There is an adage in the military, two is one, and one is none. There are many instances in which I think that this could hold up to be accurate, such as it is better to have two beers than one, two paychecks, or two girlfriends, pending they don’t know about one another….just kidding…but seriously. That said, when it comes to concealed carry, many of us rely on our one sidearm as being sufficient, while there is a minority that would say a backup is necessary. Let’s look into it.
First off, I am a big fan of preparedness, and part of that is having backups should the worst happen. If you are a student of Murphy’s Law, what can go wrong will go wrong. Only when you need your firearm it will get jammed, broken, be inaccessible, or something of that nature. Most people that I know who carry a backup usually carry on the ankle and have either a smaller revolver or a subcompact firearm with a similar caliber. Some guns like Glock have one of their full-size models, say a 17, which can interchange magazines with the 19 or their subcompact model (for backup). This interoperability means if your first pistol breaks and is inoperable, you can drop that mag and use it in your backup. Other benefits are that you may not be in a good position to draw from your primary carry pistol and having another one in a different area of the body might give you a chance to employ it. Finally, as almost every concealed carrier has their holsters on their waist like with the Original, or in a shoulder harness, that is where the focus tends to be for people looking, not ankles, cargo pockets, or elsewhere.
Now, what are the cons of carrying double?
The easiest first one is it is one more firearm you must always have positive control of when carrying. If you are carrying on the ankle, it is significantly harder to run, jump, etc. The impact can dislodge the firearm or the holster (unless it is a magnetic one, which we offer here, those are a bit better). Another issue is that if you switch between your Sig P220 and a Ruger SP101 in 357Mag, you have two different grips, two different calibers, sights, and potentially grip angles. This variety means more practice in drawing, shooting, ammo, and carrying multiple calibers. Some folks I know carry derringers, a two-shot pistol in the caliber of their primary carry. That said, if you have not fired a derringer with 9mm +P ammo, it is a unique and likely single-time experience.
At the end of the day, I will likely stick with one pistol for the time being, as I don’t see the benefits of carrying another pocket pistol to offset the risk. That said, if you choose to, make sure that you treat it just like you would your standard carry and get yourself a good holster to secure it, and if you are getting one, it should be from JM4 Tactical.
Author: Ian Bolser