Where to Carry Your Backup Gun

Where to Carry Your Backup Gun
Where to Carry Your Backup Gun
Where to Carry Your Backup Gun
Where to Carry Your Backup Gun

A number of people I know like to carry two guns instead of carrying spare ammo, because they believe the fastest reload is their backup gun. Personally, I sometimes carry two guns and sometimes I just carry extra ammo, so like a lot of things gun-related there’s no right or wrong answer.

However, if you’re going to carry two guns, I’d recommend these considerations: First, make sure you train with both guns. Everyone likes to train with their favorite firearm but few people train with their backup snubbies or “mouse” guns.  I spend about 10-15 minutes a day dry firing and I trade off between my primary and backup gun.

Second, if I were you, I would carry my primary gun on my hip at the 4 o’clock position, and I would carry my backup gun in my front pocket. This is what I personally do, with my Glock 19 on my hip and my Ruger LCP in my front, right pocket.

I know a lot of people like to carry their backup guns on their ankle…

But I’ve never been a big fan of ankle carry. One of the main reasons is that drawing from the ankle is just too slow. I’m a firm believer that you need to be able to draw your gun and get it on target in two seconds or less. I can do this drawing from both my hip and pocket, but it’s a lot more difficult to draw in less than two seconds from the ankle.

Also, try and make your backup gun similar to your primary gun. In other words, if you carry a 1911, you might want the Colt Mustang as your backup. However, if you carry a Glock and have your 1911 as a backup you may forget to take off the thumb safety. If Glock made a good pocket gun like the LCP then I would carry that. However, the LCP doesn’t have any external safeties and, like the Glock, all I have to do is pull the trigger to get it to fire, so they’re pretty darn similar.

One last thing I want to comment about…

Because I recently got an email concerning this, I want to mention an unusual circumstance where a backup gun may save your life. Over the years, I’ve had a number of students tell me stories about how they were at an outdoor range in the mountains or somewhere remote and how a suspicious looking character came around and gave them a very bad feeling. Usually, they would pack up and leave, and I’ve never heard of a student getting attacked or robbed while out shooting.

However, it is common sense that criminals will go to outdoor ranges that are secluded because they know that’s where the guns are. And maybe one day while you’re the range, some criminal will wait for just the right moment to attack you when you’ve emptied your gun and you stop to reload… But if you’ve got a backup gun then you still have a way to protect yourself. (Just don’t empty it too, if you know someone is watching you.)

I realize this sounds far fetched, but when I’m shooting in the mountains and people come around, I always have my backup gun in my pocket, ready to go, because you just never know.

The bottom line is, whether you carry two guns or not is obviously up to you, but make sure and practice with both and make sure you can access both quickly.

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Jason Hanson is a former CIA Officer and author of The Covert Guide to Concealed Carry. He is also the creator of the Ultimate Concealed Carry Experience, which allows you to take your concealed carry training without leaving home. For full details about this training, please visit Concealed Carry Academy. You can also follow him on Google+ and Twitter.
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Ankle carry is out here. I live in S FL and have shorts on 90% of the time. It is hip and pocket carry for me.

Dan Kreft

Meh. It’s still concealed if you can pull your socks over it, isn’t it? 🙂

Junior Johnson in Friendship

So who wears socks in Southern Florida ???


People come in all different shapes and sizes. We have so many varrying different climates and consequently modes of dress throughout the year. There are also so many varieties of guns as well. I think it’s fairly safe to say any form of concealed carry will depend on a ton of factors far too numerous to pick one mode of carry over another as being best. There really is no right or wrong answer here. It’s whatever works for you . . . period.

Marlene Wilkes

uptil I looked at the receipt which said $5230, I did not believe that my sister was like realy bringing home money in there spare time on-line.. there friend brother started doing this 4 less than 9 months and resently repaid the loans on there house and got a new Car. we looked here, jump15.comCHECK IT OUT

Sherm Risdall



She no doubt gets a commission. She needs to back to grammar school and learn the difference between “there” and “their”……

Lane Giard

WTH is this doing on here!!!!!!!!!!

marquis de sade

Marlene makes the big bucks because she sucks my cock three times a day for $175 a pop. It adds up after a while… Her friends Olga and Linda also suck major cock every day and this is how they make their fortune. Linda also takes it in the ass at least six times a day for $275 – $300 a pop, trust me, this is a major cash business and all you doubters should be ashamed.


“I spend about 10-15 minutes a day dry firing and I trade off between my primary and backup gun.”
Jason, you’re beginning to remind me of DeNiro in Taxi Driver. For real!

Carroll Mohr

I tend to carry the bigger pistols my favorite is a Sig P220 usually carried at 4 oclock and I carry a Sig Mosquito in an inside the pants holster at the small of my back. This way I can get to it with either hand and even though it is a 22 it can put 11 rounds on target quickly.


There is certainly nothing wrong with a .22.


I had read long ago about the .22 rim fire, and how many souls have been dispatched over the last century or so. Impressive numbers. My Last TI, while off duty officer working at his little business, was robbed. As he chased the perp, the guy swung around with a knife in a close quarters situation. Off duty Officer shot the perp with a tiny .22 short ‘buckle gun’. Bad guy pumped internally, died quick. His driver sped off. In court later, no ‘accomplice driver’ showed, had been shived while in jail. With no witnesses, charges never materialized..


I agree on your configuration except I prefer a G26 as backup to the G19.

Dan Kreft

Can’t really do a backup gun (pockets full of EDC stuff), so I always carry an extra mag (8rnd if I’m carrying the Kahr CW9, 13rnd if carrying the Glock 30).

james hegarty

Often I carry a backup gun in an ankle holster since it is easy to access when sitting in a chair or in my car.


I’m feel lucky to have found a site like this to give me some great information. Great article keep up the good work.


I carry a Springfield XDs for EDC–usually IWB on right hip or appendix. I like it so well I am thinking about getting another as my BUG. It isn’t quite a pocket gun but it conceals very well. BUG would be IWB on left hip with butt forward for either a left hand draw or a cross draw. I will be able to shoot adequately left handed with the CT laser without even bringing it to a Weaver or isosceles position. My other option would be a mouse gun but I haven’t decided on which, yet.


I don’t beleive in carrying two firearms: 1. Too much additional weight, added bulk in trying to conceal. 2. If you train appropriately you should be able to drop a mag and reload under 1.7 seconds whilst keeping your firearm and eyes engaged on the threat. I personally keep my defensive firearm in excellent condition and worn in an IWB cross-draw configuration to make it easily accessible while standing or sitting. I do have a bit of a belly which helps cover my firearm even wearing a T- shirt.


My primary is a Ruger SP101 and my backup is a Ruger SP101, both in.357 and both in cross draw fashion. I’m a skinny old fart and they conceal well with the right holsters.
If ever in a wrong situation, no brass left behind.


In many states it is illegal to carry more than one concealed handgun. Outdoors and in the wild perhaps that is a good idea; if you get stopped by a sheriff or highway patrol and you are out of your vehicle that’s a big NO NO. Check your state’s concealed laws first before double packing. I live in NM and that is one law that is enforced.

James Wendell Chenault

Good point…I did not know this. I travel through your state last Aug and had 2 on me.


I carry a few different one depending on what I’m doing that day. Always have a back-up and maybe a third. My bug is always a Taurus 651 loaded with Hornady Custom 125 rounds and rides in my right front pocket. My third if I have it is a small 22 either a NAA Mini or Beretta 21A that is used to put down wounded critters to get them off the road. My primary could be one of several hi-cap semis or full sized revolvers I have but like I said I depends what I’m doing at that time to make me decide what to carry.


Backup gun??? Here in the PR of MD I havent even gotten “permission” to cary the first one. Since the elitists lost the first court case they just put things into a moratorium while their appeal is being heard. Not much progress.


I’ve got a 22 mini magnum in my pocket at all times in addition to my main carry weapon.

Blogen Geezer

Another story from TI, while he was on duty response to shots fired. Liquor store armed robbers held customers at gunpoint, while one threatened to cap register clerk. One old guy ‘customer’, tired of the ‘inconvenience’, pulled his pocket .22 mag, popped one round center mass. Pistol whipper dropped dead from .22HP shattered breastbone, cutting heart artery. 2nd perp was stunned and ran. When caught, he asked TI, “What the H377 with that guy shoot ‘Juan”?


I guess I am a little old fashion. I like a officer model 1911 in a shoulder rig as primary and a CZ-50 as my backup in a IWB holster. The CZ is small, compact and fires a 32ACP round – a very effective little round.


I could not agree more. I carry a .45 at 4 o’clock strongside, and a LCP in the weakside front pocket. Fortunately, here in Pennsylvania, our photo license clearly reads License to Carry Firearms (plural). Indeed, many folks I know carry a BUG. If wearing cargo pants, those side cargo pockets can be really convenient, and easy to draw from while seated.

Adelbert Waldron

Try a Sig Sauer P938 front pocket carry instead. You’ll sell the LCP.


I am partial to my Para Ordnance P-12 .45 ACPin a shoulder rig with 2 spare mags on the off side and if I feel the need for a hideout I carry a little Beretta .25 ACP in my front pants pocket


My main carry is a 1911 government model @ 4:00 and an officer’s model in a shoulder holster, both in .45 ACP, along with extra magazines.

Lane Giard

I carry a Glock 21 on strong side with two extra mags on week side. I also have a Glock 30 at the small of my back. I can use my extra mags in either Glock. I like that. And to the auther, I dont have any thing bad to say about your choise but I have to differ in that a Ruger LCR is nothing like the Mighty Glock 21. Good artical though. 🙂


The main reason I carry a backup is to arm someone else in an ugly situation. BTDT.
Does anyone remember the 2 armed robbers that had a shootout with 2 carloads of FBI several years ago? The Bad Guys got a lot of their weapons by taking them from people plinking out in the boonies. We ALWAYS have at least one weapon loaded, and if someone starts watching us, we start watching them.


Glock DOES make a good pocket gun, it’s called the Glock 27


I wouldn’t consider it a great pocket gun. Because it is bulky. But it definitely is a great piece for primary or back up carry. I love my g27, g23, g21 and g19


Primary is a Glock 26 at 1:00, backup is a Glock 26 at 11:00. Both have Pierce +2 mag extensions. Glock 17 mag with a +2 extension is in the cargo pocket just in case 24 rounds is not enough. 43 rounds should be enough to shoot my way back to the rifle I never should have left in the first place.


This is kind of off-topic, but I have a question for someone that actually carries a Ruger LCP. I’ve seen the same question posted in another forum so I think I might already know your answer. The question is, do you carry it with one in the chamber? The consensus seems to be that if you don’t, then you’re not actually armed at all. I’m talking front pocket in a pocket holster.

Jay F

This is an old comment but I noticed nobody responded. I have a TCP, which is Taurus’s version of the LCP. It’s actually one of my wife’s but I carry it at times depending on my attire.
For the longest time the answer was no, I didn’t feel comfortable with one in the chamber without some form of a thumb safety. But in reality these things have a very, very looong trigger pull and it’s for that reason. So, it goes in this little grippy sleeve holster that came with the Crimson Trace laser guard. That on top of the long trigger pull acts as the safety. So now I do in fact keep it in condition zero with one in the chamber.


I agree with Jay F.

Harry A. Schork

What you explained about a bad guy going to a mountain shootout and shooting a man is EXACTLY WHAT HAPPENED when two men walked up upon and murdered Emelio Briel while he was target shooting at a rock pit. Those two men Michael Lee Platt and William Russell Matix may sound familiar.They were involved in the most famous 1986 FBI Miami shootout.
Whenever I shoot, I always keep my S&W 642-2 loaded with 5 FBI loads in 38 special +P and I NEVER stop looking around when I am shooting.
Think about it. What an excellent way for a perp to get a gun or two AND AMMO…
Great post Jason. I never miss one of your blogs.
Keep up the great work!!!

Alex Peterson

I was thinking of the same thing while reading this!


NM… No No. In summer with T and shorts, I have rigged a crotch ‘Thunder Wear’ type holster. Cargo shorts for hiking, ‘Package’ a bit larger, but not really noticed…. on old guys. :>)


Being from a state that doesn’t recognize the right to carry, my carry method depends on my locale.
When I am in a remote location, such as Nevada, I tend to carry my G19 under my coat in a CQC holster and keep a 33 round spare mag inside the coat. I keep my 7 shot snub-nose at 1 0’clock in my thunderwear.

Back in my home state, my backup at 1 o’clock then becomes the primary, with a 4″ 8 shot revolver in a lock box in the truck. Note that the use of revolvers keeps spent shell casings in the firearm. The law in my state requires you to report that you have shot someone within 10 days. It does not require you to stick around to be shot by either the police or the bad guy’s friend’s.

Adelbert Waldron

I honestly believe you neither own a backup gun or carry one. Quite frankly I am shocked you even know what one is.


As a super secret double knot spy if I tell you well you know the answer to what i’d have to do but i would guess in my back I always cxarry a back up and extra ammo for both CEDC and my back up CUSTOMARY EVERY DAY CARRY

Olga Peluso

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Emily Boyd

Adrian. if you think Gregory`s st0ry is unimaginable, on wednesday I bought a great new Mini Cooper after bringing in $8827 thiss month and just over ten/k this past month. this is really the nicest work Ive ever done. I began this 6 months ago and immediately startad bringin in at least $69, per-hr. I follow the instructions here, jump15.comCHECK IT OUT

i am unable to carry a backup gun in my state.


As Massad Ayoob pointed out ,drawing from a ankle holster is very quick if you’re not standing up.