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IS YOUR BACKUP CARRY GUN LIKE YOUR PRIMARY?


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I damaged the firing pin on my primary carry pistol last weekend during range exercises.  Not a major catastrophe because I have a backup that is very similar, the differences being the backup is stainless, doesn’t have an ambidextrous thumb safety, and is full sized as opposed to a Commander.

 

 I immediately had my gunsmith order a new firing pin and we installed it today.

 

What I noticed, while going through my daily activities this week, was that it was a little heavier, (of course) and that it didn’t ride as well when worn in my belly band holster that I use when wearing bib overalls.  Neither of those things was an issue. It was just different. I only even noticed a couple of times.

 

What DID bother me was all in my head!!   The backup doesn’t have the ambi safety!!  I’m left handed and my practice for many years has been with the ambi safety. I DO practice “weak hand” regularly, but that absence of my “USUAL” equipment kept peeking out from my subconscious!!!

 

So today, I ordered a new thumb safety for the backup gun and we’ll install it in a week or two, when I get back down to the gunsmith’s.

 

My question is, do you try to keep your regular carry piece and the gun you use when your regular gun isn’t available as alike as possible?  

 

 

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IF we had CCW in Canada and I lived in Toronto, I would try to ensure any back-up carry gun I had was same as the primary. 

I'd hate to be fumbling with something just a little different from what I was used to in an emergency.

Muscle memory and all that.

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Once you settle on a daily carry gun you really need to buy a duplicate. That way if one goes down or exhibits issues you can switch to the other one in the meantime. It doesn't have to be an exact clone, but something mechanically identical and preferably the same model of firearm so you can use the same holsters. If your carry gun is a $4000 Wilson Combat 1911, get yourself a $900 Springfield that looks and functions the same.

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I only carried a backup when I was a cop. 

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I carry a SW snubby.38 I have a KelTec .380 for a backup. I keep it in the back of my SUV. 

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When I call it a backup, in this instance, I’m talking about a gun to replace the one you usually carry, in the event that your regular carry weapon isn’t servicable. My example is a damaged firing pin that rendered my primary pistol non-functional.

 

My “replacement” is another Para Ordnance. This one is a 14/45 as opposed to my primary, which is a 13/45.

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Firstly - why on earth do you own a 1911 without an ambi safety?

As a fellow lefty - that is beyond belief. :D

 

And yes, muscle memory is a real thing - hours of practice and training with a given platform; hundreds if not thousands of rounds and then throw it away by carrying something different is to be avoided.

 

Under stress and duress - your motor skills will diminish; your sight may tunnel vision and your problem solving skills will lessen.  A firearm that behaves differently than practice has conditioned you to expect will force you to redirect your attention from the threat to your firearm.

 

As a fellow lefty - Ill share a story.

I shot left handed with right handed guns my entire life.

My Dad bought me a left handed Remington 870 right before deer season in Michigan when I was 16 or 17.

We had seen nothing from our blinds; so we (my Grandpa, Dad, my Cousin and myself) decided to take a walk thru the acreage we were hunting.  I was slightly leading our group up a shallow rise when a buck crested over the same rise coming in our direction. 

Close distance, coming toward me - easy shot.  I brought that shotgun to my shoulder, pushed the safety off and squeezed the trigger...

And squeezed the trigger...

And continued trying to pull that trigger with every fiber of my being.

The deer finally decided that the four guys in front of him in blaze orange were probably not his friends and turned around and disapeared back over the rise.

"Why didn't you take the shot?" was the question from all as they closed around me gazing at the hill as if the buck might reappear.

"I tried.  I clicked off the safety and pulled the trigger but it just wouldn't fire...  Clicked off the safety - OFF - aw c'mon you have to be kidding me"

 

Left handed shotgun - safety went the opposite way from my practice and experiences.  I had been trompling around the woods with a round in the chamber and the safety OFF - when I saw the deer - I safed the shotgun and the only thing my brain told me was pull the trigger.  There was no analysis or problem solving taking place in the moment.  And this was just a stupid deer in the woods of lower Michigan - not the life or death of myself or a loved one that I was required to react to.  And if a stupid deer can cause me to revert exactly to training and practice - then a true threat will likely do the same.

 

Backup guns need to be like platforms and like equipped so that under stess and duress - our attention and focus can remain on the threat and our equipment works exactly as we expect.

 

Sold that 870 right after that and returned to my RH models.

My only other lefty gun has been a LH ejection Stag AR rifle.

Edited by Creeker, SASS #43022
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no , not exactly - i wish they were , my primary is a SIG 938 and the backup is a colt 380 , they dont handle or shoot that much different , the deeper backup is a 9mm EMP its not that much differnt but a little , then the  kimber 45 compact - that shoots different and handles different , the progression was the reverse of this order to get to what i felt most comfortable with carrying , i like them all i just put some back to reserve in favor of what i will carry regularly every day , and i do , 

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As a former LEO, I carried a Glock 22 on duty yet I carried S&W M&Ps off duty of various sizes.  All carry pieces operate similarly as all are striker models with no external safeties.  As such, there is no appreciable difference between the firearms when it's time to deploy them.  On the odd chance I carry something different, there is a slight learning curve that a bit of practice overcomes.

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I am one of those deplorable individuals who can seamlessly transition from one style of firearm to another without falter.  I can go from a 1911 to a Sig P series or a revolver, or my LC9, or (ugh) a Glock with no fumbling or mishandling.  

 

My typical carry is a 1911.  Currently, that's a Dan Wesson Guardian 9mm.  If it went down, I could carry any of my other 1911s, with no issue.  

 

Another favorite carry is a S&W Model 10 3" RB.   It wears Eagle Secret Service grips, and is very comfortable.

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The few times I carry a backup its usually my keltec 380 or LCP. Primary is usually a G17, S&W m10, or a LCRX that has been converted to hammerless like a LCR.

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7 hours ago, Blackwater 53393 said:

When I call it a backup, in this instance, I’m talking about a gun to replace the one you usually carry, in the event that your regular carry weapon isn’t servicable. My example is a damaged firing pin that rendered my primary pistol non-functional.

 

My “replacement” is another Para Ordnance. This one is a 14/45 as opposed to my primary, which is a 13/45.

Oh okay, my backup to my SW 637 is a SW 37 which is an older version of the 637. Both are .38 special snubs. 

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Creeker, the second Para was my brother-in-law’s that I inherited at his passing.  I’ve shot right handed guns all my life too.  I only had the ambi safety installed on my primary carry pistol a few years ago and just never got around to having the second one done due to lack of funds at times when I thought about it and procrastination when I had opportunities.

 

AGAIN  FOLKS!!!  This is NOT a question of carrying a second gun!!!  IT’S A QUESTION OF CARRYING A TEMPORARY REPLACEMENT FOR YOUR PRIMARY WEAPON!!!

 

My second gun, for those occasions when one might not be enough and I want to conceal another, is a Taurus 450 DA revolver. It’s small enough to easily conceal, (I don’t usually conceal my 1911s) and, when loaded with Hornady Critical Duty .45 Colt defense rounds, is accurate, effective, and simple to operate with either hand. If I’m carrying it, I’ll also be carrying two HKS speed loaders with more of the same ammo.

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5 hours ago, LawMan Mark, SASS #57095L said:

I am one of those deplorable individuals who can seamlessly transition from one style of firearm to another without falter.  I can go from a 1911 to a Sig P series or a revolver, or my LC9, or (ugh) a Glock with no fumbling or mishandling.  

 


I am similar. I practice with all my guns. 
My main carry gun is a S&W 442. I occasionally carry a New York Reload, a model 36. Instead of the 36 I used to also carry a Remington RM380. Sometimes I would carry both the 442 and the RM380 or I would swap around. 
I would also carry a S&W 327 Night Guard. This is an 8 shot N frame .357 magnum with a 2 1/2” barrel. 
I also bought a Glock 45, 9mm to carry but moved to CA and refused to wait 2 years for a CCW or jump through their hoops so went back to the 442 as I was always going to the range at some point. In other words, I carried a gun in my vehicle because I was always going to the range…nudge, nudge, wink, wink…

Anyway, NO, my current carry gun does not have a duplicate back up. 
That may change as I may buy another Glock 45. But then I may buy a Glock single stack. Perhaps a 43X or a 48. 
 

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AGAIN!! THIS QUESTION IS NOT ABOUT CARRYING A SECOND GUN!!! 
 

IT’S ABOUT CARRYING A TEMPORARY REPLACEMENT FOR YOUR PRIMARY WEAPON!!!

 

YOU PRIMARY GUN IS DISABLED AND YOU ARE CARRYING ANOTHER GUN IN ITS PLACE!!!

 

 I apologize for shouting, but these comments about a second gun on your person are not helpful!!

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3 minutes ago, Blackwater 53393 said:

I apologize for shouting, but these comments about a second gun on your person are not helpful!!


See this:

56 minutes ago, Pat Riot, SASS #13748 said:

Anyway, NO, my current carry gun does not have a duplicate back up. 
That may change as I may buy another Glock 45. But then I may buy a Glock single stack. Perhaps a 43X or a 48. 


One of the reasons I said I may get another G45 is so that I have a duplicate back up. My main concern about the G45 is I haven’t found the right holster yet. 

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I've pretty much always had a Colt brand 1911 pattern or a Hi-Power.

 

Later I switched to a Kahr K9, a Glock G43 and now a Beretta 92x compact.

I've also returned a Colt 1911 in 9mm into the rotation. 

 

I generally shoot all of them a fair amount, so transition from one to another was usually a

matter of doing a dozen or so empty gun holster draws to 'set my grip', before loading and

carrying it.  When I switch guns it's usually for a few months at a time.

 

I worry more about which holster style I'm using than which design gun. Life would be so much

easier if all the country carried open and we didn't have to deal with IWB vs OWB vs Shoulder etc.

 

SC

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by ShadowCatcher
corrected spelling error
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6 hours ago, Blackwater 53393 said:

AGAIN  FOLKS!!!  This is NOT a question of carrying a second gun!!!  IT’S A QUESTION OF CARRYING A TEMPORARY REPLACEMENT FOR YOUR PRIMARY WEAPON!!!

When one speaks of a backup gun that usually means a second gun carried in addition to your primary gun. But if we are talking about a Replacement Gun.

 

Then in that case it would be Citadel 1911, S&W M10, Hammerless LCRX, G17 bobbed grip to G19 length, as anyone of those are a primary carry depending on the situation. And if I'm dep concealing and the LCP goes down I'll use the Keltec 380 as a replacement. ;)

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10 hours ago, Blackwater 53393 said:

Creeker, the second Para was my brother-in-law’s that I inherited at his passing.  I’ve shot right handed guns all my life too.  I only had the ambi safety installed on my primary carry pistol a few years ago and just never got around to having the second one done due to lack of funds at times when I thought about it and procrastination when I had opportunities.

 

AGAIN  FOLKS!!!  This is NOT a question of carrying a second gun!!!  IT’S A QUESTION OF CARRYING A TEMPORARY REPLACEMENT FOR YOUR PRIMARY WEAPON!!!

 

My second gun, for those occasions when one might not be enough and I want to conceal another, is a Taurus 450 DA revolver. It’s small enough to easily conceal, (I don’t usually conceal my 1911s) and, when loaded with Hornady Critical Duty .45 Colt defense rounds, is accurate, effective, and simple to operate with either hand. If I’m carrying it, I’ll also be carrying two HKS speed loaders with more of the same ammo.

Perhaps you could edit the original title of the post. Not everyone reads all or even most of the responses. It would provide clarity.

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i got what you were asking from the OP, while i may/do carry a "backup gun" its nothing like the main carry so my response was specifically related to what i would use as main carry in the event my CCW was in the shop , 

i suppose one might get off topic in this thread easily just because we all feel so strongly about our right to carry , 

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Carry a Glock. Never needs a back up.

 

:D

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1 hour ago, Dantankerous said:

Carry a Glock. Never needs a back up.

 

:D


And if you believe that, can I interest you in some prime ocean front property in South Dakota??

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I've never come close to needing my primary, much less a back-up.  I shoot it mostly for enjoyment at the range. I suppose I could get caught by two dozen bad guys and be  unprepared sometime, but I don't spend my life dreaming about it or spending  thousands of rounds practicing for it. 

 

I have 100% confidence I can shoot my primary carry gun if need arises. 

 

 I much prefer to practice keeping careful track of things going on around me, keeping my running legs in shape, and trying to avoid provoking people, dogs, or wild animals with suspect intentions.  If that fails and I need my carry gun, I will simply use it.  I won't let it fall into disrepair, and I won't need a back-up.  

  

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2 hours ago, Blackwater 53393 said:


And if you believe that, can I interest you in some prime ocean front property in South Dakota??

And just how many Glocks have you owned that failed on you? 

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6 hours ago, Slapshot said:

And just how many Glocks have you owned that failed on you? 


Never owned one.  I HAVE, however, seen several being repaired at various gunsmiths from time to time. Not just modifications, mind you. These were broken units.

 

At least if my steel and alloy gun fails, or if I run out of bad guy repellent, it’s heavy and hard enough to hurt somebody badly when I hit ‘em with it!!  :o :lol:

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5 hours ago, Blackwater 53393 said:


Never owned one.  I HAVE, however, seen several being repaired at various gunsmiths from time to time. Not just modifications, mind you. These were broken units.

 

At least if my steel and alloy gun fails, or if I run out of bad guy repellent, it’s heavy and hard enough to hurt somebody badly when I hit ‘em with it!!  :o :lol:

LOL, speaking from my personal experience, I've owned over 6 of them and none have ever failed. Now I'm not saying they won't just haven't. If you break a Glock you pretty much was doing something you shouldn't have or you was using inferior aftermarket parts. And buy chance the 1 I kept fails I think it is more than sufficient to beat someone into submission. Its not always the heaviest hammer that kills you but the skilled man behind which ever hammer you have in your hands.:ph34r::D

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