Strong side carry/butt foward...problems?

Strong side carry/butt foward...problems?

This is a discussion on Strong side carry/butt foward...problems? within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; i noticed in pictures of old west gun toter's some have the butt forward on their strong side carry piece. does anyone carry like that ...

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  1. #1
    Member Array stevep's Avatar
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    Strong side carry/butt foward...problems?

    i noticed in pictures of old west gun toter's some have the butt forward on their strong side carry piece. does anyone carry like that now days? any advantage to this style of carry? potential problems? thanks in advance for your insight.


  2. #2
    Ex Member Array Pete's Avatar
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    Like Wild Bill Hickok?



    I'm sure there is logic involved but for me that would only work as a crossdraw.

  3. #3
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    Seems like it would unnaturally twist your wrist. also might be a bit harder to control your gun in a gun grab situation.
    "In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock." Thomas Jefferson


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    Distinguished Member Array Chooie's Avatar
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    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cavalry_draw

    "Later, it was found that the reversed holster can be more comfortable, especially when worn while sitting down, than the normal type holster. In addition, cavalry draw can be performed while sitting, as well as retaining the original off-hand crossdraw capability. For these reasons, the FBI used the cavalry draw when they were equipped with short .38 Special revolvers.


    Cavalry draw is performed in three steps:

    1) Rotate the wrist, placing the top of the hand toward the shooter's body.

    2) Slip the hand between the body and the butt of the pistol, grasping the pistol's stocks in normal shooting grip.

    3) Draw the pistol, rotating the wrist to normal orientation as the arm is brought up to shooting position.

    With practice, the cavalry draw can be as fast or even faster than drawing from a normal, butt-rearward holster, due to the assistance of the body in placement of the hand on the pistol stocks."

  5. #5
    Member Array BlackJack's Avatar
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    It was for cross draw. Remember that the primary mode of travel for many of them back then was on horseback. While holding the reins in front of you a cross draw can be easier than a regular strong side draw, especially if you carry up around teh waist and not in a lower "traditional" cowboy holster.

  6. #6
    VIP Member Array Blackeagle's Avatar
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    As far as potential problems go, anyone using a cavalry draw is going to sweep their midsection when they draw the gun. The stress of a gunfight (or even a training session) could lead to an ND at this point. Putting a round through your gut certainly counts as a potential problem.

  7. #7
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    Call me Mr Traditional but - my butt faces to rear! smilez:
    Chris - P95
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    "To own a gun and assume that you are armed
    is like owning a piano and assuming that you are a musician!."


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    Member Array jeffkirchner's Avatar
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    Also, some old photographs were made in such a way that they are actually mirror images (i.e what looks like left is actually right)

    http://www.cycleback.com/1800s/earlyphotos.htm

    As a negative shows lights as darks and darks as lights, a black backing was put behind the image to correct the contrast. The negative's mirror image could not be corrected, so all images including writing are in reverse.
    The early-bird gets the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.

  9. #9
    VIP Member Array raevan's Avatar
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    When I carry my single actions I draw normal with my right han and cavalry draw with my left, I NEVER sweep my midsection when I draw the pistol, If a person sweeps their midsection then they are doing the draw wrong. As you lift the gun from the holster you twist the gun around and it comes out of the holster facing the normal way. If done correctly the twist is completed before the barrel leaves the holster.

  10. #10
    Member Array stoneypete's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blackeagle View Post
    As far as potential problems go, anyone using a cavalry draw is going to sweep their midsection when they draw the gun.
    I shoot Cowboy Action Shooting. This very argument came up before allowing participants to use the cavalry draw. Executed properly, one DOES NOT sweep ANY part of their body. Therefore we can use the draw in CAS.

    3) Draw the pistol, rotating the wrist to normal orientation as the arm is brought up to shooting position.
    The rotation should be completed BEFORE the gun clears the holster with the barrel pointed down. Then the pistol is then brought into action the same as any conventional draw. It requires practice, but I see done safely and with great speed many times each year.

    Having said that I would not recommend carry of a modern firearm butt forward unless crossdraw is the intent. I agree the it looks cool in pics of the old west, but I don't carry to be cool. I carry to protect my life and the lives of those I love. And since it's concealed, no one would see it any.
    'The assailant chooses the time, location and method of attack.

    Since they are unlikely to let you know ahead of time when, where and how violent they're going to be, you should always be prepared.' - matiki

  11. #11
    Member Array stevep's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the insight! i have to admit i did try it w/ an unloaded pistola...my first impression was that it seems to conceal better with the butt facing forward but it sure would take practice to make it a natural draw.

  12. #12
    Member Array echo5tango's Avatar
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    personally, this falls under the heading of "just because you can doesn't mean you should" ...

  13. #13
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    There are several reasons for butt forward strong side.
    When the military began carrying handguns the primary weapon was the sword which was carried opposite of the strong hand, crossdraw if you will. Swords are used strong hand. If you needed to draw your handgun, sword still in hand, the handgun was drawn with the left hand, crossdraw. That gave the person the sword (primary weapon) in the strong hand and the handgun in the off hand.
    Another reason many still carried butt forward/strong side such as Hickok was it's much more comfortable while sitting. Try it and you will see. Take a straight wooden chair with wooden back and arms. Use a revolver in the 5"-6" or longer barrel with a square butt. Carry it butt to the rear and sit in the chair and get out a few times. Then sit for long periods. You'll find that the butt hits the back of the chair and if it's slotted back the butt can hang up in slots making getting out of the chair quickly a real problem. Drawing is severely restricted while seated. Now carry the same gun butt forward and sit in the same chair, getting in and out several times and sitting for long periods. The butt forward doesn't hang up on the back of the chair nor get hung up as easily. In addition to not causing restriction, butt forward is easier to draw from a seated position.
    As far as the Wikipedia and the FBI, that's another example of don't take what you read on Wikipedia as gospel. The entries can be made by anyone, doesn't matter if they know what they're talking about or not. In this case, who ever wrote that didn't know what they were talking about. Years ago I talked to several agents from the earlier era of the FBI about the guns they carried. No one ever mentioned cavalry draw and from the holsters they had those weren't cavalry carry style holsters. Their holsters were what later came to be called Hank Sloan style pictured below. I knew some who carried crossdraw but none who ever carried cavalry style strong side.

    Last edited by ispcapt; March 6th, 2007 at 02:33 PM.

  14. #14
    VIP Member Array Janq's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stoneypete View Post
    I...Executed properly, one DOES NOT sweep ANY part of their body. Therefore we can use the draw in CAS.

    The rotation should be completed BEFORE the gun clears the holster with the barrel pointed down. Then the pistol is then brought into action the same as any conventional draw. It requires practice, but I see done safely and with great speed...
    Yep. ^^
    I'm surprised folks aren't familiar with cavalry carry, which allows for crossdraw as well.
    Your description is dead on and IMHO it is more comfortable a mode of carry although with relatively small handled autoloaders it's difficylt to do. If I were carrying around Peacemakers or some other large framed revolver I'd entertain it.
    Also not mentioned in posts above cavalry draw was safer as conventional butt rearward put your firearm in a state where it could be easily drawn and removed by someone other than yourself from the rear. Modern law enforcement officers carry holsters with internal protections against just this situation.

    BTW there is a very good demonstration and hilarious depiction toward the down side of cavalry carry as featured in the spaghetti western 'My Name is Nobody' starring Henry Ford & Terrence Hill; http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0070215, which is a personal and long time favorite of mine.
    Fans of westerns might not be aware of this film as it's very obscure even as it was produced by Sergio Leone and scored by the equally famous Ennio Morricone.



    For those who decide to rent this go to the bar room scene where 'Nobody' (Hill) enters a contest to shoot glasses and finds himself challenged to a duel by a black hat type wanna be tough guy. The results of that fight is comedic genius, and depicts the cavalry carry method toward draw and it's downside.

    - Janq

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    Last edited by Janq; March 7th, 2007 at 12:22 PM.
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  15. #15
    VIP Member Array Blackeagle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stoneypete View Post
    The rotation should be completed BEFORE the gun clears the holster with the barrel pointed down. Then the pistol is then brought into action the same as any conventional draw. It requires practice, but I see done safely and with great speed many times each year.
    I can see how that would work with a revolver, but it doesn't seem like it would work well for most semi-autos. Semi-autos are generally taller at the barrel end than they are wide, so there's no way to rotate the pistol 180 degrees while still in the holster, particular if its carried IWB or made from a rigid material like kydex.

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