Do 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.
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.