Question of the Day: Do You Have a Backup Weapon?

Hogue X1 Microflip (courtesy thetruthaboutknives)

When I tool-up for the day’s activities, I carry a gun and one of my many folding knives (as recommended by I’m under no illusions about my knife-fighting skills. I don’t have any. But WTH. If something stops me from getting to my gun, I have a knife. Which is handy for opening things. And if I don’t have a gun, I carry a knife and . . .

Surefire P2ZX Fury Combat Light (courtesy

a Surefire P2ZX Fury Combat Light. It’s great for blinding assailants and seeing in dark places (e.g., the black hole between the car seat and the center console). It’s not a bad striking weapon either.

Do you carry a backup weapon? If so, what exactly?


  1. avatar Ed Rogers says:

    My firearm is my very, very last backup weapon.

    My fitness level is my primary weapon.

    1. avatar WI Patriot says:

      Faster than a speeding bullet are you…???

      1. avatar Ed Rogers says:

        Nope. Just relying on the odds. Besides, fitness improves my quality of life every day.

        Let’s face it, all the training and equipment in the world are no guarantee that you’ll prevail.
        I prefer to equip and train to a modest degree.

        Being fit works into a viable strategy. Especially if I don’t go to stupid places, at stupid times with stupid people.

        If I am unlucky, sure, I could get whacked by bad guys. In the meantime, I’ll continue enjoying the living daylights out of what this world has to offer.

        1. avatar Hank says:

          You could take it another direction too, fighting the greatest killer of everyone: heart disease.

        2. avatar DaveR says:

          Smartest comment I’ve read on this blog in quite a while.

        3. avatar adverse5 says:

          I practice shadow boxing……..and lose.

        4. avatar Accur81 says:

          Fitness matters. Cheeseburgers, ice cream, craft beers, and pumpkin pie will kill a lot more TTAGers than bullets and bad guys.

        5. avatar Marcus (Aurelius) Payne says:

          What about gun heart disease?

        6. avatar Geoff PR says:

          “What about gun heart disease?”

          A rusty / pitted bore…

    2. avatar jwtaylor says:

      Diet, rest, situational awareness, physical fitness, weapons manipulation, equipment selection. And in that order of priority.
      I can’t remember how long ago, or who gave me that pre-combat inspection, but it’s proven to be the best mantra for where I should focus my energy and time on than anything else.

    3. avatar J says:

      I was going to come on here and say something to this effect. I’m glad to see this as the first comment.

    4. avatar J says:

      I was going to come up on the net here and say something to this effect. Glad this is the first comment I saw.

    5. avatar raptor jesus says:

      If you find yourself in a fair fight, your tactics suck.

  2. avatar Geoff PR says:

    Backup EDC is a Spyderco ‘Harpy’ hawkbill clipped in my left pocket and a cheapie Chinese utilitarian blade clipped in my right pocket, as an extension of my hand…

  3. avatar Marc says:

    #1 Glock 26 w/ hydroshocks
    #2 Smith & Wesson 642
    #3 Spyderco. V8-10

  4. avatar Dcj says:

    Yep. Folding knife at all times. Sometimes an ASP or pepper spray. But since I carry a small BUG type, now I often carry a “new jersey reload”…

    1. avatar WI Patriot says:

      An ASP is nice if you can get a hand on it and deploy it…An ASP will make someone think twice, especially if you get a strike in…

  5. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

    At least one knife along with my G19.

  6. avatar tsbhoa.p.jr says:

    everything is a bottle opener. everything else is a weapon.
    i’ve got a folder to pick my teeth and a bk24 for the larger branches in my way.

    1. avatar Geoff PR says:

      “everything is a bottle opener.”

      I’m having trouble visualizing a condom opening a bottle.

      Can you help?

      (A bottle in front of me, or a frontal lobotomy?)


      1. avatar Geoff PR says:

        EDIT – Day late, dollar short dept. –

        Yeah, I was referring to futzy RF amps, not AF. You were probably referring to ‘bridging’ or ‘strapping’ a stereo into a mono amp, doubling output.

        Nothing against AF tube amps, except the escalating cost of feeding the damn things…

  7. avatar Ralph says:

    Along with my gun, I always carry a knife and know how to use it. Improvised weapons are everywhere if you know where to look and if you have time to grab and deploy them.

    FWIW, I’m more intimidated by knives than guns. Go figure.

  8. avatar Jolly Joe says:

    “My lethal weapon is my mind”.
    -Ice T

  9. avatar Justin says:

    With or without a firearm. I always carry a knife, usually a sog kiku folder or an Ontario xm-12tis and I started to carry a streamlight pro tac flashlight.

    1. avatar Huntmaster says:

      I’ve carried a knife since I was ten years old. Never stabbed anybody with it. Did stab a school yard bully with a pencil, about three times. Broke it off in his leg. He was a lot bigger and decided to use me for a punching bag. The teacher, like the cops everywhere, showed up about five minutes after the fact. We both learned valuable lessons that day. I learned to keep my pencils sharp and he learned not to mess with the people who do.

  10. avatar former water walker says:

    I always have a knife and a Sabre Red pepper gel thingy unless I’m somewhere like a po-leece station.

  11. avatar jug says:

    R51 and either a bug or even another R51, depending on where and when I am goinig.
    That way, the extra magazines interchange!

    Those new R51s have turned into reliable slim and trim tools today!

  12. avatar billy-bob says:

    Oh yes. NY reload FTW!

  13. avatar Defens says:

    Cell phone – because the police are only dozens of minutes away.

    But yeah – EDC pistol with a couple spare mags. Modded CRKT Anubis on strong side. Cold Steel Autoclip on weak side, and a Gerber utility blade folder in a pocket for most cutting chores. An Olight S1R Baton flashlight in each front pocket.

    1. avatar adverse5 says:

      Make that a dozen do-nuts away.

  14. avatar strych9 says:

    Knife. Usually a Spyco Matriarch 2. Light is a Fenix PD22 (Surefire’s tend to grow legs so I don’t carry one with me).

    Generally also a less “scary” knife. Currently that’s a Benchmande 943, more of a “gentleman’s knife”.

    As for “skills”, knowing the basics of how to use a knife is handy but generally speaking unnecessary. If you go apeshit with a knife people will run or die. The technical aspects of stopping someone who has a knife are not really that hard (unless they’re trained with a knife). It’s the ferocity and panic inducing nature of a knife attack that just kind of shut down your brain and create problems. The video below is one of the most honest descriptions of a knife attack that I’ve personally seen.

    Knives kill a lot of people every year and I doubt that more than 5% of the people doing the killing really know what they’re doing.

    1. avatar Accur81 says:

      I have enough knife training that I’m throughly disinclined to fight anyone else with a lot of knife training. Getting sliced is not on my bucket list. My EDC is a Blackwater Benchmade.

      1. avatar Astigmatizm says:

        Benchmade all the way, brother.
        Combination blade on my “Freek”. Also have the “Triage” in the first aid kit.
        BTW, Anyone notice those nasty cuts on that finger in the picture?

  15. avatar WI Patriot says:

    “Question of the Day: Do You Have a Backup Weapon?”

    3, an addition firearm, and 2 Boker auto knives…and last, but not least, my will to live, and do anything I have to do to accomplish that…

  16. avatar Billy Ray Valentine says:

    “Special Agent Orange…Cause I’m a karate man! And a karate man bruises on the inside! They don’t show their weakness. But you don’t know that because you’re a big Barry White looking (mothertrucker)! So get outta my face!”

  17. avatar i1uluz says:

    Guardian Tactical flipper, fun to watch the expression of someone who needs a knife to open something. Flip it open they are :O Nanny state allows concealed carry but not OTF knives.
    Klarus flashlight with the flappy switch on the back that goes straight to strobe. Has a nice bezel for those times the person just needs a love tap on the bridge of their nose to get their mind right. Friend who owns a bar said a strobe flashlight has prevented many calls to 911 late at night. We tend to forget everything for a second or two after seeing the flashing, what ever wizzed them off is forgotten while they can’t see. WARNING: DO NOT DEMO THE FLASHLIGHT ON WIFE. They are not annoyed until after, has a lasting effect on them.

  18. avatar DrewR55 says:

    I carry a Kershaw Grid, Leatherman Wave, and a Nitecore P10 light in addition to my firearm. The Grid is a great knife with a slim profile and decent blade length.

  19. avatar MLee says:

    Generally yes, I carry multiple longer range weapons. Of importance is my Surefire light also a PX Fury and then my small tube of Sabre Red CS Tear Gas. Really though, I can’t stress enough situational awareness which goes a LONG LONG way. Just like having a dog that barks long before you would know something is going on, being situationally aware of your surroundings at vulnerable times will provide a huge tactical advantage in enhancing ones personal safety. Stay out of that lala land everything is perfect mentality or zone.
    Stay keenly aware of your surroundings. When you are driving down your street, be scanning the area for strange cars or people who don’t be long. Scan your house as you pull up for people hiding or a broken front door etc. Be observant!!! Make a conscious effort to be on high alert coming from and going to your car. That is going to be one of your most vulnerable times. Situational awareness is every bit as important as practicing with your weapon. It’s something you work at. Yes some people are more observant than others, but a person can purposely increase their awareness.
    Folks like to engage in caliber wars or striker vs hammer fired war or the 9mm vs .40 war. That stuff is nothing. It’s meaningless. Carry your weapon(s) of choice, practice with them and stay on high alert at your most vulnerable times. Practice staying aware and alert.
    Remember, when considering crimes of opportunity, criminals are looking for easy targets. Don’t be an easy target. Don’t get surprised in an attack. Recognize the possible attack before it happens. THAT is a tactical advantage.

  20. avatar MyName says:

    Answer of the day: Duh, yes.

  21. avatar Steve B says:

    I’ve had one knife fighting class and a couple practice sessions, but by no means consider myself proficient. But yes, I do carry an Esee Izula, along with my pistol, spare mag, and a flashlight.

  22. avatar Jross says:

    Yes, my gun.

    My primary is the most powerful weapon in history…my brain.


  23. avatar Gregolas says:

    Always have a 3-in. Browning folder, but no knife skills. Primary backup is Sabre pepper spray.

  24. avatar Lhstr says:

    I carry several, 1. Glock 17, 2. glock 26, 3. throwing blade, 4. A quick fold knife, 5. A weapon whip, 6. And speed. Now the brain too, which decides what I need to survive…

  25. avatar =BCE56= says:

    An airtight plan and a foolproof alibi.

  26. avatar uncommon_sense says:

    What I carry depends on my plans for the day.

    Here are my primary carry and backup in increasing order of preparedness:
    — everyday: Smith and Wesson M&P40 and one spare magazine
    — heightened: S&W M&P40 and a Ruger LCP in .380 ACP
    — serious concern: M&P40 and Ruger SR9
    — grave concern: large .44 Magnum revolver and M&P40

    1. avatar Jelly Roll says:

      — everyday: Beretta Tomcat 32 & Sig P230 380
      — heightened: S&W 66 357
      — serious concern: S&W 66 357 & Rem 870 12ga w/ 5 rounds on buttstock
      — grave concern: S&W 66 357 & Rem 870 12ga w/ bandoleer

      1. avatar uncommon_sense says:

        well played sir or ma’am, well played

  27. avatar mike oregon says:

    My Sunday, or “Sunday best” carry is
    1- M&P 40Pro 5″
    1-M&P 40c
    2- 15rd backup mags
    1- Benchmade SOCP
    1-Benchmade 808 (Loco)

  28. avatar Just Sayin says:

    Here’s my stuff and backup in increasing order of preparedness:
    — everyday: ZONE Bar
    — heightened: ZONE Bar and bottled water
    — serious concern: Large trail mix, bottled water and bag of Pretzel M&Ms
    — grave concern: Bag of homemade chocolate chip cookies, 1L water, Sub sandwich

    1. avatar adverse5 says:

      Beer, you got to have beer.

  29. avatar ironicatbest says:

    A heavy yo-yo with 150 lb test braided fishing line , and a butterfly knife.

  30. avatar adverse5 says:

    I take my gf with me everywhere.

    1. avatar ironicatbest says:

      Not everywhere. I’ve got her sometimes,,,,. Oh shit here comes another ass beaten….. 🤕

  31. avatar Vic Nighthorse says:

    2nd gun (concealed like the first) and then a custom made15th century mammoth gripped quillion dagger open carried at hip in a bronze and blackwood scabbard. The dagger is a functional fashion accessory for a HEMA geek and is also there to show that I am armed while simultaneously potentially misleading an assailant about how I am armed. Yeah, nerdous maximous. Played too many role playing games as a kid. I don’t take it overly seriously, though. Mostly fun.

  32. avatar ironicatbest says:

    Watched them vids, I can’t move that fast no more. Two years ago I got my ass kicked , in an enthusiastic sparring match. Reflexs aren’t as fast, no hand to hand for me if I can help it. If not I hope my training in Runchiknrun works, feet don’t fail me now.

  33. avatar raptor jesus says:

    NY reload – Beretta 950 Jetfire BUG (yep, James Bond’s gun before the Walther). Nine rounds of “you better shoot them in the eyes or neck or you’ll just piss them off” in a package smaller than the palm of your hand.

  34. avatar Ton E says:

    My BUG is an Ruger LCR in .357.

  35. avatar tickTalk says:

    Gibb’s (NCIS) rules, #9: Never go anywhere without a knife.

    I have a carbon fiber credit-card foldup knife in my wallet. Bought 30 of them from aliexpress for $20. Pretty much single use, but can carry it anywhere.
    And a key shaped pen knife on my keychain.

    When on a trail walk or camping, my 14″ damascus bowie
    Oh, and my lead loaded shillelagh.

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