This is part of an article I am writing for a LE magazine. I felt like sharing this with you folks for your input and feelings. I will start by saying that the age old argument to carry off duty or back up carry is not the topic of this article. I have a very strong opinion on both of those topics and one does not have to be a statistician or an alarmist to see the reason. Basically all you have to do is read the news, odmp.org, and have the basic instinct of self and family preservation to do so. Back up Gun Considerations I own a nice little collection of Glocks, and carry mine more than any other pistol. Keeping in mind I had pocket carried a J frame daily, and I mean everywhere, everyday for over 20 years until I chose the sub compact Glock. I mention this to say if a snub nosed .38 works for you, there is no need to change; I still carry mine on occasion. I keep myself well tuned with the little Glocks, and trust my skills in close range combat and reload. I keep a pair of magazines in the pocket of each door of the unit, in addition to the two on my duty belt. I look at the wear on my little 442 sometimes, the sharp edges are finish worn, the muzzle shows holster wear, but it is not a show piece. It was never regulated to a primary duty weapon in my profession, but my old stainless 60 did a few decades ago it has been deployed a few times from a paddle holster, in defense of myself and did its job well. The Glock 27 however has been a primary when regulated to admin or teaching, and never felt under gunned with it. I fire it each year on our primary course instead of the back-up course, and my scores are within 2 to 3 points of my primary weapon. I am aware there are some that cannot fire the sub-compacts as well as their bigger counter parts; to them I say practice, practice, practice. I own two styles of pocket holsters for my Glock 27 and 36; however I rarely if ever go with the glock in the pocket. The weight of the glock, coupled with mass makes it uncomfortable, and noticeable in 99% of the clothes I wear. I have however carried the Glock in my pocket when I felt the need for it, and sometimes it has found its way in the big patch pocket on the rear of jeans encased in a pocket holster. I have found the ankle holster to be useful, as well as vest holsters and belly band systems. I usually prefer a position where the BUG can be deployed with either hand, yet as secure as it can be from a gun grab. For some the policy gurus at their agency has limited their choices of weapons and methods of carry, I disdain this concept. No one weapon or mode of carry will fit every officer. Those who have such policies will largely find their officers leaving the back-up in the console or trunk. I have eaten enough biscuits and gravy that I qualify as a big guy, and various methods may work better for me than those of you welter weights out there. A BUG is just a little insurance, which has time and time again proved to be the very thing that saved an officers hide. Off Duty Carry Let me first say I agree that the off-duty gun should be on the same basic platform as the issued weapon. For example DAO, and no external safety for those of us that carry one of the Glock family of pistols. When the stuff hits the fan you do not need to be fumbling with safeties and remembering a combination of things to make it go bang. That said my normal off duty weapon is either the Glock 36 or the Glock 27 and on occasion a Glock 23. The C-TAC, M-TAC or the excellent Andrews Custom Leather McDaniel rig are my normal choices. I advocate the off duty gun being as close to where the duty weapon is worn as practicable. Now some may disagree, if you do not believe me just get a bunch of cops in a room, making sure they are unarmed first and try this drill. Catching them off guard yell some warning about a gun, or pop a balloon and watch where all the hands go as they go for cover. I have seen this first hand, and every one of them went for strong side carry, to grasp their weapon. This has probably happened to you in some setting, and you are nodding in agreement. The fact is when you become aware that you are going to carry a concealable firearm, you will largely find the experience and opinions of others to be of great use to you. However you have to experiment and try different things that couples speed with comfort and concealment. The same holster that works great for your buddy at the local agency, may feel like a bull horn prodding your neither regions. We who have taken the carrying and concealing a weapon seriously have a drawer, or in my case a few of those large storage bins full of discarded holsters. They either flop when you walk, poke your in the ribs or worse, or has the speed of ribbon cane syrup in the Klondike. Remember clothing choices when planning for a trip out. Tight fitting muscle shirts for you gym hounds will not conceal a weapon. For some, the policy guru at their agency has limited their choices of weapons and methods of carry, I disdain this concept. No one weapon or mode of carry will fit all the social events you may attend. Those who have such policies will largely find their officers not bothering with an off-duty weapon or even circumventing policy to protect themselves and families. There is ever present argument of firepower; well if I need that much firepower then I would want my AR and a few 30 rounders out of the unit. Fact is still and has been for those of us facing it in the real world, the pistol can prove to be an effective weapon to have when the bullets are flying. You must be skilled and possess the ability to come on target and place your shots. It is not a tool commonly used for suppressive firepower. I see the compromise of mouse guns, it beats the hell out if one out in the truck. I have a little a P3AT and find it useful when my wardrobe is extremely limited, or I just feel like dropping in an off duty BUG. Surprisingly the little gun will reach scores that surpass the 80% required on our BUG/off duty course. A caveat however, the course is largely fired from the 7 and 3 yard lines. Those of us that have them have them practice from 15 and 25 yards out as well. I stoke mine up with the Winchester SXT offered in .380, and I am not alone feeling comfy with this round and platform. For those of you who follow the would rather have a .45 out in the car rule always get the same response from me with the question; tell me how it works out when you need it, if you still can? This opinion makes about as much since as air brakes on a turtle. The very best gun to have is the one in your hand when you need it. Additionally, believe it or not somebody may decide to pull a few entering autos and relieve you of that .45 in the car. It will be very difficult for a thug to get my BUG or off duty unless I am supine and unconscious. Now for what it is worth, take that little pistol/revolver that you are comfortable with carrying and put it in some quality hide on it and tote it with the confidence "you" have created by range practice and safety drills. Be sure to practice with a safe and unloaded weapon that you have checked multiple times to ensure it is in fact empty and safe. Drill with your holster and make presentations, muscle memory is paramount to honing good skills. I think 30 rounds a month is a good rule of practice time. 15 or so from your primary in duty leather, and 15 give or take a few with the bug and off duty if they differ. The LEOSA gave us full-timers and retirees liberal privileges to be armed in all 50 states. Some areas have local legislation that has restricted the LEOSA, which took us years to pass. Check the laws of the locales of your trip before you find yourself on the wrong side of a badge. In closing I would like to repeat an age old sentiment; it is better to have it and not need it is to need it and not have it. Stay safe out there!