Skip to main content

Carrying Multiple Guns: Why You Should

Carrying Multiple Guns: Why You Should

When asked why I carry three guns, I reply: "Because four would be ostentatious." In reality, the practical answer is less snide, but a bit longer to detail.

Many people, including those who carry guns every day, think that carrying multiple guns is overly paranoid. They argue that the chance of needing one gun is miniscule, the chance of needing two is even more so, and three is, well, off the charts.

My reason for carrying three guns is not that I think that I would necessarily need three guns in a gunfight, but to ensure having access to one gun when I need it the most. Much like the fighting adage: "Two is one and one is none."

They say that the more you know about gun fighting, the less you want to be in one. I would also add that the more you know about gun fighting, the more you know what techniques and equipment work, and what doesn't work. I follow the teachings of the great American philosopher, Clint Eastwood, who said: "A man has to know his limitations." In training, you learn the limitations of your physical abilities and capabilities and those of your gear.




https://files.osgnetworks.tv/9/files/2015/05/Carrying_Multiple_Guns_2.jpg
Tauris Holster (not related to the firearm manufacturer) makes top-quality gear. This left-hand IWB version is as well made as it is handsome. They offer a full line of holsters, for both hands.

My primary weapon is a Springfield Armory XD45. I prefer full-size guns because they make it easier to hit what I am aiming at and they carry lots of lead — in this case, 14 rounds of .45 ACP goodness. I also carry a spare magazine on my support side. I do this for two reasons: 1. Extra ammunition in case I need it. 2. Magazines are the weakest link in semiautomatic pistols, and they are the most likely culprit of malfunctions and jams. If my pistol goes down, more than likely it's magazine related. Having a spare gets the gun operational again.

For backup, my second is pocket carried — usually a snubby — accessible to my support hand because I know through study of both real and simulated gunfights, there is a strong probability of getting shot in the dominant hand or arm. In fights, adversaries focus on the threat, and in gunfights, that's the gun hand. With the eyes focused on the gun, the body, and thus, the aim point focuses there as well.


https://files.osgnetworks.tv/9/files/2015/05/Carrying_Multiple_Guns_4.jpg
This sharp-looking pocket holster is also by Tauris. A pocket holster is essential to keep the gun vertical and keep the gun's form from printing.

As a demonstration of the eyes and shots following a threat (the gun), take 10 shooters and have them shoot a generic target. Then, have them shoot a photo-realistic target depicting an attacker pointing a gun off to the side at them. You will see the groups drift towards the gun. The reason is that the mind and eyes concentrate on the threat, and the gun goes in the direction of the eyes. This happens even more intensely in a real fight. Secondly, most shooters hold their gun right in front of, and a little high of their center of mass, which coincidentally, is the place where most trained people aim. For this same reason, the primary gun itself can be disabled by being hit by a bullet.


Getting back to pocket carrying a snubby, I prefer internal hammered, or shrouded revolvers for pocket carry rather than a semiautomatic pistol because of the shape of the frame. Rather than a squared-backed semi, the rounded rear top of the revolver's frame makes it less likely to get caught in the pocket. Also, revolvers are less sensitive to pocket dirt and lint.

Another good reason for a backup gun is that the primary firearm can jam. This could happen for a multitude of reasons such as being rolled around in the dirt during a fight, broken firing pin/striker or simply a worn magazine spring. Additionally, guns, like all mechanical devices break, just because.

A backup gun is also important if your primary gun gets taken in a gun grab. Many altercations start as a physical, hand-to-hand fight. If the gun is inadvertently discovered during the tussle, it may be grabbed from you.


In a similar fashion, the gun may be taken from you if deployed at the wrong time. Example: If you are down on the ground fighting without proper control on your attacker's arms/hands and you reach for your gun, it opens you up for a gun grab. It's all well and good to say that you won't do that, but funny things tend to happen when you are fighting for your life.


https://files.osgnetworks.tv/9/files/2015/05/Carrying_Multiple_Guns_7.jpg
Having a holster for your support side allows you to carry two guns on your waist.

Running out of ammo is a good possibility as well, especially when faced with multiple attackers. The FBI states that multiple attackers perpetrate nearly half of all violent crimes, and that percentage is increasing. Fourteen rounds may not be as convincing when faced with four attackers. Some folks prefer a New York Reload (changing guns) rather than reloading their primary weapon. For them, it is faster and presents a lower chance of fumbling and screwing up. This is important under the extreme stress of a life-threatening attack.

Don't forget the possibility of drugged up thugs, which are becoming more common. These attackers feel no pain and usually require numerous rounds on target to stop their body's locomotion.

If in a struggle, you are pinned, and either your primary weapon or strong hand is unavailable, a gun accessible to your support hand may be your savior.


https://files.osgnetworks.tv/9/files/2015/05/Carrying_Multiple_Guns_11.jpg
TIP: The same ankle holster can be utilized on either leg by flipping the holster and reversing your grip.

My third gun, also a snubby, is on my ankle. I carry it there for two reasons. Through training, I know that a belt-borne firearm or pocket holster can be very difficult, if not impossible, to access if the fight goes to the ground - again a good likelihood. There are a few techniques that allow a draw from an ankle holster when your belt holster is unable to be reached. Ankle holsters are also very good for use in a car since they are not encumbered by seat belts. Just as one type of gun, or one style of holster may not be perfect for all occasions, one carry location may not suit all needs either.

Why carry a third gun? In addition to offering access options in multiple scenarios, having three guns allows me to give one to someone else (who is mistakenly, not carrying) in an emergency and still have a backup.

My choice of equipment, techniques and tactics are based on training and experience — others, and my own — all chosen for specific, well-thought-out reasons. Carrying multiple guns is not paranoid, it's simply being well prepared.

 
 

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Going To The Range

Going To The Range

Jim and Scott show you how to make each trip to the shooting range a quality experience.

Teaching New Shooters

Teaching New Shooters

Julie Golob of Team Smith & Wesson guest stars, joining Jim and Scott for a discussion of how best to introduce new shooters to the sport.

KelTec P17 22LR Pistol – Feature Packed, Accurate & Fun to Shoot

KelTec P17 22LR Pistol – Feature Packed, Accurate & Fun to Shoot

If you're in the market for a 17-round, compact .22LR pistol that's feature packed, then the P17 is definitely an option for you. At less than 14 ounces fully loaded, and barely longer than a dollar bill, the P17 is concealable for pretty much anyone. The threaded barrel, Picatinny-style accessory rail, ambidextrous safety, ambidextrous magazine release and three (3) 16rd magazines come standard. That's a lot of value added in such a small package.

Taurus G3c

Taurus G3c

Taurus introduces the compact version of their wildly successful 9mm pistol; the G3.

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

Guns are fun, and cheap guns are even more fun. Spend less on the firearm and more on ammo with these 10 low-priced pistols.10 Cheap Guns Under $250 Compact

10 Cheap Guns Under $250

Evan Brune - September 24, 2015

Guns are fun, and cheap guns are even more fun. Spend less on the firearm and more on ammo...

Kahr Arms officially broke ground on their new headquarters in Blooming Grove Township, in PikeKahr Arms Breaks Ground on New Pennsylvania HQ Industry

Kahr Arms Breaks Ground on New Pennsylvania HQ

Handguns Online Staff - June 04, 2014

Kahr Arms officially broke ground on their new headquarters in Blooming Grove Township, in Pike

The new Ruger-57 looks to put a charge into the 5.7x28mm pistol market—and you know you want one.Ruger 57 Pistol Review Reviews

Ruger 57 Pistol Review

James Tarr - June 05, 2020

The new Ruger-57 looks to put a charge into the 5.7x28mm pistol market—and you know you want...

The Smith & Wesson Model 13 revolver was a combat classic back in the day.Smith & Wesson Model 13 Revolver Revolvers

Smith & Wesson Model 13 Revolver

Payton Miller - July 31, 2020

The Smith & Wesson Model 13 revolver was a combat classic back in the day.

See More Trending Articles

More Concealed Carry



Over the last decade, the number of individuals obtaining a concealed carry permit has6 Essential Elements of Concealed Carry Concealed Carry

6 Essential Elements of Concealed Carry

Brad Fitzpatrick - August 26, 2016

Over the last decade, the number of individuals obtaining a concealed carry permit has

Getting your gun back into its holster is an important skill.How to Safely Holster Your Firearm Concealed Carry

How to Safely Holster Your Firearm

Richard Nance - May 25, 2018

Getting your gun back into its holster is an important skill.

With the expansion of right-to-carry laws across the country, gun owners are focusing on smaller,Best New Carry Guns for 2014 Concealed Carry

Best New Carry Guns for 2014

Handguns Online Staff - January 15, 2014

With the expansion of right-to-carry laws across the country, gun owners are focusing on...

Smith & Wesson Corp. announced Apr. 8, 2014, that non-microstamped, California-compliantSmith & Wesson Now Shipping Non-Microstamped M&P Shield Pistols to California Concealed Carry

Smith & Wesson Now Shipping Non-Microstamped M&P Shield Pistols to California

Handguns Online Staff - April 14, 2014

Smith & Wesson Corp. announced Apr. 8, 2014, that non-microstamped, California-compliant

See More Concealed Carry

Magazine Cover

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE Arrow

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Phone Icon

Get Digital Access.

All Handguns subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now