View Full Version : Demonstrating the Cavalry/Twist Draw

January 11, 2013, 06:23 PM
I was out shooting a pair of 1851 Navy revolvers this week. I like to draw these guns using what some people call the cavalry draw, and others call the twist draw.

I stopped using this draw during CAS matches over 15 years ago because ROs were so twitchy about it. But if done right it is safe. people think you sweep yourself during the draw, but, actually, it would be hard to do that without hitting yourself with the gun barrel.

I put together a short video that demonstrated the draw so you can see what I mean. Here are some stills of the draw as well:



January 11, 2013, 06:28 PM
Very nice. Love your videos on the YouTube, by the way. Great stuff.

Sent via teletype

January 11, 2013, 06:29 PM
Ooh, that hurts - wrist, elbow, thumb.
Getting old is hell.
Them old style gunslingers must have all been young whipper snappers.
I'll just enjoy watching you do it.

January 11, 2013, 06:41 PM
Actually, it is a very comfortable natural draw. I think it is the smoothest, fastest draw for a long barreled revolver.

January 11, 2013, 06:51 PM
I agree on the smooth draw. I've even used left hand cross draw holsters behind the right hip for CCW 1911's using this same draw.

January 11, 2013, 09:27 PM
Interesting. Don't have any hardware on me at the moment but I tried it in mime and it feels like a standard strong-side draw butt rearward causes me more pain in the shoulder and upper arm when lifting to the same height. Something about the initial twist seems to put the arm in a more comfortable forward position for the draw. I would have never thought this would be easier. Hmmm....


4V50 Gary
January 11, 2013, 09:30 PM
Took me years to figure that out myself. Thank you.

January 11, 2013, 11:46 PM
I'm glad you posted this up Mike. I saw you do the draw in one of your videos and was going to email you and ask for more detail. Keep up the good work, I think your videos are GREAT, well done and very informative.

January 14, 2013, 12:43 PM
I practice this left handed on a crossdraw holster I have(not exactly due to cant, but similar), and it is much smoother and natural than you would guess. One of the reasons I like that crossdraw holster is because it gives me by far the most ambidextrous set-up out of those I tried.

January 14, 2013, 05:55 PM
I am new to this particular Forum, but have been shooting Black Powder for 20+ years. I have portrayed Wild Bill almost as many years and was deeply honored to have been asked by Joseph G. Rosa to demonstrate in photos for his latest book on Wild Bill, his method of getting his pistols into action, known as the "Reverse Plainsmen's Twist". It is much quicker to be in action provided your opponent is using a period rear facing holster with the typical 7" barreled revolver. Keep in mind that the use of revolver scabbards evolved from the military holsters of the day so the butt forward method of carry was common until the 1880's or so.

Also, the revolver was a simple tool to the majority of men in those days, and the scabbards were designed to hold the revolver securely when on horseback. Think about todays modern buscadaro rigs when sitting on a horse and where that pistol butt is when compared to the ease of access with a crossdraw. Only the shootists were concerned with getting the pistol in action and even then, it was the man that took the time to aim that won the fight. It is noted that Wild Bill would sit in the back of a bar room with his arms crossed, hat pulled down, revolvers cocked and ready. True or not, one cannot be sure. The reverse plainsmen twist takes some getting used to but once you find the proper location of the scabbard & forward cant, is a very effective method of draw. SASS & NCOWS 170 degree rule makes the use of this method difficult but then, who can argue with safety.
Harley Davis
SASS #3740

sam colt
January 14, 2013, 06:03 PM
Doing that to my elbow is why I had to give up on throwing the curve ball.:(

Bishop Creek
January 16, 2013, 08:54 PM
I have been drawing like this since I bought my first cap 'n ball pistol in 1969. I'm a history nut, and studied how they did it in the 1860s and '70s. It feels natural to me and is a quick and easy way to get my piece into action. Many police officers carrying revolvers did it this way too until a couple a decades ago.