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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.