There have been discussions for many years on how to carry a second gun. I remember as a small boy sitting around the kitchen table and listening to my Dad and other deputies talk about how to carry a back-up gun (BUG) effectively. And all these years later, that is still a topic of conversation among uniformed peace officers and private citizens alike.
Wearing your primary in uniform is a no-brainer: uniformed as policy usually dictates how you will carry and in a lot of places even tells you what to carry. A second gun, where allowed for officers, is a bit more complicated.
This article will cover three different holsters and hopefully give those in uniform and those in plainclothes a few options—and options are what it’s all about.
Bianchi Model 150 Negotiator ankle holster, Taurus Model 85 and JHKS speedloader.
10-24 PRODUCTS BACK UP PISTOL POUCH
At the 2008 SHOT Show, Peter Roccisano of 10-24 Products stopped by the S.W.A.T. booth and gave us a copy of his Back Up Pistol Pouch (BUPP), which attaches to the front of concealable body armor, and asked us to review it. My initial thoughts were that it would be way too bulky and would not work. I was wrong.
As soon as I attached it to my body armor, I liked the way it felt. Made of two pieces of nylon, the BUPP pieces are stitched together at the bottom and half way up on the sides. Between these two sides is an adjustable “one-size-fits-all” nylon holster that attaches to the BUPP with Velcro®. The holster is removable and adjustable for a comfortable draw. In the middle of the carrier is a large strap to pull down the front section, allowing the back-up gun to be exposed.
The back of the BUPP has “hook” Velcro, so it sticks right to the “loop” Velcro on the front of a soft body armor carrier. The front of the BUPP has loop Velcro for the standard straps on the carrier to attach to. Two straps at the top of the BUPP run through the throat area of the carrier, down the inside and then attach to the bottom front of the carrier. The front of the BUPP has two small elastic loops—one on each side—that are perfect for pairs of latex gloves.
Bianchi Model 4501 Pocket Change holster features rubberized material that ensures it stays in place in the pocket.
BIANCHI MODEL 4501 POCKET CHANGE HOLSTER
The next holster suitable for a BUG is the Bianchi Model 4501 Pocket Change holster, which is designed to be worn in the front pocket of a pair of trousers. A one-piece design, the outside of the Pocket Change holster has a rubberized material that ensures it stays in place in the pocket and will not be withdrawn when the firearm is presented. It has a minimum amount of bulk to it, and due to its shape it will not print through the trousers’ material. The Pocket Change allows instant accessibility and comfort, while not hindering a quick draw.
Back Up Pistol Pouch attached to concealable body armor.
BIANCHI MODEL 150 NEGOTIATOR
The final holster I tested is the Bianchi Model 150 Negotiator ankle holster. In my opinion, the Negotiator is one of the better holsters of this type.
The Negotiator is all leather and molded for the specific gun it is made to carry. Available for many small frame guns, my sample was made for a Model 85 Taurus “snubby.” It features a thumb break and open bottom. The back of the holster has genuine sheepskin for comfort and has a slight forward cant to make drawing a firearm easier.
Attached to the body of the holster is a wide Neoprene leg wrap that secures hook and loop material. A removable strap attaches to the top of the holster and to an elastic leg strap (worn at the top of the calf) and keeps the holster from falling down below the bottom of the pant leg.
Front of Back Up Pistol Pouch pulled down to show Ruger LCP carried as back-up gun.
There is an old saying that one gun is none and two is one. If there is ever a need for one gun, there may be a need for a second—and if you are down to a back up, you will need it more than ever before, as things have gotten real bad.
While there are certainly other ways to carry a BUG besides the above three holsters, these have stood up and performed well during a long evaluation period.
Whatever your choice, practice with your BUG as much as you do with your primary handguns, working out any kinks in your system before your life depends on it.
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