View Full Version : A reverse draw concealed carry

May 12, 2009, 07:42 AM
I suppose this thread belongs here as well as anywhere else.

Reading many of these threads and posts sometimes makes me go experiment with things, as does some writings. I will quickly admit that most of my findings are inconclusive, though my experiements are anything but exhaustive. Among other things, I am limited by what I have to work with.

Only two writers I can think of mentions a reverse draw carry for a handgun, though not specifically in a concealed carry context. It was implied, however, more or less. One, which involved a revolver and a hip pocket holster, now out of style, was decidedly dated, but the other, from twenty years later, was a little more up to date. But since then, references to anything like this sort of carry have been non-existant, perhaps for good reason.

Obviously, compared with more conventional grip to the rear method of carry, a fast draw is problematic. On the other hand, concealment seems to be enhanced, all other things being equal and in my own experience (limited), it is marginally more comfortable. Efficiency usually requires a literally acceptable comfort level and that is worth something. Like most carry methods, it is only good for use with one hand.

One drawback and a serious one is that the muzzle of the handgun is likely to be pointed in an undesirable direction at some point in the draw but that is also true, though much less so, in one or two other carry methods. This much was admitted by one of the writers who then went on to suggest some other very novel carry methods for hideout guns (deep concealment). There will probably always be some degree of tradeoff between security, concealment, convenience and safety.

No doubt this has come up before on this forum (What hasn't?) but I wonder if there are any new thoughts on the subject?

The Great Mahoo
May 12, 2009, 08:36 AM
When I started carrying, I used this reversed-style draw. I carried on my right hip, being right-handed, about 3 o'clock position with the butt facing forward, little to no cant. I had chosen this because I could reach the gun in a cross-draw with my left hand, which seemed like a good idea to be able to do.

The problem was that it was less concealable, not more so. The gun rode a bit higher up, which was nice in keeping it from showing underneath a cover-item, but the butt created a buldge that was too far forward to blend in as well as a normal strong-hand carry. With no forward cant on the gun to move the butt more vertically, it just didn't blend in as well and would print more under light clothing. I suppose it would work well under a heavier item, such as a coat, especially w/ OWB carry, but that is not practical for me.

As with every part of concealed carry, its a compromise on what to do. I liked the reverse-holster style, since I found little difficulty in drawing with some practice, mostly due to left-handed access (something I can't do at all with normal strong-side carry.) Since concealment is peramount for where I most often carry, and I'd rather be consistant in my methods, I stick to a more traditional style.

May 12, 2009, 09:14 AM
Thanks for the comments. It is good to see that people are willing to try different things, even if they don't work out as expected. A reverse draw (on the right side) would be exactly the same position for a cross draw if the gun were behind the hipbone. But having tried that too, it just wouldn't work as the gun was much too difficult to actually reach.

I failed to mention that this form of carry rather demands an inside the waistband holster or it seems like it does. I don't think there is any advantage to it with a belt carry. I also found it next to impossible to reach with my left hand but that is true for almost any carry in a just behind the hipbone position. I might point out that the guns I was using were both revolvers (4" K frame tapered barrel and round butt) and automatics (9mm Walther and others) and that I was positioning the holster quite far back with the barrel just about centered over (under, actually) the hip pocket.

There is also a trade off, not commonly mentioned, between having the gun positioned to permit a decent form upon grasping the grip of the handgun and maximum concealment, if that is a factor. This naturally is only a concern with larger handguns that are more difficult to conceal. I cannot for the life of me see how people can claim to conceal a Government Model under a t-shirt. In any case, I have found drawing from concealment to be very difficult. It isn't so much getting the covering garment out of the way, though in some arrangements two hands are required, as much as the tendency to grab something more than just the grip of the handgun, like my shirt. I suppose this boils down to going for smoothness again over speed. In other words, the problem is in getting the right grip to begin with and not in the draw proper, if you follow me.

Is this where we revert to the "dressing around the gun" theory?

May 12, 2009, 10:28 AM
I carry at my 3:30/4 o'clock either IWB or OWB. Mostly IWB, point is, I can draw this normally with my right hand just fine, AND I can "reverse" draw it with my left hand as well. It is a far reach but if anything happens to the right I can still have access to it. You can try these things on the back, I think it works better. Like you said, the draw is slower, but better than no draw at all.

May 12, 2009, 10:33 AM
i carry in my right back pocket, i can reach it from either hand, not as good with the left of course.

Johnny Guest
May 12, 2009, 10:57 AM
I used to carry inside my right waistband, “cavalry draw” style, butt to the front. For many years this was my favored manner of carry as a prosecutor’s investigator. With my belt cinched up snugly, the pistol was secure and the butt-forward carry kept the pistol from sliding downward. It really worked much better using a left-hand IWB holster worn in that position, or with an “OSS string holster.” I wore my pistol just behind the hip bone, though, at about the four-o’clock position. The pistol was not pointed perpendicular to the floor, but with the muzzle slightly forward. I always left my suit coat/sport jacket unbuttoned.

This mode of carry worked well for a left-hand draw, too. For me, it was easier to reach behind my back with my off-hand.

While practicing at the range, I worked out a way to keep from pointing the muzzle at myself. I would rotate my hand and slide it between the pistol and my side, obtain a shooting hold, and then draw straight up. A 180-degree rotation of my wrist brought the pistol into the same position as when drawing from a conventional holster, either IWB or OWB. The presentation was then completed normally. This was, indeed, noticeably slower than drawing from a Sparks Summer Special IWB holster or a normal OWB belt holster. With a lot of dry fire practice, though, it worked with some rapidity. As with any draw, though, the key is to keep the finger outside the trigger guard until the pistol is pointed toward the target.

Using this mode of carry, I didn’t find that the pistol printed nearly so much as with a conventional holster. I could carry a Government Model .45 or a Browning High Power in relative comfort and security in this manner. Because of the weight, though, my usual carry piece was a Commander .45. Besides using the reversed IWB holster, I often used a wide rubber band, wrapped around the gripl area, below the grip safety. This worked well to prevent slippage.

I discontinued this as my all-day, everyday manner of carry as I grew older and I started losing weight. The pistol began impinging on some nerve and after just a few hours, my leg would become numb and tingly.

Good luck to you

May 12, 2009, 11:47 AM
Actually, I've been gaining weight.

May 12, 2009, 11:29 PM
There is an Inside the pant holster called the cell pal. There is a demonstration on youtube but if you ask me is a little over hyped. The demo uses a cross draw style carry and since the cell pal isn't actually attached to your belt but hooked over it really, you can cant it to allow for left hand draw when worn right hand cross draw. It takes a bit to get at it but it might work. I am still skeptical on that though.

Cell pal (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mxtv1KQimis)

Blue Steel
May 12, 2009, 11:45 PM
I used to carry a Glock 19 this way in a Galco Scout IWB holster. I carried a left handed holster, but wore it on the right side behind the hip. The gun rode in a reverse FBI cant, and when you bend over the grip doesn't print on the back of your shirt. The draw is a bit ackward, especially if you are trying to avoid covering yourself.

What I learned is that wearing a standard draw holster with an aggressive forward cant does a good job of solving the same problems, without the odd draw stroke.