Happy New Year everyone!
I just have a quick question. I have noticed a few actors have a holster setup where the gun is backward (Wild Bill Elliott and Lee Marvin in The Man Who Shot Libery Valance are the first two that come to min). Is this a Hollywood thing or did any real gunslingers set their guns up like that?
Thanks in advance,
Cross draws were originally used by the military and the basic design of a Slim Jim, originally a cut down military holster. Cross draws are much more easier to use while on horseback. There is also the plains style, but it is drawn with the same hand. Another words if it is on the right side it is drawn from the right with the right hand. Usually the gun was further back on the hip and with one smooth motion could be retrieved very easily, especially a longer barreled pistola. Also the way most military men pulled theirs. Sword on left gun on right.
You also might note that almost every shoulder holster is set up as a cross draw.
Some pictures of Wild Bill shows him wearing his brace of pistols butt forward.
stan....im sorry...simply cant resist....has something to do with the new year...isnt 'butt forward' kind of awkward...maybe 'pistol grips' forward???
now that ive gotten being totally smarmy out of my system....
From all I have read about Hickock, butt forward may be appropriate.
Rex Allen also carried his one pistol butt forward. In the old Wm. S. Hart films Hart occasionally carried his guns butt forward, but not always. Gilbert N. Anderson--"Broncho Billy"--carried his pistols butt forward in at least some of the 148 2-reel Westerns he made for Essanay back in the early teens of the last century. His real name, incidentally, was Maxwell Aronson & he was Jewish. He was in the very first Western, The Great Train Robbery, which was also the 1st movie to have a plot. It was a 1-reeler--11 minutes long.
The term is 'Butt Reversed' and is normal for carrying cross draw. Pulling a 7" or longer barreled pistol from strong side while on horseback is nearly impossible... as the butt ends up in your armpit before you can clear leather. I openly carry a pistol everyday... 'cross draw', for the simple reason that strong side is in the way of the seat belt buckle and difficut on horseback. It also just gets in the way on my right hand side. Apparently, those 'back in the day' found that cross draw was the preferred mode of carry as well... as is depicted in many period photos.
This isn't an academic' observation... it's something I do. This is Arizona... the right to bear arms is a wonderful thing.
A lot of horsemen who carried longer-barreled pistols carried them crossdraw. It was also easier to conceal a pistol under a long coat or duster if it was worn crossdraw. If you were wearing your pistol strong-side, when you dismounted there was no way to keep everybody from knowing you were armed. Even if the holstered pistol didn't show, the coat would have a tell-tale bulge over your weapon. If you wore it crossdraw there was less chance it would show on dismounting, especially if you kept your coat or duster buttoned or wore the holster far to your left side. If you had it slung over your left front pants pocket--the best place to keep one for a crossdraw, because you could get to it faster if you needed to--it would show when you dismounted.
Nobody gave a rats patootie if your armament showed or not. (Then or now) Most everybody was heeled or expected to be. Concealed weapons were not 'manly' in the 19th century... before 20th century city politicians and professional butt-sniffin' anti-gun weasles got any traction. There was a time... when such folks were ostracized as cowards. (In some places they still are.) Not all that long ago... (mid '70 into the '90's) before this permit and license nonsense, a man or woman was heeled or not. Didn't matter how or with what. You can't keep you pistol holstered over your pants pocket and set a saddle unless its a really SHORT pistol severely angled or you've got a shoulder rig. I've used 'em all. Primary weapon horseback is your rifle/carbine/shotgun anyway... scabbard mounted vertical in front of your right leg. Otherwise you stand to lose it. Amazing what you can lose up onna horse in rough country 'n never know it's gone.
Don't forget that in the cow and mining towns of the old west they had laws requiring people to check their guns while in town. Were the lawmen who enforced these statutes "professional butt-sniffin' anti-gun weasles [sic]?"
constitution ignoring scumbags, like Plummer, with visions of self grandeur.
When Sam Bass rode into Round Rock, Texas, on Friday afternoon, July 19, 1878, he was apparently wearing his pistol slung cross-draw under a duster. He wasn't too careful when he dismounted in front of Kopprel's store, & Henry Grimes, the resident Williamson County deputy sheriff, spotted the pistol. He told Bass "I believe you're carrying a pistol. You'll have to give it to me." The rest is history.