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View Full Version : Purpose of holster tilt?


dahermit
December 28, 2012, 11:37 AM
Having perused books on fast draw, I have not seen anything other than comfort when seated for having a forward tilt (as in "FBI cant") in a strong-side holster rather than vertical. Is there supposedly some drawing or other advantage for the tilt, other than comfort while seated? Civilian only, not concerned about police specific issues.

PawPaw
December 28, 2012, 12:03 PM
Civilian only, not concerned about police specific issues.
Police are civilians, but I get your point.

I find a forward tilt comfortable when I'm carrying, especially as I like to carry at the 3:30 or 4:00 position, just barely behind what most folks call a 3:00 strong-side carry. Thankfully, most good OWB holsters allow for the user to adjust the tilt to accommodate their desires. Everyone's body type is just a little bit different and being able to adjust your holster to your body is a big plus.

ClydeFrog
December 28, 2012, 01:16 PM
Some armed professionals & concealed license holders like the comfort or smooth draw with a FBI/canted holster. Newer polymer & Kydex holsters like the Blackhawk SERPA & Blade-tech line allow minor changes to the same holster for drawing or comfort.
I used the FBI cant with my M&P full size 9x19mm in a SERPA and honestly didn't like it as much as the standard or vertical carry. I have large hips & the M&P pistol looked a bit like John Wayne in some of his later westerns, ;) .
It may work better for concealed holsters or when worn; behind the hip.
I sometimes wear cross-draw style rigs and they work well with angled draws.
I wouldn't suggest that method for regular duty or open-carry positions.

Clyde
PS: If you ever see the old crime drama; Sharkey's Machine(1981) with Burt Reynolds, he wears a wierd leather FBI cant holster but in a crossdraw for his full size 1911a1 model .45acp. In real life, it'd be a awkward draw to use for a large pistol.

Vireye
December 28, 2012, 01:36 PM
I've found that (for me) the FBI cant has a much smoother draw. I can more or less just sweep my hand forward into a good firing position, and "grab the gun on the way", rather than pull it up and then forward...if that makes sense.

Obviously YMMV, but those are my findings.

I've also found that when wearing my Glock 21 IWB the cant makes it easier to conceal (the grip doesn't stick out when I bend over, since it's more vertical with my torso, so it eliminates that boat-sail look)

Pahoo
December 28, 2012, 01:49 PM
Is there supposedly some drawing or other advantage for the tilt, other than comfort while seated? Civilian only, not concerned about police specific issues.
There is an advantage and even though not "police specific" certainly combat shooting, which is what hopefully you won't have to encounter. The cant is of little use in Bullseye shooting but is, for normal CCW use. .. ;)

If you have had any training, what did the instructor teach?

Be Prepared and;
Be Safe !!!

MLeake
December 28, 2012, 02:04 PM
I find the forward cant conceals larger guns more efficiently, and also makes it easier to draw when seated - for instance, when driving.

dahermit
December 28, 2012, 04:07 PM
I've found that (for me) the FBI cant has a much smoother draw. I can more or less just sweep my hand forward into a good firing position, and "grab the gun on the way", rather than pull it up and then forward...if that makes sense.
You do not have to break your wrist down to match the angle of the hand gun's grip?

dahermit
December 28, 2012, 04:12 PM
If you have had any training, what did the instructor teach?Read Bill Jordan, Cuningham, Ed McGivern. Jordan stated that it was necessary for riding in a car and that the forward tilt did not slow down a fast draw. That is why I am asking, "...Is there supposedly some drawing or other advantage for the tilt, other than comfort while seated?..."
So far from the posts, it would seem that if a person's body had a slight inward curve above the hip, the canted gun would fit into it better for both comfort and concealment.
Anything else?

Bob Wright
December 28, 2012, 07:08 PM
At my age, a draw of straight-up cramps my arm whereas the forward cant makes a more smooth "sweep" when drawing. But then, maybe that's from years of practice.

Bob Wright

Kreyzhorse
December 28, 2012, 07:44 PM
Police are civilians, but I get your point.

Thank you. That's a pet peeve of mine....

Anyway, the cant allows you to draw and present in one fluid motion. At least that is my experience.

Dfariswheel
December 28, 2012, 08:29 PM
One major reason for the classic FBI tilt was that the FBI taught using the crouch stance in which the shooter goes into a crouch position.
With the body in a crouch, the holster is well positioned for a better draw.

I once watched as a local FBI agent taught some deputies back in the 1960's.
He demonstrated lifting the left leg, moving it a couple of feet to the left, then just squatting.
This tilted his upper body forward, which put the FBI tilt holster in a perfect position for the draw.

The FBI tilt also works well when sitting in a car and conceals better then an upright holster.

dahermit
December 28, 2012, 08:35 PM
After reading Paw Paw's post, it occurred to me that I did not take into account my frame of reference. For my purposes (my frame of reference), I was thinking in terms of my preferred position for fast draw, 3:00 or slightly forward. In that position a forward cant requires me to "break" my wrist, so I prefer a vertical orientation. But, for concealment purposes, people may position their holsters to the rear of the 3:00 position, and doing so, I can see where having a forward cant (instead of my preferred vertical), would be a more natural position.

It would seem that there are physical factors that dictate where a person would want to hang their holstered guns. When I was young, I liked the "Mexican carry", of sticking a 1911 between the butt and the hip bone with a slight forward cant...especically answering the door at night. However, with arthritis locking my shoulder joints, reaching back that far is only done with some difficulty. It is a shame...that carry with a 1911 seemed to be made for one another (in some circumstances).

dahermit
December 28, 2012, 08:43 PM
One major reason for the classic FBI tilt was that the FBI taught using the crouch stance in which the shooter goes into a crouch position.That was covered by Cuningham in his book. He stated that everyone goes into a crouch when startled and it is as you said, tilt is better than strait when crouched. However, in some scenarios, I know that I would not crouch. If someone shot at me, I would most certainly crouch instinctively as he asserted. However, if I was in a parking lot at night and someone came close with a knife, club, etc. and demanded my money, I do not think I would be in a crouch. Again, there is the difference between his and my frame of reference.

dahermit
December 28, 2012, 08:48 PM
Police are civilians, but I get your point.I only referred to them that way because over the years the police shows on TV will frequently refer to non-police as "civilians". Whether or not real police do that, I do not know, its been years since I have talked to the police officers I knew.

PawPaw
December 28, 2012, 10:27 PM
Whether or not real police do that, I do not know,

Some do, some don't. I don't differentiate, except between sworn and non-sworn, and I do that even within my agency. It's one of my pet peeves and I do that purely to let my sworn brethren know that we're not any better, different, or worse than the people we serve.

All police, except military police, are civilians, that is, we're subject to civil law. Military police are, of course, subject to the UCMJ.

That goes back to Robert Peel's principals (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peelian_Principles) of police work, which says, in part: Police, at all times, should maintain a relationship with the public that gives reality to the historic tradition that the police are the public and the public are the police; the police being only members of the public who are paid to give full-time attention to duties which are incumbent upon every citizen in the interests of community welfare and existence.

ClydeFrog
December 29, 2012, 01:59 PM
Sworn LE officers are NOT private citizens IMO. They meet the same legal requirements as other citizens in the general public but they also took a sworn oath to uphold the law, enforce the law(s) and to make arrests when they are required to do so.
Cops are required to make arrests & to enforce the law, private citizens are not. Citizens can not witness a crime & chase someone down, then make an arrest. That is why LE jobs are called public trust positions. They have shown the ability to have morals & ethics.
Any cop who sees a crime & says; "so what" or "I'm off duty." shouldn't be a sworn LE officer, IMO.
All sworn LE officers should wear a badge & a sidearm too, IMO.
A few years ago, I saw a small group of homicide detectives from a county sheriffs office at a crime scene. None of the plainclothes detectives had badges or weapons. That wouldn't happen if I were sheriff, ;) .

Clyde

Bud Helms
December 30, 2012, 06:52 AM
They have shown the ability to have morals & ethics

I'm sure that's the plan. But the "ability to have ..." should include everyone?

****************

BTW, what happened to the topic, Purpose of holster tilt?

('Looks like I allowed myself to get sucked in the off topic discussion too.)

Let's go to Handguns: General ... and maybe get back on topic, or start your own.

Moving.

lockedcj7
December 30, 2012, 08:34 AM
I have long legs, long arms and a short torso. I also wear my belt on my waist where it belongs.

If I wear a straight drop holster, I have to bend my elbow unnaturally to get the muzzle to clear the holster. A forward cant allows me to bend my elbow less and make a more natural draw.

bds32
December 30, 2012, 09:42 AM
I've looked into this topic before also and I haven't found any real clear answers on this, as it relates to speed of draw. I've read Jordan and John Bianchi's book on gunleather. The topic is discussed slightly but I found no real answers.

I think that if you carry a pistol behind the hip, there is no doubt that the cant forward makes it easier to aquire the grip. Additionally, if you have a longer barrel and ride in a car all day, I think the cant forward is advantageous for both draw and comfort.

One other point is that if you carry a longer barreled firearm, like a 5" revolver, I think that not only is the pistol more concealable since the hoslter doesn't hang as low when canted, (plus butt is less likely to protrude back), but I think that you can clear the barrel quicker from the front of the holster, since when canted, the front opening is lower. I don't think you have to pull the pistol as high up to clear leather.

BerdanSS
December 30, 2012, 10:01 AM
For me, when carrying an auto (especially a full sized one) behind the hip....a forward canted holster is the only way to go. I lugged a Gov. size 1911 in a Desantis speed scabbard for years. Very comfortable, completely concealed under a regular T shirt and a smooth, quick draw. Perfect for carry in formal attire also:)

jason_iowa
December 30, 2012, 10:02 AM
I prefer a forward cant in my strong side carry. Horizontal chest rig is best for combat imo. I don't care for cross draw at all. I think its purely for show and has limited functionality. I prefer a lumbar or weak side forward cant for a back up.

The forward cant allows the barrel to clear the holster with less vertical lift making presentation quicker. Puts the grip at a more natural angle to grasp when carrying behind the right hip. 4 o clock aprox. That's why its my preference.

RickB
December 30, 2012, 12:28 PM
After reading Paw Paw's post, it occurred to me that I did not take into account my frame of reference. For my purposes (my frame of reference), I was thinking in terms of my preferred position for fast draw, 3:00 or slightly forward. In that position a forward cant requires me to "break" my wrist, so I prefer a vertical orientation. But, for concealment purposes, people may position their holsters to the rear of the 3:00 position, and doing so, I can see where having a forward cant (instead of my preferred vertical), would be a more natural position.

This is my experience, too. If the gun is worn directly at the side, I prefer a straight-drop holster, but the further to the rear the holster is worn, the more cant I want, both for additional concealment, and for a smooth draw (my wrist remains straight if the holster has the appropriate degree of angle).

CraigJS
December 30, 2012, 12:33 PM
FBI = wearing suits. A forward till may also make it easier to draw wearing a suit. Also tucks the pistol butt into the body more that vertical.

markallen
December 30, 2012, 11:38 PM
For me the cant is more about weight distribution. With a three and a half inch barrel 1911, the weight of the grip with full magazine in a vertical weighs more than the slide and makes the gun feel top heavy almost like it will fall out of the holster backwards.
With the holster canted the weight is distributed vertically, and balances on my hip better.

9mm
December 30, 2012, 11:56 PM
When you are driving with CCW, sometimes it bumps seat, so tilt forward helps.

dahermit
December 31, 2012, 09:51 AM
For me the cant is more about weight distribution. With a three and a half inch barrel 1911, the weight of the grip with full magazine in a vertical weighs more than the slide and makes the gun feel top heavy almost like it will fall out of the holster backwards.
With the holster canted the weight is distributed vertically, and balances on my hip better.
Ah, something new to consider.

saltydog452
December 31, 2012, 07:37 PM
The 'Tom Threepersons' or 'Slim Jim' straight-up vertical draw rig might be the cat's whiskers for a skinny Matt Dillon facing a bad guy head on, on a dusty street.

Use whatever suits your needs as you see them. Decisions don't require a Anatomy, Kniseology, or Mechanical Engerning background to justify a choice.

Maybe I didn't understand the original post.?

salty

treg
January 1, 2013, 07:59 AM
I find that a forward cant helps keep the the butt of the gun tucked into your body and hidden better by keeping the hypotenuse of the gun triangle as close to parallel to the axis of the body as possible.

Captains1911
January 1, 2013, 09:45 AM
Forward cant helps conceals the gun much better for me. I also find it more comfortable when seated.

dahermit
January 1, 2013, 09:59 AM
Use whatever suits your needs as you see them. Decisions don't require a Anatomy, Kniseology, or Mechanical Engerning background to justify a choice.

Maybe I didn't understand the original post.?Was looking for any unanticipated, subtle reasons for using the butt forward that I may have been unaware of. And the post worked, got at least one reason I had not thought of. All of us, no matter how big the ego, can learn something that can result in better decisions and will add to one's personal data base of knowledge on a subject. If one does not investigate the reasons for something, one would not logically know what would suit one's needs.
In my personal situation, I have been making leather holsters to sell on Ebay as a hobby for when I am recovering from heart surgery. When I offer them for sale, I want to be able to state logical reasons for the design (including cant or lack of it). With the information gleaned from such posts as appear here, I can appeal to the more discriminating potential customer. For instance, I may say something like: "This holster due to its forward cant, will balance a 1911 with a full magazine better than the vertical position, avoiding the top heavy feel. With the holster canted, the weight is distributed on its vertically axis, and will balance on your hip better."
Despite having used handguns since the middle sixties, I do not have a lot of experience, that I can draw on, because I only use pocket carry for concealed with a .38 snubbie. Which tells me nothing about larger guns, belt carry, carrying a 1911, etc. My only belt carry was related to carrying out to my range, or in my woods, or hunting. Nowadays there are so many people carrying differently, I can learn from their experiences relative to gun leather...it would be pointless to make holsters that did not relate to a potential customer's needs.

treg
January 1, 2013, 02:14 PM
"This holster due to its forward cant, will balance a 1911 with a full magazine better than the vertical position, avoiding the top heavy feel. With the holster canted, the weight is distributed on its vertically axis, and will balance on your hip better."

Very nice.

The problem I have / see with most forward cant holsters is that the gun must be pulled forward or vertical at best to get it out. I prefer the ability to draw with a rearward motion or rock if you will. Try to do Bill Jordans exercise of placing a flash bulb on the back of your hand above the holster and draw quick enough for the ball to drop into the holster with most forward cant holsters. I see this as especialy important for civilian carry as we cannot draw until we're in imminent danger which could put the BG very close or on top of us. A rearward, defensive draw could be vital in keeping the gun out of BG's hands and allowing its use.

dahermit
January 1, 2013, 03:01 PM
The problem I have / see with most forward cant holsters is that the gun must be pulled forward or vertical at best to get it out. I prefer the ability to draw with a rearward motion or rock if you will. Try to do Bill Jordans exercise of placing a flash bulb on the back of your hand above the holster and draw quick enough for the ball to drop into the holster with most forward cant holsters. I see this as especialy important for civilian carry as we cannot draw until we're in imminent danger which could put the BG very close or on top of us. A rearward, defensive draw could be vital in keeping the gun out of BG's hands and allowing its use. It is always going to be a matter of compromise, as in those who carry their guy canted just for the purpose of not having to put up with the muzzle of the gun being pushed on by the car seat. They just have to accept the idea that they will have to wear the holster in canted position and make the best of it with a lot of practice to overcome the negative influence of the cant.

MLeake
January 1, 2013, 04:16 PM
With regard to treg's post, I don't care what holster type I use. Some things hold constant:

1) each type of carry has vulnerabilities for grab defense. For instance, the rear cant he likes makes a snatch from behind much easier than from a straight drop, and a rear snatch is easier from a straight drop than from a forward cant. The user should familiarize himself with the vulnerabilities of whatever system he uses - and for many of us, there are multiple potential systems.

2) if I rely on draw speed to resolve the issue, and not on movement, then I am probably more likely to get stabbed, sliced, struck, or shot. I train to draw while moving. Movement options include forward or rear diagonals, pivots, parries and redirects, and/or physical engagement - plus draw as appropriate.

3) some carry types have other restrictions. Pocket carry is not friendly to seated draws. Then again, neither is treg's rearward cant. See comments in 1) above.

dahermit
January 1, 2013, 07:20 PM
some carry types have other restrictions. Pocket carry is not friendly to seated draws.I agree. But relative to compromise, I am shaped like a "V", no butt or hips, so unless I wear an excessively tight belt, my belt, and pants would migrate down around my ankles. For range use, I can get away with a belt holster for an hour or so, (with frequent up-pulls and I am constructing a Sam Browne belt w/shoulder strap to help with that), but for concealed carry it is not possible either IWB or OWB. I am stuck pretty much with pocket carry and suspenders. That is a compromise I must make. Seated I do not worry too much...the only scenario (I am retired, hardly ever sit in public), I can conceive of is someone desperate enough to try to hijack my Chevy Colorado pick-up, which is somewhat unlikely. Walking across parking lots to Walmart and being intercepted is more likely. A lot of the times, when traversing parking lots, I stuff both hands into my pockets as if I am cold; but have my right hand on my S&W 36 Snubbie, ready to go. So, it is a compromise, but not a very significant one. In all, pocket carry accommodates my body shape and my life-style.
2) if I rely on draw speed to resolve the issue, and not on movement, then I am probably more likely to get stabbed, sliced, struck, or shot. I train to draw while moving. Movement options include forward or rear diagonals, pivots, parries and redirects, and/or physical engagement - plus draw as appropriate.I see that logic in that. But again, a healthy person could do that, and I may be able to do that after my January 22 aortic valve replacement and 3 by-passes. But until then, such dancing would leave me exhausted and with chest pains. With such physical problems, I cannot do much dancing around...another compromise specific to my personal condition. I compensate by being very aware of, and maintaining awareness of the physical position of all the people in my vicinity.

bedbugbilly
January 1, 2013, 08:15 PM
+1 to what Bob Wright said/says.

i do leather work as a hobby and make holsters/gunbelts, etc.

Personally, I make my holsters for myself for CCW for carrying on the belt. I carry between 3 and 4 o'clock on my right side (strong side) and I make the holster so that it is canted forward - I make the belt loop so that it is tight on the belt (I wear a 1 1/2" belt) and there is no movement in the holster when the pistol is drawn. Normally, I carry a Ruger LCR and in that position, it is very comfortable for me - both when I am upright and when sitting such as in a car, etc. I'm 60 and like many, have some aches and pains - canted forward, it's a more natural "sweep" to draw and not have to worry about drawing straight up.

Personally, I don't feel there is a "right or wrong" way as far as holster position - it's what works best for the individual. I've made holsters for some friends who carry as well - one of the guys prefers to wear a "cross draw" on the belt (he's right handed) so the holster is canted in the opposite direction. I made one for a fellow who rides motorcycles quite a bit - he's right handed and likes to wear his carry piece (snobby) on the belt but in the middle of his back, usually under a jacket or shirt with the tail out. I made a left hand holster for him with a reverse cant to it so he can just reach back with his right hand and it's an easier raw for him instead of having to pull it straight up. Again, it all depends on how you carry and what works best for you.

MLeake
January 1, 2013, 09:09 PM
My dad has poor range of motion in his right shoulder. For him, crossdraw works best.

dahermit
January 2, 2013, 11:27 AM
Personally, I don't feel there is a "right or wrong" way as far as holster position - it's what works best for the individual. I've made holsters for some friends who carry as well - one of the guys prefers to wear a "cross draw" on the belt (he's right handed) so the holster is canted in the opposite direction. I made one for a fellow who rides motorcycles quite a bit - he's right handed and likes to wear his carry piece (snobby) on the belt but in the middle of his back, usually under a jacket or shirt with the tail out. I made a left hand holster for him with a reverse cant to it so he can just reach back with his right hand and it's an easier raw for him instead of having to pull it straight up. Again, it all depends on how you carry and what works best for you. Agree. There seems to be frequent physical factors that have to be considered which lead to compromise. I saw a picture once where a thin young woman wore a holster OWB in the middle of her back. Being young and thin, she could access the gun with either hand easily resulting in a good choice for her. We old, stiff and overweight guys could not reach a gun there with either hand. So, it would be ill-advised for such as us to mount a gun there, with its only access being when we are seated on a toilet. And then of course, in would be easy to access, on the floor in front of us. :rolleyes:
The holsters I make for myself are only worn for a short time, only used for fast-draw practice (Bill Jordan Border Patrol style with an integral steel insert). That is their only purpose and at this time, I do not need anymore for myself. The holsters I make as a hobby will have to appeal to other people, so I have been investigating the hows and whys of the various designs and the input here has been pretty good.

Constantine
January 2, 2013, 02:36 PM
I always carry at a cant when I'm concealed. Even OWB. I carry only fullsized. With my smallest gun being a Glock 19.

4:00 while driving is just easier that way too and I draw faster at a cant. Or so I think.