CROSS­ING OVER

AD­VAN­TAGES AND DIS­AD­VAN­TAGES OF CAR­RY­ING CROSS-DRAW

Concealed Carry Hand Guns - - TABLE OF CONTENTS - STORY AND PHO­TOS BY MIKE SEAR­SON

Ad­van­tages and dis­ad­van­tages of car­ry­ing cross-draw. By Mike Sear­son

Not ev­ery carry method is ideal in all sit­u­a­tions. But when trav­el­ing belted in a car, car­ry­ing cross-draw might just put you in the driver’s seat, tac­ti­cally speak­ing.

And while I still pre­fer other carry meth­ods at other times, I’m us­ing cross-draw carry more and more when I’m in a ve­hi­cle.

MY PRE­FERRED METHOD

For the bet­ter part of the past two years, I have been car­ry­ing AIWB (Ap­pendix In­side Waist Band). Although leery at first of this new (for me) carry po­si­tion, with the proper hol­sters and train­ing I be­came com­fort­able and fast with it. Draw­ing from the cen­ter­line of the body or at least near it has proven to be faster than any other method of con­cealed carry I’ve tried.

It is also ex­tremely com­fort­able. I lit­er­ally for­get I have a firearm on me at times; I can sit all day in the of­fice or drive seven or eight hours with no dis­com­fort and can read­ily draw stand­ing, sit­ting or kneel­ing.

How­ever, I dis­cov­ered a tac­ti­cal dis­ad­van­tage. When I am wear­ing a seat belt while driv­ing, it will slow down or en­tirely pre­vent the abil­ity to draw the hand­gun smoothly and rapidly. Some peo­ple re­move the firearm from the hol­ster and lay it on the seat or place it in their cen­ter con­sole or use an overt driv­ing hol­ster in or­der to en­able a clean and fast draw while driv­ing or rid­ing in a ve­hi­cle.

While these carry meth­ods have merit, I sel­dom drive very long dis­tances any­more and sel­dom want to spend time re­con­fig­ur­ing my carry gun for an hour-long com­mute. So, I de­cided to carry my backup gun in a cross-draw hol­ster.

COW­BOY CROSS-DRAW

My first foray into cross-draw carry was many years ago while par­tic­i­pat­ing in the sport of Cow­boy Ac­tion Shoot­ing. At first, I car­ried my Colts in a tra­di­tional dou­ble rig Western hol­ster as did so many cowboys of the sil­ver screen. I no­ticed the shoot­ers who were ad­vanced in the sport and re­ally fast wore their se­cond gun butt-for­ward on which­ever side of the body was op­po­site their dom­i­nant hand.

I briefly made the switch and no­ticed

my time was faster, and I was ob­vi­ously more ac­cu­rate shoot­ing the se­cond re­volver right-handed than I could left-handed. How­ever, I never gave it much thought in ap­ply­ing it to my con­cealed carry needs un­til I found my­self brain­storm­ing about the AIWB dilemma while wear­ing a seat­belt.

CROSS-DRAW BACKUP

Im­me­di­ately, I de­cided that I needed a few new hol­sters for a few of my backup guns. A call to DeSan­tis Gun­hide se­cured the com­pany’s Criss-Cross de­sign for my Glock 42 and a pair of sim­i­lar hol­sters for my North Amer­i­can Arms mini re­volvers.

I had con­sid­ered or­der­ing these mod­els for my pri­mary carry guns and just make the switch while driv­ing, but I re­con­sid­ered this op­tion be­cause mus­cle mem­ory could be com­pro­mised or the hand­gun may not end up in the right hol­ster when for­get­ting to make the tran­si­tion.

CRISS-CROSS FOR THE GLOCK 42

When the 9mm Glock 43 came out, I ex­pected to see a rush of shoot­ers

look­ing to trade in their Glock 42s cham­bered in 380 ACP. How­ever, this never oc­curred. It turned out that the G42 was a fine pis­tol in its own right, so most of us held on to them.

Po­si­tion­ing of the G42 in the DeSan­tis Criss-Cross hol­ster on the belt proved to be a lit­tle chal­leng­ing. Wear­ing it closer to mid­line of the body as an in­verse to ap­pendix carry made it seem as if the butt of the pis­tol was pro­trud­ing too far from my body. Mov­ing it closer to the left hip al­lowed me to carry it more com­fort­ably as well as al­low­ing me to con­ceal it bet­ter.

This also al­lowed for im­proved carry for the very rea­son I de­cided to go cross­draw in the truck. The butt fit neatly over the top of the seat­belt al­low­ing for a fast and smooth draw should I need to ac­cess the G42 quickly.

LIT­TLE SHOT FOR NAA RANGER AND PUG

Of all the new firearms I saw at the 2018 Shoot­ing, Hunt­ing and Out­door Trade (SHOT) Show in Las Ve­gas, the North Amer­i­can Arms Ranger II had to be my fa­vorite.

This is a top-break re­volver cham­bered in .22 Mag­num with a con­ver­sion cylin­der for .22 Long Ri­fle. The ad­van­tage of the Ranger II over the com­pany’s line of solid frame mini re­volvers is that it can be loaded and un­loaded more quickly and safely.

While not de­signed as a cross-draw hol­ster, the Lit­tle Shot, also from DeSan­tis, func­tions well in this role, due to the small size of these re­volvers. I use a sim­i­lar hol­ster when I carry the North Amer­i­can Arms Pug, although that re­volver and the hol­ster are a bit smaller.

“THE BUTT FIT NEATLY OVER THE TOP OF THE SEAT­BELT AL­LOW­ING FOR A FAST AND SMOOTH DRAW SHOULD I NEED TO AC­CESS THE G42 QUICKLY.”

CHI­APPA RHINO

I’ve also ex­per­i­mented with cross­draw carry for an­other hand­gun and this was the one that re­ally showed me the util­ity of this carry method. A few years ago, I par­tic­i­pated in a track­ing class in Ari­zona where much of the track­ing was per­formed on horseback.

One of the hand­guns I had with me was a Chi­appa Rhino, and the fac­tory hol­ster it came with—from Radar 1957—was the type to al­low strong side or cross-draw by adding an ad­di­tional slot in the leather. I found it worked well on horseback.

Car­ry­ing in the truck took a bit of ad­just­ing as the butt of the Rhino wanted to turn in to­ward the body un­less I moved it com­pletely to the op­po­site side of my waist.

LIMIT ITS USE

Cross-draw is meant for a very se­lect seg­ment of con­cealed car­ri­ers. I do not ad­vo­cate it as a pri­mary method of carry un­less you are be­hind a steer­ing wheel or oth­er­wise in a seated po­si­tion most of the time. An­other valid op­tion may be an in­jury that is ag­gra­vated by the weight of a hand­gun on what is typ­i­cally the strong side of the body.

I use it on a limited ba­sis for a backup hand­gun while driv­ing and oc­ca­sion­ally while hik­ing. Should you need to dis­patch a small an­i­mal such as a rat­tlesnake, it would be best served by us­ing a der­ringer or other small piece as op­posed to a big-bore re­volver or semi-auto. CC

Far Right: Glock 26 in Black­hawk! Serpa CQC pad­dle hol­ster ad­justed for cross­draw use. Right: The au­thor's in­spi­ra­tion for car­ry­ing cross-draw came from Cow­boy Ac­tion Shoot­ing and this Bob Mer­nickle hol­ster made for a 3-inch Ruger Va­quero.

Above: The au­thor's brace of Glocks in­clude a G43 car­ried AIWB and a G42 car­ried cross-draw. Right: DeSan­tis man­u­fac­tures hol­sters for the North Amer­i­can Arms mini re­volvers that can func­tion as cross draw hol­sters due to their smaller size.

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