Handling Your Bag In Public: The One-Handed Mount

I was doing the “bail out” drill at a QSI vehicle gunfighting class. The drill involved dealing with an immediate threat on the driver’s side, then getting out and engaging additional threats.

I wanted this drill to be as true-to-life as possible, so I put my SBR bag in the backseat of the car. I dealt with the threat, exited safely and properly, and then went to retrieve my bag.

I opened the passenger door and sort of had a “WTF” moment. I usually put my bag on with both hands, but I had my Glock 19 in my right hand. I holstered, put the bag on, then drew my pistol again.

After that class I started practicing different ways to put my bag on one-handed. Here are my two favorites.

The Cross Face


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This method makes it easier to transition the bag to your back. The bag will be more stable on your back, and will make running more natural.

It has one major drawback: you momentarily obscure your vision while putting on the bag. It has a secondary drawback in that the strap can often get twisted, and is uncomfortable.

The Man in the Middle (or Woman in the Middle)

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This method keeps the bag in front of your body, which is important for accessing any firearms inside and managing magazines. I also find it way easier to do than the Cross Face.

A bonus is that the arm motion is very similar to one part of the “Default” defensive position.

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It’s okay to practice handling your bag

Note that these techniques are for sling / cross-body bags. You can use this technique with any thing that has a single strap that goes diagonally across your body. This could be a messenger bag, satchel, laptop bag, etc.

The more I train, the less I like two-strap backpacks for SBR / PDW carry. The one-hand mount options for two-strap bags are limited. The obvious one is balancing the bag on one shoulder, but this is neither sturdy nor accessible.

Please don’t wait for an incident to occur (either in training or in real life) before you realize you’ve never practiced putting your bag on with one hand. Give these techniques a try and let me know how they work out for you, or if you do something different.

About the Author:

Short Barrel Shepherd Short Barrel Shepherd is a regular guy and works to make Web sites and mobile apps easier for people to use. He spends his free time attending fight-focused firearm, knife, and combatives training, motorcycling, writing, and playing games. His daily carry is a Glock 19 pistol and an AR15 .300 Blackout pistol in a backpack.

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