Need Suggestions for Back-Up Firearm


February 9, 2005, 09:45 PM
Several years ago, I acquired a Colt Mustang ,380 as a back-up gun, normally carried in an ankle holster. Recenlty, I've been seeing these ads for the Para Ordnance 'stealth' something, which is billed as the smallest .45 caliber handgun in the world. It looks pretty good.

Since I carry a Kimber CDP II as my primary sidearm, I thought having a .45 for a back up might be a good thing. But I thought before I enter into a search and acquire mode, I might first run the idea past my compatriots in The High Road and see what the consensus of wisdom is.

Any thoughts?

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rock jock
February 9, 2005, 09:57 PM
I would be very careful with really short barrelled 1911's. The shorter the barrel, the more prone to problems. I hadled one of those warthogs at the Shot Show. wasn't impressed. IMHO, BUGs typically get less attention in maintenance and care than a primary gun. I therefore think the ideal BUG is a revolver. You might look at the .32 magnums from S&W. They lowered their prices on these recently and I think they are a great lightweight, go-anywhere gun. A .32 magnum is somewhere around a .38 on the energy scale.

February 9, 2005, 10:08 PM
I will probably get flamed, but I have had the greatest enjoyment shooting and carrying the Bersa Thunder 380. I have run well over 1000 rounds through mine in the last year and a half, Blazer and Hydro Shok, and have had no FTFs after the first 30 rounds or so. It's a very nice shooter at a great price.

It's not the smallest thing out there, but it's become my favorite pocket gun and always my backup. They just introduced a smaller version also, I am waiting to see one in person, might just get one of those.

February 9, 2005, 10:14 PM
I figured that if I really, really, really needed a back-up gun in a hurry, I want something small that I can get to quickly and just aim & shoot. So, maybe a snub-nosed revolver might be good. Any further ideas?

February 9, 2005, 10:35 PM
Well not being a revolver guy I'll second the Bersa .380. I've put many hundreds of rounds through mine with nary a problem. It's large enough that the recoil is easy for anyone to handle, and small enough to carry as a pocket gun.

I know people have carried revolvers for years but I just can't get used to the thickness of the cylinder in my pocket. I tried to carry an Airweight that belonged to a friend for a few weeks and never did get used to the way it rode and getting it out of the pocket. Maybe I need bigger pockets, or maybe just more time to get used to it.

February 9, 2005, 11:28 PM
Keep the Mustang ,They will work if you need it. The Bersa are nice but in no way can compare to a Mustang. I own and have carried both, Mustang wins in size and in recoil.

February 10, 2005, 04:05 AM
I'll support your "jones" for a revolver recommendation and nominate the S&W M642, my all-time fav BUG. Lightweight/corrosion resistant SS/alloy construction (mine rested at the bottom of a lake for a week before being recovered with *zero* damage; long story!), "hammerless" for a snag-free draw from pocket/ankle holster (*and* the capability of firing while in a vest/jacket side pocket), no bullet weight restrictions (like some of the Ti/Sc varieties) and I can hand it to an authorized, non-armed companion with no qualms. (*Everybody* knows how to operate a DAO revolver!) Bonus: they can be found at "bargain" prices many places.


February 10, 2005, 04:38 AM
Rorhbaugh? I mean a 9mm that small? If I were gonna buy a small carry gun, that would be it. BUG or Primary, either way.

Alan Fud
February 10, 2005, 06:38 AM
... Recenlty, I've been seeing these ads for the Para Ordnance 'stealth' something, which is billed as the smallest .45 caliber handgun in the world. It looks pretty good ... The Para Carry (basicly the same gun as the Stealth Carry except with a nonreflective black finish) ...
Para C6.45-LDA (pictured above) next to my Rorhbaugh R9s (pictured below it)

... has been less than reliable fresh out of the box and may need a trip or two back to the factory or a qualified gunsmith before one should be prepared to risk their life on it.

... A .32 magnum is somewhere around a .38 on the energy scale ... Dr. Fackler does not have any published data on the .32 magnum that I could find and according to the 2001 edition of "Handgun Stopping Power' authored by Evan Marshall & Edwin Sanow, a .32 magnum is between a .32ACP and a .380ACP on the "stopping power" curve. I own the S&W332 but would not feel comfortable with it being my primary CCW and instead I use it as a "for-around-the-house/backyard" type gun where I know I have relatively quick access to something more powerful nearby. If it's going to be a back-up to your "Kimber CDP II", then it might be a good choice just like the R9 (above) might also be a good choice.

Kramer Krazy
February 10, 2005, 10:15 AM
I love my AMT Backup in 45ACP. You can still find new ones at places like , and Hi Standard just started offering repair parts through Brownell's (I just replaced a hammer spring on mine). Don't know if it is the smallest, but it is definitely concealable......

Here's one at

For NIB, they seem to go in the $280-$350 range. I paid $355 for mine in 1996.

February 10, 2005, 10:48 AM
You can not do better than having a back-up with:

1. The same operating principals as your primary.

2. The ability to use magazines from you primary.

I usually carry a Smith 4556 with a DAO CS45 as back-up.

February 10, 2005, 11:27 AM
Astra A-75L in 9mm, 40, or 45. Light, concealable, and has a very good trigger. An RAP 440 or 401 would be nice, excellent trigger but all steel. Better than a compact 1911 to be sure.


February 10, 2005, 07:27 PM
Sorry to jack the thread but....
Alan have you had any malfunctions with your R9. I am very interested in purchasing one but for the price it better be great. Otherwise I'm getting a Keltec or NAA.

February 10, 2005, 07:47 PM
To me, "back-up" is a "when all else fails" gun. I choose a revolver for this, pull trigger go bang.

rock jock
February 10, 2005, 09:06 PM
A shhoting buddy has the Rohrbaugh. It has not been reliable for him.

February 10, 2005, 09:52 PM
I suspect that Kahr .45 is going to be really popular... ;)

Alan Fud
February 11, 2005, 07:14 AM
A shhoting buddy has the Rohrbaugh. It has not been reliable for him Has your friend tried lubricating with "Super Lube Multi-Purpose grease with Syncolon PTFE" as recommended? I was getting about one jam every other mag and after I used the grease, I fired 150 rounds through my R9S without a single hic-up. He can order the grease online ( for about $3 for a half oz tube. Hope that helps. :)

February 12, 2005, 10:27 AM
Does anyone own a Kahr K9 and what is your opinion??

February 12, 2005, 12:03 PM
Let me throw my $.02 into the ring.

I used to carry my Kel-Tec P11 9mm in my front pocket everywhere and at all times whild at home. I felt pretty comfortable with this gun and it is small enough to conceal in just about anything......including my ankle holster.

All my primary CCW's are .45acp and I am partial to that caliber so I was always on the lookout for one about the same size as my P11. I finally found it in my new Taurus Millenium Pro .45. It is just slightly wider than the Kel-Tec and carries the same amount of rounds......I gotta admit its a hoot to shoot. Recoil is very manageable and it is accurate for the distances I would use it for. It will replace my P11 as my BUG. My wife has expressed an interest in the Kel-Tec so it will not go unused. I still plan to use the P11 myself at times......hey it would be a good BUG for my new BUG.... :D

Alan Fud
February 13, 2005, 01:42 AM
The K9 is a great shooter. The MK9 would make a better BUG. I personally do not like the Kahr/Glock design where the gun is fired via an internal striker system with no external hammer -- but that's just me. Again, the K9 is a fine gun ... it's just not my cup of tea.

Old Fud
February 13, 2005, 04:53 AM
I love my Kahr K9 -- it's my favorite piece.
But a bit heavy for a BUG.
Most people think of the Kahr PM9 as a backup.
It's popular too.


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