July 22, 2007
Where to carry a backup gun
Officer Matthew Collier, Havana (FL) PD
If you wear a backup gun on duty, I know the question of what kind of gun and where to carry it has crossed your mind. Vest, pocket and ankle holsters are some of the most common areas to carry, but they can be hard to get to and often only accessible by the dominate hand. Other areas, like an additional belt holster, often violate policy, plus they're not a surprise to the criminal and pose possible retention problems in a fight.
I solve this problem by wearing my backup gun in a handcuff pouch in the front of my belt next to the buckle. To everyone looking at your gear, it appears to be just an extra set of cuffs. The flap and snap of the cuff pouch keeps the weapon secure, even in a fight, and by wearing it in the front you can bring it into play by either hand. This is extremely helpful when fighting over your primary if a subject grabs it, if you’re pinned to the ground and lying on your primary, or if you’ve had your primary side hurt and are disabled.
Get one of the larger and deep cuff pouches like the ones made by ASP — or even a double cuff pouch — to make room for your gun. I carry a North American Arms .22 Mag. mini revolver with the folding handle and clip. By clipping the handle to the inside of the pouch (much like many of the clipped knifes worn today on the inside of the pocket) the gun stays upright and secure, even if the pouch becomes unsnapped. The flap hides the clip. I have also placed a Kel-Tec .32, Seecamp .32, AMT Backup .380, most double barrel Deringers even in the larger calibers, and small .25 autos in there and they all fit depending on the size and shape of the pouch.