What is the best 9mm for appendix carry?

What is the best 9mm for appendix carry?

9mm handguns are very popular among concealed carry enthusiasts, and one of the most common methods of everyday carry is the appendix position. It’s a great way to keep your piece handy, yet out of sight.

The key to comfortable appendix carry is choosing a pistol that strikes the right balance between comfort, concealability, and accessibility. Of course, you also want a gun that will perform reliably when you need it most.

Quick links:

Why are 9mm popular?

SIG Sauer P365

Glock 43X

Smith & Wesson Shield Plus

Ruger MAX-9

Walther PPS M2

AIWB carry enthusiasts should try out the GunZee holster pad and experience concealed carry comfort like never before.

Check out what Scott has to say about the GunZee Compact holster pad.

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Here are a few of the main reasons why 9mm guns are popular choices for concealed carry:

  1. Their compact size and light weight make 9mms easily portable and comfortable for everyday concealed carry. 
  2. Thanks to smaller casings, 9mm handguns allow for greater ammunition capacity compared to heftier rounds like .40 S&W and .45 ACP. More shots before reloading provide a tactical advantage.
  3. As one of the most commonly produced handgun rounds, 9mm ammo is affordable and widely available. This makes it easier and cheaper to find and purchase ammunition no matter where you are located.
  4. Though not recoil-free, 9mm chamberings tend to mitigate felt recoil better than other hard-hitting calibers. Lower recoil promotes faster, more accurate follow-up shots.
  5. The 9mm now provides proven stopping power for self-defense with modern bullet configurations. Though bigger rounds hit harder, experts consider the 9mm adequate for concealed carry needs.

We’ve picked some of the best 9mms for appendix carry for easy and reliable everyday carry.

SIG Sauer P365

Sig Sauer 365

Sig Sauer P365. Image source: https://www.sigsauer.com/p365-380.html

Features

Details

Capacity

10+1

Barrel length

3.1”

Overall length

5.8”

Height 

4.3”

Weight (unloaded) 

17.8 oz

MSRP

$599.99


The Sig Sauer P365 shines as an appendix carry pistol, maximizing concealability without sacrificing shootability or firepower. This micro-compact, striker-fired gun features a slim polymer frame with a stainless steel slide and a nitride carbon steel barrel. Despite its diminutive size, the single-stack P365 holds 10+1 rounds.

The flush 10-round magazine helps keep the frame slim for IWB carry. Extended higher-capacity magazines are also available. The ergonomic, textured grip minimizes printing while improving control and allowing for accurate follow-up shots. Snag-free contours facilitate a smooth, fast draw from an appendix holster.

The crisp, light trigger break enhances accuracy while the SIGLITE night sights enable rapid sight alignment and target acquisition even in low-light conditions. Reliable feeding comes courtesy of the enhanced magazine design. 

The P365’s combination of micro-compact carry ability, full-sized firepower, and Sig quality has made it one of the most popular CCW pistols on the market.

Pros

  • Ultra-compact dimensions (1” thick, 5.8” length) allow comfortable AIWB concealment underneath clothing
  • 10+1 capacity in flush magazines despite petite size
  • Textured grip and minimal contours help avoid printing
  • Snag-free shape facilitates smooth draw from appendix holsters
  • Fast target acquisition aided by crisp trigger break and night sights

Cons

  • Relatively lightweight, which could lead to increased perceived recoil

Glock 43X

Glock 43x

Glock 43x. Image source: https://us.glock.com/en/pistols/g43x-us

Features

Details

Capacity

10+1

Barrel length

3.41”

Overall length

6.5”

Height 

5.04”

Weight (unloaded)

18.7 oz

MSRP

$499.99


The Glock 43X shines as a supremely concealable pistol without compromising shootability or capacity. This slimline, single-stack striker-fired gun measures just 6.5” long and 1.1” wide, but still offers a 10+1 round capacity.

The petite proportions seamlessly vanish under clothing in the appendix carry position. Despite the shortened frame, the full-length grip enables sufficient purchase for accurate shooting. The grip angle and tactile texturing provide an intuitive, natural point of aim.

Though lightweight, the minimalist 43X maintains enough heft to keep felt recoil manageable. Signature Glock's durability and reliability come courtesy of the locked breech system and polymer construction. The consistent, light trigger pull enables fast and accurate shot placement.

The concealable profile combined with ample capacity, ergonomic design, and renowned Glock quality, makes the 43X an excellent 9mm appendix carry gun.

Pros

  • Extremely slim 1.1” width hides easily for appendix carry
  • Full-length grip enables secure hold despite a compact design
  • Textured grip aids in weapon retention and control
  • The low bore axis helps mitigate felt recoil
  • High capacity (10+1 rounds) for its diminutive size
  • Glock reliability and durability

Cons

  • Lack of manual safety could deter some carriers

Dylan loves how his everyday carry is more comfortable than ever thanks to the GunZee Heavy Duty foam pad for compacts.

Client review

Springfield Armory Hellcat

Features

Details

Capacity

11+1

Barrel length

3.0”

Overall length

6.0”

Height 

4.0”

Weight (unloaded)

18.3 oz

MSRP

$569.99


The Springfield Hellcat has earned its spot as a premium micro-compact 9mm perfect for appendix carry. This striker-fired polymer-framed pistol measures just 6 inches long and 1 inch wide, yet remarkably fits 11+1 rounds thanks to the patented stack magazine design.

Despite the abbreviated frame, the textured grip promotes confident control and handling. The low bore axis helps mitigate felt recoil for faster follow-up shots. The crisp trigger break and bright fiber-optic front sight offer improved handling and accuracy.

With its truncated dimensions, full-fingered grip, increased magazine capacity, and proven Power Core chassis, the Springfield Hellcat delivers exceptional concealed carry performance perfect for all-day appendix carry.

Pros

  • Extremely compact and lightweight makes for all-day carry
  • Textured grip and minimal recoil allow for excellent control and quick follow-up shots
  • High 11+1 capacity
  • Optimal grip angle and low bore axis for accuracy and recoil control
  • Snag-free design allows for a smooth, easy draw from an appendix holster

Cons

  1. Some may find the grip too short for optimal control, especially with the flush-fitting magazine
  2. More felt recoil compared to heavier metal-framed pistols

Smith & Wesson M&P Shield Plus

Features

Details

Capacity

10+1

Barrel length

3.1”

Overall length

6.1”

Height 

4.6”

Weight (unloaded) 

20.2 oz

MSRP

$599.00


The Smith & Wesson M&P Shield Plus balances compact dimensions for easy appendix carry with enhanced capacity and shootability. This striker-fired, polymer-framed 9mm measures just 6.1 inches long yet fits an impressive number of rounds in the fuller-sized grip.

The new grip design with an integrated mag well promotes more confidence-inspiring control and handling than the original Shield. The textured frame surface provides a secure hold. The optimal 18-degree grip angle enables a natural point of aim while the low bore axis helps mitigate felt recoil for faster follow-up shots.

The crisp, light trigger break and bright tritium sights facilitate accuracy while the proven M&P action delivers consistent reliability. With its truncated proportions, ergonomic grip, increased capacity, and renowned M&P reputation, the Shield Plus hits the mark as an excellent appendix carry 9mm. Its enhanced shootability places it a step above other subcompacts while maintaining the supreme concealability that everyday carriers need.

Pros

  • The compact and lightweight design makes it comfortable for all-day appendix carry
  • Enhanced grip texture enables excellent control and management of recoil
  • Higher capacity than guns of similar size due to its full-length grip
  • Flat face trigger improves handling
  • Thin profile minimizes printing and facilitates easy draw

Cons

  • Fuller grip could be less than ideal for smaller-handed shooters

Ruger MAX-9

Features

Details

Capacity

10+1

Barrel length

3.2”

Overall length

6.0”

Height 

4.52”

Weight (unloaded) 

18.4 oz

MSRP

$439.00


The Ruger MAX-9 shines as an optimal concealed carry gun, balancing a compact and lightweight design with excellent 10+1 capacity. This striker-fired gun features a durable through-hardened alloy steel slide and a one-piece precision-machined nylon grip frame that keeps weight down to just 18.4 oz.

Despite the subcompact size spanning only 6 inches long and under 5 inches tall, the secure textured grip frame enables outstanding recoil control for fast follow-up shots. The bright tritium fiber optic front sight and adjustable rear sight facilitate accuracy while the smooth, light trigger promotes precision.

A reversible magazine release and manual safety provide user-configurable options. The flush 10-round magazines enable undetectable concealment while finger grip extensions can increase grip space.

Pros

  • Extremely lightweight at just 18.4 oz for comfortable all-day carry
  • Compact length and low profile improve concealability
  • Textured grip frame enables excellent control and recoil management
  • Fiber optic front sight and adjustable rear sight to promote accuracy
  • Manual safety provides additional security for appendix carry

Cons

  • Lack of accessory rail limits optic and light add-ons

Taurus GX4

Features

Details

Capacity

11+1

Barrel length

3.06”

Overall length

5.8”

Height 

4.4”

Weight (unloaded) 

18.5 oz

MSRP

$399.99


The Taurus GX4 micro-compact packs full-sized firepower into a highly portable hammer-fired package.

An abrasively textured polymer frame weighing 18.5 oz enables outstanding recoil control given the petite proportions. The durable steel slide features user-friendly front and rear serrations for easy manipulation, while standard white dot sights and a loaded chamber indicator provide quick visual status checks.

The smooth, consistent trigger break lends itself to defensive accuracy at typical handgun distances. Extremely comfortable for all-day carry thanks to the trim dimensions, the GX4 still shoots with confidence. The abbreviated frame accepts extended 12-round magazines for added capacity if desired.

Pros

  • Abrasive frame texturing offer an excellent grip and recoil control
  • Impressive capacity for a micro-compact pistol
  • Durable steel slide with user-friendly serrations
  • Loaded chamber indicator provides quick visual safety check
  • Smooth, consistent trigger break enables defensive accuracy

Cons

  • Small size and short grip not ideal for shooters with large hands

Walther PPS M2

Features

Details

Capacity

6-7+1

Barrel length

3.2”

Overall length

6.3”

Height 

4.4”

Weight (unloaded) 

19.4 oz

MSRP

$479.00


The Walther PPS M2 is another great single-stack 9mm option for appendix carry. This lightweight striker-fired gun enhances shootability with improved ergonomics like textured grip serrations and contoured framing that promote confident handling.

The polished 4.4-inch barrel feeds smoothly while the easy-to-manipulate slide and reversible magazine release enable swift reloads. The crisp trigger break and brightly visible fiber optic sights lend themselves to defensive shooting accuracy.

Svelte at just over 1 inch wide, the PPS M2 is comfortable, discreet, and easy to carry, with a mag capacity of 6 or 7 rounds (plus one in the chamber).ensures unencumbered comfort for extended wear cloned against the body while providing 6 or 7 dependable rounds on tap as needed plus one loaded. With a blend of portability, handling, and function, the M2 secures its spot as an excellent deep concealment pistol.

Pros

  • Extremely lightweight and thin
  • Improved grip texturing better control
  • Short, smooth trigger break
  • Rear slide serrations and reversible mag release
  • Fiber optic sights visible in low light conditions
  • Polished ramp prevents jamming

Cons

  • Polymer construction feels cheaper than metal alternatives
  • Minimal sights sacrifice long-range precision

Mark loves our holster pad for compact guns! “It makes a world of difference,” he says.

Client review

What to look for in an appendix carry gun

Here are some important features to look for in an appendix carry pistol:

  • Ultra-slim, single stack frame that seamlessly vanishes at the front waistband
  • Featherweight construction under 25 oz avoids sagging and discomfort
  • Completely smooth edges prevent abrasion and printing against clothing
  • Shorter barrel length—under 4 inches optimizes concealability
  • Manual thumb safeties offer an extra layer of protection against accidental discharge
  • Ergonomic trigger guard shape and size are critical for comfort
  • Grip safeties prevent firing without a proper hold on the gun
  • Threaded barrels increase versatility with suppressor and comp options
  • Clear sights (night, dot sights, etc.) enable quicker targeting, especially in low-light

What are the advantages and disadvantages of appendix carry?

Appendix carry has grown in popularity as a concealed carry position for handguns. While this location at the front of the waistband offers some key benefits, it also comes with notable drawbacks to consider.

Advantages of appendix carry

  • Comfortable for sitting. The gun rests in the front space between the legs rather than digging into the side or back.
  • Quick, natural access. Draw stroke from an appendix carry position is fast and easy for self-defense.
  • Facilitates retention. Easier to keep the firearm safe and secure.
  • Effective concealment. The gun profile is well-hidden behind the belt buckle.
  • Compatible with many holsters and concealed carry positions. Can adjust between 12 to 1 to 2 o'clock.

Disadvantages of Appendix Carry

  • Risks vital areas in the event of a misfire or malfunction
  • Printing still visible if grip protrudes under shirt
  • Uncomfortable for activities that require bending at the waist
  • Longer barrels can be uncomfortable, require angle adjustment
  • May be slower if draw requires moving shirt or garment first
  • Not usable by all body types

Finding the right carry position depends greatly on the individual—body type, typical activities, and clothing choice.

Miquel just started with appendix carry and loves it thanks to the GunZee Max for full-size guns.

Client review

9mm appendix carry FAQ

Is appendix carry a good idea?

Appendix carry is a good idea if it works well for you and if you follow safe practices. Appendix carry provides quick and easy access to the firearm because it is located where your dominant hand can easily reach it. Some prefer appendix carry because it is the quickest way to reach their weapon.

Can you sit down with the appendix carry?

You can sit down with appendix carry, though it might be slightly more uncomfortable (unless you're using our holster padding). The 1 o'clock position may be easier to access from the seated position.

Which 9mm is the best for concealed carry?

There is no definitive "best" 9mm for concealed carry, but top options balance slim profiles for concealability with sufficient capacity, control, and accuracy. These include models such as the Sig P365, Glock 43X, Springfield Hellcat, or Smith & Wesson Shield Plus.

Which 9mm has the least recoil?

Recoil is influenced by factors such as the gun's weight, design, and the type of ammunition being used. Guns like the Sig Sauer P365 and Glock 43 are known for having the least recoil among similarly sized pistols.

What is the best cant for the appendix carry method?

Most recommend 0 degrees straight up and down as it aligns the grip naturally alongside the body, while 30 degrees or 1-to-2 o'clock positions angle the grip inwards for seamless draws without protruding or printing.

Are Glocks good for appendix carry?

Glocks are popular for appendix carry due to their slim profile and reliability. Models such as the Glock 43 and Glock 19 are commonly used for this carry method.

Can fat guys carry an AIWB holster?

Fat individuals can carry an AIWB holster, but it's essential to choose a holster that fits their body shape comfortably. Proper holster selection and positioning are crucial for safety and comfort.

Can you run with an appendix holster?

You can run with a properly designed appendix rig, but should take some wise precautions. A compression undershirt, progressive draw stroke, and proper IWB holster padding to prevent the grip from pounding your pelvic bone will help make running with your appendix safe and comfortable.

Why do people love inside the waistband holsters?

Inside the waistband (IWB) holsters are popular due to their excellent concealment, comfort, and accessibility. They keep the gun close to the body, reducing printing, and are suitable for various body types and clothing styles.

What is the best concealed carry caliber?

The 9mm is widely considered the best concealed carry caliber due to its balance of stopping power, capacity, availability, and manageable recoil. However, the best caliber ultimately depends on individual preferences and needs.

Is body size an important factor to consider when choosing a CCW?

Body size is important to consider when choosing a concealed carry weapon. It influences factors such as concealability, comfort, and the type of clothing that can be worn while carrying. Individuals should select a CCW that suits their body size and lifestyle.

What features improve accuracy when drawing a defensive handgun?

An excellent trigger with a smooth, consistent pull, as well as tritium night sights, ambidextrous controls, and a longer sight radius, help improve accuracy when drawing a defensive handgun. These features on defensive handguns help with fast target acquisition for low light or stressful situations.

How can adding accessories impact the carry comfort of a compact pistol?

Additional accessories can affect comfort when carrying compact pistols. Optics add extra weight which contributes to snappy recoil while extended magazines are bulkier and harder to conceal. Choose accessories that will improve handling without sacrificing comfort for EDC.

Further reading

What are the best concealed carry weapons for seniors?

What is the most comfortable CCW holster?

How do I choose the right concealed carry pistol?

What is the best EDC holster?

What is the best compact pistol for appendix carry?

Concealed carry revolver vs semi-auto

What is the best 9mm with grip safety?

What is the best IWB carry holster for full-sized guns?