Choosing a backup gun, and practicing with it

The new era of backup guns is here (and it ain’t your daddy’s wheel gun!)

The .38 revolver with a five- or six-inch barrel used to be standard issue, along with a .38 snub-nose strapped to your vest (if you had one) or your ankle. That gave you a grand total of about 11 or 12 rounds to throw in a deadly force situation before you would need to bust out the speed loader for six more.

Back up weaponry — whether revolvers or semi-automatics — have made enormous strides in the last decade. Polymer has helped in reducing weight and improving reliability and performance. New, faster, and more effective ammunition has also been a plus in helping protect us on the street. Innovative and more durable holsters and carry products are out there as well, making it easier and safer to carry and access your weapon at all times.

Now we have .380 calibers that weigh 30 ounces and fit in your front pocket and we even have polymer wheel guns that weigh about the same. Personal preference plays into the mix, but one thing is for certain, we have some truly reliable options for back up guns and off duty carry. Ruger and Smith & Wesson seem to be on the forefront of the polymer framed revolvers, but the list of reliable, super-sub-compact semi-automatic pistols seems endless. There are several options of .380 compacts as well as new state-of-the-art .38 revolvers.

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