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catken
June 11, 2010, 03:17 PM
Was the cross draw used much and what was the advantage. Ken

Dino.
June 11, 2010, 03:20 PM
My understanding is that "crossdraw" was actually the preferred method of carry back in the day, though I'm really not sure of the advantages.

Edward429451
June 11, 2010, 03:39 PM
All you have to do is to wear crossdraw for a day or two and the advantage becomes clear that you have an advantage while seated and weapon retention ability goes up.

Old Grump
June 11, 2010, 03:59 PM
All you have to do is to wear crossdraw for a day or two and the advantage becomes clear that you have an advantage while seated and weapon retention ability goes up.Exactly, especially if you have to drive a lot. Drove my chief nuts in the Navy but I wore my 45 cross draw for that reason. Even walking in the woods or working around the place. My right hand is always carrying or using something and the holstered gun gets thumped a lot but I rarely notice it on my left side. I used to carry in competition that way too but some range officers wouldn't switch sides for me when I was up and I don't like crossing them when I draw so I had to switch to strongside carry.

Fiv3
June 11, 2010, 04:33 PM
I'm ambidextrous to a certain degree. I rather like carrying large revolvers in a cross draw shoulder holster because it keeps the hog leg out of the way of my dominant hand yet allows me to draw it easily with my left or right hand should I want/need to.

Edward429451
June 11, 2010, 04:35 PM
If you've ever rode a horse it's easy to see why crossdraw was the preferred method back then because riding is all about keeping that center of gravity, and that's crossdraw, not reaching behind you while trying to keep your balance with who knows what chasing you :)

Hawg
June 11, 2010, 05:59 PM
I don't think it was preferred, not saying it wasn't done. You have to remember that holsters back in the day weren't low slung fast draw or buscadero rigs. Those are a Hollywood invention. Period holsters were worn high on the waist and revolver grips were above top of belt.

bedbugbilly
June 11, 2010, 06:42 PM
catken - if you have a holster that will work, put it on in "cross draw" fashion. If you position it correctly, your "drawing hand" should naturally swing directly to the grip and it should become "second nature". It might take some experimentation but you'll see what I'm talking about. Hung on the hip, the grip (in a period style holster like Hawg is talking about) will be high and take extra effort to locate the grip for drawing. As another gentleman mentioned, if you've ever ridden a horse, you'll see that the crossdraw holster is more comfortable and balanced as far as finding, turning, etc. as opposed to being on your hip and having to pull up high on the pistol to clear the holster if it is on your hip. Everybody has their preferred way of wearing their holster and what works best for each person is the way they should wear it. :)

MJN77
June 11, 2010, 07:57 PM
They really didn't have "crossdraw" holsters back then, except for the cavalry flap holsters. They wore regular strong side holsters on the weak side butt forward. Usually, not always, they would shift the holster to one side or the other weather they were on a horse or not. Look at pics of Texas Rangers in the 1870s, 80s, and 90s. When they are pictured mounted, most of the time thier holsters are weak side butt forward. When on the ground the holsters are strong side. I mean pics of the same men. It really doesn't make anything better as far as drawing goes on foot.(unless you have a long barrel pistol) When you are mounted is where it makes a difference.

Mr Dish
June 11, 2010, 08:06 PM
I have tried the regular holster on my right hip, but the crossdraw was much more comfortable for me. It was very awkward drawing and having to raise my right hand and shoulder as high as was required to clear leather. But the crossdraw position was instantly comfortable and natural.

mykeal
June 11, 2010, 08:56 PM
Something to consider when using crossdraw: drawing from a crossdraw holster brings the muzzle to bear on a significant area that's not downrange. Many ranges won't allow crossdraw for that reason.

Wobble
June 11, 2010, 09:05 PM
Before and during the Civil War, the sword was considered the "primary" weapon of a cavalry soldier. If he was right-handed, he wore his sword on his left side. His pistol, a secondary weapon, was on the right side for a left-handed cross-draw -- though often transferred quickly from left hand to right hand. Cross-draw for both sword and pistol was more practical from a sitting position (as on a horse).

BlackPowderSmoke
June 11, 2010, 10:56 PM
Something to consider when using crossdraw: drawing from a crossdraw holster brings the muzzle to bear on a significant area that's not downrange.OUCH!!!!!

zippy13
June 15, 2010, 03:10 AM
Think about the history of the handgun…
In the days before holsters, you kept you "belt pistol" under your belt (or sash) -- more than likely it was in a cross draw orientation. We often see graphics depicting early gunfighters as having a pair of belt revolvers in opposing cross draw fashion. Later, as folks switched to holsters, many found it quite natural to position their holstered revolver in the same general location as it had been while under the belt.

http://img17.imageshack.us/img17/9910/crossdraw.jpg

Hawg
June 15, 2010, 04:35 AM
Hickok is only one that comes to mind and he wore his butt backwards but not cross draw fashion. He didn't draw his with opposite hand either.
http://www.legendsofamerica.com/photos-oldwest/BillHickokPostcard2-275.jpg

MJN77
June 15, 2010, 08:42 AM
And the movie poster you posted is just that, a movie poster. Look at real pics from the 1800s. Most people carried strong side while on foot at least. I have studied the "old west" for 20 years and have seen thousends of photos. Cross draw carry shows up very little. Not that noone did it, just not a lot.

zippy13
June 15, 2010, 03:13 PM
The drawing of John Wesley Hardin is obviously the product of an artist's imagination; however, he's not the first to depict Hardin in a similar posture. I thought the photo of Wild Bill was the real thing. I wonder if Wild Bill didn't square away his pistol presentation for the photo op. And, it looks like he could easily prick himself with that toad tickler while making a move with his left hand.

I must confess, when evaluating an under-the-belt revolver there are some gray areas… How far does a weak side carry need to be moved forward and canted before a cross draw becomes a belly gun?

MJN77
June 15, 2010, 05:00 PM
That IS a real photo of "Wild Bill". But it is also a studio photo. Bill more than likely has a knife sheath and pistol holsters slid to the back of his belt too. If memory is correct, this pic was taken while he was on a trip home after a scout with the army. Bill supposedly carried his 51s in a sash when he was patrolling the streets while a lawman, but wore holsters when he wasn't. Tucking guns and knives into belts for long trips would be kinda stupid in reality. It is not a secure way to carry 2 1/2 pound pistols while your horse is bouncing around. Wild Bill also didn't use a "cross" draw either. He carried his guns butt forward but drew right hand, right gun/ left hand left gun, or a reverse cavalry draw. Like I said in a previous post the only time a "crossdraw" would be beneficial would be on horseback or seated. Think about it, someone draws a gun right hand/right side he just has to pull up. Cross draw you have to reach across your body to get a hold of your gun then pull up. That takes time. Also when you "strong side" draw, your gun lines up on the target as soon as it clears the holster and rakes the target from feet to cheast. Cross draw doesn't level on target till you swing the gun across your body leaving a chance to shoot too soon or too late. I have carried both ways. I actually like crossdraw better, it's more comfortable to me. But I think strong side is quicker. Everyone feels differently.

Hawg
June 15, 2010, 05:03 PM
Actually most "gunfighting" was done from an alley with a shotgun.

MJN77
June 15, 2010, 05:05 PM
Or from behind a convenient bush or rock out on the trail. Or from behind the guy you wanted dead.

Hawg
June 15, 2010, 05:07 PM
True, very few face to face gun fights. Is stuff of dime novels and Hollywood.

MJN77
June 15, 2010, 05:13 PM
It was called getting the drop or "bulge" on your enemy. Quick draws were hollywood BS. Granted when someone tries to kill you, you get your gun asap. Holsters back then were made to hold your gun securely and keep it from hitting the ground. They were worn high, on the waist not low slung on the hips like on Bonanza.

Hawg
June 15, 2010, 05:36 PM
Holsters back then were made to hold your gun securely and keep it from hitting the ground. They were worn high, on the waist not low slung on the hips like on Bonanza.

True again. Holsters in the day weren't made for fast draw. They covered all the cylinder and all but the tip of the hammer, some if not most prolly covered that too. Most were a snug fit because hammer thongs weren't used either. It generally took both hands to draw. One to pull pistol the other to hold holster down(no leg ties either) These were copied from original Mexican double loop holsters. Typical of what would have been seen in the old west(but only one). Stag grips weren't seen either.

http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y269/rebel727/my%20junk/holsters.jpg

Hoss Fly
June 15, 2010, 06:39 PM
Stag grips weren't seen either.

True Hawg but those are nice lookin grips :rolleyes:

Hawg
June 15, 2010, 07:28 PM
True Hawg but those are nice lookin grips

You oughta know you put'em on there.:D

MJN77
June 15, 2010, 08:20 PM
Here's another pic of an authentic type holster. See how it covers the pistol.
http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss359/mjn77/Picture.jpg
http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss359/mjn77/Picture020.jpg

Also another pic of ol Bill. Note the holsters. Note how high he wore them. Also note that the holster on his left (your right) that it is a "straight hang" not angled like a modern "cross draw".
http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss359/mjn77/wbh.jpg
Hope it's clear enough.
William (Buffalo Bill) Brooks, horse theif and outlaw. High ridin' belt.
http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss359/mjn77/bb.jpg

MJN77
June 15, 2010, 09:18 PM
Here are two Texas Rangers The first is William Callicot, he is wearing his gun cross draw fashion.
http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss359/mjn77/Callicot.jpg
The second is Sgt. Ira Aten, he also has his gun cross draw but notice he apparently slid his strong side holster around to his left side with his knife.
http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss359/mjn77/iraaten.jpg

This is a cowboy, Joe Ming in 1888.
http://i591.photobucket.com/albums/ss359/mjn77/JoeMingBibShirt.jpg
Notice how high his belt is.

Hawg
June 16, 2010, 04:16 AM
Cool pics MJN, nice holster and pistol too. Is that an original Richard's?

MJN77
June 16, 2010, 06:41 AM
Nope. It's a Cimarron/Uberti 1851 conversion .38 spl/colt. Started out with "original" finish but it didn't look right so I added a little perma-blu. I like it now. Accurate too.

Hawg
June 16, 2010, 04:33 PM
It looks really good.

MJN77
June 16, 2010, 05:05 PM
Thank you very much Hawg.

Smokin_Gun
June 17, 2010, 12:05 PM
authentic type holster
Those are or were called Bucket Holsters...

Real nice coversion you have there too...:cool:

bedbugbilly
June 17, 2010, 05:20 PM
Damn Hog . . . . the photos you post are better 'n the centerfold of the latest issue of Playboy magazine . . . . well . .. almost . . . it'd probably be a tie! :D

MJN77
June 17, 2010, 05:55 PM
It's also called a "slim jim" holster. In this case a California round top.:)
Thanks SG.

Hawg
June 17, 2010, 06:20 PM
Damn Hog . . . . the photos you post are better 'n the centerfold of the latest issue of Playboy magazine . . . . well . .. almost . . . it'd probably be a tie!

Me? Surely not. MJN's pics are better than mine.

MJN77
June 17, 2010, 06:35 PM
Dammit Hawg......im blushin.:o

Hawg
June 17, 2010, 06:46 PM
Good.:D

Model-P
June 17, 2010, 11:47 PM
When carried high as they were in the day, cross draw was advantageous for long barreled guns.

Stag grips weren't seen either.
Maybe not stag in the 1800s, but IIRC jigged bone was a common cowboy "fixer-upper" replacement stock material, and there are plenty of very old stag grips out there that suggest they may have been used by the end of the cowboy era.....maybe??? Interesting. I never thought about stag not being used in the late 1800s. Not to sidetrack this thread, I'll start another to learn more about the history of stag grips.

Jim March
June 18, 2010, 06:45 AM
I'm of the opinion that Bill did do a double crossdraw. A lot of the photos we have available were definitely staged as hell - this one is a classic example:

http://www.legendsofamerica.com/photos-oldwest/BillHickokPostcard2-275.jpg

There ain't no way he carried with either a big bare blade like that or with his guns "fluffed out" - all of which is clearly for visual effect. Remember, getting your picture taken was a really big deal, a "high tech and new thing" that people dressed up for. You also had to stand there for a while for the slow as hell exposures.

I carry an SA daily in a crossdraw setup of my own design that allows major adjustments to both ride height and tilt angle. This is my favorite setting, which is pretty similar to how Bill carried (but only one gun of course):

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3339/4627760537_2f58664244.jpg

This setup is very "high and tight", more or less similar to how Bill carried.

Because of the adjustments available I've tried (briefly) a more "conventional" lower-and-more-horizontal setup:

http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4067/4627760529_a0e03b23b4.jpg

I can also change the tilt angle around completely and set it up for lower strongside carry:

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3364/4627760541_edb31abe89.jpg

If you're curious about how this holster works, go here:

http://www.thehighroad.us/showthread.php?t=418769

Back on topic: there's a way to draw from the same side as the gun with butt-forward carry, but it ALWAYS leads to sweeping your own body. It's called the "Prairie Twist Draw". A good pic is available at:

http://www.willghormley-maker.com/AdvantagesOfCrossDraw.html

This will get you tossed out of any match and most ranges. I *do* practice it some, with an unloaded gun ONLY, because if my right hand is tied up, shot up or broke I may have to get to it off-handed.

But it's not my standard draw at all and I don't think it was Bill's.

MJN77
June 18, 2010, 08:54 AM
Jim-
You may be of that opinion, but eye witness accounts, known friends and researchers of Bill Hickok disagree with you. Read about him. It was a common way to carry AND draw back then. The reverse cavalry draw or "praire twist" is not dangerous. With an unloaded single action revolver, try this. As you draw the gun you are cocking the hammer, twisting the gun around and bringing it up on target. While doing this try to "fire" the gun while drawing. It isn't as easy as you may think. The way your thumb twists on the hammer makes it ptetty tough to let go of it. Hell, the cavalry troopers did it that way( reverse CAVALRY draw). And "gunfighters" didn't worry about matches or range officers tossing them out when someone tried to kill them.:D
As far as "cross" draw, time yourself and see how long it takes to reach all the way across your body, get hold of your gun THEN pull it. Then time yourself with a strong side draw. Like I said earlier, I carry SA revolvers in a cross draw fashion so this is not about my preference. Cross draw is better when mounted (seated) but that's really the only benefit.

Again, look at 1800 period photos and see how many "cross draw" holsters you come up with.

Model-P
June 18, 2010, 12:48 PM
The reverse cavalry draw or "praire twist" is not dangerous.

I tried to convince a group of this, and the semi-auto guys nearly castrated me! Well, yeah......I guess with a semi-auto it wouldn't be a good way to carry, but with a revolver it is just fine.


Again, look at 1800 period photos and see how many "cross draw" holsters you come up with.

A century is a long time, and the 19th century covers a huge part of revolver and holster development. I have found that cross draw and twist draw seemed to predominate until some time after the Civil War. Period photos from the 1880s on seem to favor the standard draw. It's all evolutionary, and shorter barrels became more popular with time.

MJN77
June 18, 2010, 10:06 PM
"A century is a long time"

You're right. But revolvers were only around for the second half of that century.

"cross draw and twist draw seemed to predominate until some time after the Civil War"

The Civil War was only about 10 years after revolvers started becoming common and the war lasted 4 years. Look at CW era pics of CIVILIANS during the war, in the mining camps of California or the western frontier towns. I bet you see more strong side holsters. Heck, I have even seen pics of confederate guerrillas (bushwhackers) in Missouri wearing their guns butts to the rear.(guerrillas most often wore their guns butt foreward) Most of the pics I have seen in the last 20+ years show strong side carry more often than not 1860s to 1900s. I'm not trying to argue with anyone. I'm just presenting the facts as I have found them through research for a very long time. I am by no means an expert nor do I claim to be. I hope I don't come across the wrong way.

the Black Spot
June 18, 2010, 11:50 PM
if i did concealed carry it would be standard strong side, too easy for someone if they go in close to grab your gun in a crossdraw carry.

Jimmy10mm
June 19, 2010, 12:40 AM
As Black Spot said, in a close quarter altercation the possibility of someone having the butt of your gun within easy reach is a possibility that I wouldn't want. In his excellent book."No Second Place Winner," Bill Jordan, shooter extradonaire, pointed out that exact scenario as one good reason not to carry cross draw fashion. He also pointed out that in a strong side draw the muzzle is brought up in line with the target. In a cross draw the muzzle is moving across the target and it is easier to get a hit from the strong side draw. If you've never read the book get a copy. It is really informative.

davem
June 19, 2010, 01:12 AM
well....I'm sort of surprised no one has yet mentioned this so I guess I will. I think one advantage of a cross draw has to do with the barrel length on the handgun. Let's say you have a 4" barrel, if you wear a normal holster you only have to lift the gun about 5-6" to clear the holster BUT if you have a real hog leg with a 7 1/2" or longer barrel, then you are really raising your elbow pulling that gun out of a normal holster, but if that same holster is worn cross draw, it is a lot easier to pull a long barreled handgun out- or at least it is for me.

Model-P
June 19, 2010, 01:19 AM
well....I'm sort of surprised no one has yet mentioned this so I guess I will. I think one advantage of a cross draw has to do with the barrel length on the handgun.

I mentioned it! I mentioned it! (Toot! Toot!)

When carried high as they were in the day, cross draw was advantageous for long barreled guns.

:cool:

And I think you are spot on;) Anyone with an 8" barreled 1858 or 1860 should experiment and find out how true it is.

davem
June 19, 2010, 01:26 AM
Sorry, missed it.

MJN77
June 19, 2010, 08:15 AM
Actually, I mentioned it in my very first post in this thread.:D

Mose Jefferson
August 12, 2010, 02:12 AM
Carryin your pistol backwards is also a good way to keep the grips from printing while concealed. For a bean pole like me, it's quite helpful. Hell, on a windy day, that big ol' hunk of steel on my belt is just about the only thing holdin me down.

Lately, when I don't feel like giving up my front pocket to my 642, I've been slappin my right-hand Simply Rugged Silver Dollar on my left side. The next holster I have those folks make me is gonna be a left-hander for my right side, for the 3" sp101, which was always too big for my britches.

Until I started carryin backwards, that is.

Slowhand
August 12, 2010, 03:18 AM
Interesting thread. I carry concealed. The Primary Weapon a Sig P-239 is at 4 O'Clock IWB, the BUG a Ruger LCP .380 is usually IWB or OWB depending on how I'm dressed at !0 O'Clock. The .380 is carried at a cross draw position.

In the Winter, depending on where I'm going, with a coat or vest, it's a Shoulder Holster, left side of course Ruger Super Redhawk Alaskan 44 Mag. With either the Sig or the Ruger LCP .380 as a BUG, at the 10 'Clock position.

freedom475
August 12, 2010, 01:17 PM
Anyone that does a lot of horseback riding will see how much better the cross draw is....

Now this is not totally for comfort, as the strong side is still comfortable, but more of a utilitarian...
For the Cowboy, you often rope cattle. When not roping you often will have a packhorse or extra mount ponyed behind you. The strongside is the side the rope goes on so any thing on that side will always be hanging up on your rope.

Things have a way of getting real Hairy in a hurry when you tie 2 big animals together with you in the middle... if the need ever arrives that require you shoot one or both of the animals to save your life from rope entanglement.. the strong side will often be part if the mess, the cross draw can usually be pulled even if both your arms are tied to your side.

If you have no rope in your strong hand than is is usually bent and resting on your thigh (reins are usually in your weakhand)... the strong side carry is always bashing your elbow on the hammer of your pistol.

One last advantage is in a potential "sticky" situation (while seated on a horse).. when worn cross draw you can casually fold your arms and look/seem totally relaxed while still having your pistol in or near your grasp... Try reaching back for a strong side ready pose and you may soon be relieved of your seat :D

Gaucho Gringo
August 13, 2010, 03:01 PM
John Wayne in most of his movies past Stagecoach carried his gun strong side high and towards the back, not at his side. Which meant to draw he had to reach back to get the gun. According to what I have read this is probably the most actual way of wearing a holstered gun when on horseback or working because it is out of your way. Can anyone confirm this?

freedom475
August 13, 2010, 05:02 PM
"John Wayne in most of his movies past Stagecoach carried his gun strong side high and towards the back, not at his side. Which meant to draw he had to reach back to get the gun. According to what I have read this is probably the most actual way of wearing a holstered gun when on horseback or working because it is out of your way. Can anyone confirm this?"

I think it is mostly because they just end up in that postition and it just trashes your cantle binding and holster... I have seen and have repaired several holsters and saddles that have gotten a lot of damage from a strongside sixgun rubbing the cantle binding.

davem
August 13, 2010, 06:04 PM
Well, for what it is worth, I still think barrel length was the chief reason. The percussion guns seldom had a cut down barrel and "cross draws", by that I mean the holster on the opposite side, made it easier to pull out that long barreled gun. When the 1873 Peacemakers with 4 5/8-5 1/2 barrels started getting popular it seems the cross draw style started to wane.

shafter
August 14, 2010, 04:02 PM
Cross draw enables you to draw easily with either hand. Actually I mean a standard holster worn on the opposite side. Its easy to just twist your hand and grab the gun butt.

owlone
August 15, 2010, 06:48 PM
If you think about it, one revolver hung on the right side and one hung cross draw for a right hander would give acsess to twelve rounds rather than just six!

davem
August 15, 2010, 07:33 PM
Exactly, this idea some government folks have about "high capacity magazines. 150 years ago anyone with a pair of Colt Navies had about as much fire power.

MJN77
August 15, 2010, 07:49 PM
The "two-gun" pistoleer pretty much went away when cartridge guns became common.

shafter
August 17, 2010, 03:17 PM
Why do you say that? How many of you guys only have one pistol? Where did the term BUG come from?

MJN77
August 17, 2010, 07:20 PM
Not talkin about back ups. Bill Hickok carried 2 1851 navies AND a back up (or two). The reason? Because it took about five minutes to reload a cap and ball revolver. If you emptied one, you pulled the other. Contrary to what Hollywood shows, "gunmen" did not use two revolvers at the same time.(except a few rare occasions) When cartridge guns became common, people figured they didn't have to carry the extra 3 pounds of loaded gun. How many of you carry two full size pistols and a back up on you? That's why I said that.

greco
September 10, 2010, 05:53 PM
There is a reason that I use a cross draw when out and about and it may have applied back in the day. During hunting season, or whenever I am carrying my rifle or shotgun, I tend to carry it in my right hand, or sling it on my right shoulder. If the pistol is on your right hip, the rifle stock tends to get a lot of damage very quickly. A pistol on the other side is out of the way, and only a little inconvenient for drawing.

Slowhand
September 10, 2010, 07:32 PM
http://i694.photobucket.com/albums/vv308/bgoff689/weapons/CopyofDec09Auto2.jpg
BUG is of course a Back Up Gun. Light weight, small size, easy to conceal and with a .380 round quite capable of doing the job.

Hawg
September 10, 2010, 08:13 PM
BUG is of course a Back Up Gun. Light weight, small size, easy to conceal and with a .380 round quite capable of doing the job.

And that has what to do with bp pray tell?

Slowhand
September 10, 2010, 09:44 PM
Well Hawg ...since Shafter wanted to know where the term BUG comes from I supplied an answer plus... an example of a modern day version. Nothing to do with BP but none the less relevant to the subject of Back Up Guns and Cross Draw.

Most people today that have a primary cary gun, put their BUG in a Cross Draw Holster or in an Ankle Holster.

Old Sam Colt sold a lot of "pocket pistols" so BUGs have been around a long time. Some people even made their own modifications and thought bigger was better.

http://i694.photobucket.com/albums/vv308/bgoff689/Walker%20n%20Dragoon/jddragoon.jpg

Here is a BUG, made from a Colt Dragoon.
http://i694.photobucket.com/albums/vv308/bgoff689/Walker%20n%20Dragoon/jdarmy.jpg

Also one made from an Old Army.

So not only were pockets bigger back then but so were the choices in carry were a lot more limited than today.
:)