View Full Version : Backup handgun: how necessary is it?

February 21, 2009, 06:15 AM
I would like to know how important is it to carry a backup gun?

Have you ever been in a situation where you were 'actually' required to draw you back up weapon?

Also what do you recommend as a backup gun?

Currently + am using Glock 26 as my backup gun.

February 21, 2009, 06:28 AM
I always carry a backup I haven't had to use it but it's there if I need it. As far as your backup I see nothing wrong with your choice, If you ar happy with it thats all that's important. This is my primary and backup
Sig 226 .357Sig with Crimson Trace Laser and S&W 340PD .357Mag also with CT Laser


February 21, 2009, 06:53 AM
In other words, are you carrying 2 handguns for back up?

February 21, 2009, 08:06 AM
Primary gun = seatbelt.
BUG = airbag.

Gotta have both to be safe.


February 21, 2009, 09:00 AM

Yours is the first gun with add-on CT grips that I've seen with the warning stickers attached. Mine stay in the box.

On duty I ALWAYS carry a BUG (custom 9mm S&W 360 w/CT grips), sometimes two (add a Kel-tec P3AT). Off duty I seldom carry a BUG. Also, I always carry at least one spare reload for whatever I'm carrying, BUGs included. I've never had to draw mine.

Do I think it is necessary for everyone? I think every cop should carry one because they are at greater risk of someone trying to take their primary or being in an altercation where the only weapon they can reach is their BUG.
If you're not a LEO I'd say it is a matter of choice. If you are carrying concealed and minding your own business there's far less chance of someone grabbing your gun or wrestling you for it, etc. Of course you can also carry one for the "New York Reload" option, it may be faster for you to put another gun into action than reload one.

February 21, 2009, 09:59 AM
Primary gun = seatbelt.
BUG = airbag.
Good one :D
Law enforcement, necessary. Average man or woman, not necessary, but definately wouldn't hurt.
Take care

February 21, 2009, 08:15 PM
The Sig is my primary weapon the S&W is my BUG

February 21, 2009, 08:24 PM
Im not a LEO or in combat so its overkill for me.

February 21, 2009, 08:38 PM
In theory, it's not a bad idea. In practice, I don't.
YMMV. If you can, and will, why not?

Some carry two, some carry three. Some may carry more. I have no problem with any of that, as long as it is legal in your locale.

I don't consider it necessary, because I carry some very reliable, fairly powerful primaries, but that is only my opinion, which is based on my experience.

Both are subject to change. :)

February 22, 2009, 03:24 AM
I'm a firm believer in carrying a BUG off duty.

Yes, I have had need of a BUG before, when my strong hand was busy deflecting a blade. That was as a CCW Permit Holder, between LEO jobs.


February 22, 2009, 04:18 AM
Simple gun math :

1 = 0
2 = 1

Honestly though, I think most of it depends depends on your occupation and every day surroundings. For me to carry a BUG would likely be overkill... but that's just me.

February 22, 2009, 01:11 PM
^ what he said.

if you need one, then you need two. three is better.

best bet, whenever possible carry a fullsize and then a smaller version of the same gun, especially if the smaller gun will work with the fullsize mags.

example, glock 17/19 and a 26 as a bug.

February 22, 2009, 02:52 PM
On the spot comments; mission dependent.

Two other considerations, when with my wife in summer attire, my BUG is her primary. My BUG/secondary is almost always a pocket carried revolver. If possible, carry a secondary that will accept the primaries magazine is a plus.

Always carry a dedicated defensive knife.

February 22, 2009, 02:59 PM
There was a time, as an uniformed LEO, I would have 3 handguns on me: Primary on the belt, one in a shoulder holster (in the winter, under an IKE jacket) and a third on my ankle. Just never could carry 4 comfortably!:D

Hard Ball
February 22, 2009, 03:30 PM
Its much better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it!

February 22, 2009, 03:59 PM
Always carry a dedicated defensive knife.

totally forgot that one. I've been carrying a defensive knife since before I could drive.

Its much better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it!

+1000! beyond firearms, this is why I keep tools, shovels, axes, chains, ect in my blazer.

when you need it and don't have it, you sing a whole different tune.

February 22, 2009, 04:14 PM
FIrepower, Context is everything.

I live in a town with one murder in its history, assaults outside of the domestic variety or tied to our one local saloon, are just as rare. I carry because I have to leave here and go other places for work, but at home, carrying a gun on my belt is just habit, not really need based NOW.

however, I have read your threads about where you live, etc, and I would not leave the house without at least three weapons, a carbine or better, a combat handgun, and a bug or deep cover weapon. the deep cover or bug has been historically used to defend oneself after being overrun. Lets say your car is stopped and you are disarmed of your visible weapons, after taking a carbine and fullsize off of you, they are not going to be doing the pat down, that leaves you with a option, that given the chance, can save you and your loved ones. Many a Policeman, after having lost his duty weapon, has saved himself by having a deep cover weapon to resort to.

I do have a rorhbaugh, 9mm. its tiny, you forget you have it on, mine rides in a little holster which acts like a cell phone holder, the cell case is the outside, IWB is the holster. Its really slick, not high speed, but pretty discrete and very positive. I carry that to places were carrying is not allowed, but where I am not willing to go unarmed.

February 22, 2009, 04:28 PM
Although the use of a backup gun is rare in a confrontation, there are many good guys who have come out the loser who could have benefitted from a back-up gun. Anything can happen to the primary pistol: jams, broken part, goes empty while the suspect is advancing on you, suspect takes it away from you, weapon takes a disabling round (example, Agent Jerry Dove, 1986 FBI shootout).

Carrying a back-up is a personal choice. Some see it as overkill. Why, because the belief is "I'll never need it". Since gunfights are rare and the need for a back-up gun is even more rare, it's an acceptable risk to a lot of folks. However, I've seen enough horror stories of police officers being unable to fight back because they didn't have a second gun. That is enough for me, I don't have to experience it firsthand to believe it is sound policy.

February 22, 2009, 04:33 PM
I live quite close to what is ALWAYS known as one of the most dangerous cities in America. I carry a BUG mostly due to the fact that is no harder than carrying my wallet; something I'd never be without. The P32 I use as BUG also serves as primary, when I have to rush out at a moment's notice without my primary, something that happens rarely, but occasionally. The G26 is an awesome BUG, but a little more than I want for that purpose, because I find that my primary conceals better than the G26. Among the crap I carry on a daily basis, you see the primary of Kimber UCDP and P32 BUG.


February 23, 2009, 07:39 AM
Nice photo Stevie-Ray, just one question - is that pile in the middle the "change" we've been waiting for? How'd you get it so fast? I haven't received mine yet!:rolleyes:

February 23, 2009, 07:21 PM
Nice photo Stevie-Ray, just one question - is that pile in the middle the "change" we've been waiting for? How'd you get it so fast? I haven't received mine yet!:D Nope, that's mine, hard earned. When Obama got elected, I called him not to congratulate him, but to tell him to "keep the change.";)

February 23, 2009, 07:46 PM
when ever i plan on going out someplace i always carry a BUG with a primary( nothing less than a 9mm ). the primary gets carried in a secure holster, while my BUG gets carried in my pocket or another holster that i can draw from fast. so in reality the BUG gets used first and the primary is for an extended engagement.

for a BUG i choose a Ruger SP101 in either .38 spl. or .357 mag. ( i have both ). i feel better about using a revolver as a BUG so even though i trust my primary, i have something that will always work like my SP101.

February 26, 2009, 03:44 AM
its not bad to have one i think, but i believe you should be good with the one you carry enough to not need one lol

Double Naught Spy
February 26, 2009, 07:01 AM
I would like to know how important is it to carry a backup gun?
For most folks, not important at all...because they will never need to use their firearms for a crisis, much less need a spare.

Have you ever been in a situation where you were 'actually' required to draw you back up weapon?
Nope, but haven't needed my primary either. The fact that I have yet to need them does not dissuade me from being prepared.

Also what do you recommend as a backup gun?
I like the notion of a BUG being the same caliber and using the same magazines as the primary, but that isn't always practical. My primary is a 1911 in .45 acp and there aren't too any mini 1911s in .45 acp that accept regular 1911 magazines that will full fit in many of my pockets. My BUG ends up being a Kahr PM9 when I carry a 1911 as primary.

A BUG should be a gun that you can shoot well with either hand and that you can carry comfortably.

February 26, 2009, 08:11 AM
When I'm 10-8, I always have a BUG. Off Duty, I carry one most of the time, sometimes two. Hope I never have to use either, but I would rather use one, the other, or both and go home that night. I carry a glock on duty most of the time, and either an HK or 1911 otherwise. My BUG is a S&W 642.... love that thing. Knife is an Emerson Commander or Benchmade AFCK. Just bought a new Gerber Hinderer CLS for duty too. Has a glass breaker and seatbelt cutter that work well but it's still not too bulky. Excellent duty knife.

February 27, 2009, 07:12 PM
I always carry my seecamp .wallet in one pocket pistol in other. so my backup is my [email protected] c.:D i never leave home without it.;)

February 28, 2009, 06:36 PM
1911 Officers, and 22 Beretta back up, but if 2 is good would 3 be better?

February 28, 2009, 11:58 PM
I used to carry a BUG, but started wearing burmy shorts so much when I lived in FL that I got out of the habit. It's still a good idea though.

March 3, 2009, 04:29 PM
having a back up is never necessary, until you need it. :)

March 3, 2009, 10:19 PM
Sorry - maybe I'm lazy, but religiously carrying one firearm is the best I can do. Travelling, I do have other firearms with me, but not for EDC.

March 5, 2009, 09:12 AM
You cant go wrong with more firepower...though I'd rather not carry the extra weight of the second. Just have a reliable main gun and your set.

Mike Irwin
March 5, 2009, 11:02 AM
"Primary gun = seatbelt.
BUG = airbag.

Gotta have both to be safe."

But what about the back up to your back up gun? Shouldn't that be the anti-lock brakes of your personal protection package?

And the back up to your back up to your back up gun? That would be the OnStar, right?

March 5, 2009, 11:10 AM
i don't carry a BUG.
Plan A- primary gun
Plan B- RUN!!!!

March 9, 2009, 03:54 PM
Since the subject has been mentioned....how many here carry a back-up knife instead of a back-up firearm?

March 9, 2009, 05:03 PM
I always carry a knife. Never carry a BUG unless I'm traveling long distance, and it stays in the car when I get out.

Ben Towe
March 9, 2009, 07:45 PM
I always carry two knives, a big folding Case and a razor knife with paper blades (supposed to be sharper than a scalpel). In the car I keep a short handled fireman's ax, so if I can fight my way back to the car I can go Braveheart on 'em:D.

March 11, 2009, 12:54 PM
I'm not LE so the idea of a backup gun seems a little exessive for me but I always thought in addition to my carry piece it would be nice to have a belt buckle made out of a claymore mine!

March 11, 2009, 08:45 PM
...but I always thought in addition to my carry piece it would be nice to have a belt buckle made out of a claymore mine!

I'm sure that would impress the ladies.... :D

March 13, 2009, 05:28 PM
Its all about your life style and the risk you face on a daily basis. For example, an accountant who works 9 to 5 in an office in the good part of town, unnecesary(but if that person feels so compelled, game on), on the other hand, a tow truck driver who impounds illegaly parked cars in bad neighber hoods, has a higher likely hood of encountering an irate "customer", and may just find himself in a situation where a back up gun could come in handy.

Deaf Smith
March 15, 2009, 08:59 PM
I would like to know how important is it to carry a backup gun?

If you need it, it's important. If you don't need it, it's not. Simple no?