Guns and shooting: why use a backup handgun?

All warfare is based on deception.” Sun Tsu

When preparing for the defense of self and others whose care you may have been in-trusted with keeping, do so with the knowledge that one is none, two is one and three is just right. For years I have lived according to this motto. Always be more prepared then is necessary to ensure efficiency in defense and life. This applies especially well to martial arts and the use of weapons in self defense.

In this article we are specifically addressing the use of firearms or guns as they are commonly known in defense of self. Many enthusiasts and fellow martial artists practicing the use of firearms in defense use a secondary firearm or a backup. The primary reason for this is simple. All things made by humans will fail and will tend to do so at the most inopportune times. A backup allows for this likely scenario to occur and for you to be ready.

Additional reasons are as many as there are people on reddit to argue them. However, as someone who practices quite regularly with his firearms and other weapons, you can put the reasons into three segments in addition to the primary one above.

  1. If you lose your primary weapon, this can serve as a much needed important tool of defense.
  2. There are always times when the need for a smaller firearm is necessary versus a larger primary firearm, this allows you to easily transition from one approach to another.
  3. Depending on how you carry it, a backup can in fact serve nicely as a way to arm your friends if they happen to be unarmed at the moment. (though one would wonder, why are they your friends?)

So now you have some great reasons for owning a backup handgun, what do you do to select one? Do you use one in the same caliber as the primary or something entirely different? What is the climate you live in and or political/legal climate as well? Something to remember, being armed is the essential ingredient to the idea and actions that encompass freedom. Irregardless where you live, if you are unarmed you are not free nor can you maintain your freedom if by some mistake of the local government you are at the moment.

Remember, free the mind and the body will follow


About Jesse Mathewson

Jesse Mathewson is the author of the popular blog, and provides commentary to many varied places based on a background that includes education in criminal justice, history, religion and even insurgency tactics and tactical training. His current role in his community is as an organizer of sorts and a preacher of community solidarity and agorism. He also runs Liberty Practical Training, a self defense school specializing in the practical applications of defensive approaches versus the theoretical. As an agorist, voluntaryist and atheist his life is seen as crazy and wild by many, though once they get to know him most realize he is a bluntly honest individual who will give you the shirt off his back if he believes it is necessary to help you. Very simple, "That which is voluntary between all individuals involved is always right, if it is not voluntary, it is always wrong."
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8 Responses to Guns and shooting: why use a backup handgun?

  1. Eric Frank says:

    I carry a Glock 26 Gen 4 on my waist and Taurus defense service poly in my side zipper on my jacket. Someones pappy said no use and 2x back up mags.


  2. jeffreycanthony says:

    My philosophy of any EDC is layering. So it stands to reason to have a firearm at key layers of things.

    Sometimes i’ll carry 2, sometimes even 3 since i don’t plan the firearms, i just grab what “kits” i need for the day.

    I prefer to keep to 9mm x 19 as much as possible, but lately it’s not been as possible.

    But backup wise, I simply can’t find something i like better than my Kel-Tec P32. It fits almost anywhere, is extremely cheap to replace, has options to carry in non-traditional places when you have no bags or pockets. Minimal recoil to a point that almost anyone can use it.

    Second layer lately i’ve been away from 9×19 and carrying a polish P83 Wanad. It works. It’s accurate. Just takes some remembering where the mag release is, yet the release is easier to operate (as is the first pull) than it’s P64 predecessor.

    A KelTec P11 haunts my vehicle, long and harder true DA pull, but also very reliable if a little thick for the compact world. The Kel-Tec Sub2000 haunts the vehicle sometimes as well.

    The M&P 9 is usually in a pack or on my hip depending on the dress and situations… A kahr cw9 if i am dressing better in suit or sportcoat in a shoulder holster…

    My only complaint with my choices is I don’t have firearms that share magazines. Glocks and I don’t get along due to hand fit, but would have been ideal for this.

    Just like anything we wear, it just depends on the situation.

    Can’t easily find the video, but there was a fun one where Reid Henrichs shows comparison of reloading a primary firearm vs a “New York Reload”, or pulling your secondary firearm, and the NY Reload was slightly faster with how he was carrying the two.


    • I love Henrichs, and agree- btw. The p64 with $6 in spring refits from wolff becomes a truly special little beastie 🙂

      But I love my Glock 19 and FegPa63 – again refit springs, and man oh man 🙂

      Love your choices, and I have also been known among friends as the Keltec guy, but contrary to popular mythos, I never had one fail.

      I avoid Kahr if only because it’s owned by that wierdo xtian korean mega church- soongyungkim or something. 😉

      But, again, they work!

      And m&p, again, they work 🙂

      You will notice of course I avoided the @caliber debate, because as always I believe in accuracy over caliber, ability and training over type. All I would say is, if you can shoot minimum 250 rounds failure free of your preferred (tested or otherwise proven) ammunition – its reliable enough for life saving 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • jeffreycanthony says:

        The Kahr was a weird choice… The one Kel Tec that failed me was their PF9, and the Kahr CW9 fits all my holsters/accessories that i had for the PF9. Galco shoulder holster, given the cost of the firearms involved, I felt it’d be worth it to keep the holster in use. 🙂

        I keep the springs original in the P64. I’m no trainer, but there’s a lot of times I’ve been the guy that gets people started with a bit of help at the range, and letting people use the P64 in it’s original form gives a new shooter a serious context on the DA/SA challenges and the like. How often a guy brings his girlfriend to the range and shows off or wants to do his “fun” and she just gets left bored and hating things. I’ll often get them started on safety and easing into fundamentals.


        • I would agree, its good for them to understand what they may be using as well as what they rather be using.

          Ejector on the pf9?

          And yep, so many times I see that happen, which is why I love my p22 by walther-

          Anyone can shoot it well 🙂 a nice tight grip and happy days!

          Liked by 1 person

          • jeffreycanthony says:

            3 trips to the factory, basically between all trips and me fiddling with it, it’s had every part of it replaced twice… even the frame was replaced so i have a serial stamp that looks different than most PF9’s. I just can’t get it to reliable… have had fail to eject, fail to feed, weird ejection issues, etc… even with very slow deliberate fire to make sure i’m not accidentally short stroking the trigger it has always had issues… get it back, works for a couple range trips then starts failing again. I love the little thing outside of discomfort of subcompact 9mm recoil if firing more than 100 rounds in a day out of it, but I just found the risk to be too great to rely on the bugger. That said, I still don’t dislike Kel-Tec in that i’ve had great experiences with the others we have of theirs… innovation can lead to some quirks.


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