Millions of Americans conceal carry a gun every day. And that number keeps growing. Unfortunately, fewer people carry a spare backup gun. Innovations in smaller, lighter guns firing potent cartridges, along with my training, have sold me on the idea of a backup gun. And should cause you to consider one as well.
I remember back in about 1995 when GLOCK came out with the 10-round "baby" GLOCK, the G26 in 9mm. For the time, many people raved over its then-diminutive size. I even knew a few cops who carried one as a backup piece. However, a GLOCK 26 still weighs 26+ ounces loaded. And it has about as much deep concealability as a brick.
By comparison, a Ruger LCP II weighs less than half that with a much smaller profile. Loaded with .380 Precision One XTP rounds, it delivers consistent penetration at the FBI recommended 12". Ruger also dumped that interminably long trigger pull in the original LCP. Now, the LCP II comes with a stock trigger that's as good or better than a factory GLOCK trigger.
RF certainly liked it. He wrote that only the lack of a second magazine and all-black sights kept it from a perfect five-star rating. Mine's got a spare mag and I used some sight paint to make the front blade neon green. I'd give it the full five stars.
With new designs, backup guns have grown smaller and lighter while delivering a more potent punch. With these improvements, these spare guns, or backup guns, have become serious force multipliers. Yes, we have come a long way since Derringers and .25 Autos.
For me though, the final straw came from training classes. I've spent hours and hours learning how to employ both straight edge blades and karambits. Classes from Steve Tarani and Ernie Kirk among others. And for a long time I carried a karambit for weapon retention as much as a self-defense tool.
But at a weapon retention class, I learned that a Ruger LCP II beats a karambit most days of the week and sometimes even twice on Sundays.
At the same time, my primary gun may go down for who knows what reason. Or maybe I lost it in a life-and-death struggle.
Additionally, I know the old adage about bringing a friend to a gunfight. Caught in an armed robbery with a spouse or friend who isn't carrying? If they can shoot competently, hand them your backup gun while behind cover or concealment. Instantly you've greatly improved both your odds for surviving if the robber wants to make it an attempted murder.
Other times, if I have to leave my wife in the car in a sketchy situation, I'll slip her my LCP II. She feels better. I feel better. Everyone wins except a bad guy who thinks a pregnant woman alone in the passenger seat makes for an easy mark. Most bad guys will reconsider their ill intent following the insertion of a couple of .380 XTPs in their thoracic cavity.
Frankly, I'd feel better if she carried religiously, but change comes slowly. Before we met she was agnostic on guns. Gently, gradually, I'm converting her to the Church of the Everyday Carry without seeming overly preachy of the gospel.