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[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Fifty for Safety: 1949

Fifty for Safety: 1949

        "Now I can afford a longer necktie!"

Columbus, Georgia, circa 1949. "Safety Patrol Fund." A $50 check to Sergeant 97 of the Georgia State Patrol. 4x5 inch acetate negative. View full size.

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Cross draw

The holster on the trooper isn't actually a cross draw holster. It's a standard strong-side holster that has been moved to the other side. They (cross draws) are still popular with detective-types and the like and they can be handy if seated in a vehicle. There are a number of reasons that cross draw holsters are no longer favored, especially for uniformed use. First, it usually required two hands to remove the firearm, one to release the retention strap and the other to reach across to draw. Modern strong side holsters only require the use of the shooting hand to disable the retention devices and draw the firearm. Additionally, the firearm is in the perfect position for a disarm attempt from a person facing the officer. Retention devices of the day didn't provide much security and were easily defeated by such attempts. When I started in 1977, cross draw was the norm for uniform use in my part of the country.

What safety was priced at $50 in 1949?

$50 in 1949 was a lot of money. Aside from that- he looks like he could be LBJ's brother.

Quick draw McGraw

The reason you don't see PD cross draw setups is because the modern police holster has to be pushed down to remove the pistol. This prevents a prisoner from grabbing it even if the cross strap is loose.

Crossdraw is situational

I used to correspond with Elmer Keith, who knew a thing or two about sixguns, and he said crossdraw was often better for big men or for officers who might have a prisoner on their right side in a car or situations like that.

I don't see it done nowadays that often.

No ya-hoo

With respect, I would hesitate to apply modern sensibilities to a post-war Georgia State Police sergeant and doubt his manner of carry was frowned upon by anyone. He likely knows exactly how to handle that revolver.


Interesting that the officer has his revolver in the butt-forward, "crossdraw" position. This was often frowned upon because it required the user to wave his gun through a 120-degree arc, possibly past innocent people, before pointing it at his intended target.

SHORPY OLD PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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