View Full Version : Back Up Gun Carry - WHERE

Sigma 40 Blaster
May 26, 2008, 11:26 PM
After completing a training class this weekend I am beginning to see the value in a back up gun. I saw a Les Baer 1911 and a Glock 19 bite the dust this weekend (1000 rounds in two days), luckily these guys had extra guns of the same caliber so they were able to complete the class but our instructor posed an interesting question...What would have happened if that were the real world?

OK to get the naysaying out of the way. It's unlikely that your gun will ever break during the unlikely case you will need to use your primary carry gun. The stats are mind boggling. That's not what I'd like to ask about.

My question for those who carry a BUG where do you carry it?

My first thought was ankle holster, especially because I have a 100 mile round trip commute per day. Also I am in tight situations sometimes where bumping hips with others can be an issue. I already have a Bersa .380 that seems built for ankle carry.

In looking at pocket guns I'm not interested in a small semi-auto with a 12 pound trigger that I can only get two fingers on. I thought about a small snub for pocket carry. BUT I'd like to have a gun that I can hit reliably with to at least 7 yards if not 15 yards.

Then I also thought about a sub compact XD, Glock, MP, or PX4...maybe weakside IWB carry but that's adding another inch inside pants that don't really have that kind of room to spare.

So I am on the verge of getting an ankle holster for my Bersa but was wondering if I'm overlooking an alternative to carrying my BUG. A smart carry or anything pointing at my groin is not an option lol. I am also very leery of small of back carry.

May 27, 2008, 12:32 AM
I carry a S&W 442 as I find it more reliable than any "bottomfeeder" when carried on the ankle or in the pocket.

The pocket and the ankle are the two places I like a BUG, but that's just me. Soon I will start carrying three guns. One strong side IWB, one weak side OWB (Ruger SP101) and one on the ankle or pocket depending upon my dress that day.

I had a Kahr PM9 but traded it for the SP101 because it better suits my needs. I have drawn the PM9 out of my pocket on more than one occaission to find that the magazine had been partially removed from the gun by my day to day activities. That's what I mean when I say a Revolver is more reliable in the smaller guns.

I'd look at the Airweight 38 Specials if it were me and I was looking for a BUG.


May 27, 2008, 12:41 AM
I carry a Glock 27 as a backup for the Glock 22 I carry as a duty weapon. If the 22 fails on me I can still utilize all the magazines on my belt in the Glock 27 as it is the same caliber and accepts the same magazines. I carry it weakside in my cargo pocket in a Desantis pocket holster. If I find myself in a situation I'm fighting to retain my duty weapon, I can use my right hand for retention while using my left to draw the backup which is easily reached in my cargo pocket. Also if my strong arm is injured or otherwise occupied in some way, I have a gun available to each of my hands almost regardless of the position I'm in.
I personally don't care for ankle carry as it is too difficult and slow to draw the weapon is most high stress situations.
As for accuracy, the 27 shoots nearly as well as my 22 and I have no problem making center mass hits at 25 yards. Everyone has their own system but that one works well for me.

Boris Bush
May 27, 2008, 01:05 AM
I carry mine srong side front pocket (P32).

My primary is carried over my right kidney and can be drawn with either hand.

I like strongside pocket carry because if I get that feeling or someone is too close for comfort I can put my hand in my pocket and go at it in an instant if need be.

May 27, 2008, 01:35 AM
I carry a Glock 21 for duty and a Glock 30 for backup. I utilize an ankle holster. I decided against using pocket or vest holster. I like being able to access the back up gun with either hand, I also like that it is accessed quickly in the car while my seatbelt is on.

May 28, 2008, 09:16 AM
Both your pistols went down within a 1000 rounds of each other? What went wrong?

That said, how do you dress?

I don't tie my BUG to one location, running it either AIWB, on the ankle, or in a pocket depending on how I'm dressed.

The BUG's a S&W 340.

May 28, 2008, 04:34 PM
My main carry is a 1911 IWB carry. The BUG is a .25 Beretta inside my left front pocket. It's small as hell but deadly accurate up to 5 yards out.


May 28, 2008, 07:52 PM
I keep one on my strong side buttcheek, another in the weak bladder position, and another next to my heart!

Sigma 40 Blaster
May 28, 2008, 08:23 PM
Erik. My gun was fine, my XD 45c spit out those 1000 rounds in two days flawlessly, I saw other guys with quality guns have catastrophic failures (one broken extractor, the 1911 had something happen to the trigger...don't know).

I generally dress in either khakis and a pullover untucked OR shorts and a long T-Shirt untucked.

I was hoping for some new ideas but it looks like there are only so many places to carry a BUG (sanely that is...and yes that does say SANE). So I'm almost decided on getting either a Ruger LCP or an airweight snub and carry it either on the ankle or pocket depending on my dress for the day.

Thanks everyone for the input, I at least feel a little better knowing I didn't overlook any obvious answers.

Brad Kenney
May 31, 2008, 12:06 PM
I carry a backup on my ankle while on-duty all the time. Renegade holster is my current favorite (secure, yet the j-frame model allows the handgun to be drawn without unsnapping the elastic). Carried a Glock 27 and have now switched to a light-weight j-frame 38. If you wear the lower boots, the holster rests on the upper edge of the boot and you forget it's there.

I have easily qualified on our duty-gun course every year. With practice, you will be on target to out to 25 yards without a miss. (Our course starts at 15 yards and requires 100% hits to pass).

One thing though, practice getting to the weapon. Most folks have forgotten, or are too young to have seen, one simple method to draw: Let's say you have the handgun on your left ankle, grab your pants material with your left hand while stepping back and kneeling onto your right knee. Your pants will pull up and you will have easy access to the handgun.

June 2, 2008, 04:16 PM
I carry a BUG about 10% of the time. It goes IWB at the 12:30 position. My main CCW then rides at 4:00. When I am only carrying one gun, it goes in the BUG position.

So I guess you could say the BUG is the primary while the larger gun is the BUG. :)

Little gun is Glock 26, main is XD45 Service

June 2, 2008, 04:47 PM
You should look at the kahr pm9 or pm40... pocketable small, trigger, accuracy, recoil, and pretty much everything else about the gun is superior to it's 12lb trigger plastic cousins.

June 2, 2008, 05:07 PM
the glove box

June 8, 2008, 04:17 PM
When I carry it, I keep a Kahr strapped to the inside forearm on my weak side under a long-sleeved shirt or jacket. Two quick motions - 1)rip off the cuff button and 2) slide sleeve along arm to retrieve pistol. Works better with fixed-blade knives, but whatever floats yer boat.

June 9, 2008, 06:23 PM
Sigma, you were asking about a small back up that was accurate. A buddy of mine just bought his wife a S&W 643 in .38 +P with the crimson trace grip. A .38 may be smaller than what you are looking for but is dead on with the laser. At about 9 yards, I was fooling around and was firing from the hip, behind my back, from above my head cocked sideways like a gheto gangster, with the 5 rounds, I could more than cover the group with a silver half dollar. More like just outside a quarter. But that's what I'm going get for my BUG.

Hard Ball
June 9, 2008, 08:27 PM
Strong side front pants pocket.

June 13, 2008, 03:54 AM
My primary carry gun on my right a GLOCK21 SF, and my BUG on my left ankle a GLOCK 30. Both with the same magazine.

June 13, 2008, 10:53 PM
P32, strong side back pocket

June 15, 2008, 09:09 PM
I agree with BikerRN. A small, lightweight revolver makes a fine BUG.

July 1, 2008, 06:35 PM
SW 642 weakside in pocket in a Mika rig or same on ankle when appropriate. ;)

July 2, 2008, 01:17 AM
Nostril-carry seems to work best for backup.

July 2, 2008, 08:31 PM
You mean if your sinuses back up?:D

July 2, 2008, 08:46 PM
Inside paddle holster Bersa 380 on left for cross pull,other side right carry XD .45 (usually)

July 3, 2008, 07:29 PM
Primary is a Glock 30 or Glock23, BUG is a Taurus 605SS 357 mag in ankle holster or weak side IWB
2nd BUG is a AR15 M4 with laser and white light, tele-stock in the trunk


July 3, 2008, 07:42 PM

July 3, 2008, 07:55 PM
My back up is kind of the opposite of what most people consider a BUG.

Instead of being a smaller, easily concealed gun in case I lose my primary or run out of ammo it is a larger and higher capacity gun that I can hopefully get to if I find myself in a situation where my primary is inadequate for one reason or another.

It is a Springfield XD-45acp which I keep locked in my truck safe.

With one 10 round mag and another 13 round mag it gives my a good amount of ammo before reloading.


July 6, 2008, 11:28 AM
If you are considering a back-up gun because of concerns you have with a failure- then you should carry a revolver as a back up. Something like an SP101 would be a good choice as revolvers are more dependable that semi-autos (as far as failure rate). If you pull the trigger and it goes "click" just pull it again and you get a fresh round. That's why so many Cops carry small revolvers off duty.

Sigma 40 Blaster
July 6, 2008, 07:05 PM
I actually went with an M&P 9mm compact. I found a good used SP101 but by the time I got some cash and made it back the gun was gone, couldn't find anything else that caught my eye.

I posted this a month and a half ago when I was FRESH out of a defensive handgun class. I'm still doing a lot of the training (dry firing, drawing/reloading drills) but have yet to incorporate the back up gun carry.

I tried pocket carry (wallet holster) with this thing but it's too big, I think it would ride nicely in an ankle holster but I just haven't tried it out. Mostly because I've been wearing shorts (VERY HOT IN TEXAS) and haven't really had an opportunity to carry it in back up capacity.

Thanks to everyone for their serious advice, the funny guys should just learn to hit back instead of trying to entertain us with their wit that NO ONE has ever seen or thought of before.

July 6, 2008, 07:08 PM
My BUG: LCP on weak side in front pants pocket in DeSantis Super Fly holster without flap.

July 6, 2008, 07:16 PM
Around town I carry my primary in either weak side front pocket or strong side rear pocket. Seecamp .32 or Beretta .22lr, don't like other types of carry personally. If I need something bigger for hiking I'll open carry my GP100.

July 6, 2008, 08:06 PM
Seecamp LWS in the back pocket.