Defensive Carry banner

Is your BUG caliber smaller, bigger or same as Primary??

3726 Views 27 Replies 23 Participants Last post by  Bud White
....And why??

I've read in many Forums, including this one, that many carry BUGs in a smaller caliber then that of their choice of primary ccw. What's a BUG really suppose to accomplish?? If it's intended purpose is to "back-up" when the Primary is incapacitated or unattainable, then why not purchase a BUG that has the same size or larger caliber of a Primary CCW?? Shouldn't a BUG have the same stopping power that your Primary does?? YES or NO??

Let's face it, if you ever need to utilize a BUG in a life or death situation, then it will probably become your only source of defense. Hense, your BUG, by nature of uncontrolable, unforesseen circumstances, becomes your #1 weapon at that instance.

So why not carry a BUG that has a caliber identical or larger than your Primary CCW??? How many here do,...and how many don't.

..AND WHY????
1 - 20 of 28 Posts
I think that some carry a smaller BUG because it is usually somewhere slightly less accessible, such as an ankle holster, pocket, etc. Smaller guns are much easier concealed in these places.

This is based on my assumption that majority carries their primary on their hip, which allows larger guns.

Now, same caliber makes perfect sense, and consistency and economy when it comes to ammo. No neee to buy different cals.
Para Ord P-12 Primary. BUG is an AMT .45 Back up in an ankle holster. Same caliber for both.
My BUG is quite a bit smaller, its a Bersa .380.
Well they aren't the same, but they are pretty darned close.

My primary is a Beretta 92D Type-M Compact in 9mm.
My BUG is S&W 642 in 38 Special.

Why? I couldn't afford a Kahr and didn't feel comfortable with any of the other 9mm options, so went for small, light and reliable with the 642.
My secondary gun (aka "BUG) when I am off-duty is usually a Kahr PM9 9mm. I love that gun due to its compact size, full-power caliber and complete commonality in manual-of-arms to my primary off-duty gun, a Kahr P9 Covert. They both take the exact same magazines and function as twins.

I sometimes carry a Kel Tec P3AT in .380 ACP...only because it's smaller and flatter than the PM9 so it's easier to conceal.
9MM primary, .380 (P3AT) bug, I'd love to have a Rohrbaugh R9, making it the same caliber as my primary, but I can't see spending the money.

The P3AT in a nemisis just disappears into my pocket.
The physical size of the firearm is smaller. My BUG is usually a Walther PPK/s .380

Ideally, I would love to carry two full size Colt 1911s but, it's just not practical for me to do that.

My primary stays extremely well maintained & is tested/trusted & not likely to fail so my smaller BUG is really my last ditch compromise option.
I carry a Glock 23 (.40) as a primary and a NAA Gaurdian in .32ACP as a backup. The Gaurdian rides in my front pocket. I've tried larger guns with larger calibers but they just aren't as comfortable or convenient. I know I am sacrificing power for comfort but I am more likely to have the .32 on me so I figure that is a benefit. Its shot placement that counts and at the range I would employ the BUG I know I can hit what I need to hit.
My primary is usually a Glock 17 or a Glock 26. I feel pretty comfortable with either of these. If I carry a BUG, it might be a Skyy CPX-1 (still unproven and in "testing"), or maybe a Beretta Bobcat, 22LR with CCI minimags (whimpy but reliable). My wife usually carries too - same setup - but the Glock 26 is hers.
I don't carry a BUG, as I'd rather carry spare ammo for the primary.

My IDPA club defines a BUG as having a capacity of five rounds. Competing in BUG requires neutralization only -- typically one shot to an "A" zone -- usually the head. Is that correct, Miggy?
I agree, it would be great if your BUG was the same caliber as your primary. I would love to carry a full size 1911 and then a 3" as my BUG. My attire doesn't always allow this. I recently purchased a kel-tec p32. Some days it is my primary because that is all I can carry. I know that the 32 auto is a sub-caliber, but it is better then nothing.
Currently GLOCK 35 is my primary and a 27 is my BUG. I think ideally they should be the same caliber. Best to have the same caliber ammo in both, in my opinion. While the 27's magazines won't fit in the 35, the 35's will in the 27.
I purchased a Walther P99C AS 9mm which would perfectly fit the secondary gun role if I elected to carry my Walther P99AS Military 9mm as the primary gun. The P99 full-size magazine works perfectly in the P99C.
My ideal BUG would be my 228 - the primary being 226. But accomodating the second gun of that size would usually not be easy (or comfortable).

However - it is apparent that for most folks the BUG has therefore to be more easily concealed and so a downsizing is all but inevitable. That means in many cases a drop in cal but I am lucky to have my BUG option as the R9 - so I am still 9mm, albeit std pressure and not the +P I keep in SIG.

If possible I would certainly want to have a cal parity from 1º to BUG but appreciate that most of time most folks will have to suffer a cal reduction - this does still tho at least give a 2º option which can be better than no further option at all.
I don't mind admitting that I'm really having a hard time with this issue. My primary is an Ultra Carry (45acp). I ALWAYS carry an extra Mag and keep an extra loaded Mag in the Car.

But I've recently gotten the urge to buy a BUG. More specifically a Seecamp LWS.32. I'm trying to talk myself out of it, ..but I think it's a lost cause. Any horror stories on lack of knock-down power associated with the .32 load?.

I do agree that shot placement is paramount, but who has the time to convert to Sniper mode when SHTF in a CQB?!! Of course, shot placement becomes a little less of an issue with my 45acp.

Help me out Guys!
Well when I carry a BUG, which is not often, it is a sub-compact in the same caliber as my main gun and the BUG can use the same mag as the main gun - the mag sticks out of the BUG a lot of course.

I even change my carry gun to accomodate my BUG. E.g. if I'm going to carry a BUG, it is my G-26 in an ankle holster. That means I switch my main gun from a H&K, Sig, Beretta, etc. to a G-17. Plus I carry a spare G-17 mag with a +2 extender on it. So I've got 17 in the main gun, 11 in the BUG and 19 in the mag. That's 47 rounds! I must be a gun nut! :image035:
los said:
...Of course, shot placement becomes a little less of an issue with my 45acp.

Help me out Guys!
Ooooo...I missed that the first time. A bigger caliber is not an excuse to shoot less accurate; there ain't that much difference between a 9mm and .45. If a 9mm missed the heart by as little as 1/16 of an inch, a .45 hit in the exact same spot would NOT hit the heart either.
Tangle said:
Ooooo...I missed that the first time. A bigger caliber is not an excuse to shoot less accurate; there ain't that much difference between a 9mm and .45. If a 9mm missed the heart by as little as 1/16 of an inch, a .45 hit in the exact same spot would NOT hit the heart either.
Sorry. I didn't mean to elude that a 45acp slug would cause greater soft tissue damage than that of a 9mm slug. The problem was with the poor choice of wording /phrase I used without explaning the content therein.

I didn't mean any dis-respect you or anyone else who carry's a 9.

With that being said, I was actually trying to compare a 45acp to a .32 cal slug and how shot placement is more paramount with the .32 cal.

Now I got it; thanks for helping my brain out. :tongue:
1 - 20 of 28 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.