Tactical Pistol Training: Cross draw!

The most favored method is to carry the handgun on the same side as the dominant/strong hand (strong side).

It is believed that this is the safest method of carry, because when the handgun is drawn from the holster, it points in a straight line directly at the target. The Cross draw is where the gun is on the opposite side of the body to the dominant hand, so you have to reach across the body to draw the handgun. Personally, I see no problem with cross draw. Many people claim that it is dangerous, since the handgun sweeps through a 180-degree arc to get from the holster to pointing at the target, which could mean the handgun could be pointing at bystanders. It must be remembered, however, that whatever method of carry you use, before you go on the street, you should do as much practice as possible. As I have said before; If you don’t think you can draw your handgun without it going off by accident, you should not be carrying it.

It is easier to take a handgun from someone carrying on the strong side than cross draw. To take a handgun off someone carrying strong side, you can come up behind them and take it, thumb break or not. To take a handgun from someone carrying cross draw, you will need to come at him from the front or possibly the side. This means he will see you going for his handgun and can then take evasive measures or use unarmed techniques – if he lets you get that close in the first place. If your gun is carried cross draw, you have easy access to it with both your left and right hand and you have better access to the handgun when seated, especially in high-sided chairs and when in vehicles. The photos below are of a cross draw holsters and how to draw left and right handed.

An Example of The Advantages of Cross DrawMy preference of cross draw was reinforced when I was working as a security operative in South Africa in 1994. My day usually started in the evening when the first task was to provide cover for the staff of a liquor store when they closed up and left with the day’s takings. The store was in a colorful area just outside of a large township, and I would say that mine was the only white face for a good mile or so. I took it for granted that everyone knew I was armed — I would not be there if I were not. The store also closed at the same time every day, so there was a pattern set to within an hour of when I would be dropped off close to the store. To get behind the grilled counter of the store, I usually had to push through a crowd of semi-intoxicated people spending their day’s pay.

It was my driver’s job to cover me until I got behind the grill, which depending on the driver, did not always happen. Putting me at greater risk was that after I merged with the crowd there, was little support the driver could give me. Initially, I carried my 4-inch .357 strong side but soon changed to cross draw when I realized that, when in the crowd, it was easy for someone to bump into me and feel where I was carrying my gun, allowing someone to grab it from behind. If I got into a physical confrontation with someone that would require my gun hand to deal with it, I would not be able to reach the .357 with my weak hand. At least with cross draw, I stood a better chance of getting to the gun – if I were not dropped in the initial attack. Realistically, in retrospect, I would have stood little chance if I had been attacked in the crowd by two or three assailants with blunt or edged weapons. I would have been lucky to get the .357 out.

What many people seem to forget is that carrying a handgun can actually make you a target. In places like Africa, Latin America, and in some Caribbean Islands where people live in extreme poverty, a handgun is a very valuable commodity; criminals routinely target and attacked people simply for their firearms. Even in developed countries, a criminal can make money from a handgun: They can commit robberies or settle scores and then sell the weapon etc. The telltale lump under your shirt could be there to show your friends that you bought the new Glock or to warn others that you are armed and dangerous, but to a professional it just means you have a gun he can take it off you. If you carry a weapon, no one else should know. Don’t think all criminals or terrorists will be intimidated because you flash a gun at them. If you’re not going to draw it to shoot to kill, keep it concealed!

Tactical Pistol Training: Cross draw!By Andy Wilson


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