Concealed Carry Corner: Validity Of A Backup Gun

    There’s a ton of pros and cons when it comes to carrying a backup gun. Carrying a backup gun isn’t all that rare in the gun world and dates back to cap and ball era times. Throughout the years, there have been countless debates about how necessary it is to carry a backup gun in modern society. Whenever I have touched the subject of a backup gun in the past, I have gotten individuals on both sides arguing their opinion. In modern society, is it understandable to carry a backup gun? Let’s take a look into the validity of a backup gun.

    The Idea Behind A Backup Gun

    The idea of having a backup gun is a fairly simple one. Ideally, a backup gun is a firearm that will be used if your main firearm is disabled or you can’t reach it in the certain situation you find yourself in. Various police departments and agencies will allow Law Enforcement offices to carry a backup handgun of some type while on duty. Even the occasional concealed carrier will decide to carry a backup gun but is it worth it? Various people have said they carry a backup gun and if a situation arises they will give the second gun to a friend or spouse if it is needed.

    I understand that mindset but I’ve also heard the argument that a backup gun is needed in case your primary handgun goes down. I can understand the argument about giving a spare firearm to someone close in a self-defense situation, but the reliability is a tougher argument especially in 2021. Police officers are far more likely to run into a life-threatening situation than an average concealed carrier going about their day. Officers are attacked and find themselves in physical altercations way more than the average concealed carrier just going to get groceries. I don’t blame them if they decide to carry a backup gun just to have the reassurance they are safe. At the end of the day, they are ultimately the first responders to dangerous situations in society.

    Modern Technology Means Better Reliability

    Back in the times of cap and ball revolvers, it made complete sense to carry a backup handgun. Oftentimes, these old revolvers wouldn’t fire due to wet powder or bad primers. They also took absolutely forever to reload especially under stress.  Even in the earlier days of the 20th century, many people carried small-caliber handguns as backup guns just in case because of firearm reliability. In today’s society though, we don’t have near the issues with firearm reliability and the longevity of firearms have improved over time with better machining and coatings from the factory.

    Having something like a Glock, SIG, Heckler & Koch, or Smith & Wesson will ensure you have a reliable firearm that goes bang every single time. With a higher level of quality in materials and finishes, firearms have become extremely durable. Modern handguns will easily last a lifetime if they are maintained properly. The days of carrying a low-capacity revolver are starting to end with the explosion in popularity of semi-auto handguns that continue to become more ergonomic and easier to control. Don’t get me wrong, there will always be people who want to carry a revolver and that’s understandable. The vast majority of people however have switched to a polymer semi-auto handgun to carry daily.

    The Advancement of Small Handguns

    Over the last decade, there have been a number of companies coming out with smaller handguns that pack a high round count. Whether it’s the Glock 43X with a Shield Arms 15 round magazine, SIG P365 or Springfield Armory Hellcat, these all give a high round count in a small package. With a larger size handgun, people like to have a smaller handgun as a backup just in case.

    With a smaller concealable handgun like a Glock 43X or SIG, I think it gives the benefit of having the best of both worlds. It’s like having the higher capacity of a larger handgun while keeping it small like a backup gun.  The vast majority of people just want a reliable handgun that offers enough capacity to keep them safe. Having a smaller handgun to conceal while keeping the higher capacity is a combination of the best factors from both handgun types. Combine that with modern machining and finishes, and there’s not much need for a backup gun due to reliability.

    Overall Thoughts

    So is it viable to carry a backup gun in today’s society?  For most people who conceal carry on a daily basis, the answer is no. Law Enforcement officers often carry a backup handgun due to their risky profession and sometimes it’s just not possible to get to your primary firearm. For the average concealed carrier though, having a single handgun that proves to be reliable is more than enough. The chances of getting into a self-defense situation are slim already and it’s important to be proficient with a single handgun rather than carrying more than one firearm for a “just in case” situation.

    If you want to carry a second handgun just for the fact you can, then I support that fully. This is America and you have the right to carry multiple firearms if you wish, that’s one of the real freedoms of this country! Let me know what you guys think about backup guns. I don’t think a backup gun is necessary when you have such reliable handguns on the market today that offer 15 round magazines as standard. Do you guys think a backup gun is important to build into your system or is one handgun with a spare magazine enough? Let me know in the comments below. If you have questions, feel free to shoot me a message on Instagram @fridgeoperator. Stay safe out there.

    TFB’s Concealed Carry Corner is brought to you by GLOCK


    I’m an avid shooter and love educating whether it’s at my job or in the shooting community. I’m an average joe that really loves talking with other people about firearms and other passions.
    I’m active on Instagram on @fridgeoperator.