BUG/Secondary gun - revolver or semi auto?

This is a discussion on BUG/Secondary gun - revolver or semi auto? within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Looking specifically at the role of secondary/BUG gun...NOT primary use. Let us not have this devolve into another revolver vs semi auto thread... Lots of ...

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Thread: BUG/Secondary gun - revolver or semi auto?

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    VIP Member Array 10thmtn's Avatar
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    BUG/Secondary gun - revolver or semi auto?

    Looking specifically at the role of secondary/BUG gun...NOT primary use. Let us not have this devolve into another revolver vs semi auto thread...


    Lots of folks carry revolvers as secondary sidearms. I have myself at times. Yet, I have been wondering lately if this is the best option...especially when your secondary becomes your primary.


    One of my requirements for a secondary is that it be accessible with my left hand. In the event my dominant right hand is injured, I must also be able to run the gun with ONLY my left hand. Here is where the revolver fails - it really takes two hands to reload a revolver with any speed at all.


    With a semi auto, I can drop the mag, put it between my knees, and insert a fresh mag. If need be, I can run the slide by grasping it between my knees or hooking the rear sight on my belt. Reloading a revolver one-handed is a skill I have yet to master to my satisfaction.


    This is why my LCP has become my default secondary...and yes, though it lacks "hookable" rear sights, I am able to rack the diminutive slide between my knees.


    Most days my primary is a LCR revolver, thus reversing the common trend. If you are going to carry a revolver, it seems better suited to primary duty to me...backed up by a semi auto. When I carry one of my Glocks as primary, I will still be backing it up with the semi auto LCP.

    Thoughts?
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    I often carry a BUG, it rides in an ankle holster, S&W 938 Airweight. I got a ankle holster for my PPK but its much heavier. I go with the revolver just because that is what I have and the weight issue.
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    Distinguished Member Array claude clay's Avatar
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    I have always carried weak side a revolver, hammerless when available, as my secondary

    it rides in a self-made holster in custom made pockets , left side, of my vest or coat
    the holster is to keep the car keys completely separate from the gun. has happened that 'interested' parties,
    requested said keys and were taken aback when that was not what I took out of my pocket.
    today my cars are keyless, so nothing else is in the pocket.

    hammerless so I can safely fire it in the pocket without fearing that it will snag on anything
    fouling a follow up shot. last stop for an worn or aged coat is the range for practice...
    Be aware, be deliberate in your actions and be accurate.
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    Member Array fredg53's Avatar
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    I carry a wheel as my primary and an LCP as BUG

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    VIP Member Array maxwell97's Avatar
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    In theory, I don't see much difference between one-handed reloading of a semi and an auto. Pop out the cylinder, eject the casings with the thumb, grip muzzle between knees, speed loader to cylinder, away you go. Granted it would be awkward and perhaps slower, but at least you wouldn't have to rack a slide.

    That said, I've never tried it, so it may be a LOT slower. Your rationale seems sound. My only worry with a semi-auto would be weak hand + injury + little gun = limp-wrist? Clearing a stovepipe one-handed sounds like a problem.
    "Yet this government never of itself furthered any enterprise, but by the alacrity with which it got out of the way... The character inherent in the American people has done all that has been accomplished; and it would have done somewhat more, if the government had not sometimes got in its way."

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    VIP Member Array LimaCharlie's Avatar
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    I am left-handed and right eye dominant. I have carried and shot right handed for over forty years. I carry either my Sig P938 9mm or my Springfield Armory XDs-45 .45 ACP in a holster in my right front pocket with a spare magazine in the change/watch pocket above it. I can access the pocket BUG with my left hand if I need to in an emergency.
    I carry a gun, because a Cop is too heavy.

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    Distinguished Member Array Brady's Avatar
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    My backup is always a snubby. The fact that I own more revolvers (and I luv'em) than semi's surely influences that decision.
    ...he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one. Luke 22:36
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    I don't carry reloads for backups. They are, after all, a backup. I think 1 more mag for a primary is more likely to be of help then a reload for my backup. So in my opinion, the reload issue is not as much of a problem. Not to mention, if you've got time, space, dexterity, and presence of mind to get your gun between your legs and do the reloading procedure 1 handed...then you've probably got time to drop the backup and use your weak side hand to get hold of your primary.

    So in my opinion, whatever you got that carries easiest and is reliable is a good backup, reloads not an issue.

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    VIP Member Array 40Bob's Avatar
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    I used to be only a revolver guy (except the 1911 that I could not carry because of policy). I carry a roving BUG, depending on the weather or the activity the BUG migrates. I had a few J frames I used as BUG's my favorite were 357 magnums with 1 7/8" barrels.

    I then discovered that full power 125 JHP's were only achieving 1250 FPS from that super snubby. There was a heavy price to pay with blast and recoil during practice sessions, after about 100 rounds of full power loads thru a lightweight 357 J frame my hands were shaking. Then I discovered the pocket 9's. My favorite by far in the S&W shield. Using +P 124's it is nearly the ballistic equal to a 125 grain magnum fires from a 1 7/8" barrel, the 3" model 13 adds another 100fps. The shield is a no brainer, almost 2X the capacity, thinner, easier, faster reload.

    Resorting to a BUG is serious business, it is one that MUST work every-time. The smaller semi auto's are susceptible to poor technique, so reliability while injured could be a concern. With everything considered I feel that the small semi beat the small revolver for me in this role.

    Now if my BUG was my snubby 629, well...................
    My rifle and pistol are tools, I am the weapon. Go big or stay on the porch.

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    VIP Member Array 10thmtn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by grbr View Post
    I don't carry reloads for backups. They are, after all, a backup. I think 1 more mag for a primary is more likely to be of help then a reload for my backup. So in my opinion, the reload issue is not as much of a problem. Not to mention, if you've got time, space, dexterity, and presence of mind to get your gun between your legs and do the reloading procedure 1 handed...then you've probably got time to drop the backup and use your weak side hand to get hold of your primary.

    So in my opinion, whatever you got that carries easiest and is reliable is a good backup, reloads not an issue.
    Interesting point. I carry reloads for both my primary and my secondary. If my primary fails, and I go to the secondary, I may well have to reload it. Or, if my primary runs dry and I go to my secondary as a "NY reload" I may have to reload in that situation as well. This is especially the case for me, as my primary is usually of lower capacity.

    I guess my main point is to get folks thinking about what role they expect the BUG to play, and to consider the possibility of needing to reload it one-handed, especially with only the weak hand. That, for me, leads me to favor the semi auto for BUG use, and to use the revolver (if I am going to use it at all) as a primary. And as much as I like my LCR (and I really do) I would never carry it without a BUG, due to the limitations inherent in revolvers. Heck, I always carry a BUG regardless...
    40Bob likes this.
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    VIP Member Array WrongRecroom's Avatar
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    What gun is your normal carry gun? That is could you pack a semi auto back up that is the samller version of the big gun ie a 19 with a 26 bug a 5906 with a 6906 etc?


    Oh what about a bretta tomcat as a bug gun small and easy to load ( tip up barrel) plus thous rounds pack a wallop all things consider (esp with the old euro stuff or steel core) . Or a sig 938 can be used with either hand and would also hit hard.

    But then to me a bug is all else fails and you need to pull and fire fast no fulbling for saftey less thing to go wrong etc.

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    VIP Member Array Taurahe's Avatar
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    I dont think either is right or wrong. It is all about what you are most comfortable with. My preference is to carry a reload as opposed to carrying a backup. I am aware situations could arise where it would not be the best of options, but it is what works best for me. whatever you choose keep it simple. I think everything has its advantages and disadvantages.
    ShooterGranny likes this.
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    If, I were to carry a bug, it would mirror my primary as much as possible. It should possess the same qualities as my primary, because the merits that made my primary the choice, should be no less important on a bug.

    My choice would be a g26/27 if I carried it's bigger brethren.
    If I carried a wheel my bug would be a wheel.
    If I carried a 1911, my bug would be a 1911.

    But I don't need or desire a bug, so it's just a fun mental exercise for me.
    Bigsteve113 likes this.
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    VIP Member Array Kennydale's Avatar
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    I would love an LCR in .357 Magnum or .38SPL+P as a BUG.
    Bigsteve113 likes this.
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    Member Array tnlc9's Avatar
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    BUG/Secondary gun - revolver or semi auto?

    I carry a 1911 .45 and two spare mags. If I have to resort to my .22 mag revolver BUG, I will have more to worry about, than only 5 shots left.
    Bigsteve113 likes this.

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