An ancillary weapon is a weapon used for secondary or auxiliary purpose, such as a bayonet. Such weapons are usually equipped with less firepower than the primary weapon. The usage of ancillary weapons most frequently occurs when the primary weapon becomes inoperable or ineffective due to shortage of ammunition or when a battle becomes close quarters combat. Many modern weapons/vehicles are equipped with ancillary weapons, including tanks (a heavy machine gun is the ancillary weapon) or even assault rifles (the bayonet is the ancillary weapon).
Police and security professionals are often trained or encouraged to carry a back-up handgun in case there is a malfunction with the duty weapon. These back ups are usually smaller in size and caliber. This second gun is another type of ancillary weapon.
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