACP!

If you’ve tried the S&W Shield EZ, give it a rating below!

Readers' Ratings

5.00/5 (85)

Your Rating?

4. Glock 19

Now, if you’ve read any of my other articles, you’ll know that I’m a Glock 19 fan. I love it.

Best firearm to be invented since the M16.

Lucky for you and thankfully for me, AIWB carry allows for a plethora of handgun sizes.

Glock G19 Gen 4
Glock G19 Gen 4

I personally conceal carry the Glock 19 AIWB with no complaints.

This midsize handgun does everything I ask of it and more.

It conceals well even with an extended magazine, weapon light, and red dot sight.

It’s comfortable and doesn’t print.

Concealed Carry Glock 19, Belt, Holster

I mean, what more could you ask from a concealed carry weapon.

Even our tiny Managing Editor, Jacki, who weighs all of 100-pounds, carries a G19. So, you know it can be done.

Concealed Carry Mirror
Jacki carrying her Glock 19.

But really, the selling point of the G19 is its reliability. There’s a reason many LE agencies, including the FBI, opt for this model.

Glocks just work, and this model is a workhorse!

570
at Brownells

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

To learn more about the various Glock models out there, check out our round-up of the best Glocks.

5. FNX-45 Tactical

Yessirrrr. I bet you didn’t see this one coming.

I already know what you’re saying to yourself. “But it’s so big. Who could ever conceal that?”

Chances are you probably can.

FNX-45 Tactical
FNX-45 Tactical

As mentioned previously, the beauty of AIWB carry is that you can carry whatever size gun you can fit into your pants.

Granted, the FNX-45T might require you to go up an additional pant size. But if it fits, it sits.

The FNX 45T is double-action/single-action model. So, for people who aren’t keen on striker fire pistols for AIWB, this works!

The decocker also makes reholstering a lot less nerve-wracking.

Besides, who wouldn’t want to have immediate access to 16-rounds of .45 ACP ready to go with a red dot sight and weapon-mounted light ready to go? It’s a win-win.

1150
at Brownells

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Want more FNX-45? Check out our review here.

Conclusion

AIWB is amazing. With training, it opens up a whole new world of concealed carry options. You can carry anything from a micro-compact baby gun to a duty-sized big boy blower.

If you are considering your first concealed carry firearm or simply want to change how you carry, AIWB is the way to go. It’s easier, faster, and more secure. You really can’t go wrong with any of the options I suggested above.

Concealment Express G19 AIWB Exposed
Concealment Express G19 AIWB Exposed

You may have noticed that all of the options have the option to add a red dot sight. It’s the way of the future. Practicing on red dot sights makes you a better shooter, even on irons!

Why would you not want to give yourself every advantage you can in a firefight? Just some things to consider.

Do you carry AIWB? What’s your favorite carry gun? As always, let us know in the comments below! And if you want to learn more about AIWB, check out our article with tips on how to do it successfully!

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36 Leave a Reply

  • Commenter Avatar
    John

    "When it comes to speed, the name of the game is economy of motion."

    Something I've seen a lot of people not understand. Ill say something an instructor once told me after he encountered a bad guy who was already in process of aiming at him- i had heard about it on the news-in reference to that situation he said- "if you're sights are not on the bad guy and u are ready to pull the trigger before an eye blink is done your survival from then on out until the encounter is done is just pure blind luck" - he survived the encounter, the bad guy did not. He was the fastest person i have ever seen and when he demonstrated there was zero wasted motion and if u blinked u missed it.

    April 19, 2021 12:18 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Timothy L Travis

    Carrying the Hellcat AIWB 13 & 1 no problem

    April 19, 2021 9:08 am
  • Commenter Avatar
    Michael Sanchez

    How come you never mention the CZ-75 P01? I like G-19 but jeez the CZ is better out of the box in my opinion!

    April 19, 2021 5:09 am
    • Commenter Avatar
      Blake

      While how well the gun shoots or feels (which is pretty subjective) its also about the availability of parts and accessories. Everyone makes a glock holster and if you have a light your much more likely to find a holster for a glock. I imagine P320s are gonna be popular too with military adoption. I like CZs but they just aren't nearly as common.

      April 19, 2021 5:46 am
    • Commenter Avatar
      Noel

      That's my next EDC. Gonna get the Omega and run it decock.

      April 20, 2021 12:25 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Leonard

    Am I the only one that does this?
    I carry appendix, I clip the holster to my belt but outside my pants. It stays dry and clean, and doesn't dig into my skin.
    I've done this for years

    April 19, 2021 4:12 am
  • Commenter Avatar
    Phil

    Check out MagGuts for your Carry gun. They give you a 14 round capability in the 12 round and 12 rounds in the 10 count magazine for the Sig P 365. Increases most magazine capacity by two with minimal extension of the base.

    April 19, 2021 3:56 am
    • Commenter Avatar
      Frankie

      MagGuts! Love my lil M&P Shield 9 for AIWB in a Tier 1 with extra mag carrier. But, hate the mag spring in this model as they can bind. No bueno! Went with MagGuts to solve the issue and turned an 8+1 into a 10+1 and added feed reliability! If you run the M&P Shield 9, cycle rounds through. If the follower doesn't lock the slide back after the last round once in a while, pull out the spring and you'll see it's bound over itself. It'll be tough to pull out. Then, get MagGuts! Solved!

      April 20, 2021 12:14 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Mike D

    The CZ 75-P-01 is a GREAT option. Being a DA/SA, having that 1st shot set for DA, w/a hammer, IS the safest option to re-holster your gun in appendix carry(put thumb over the hammer as a safety pre-caution while re-holstering). Fool-proof. Family jewels will have peace of 'mind'. :P

    April 18, 2021 9:07 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Dumplin McSwaggin

    Hey y’all should do an article for us who want to carry who are alittle on the fluffy side.

    April 18, 2021 8:18 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Glock dude

    What about the M&P Shield Plus?

    April 18, 2021 7:10 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Mike7329

    Another vote for the Taurus G2C. I also switch out with a Ruger LC9s

    April 18, 2021 6:39 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    john schroeck

    sig 365xl w romeo or a czp10s w holosun 507 x2 both in tier1 axis slims and carry very comfortably.

    April 18, 2021 6:36 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    PCB

    Springfield 911 (terrific weapon); Beretta Cheetah; CZ83

    April 18, 2021 6:03 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    BigW

    Hellcat

    April 18, 2021 5:46 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Don Griffin

    I rely on the SIG SAS. This was specifically designed for carry without a holster, thus the front and rear sights have been removed. Having said that, the SAS still has a green dot built into the gun and it is as good as many on a small pistol.

    April 18, 2021 5:40 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Bill Geiger

    Personally I would take the G48 over the 43x,as it is a more accurate weapon, which is only 3/4" longer.

    April 18, 2021 5:16 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      Scott Monroe

      I carried the Glock 43X then went to the Glock 48 which is a superior pistol in many ways.
      The G 48 is a great CCW as well as an open carry for drills at the range.
      A year ago I started carrying the Springfield Hellcat as my everyday carry and love it, especially with the 13 round flush fit mag.

      April 18, 2021 5:49 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Rob

    Interesting, two out of five are Glocks. Someone once said, "Diamonds are forever" , so are Glocks!

    April 18, 2021 5:16 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Darin

    I carry a Mossberg MC2c and absolutely love it. Wife carries a Sig P365. Both are in the AIWB location and we wouldn’t carry any other way.

    April 18, 2021 5:14 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      LazrBeam

      I love my Mossberg MC2c. Great shooter. BTW, Mossberg has 13 and 15 round mags back in stock. As I’m sure you’re aware, they are proprietary mags made by Mec Gar and, at present, Mossberg is the only place that offers them. Max of 2 each (13 and 15 rd) right now. So, that’s what I did, 2 of each.

      April 18, 2021 6:18 pm
      • Commenter Avatar
        LazrBeam

        P.S. Update: Looks like Gun Mag Warehouse has them in stock now, also.

        April 18, 2021 7:48 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Robert Wiggs

    Glock 27 with extended mags... Better caliber, just as much capacity, easier to conceal

    April 18, 2021 5:14 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Mike Thomas

    What about the 3.8" Springfield Xdm, or Hellcat? I would take either over a Glock any day

    April 18, 2021 5:13 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      Doug Dickettz

      I have the Springfield 3.8 xdm and love it but weren't all these guns a little big for appendix carry. Standing up you could carry a howitzer but sitting down is a pain with a big gun.

      April 20, 2021 8:56 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Arthur Normandeau

    Springfield Armory Hellcat I would carry any day.

    April 18, 2021 5:11 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    IAN CAMERON

    You missed the best concealed carry weapon... I love my Walther PPK. Some will say it's underpowered, but as you say... shot placement, and you can hide it anywhere. And in a good shoulder rig it's readily accessible for either hand.

    April 18, 2021 5:05 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    copper

    How about cross draw. I have some disabilities that require the use of a cane to walk and an arm that is maimed. My current CCW is a Ruger Security 9 and a Bullard Leather (I highly recommend) cross draw holster. This is a great combo that really works well for me. I have meat many closet cross draw carriers and wonder why it is rarely discussed. My only desire is I would prefer a pistol no larger than my RS9 or smaller but in 45 ACP. Also my only income is SSDI. so budget is a big thing. Any suggestions.

    April 18, 2021 4:48 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Jake

    What gun is the gal in the first pic bolstering? Looks like a beretta bobcat?

    April 18, 2021 4:43 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    ARMED CITIZEN

    You failed to mention the Taurus G3, G3C, or G2C!!!

    April 18, 2021 3:31 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      Kevin

      Jacki- first of all, you rock that G19. My EDC carry goes between my G26 9mm and my G32 in .357Sig. Both conceal great in appendix carry especially driving which I do a lot.

      April 18, 2021 5:16 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      Robert Wiggs

      Gotta love the new 20-round magazine!

      April 18, 2021 5:18 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Rick Stevens

    Ive had a .380SmithEZ since it first came out. Since the 70's I carried many models of .357 Smith Magnum. No autos until my .380 EZ. I LOVE it. It's my daily carry and I can put 60 rounds in a target within 2.5 inches. Most revolvers and autos have around an 11 lb. trigger pull. My EZ came out of the factory with a 6.5 lb. So I can put more rounds faster and stay on target better.

    April 18, 2021 3:06 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      Jack

      Completely agree on the EZ 380. Long time qualifier with 1911 in 45 cal. and will take the accuracy.

      April 18, 2021 5:20 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    J

    Thank you for another great article. I saw your aftermarket Glock slides article and noticed no front sights on the pistols with the red dots. Do you recommend this? I got an aftermarket slide that I am planning on putting a red dot on and debating putting a front sight on it. Planning on using it for carry/competition.

    April 18, 2021 11:28 am
    • Commenter Avatar
      George Collins

      I am left handed. My right shoulder is messed up. S&W 380 EZ works for me. Ez to rack, good carry gun trigger.

      April 18, 2021 6:05 pm