The Stealth Defense Cross Draw Concealed Carry Holster

By Al Vennemeyer, Owner of Stealth Defense Holsters, LLC

Wearing Stealth Defense Strut Holster
Illustration courtesy of Stealth Defense.

Are you the fastest shooter, or, is your attacker? Some pundits argue in favor of choosing a strong side concealed carry holster, because it enables a quick draw response during a self-defense encounter. How important is this consideration relative to other reasons for selecting the best concealed carry holster?

The primary objective of an assailant is to hold the advantage over his victim with a low risk plan; this does not involve a competitive gun fight. He is most likely to use the element of surprise and approach you when you are in a defenseless position, so what good is a quick draw attempt? It would probably just get you killed.

It�s impossible to predict all situations and, no doubt; very quick access could be helpful in some, but the reaction time difference drawing from an outboard holster on your strong side, versus cross draw, is not as important as preventing a surprise attack by staying alert. Practice at the range, including quick access to your weapon is essential, but your best chance of survival is to avoid your assailant while your hand is on your weapon, ready to draw, without brandishing.

The argument about cross draw being slower that strong side draws may not always be true, depending upon the circumstances. The enemy will not be lined up like a target at the shooting range, so you have no clue what your area of motion will be in a sudden self-defense situation. An attack from behind, your weak side, while sitting in your automobile, or lying down will probably favor the cross draw position. An attack from ahead or the strong side will probably favor strong side carry.

Applying the wrong reasons for selecting a concealed carry holster will result in purchasing additional holsters, or leaving your gun at home. Many people make emotional carry choices by purchasing a holster that looks good while wearing. Lots of holster styles are available and a more logical approach to holster selection will assure more effective concealed carry practice. Different holsters offer different advantages and disadvantages and no single holster type is optimum in all situations.

Outside the waistband (OWB) strong side holster types provide good comfort and accessibility when standing, but tend to print through clothing when sitting or bending over. They also require special cover clothing (usually a coat extending over the hips) for concealment.

Inside the waistband (IWB) holsters are popular and generally worn on the strong side, although some can also be worn (or are designed to be worn) in the cross draw position. There are many IWB holster configurations available, with specific features, from different companies. IWB holsters are generally easier to conceal than OWB holsters, as the gun and holster is not exposed below the waistband. The cross draw IWB style holster is an improvement over strong side types, as it offers better access and comfort when sitting or driving and it conceals better.

Unfortunately, most people find carrying a handgun and holster wedged inside the belt uncomfortable. This is especially true for women. Concealment with any IWB holster is jeopardized by printing when twisting or bending over and the belt clip(s) that secure the holster are visible. In addition, a bulge in the waist line is revealing. It is often necessary to buy larger size trousers and belts to accommodate a holstered gun's IWB space requirements. IWB holsters require cover clothing for concealment, for example a jacket extending beyond the waistline, as the handle and rear portion of the pistol is necessarily above the waistband to allow easy access.

The Stealth Defense Holster ( is a patented, cross draw design that attempts to combines the best features of conventional IWB, OWB, belly band and shoulder holster designs. Each of the above holster styles were worn by the designer and evaluated for comfort, concealment and access, then incorporated into a "strut holster" design concept to appeal to people interested in self-protection.

Concealed Carry can be discouraging and choosing the correct holster will help assure successful practice. The Stealth Defense Holster provides all day comfort, concealment in different body positions and good access whether sitting or standing. It allows wearing your normal clothing when carrying a concealed handgun, although a sport coat, jacket, sweater or other loose outer garment is desirable for inconspicuous concealment.

A person is tempted to leave his or her gun at home, or in a vehicle, when incorrect holster choices are made. As the owner of Stealth Defense Holsters, I am obviously biased, but I honestly think the Stealth Defense Strut Holster offers the best combination of features to promote full time concealed carry for the ordinary person.

Note: The Guns and Shooting Online staff has written a full review of the Stealth Defense Concealed Carry Strut Holster

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Copyright 2013 by Al Vennemeyer and/or All rights reserved.