Two is One, One is None
I was attending a class once as a student, running a particular drill that was very round count oriented. I shot through the first magazine and started the second, but before I knew it I had hit slide lock. There were still targets or “bad guys” to be shot. The instructor hovering over my shoulder said “OH NO! What are you gonna do now?!” with a slightly joking tone like I had been caught in an even worse situation. I dropped the empty Glock 19 to the ground. I had no more spare magazines so it was useless. Like clockwork and to everyone’s surprise I busted out another Glock 19 from concealment finishing the last couple shots up and ending the drill. I assessed my targets, and turned around to scan my area. Keep in mind, up until this point of a two day pistol class, my second Glock never left concealment. No one knew I had two guns. The instructor looked at me with a huge smile and said “Damn that was sexy!”. I liked his sense of humor.
I started carrying two Glock 19’s something like 2 years ago, I can’t really remember exactly when it started. I was watching an instructor I admire doing an EDC video on YouTube and he was showing the things he would bring to a fight. He said “you should bring a gun” and slapped a Glock 19 on the table, then he said “hell, bring two!” and slapped a Glock 26 on the table as well. I swelled up with excitement and realized I was in. If he can do it, then I will too. Two is one, one is none right?
I’m often asked about carrying two Glock 19’s. How do you conceal them, especially being 5’3 120lbs? Isn’t that annoying carrying two mid size guns around? What are the pros and cons? I’m certainly not the first person to carry two 19’s, but let’s talk a little bit about it at very least for entertainment sake. I’ll try to keep this blog from becoming too “Why I carry a backup gun” and more so “why I carry two EDC guns” but maybe I’ll hit both a bit.
The main purpose for me when it comes to carrying two mid-sized guns is that I have TWO fighting pistols. I’d like to carry a rifle around town, but that’s frowned upon and kind of heavy. So the next best thing is a pistol, or two. Let face it, a mid-size gun is the last step before they start to get worse to handle and manipulate overall. For most people considering carrying two guns, they usually opt for a pocket pistol or small backup gun that may give them 5-7 more rounds (possibly even .380) and is stuck in a pocket or strapped to their ankle. I chose to skip the tiny guns and just carry another 15 round pistol. “Fighting pistols” should in my opinion be at least 9mm and hold at an absolute minimum of 7 rounds. Some threats need more than 5-7 rounds to stop the bad things they are doing. This is why I want more rounds and a bigger gun. Think Smith&Wesson Shield or a Glock 43/26 as a bare minimum. So if you can do better than those smaller guns, why not carry a mid-size? Is it really going to be THAT much bigger than your sub-compact? The last thing I want on the worst day of my life is to have rely on a tiny pocket pistol to do what my primary EDC gun couldn’t.
I like to carry both guns on my belt. I also make sure I can reach both of them with each of my hands, in the event I’m down to one hand. My go-to gun is riding appendix inside the waistband along with a spare mag. My second gun is on my 4 o'clock side outside the waistband. I can still twist, bend, and move pretty freely. The reason for this setup is because having two inside the waistband guns will make your pants too tight. Having one holster inside the waistband and one outside is much more comfortable. Walking around with two guns on your hip at first is strange, but so was only one gun on my belt back when I started carrying 8 years ago. After a couple days/weeks I didn’t even realize I was carrying two guns, let alone two G19’s. All that being said, we are all different sizes and shapes, so you may have to find another position to work with.
One of the most obvious advantages to me is it’s a fast cure for fixing a gun that’s no longer working. Whether it malfunctioned (yes even G19s malfunction) or ran out of bullets, you need to stay in the fight. You should know how to fix malfunctions and perform reloads quickly, but dropping that not working gun on the deck and drawing an already working gun instead is going to be faster and easier on the brain in a stressful moment than fixing a malfunction. With that being said, I’d rather that backup gun be another 15 round pistol than a sub-compact 9mm or a tiny .380. I like to joke with people and tell them I carry a Glock 19 with a spare mag at appendix, and another spare mag with a Glock wrapped around it at 4 o'clock. I heard that from an instructor once and thought it was genius. I should also mention the plus of carrying specifically two Glocks that take the same magazines. They are interchangeable (check which gen you have). If you carried a Glock appendix and a S&W Shield on your ankle, you are S.O.L when it comes to sharing magazines. Not to mention it’s a completely different gun in its features, ergonomics, felt recoil, and maybe even the sights. Both my Glock 19’s are nearly identical, except their color. That’s something to consider. Bonus points if you girlfriend carries a Glock 19 too.
A huge plus to specifically carrying two G19s on my belt is I have options to discreetly draw from. It seems people don’t think about covertly drawing anymore, and it’s all about speed, maybe that’s just me. If a threat is in front of me, it may be easier to “covert” draw from my 4 o'clock position pointing my gun side away from the threat blocking their view from my drawing hand. Likewise, if the threat is behind me, it’s easier to covert draw from my appendix area gun and go from there. The big bonus here is from either side I have a fighting pistol in both holsters. I’m not limited on starting my defense scenario with a small backup gun or having to reach for an ankle holster in the event I need to do so.. Side note on the ankle holster, they are great for seated positions, but if drawing on the move is needed, that might be a bad day.
You should always consider going hands on or to the ground with the bad guy as a possible scenario. Some people have their “get off me knives” or small pocket/backup guns to reach for if your primary gun is blocked or pinned by a hand or a body. Having that extra gun may really help in a physically tied up situation. Having a plan B is a great idea and the more you train in this mindset the better. However, when you’re carrying two guns, especially two Glock 19’s that are bigger and can print easier, you now have two guns your responsible for NOT getting into the bad guys hands. It may be another gun for you to utilize, but it’s also another gun that can be used against you. This is the biggest negative to carrying two guns in my opinion. The more you train in contact fighting, the more you will see how easy it is to have your gun taken away. I suppose I’d feel better here the more I train contact fighting and maybe my opinion will change as it’s new to me at this point. Time will tell.
So, carrying two G19’s isn’t all that different from the many people who already carry small backup guns. There are pros and cons to everything. It’s not all sunshine and blue skies. You are putting another chunk of steel on your belt, it does limit some movement (though very minimal for me), you’re responsible for another gun, and you have to watch printing too. Maybe you decide one gun is enough to carry, and that’s fine. I still carry one gun often too. Maybe you’re into carrying a small pocket gun, that’s great as well. I may not carry two guns everyday anymore, due to certain occasions and dress codes, but as long as it’s an option, it’s two guns for me.
Always a student.