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Old November 13, 2013, 02:14 PM   #1
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Cross draw vs strong side?

How do you carry? What do you feel are the pros and cons of both?
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Old November 13, 2013, 02:24 PM   #2
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The two biggest advantages offered by the cross-draw location are (1) it's the easiest way to access a handgun from a holster while in the sitting position and (2), most people will find it easier to draw the gun from the holster if they have to use their "weak" (non-shooting) hand.
Some people object to the fact the muzzle sweep from the draw from a cross-draw holster covers more "non-shooting" area when getting the barrel to the target than a handgun drawn from a strong-side location.
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Old November 13, 2013, 02:26 PM   #3
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The down side of cross draw is that in close encounters of the worst kind, it is easier for the bad guy to grab the gun.

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Old November 13, 2013, 02:51 PM   #4
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Just to confuse things, there's also strong side butt-forward ("cavalry draw")
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Old November 13, 2013, 02:59 PM   #5
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Not to mention you're sweeping what you *can't* see when you draw. Not a fan of cross draw.
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Old November 13, 2013, 03:10 PM   #6
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Whatever works best.

The down side of cross draw is that in close encounters of the worst kind, it is easier for the bad guy to grab the gun.
This is true, if the bad guy knows you are carrying there. On the up-side. It's handier, while driving and you have your seat belt attached. You also reduce printing.....

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Old November 13, 2013, 03:29 PM   #7
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Dad went to a cross draw for CC because after having his shoulder replaced it is harder to reach back on the strong side.
Seams like once we the people give what, at the time, seams like a reasonable inch and "they" take the unreasonable mile we can only get that mile back one inch at a time.

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Old November 13, 2013, 03:43 PM   #8
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My dunlap is in the way, so, cross draw is out of the question for me.
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Old November 13, 2013, 07:23 PM   #9
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I carry strong-side inside-the-waistband at the 3.5 - 4 o'clock position and I have no trouble reaching my gun when driving; the seatbelt doesn't get in the way at all. All I need to do is lean forward slightly to have easy access to my firearm.

Here are some other problems with cross-draw: The gun doesn't sit in a position that makes it as concealable against the body for most people's body types. It also takes longer to draw for most people. It's also more obvious that you're reaching for something when you're drawing. And in a close-encounter situation it would be much harder to fend off the attacker with your support hand while you draw, not to mention the possibility of getting your strong hand trapped against your body before you managed to draw.
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Old November 13, 2013, 07:53 PM   #10
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From a seated position - such as in a car - either driving or riding - I would prefer to carry cross draw as it's easier to access, at least for me, from that position.

In AZ a couple of years back, a guy drove in to a drive in pharmacy to pick up a prescription. From the write up I saw, two girls - yes - I said girls - approached his car. One from the driver's side and one the passenger's side. His doors were evidently unlocked. They surprised him and attempted to rob him on the spot. He wasn't carrying but one of the girls had a pistol - he managed to get it away from her - she shot one and the other one got away. While he wasn't carrying, I have run that scenario through my mind a number of times. If it was me, I would have had major problems trying to draw from my strong side (right) in that circumstance but could easily have cross drawn. You learn from such incidents as these . . we always lock our car doors and try to be aware of situations where someone could approach the car either to rob or hijack the car.

My normal carry is on my right side - I carry OTB - I'm talking in AZ where even though you can open carry, I usually have a shirt tail covering so it doesn't print. If I had to cross draw while standing, it would be hard as my right shoulder just doesn't work as well as it once did - it's hell to get old.

As far as the mention of "cavalry" carry - butt forward on your strong side - if you can do it, more power to you but I doubt if most folks can or could draw that way quickly if necessary. The one thing that has always been drilled in to me by instructors, and I've had some good ones with not only military special ops experience but solid street experience as well - is to carry in whatever manner works for you so you can draw if necessary as if it is "second nature". That requires practice, practice, and more practice. Your body should be trained so your hand finds the weapon naturally and that you can not only draw without looking, but replace the weapon in you holster without looking. All the time doing this you should be scanning back and forth looking for further trouble and more perps. At a recent range session, scanning was one of the most important things they concentrated on as well as draw and replacement of the weapon without looking. If we went to the "at the ready" position with the weapon in front of us, pounted down range and down at an angle, our eyes and heads had better be scanning or else we were promptly and sternly reminded.
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Old November 13, 2013, 07:53 PM   #11
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If I were going cross-draw, I'd go should rig. The gun is clear of a seatbelt, you don't have to wonder what to do with your gun while using the restroom, you don't have to dress to accommodate the gun as long as you have a shirt or jacket covering (which you'd need anyway), and you can prep your draw discreetly by crossing your arms.
A weak-hand draw might be more difficult than for a cross-draw belt holster, depending on retention snaps and straps and your flexibility.
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Old November 14, 2013, 06:03 AM   #12
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Another up side to cross draw is that it frees up space on your strong side for other things you may need to access more often - phone, knife, etc.

I carry cross draw on my belt when I'm hiking/hunting because I keep my knife on my strong side.
When I'm out in town in the colder months I frequently carry in a shoulder holster, but that has more to do with it being more easily concealed and accessed under a jacket than under the tail of my shirt/sweater/jacket. A strong side shoulder rig would be comical, but not very useful.

IMHO people make a bigger thing out of "sweeping" than they need to.
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Old November 14, 2013, 09:06 AM   #13
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It depends on what you plan on doing with the gun.

Best advise it to try both and see what works best for the.

Set in a car with the seat belt on, both cross draw and strong side, see which is confined by the seat best.

Set on your couch/recliner like you're watching tv during a home invasion. Which makes it easier to get the gun in play.

Draw the gun with your weak hand in the cross draw position, and then with the placement on the strong side.

Do you ride a horse, MC, bicycle. Try drawing from both while preforming those activities.

Do all above and see what works for you.

Of course if you are shooting competition the question will be answered for you, few if any ranges allow cross draws during competition for safety reasons. Too easy to sweep someone in the cross draw.

However if you're alone, practicing self defense, that wont be a problem.

I get asked this a lot in the self defense classes I teach. I don't answer. I have the students decide for themselves by drills I mentioned above.

For safety sake, its one on one, I position myself so there is no sweeping.
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Old November 14, 2013, 10:50 AM   #14
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I had a surplus holster that placed my firearm in the front of my abdomen on one strap that went over the right shoulder and attached to my trousers on the left.

I was comfortable and easy to get to. Though not a suitable method for concealed carry, it was nice for kicking around in the woods.
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Old November 14, 2013, 03:48 PM   #15
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When I belt carry, it's almost exclusively cross-draw ... at 68 my shoulder doesn't appreciate the movement needed to draw from my strong side, although I can do it if I have to. In addition to ease of access while driving, my draw is measurably faster cross-draw, and practice has eliminated most of the inherant dangers of covering a piece of my hide as the gun comes clear ... I was out today and had my Ruger LCR on my strong side because the holster's forward cant makes it unuseable cross-draw ... I practiced about a dozen draws (empty gun facing a cement wall); speed was okay, but I still prefer cross-draw ...
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Old November 15, 2013, 08:08 PM   #16
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Very good points you made there RickB...a shoulder rig is one that I've never given much thought to....I need to reevaluate that possibility.

It also makes sense if you do much wet-weather hunting with a short gun, or carrying one as a back up. I strong side carry for the most part, and I do find that it occasionally bumps against the butt stock of my shouldered rifle. Rod

If I were going cross-draw, I'd go should rig. The gun is clear of a seatbelt, you don't have to wonder what to do with your gun while using the restroom, you don't have to dress to accommodate the gun as long as you have a shirt or jacket covering (which you'd need anyway), and you can prep your draw discreetly by crossing your arms.
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Old November 17, 2013, 08:13 AM   #17
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Massad Ayoob...

Id research the articles of gun writer & tactics trainer Massad Ayoob on the subject.
I, for one, see the merits of both methods but overall, would endorse strong-side carry. It's safe, easy to conceal & offers retention/weapon security.

Cross-draws can work effectively with smaller weapons & well made holsters.

I don't really follow the "one gun, one way, all the time" mindset.

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Old November 17, 2013, 09:28 AM   #18
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Another vote for strong side.

Cross draw is slower as you must reach across the body. Another disadvantage that is also mentioned is that it offers the grip to the opposition.
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Old November 17, 2013, 10:20 AM   #19
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Another concern with cross-draw is that an assailant can keep you from drawing by applying forward pressure on your arm or elbow at close quarters.
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Old November 17, 2013, 11:17 AM   #20
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you should practice both because one size never fits all. It depends what I am doing which way I carry.
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Old November 17, 2013, 11:20 AM   #21
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I carry both ways and don't have a real preference. I see the strongside, FBI cant, thumbsnap belt holster as the classic, standard way to carry.
Crossdraw works better for me when I carry a backpack.
As far as the crossdraw making it easier for the bad guy to grab your gun, that may be true, if all of the bad guys are in front of you.
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Old November 19, 2013, 07:56 AM   #22
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Part of my defense strategy is to (hopefully) remain apparently unfettered by the bad guy who is trying to rob me of my wallet, etc.

In that scenario, . . . I simply reach back to my right side as I slightly turn the left closer to him, . . . trying to shield drawing from the strong side, . . . all the while assuring him I'm getting my wallet, . . . if that's all he wants, . . . it's cool, . . . I'll have it in a second.

That particular scenario is the most common in this area that I would most likely incur, . . . and it would be impossible to pull off with a cross draw rig.

For that reason alone, . . . I prefer strong side carry.

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Old November 19, 2013, 04:30 PM   #23
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The only time I wear cross draw is with a shoulder rig. I no longer have one so 2-4 o'clock is where I carry strong side. The ability to keep the weapon further from the threat the better.
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Old November 20, 2013, 11:40 PM   #24
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Strong side. Wouldn't want to fight like I trained doing a cross draw dance.

I keep a holster tucked between my seat and console. Right next to my e-brake. My hand is naturally there most times anyway. So when I'm in the car, the gun is in that holster.
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Old November 21, 2013, 01:27 AM   #25
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I bought a cheep nylon holster for a snub nose. The retaining strap was just a velcro strap that wrapped over the hammer. I took the strap and wrapped it around the gun and holster so there is no retainer. I stuff the holstered snubby in my back pocket. I like the hsndle turned to the strong side but you can turn it to the weak side. If I grab the handle and pull the gun comes out and the holster stays put.The gun does not come put unless I pull it out and it is pretty well concealed since I am a large lumpy person that carries multitudinous crap in his pockets.
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