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American COP June Digital Edition - Page 20
CARRY OPTIONS FROMhOlSTERSTOhAVERSACKS. SAMMYREESE CROSSDRAW HOLSTERS Obsolete— Or Forgotten Treasure? B ring up the subject of holsters among people who wear guns for a living and you’d better have a fresh drink in your hand. Cops are opinionated to begin with, but get them talking about something as personal as how they carry their guns and the conversation could go on for a while. Funny though, you won’t hear many of them espousing the virtues of crossdraw holsters. Manufacturers are making piles of these holsters, yet I rarely see cops using them. Someone must like them. well made and allows you to wear your gun Crossdraw holcrossdraw, or strong side, while giving you the sters are primarily worn outside on the security of a thumb break. Best of both worlds? belt, and slightly forward of the “off-side” hip, however some are made as IWB. They can ride vertically or with a slight forward cant, and the butt of the gun faces forward. Typically they’re used for concealed carry; it’s where they’re most useful. This Multi-Purpose holster from Front Line is ost of us start our careers using strong-side holsters; from the academy through uniformed patrol, it’s the way we carry. When we get into detective or undercover work, the natural tendency is to stay with something that fits and feels the same as our duty holsters. And many LE firearms instructors pooh-pooh “unconventional” holsters; after all, there’s comfort in familiarity for the users and the trainers. Cops will argue about what’s most important in a concealed carry holster. How easily can you access the gun and get it into action? How well will it retain the gun? How comfortable will it be? Is it designed to conceal the gun well and is it durable enough to last several years? So long as your holster meets all these criteria, how you rank them is entirely your choice. Be warned, safety and function should always rank higher than comfort. After all, no holster is truly comfortable. Then there’s the muscle memory argument: You’ll do what you have trained the most when under stress. For most of us, this means we’ll default to a strong-side draw. While there’s merit to this argument — I’ve seen it firsthand too many times to count — it’s possible to carry your firearm in different holsters and different positions. You just have to practice more than once or twice a year at qualifications. Our own “Publishership” Roy Huntington, a veteran street cop, wrote the Handgun Leather column for American Handgunner for years. He designed a crossdraw rig (The Wedge), now made by Haugen Handgun Leather. It’s the end result of Roy’s years of experience around handgun leather. Multiple Muscle Memories M “ BUT WHY? M y strong-side holster does everything you’re talking about, why would I need a crossdraw?” Opponents of it will say bad guys can grab the gun more easily. They also argue it takes extra motion and time to draw and acquire a target compared to a strong-side holster. This isn’t necessarily true — refer back to that part about training. Where crossdraw holsters shine is their comfort and versatility. Off-duty or plainclothes carry is vastly different from uniform. With a cover garment concealing your rig, a crossdraw allows easier access to your gun than with the requisite coat sweep when using a strong-side holster. Another great benefit is discovered when you sit down while wearing a crossdraw holster. Whether in a chair or your car, you’ll quickly realize a crossdraw is more comfortable, and you have easier access to the gun. Try drawing your gun from a strong-side holster while seated. Right, it’s difficult because the butt of the gun gets buried in the backrest — not so with a crossdraw. And you can easily draw with either hand. As for retention, the gun is easily trapped against the body with your weak arm, allowing your strong arm to be used to fend off an aggressor or use an alternate weapon. Crossdraws aren’t for everybody or for every situation, but many of us could benefit from their use. Try one and see what you think. You may be surprised by its comfort and functionality. You may even find a new favorite way to carry your handgun. * For more info: www.ameriancopmagazine. com/product-index and click on the company name. Part of the secret of The Wedge is a unique wedge-shaped insert at the slide (see arrow), forcing the butt into the user’s side, keeping things tidy and tight. As John says, a crossdraw allows an easy draw from sitting, or with either hand. WWW.AMERICANCOPMAGAZINE.COM • JUNE2012 20