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So, my fellow officers and brothers in blue, what do you feel is the best backup gun to carry and where would you carry it?
I personally have switched backups (and off duty gun) as I was forced into it because I changed departments recently (Yeah, out of plain clothes and back in the bag again).
I am curious to see which backup you guys (because, in all honesty and seriousness you know better than I) think is best. For me, concealed, lighter, and smaller is always more comfortable as a backup.
As an FYI I am departmentally regulated to carry a Glock 23 as my on duty carry pistol in uniform.
Thanks.
 

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I have carried a few BUGs over the years. When I first started, everybody and his brother was carrying 357 Magnums. A S&W Model 36 or Model 10 snub was the natural choice. Weight was a killer. I switched to a Beretta 380. I liked it but, 50 year old handguns aren't the best BUG. I tried a Colt Junior 25. I didn't care for a 25 as a BUG. I bought a (don't laugh) Jennings 22. It didn't last for 100 rounds, it simply fell apart. I then bought a couple of Davis derringers in 22 WMR and 38 Special. They served well enough. I wanted bigger holes though! I finally settled on another Springfield Ultra V10 with porting. It was lightweight and easily concealed. I could also use 10 round mags in it. I had no major problems with carrying two 1911s. I would like to see somebody make the old AMT 45 compact again.
 

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I currently carry a G27; to me, it's a natural choice because I carry it's big brother, the G22 as the primary sidearm.

However, I went to the range and also qualified with a SW 915 that I bought almost new for $300.00. Why the step down in caliber?

1. I carry it with a hi-cap; total of 16 rounds.
2. With a fully loaded mag of Ranger SXT's, it weighs just a bit more than the G27.
3. With the G27, I have trouble hitting reliably past 15 yards; the 915 holds them in the X at 25. Haven't tried a longer range yet.
4. Big reason--that 915 has the SWEETEST DA pull I have ever felt on a non-custom gun! And, for single action--I have so far fired 7 and 8 round "bursts" from the pistol--in other words, the gun is cycling so fast it sounds like full auto. And, added bonus--it is ultra controllable--all rounds fired this way stay in the 9 ring or better.
5. It fits real nice in the back front pocket of the body armor, too.
 

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Everyone is different. What works for me might not work for you, in fact might get you killed. I'd look at the Glock mini's as your packing a Glock as primary. Same functions. Nothing to try and remember or switch to in a SHTF situation. I don't know your physical size either. It makes a difference, what your able to carry without printing and where your going to carry. You should be able to get some help here. I personally carry a S&W 649 in 357. I carry it on my vest straps when in uniform and on my ankle in plain clothes. I figure if I'm down to a BUG want it to be the most reliable piece I can pull plus as big a caliber as I can fire well. We have to qualify sometimes back to 25 yds. with our BUG's. Hope this helps.
 

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Again, it's a personal choice.

But, the Keltec P32 that I carry is tiny -- really tiny -- and never an effort to carry.

I carry it using their belt-clip, which I clip over my trauma plate.

It also works nicely in a weak-side pocket holster.
 

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I carry a Kimber ProCarry as a back-up. Sorry, but I refuse to discuss where on a public forum. The police should have very few secrets from the public, but this is one of them.

Just a little healthy paranoia- I know most users of this forum are police friendly, but you don't have to be a cop or a good guy to eavesdrop.
 

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Everyone will have to work out their own salvation according to their circumstances and personal skills. I am saying that what is "best" for me might not be best for you.

With that caveat and stipulating that I am "semi-retired" and don't work uniform unless it is a rare occasion, my most oft used backup these days is simply another 1911. Sometimes it is an old Colt Commander but usually it is a Kmiber with very few mods, carried concealed, crossdraw (no, if was in a position to do a lot of interplay with suspects, like handcuffing, I would probably not carry a crossdraw - but for my current situation it does work.

Other BUGs I sometimes carry are a Glock 23, a Para Ord LDA rechambered for 10mm and an old 1917 S&W cut to 3 3/4" loaded with .45 Super ammo.

When I do wear a uniform I just stick one under my shirt but of course it is slower.

I also carry a "hideout" which a lot of people confuse with a "backup")

Again, YMMV
Good luck!
Jim Higginbotham
 

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Other BUGs I sometimes carry are a Glock 23, a Para Ord LDA rechambered for 10mm and an old 1917 S&W cut to 3 3/4" loaded with .45 Super ammo.
Sweet! That 1917 must be a handful. Do you have the original grips for yours? I have a 1917 that has been cut to about a 4" barrel, and have been trying to find some good grips for it.

And, the LDA re-chambered to 10mm? Talk about a pocket rocket!
 

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Powderman said:
Sweet! That 1917 must be a handful. Do you have the original grips for yours? I have a 1917 that has been cut to about a 4" barrel, and have been trying to find some good grips for it.

And, the LDA re-chambered to 10mm? Talk about a pocket rocket!
Actually I made a set of grip pannels that are similar to the S&W Magnas from an elk antler I picked up in Colorado and also use a Tyler T-grip. It is not uncomfortable at all. However I somehow got the profile of the left grip pannel wrong as it seems to bother my left hand in weak hand only shooting after a couple of cylinders full. I need to radius that one a bit more.

The LDA is a full sized gun - holds 18 rounds of 10mm. I am not crazy about the LDA but I had to have a DA gun that fit 1911 duty gear for the occasional trip to the State Police Academy - they don't allow those "dangerous" SA guns so it is either a DA or a Glock (Ironic since the chief instructor carries a 1911 as his personal gun). Oh well....

Cordially,
Jim Higginbotham
 

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Huh?

The State Police Academy thinks that they can prevent you from carrying your department authorized sidearm because of its type? That's a level of audacity that's surprising even for troopers. Sheesh. I question their legal authority for that position. I'd love to see if they bothered getting a legal opinion from their Attorney General before going off on that disgraceful tangent.
:barf:

For Big Dog: If you can carry the G27 in a useful manner, go for it. As others noted, the commonality of operation etc is a good selling point. My 33, and the 26 before it, are the same size, and have been very happy with them as pistols generally, and as backup and plain clothes carry guns.:p
 

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My vote

S&W J-frame of your choice. Mine is the 642. Light, works in pocket holster, vest holster, jacket pocket, or ankle rig. Works EVERY time no matter if you fire limp wristed (gun hand injured?), weak hand, on the ground, across the body seated in a car, or what-have-you. Reliability is job #1.
 

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Smith & Wesson 340SC

My idea was to keep it simple. I carry a Smith & Wesson 340SC in .357. Super light weight with the scandium frame but you catch all the recoil. Qualification for our state is almost 60 rounds and after 20 .357 slivertips I couldn't feel my finger tips. Had to switch to .38 +P.

The pistol is carried in a ankle holster. Quick and easy to access and simply to use. I didn't want to worry about which gun with which safety. Just point and shoot.

:D
 

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I've tried a few different ones over the years, but keep coming back to the Smith J frame. As an example of one of my failed experiments, for a while I was carrying a Para Ordnance P-10 on my vest strap, with my primary being a P-14. I thought that having the ability to use the full size mags from the P-14 in the P-10 would be the best of both worlds. Unfortunately, the weight of the P-10 made this impossible. My current one is a Smith 340 PD (J frame, titanium cylinder, .357 mag). Extremely light weight, hardly know its there and a very powerful round. Great gun for use in the summer with shorts as its light weight doesn't pull your pants down. Only down side is only 5 shots, and very unpleasant (kicks like a mule) to shoot for extended periods of time.

Dave
 

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Re: Huh?

Doug M. said:
The State Police Academy thinks that they can prevent you from carrying your department authorized sidearm because of its type? That's a level of audacity that's surprising even for troopers. Sheesh. I question their legal authority for that position. I'd love to see if they bothered getting a legal opinion from their Attorney General before going off on that disgraceful tangent.
:barf:

While I agree, I guess the attitude is; "this is our school and we don't aurthorize that type of gun for our troopers, so tuff". Completely wrong in my book but then when I was at the FBI Academy they would not let me use my own gun even though they do allow SAs - had to use their gun which was the pits (the one they gave me had the bore drilled obviously off center - with the sights adjusted all the way to the left the thing still hit 6" right at 25 yards).

Beauracracy stinks at every level:mad:
Cordially,
Jim Higginbotham
 

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Well...

The FBI (no matter what you take that to mean, and I tend to subscribe to the alternatives :D ) is not a good role model for much of anything. There was an incident not long ago in which guns and other equipment were stolen out of an agent's car (left there overnight; anyone want to bet there was no discipline?); the Denver Airport had to be closed down a few weeks ago because some dullard agent carried their gun in a briefcase where it does not belong and lost the briefcase (I bet no discipline there, either). These are not a surprise. I have met some that have a clue, but we have also had serious trouble with a few (note to the FBI - don't get into a food fight with our Chief Civil Deputy Prosecutor - it may be a career limiting manuever).:eek:

I don't know the law in Kentucky, but such behavior here would probably result in the academy commander getting arrested. The law here is clear that a government agency cannot have a policy inconsistent with a statute, and the weapons exemption is absolute, even for out of state cops. I can think of at least one felony, and a misdemeanor that mandates forfeiture of employment, and I would prosecute those in a heartbeat. Once in a while, I have had some behavior from them in situations where I am in charge of the scene. I have had to help them reconsider their negative attitudes. :p
 

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A good BUG to compliment my 5" 1911 is my 3" 1911. In a pinch you can use the full-size mags in the smaller one. I don't know if the glocks will do that though...
 

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Yup, they will

But just as with the 1911s, one must be careful not to insert the full length magazine with too much vigor.
 
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