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Carrying at 3 o’clock as I do makes for a quick draw, McGraw. It’s arguably less concealable, but easier to access your armament in a hurry. At least it is for me. But what happens if something happens to your strong-side arm. Are you flexible enough for a reach-around to get at your gat? Is your circumference such that it isn’t even possible? If your arm of preference is down for the count, what do you do, Jack? What do you do?

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  1. I carry at 4-5 with a snap-down Galco IWB holster. It’s awkward, but I can reach the gun just fine. One-handed reloads, however, are not happening. One of the reasons I am now a believer in full capacity “compact” guns.

    • Its good that this angle works for you. Since I pocket carry (front left), I can reach it with my right hand, but it isn’t easy or fast.

      I had to laugh at the question of:

      “Is your circumference such that it isn’t even possible?”

      I bet a lot of guys here need to work on “reducing their circumference”. Diabetes, stroke, and heart disease are likely to kill most of us.

      I’m currently reducing my circumference. I’m down 17 pounds since the first of the year. I’ve got about another 20 to go to get to my ideal weight.

      • Agreed. It was a sad day back when I pulled out my old cammies and realized I don’t fit into a set of M/R trousers anymore. I’ll be honest, it’s probably not going to happen any time soon.

  2. I’m large with short arms and arthritis, one of the reasons I prefer a shoulder holster. I can cross draw with my right hand, or pull my left hand in tight and yank it clear just fine. Sometimes I do carry at 3, in which case if my right hand or arm gets taken out of the fight, I’m in trouble I suppose. Might need to reconsider.

  3. Yes, but not quickly. I used to carry a fixed blade knife on my weak side to facilitate off hand attacks but it became too much kit after awhile.

    • Same here, but I keep a blade clipped in each front pocket, a habit I picked up from needing ambidextrous access to a blade for maintaining an instrument at work….

    • ^ This!

      Alex beat me to it. Carrying on both sides provides several advantages:
      (1) If your primary handgun fails all together, you have your backup handgun in the fight as fast as you can draw it.
      (2) If you primary handgun jams, you have your backup handgun in the fight as fast as you can draw it.
      (3) If your attacker’s initial surprise strike renders your strong arm useless, you have your backup handgun in the fight as fast as you can draw it.
      (4) If you are facing multiple attackers and have enough time, you can share your backup handgun with an unarmed person so that there are now two armed defenders.
      (5) Reloads are superior … just draw your second gun and start shooting. (You don’t have to eject a magazine, properly insert a magazine with greatly diminished fine-motor control skills, and rack the slide.)

      And last but not least, when you carry two guns you can shoot both guns simultaneously with your guns tilted sideways like a gangster for extra style points.

  4. I appendix carry, I could access it with my support hand but awkwardly. I usually carry an LCP in a little Galco IWB holster at 8 o’clock on the support side as a BUG/support hand option

  5. Can I get to it? Yes.

    But I don’t train nearly enough weak hand, and my weak hand is *very* weak, gun-skill wise…

  6. I guess that would be an advantage to “small of the back” but no WAY does that make up for the huge hazards involved with it.

    • I agree with SteveInCO.

      I don’t like the risk of carrying in front. (An unintentional discharge has a very high probability of shooting your leg/groin.) And I don’t like the risk of carrying in back. (An unintentional discharge has a very high probability of shooting your fanny.) On the other hand an unintentional discharge at 3:00 O’Clock position shoots the ground, even if you are sitting.

      If someone has the drop on me and is able to take my strong side arm out of commission, I am so far behind the curve at that point that having a firearm may be irrelevant.

  7. Similar question. Did anybody else see the news article yesterday on the gunfight in Europe somewhere which ended up with a cop’s gun being shot while it was in his holster? Gun was a make with 2-piece hinged trigger, with the bottom part broken off, and the trigger guard also blown away. Made me really curious 1) whether the gun could still be fired and 2) whether the gun DID fire, as I saw no visible external safety to prevent it from firing when a bullet struck the trigger. I could not see the grip, maybe it had a grip safety, but I sure wish somebody had mentioned whether it fired or not.

  8. Awkwardly , I do but I have a tendency to drop it if I’m going for speed , so I practice more conscious fundamentals but I do practice it . I also practice while falling down and while down . The five possible defensive draw scenarios are these plus drawing while turning and drawing while defending with your other hand , which may participate drawing from your off hand , so yes , I practice it .
    I appendix carry and only cover when I’m in retail environments so it is a bit easier than it would be if I holstered on my dominate side .
    We should all be efficient shooting and functioning out firearms from either hand .

  9. Cross draw.
    It’s not trapped by the seatbelt when driving either.
    Normally, I appendix carry.

    • Tom,

      Have you ever seen the short video that shows how to unbuckle your seat belt, lift up your cover garment, and be able draw quickly in one fluid motion? Cross draw is slightly better of course … that video shows that strong side draw is darn close second.

  10. Left hand draw works for me, albeit decades slower than right hand. I’ve learned that carrying IWB at the small of my back positions a right hand holster perfectly for a left hand draw.

    However, the left hand “disabled arm” skills are much better than the right side. Probably due to more precision in the slower movements or possibly more practice time.

    Shooting skill is equal with either side, which is a plus (I need to get better, obviously 🙂 ).

  11. I’ve always been a proponent of dividing your body in quarters and keeping a weapon of some sort on each quarter. Weapon, knife, pen, baton, whatever. I demonstrated it to a guy in Panama back when by shoving him against the wall where all his weapons were jammed between his body and the wall. He thought he would return the favor, I pulled the metal pen out of my pocket and drew a circle over his eyebrow.
    Bad breath distance sucks but fortune favors the prepared

  12. Appendix carry (about 12:30-1), just to the right of my junk.

    Training with your weak hand means shooting AND drawing with your weak hand.

    It’s not either/or, it’s both.

  13. I’m blessed with a 34″ in-seam, 35″ sleeve and 36″ waist. At 50 years old I still have the flexibility to get to anything on my belt with either hand. I carry 1:30 and 4:35 not for reach but for comfort and concealability as well as access. If I had to do the left hand cross draw putting the pistol upside down in my grip, I think I would rather put the gun on the ground then re-grip it rather than use the dangerous gun flip across the chest maneuver.

  14. Strong side, M&p40 L 5″ @8 o’clock/ weak side, M&P40c 2o’clock , I think I’ll be okay.

  15. I shoot, carry left @ 3:45 or so. Can reach my revolver if needed. Belt slide,Thumb snap, covered trigger, cylinder/frame. had it so long I can’t remember who makes it. Reloading might be tricky but it would have to be easier than an auto, add to that having to pull the slide or clear a jam. Carry locking Marlin spike knife on my right.

  16. I carry at 3 and can get hold of the grip and draw behind my back if necessary. the angle is not quite right to do so from the front.

  17. How can one-handed reloads with a revolver be easier than with a semi-auto?
    Drop mag with index finger.
    Squeeze pistol between knees or feet.
    Seat fresh magazine.
    Rack slide by hooking rear sight on whatever is available.
    Empty magazine at/into assailant/assailants.
    Repeat as necessary.

    • Is a slide lock really that rare of a feature on a carry gun or am I just spoiled by my 1911?

      I don’t think i will ever carry a gun that had to have the slide racked between mag changes.

      • No matter what you have to do something to the slide, unless you have one of those guns that are set to slam shut when a mag is inserted. Even if it locks back, which it probably did. Many modern small guns don’t have an *external* slide lock lever (which functions as a release switch, but you’re not supposed to call it that). But even these guns will usually lock open on empty. In which case you have to rack the slide, even if only a millimeter or so to get the lock to release.

        Many instructors don’t want you to release the slide with the lever, so that’s probably why they figure they can dispense with it.

        • Point 1 for old school.

          Just because something is modern doesn’t mean it’s better.
          Marry old school craftsmanship with state of the art materials and you will always end up with a product that will out perform both vintage & modern.

        • THough I agree with you in principle, I’ve also seen a lot of finely crafted old school that was expensive, finely crafted SHIT subject to habitual feed ramp jams (which you do NOT want to deal with one handed!) and so forth (one word: Cabot). And a lot of owners in denial who swear their old school piece of finery never jams–and it does so within the next five minutes, which means it probably has done so often in the past.

          One must choose carefully.

          • I was only talking about the craftsmanship, i was excluding the old designs. (Don’t get me wrong i am an antiquefile) Now as for the problems often inherent to the old designs is actually the modern over the counter self defense ammo they try to feed them. Take a classic 1911 for example. There is a reason it was chosen as the military side arm, because when you feed it mil spec fmj it will run all day long. Those feed ramps were designed for hard ball, hollow points are a different shape and don’t feed the same. Or perhaps you want flash surpressed ammo, it’s a round that’s short on powder and won’t always run that heavy slide all the way back. Or maybe you prefer non lead ammo, lightweight projectiles don’t generate as mich recoil so the old blow back guns don’t cycle if your wrist isn’t granite.

            I just love antique machinery. The older the better. The primary reason is that it simply is more attractive. Time and effort were spent to add visual interest to machines that required none. That’s what I miss.

  18. I’d have a hell of a time, if I could swing it, it would be because I had all the time in the world, sneaky pete is not real cooperative, neither is my beer belly. I’d be attempting to escape quite a bit before attempting a left-hand draw. I suspect I could use it reasonably once it was in my hand (depending on the extent of my injuries of course), but I think my best bet would be for me to get somebody else to draw it and put it in my hand. Not a promising scenario.

  19. NO !!! I cannout draw a firearm with my left hand, in fact I cannout draw a firearm with my right hand either, if I would take art lessons I may be able to draw a firearm

  20. I often carry closer to 5 than 4, so I think I could actually reach around behind my back and grab the gun with my left if necessary. To be honest, I don’t train for these situations though. And you can’t make me, I’m not a ninja.

    • You don’t have to think or train like a ninja to just take two seconds to see if you can reach your gun off handed.
      General rule should be that you carry in a position where you can get to it with either hand. Should be one of the first things you think about when you start to carry. That’s no more “tacticool” than choosing the proper holster.

  21. Well, I can indeed draw my gun with my weak hand, but then of course I am holding it upside down, and reversing it one handed is cumbersome.

    • Also dangerous. I can get mine by reaching behind my back because I carry it on the hip. Or when apendix carrying, I pronate my hand and get the proper grip. At 3:00 position I would have to grab it with an upside down grip and would just put the gun down to re-grip it.
      It’s just as fast to drop it and pick it back up as it is to try to flip it around one handed and safer.

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