Is it really necessary to bring a backup gun? We're breaking down the pros and cons here!
Should You Carry a Backup Gun?
A backup gun is any pistol that you consider to be secondary to your primary firearm.
For police officers, it’s more often than not a smaller revolver or snub pistol in a secondary holster by their ankle, while their larger duty pistol is their primary weapon.
For civilians, a backup gun might also be a smaller pistol stored in a pocket or purse instead of in a dedicated concealed carry holster.
But, is carrying one really worth the time, money, and possible discomfort? Let’s break it down.
The Benefits of Backup Weapons
There’s no doubt that carrying a backup gun can provide lots of benefits depending on the situation.
If you’re a police officer (both on and off duty), having a backup gun could save your life.
While the odds of ever experiencing an extended firefight are rare – most gunfights happen over the course of a handful of seconds – they have happened in the past.
In these circumstances, a police officer might run out of ammunition for their service pistol and need to rely on a backup gun to fight their way out of a tight spot.
Alternatively, hunters can also carry backup guns to finish off prey animals that they’ve mortally wounded.
If they don’t want to use a high-powered rifle cartridge on the poor animal, they can use a backup pistol to finish the job and do the humane thing.
Civilians may also consider using a backup gun in case they’re in unfamiliar territory or, for whatever reason, have their open-carry weapon confiscated.
Having a backup gun that those around you aren’t aware of can give you a little extra protection if you spend time in a bad neighborhood or if you leave your primary weapon at home or in your car.
The Hassle of a Backup Gun
But while backup weapons can be useful, they also come with a number of drawbacks.
First and foremost of these is the added cost for the weapon, ammunition, and an extra holster.
It may be that you don't have the budget for another gun, considering that well-made firearms usually cost several hundred dollars at least.
Then there’s the discomfort factor. Plenty of people avoid IWB, or inside the waistband holsters, just because they find them uncomfortable.
A backup gun will almost universally be carried this way since your primary weapon will most likely be openly carried.
You may not find the benefits to be worth the constant physical itchiness you may experience from an IWB holster.
Lastly, there’s the reality of gunfights that we touched on above.
As a civilian during a bank robbery or a home invasion, most gunfights only last a few seconds, and you likely won’t squeeze off more than a few rounds in most cases.
You’re almost certainly more likely to be struck by lightning than to need a second gun with more ammunition just to survive a firefight.
Not to mention all the extra paperwork you may need to fill out to carry another gun in the first place!
Ultimately, whether or not carrying a backup gun is worth your time and money is a decision only you can make.
There are certainly positives to doing so, but most people will get along just fine owning, practicing with, and carrying a single gun for their self-defense or hunting needs.
Whatever you decide, remember that a backup gun should be selected and trained with just as much care as your primary weapon.
If push comes to shove, you want to be just as effective with that weapon if you need to be.
What do you think about bringing a backup gun? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section!