Should You Carry A Backup Gun?


There’s a common thought among pro–2A people that you can never have too many guns. There’s a certain logic to it, but if you’re talking about how many you can carry and use at any one time, then, weight and the ability to safely retain those firearms becomes a challenge.

For this reason, some argue that it’s not advisable to carry a second firearm as you’ll just be weighted down, limiting movement to an extent. Some may even argue that you should just carry much more ammunition in the way of additional loaded magazines on your person instead of carrying a second firearm.

But there is an argument to be made for carrying a backup gun on your person as part of your everyday carry “kit.” In fact, Massad Ayoob says that there are at least five different situations which can come up, any of which can justify having that backup gun (hat tip to here for the lead).


Ayoob says that the first situation is an accessibility situation. Ayoob writes,

Your backup may be easier to reach than your primary. Case One took place in South Carolina. In fact, the involved officer told me he had decided to get an ankle gun after reading one of my articles in Combat Handguns. The day came when a man approached his parked unit and opened fire from the driver’s side, wounding him. Unable to draw from his Level III security holster while seated, the officer drew his backup Colt Agent .38 from his ankle holster and emptied it into the would-be cop-killer, dropping the man before he could chamber a second round. Though scarred, the wounded officer survived and returned to duty.

Thankfully, that officer had that backup gun. The other four situations that Ayoob mentions in which a backup gun can be helpful are as follows (in his own words):

“You may be separated from your primary.”

“Your primary gun may run dry, and your fastest ‘reload’ may be another gun.”

“You may be fighting with your would-be murderer for your primary handgun.”

“You may be disarmed of your primary weapon at gunpoint.”

Because of all five of these types of situations, you can argue that it is more than reasonable and rational to have a backup gun on your person at all times. As you go through the world, practicing your situational awareness, it could also be useful to consider what you would do if you were deprived of your primary carry firearm. Then, it may be worth considering what backup gun that you want to carry and how you want to carry it.



  1. My first and only weapon would be Jesus Christ. If I needed a back up I would use the Bible.

    • Even Jesus, when He sent the Apostles out on the Great Commission, said to them if they didn’t own a sword, sell something and purchase one. He Never meant for us to be unprepared… even in regards to our physical being.

  2. James, U might as well know that U will be a dead man! Yes, Jesus can do wonders and does but He gives U a brain, gun and ammo and expects U to do some things for yourself. When he was on earth He had to basicly fight with the devil and remember when he went to the house of worship and they were buying and selling and he used a whip to help Him get that bunch out of the church and turned over tables, etc. A criminal would laugh at U and blow your head off.If I can get to my gun before the criminal can get to me, I’ll do my best to kill him and if I succeed I will praise my Lord and thank Him.

  3. If there’s one thing I do wear a lot, and that’s boots. That way I have my snub nose.38 with hollow points:) and my Walther PPKS 9 mm. Call me crazy but when you carry, there are days when the devil will fuck with you and in this world. It’s like anything can pop off at any given moment. After all, if it can happen, chances are?

  4. Yes, I love Jesus, too. And I love all people. – Not all people love me. – I would trust being with someone who carries. When I carry, I have SmithWesson and a smaller Russian made Bakial (sp?) – 9mm and 380 & 9 on the smaller. A friend at Church carries and the Church also has an armed security guard, that you can’t miss at the main doors. My friend usually sits in the middle of the sanctuary. I’m on the outskirt of stage right. The small Bakial wears well in pant pocket. I don’t always carry when running late or go out with certain friends.

    • I agree with all you have said. It is so disheartening with the way people think today, that the way to settle a disagreement is with a gun. I would hope that people will soon wake up to the fact that violence is not the way to settle anything, but I will always be ready, if needed.

  5. My primary weapon is the ever reliable 1911 A1A US Army issue GI .45 auto that’s had the ramp polished and 4 clips that have been messaged to a perfect fit that allows it to fast feed Hollow points without any stove piping or jamming up by misfeeding, but, like any automatic any of the above can happen without warning putting my life in danger. If any of the above should happen it can take more time clearing the weapon and getting it back to usable than it would take to make it to my backup weapon. My choice in a great light weight reliable (and exceptionally easy to conceal and extremely accurate) but hard enough hitting to stop any size man with only 1 round is my 5 shot Charter Arms .44 Bulldog Revolver. Surprisingly inexpensive yet high enough quality that I can trust it with my life if the situation should arise that it’s them or me and I need a reliable weapon.

  6. Jesus told His followers to have their “swords” with them. The Greek word is machiara, from which we get “machete.” It refers to the civilian man’s big knife of that day, which was essential for self-defense. Luke 22:36

  7. OK James I agree whole heartedly. But remember this even . St Peter carried a sword??

  8. I agree with all you have said. It is so disheartening with the way people think today, that the way to settle a disagreement is with a gun. I would hope that people will soon wake up to the fact that violence is not the way to settle anything, but I will always be ready, if needed.

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