The Case for Duplicate Guns

In previous posts, it has been suggested that having duplicates of your primary guns is a good thing. In this post, I’m going to present some scenarios and reasons to expand on why it’s such a good idea.

Military Special Forces plan for mission success by adhering to the concept of “two is one and one is none.” Indeed, when discussing any life support equipment, whether it involves technical diving, aircraft, or your firearms, redundancy is a very good thing.

Previously I’ve outlined what I consider to be a minimal battery of defensive weapons. In that same post, I also suggested that you should acquire duplicates of some of those weapons as your budget allows. Here are a few reasons why…

  • Commonality of parts, magazines, and ammunition among primary defensive weapons conveys a huge advantage.
  • The ability to similarly arm family or friends in times of natural disaster, civil unrest, or other conflicts allows you to operate as a more cohesive team.
  • You will have a duplicate firearm readily accessible during training classes in case your primary breaks or malfunctions.
  • You will have a duplicate firearm immediately available in case your primary is seized by law enforcement during an investigation after a justified use of deadly force.
  • Assuming you are not traveling with both, you will have a duplicate firearm secure at home if the airline loses your luggage or in case of theft.
  • You will have a duplicate firearm to carry if your primary requires an extended stay at the gunsmith for modification or repair.

In all of the above situations, your duplicate gun will fit in holsters you already have and use magazines, accessories, and ammunition that you already have. Also, with a duplicate gun, you will already be familiar with its manual of arms. For those who shoot competitively, if you keep modifications within reason, you could even set one gun up for competition while keeping your carry gun stock and retain virtually complete redundancy.

In terms of the three gun battery mentioned above, I would prioritize a second pistol before a second rifle, but ideally and eventually have both. Your “duplicate” rifle doesn’t necessarily need to have the same bells and whistles as your primary, and you could even set it up for a different purpose, e.g., with a different optic. The important thing is to have redundancy with commonality of parts, magazines, and ammunition.

I would also like to differentiate here between duplicate guns and backup guns. This post primarily deals with having redundancy in place rather than carrying a backup gun. While some probably do carry two identical pistols with plans to execute a “New York reload” if necessary, most back up guns (BUGs) are going to be smaller pistols carried to be immediately available in extremis conditions.

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