Now that Jack Frost is punching me in the nose, yes, I carry a backup gun (BUG). A Gemini Customs ported J-frame in a Mike’s pocket holster in my pants or jacket pocket. (Ankle carry is even more awkward than this video indicates.) A BUG seems pretty silly sometimes, given that I carry a Glock 30SF AND an extra mag and I’m so not a cop. But bugs account for 98 percent of life on the planet. So why not? Are you with me on this one?

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36 Responses to Question of the Day: Do You Carry A Backup Gun?

  1. Only in winter unless I have to go to a really really bad area for some reason. I usually just carry an LCP in the summer but im thinking of getting a second one. Now that the cold weather is creepin up on us here in New England I can carry a Kahr 45 in a much more comfy manner but i’ll still tuck the LCP in a spare pocket. I swear the LCP with a hogue grip sleeve is so handy I dont even notice it anymore.

  2. It’s a personal choice. I have one gun and one pepper spray on me. Close by I have a shotgun.

    I’ve only used 1 ankle holster. It was almost completely useless IMHO. The only thing it did was conceal the gun. Trying to access the well concealed gun was a whole other matter.

  3. Rarely do I carry a BUG. If my primary and one or two reloads aren’t enough, then I must have been teleported to Falujah or something.

    • Nicely put! I have a Kimber in the car, but don’t really consider that a BUG, it’s just too big for comfy concealment here in TX. My pocket LCP will do away from the car, while in or near the car presenting the Kimber would be both quicker and more effective than the .380.

      Retired now, most places I go I do have a BUG, but that’s a “backup gunner”, as the bride carries a .38.

  4. In addition to the obvious, BUGs have several advantages:

    – It may be easier to access your BUG than reload
    – You may not be able to access your primary weapon, but may be able to access your bug (pinned on ground, injured primary limb, etc.
    – You have a spare weapon to give to another shooter who may not be carrying

    • All technically sound reasons. Realistic for a lot of us? Nah. I consider myself prepared for the vast majority of real life situations with a single firearm. Every possible situation? Again, nah.

  5. I carry a G19 on my hip when out and about and a Ruger LCR .357 in my left pocket. Depending on the circumstances, the Ruger is either the BUG or may be used as the primary.

    If the BG is up close and personal or, god forbid, he’s somehow on me, he’s getting five .357 mags to the vitals. I don’t want the G19’s slide being pushed out of battery in close quarters because a jammed gun is nothing short of worthless in those circumstances. Plus there’s a lot more involved in drawing from an IWB holster. Slipping a snub from a pocket holster is pretty damn easy.

    If I have enough warning and can seek cover, the G19 comes out.

    Train with both and make sure you get decent with firing from either hand. Hands are often casualties in gunfights anyway.

  6. I would no more drive around without a spare tire than I would be out in public without a BUG.

    To me it’s a silly rationale to say I don’t carry a back up because I’m not a cop.
    The cops generally show up when all the killing is over, usually in droves with all the extra hardware any true gun- nut could want.

    We, on the other hand would be the ones being mobbed on by a bunch of urban youth with no body armor and no radio to call on all of our fellow brothers and sisters in blue.

  7. I used to like carrying a .22 “pocket gun” (a Beretta 21A or a mini revolver)–this was way back before the glut of mouse guns–and found I actually carried these more than my primary sidearm (as in, it was always in my pocket, even at home). And since they were .22s and just darn fun to shoot, I found I was spending more range time with them.

  8. On duty a Sig P220 on the belt and a Ruger LC9 in a pocket holster, just to compliment the Bushmaster DPS Model AR.

    Off duty usually just the Ruger LC9 in a DeSantis Nemisis with a spare mag on the belt. Unless I’m going into downtown Houston, then it’s two pistols all over again…sometimes three or the AR on the floorboard.

  9. I carry two guns while on the job in the high crime parts of my city. In the summer and warmer months, I normally carry a Sig P238 in my strong side front pocket, and a S&W 642 on my ankle. If I am seated in the car, the ankle gun is much easier to reach than the Sig in my pocket, under the lap belt portion of the seatbelt. On the other hand, if I’m standing or walking, I can have my hand on the Sig much easier than squatting down for the ankle gun.

  10. I live in a generally safe area and often figure that if I can’t get the job done with one gun, I’m deeper in the brown and smelly than two handguns will extract me from. To me, it’s an evaluation of the risks versus the labor. I’m at relatively low risk, and carrying two guns is not as easy as carrying one. I do bring at least one reload for whatever I’m carrying.

    The arguments on both sides of this make good sense. As I said, it’s a balancing of how much work you want to do against how much danger you likely will face.

  11. Actually RF, bacteria are the Earth’s dominant life-form in total numbers, numbers of species, and total mass. Even your own personal body has more bacterial cells than human cells. The human cells are just bigger.

    Total bacterial biomass (even at such minimal weight per cell) may exceed all the rest of life combined, even forest trees, once we include the subterranean populations as well.

    Bonus point, no bacterial species yet found is known to be hoplophobic.

    • “Bonus point, no bacterial species yet found is known to be hoplophobic.”

      HAHAHAHAHA that’s by far the best comment of the day.

  12. No. The cost/benefit analysis doesn’t work out for it, in my opinion.

    Often carry a second mag, sometimes a third mag, too. Which, with a Glock, gives me north of 45 rounds at my disposal. If that’s somehow not enough, well, all men must die at some point.

  13. I live in a relatively safe neighborhood and area, so I generally don’t carry a BUG. I do, however, carry a blade. With that said, a few months back, a couple (reporters for the local newspaper) were returning from a show around 10pm. They were stopped at a traffic light about two miles from my house. As they were stopped, a large group of African-American teens (estimated ~50) walked by. One of the people in the group threw something at the car. The male driver said something about it. The group pulled him out of the car and beat him severely. He is lucky that they didn’t kill him. Of course, no one has been arrested or prosecuted.

    My point is that even in areas that you believe to be safe, weird stuff happens sometimes. I am sure that driver would have loved to have had his primary and a couple of extra mags in that situation… My second point is don’t mouth off at large groups of people 😉

  14. I’m not a LEO or in the physical security business. While I used to be an intelligence officer I pretty much went about my business unarmed. Unless you are in either profession you don’t need a BUG.

  15. While I keep an BUG in my vehicle, I don’t carry one on my person.

    I’m very comfortable with my primary EDC and spare mag.

  16. Generally my gun is a bug. Not only is my primary carry a small gun, but also its a backup to my primary GTFO.

    But to answer the question in the way it was intended, PPS on the belt year round. Add a LCR to coat pocket in the winter. Not so much as backup to the other gun, but to ensure access. Go out to move snow and put some coveralls on, can’t get to my hip.

  17. A back up? Always; 1911 is the EDC and an SP101 is the back up. As Clint Smith is fond of saying; 2 is 1, 1 is none.

  18. I dont think that many people would need a “bug”. If you need more firepower just get a gun with more capacity. The only thing quicker than a New York reload is to keep pulling the trigger. If you know your going into a bad part of town, pack a 33 round glock mag, dont be stupid. Now so many gun companys are making their compacts with 12 plus rounds, no more needed but maybe one reload. Dont know about you but I dont plan on being in a fire fight. If they want my wallet, fine take it. If they want pretty much anything but my wife or daughter, take it! Credit cards can be canceled, my truck insurance can get me a new truck. I cant get a new daughter or a new wife. They depend on me to be their bullet proof vest, their guardian, and their gun packer. First line of defense, dont get into a fight. The best way to do that, dont go looking for it.

    • “The best way to do that, dont go looking for it.”

      Well, thanks for that, Cap’n Obvious. I’m sure that thought never occurred to anyone here.

      • Obviously not if their packing 3 mags plus 1 in the gun (45 rounds). I’d rather not be packing 4 pounds on my waist, but again, to each their own. One gentleman above said it very well, if you need a back up gun, move to another neighborhood.

        • Who the hell knows what you’ll need until you actually need it?

          It’s better to have one and not need it, genius.

  19. “Two is one.”

    I tend to carry a XD-45 in a shoulder holdster and a Walther PK-380 IWB in all seasons except Summer here in Colorado. Then it is just the Walther.

    • Yup. Some backup guns are as light as a full mag of primary (and there aint anything faster than a New York reload). Who knows if your primary jams or you can access the secondary faster, or you can hand of the second gun to an ally, or…..

  20. Nope, I don’t carry a back-up. I’m not in the gunfighting business. If I can’t protect my family and/or myself with one gun, then I probably couldn’t do it with 3 guns. Your milage may vary, because you may be in worse places than I’m typically in and/or you are better trained than me. But I’ll put my skills at staying away from stupid people doing stupid things in stupid places at stupid times of the day up against anyone’s. If I had to live in metro Philly, or worse, downtown Reading, PA, I’d reconsider the idea.

  21. I live in south Florida, where light clothing is the rule most of the year. Springfield XD-s in a Comp-tac 2 O’clock works very well under a t shirt with a NAA mini (22 mag) in my pocket as BUG.

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