“One is none, two is one.” I first heard this many years ago from some U.S. Navy SEALs I trained with. They were referring to doubling up on detonators for explosives but I’ve since applied this principle to knives, flashlights and, of course, concealed carry pistols. Another phrase you’ll hear tossed around is, “The fastest reload is a second gun.”
Have you taken the time to explore that? Tried it out on the range, perhaps under a bit of stress? You may find that this statement is true. While it’s also true that you’re probably going to end most fights with the ammunition in the gun, Murphy has a way of rearing his ugly head and making things go wrong at the most inopportune times. You might need a reload, you might not be able to access your primary firearm or a malfunction could take you by surprise. There’s a reason smart gunfighters carry a second gun.
Have you ever been pulled over by a police officer at night? He probably had a flashlight in one hand and you may have wondered why his other hand was in his jacket pocket. He was likely clutching his backup piece in his hand. Pocket carry is one way to carry a second gun, especially if you’re wearing a primary pistol on your belt. Some folks prefer to keep the back up in a jacket or front trouser pocket and small revolvers are ideal for this. While I’m a big advocate of carrying all handguns in holsters I’m not as adamant about revolvers in pockets — if you’re careful, they are perfectly safe. Front pockets can be a problem if you’re seated so that’s probably why Officer Friendly had his pistol in a jacket pocket. I’ve been known to drop a revolver in my back pocket when wandering around the property, walking the dog or going out to close the gate. It’s perfectly safe, and I can draw the gun almost as quickly from my back pocket as I can from a belt holster.
Pocket holsters require some care in holstering. It’s best to never attempt putting the pistol in the holster while in the pocket or waistband (another good place to use a pocket holster). Always carefully place the pistol in the pocket holster before putting it in your pocket. If you draw the pistol you should remove the holster before re-holstering and returning both the gun and holster to your pocket.
Some folks I know carry their primary concealed carry pistol in an ankle holster because it works best with their lifestyle and way of dress. For example, if you wear a suit and want to be able to remove your jacket in the office an ankle holster is a good way to carry without showing a gun. Other folks, including a lot of police officers, carry a backup gun in an ankle holster. A little thought needs to go into where you intend to position the gun. The default position is on the inside of the left ankle for a right-handed shooter but you may want to put it on the off side to be accessible to the support hand.
As a precaution, I don’t have a problem with holstering revolvers in an ankle rig but I get squeamish about doing it with a striker-fired pistol and would prefer to holster with the holster off my leg before attaching it to my ankle.
This is my default carry position and after many years of carrying duty and concealed handguns on my belt, it seems natural to me. I’m right handed so my primary pistol resides on my right side, usually just behind my hip. I frequently carry a second pistol on the left side along with a spare magazine that will fit either gun. There’s a training issue here, and you will need to practice becoming proficient with drawing and shooting with the opposite hand before carrying this way. It’s easier than you might imagine but requires some time, effort and putting some rounds down range. Dry practice with an unloaded pistol is invaluable for any draw from concealed carry, but even more so for offside carry.
A variation of belt carry is inside the waistband (IWB) carry, either behind the hip(s) or in the appendix position where the pistol is positioned in front of the hip. Some folks are totally against appendix carry while others love it. I’ll simply state that I use it from time to time, especially with revolvers, but caution if you want to try it you must make sure you’re using a proper holster and do plenty of dry practice.
Give a lot of thought to how you’re going to carry, what you’re going to carry, and practice, practice, practice. And remember, “One is none, two is one.”