The 5 Best Cross Draw Holsters for Concealment
More people these days conceal carry and it’s no surprise that many people are looking for a new way to carry their gun. The old standby, strong side hip, can be uncomfortable for people who have a lot of meat on their bones or spend a large amount of their day sitting.
The most popular alternative method of carry these days is appendix carry. This can be good for well-trained people, but comes with an increased risk of a fatal self-inflicted gunshot wound, especially among people who aren’t careful or are new to carrying.
The best cross draw holsters relocate the gun and angling away from your pelvis and main arteries found in the legs. It’s just as comfortable as appendix carry but does require more mobility and flexibility in your wrist and shoulder.
Cross draw holsters aren't for everybody but if you’re looking for one here are the five best holsters on the market and how to choose the best one for you.
Why Crossdraw Carry?
Carrying a gun crossdraw is an excellent way to combine safety with speed of draw. The past few years have seen a trend in appendix carry. For better or worse, this has been fueled by an obsession with draw times. Consequently, people shoot themselves while conceal carrying in the appendix position more so than any other.
Crossdraw carry provides a solution to this problem by moving the muzzle of the gun away from being pointed at your pelvis but still allows for better concealment and faster draw times than traditional strong side hip holsters. This unique level of combining both speed and accessibility safety makes the crossdraw holster a very underappreciated method carry.
The 5 Best Cross Draw Holsters
Here are the 5 best cross draw holsters for different purposes.
Best Cross Draw Holster for Revolvers
if you’re looking for one of the highest-quality holsters on the market look no further than Galco products. They make the best holsters in almost every category, especially when it comes to revolver holsters and cross draw style holsters. This is their basic holster design for a revolver to be carried in a cross draw fashion.
The holster is made of excellent 100% leather with a heavy duty sewn in the loop for your belt. Out of the box, this is an extremely comfortable holster that will age like iron if you take care of it. There’s no secret that leather holsters require much more maintenance than kydex or polymer holsters. You have to worry about sweat and rain soaking into the leather and ruining it.
As long as you keep his holster well-conditioned and take care of it, it will last you a lifetime. All the seams are hand stitched and double reinforced, so you don’t have to worry about the holster delaminating while the inside of the holster is swayed finished for a supple surface to contact your gun. You won’t have to worry about holster marks or rubbing on your guns finish with this holster.
Best Cross Draw Concealment Holster
If you’re looking for a simple tuck and go holster to be carried in the cross-draw position, this is an excellent option. Primarily designed as a concealed carry option, whereas most cross draw holsters are designed for open carry, this is an extremely comfortable design that will last a lifetime if you taken care of. It is an alternative to other highly concealable methods like an Alpha Holster belly band.
Because a cross draw position tends to be more comfortable than other locations a leather holster is highly recommended. That leather holster is going to bend and mold to your body better than other plastic options as well as providing plenty of support and protection for your gun.
What makes his holster different than other cross draw holsters available is that it doesn’t include a thumb snap or tension and is low-profile for concealed carry. The only bulky part of this holster is a double reinforced clip to protect the holster when you draw and re-holster your firearm.
Other than that small clip up at the top, this is an extremely slimline holster, even compared to other holsters, that is going perform exceptionally well as a cross draw concealed carry option.
Best Cheap Cross Draw Holster
Blackhawk is best known for their tactical and law-enforcement gear but recently they’ve been putting much more thought into their sportsman grade products. This is an excellent example of a three-slot pancake style holster made of 100% genuine leather to carry anywhere on your belt, including cross draw position.
This is an excellent holster for the money and is one of the best all-around leather holsters for cheap. It is available in both black and brown and carries with it the same maintenance problems other leather holsters, but many users find this is the perfect holster for someone who doesn’t want to maintain a leather holster in the long run.
This model is cheap enough that you can buy it to abuse it and get just enough use out of it before you have to buy another one. A perfect holster for someone who likes the comfort and feeling of a leather holster, as well as the increased protection for their gun that leather provides but without worrying too much about maintenance because this is cheap enough to be almost disposable.
Cross draw holsters have a tendency to be more uncomfortable than other carry methods and this is an excellent option for someone who wants a leather holster but doesn’t want to take care of it.
Best Cross Draw Holster for Duty & Concealed Carry
If you are a police officer or contractor security guard that is looking to carry a gun in the cross draw position you are going to want this holster from Galco. Specifically designed for on-duty law enforcement this is a holster that is primarily designed for open carry but in a pinch, can be concealed with a heavy jacket or suit.
It’s the Federal Aviation Administration this is an excellent holster that will hold up two years of use and abuse as long as you make sure that it is put away clean and dry at the end of every day. Made of 100% genuine leather this is a full grain holster that was handmade for serious use. You must make sure that the inside and outside of his holster say supply in a condition otherwise you’ll end up with a dry and cracked mess.
The third slot built into the holster allows you to adjust the cant of your firearm for your comfort and draw stroke. Extremely important if you have other things on your belt or plan on carrying concealed, as cross draw carry is normally associated with a duty belt or other weapons.
As far as an on-duty cross draw holster is concerned, this is the absolute best you can have. A true duty holster that has ample retention and is available for a number of different firearms. It is similar to the Active Pro Gear Leather Driver holster, but higher quality and will serve you better.
Best IWB Cross Draw Holster
If you work on a ranch or a rural area where having a gun on you as a necessity, but plan on carrying other things on your belt a cross draw open carry holster is a great idea. Even if you’re a cowboy action shooter a cross draw holster might be parts of your regalia and this is an excellent option for anyone looking for a rustic design open top holster.
For many people, having a quick draw is a necessity and this open top holster isn’t conformed to a particular gun and doesn’t include any retention whatsoever. This makes for a gun that might flop around both on your belt and inside the holster but allows you to draw your gun extremely quickly under duress or in competition.
The holster includes double 16s and is made completely of genuine leather that will stand up to the elements provided you make sure it’s clean and dry at the end of every day. The full grain leather is attractive on the outside and conforms to your body as you move making it comfortable to carry around all day. Few other holsters and in cross draw position will perform as well as this one for cowboy action shooting or carrying a gun through the woods.
Concealing a Crossdraw Holster
When trying to conceal a cross draw holster, think in terms of layers. Not only will you need to think of the number of layers covering the gun, your pants, and your shirt, but also in terms of how many layers are between you and the gun.
With the popular stippling or sandpaper like finish of the mini-guns today, wearing a cross draw or pending style holster without an undershirt is going to be difficult. Consider wearing an undershirt that is tucked in behind your holster and gun and an outer shirt. Don’t tuck out your outer shirt. It’s going to make it much too difficult to get your gun in a hurry.
Cross draw holsters are a niche item, manufacturers like Historical Emporium or De santis' Cross draw holsters are some options that can be excellent if you’re in need of a holster that is easy to conceal, but other methods will fall short. You need to practice drawing without flagging yourself, but once the draw is mastered the cross draw holster is tough to beat, and far superior to appendix carry in terms of safety.
You can’t go wrong with one of the holsters on this list but make sure you get the best cross draw holster you can afford and practice with it as much as you can!