Is It A Good Idea To Use Your EDC Gun For Multiple Uses?

EDC gun for eveything?

Are you looking for one gun to fit all your situational needs?

You probably spent quite a lot of time and effort finding the gun you like best for concealed carry. It fits your hands, you shoot it well, it's reliable, and you can conceal it well. In addition to that, you probably have already purchased a holster and aftermarket accessories like self-defense sights.

But is that one gun the only gun you will ever need? Maybe not.

Home Defense Gun(s)-

I highly recommend everyone have a firearm(s) dedicated to protecting the home. It may be your everyday carry (EDC) gun. However, ideally, another gun could fill this need.

Based on your specific situation, you may choose a rifle, shotgun, or handgun to defend your home. They all have strengths and limitations that you should carefully weigh.

A few questions you may want to think about when deciding are:

  • Who else lives in your home
  • Do you live in an apartment and share walls with neighbors
  • How large is your home
  • Who else will be using the gun
  • Can you attach a light to the gun
  • What is the capacity
  • Is it easy to operate under stress
home defense shotgun

You may find a shotgun fits your needs for a home defense gun better than your EDC.

Even if you carry your everyday carry EDC firearm inside your home, what happens when you are gone? What if you have a family member who isn't always carrying a gun is home alone?

Consider staging multiple guns. While answering the above questions, you may realize that having different guns in various parts of the house is a good strategy. For example, you may stage an AR15 inside the room where you and your family gather and defend. We teach this, Isolate the Family and Defend the Room (IFDR), in our Complete Home Defense training course.

A handgun in a vault may make sense in an area of the house where you want access to a firearm but don't want it to stand out.

If you have a multi-level home or a sizeable ranch-style layout, your single home-defense gun may be too far away when you need it. Said another way, you may find a different type of gun works best for specific parts of the home.

So be purposeful not only in where your stage your home-defense gun(s), but consider the type of gun you put there.

Back-Up Gun (BUG)-

Some situations may drive you to carry a firearm in addition to your primary everyday carry (EDC) gun. Typically this backup gun is not just a duplicate of your primary piece. Why?

Backup guns are usually smaller and carried in another location on the body, like the ankle. Because of this, your backup gun is probably going to have less capacity and possibly a smaller caliber as well.

The features you look for in a backup gun will not be the same as what you want for your EDC.

Beretta Pico back-up gun (BUG)

Your backup gun may be a revolver or something tiny like this Beretta Pico

I feel that for most people, and in most situations, backup guns are unnecessary. The drawbacks outweigh the potential benefits. Here are a couple of things to consider when choosing to carry a backup gun in addition to your EDC.

In a fight, the retention of one gun is hard enough. Now add a second gun strapped to your ankle. The attacker may have better access to your BUG than you do.

Most people won't train enough to be proficient with one gun, let alone two. If you carry a backup gun, you must train with it as much as your EDC.

In looking at hundreds and hundreds of defensive gun uses, there aren't an overwhelming number of instances where a BUG would have significantly affected the outcome. Not enough to outweigh the potential of losing control of the BUG in a fight.

Competition Gun-

I know some shoot their concealed carry gun in their competitions. After all, shooting in competitions makes you a more proficient shooter. One can argue that shooting a different gun for competition from what they carry could create some consistency issues.

While I think the concern is legitimate, extreme fear is probably overblown. Unless your EDC is, say, a revolver, and your comp gun is a tricked-out 1911, you're likely not going to create a significant issue.

If you have solid fundamentals, you can apply them to any handgun and shoot well.

However, sticking to one type of gun doesn't hurt.

A simple solution could be to carry the same or similar gun as you shoot in competition. For example, consider a Glock 19 for your EDC and a second Glock 19 for competition.

Additionally, some of the modifications done to competition guns are not great for an everyday carry gun.

For example, reduced spring and trigger-pull weights in your competition gun may cause malfunctions when shooting self-defense rounds or when used in a more rigorous environment.

Also, think about what happens if your gun breaks during competition. Now you are without your EDC for self-defense.

What works best on a competition gun may not always translate over to your concealed carry rig.

Duty Gun-

If you happen to open-carry a firearm for work, you likely have a duty-sized gun. If for no other reason than capacity.

I knew some officers who would carry their duty firearms as their off-duty guns. Sure concealing a duty-gun is more challenging, but concealment isn't really the most significant issue that comes to my mind.

More importantly, does your department allow modifications to your duty gun, such as sights, optics grips, etc.? You may want these things on a carry gun, but your department may not allow them.


I know many people who carry a sidearm in addition to their rifles while they are hunting. It certainly makes sense to have a sidearm for protection against shady people or address an aggressive animal at close range.

You want to carry a caliber that effectively addresses the types of animals you could stumble across. For example, there are much better options than your .380 if there is the potential to encounter a grizzly bear.

EDC For Every Purpose?-

It boils down to having the right tool for the job. Can you get away with using your EDC for all of the situations mentioned above?

You bet!

However, there may be options that are more appropriate in given circumstances.

If you are looking to use your EDC in your dry fire practice (which you definitely should), consider this laser cartridge. The device allows you to use your firearm in conjunction with electronic shot reporting software like LASR X or Mantis Laser Academy.

If you like this content, consider checking out the most common errors I see concealed carriers make.

Stay safe.

About Matthew Maruster

I follow my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ who is the eternal co-equal Son of God. I currently live in Columbus, Ohio with my wife and daughter. I served in the Marine Corps Infantry. I was a Staff Sergeant and served as a Platoon Sergeant during combat in Iraq. After I was a police officer at a municipal agency in San Diego County. I have a Bachelors's Degree in Criminal Justice from National University. MJ Maruster Defense.


  1. ron on November 14, 2017 at 1:54 pm

    of course sub compacts are harder to shoot then full size guns (any time) in competition . all the more reason you need to compete with your sub compact EDC if you’re going to depend upon it in the real world !

    I compete in IDPA BUG DIV. with my EDC, a Kahr CM9; I’m not handicapped with 6 rnd. mags or a 3″ barrel because I compete against other BUGS , (my scores are very close) not SSPs,ESPs,CDPs. I’m have the confidence to carry this sub compact because I’ve found what these subs are capable of.

    if you have a clean, lubed, quality firearm, with good manufactured ammo, there is little chance of stoppages or breakdowns.

    Who’s up for the Sub Compact Challenge ??

  2. Doug on November 17, 2017 at 1:33 pm

    I just have 2 of the same gun, a CZ P-01. One is setup for competition in CCP div. for IDPA with a 2.5 lb. SA trigger weight and I carry the other with a 5 lb. SA trigger. Because I carry from when I get dressed to when I go to bed, this gun also serves as my nightstand gun and I clip a fast release light/laser to the rail at bedtime. I also have a couple revolvers “hidden” near where I spend most time at home. Fortunately, I don’t have to worry about kids or visitors daily. I keep a long gun near my location of last resort (i.e. safe room, retreat area) where, if necessary, I can take a stand and that also has a mounted light. I think that should cover any difficulties that threaten my existence.

    • Matthew Maruster on November 17, 2017 at 2:25 pm

      Doug, I agree 100% with your set up and mind-set.

  3. Carlos Villarreal on March 3, 2018 at 6:16 pm

    Whatever your backup gun is, eather a 22 or a 45, be sure you know how to use it 100%.

    • Erik Waters on July 2, 2021 at 8:16 am


  4. Dave on November 26, 2018 at 9:50 pm

    I use 3 different handguns. My G43 is my EDC. Ialso hace a RM380 as a backup, when necessary. I also have a G42 with a laser and a light, for home defense in my apartment. Apartments, and some homes, have very thin walls and,although a 380 will penetrate a wall, they typically will not penetrate more than 1 and even 1 will reduce the terminal effects? A wonderful neighborhood, if I miss, not likely, is better than a fatality.

  5. Foot on June 29, 2021 at 7:19 pm

    The Judge is good for home both worlds. Large cal and shot gun with the right load. It’s good to have different cals and know how to use them. Am a RSO

  6. Dave on June 30, 2021 at 9:20 am

    We have our house staged with various weapons. As well we have a weekly dry fire schedule that we do with all of them. My wife is comfortable with all the various weapons in all aspects of usage. It’s been very good for her and me. We actually used the other article on the site for the “3 Dry Fire Drills”.

  7. BillyBob on July 6, 2021 at 1:31 pm

    My EDC gun for Home defense? HAHAHAHAHA…I don’t have enuff of them to go around…. I EDC a Glock model 45. My Home defense guns are:….well, depending on where I am when it happens. Could be the S&W .38 in the cabinet right inside my garage door. Could be the 9mm hidden behind my stereo speaker. Could be another 9mm hidden in the table drawer. Could be the 12 ga. in the closet by the back door. Could be the .357 upstairs. Could be the AR-15 and/or the Beretta M-9 at my bedside. Could be my EDC, if in my home office. And, in the event I’m in my cars without my EDC? (dunno’ why I would be?), a .380 in each of the glove boxes. I’d love to have a G-45 at each of those places….but can’t afford it – so I use what I got. And….no kids in the house.

  8. michael on July 18, 2021 at 2:00 pm

    Shotgun for home defense with my ar being for security only. Security meaning if **** goes down i can grab and go to do something quickly without technically bugging out. Think of a minutman loadout. Bug gun is a simple compact revolver and a 1911. Not really there as a first choice but if something happens and i need help its the ones i give that anybody can shoot. My mind set id based on the fact im a home owner living in a poor neigborhood who doesnt want attention but can quickly get into action if need be. I keep it simple with a light and sight attachment. No forend because a good set of gloves can help and shooting technique is key. I do add a half grip if the rifle is too unruly. But my rifles is heavy enough to prevent that.

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