Carrying concealed means being prepared for anything, even if that means reacting to the loss or malfunction of your primary concealed handgun. It’s a scenario none of us want to imagine, but we must prepare for it nonetheless.
Contrary to some opinions that a backup piece means you’re taking concealed carry over the top, with the right model and placement adding a backup can be an easy transition. Here are some reasons to consider it.
You’re unable to retain your primary weapon because of an injury or altercation.
A self-defense scenario is very different from your target practice at the range. You might be taken to the ground in a fight or lose your grip on your weapon due to an injury.
Your weapon could be taken from you or a physical altercation has you unable to reach effectively. Drawing your backup at the point where your attacker thinks you’re defenseless is incredibly valuable.
A malfunction has caused your primary weapon to jam.
Even the most trusted weapons in the world malfunction at some point. Practicing the correct ways to deal with cartridge malfunctions is a step in the right direction, but in the heat of a violent struggle this won’t be an option.
In tight spaces or dark areas, you’re options will be limited to fighting it out or drawing a second handgun. Unless you have some specialized martial arts training, at this point in the altercation a backup CCW is much more preferable.
With practice and proper placement, it can be faster than reloading.
Carrying a backup magazine is pretty standard, and with practice you may even get pretty fast at reloading your spare. In fact, carrying a spare magazine is a good first step in the process toward a backup handgun.
A violent attack will rarely require you to empty a magazine, but scenarios that have multiple attackers or in an outdoor area can mean multiple shots. In this case, a backup CCW is more conducive to defense that losing time with a reload.
Make the commitment to carry a backup.
Carry one weapon first until you’ve become proficient at drawing, firing, and reloading. Adding another firearm to your daily carry takes time and expertise to manage responsibly.
Carry both concealed weapons regularly. This requires a commitment to safe carrying, and should only be done by those who have experience carrying, dealing with malfunctions, and self-defense situations.