A cross-draw presentation simply means to draw the handgun across the body. These holsters are probably the least utilized and most misunderstood of holsters. But the cross-draw draw or presentation can be ideal for certain situations. And this method has been used as long as people have carried pistols. Cowboys famously adopted the cross draw as it kept the revolver butt and lasso out of the way and allowed drawing while seated.
A cross-draw holster is worn on the non-dominant side of the body in front of the hip. However, you cannot take a strong-side holster and simply wear it on the wrong side. In a cross-draw holster, the muzzle is angled outward slightly, and the grip canted to allow a rapid draw. You simply cannot settle for poor design or execution.
The Wright Leather Works Regulator has given excellent service in several examples. Bullard offers a well-designed close-riding holster. Galco’s Hornet is well suited to lighter handguns and concealed carry. The larger and very sturdy Phoenix is best suited for carrying full-sized handguns.
How to Cross Draw
To properly draw from a cross-draw holster, there are unique techniques to understand. Facing a target flat-footed and reaching across the body to bring the handgun to bear is slow and ponderous. The proper presentation begins with the strong-side foot to the rear and the weak-side (gun-side) hip pointed toward the target. The right hand (for a right-handed shooter) moves at the elbow to grasp the gun butt. The handgun comes up out of the holster, is raised to eye level and pushed straight toward the target as the support hand meets the dominant hand. When properly executed, with the handgun brought up instead of across during the draw, presentation from cross-draw carry is fast and sharp.
Advantages and Disadvantages to Cross-Draw Carry
Cross draw is often recommended for those who are driving or seated most of their day. It may also be easier on aging or injured shoulders compared to strong-side carry due to the motion needed to reach behind the hip with strong side holsters. Choosing to cross draw should be based on need not achieving a certain image. It is comfortable to carry cross-draw style if properly worn‚ cinched tightly to the belt and carried just in front of the hip. And it may be concealed as well as a strong-side outside-the-waistband (OWB) if worn under a covering garment.
There are disadvantages to cross draw, though. Some have criticized it for making the handgun butt available to a gun grabber during a struggle. This shouldn’t be true of a well-designed holster. The gun butt actually lies flat against the body. Only poorly designed holsters angle the butt out forward of the body. It’s also said that cross-draw presentation allows the muzzle to cover the body. Again, this isn’t true of a properly designed holster and when proper technique is used.
A more valid criticism comes of conventional cross-draw methods when the muzzle of the pistol travels across the width of the target and then must be stopped abruptly. If you use the modern technique as outlined above, this will not be a problem. The handgun comes up on target as cleanly as the strong-side draw. Like many defensive techniques, if the draw is not understood and executed well, the chances of the presentation leading into a solid stance and a first-shot hit are low.
As with all aspects of self-defense, be sure to use solid equipment and find good training. Then practice.