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Three Great Reasons To Carry A Backup Gun

backup gunDo you carry concealed? If so, has the thought of a backup gun ever crossed your mind? Once limited to security guards, police officers and federal agents, backup guns make lots of sense for the average concealed carry citizen as well. Often smaller in form factor than your main carry weapon, your backup gun is a great way to double up on firepower while adding only a little weight. Here are some reasons why you need to look into a backup gun:

1. The New York Reload: Sure, you can train yourself to execute magazine changes like an IDPA champ, but there is still nothing faster than the old New York Reload – which simply means pulling another gun when you go dry on your main piece. Having a second weapon on you that’s loaded and ready to go is just about the fastest reload possible.

2. Because Crooks Have Skills, Too: A famous crook once stated – “I never bring a gun with me because the police always bring one.” A master of being able to disarm even veteran cops with clever moves, and thereby using their own gun against them, this particular crook reveals a chink in the armor of the average concealed carrier – your weapon might be used against you. Wouldn’t a backup gun represent a nasty surprise to someone that took your main gun?

3. Because Backup Means Backup: From loss to forced disarmament to failures and malfunctions of your main carry gun, a backup gun waiting at the ready has you covered. An added benefit of a second gun is that most people will not suspect you of having one since the concept of backup weapons is not very popular among concealed carriers.

How to hide your guns, and other off grid caches…

The best backup gun is simply a smaller version of your current carry gun. Glock, for example, makes models that are virtually identical to each other in operation, but are scaled up or down in size. Many of these reduced size guns are not only chambered in the same caliber as your main gun, they also accept the same magazines. Having a backup gun that’s both chambered in your main carry gun caliber and takes the same magazines is an excellent way to have redundancy and reliability. None of the above should be taken to mean that a backup gun needs to be smaller than your main carry gun; it doesn’t – but for ease of carry and concealability, you’ll definitely want to scale your backup gun down some.

Just because it’s a backup gun doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t practice with it regularly. Make sure that you not only practice shooting with the gun, but also drawing with it from its backup position. Training with your backup gun and building muscle memory is another reason to make sure your backup gun is outwardly very similar to your main gun. Keep in mind that your backup gun needs secure storage as well – make sure it either has its own holster or at the very least a secure, dedicated pocket for carry.

Lastly, keep in mind that tens of thousands of police officers carry backup guns every day, for many of the same reasons we’ve presented here. We can continue to present reasons for carrying a backup gun, but ultimately, all of those reasons distill down to a single, poignant statement – a backup gun is just cheap insurance.

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  1. When pocket carrying, ALWAYS use a holster. And nothing else in the pocket.
    Another plus to pocket carry is you can have your hands in your pocket and no one needs to know why.

  2. Next time try a picture where the subject doesn’t have his finger on the trigger while the pistol is still in his pocket. Otherwise good article.

  3. Really? Crooks taking guns away from trained cops? Well, maybe new york cops…..

    Do you really think anyone stupid enough to be a criminal is smart enough or even big/bad enough to disarm a well trained cop? You really have been watching too many bad movies.

    Similarly, if you think that you can access your backup faster than I can pop a mag and slam a new one home then you are an IDIOT! I’ve tried backup pistols in various configurations. Ankle holster, pocket holster, pocket without holster, etc. and the only way you have any kind of legit argument would be a shoulder holster under a jacket. I’ve tried the corset style holster that goes under your shirt and that works about as well as a milk bucket under a bull.

    Ankle holster just means getting caught up trying to pull up your pants leg and pull the pistol….should mention too that it’s not a real good idea to carry this way with weapon cocked. Which means that after retrieval you have to cock the pistol. Try it sometime and then picture having to do it in a firefight.

    I’m not saying don’t have a backup….but don’t go not having an extra mag or two for your primary first. Backup is NOT more efficient than simply drop empty and slam home a new one. Furthermore the backup will invariably be less accurate or less powerful…usually both and you are not likely to be as well trained on the backup because it will be much less fun to fire. Best in any case to have extra mags for your primary and only have the backup for an absolute failsafe.

    I carry a Kimber Ultra Carry with two 7 round mags, a Sig P229 .40 with two 12 round mags and a Lorcin .25 with 6 round mag. All are loaded with alternating hollow point/round/hollow point, etc.

    I won’t get caught short. I keep a Remington 870 12ga in the truck too with one in chamber, 5 in mag and 5 on the stock. All shells are .00 buck shot. I bring that them all in at night for home protection.

    • Sapper,

      Have you checked the actual statistics on that? Because they show definitively that, yes, crooks do take guns from police and then kill them. Google is one way to get informed BEFORE you comment.

  4. I like that you point out that one reason to carry a backup gun is because of being able to protect yourself should your main firearm malfunction or get lost. I can see why this would help provide some kind of comfort in knowing that you are double protected. My friend has been taking the classes to get his carry permit. I wonder if he has thought of getting a backup gun as well.

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