What's Your Backup Gun?

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posted on March 26, 2015
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In the past, I've talked about the important backup gun that I like to call the Always Gun. It's the small handgun you carry when the weather doesn't allow for substantial garments to conceal the larger pistol. And, even when proper concealment clothing can be worn, it serves as a backup to your defensive handgun of choice. In short, it is the little gun that you should always have with you.

Over the years, I have not carried a very wide assortment of these little pocket pistols. For a while, I relied on a Walther PPK in .380 ACP, but that was before the ammunition companies had improved the loads in this caliber. While I found the little Walther to be quite reliable, I can't say the same for most small pocket semi-automatics. They seem to be more likely to malfunction due to ammunition problems, lack of lubrication and the accumulation of pocket lint.

For quite a number of years, I have relied upon small revolvers for duty as an Always Gun. Early on, I carried the Colt Detective Special and Cobra (and I wish I still had them). As a uniformed policeman, I finally settled on the Smith & Wesson Model 60 with a bobbed hammer spur. This stainless revolver rode in the left-hand pocket of my uniform trousers and was quite handy. However, for the past 10 years, or so, my little revolver has been a Smith & Wesson Model 442, an Airweight .38 Spl. with an enclosed hammer.

There is something to be said for a small revolver. It may only hold five cartridges, but it is about as reliable as any man-made object can be. In addition, one should keep in mind the backup gun is not something we choose for a pitched battle. It is our exit ticket out of a bad situation. Five shots—with a reload in a handy speed strip—when effectively applied, should be enough to get us away from the threat or to a more effective fighting gun.

Regardless of my choices or preferences, I am curious to know what sort of backup guns most folks rely on today. Please take a moment to share your choice and, if you have time, tell my why you have chosen it.

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