Carrying a backup gun isn’t exactly common practice. I don’t do it as much as I probably should, but I do takea backup weapon occasionally. My threat analysis usually drives my decision making. When I’m going to a place, I’ll think about the layout of the building, the surrounding area, crime trends in the area, and so on. From there, I’ll decide what I’m carrying.
Some people will disagree with me and say that you should always be prepared for the absolute worst-case scenario no matter what, and I can see where they’re coming from. However, for me, I decide based on my threat analysis.
More often than not, I don’t carry a backup weapon. However, I’ve realized more recentlythat I should do this more. If nothing else, it gives you some additional ammunition and a second weapon in case your primary malfunctions.
I’ve come to realize that my backup weapon is so easy to conceal, there’s no reason not just to grab it. Plus, some will argue it’s easier to draw your backup weapon than to reload your primary.
While the discussion about whether or not you should carry a backup weapon could go on for days, we will focus this article on potential choices for you to bringas your backup.
My general idea of a backup weapon is a subcompact weapon. For me, I carry my backup firearm in a pants pocket. If you want to pack two bigger guns, you’re going to have to think about some different approaches. This article’s primaryfocus centers on subcompacts.
Here’s a couple of my favorites, in no particular order.
Ruger LCP II
Starting this list off is the Ruger LCP II. This tiny .380 is available in a few different colors, and you can get it with a built-inCrimson Trace laser sight. I like the version that has included Hogue grips, but any of them will do.
It measures 5.17 inches long and 3.71 inches tall. It’s less than an inch wideand weighs barely over 10 ounces. As you can see, this is an ideal candidate for pocket carry. In fact, it comes with a pocket holster.
The pistol is decent quality overall, especially when considering how small it is. It is durableand offers a solid grip. It has an attachable finger grip extension, which can improve the ergonomics of the weapon.
The sights are easy to use, and the weapon offers some decent safety features. The trigger is decent overall, and the gunshoots reliably.
Regarding cons, there isn’t much to mention that you wouldn’t expect. All of these weapons are very small, so shooting them is less than enjoyable. However, other than that, the Ruger is a great option.
I also like the Ruger LCR, if you’re interested in revolvers.
The Taurus TCP is another pocket .380. The weapon is nearly identical in size to the Ruger LCP II. They are close enough in size that you won’t be able to notice it. The firearmis tinyand lightweight.
Many people will see a Taurus on a list and immediately question it. In most circumstances, I would entirely agree with them. However, do a little research, and you’ll see how durable and reliable this weapon is. Between the incrediblyinexpensive price and the excellent durability, this is the secondary weapon that I currently carry the most.
The price of this weapon is extremely affordable. I picked mine up for about half of the MSRP. Look around, and you can find these at a very reasonable cost. However, this one doesn’t come with a holster asthe Ruger does, so you will have to buy yourself a pocket holster.
One of the cons of this weapon is that it doesn’t have any safeties. It mainly has a hex key to act asa child safety precaution, but you won’t be able to turn this on and off comfortably. Make sure you’re storing this weapon properly if you’ve got any kids.
Unrelated to the TCP, I also recommend checking out the Taurus Curve. It’s a unique gun that you can realistically carry without a holster, due to the shape of the weapon. However, I don’t know much about the durability of this weapon, so I’m not sure how I would like it compared to the TCP.