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When discussing personal defense the question of whether or not to carry a second handgun often comes up. There are pros and cons to this practice, and we’ll look at a few of them here. The idea of packing a small second handgun is not new. After really portable handguns first came on the scene several centuries ago, carrying more than one handgun for defense was standard practice. In the days of single shot weapons, a second or even a third pistol gave the user more than one chance at survival. The same held true in the early days of cap-and-ball revolvers. If the revolver failed to fire and function properly, or if it had been shot empty, you could simply drop it and draw your second gun to continue the action.

paladin.gifIn one amusing but illustrative episode in Tucson, Arizona, in the 1860s, some friends of U.S. Marshal Milton B. Duffield took bets on how many weapons the lawman, who was considered a dangerous gunman, actually carried under the dusty frock coat he always wore. One day after a few friendly drinks, they got him to unload his arsenal on a barroom table. The total was eleven weapons, and included revolvers, derringers, a dirk, a bowie knife and set of brass knuckles! The common and illustrative phrase used to describe Duffield’s attitude when it came to law enforcement or self-defense was, “He was always on the shoot!”

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