Withdrawl Symptoms (backup gun pondering)

Ok, I’ve been without my regular carry gun now for a little over a week now (having some work done on it and the gunsmith is backed up) and am really missing it.

My temp is a full size gun and I only have an OWB holster for it, so it’s really forced me this last week and a half to adjust what I’m wearing and how I move. Open carry is allowed in my State so that’s not a big deal, I just personally want to carry concealed, so I’m always very warry about printing or temporarily exposing the gun. For example I was in the store earlier this week and needed to reach up on the shelf to get something and did so without much thought. I continue on but as my hand sweeps past my side I realize the muzzle of my gun has slipped out from cover. I did the quick shirt pull down and look to see if anyone noticed (no one appeared to have). This is definitely a “baggy clothes” pistol for me.

I’m definitely getting an IWB holster for this bad boy even though I know it will not be very comfortable but I figure it will be ok for temporary situations like this.

I also thought maybe it’s time to consider purchasing another compact handgun, but that’s yet another gun I would need to start training with regularly and I’m still trying to perfect techniques with my main carry gun (the one I’m carrying I typically get out to the range every other month for drills, vs monthly for my regular carry pistol). I actually thought about maybe getting a second make/model of my regular carry gun as a back up, but that’s probably overkill (I don’t take my gun into the shop that often after all).

What do the rest of you do when you’re without your main carry gun and what adjustments to you make?


I have enough of a variety that this problem will most likely not happen for me. My main carry currently is a .45 of which I have a second very similar back up.

I should note that I do change carry gun depending on where I am going and how I will be dressed, some functions call for different clothing choices which in turn demand a change in CC strategy.



The only time I’m without my main carry gun, is deer season. The oversized, insulated clothes go with the territory, and is a normal sight in public. I could be carrying the biggest handgun in the planet, and a broadsword and no one would notice. And, I’m in the market for another carry gun. Variety is the spice of life. I would recommend a carry gun of similar design and operation(M&P full size and Shield, XDM and XDS, GP100 and SP101).


I regularly carry a CZ P07. I am going to send it out soon to have an RMR put on it, and then I will be carrying an FNS 9C for a few weeks, which was my main carry gun and is smaller than the CZ. I also have a Glock 29 that I carry for protection in the woods. Finally I sometimes ankle carry a Taurus 605 .357 that I want to replace with a S&W airweight.

So basically none of my carry guns are similar besides the fact that they are all handguns, and I own them. I train with them all, but the FN and CZ see the most trigger time I will admit. I am nowhere near proficient with a revolver with reloads or manipulation, and I need to work on that. I also feel that the more and more abuse I put my Taurus through, the less and less it is a viable carry option, and needs to be replaced.

Anyways, my advice is to get a backup gun that you will train with and get to know and master. If you know you may not master or train with a new firearm, maybe getting the same model is a good option for you. I personally got all different guns and holsters to suit my needs at different times. I normally will not carry with a hybrid holster, but I have a tuck-able one for getting dressed up, I have an ankle holster for backup, and appendix holsters for my primary every day jeans and a hoodie.


Maybe that’s what I need to do and replicate what you and @James do and switch it up more frequently vs just when the gun is in the shop. That sure would have allowed me to see some of the nuances I like/don’t like with my current backup.


You really came to the wrong place to get talked out of buying another gun :slight_smile: You really should have a back-up for your carry gun. If you are involved in a shooting your regular gun will likely be kept as evidence for a while at least, so you need another gun that you trust and are familiar with.


Perfecting tequnique is truely a life long journey. Since I prefer to keep things simple… the learning curve to shooting handguns can be steep. Once you get the fundamentals, you just need to learn the personality of each gun. The honeymoon period is the best part. With that said, I’d say get a backup. Be that an exact duplicate, cousin in same manufacturer, or something new and interesting. I’m a big proponent to plan B.
My rotation consists of 3 guns. I’m hoping to add a fourth soon.


My main carry is a Commander 1911, my backup is a full sized 1911… Another gun, sure, get a few! :grinning:

I will go out on a limb and say you probably notice your ‘printing’ more than the average person around you.


Personally, I have at least two firearms which fullfill most of my EDC requirements. One for hot weather (smaller; many of my duties involve reaching, stretching, kneeling, squatting, etc. which could accidentally reveal a 3-finger firearm), and one for not-so-warm weather that is still small enough to conceal in warm weather if I needed to with a little consideration (this larger firearm conforms more to what I expect out of a pistol). Right now that setup is working well, as one of them is out of action pending reliability/function tests of certain mods.


I have 3 Ruger SR9C’s. One is my EDC, another is “on loan” to my son-in-law to keep my grandkids and daughter safe, and the 3rd is sitting in the safe. The one in the safe is exactly for the same reason you have, if #1 goes down, needs a cleaning, modification, shipped off to the smithy, I can just pick up the same model. All the muscle memory is the same.

In an end of world scenario you have a lot of interchangeable parts available to you as well.


I typically carry a Glock. If it goes down, my replacement is a Glock. Regardless of caliber, single or double stack, the weapons share the same form, fit and function. If you like what you carry and can swing it, I’d buy another as your back up/replacement.


Looks like I’m violating the 2 is 1 and 1 is none rule… :grin:


This has been my saw regarding the pre striker Sig Sauer, (nor 1911), product lines and worked just grand. Of course, I’ve grown attached to the older pieces I have and the new ones, well it’s almost twice as bad. I’d hate to have to surrender any to the evidence locker. Guess that’s just more reason to de-escalate and detach, drive away for another day… :cowboy_hat_face:
Glad I’ve got my walkin cane.

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Speaking of walking canes, I carry one on my walks as well as in non-permissive environments. I recommend one of Mark Shuey’s canes. You can peruse his offerings at canemasters.com. He is a long time martial artist out of Incline Village, NV, and developed the American Cane System as well as a system for senior’s. He also collaborates with Tom Forman, owner and founder of Valhalla Security Consulting, Montrose, CO, with teaching wounded warriors and veterans in the defensive use of the cane.

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Very interesting resource there. I was disappointed to learn of the Dojo up in Incline AFTER I’d left California. My family spent many a Summer week in Tahoe and I’d have really enjoyed having something other to do than carouse the casinos. I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about the options on his woodwork.

Recently found a book in Kindle Unlimited by Darrin Cook called “NEW Bonafont Cane Fighting System.” It is hyper condensed and would benefit from having the original 1930’s reference by Arturo Bonafont: “New Means of Self-Defense on the Street with a Cane.” The recent work focuses on a simple set of moves that come out of a relaxed open ready stance but can explosively and decisively resolve a situation with use of a cane and natural body motions. (no plan survives initial contact with the enemy!)

There’s plenty of folk sharing ways of martial art which are all good if they’re practiced and well anchored in muscle memory coordinated by a trained awake and aware mind. If nothing else remember, places one is not expected or allowed to carry a “weapon” usually allow a tool for dealing with a disability to pass

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Pick a firearm with the same manual of arms.That way getting the gun into action is muscle memory.Going IWB is not that painful,Just get a good holster in your draw clock.

I’ve been an avid reader of the USCCA CC Magazine and I’ve seen so many cases of defensive firearms seized by the law enforcement “as evidence” to never come back (or spend years before coming back) I’ve already assumed if (knock on wood for that not happening) I need to use my carry gun to defend myself I will lose it to those authorities that were supposed to defend me in the first place. With that in mind I just saved enough to:

1- Buy the exact same gun as my regular carry and keep it home
2- Ensure my wife knows how to use it, so it works as a home defense unit if needed
3- Guarantee that I don’t have to change my muscle memory in case I need to use a backup
4- Ensure I have a backup gun in case I need to carry a second firearm some day

I know it may look overkill, but I think it’s worth it.

It’s important also to remember that depending upon where you live, you may be ordered to surrender all of your weapons at your arraignment (if it gets to that point). You may be subject to that as well as filing a sworn statement as to your firearm inventory as well as having a condition of your bail set with regard to having access to firearms as well access to alcohol and drugs. Random testing and supervision may also be a part of your bail conditions. One never knows.

Again, this all depends upon several factors. One being where you live and where you are arrested, what your circumstances were in your particular case.

I’m casting a wide net here based soley on my experience of seeing dozens of arraignments for various charges. Where I worked, Magistrates and Judges always defaulted to disarmament of a defendant even though the charges didn’t involve a firearm.

Your mileage may vary.

Stay safe out there.

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