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Old December 23, 2009, 05:12 PM   #1
Join Date: November 22, 2009
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Cross draw holster

What are the pros and cons of a cross draw technique? During my normal work day I carry two cell phones on my right side so cross draw seems to be the logical choice for me. If there are significant cons to cross drawing, I may have to change how I carry my phones. Any advice would be appreciated.
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Old December 23, 2009, 06:13 PM   #2
Jim March
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See my pics and comments here:

I'm using a VERY high-ride crossdraw with good results, open and concealed.
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Old December 23, 2009, 06:39 PM   #3
Frank Ettin
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I much prefer strong side carry.

The more-or-less standard presentation from a strong side belt holster, as taught most places these days, goes roughly like this:

[1] You want to achieve a full firing grip before withdrawing the pistol from the holster. You should not have to shift your grip. Throughout the draw stroke, until you are actually going to fire the gun, the trigger finger stays off the trigger, outside the trigger guard and indexed along the frame.

[2] While the strong hand is moving to grip the pistol, the weak hand is placed flat on the abdomen near the same level as the grip of the pistol. This helps assure that the weak hand isn't swept by the muzzle and also puts the weak hand in position to take grip the pistol over the strong hand.

[3] The pistol is withdrawn straight upwards from the holster, and the muzzle is rotated toward the target after it clears the holster. If using 1911, Browning High Power, or some other gun with a safety engaged, the safety may be disengaged here, but the trigger finger remains off the trigger, outside the trigger guard and indexed along the frame.

[4] When the muzzle is rotated toward the target the strong hand is at about the level of the strong side pectoral muscle and the strong hand is held against the side with the muzzle pointed to the threat. If the threat is very close, 1-2 yards, the gun may be fired from this position. This is called the retention position.

[5] At the retention position, the weak hand comes up to assume its part of the grip. The two hands then together extend the gun either fully up to shooting position or partially at a downward angle to the low ready position, depending on the circumstances.

[6] The gun is holstered by following those steps in reverse. I have been taught to follow these steps whenever removing my gun from, or placing my gun in, the holster.

[7] I've also been taught to begin moving my strong hand to the gun from about my belt buckle. The thing is that if I'm carrying my gun concealed I will need to displace my covering garment to gain access to the gun. If I sweep my strong from approximately mid line I automatically sweep aside my covering garment.

So when drawing strong side, the gun, from the time shortly after it's withdrawn from the holster is pointing in the direction of the threat. It needs only to be brought up to eye level to take the flash sight picture. If the threat is very close, the gun can even be fired quickly from the retention position (step [4]). In contrast, from a cross draw position, the muzzle must travel across, potentially sweeping a good deal of territory (and non-combatants) and be brought to a stop when in line with the threat.

Speed is not just a matter of how quickly you can get the gun out of the holster and a shot off. If things are really serious, it needs to be an accurate shot resulting in a good hit on the target. I've no doubt that some people can be quite fast and accurate from cross draw. But IME, someone who has been properly trained in the strong side draw will generally be able to shoot and get a good hit faster than someone from a cross draw.

Cross draw has its uses (like for someone who spends a lot of time sitting down or driving), but for most people, strong side carry in a hip holster is most efficient.
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Old December 23, 2009, 08:08 PM   #4
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There are strong opinions about hip, or other means, versus cross-draw. The only way you will determine which is best in your own mind is to try both. Here in the forum you’re going to get a lot of just opinion.

An objection to cross-draw is sweeping to the side. How much this is a concern in a true SD situation is probably very little, not that it should be ignored, but in a real SD I doubt if legal code is running through one’s mind.

If you don't already have a cross-draw holster:
An example for a normal right hand draw person is to remove the holster from the normal belt, if a gunbelt is used, and thread your dress belt through it to mount the holster at about 9 o’clock. Use whatever works (tie-wrap, string, etc.) to angle the gun forward at about 45 degrees with the butt at 10 o’clock.

For a left handed person, reverse these positions.

Practice the cross-draw and practice however you otherwise draw. The difference in speed of one versus the other will be apparent without needing a timer.
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Old December 23, 2009, 08:17 PM   #5
tony pasley
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Crossdraw has its place but requires much more awareness of the person carring that way. I do spend a lot of time drivivg so when I do it is more comfortable and more accessable. When out of the vechile it can be of a challenge because it puts your weapon on the strong side of an aggressor. You have to spend more time working on safe presentation on target, so you are not sweeping others. Your holster should have better retention device than just a thumb break strap. You also are more likely to expose your grip when getting up or out of your vechile.
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Old December 24, 2009, 06:45 AM   #6
Glenn Dee
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IMO... A cross draw is OK if your riding in a vehical, but is hard to conceal when walking. It also presents your weapon to a person your face to face with. Look at it like this.... What would be worse for someone else to gain control of... your cell phone, or your weapon?
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Old December 24, 2009, 01:38 PM   #7
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Cross draw has its uses (like for someone who spends a lot of time sitting down or driving), but for most people, strong side carry in a hip holster is most efficient.
I alway recommend strong side carry for all the reasons others have already stated. The only exception would be for someone with a physical impairment.
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Old December 25, 2009, 11:08 AM   #8
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HMPF, all the arguments against are also pro's IMHO.

your weapon is harder to snatch from BEHIND where you were not given eyes by the creator. ( strong arm of aggressor is less of an issue than what you may not see).

You can draw with EITHER hand. (say your pinned/ shot/ hit with an iron bar...etc.)

Cross draw holsters are good for driving, and cheaper than most other rigs, as you just take a good quality holster and IWB it.

I recommend: 35 bucks for my full grain holster and the clip is still good after a year of daily use. ( a glock 26 holster is only 30 bucks)

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Old December 26, 2009, 03:13 PM   #9
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For me, cross draw presents a more comfortable and natural draw. I find it is just as easy to conceal as a "strong side" carry. Another plus of "crossdraw" is that it is easier to gain access to my weapon while driving. These are strictly my opinions and as with anything, you have to find what works best for you.
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Old December 30, 2009, 10:52 PM   #10
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When Uncle Sam issued me a pistol, I carried it weak side cross draw because I found it more ergonomical to all the other (expletive deleted) I encountered in the average field day, especially in regards to vehicular travel. YMMV, and civvy carry is not military carry... but CrossDraw definitely has it's place.
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Old December 30, 2009, 11:18 PM   #11
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Like Ian0351, I liked crossdraw as the best postion for my open carry issued pistol. I found crossdraw was the only position that I could access left or right handed, sitting or standing, while driving or as passenger.

Now as a civilian, since I do not carry a bunch of other equipment and do carry concealed, I use strong side appendix carry. It is more concealable for my body shape and my strong hand can rest near it without being out of place.

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Old December 31, 2009, 12:45 AM   #12
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It's my preferred method. Pros - Very fast access, short reach, short draw, stealthy. Gun can be firing the instant it clears leather. You can stand cross armed resting your hand on the grip and nobody would know. You can unholster with your back turned to a threat and they will not know. For that matter you can unholster and point the gun from behind a cover garment without allowing anyone to see the gun. Access of the firearm with the offhand is very easy.

Very easy to keep people from unintentionally discovering my weapon. They are right front of me where I can observe every move. An uncle tried to poke me in the gut with a pair of index fingers while commenting about my weight at a family function last Summer I seized his wrists enroute and he never made contact. He is a big liberal, bad scene if he had discovered my gun. In tight quarters with strangers packed together I hold my offside forearm over the weapon to prevent any unintentional contact. By appearance I am protecting a more personal bulge from rubbing against others.

Cons in respect to strong side carry. You need to button the bottom of your cover garment to keep from flashing, especially if it is windy. To avoid lifting your cover with the off hand you would need to unbutton first. Although if it is not too windy you can carry a spare mag in the offhand pocket and that can prevent flapping. I had the gun drop out twice when I first started carrying. A lot of bending over can cause it to work its way out of the holster without the proper setup. It can also be necessary to adjust when you stand up after sitting for a long time.

I have resolved the problem of drop outs and adjustment by using a very stiff high ride paddle type OWB holster. This is held tight to my body by running the belt over the holster ->

Some people discount crossdraw by supposing you face your opponent full on. Their theory is your strong arm can be pinned against your body preventing a draw or enabling a take-away. Not a realistic assumption IMO. The opponent would have to know you were carrying and catch you completely offguard. If you are aware of a threat your stance is an angled fighting stance, the same as when you face off against any threat. You do not forfeit the ability to fend off an opponent with your off arm using crossdraw yet this is also not taken into account by detractors. Upon drawing your weapon in a situation the gun is retracted away from the target as it clears the holster, not moved toward the threat as with strong side carry.

Good point about physical impairments. I have a bad back and cross carry is very comfortable and endurable. I can not strong side carry concealed using an IWB holster for more than a few minutes without pain. Especially if I sit down (I do a lot of that). The movements involved with such a presentation are not ones I can perform without risk of self-injury. I'll strong side carry with an open carry drop holster but that's not much of an option around here.
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Old December 31, 2009, 07:47 PM   #13
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While I prefer strong side carry most of the time I prefer a cross draw or while driving. As has been stated by others drawing from a strong side holster while seated can be extremely difficult or even impossible. I have made cross draw holsters for a number of LEOs who wanted better access to their sidearms while seated in their patrol car or at a desk.

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Old January 5, 2010, 08:45 PM   #14
r.w. schrack
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Guess you can say a lefty that can only find a right handed holster. sometimes you have to adjust, Now that a cross draw.
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