Apparatus for applying a plurality of surgical fasteners to body tissue includes an elongated body extending from a handle assembly. A fastener cartridge housing pivotably connected to a distal portion of the elongated body receives a fastener cartridge containing a plurality of surgical fasteners. A fastener driving mechanism actuatable from the handle assembly ejects fasteners from the fastener cartridge to form them against an anvil mounted adjacent the cartridge housing. The fastener cartridge is pivotably movable from a position in alignment with a longitudinal axis of the elongated body to a position out of alignment with the elongated body. Visual indication of the relative position of the fastener cartridge is provided by a control lever which is movable toward and away from the handle assembly to correspond with movement of the fastener cartridge. A clamp mechanism is also provided to move the anvil relative to the cartridge housing to clamp tissue therebetween.