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I’m not a firearms expert. I just play one on the Internet. As a playa, I always check my firearms theories with my go-to gun gurus. And then submit them to you, TTAG’s Armed Intelligentsia. When I blow it, I correct the misinfo—be it factual, logical or tactical—and acknowledge my mistake. OK, so, nfuentes86 recommends using a snap cap (an inert round) as the first round in your Glock AND leaving the chamber empty. nfuentes86 reckons that an empty chamber followed by a snap cap at the top of the mag gives you a fighting chance if your antagonist takes away your gun. Here’s why he’s Glocking up the wrong tree . . .


Bringing a Glock (or a Glock-style gun) into a gunfight requires two steps: draw your weapon and shoot. Two steps. Draw. Shoot. OK, aiming’s good, but the point remains: if you’re fighting for your life, an additional step in the process slows you down. Hence Herr Glock designed his gun without an external safety: the trigger safety system makes his weapon as simple to use and fast to bring to bear as possible. Leaving the chamber empty adds the step that Herr Glock removed.

Why in the world would you want to do that? Rack shoot. Shoot. Which do you think is a better recipe for success when you’re fighting for your life? A time when events are happening quickly and your ability to process them may or may not be impeded by your fight, flight or freeze response. In terms of child safety, a loaded Glock (the only kind of Glock worth having) belongs on your hip or locked in a safe. Done.

Speed II

Putting a snap cap at the top of the mag requires that you rack the slide twice. That’s twice as stupid as having to rack it once. It takes twice as long in a situation where every quarter second counts. If you don’t train this way—rack, rack, shoot—for every magazine you load into your Glock, thousands of times, you’ll get it wrong. Is it possible to lose track of how many times you’ve racked your gun when you’re only racking twice? In the heat of battle, sure.

Failure to Launch

Racking the slide seems easy enough—until your life depends on it. As your bloodstream fills with the Mother of All Adrenal Dumps, your hands become slippery. Your fingers go numb (blood flows to your internal organs under stress). Your attention is diverted (he’s trying to KILL ME). A life or death crisis is not the time to ask anything more of yourself than seeking cover and shooting.


Despite fears about the Obama Administration, no one’s taking your gun. Cops need to worry about this. They’re carrying openly, they’re a symbol of authority and they regularly encounter the stupidest people on planet earth. The odds of a civilian gun grab are so low you can round them to zero. Fuhgeddaboudit. Adapting your weapons system to prevent a hostile takeover reduces your ability to enter a gunfight efficiently. If you’re that concerned, buy a retention holster. I don’t recommend it, but it beats rack, rack, shoot by infinity.

A Glock is a Glock. The gun’s safety is located between its operator’s ears. Back in the day, American police officers killed more than a few people thanks to habits learned on other guns. They weren’t used to the Glock’s “unplug ‘n play” operation. Oh well. Evolution (and lawyers) sorted that out.

If you want an extra layer of safety with your carry or home defense gun, don’t use a Glock or Glock-style gun. Buy a gun with an external safety. And use the safety before and after every string you ever shoot. But always keep one in the pipe (bullet in the chamber). Snap caps are for practice. Period.

If you want the truth about guns, visit My name is Robert Farago and I approve this message.

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  1. I don't want just a fighting chance, I want a GUARANTEE that if the gun is snatched from my hands the bad guy can't shoot me with my own gun so I carry it totally empty! Take that bandito!

  2. That's why I carry three guns: A blue training gun that I open carry in a drop down leg holster. This serves as my first line of defense as it's the ultimate decoy. I can't wait to see the look on the first bad guy's face that grabs that out of my holster! Then I strap a 6" GP100 loaded with snap caps to my belt in a cross draw holster. This I brandish at the first sign of trouble, but the trick is I hold it VERY loosly so the bad guy's accomplice can easily snatch it from me. While these two jerks are looking at each other like "Why aren't these guns working?" I go for the .380 pocket pistol that I keep strapped to may ankle under my boot. Once I retrieve the magazine from my other boot and load it into the pistol, those guys are in trouble!

  3. Well its about as stupid as leaving your mouse-gun at home because they aren't as nice as the full-size you can't conceal for whatever valid reason you have.

    And of course Robert is anti-open carry….

  4. To bad I didn't get a chance to see the video before it was removed. I would love to learn how to make my glock "safer." But from all the dialogue, I think I get the drift.

  5. Many years ago I was trained as an armed guard for the now defunct local nuclear power plant (they decided they didn’t want me when they found out I knew Norm Olson, founder of the Michigan Militia – apparently they must have thought I was a potential terrorist or something). Anyway, we were trained with “riot-length”, rifle-sighted Remington 870’s and Glock 17’s. Their training regimen with the Glock involved starting from an empty chamber in a retention holster, drawing, racking, and doing a double-tap to the chest and one to the head. I got pretty good at it (and, in fact, out-shot my fellow trainees – not bragging, just plain truth), but even then I thought it was retarded…

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