In Defense of Israeli Carry

Israeli Carry Empty Chamber


By Doc Duracoat

I’m amazed by how much hate I get when I admit to carrying my concealed weapon “ Israeli style” with a loaded magazine and an empty chamber. Any safety, if present, is set to the fire position. Please don’t comment with phrases like “you might as well be carrying a club” or “ the only safety I need is between my ears.” It sounds exactly like the empty phrases anti-gunners use when open carry is discussed. “Blood in the streets,” “every argument becomes a gunfight.” These are unthinking responses.

Let’s see where we can all agree. On a site like TTAG, all readers will be in favor of daily carry of a gun.
We all agree it should have proper self defense ammo and it should be broken in and in good working order. Here in Florida, open carry is only allowed while hunting and fishing, so concealed carry is the only choice for daily carry. The only argument is in what condition it should be carried.

I will start by saying that I concede that empty chamber carry does require two hands to rack the slide. While there are one-handed methods to rack the slide, these are advanced techniques.

If you are carrying something when attacked, you need to drop that item. Dropping your items is actually a good distraction while you draw. If the item is a baby, you might want to set it down more gently. Although I will say that as a pediatric anesthesiologist and a father, I have seen more than one baby dropped with no ill effects (to the baby).

Another argument against empty chamber carry is the possibility of short-stroking the slide and having a misfeed. This is possible. The answer is to practice drawing, racking and firing until it becomes muscle memory and can be done without thinking.

I do not agree that Israeli carry is any slower than chambered carry. Most ranges near me don’t allow practicing drawing from a holster, so most people never practice this vital skill. Dry fire practice with snap caps can help, but there is no substitute for live fire drills.

Outdoor practice on private property is possible, but few people here in South Florida will have access to open land. Revere Range in Pompano, Florida allows customers to draw in one bay. You tell them you are going to practice drawing from concealed holster and you can open the half door of the last bay. Please note all the holes in the floor and the door from people pulling the trigger too soon.

I practice drawing and racking every time I shoot, and am faster than many of my gun buddies who never get the chance to practice this vital skill. I do not claim to be a fast draw artist. I just practice to be smooth in my draw. That is much faster than a person without much practice hurrying their draw.

Please also remember that the Israeli draw is to pull the gun from the holster and rack the slide as you present it. This takes the same amount of time as drawing and presenting a chambered gun. Even with a round chambered, you have to draw and present the gun. The entire nation of Israel carries this way and they have stopped plenty of terrorists and ordinary criminals with empty chamber carry.

Let’s do a thought experiment where it is two seconds slower the rack the slide versus what I call GLOCK-style carry. You get a shot off in one second and I need three seconds. We are both attacked with a knife at time zero. Between zero and one seconds we are both stabbed. Between one and three seconds, you get off a shot and I do not. After three seconds we both are blasting away.

I accept that there is a window where I don’t get off a shot and someone else does during the two second window. I accept the penalty for the extra safety Israeli carry offers.

A gun with an empty chamber CANNOT have a negligent discharge! A child can pick it up and pull the trigger and nothing will happen. You have to make the conscious decision and have the strength to rack the slide.

Negligent discharge is far more common than armed self defense. I ask TTAG how many readers have had a ND? It is a significant fraction, if not a majority. I handle my gun twice each day, when I put it on and take it off. Sometimes more if I have to enter a legal gun-free zone. Each time is a potential ND.

Let’s talk about actual gunfights and the need for one more round. I always see gun capacity measured as 8+1 or 10+1. That +1 is the round in the chamber. It’s almost never needed. As a matter of fact, reloads are almost never needed.

The best analysis of citizen armed self defense is the one by Claude Werner of five years of Armed Citizen articles in the “American Rifleman” magazine. This analysis can be seen at Everyone should read it, as it is fascinating. These are citizen-only, no law enforcement shootings from 1997 to 2001.

Of 482 incidents, there were only three reloads! One of those was an escaped lion, shot with a .32 caliber and required 13 shots. The average number of shots fired was two. In 80% of the incidents, the citizen had time to take their firearm from storage, often from another room. People on the web worry about being ambushed, but you will likely be aware of an impending assault.

I don’t presume to tell others how to carry a concealed weapon. As I do the calculus, I choose the added safety of Israeli style carry and accept the penalty of one less round and the need for two hands. I think the chance of short-stroking the slide and misfeeding a round is extremely unlikely due to constant practice.

As a final note, I would like to say that the most important thing is to always have a gun with you. Know the law in your state so you know when you cannot shoot. Practice drawing and live firing and keep your situational awareness up!


  1. avatar Don says:

    I tend to agree with you. Of course only a bad guy will find out exactly how I’m carrying on any particular day.

    1. avatar Timothy says:

      I don’t Israeli Carry, but I also have no problem with it. Unless the bad guy shoots you first or never looks anywhere except at you, most people have time to draw and rack. OTOH if the bad guy has his gun pointed at you then drawing is a bad idea no matter what or how you carry.

      Appendix Carry has a faster draw than the 4 o’clock, but I don’t want to risk a Negligent Discharge at my bits. Keeping a round in the chamber is a faster draw than Israeli Carry, but the author doesn’t want to risk a Negligent Discharge anywhere.

      Most people will never be in a DGU. Over 90% of those who ARE in a DGU won’t fire a shot. Of those who DO need to fire a shot, most will have time to seek cover and fire on their terms. The final little itty bitty sliver of DGUs with a steep time cruch, a well practiced draw from Israeli Carry is better than any type of unpracticed anything.

      If you’re so operator that you have that round in the chamber, 3 backup mags in easily accessed holsters on your belt a backup piece in your boot, and 2 knives to draw in case of a scuffle…. do the rest of the shooting community a favor and don’t bash people who carry in ways you think aren’t on your level.

  2. avatar D says:

    There is no defense of Israeli carry.

    The chance that you need to draw and fire without delay is great. Israeli carry slows it down.

    Your support hand/arm may be busy an unavailable to rack the slide. It might be blocking, striking, holding a child, controlling and adult, injured or shot.

    Your support hand may be slippery from sweat from the fight or even bloody, increased the possibility of no racking properly under the extreme stress of a gun fight.

    You claim that you believe short stroking won’t happen because of your practice, but that same practice won’t protect you from negligent discharges?

    1. avatar D says:

      The intro to the link for Claude’s article states “While the source material is somewhat dated there is still a lot of information we can learn from this. One thing to also note is that the stories used for this study were all situations in which a citizen successfully defended themselves.”

      So incidents where the armed citizen lost were not included. Maybe they lost because they were using Israeli carry?

      1. avatar Vic Nighthorse says:

        D: It’s called survivor bias. It has led to poor decisions in the past. The RAF had trouble with it in WWII, for instance.

        1. avatar Dave in PTC says:

          I’m not familiar with survivor bias by the Brits in WWII.
          Would you give an example? I’m not being argumentative, I’m really interested.

          Just finished the history chronicle: “The Last Battle: When U.S. and German Soldiers Joined Forces in the Waning Hours of World War II in Europe”. Really interesting book that detailed French politics of that period. But the best part of the book was the detailed narration of the battle for Itter Castle.

        2. avatar Vic Nighthorse says:

          Dave, there are some videos about it on Youtube. I am not at all well versed in the subject, I am just a WWII military history buff that read a little about it in connection with aircraft protection. The German fellow with the “Military Aviation History” channel has a short video on the subject. I can’t remember if he cited sources.

        3. avatar Icabod says:

          “Survivorship bias can lead to overly optimistic beliefs because failures are ignored, such as when companies that no longer exist are excluded from analyses of financial performance. It can also lead to the false belief that the successes in a group have some special property, rather than just coincidence (correlation proves causality). For example, if three of the five students with the best college grades went to the same high school, that can lead one to believe that the high school must offer an excellent education. This could be true, but the question cannot be answered without looking at the grades of all the other students from that high school, not just the ones who “survived” the top-five selection process.”

          There was a study on where to armor aircraft. Commanders looked at the bullet holes on the aircraft that returned.

          “The commanders saw it clearly. Put the armour where the most bullet holes are. That’s where the planes are getting shot the most.
          And, of course, that would have been a complete disaster. Wald showed that actually, you should put the armour where the bullet holes aren’t.
          Why? Well the commanders had fallen for the classic fallacy of survivorship bias. They were only examining the aircraft that made it back to base. The survivors. The missing aircraft, with their locations of bullet holes, were never seen by the commanders. And therefore not taken into account. Wald showed that it was odds-on that those missing aircraft had holes in very different places, on average, than the surviving aircraft.
          In short, what Wald’s diagram showed was the places an aircraft could take hits and still get home. These were the places you didn’t have to put armour on. The exact opposite to what the top brass wanted to do.”

      2. avatar OldLawProf says:

        An even more important OMISSION are the hundreds of thousands of instances where a fast presentation of a loaded gun followed by the command “Run now” ended the attack without a shot being fired and without any official action. There are no “statistics” on those.

    2. avatar Dennis says:

      It seems the author’s only tangible reason for Israeli carry (Condition 3) is the issue of negligent discharge (it’s been around for a while & the Israelis didn’t invent it). He also stresses that training will support this method. I hasten to add that proper training and weapon retention will also diminish the likelihood of negligent discharge (not to mention doing backflips on a dance floor by a certain FBI agent). I will also mention that, on occasion, I have one weapon and carry style that is best utilized without a round in the chamber … but for all other occasions it’s Condition 1. Modern weapons that incorporate safety mechanisms combined with proper situational awareness and a good holster make this method of carry a sensible choice.

      1. avatar Sian says:

        The reason for Israeli carry is not as much preventing negligent discharge as it is slowing down any attacker who would snatch the firearm from the unaware which was IIRC known to happen in Israel with some frequency.

        1. avatar Andrew says:

          Actually, I always heard that the origin of Israeli carry was that Israel, freshly organized and armed in 1948, found itself with a mish-mash of a whole mess of different guns. Faced with the better part of a dozen different surplus handgun designs, each with similar but slightly different control schemes (safeties, decockers, safety decockers, etc.) they decided that the easiest and most consistent training technique would be what is now known as Israeli carry: loaded magazine, empty chamber, rack the slide to charge when you draw. This method works on all guns regardless of safety systems and layouts, something of great benefit when you have an odd lot of various guns handed out to a conscript army.

        2. avatar neiowa says:

          Sounds plausible.

          The German military of WWII had at least as big a issue. Did they carry naked?

    3. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

      ‘There is no defe nse of Israeli carry.’

      Not that two wrongs make a right, but in any off body or holsterless (pocket, Mexican) carry, condition 3 should be considered the only way to carry.

    4. avatar Bodine says:

      Ask Mr. Zimmerman and Travon what would have been the outcome if he was carrying Israeli fashion?

  3. avatar Kevin says:

    We all pays our money and takes our chances.
    You be you, my friend. You be you.

  4. avatar Michael in AK says:

    Thats a long winded attempt to justify a bad idea.

    1. avatar 16V says:

      Thank you for the succinct summary.

      That said, maybe he is that good. The odds are strongly against it, but hey, it’s his lesson to learn.

      1. avatar Art out West says:

        Yep, Israeli carry is generally a bad idea.
        If you are afraid of negligent discharge, carry a double action revolver.

        1. avatar Todd says:

          That’s the thing, the triggers on most semiautos are the equivalent of walking around with a cocked revolver, requiring very little provocation to set off the trigger. Now couple the fact that handguns were never really designed with the idea of shoving them down inside your pants then sitting standing, driving all day while a very animated torso shifts around above it for hours on end on the daily. They were designed to be carried in a OWB holster, or a shoulder rig. You didn’t see the Austrian army shoving Glocks down inside their BDU pants nor do you see law enforcement doing it. I guarantee you the majority of NDs come from IWB carry than any other method.

    2. avatar uncommon_sense says:

      Michael in AK,

      I would not go so far to say that Israeli carry is a bad idea. The author was very honest and open to mention the down sides of Israeli carry:
      (1) requires two hands to draw and shoot
      (2) adds a tiny amount of time to draw and shoot
      (3) adds an extra step that you could mess up under stress

      The author also correctly stated that a lot of practice drawing and racking the slide virtually eliminates any increase in time to draw/shoot as well as any chance that the bearer would mess up under stress.

      And the author states the up sides to Israeli carry:
      (1) reduced possibility that a child could discharge an unattended handgun
      (2) ZERO possibility of negligent discharge while carrying on your body

      It is up to each person to decide for themselves if the benefits outweigh the drawbacks.

  5. avatar Broke_It says:

    I can’t wait to finish up and post my submission, “In Defense of Mexican Carry.”

    1. avatar Michael in AK says:

      With a Glock I hope!

      1. avatar Broke_It says:

        Natch. I also rock the a NAA mini as my bug. Cocked and locked on a spur trigger baby!

    2. avatar Screechy Gonzales says:

      I’ve always heard the effectiveness of Mexican carry depends on how big the bed of your pickup truck is. (Also, how close the convenience store is to the Home Depot.)

    3. avatar SouthAl says:

      And a New York reload.

  6. avatar Ralph says:

    Do what you want. As for me, there’s no way I’m going to carry an unloaded gun for self-defense.

  7. avatar GS650G says:

    Or as in a recent story you can drive home and get the gun before police arrive.

    1. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

      I’ve heard it said that an LCP on your hip is worth far more than a 1911 at home, but in that case a weapon at home was worth more than Bass Pro’s entire inventory.

  8. avatar Frank says:

    Let’s say that armed teachers becomes more common in k-12 schools throughout the U.S.A. What type of carry should they use? I would think Israeli carry would be optimal. The teacher does not need to draw and fire within a split second. The safety of having an empty chamber is of high value in a school. And this reduces the possible harm if some idiotic teen tries to grab the gun as a joke or in anger.

    1. avatar TexTed says:

      While I am not a fan of Israeli carry, let’s be clear here: you’re exactly making the point that so many folks miss.

      Not every gun engagement is going to be split-second! In fact, not a whole lot of them are.

      Israeli carry has its benefits (all safety-related). it absolutely prevents glockfoot. It prevents toddlers shooting their mothers. It prevents a lot of bad things.

      But it also slows you down.

      There are some scenarios where the slowdown is acceptable (the aforementioned school shooting scenario is one; terrorism in a mall is another; the ‘bump in the night is a third’). Those two seconds won’t mean a damn in any of those scenarios, but they could prevent accidental/negligent discharges in all scenarios, so for some people that could be a serious consideration.

      There is a time and a place for each technique. I do not find this article without merit. I think a whole lot of teachers, for example, would be placated if they knew that there was absolutely zero chance that the gun could “just go off”, and it couldn’t in Israeli carry.

      I am not a fan of Israeli carry. Instead, I find the grip safety to provide 99% of the benefits of Israeli, with 0% of the drawbacks, and that’s the way I choose to go.

      1. avatar Anner says:

        Good points.

    2. avatar uncommon_sense says:

      I agree in principle that people can make a compelling safety argument for Israeli carry in schools. Having said that, any armed parent or staff member who carries with an unloaded chamber in school would have to:
      (a) carry with an unloaded chamber out of school as well
      — or —
      (b) carry with a loaded chamber out of school and constantly unload and reload their handgun

      Option (b) above would introduce WAY more possibility of negligent discharges than simply carrying with a loaded chamber in a high-quality holster that covers the trigger.

    3. avatar Patrick says:

      Interesting – I agree that firearm condition is a function of time. If the anticipated situation gives the defender time to prepare, then keeping the chamber unloaded is a reasonable additional safety measure. Home defense, school defense, etc. appear to fit this pretty well. I see no need to keep a round chambered in my home defense shotgun.

      1. avatar Matt says:

        Patrick “Interesting – I agree that firearm condition is a function of time. If the anticipated situation gives the defender time to prepare, then keeping the chamber unloaded is a reasonable additional safety measure. Home defense, school defense, etc. appear to fit this pretty well. I see no need to keep a round chambered in my home defense shotgun.” For home defense, in particular, I think a shotgun with no round chambered is optimum. Nothing says “get the hell out” better than racking a round into the chamber of a pump or semi-auto as loudly as possible – followed by a verbal warning. The best outcome is always for the criminal to leave the premises before even being seen…!

    4. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

      This would be the biggest concern for arming teachers IMHO. When you get to the high school level there’s always a few ‘gentle giants’ that aren’t always well behaved. Eventually there will be a situation where either a student takes a teacher’s g un or a teacher ends up using it in (probably legitimate) self def ense against a student. If the latter happens it will be a great excuse for certain segments of the population to loot the CVS pharmacy and burn it to the ground.

      About a decade or so ago I read and article about cops who were saved by their weapon’s safeties when they were wrestled away but the perp couldn’t figure out how to make them fire. It was purely anecdotal, but there were 7 or 8 examples. My guess is that it would be prudent for a high school teacher to carry Israeli with a sa fety engaged and probably in a retention hol ster.

      1. avatar Patrick says:

        I’ve heard a similar story about the squeeze-cocker of a P7 pistol that was taken by a criminal. The criminal couldn’t figure out how to fire it at the officer he stole it from.

  9. avatar Mike says:

    Your plan while getting actively and repeatedly stabbed is to commit both hands to drawing a gun? Your lack of legitimate training in both handgun and knife disciplines is apparent.

    1. avatar Howdy1 says:

      His training or opinion has exactly zero to do with anyone but him.
      You do you.
      Nothing to see here. Clickbait.

      Now for something completely different.
      Caliber wars!

      And what does this have to do with 6.5 CM??

      1. avatar Ironhead says:

        Well of you are carrying 6.5 cm, you dont need to draw. It just shoots the perp automatically. No need to even touch the trigger.

      2. avatar James Smithfield says:

        This article is borderline irresponsible to publish on TTAG.

        CCers that read this site and don’t know better may internalize this fatal strategy, and be turned into a pincushion.

        The knifer in arms reach and a free hand would also consistently foul a handgun drawstroke if they have any self-awareness whatsoever.

        Moreover, the fact that OP frequents a range where people self-assess as competent from a holster, then semi-regularly ND a round into the wall or floor while drawing(and such a thing is allowed to continue) is abysmal.

  10. avatar Cloud says:

    “I do not agree that Israeli carry is any slower than chambered carry”

    Carry how you want dude but this just isn’t true. If an extra step is required to ready your weapon, extra steps = extra time = slower to engage.

    I’ve seen too many victims on ASP’s channel loose a gun fight because they had to chamber a round under stress. The one who puts shots on target first wins. In the cases of those who “Israeli carry”, most have lost just about every time.

  11. avatar tdiinva says:

    If you are an Israeli operator you are probably about as fast with Israeli carry as with carrying with a chambered round. The rest of us, including other Israelis, not so much.

  12. avatar WadeJ says:

    It will always take more mental processing and time to chamber a round and present the firearm than just focusing on presenting a loaded firearm. Also chambering the round in a defensive situation can likely involve muzzling yourself (consider the picture above and getting the angle wrong so that you shoot your own elbow) or others in tight quarters. If you load and chamber in advance you have time to do it and check it under controlled and safe conditions. But it is your choice. Make the choice, practice the choice.

  13. avatar Spectre_USA says:

    I do the Israeli carry thing for personal peace of mind. One in the tube pressed against my leg just gives me the willies.

    It is right there, at all times, and I just pray I have the situational awareness in a situation to go to a higher level of readiness if needed.

    It is nigh on impossible to prepare for every situation, so I choose the one I’m most comfortable with.

    1. avatar KBonLI says:

      Good reply.

    2. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

      Well stated.

    3. avatar TexTed says:

      Exactly. You do you. At least you’re armed, and could intervene on behalf of yourself or others, while being perfectly comfortable with the safety aspect.

    4. avatar what would spock say says:

      Exactly. Something about sitting in a restaurant with my family with my pocket-carried bullet tube pointed at my 3yr old sitting across from me gives me the willies…or the extremely unlikely (but extremely horrific) chance of me leaving gun out in the open by mistake with kids around. We are humans, not robots and shit happens and will continue to happen. I carried chambered when I didn’t have young kids and will do so again when they are grown enough not to blow their faces off. Until then, Israeli for me. I respect those that don’t, but interestingly they don’t seem to respect those who want to add a tragedy buffer into their system. if hundredths of seconds count, I am not going to get the thing out of my pocket in time anyway. Israeli carry is a compromise just like everything else that is concealable.

  14. avatar CZlife says:

    Carry how you please, but the Israelis only adopted empty chamber carry because of the eclectic mix of handguns they have. All semi-automatic pistols have slides and triggers and these are the only controls that matter with Israeli carry. If I had to train a bunch of new shooters to safely operate random pistols in a minimal amount of time, I would also teach empty chamber carry. It makes sense in that context.

    However, you have a choice of gun and can devote more time to learning its features and using it safely. If you know your handgun, aren’t lazy with your trigger discipline, use a quality holster, and practice your draw at home, then there’s no downside to chambered carry. These are all things you should be doing anyways.

  15. avatar D Y says:

    I would agree that carrying is better than not. We should embrace all if they believe in freedom. Don’t forget that.

    I’ll give an example of a friend who “Israeli carries” because he is afraid of the gun. Oh well, that’s his thought process. But go to a restaurant. He is carrying, I am not at that time. So I say, why don’t you sit facing the door, because you at least have a defense mechanism. Then he says “well, I still have to rack the slide”. Ok, that’s the reality of this carry. But if you are concealed carrying a gun like this, and you are sitting, that seems to be a VERY large hindrance to being able to engage from that position. Not only because of the ergonomics of the body, but being at a table (or desk, workbench, whatever), that object is in the way, and makes getting both hands in position to rack difficult.

    Try it. Get back to me. Let me know if the perceived problem is worse than reality. I can’t test where I am, and I don’t practice drawing and racking, so my results would be worse than someone that does practice it.

  16. avatar jwtaylor says:

    “People on the web worry about being ambushed, but you will likely be aware of an impending assault.”
    The data you have presented in defense of this statement is heavily weighted to home invasions of one type or another. 80% of it, actually. It also included only the successful uses of a firearm. It does not include the unsuccessful ones. As such, although it is interesting, it has little value for the discussion of armed self defense.

    The Nation Crime Victimization Survey’s data on violent crimes against persons shows the opposite of your conclusion. The vast majority of time someone is violently assaulted, they are unaware that the assault has begun until after they are already struck, hit, or injured. For the average assault, your response will likely occur during the attack, not before it.

    1. avatar ropingdown says:

      I feel some guilt mentioning an online article for which I do not have the citation, but here goes: The FBI publishes a journal with articles of interest to law-enforcement. They studied LEO/perp shootouts. The main discriminant as to who wins was this, the person with his gun up first. Even a first miss throws off the opponent. The first hit usually won. They studied both “LEO dies” and “LEO survives” shootouts. They also determined that armed hood rats were better shooters than expected, and preferred having their woman carry the gun hour to hour. (This was published five or six years ago.)

      I live in, and travel in, such low-crime areas…that I usually carry chamber empty, with an RMR on a G19. I practice the draw from concealment with great regularity. The RMR provides such a good racking aid that I haven’t (yet) short-stroked the thing. It doesn’t snag on clothing. I’m generally able to avoid shady people, and to call them out if they keep moving in. I go to restaurants, but not bars. I carry pepper, as well, and have experience using it successfully.

      As for those who refer to the danger of children getting their hands on one’s handgun, that firearm should never ever be left loaded but available to a child’s hands. It’s a great advantage of Fairbairn carry and a semi-auto, that you can pop and pocket the magazine instantly when the kids are going to start climbing on you, or you’re going to nap with kids in the house. No?

      I’m not the least against chambered carry, and I do chamber before entering obviously dangerous situations/neighborhoods. However, I use an indicator (my biz) to remind me that I’m in that mode, and it is rare. In any case my draw puts the trigger finger along the slide…

  17. avatar Manse Jolly says:

    I have heard that most gunfight stats boil down to the three (3s)
    3 seconds, 3 shots, 3 yards.
    Seems reasonable to me and I could be wrong.

    As for racking the Kahr CM-9 I carry mostly…not a good idea as small as it really is. Plus its a mother to rack with the stronger spring I put in it.

    1. avatar jwtaylor says:

      Unfortunately, the rules of 3s is little more than a well established myth. There is no actual nation wide data for civilian DGU’s that supports it.

  18. avatar WARFAB says:

    “I ask TTAG how many readers have had a ND? It is a significant fraction, if not a majority.”

    Author thinks the majority of TTAG readers have had an ND?? Maybe I’m biased by the crowd I run with, but I highly doubt it’s anywhere close to a majority.

    1. avatar Anner says:

      Agreed. Maybe a couple hundred thousand rounds between my immediate family and I over the past couple decades, and it’s never happened.

      1. avatar ‘liljoe says:

        Shooting 9 years, I’ve had two, both at the range both with the gun pointed down range and thought the chamber was empty, pulled on the trigger to make sure and BANG! crap happens and nobody is perfect… if you’ve never had a ND… you will.

        I carry the same way as the author for the same reason, my young kids can pull a 4 lb trigger, not so much rack a slide… I make sure to always know where the gun is… but crap happens.

        1. avatar Tom says:

          As the saying goes, 3rd times a charm. That 3rd one may be the one that kills someone. If you have had 2 negligent discharges in 9 years, I recommend you give up carrying at all until receiving some professional training. I received my first rifle when I was 12. In 26 years, I have had 0 negligent discharges.

  19. avatar Bloving says:

    On more than one occasion, a female customer has said to me that she is looking for a revolver for a carry piece. Far be it from me to suggest otherwise (my EDC is a revolver) – but being a curious fellow, I will ask “why?” Interestingly, a few have told me they didn’t want to have to mess with the slide in an emergency- their limited experience having taught them that it takes too long and was too difficult to operate a slide and get the pistol into action.
    My response? I usually then asked them “why is your gun unloaded to begin with?” This usually earns me a long puzzled look as it slowly sinks in to her that she could have had her gun properly loaded before she even strapped it on that morning… indeed, if loading a gun is any kind of trouble at all then it absolutely SHOULD be done in advance and not when it is actually needed.
    “If your gun is unloaded while you carry it, it will still be unloaded when you need it.”

  20. avatar sound awake says:

    at this point in my life i have to carry chamber empty

    the reason being at least twice a day i have to be at my kids school to pick him up and drop him off

    i cant be concealed carry in the car on school grounds but i can have it in a case unloaded

    im not going to do a bunch of administrative loading and unloading meaning chambering and unchambering rounds in the car while im behind the wheel

    i just pop the mag out case it drop him off then pop the mag back in

    3 more years of that then ill be ready for carrying with one in the chamber

    1. avatar SoCalJack says:

      I Israeli carry only when I am inside my home with my 3 young kids. But before I go out the front door, I take off my “at home” setup and put on my “outside the house” setup, with one in the pipe, plus my mindset, my SA changes.

    2. avatar rt66paul says:

      If you own a gun with a magazine safety, all you have to do is drop the mag, so it won’t fire. when you want to carry it again, just replace the mag and you are fine. The mag does not have to be removed, just let loose a bit so the safety is activated.

      I can not carry, since I live in Ca in a metro area, but my guns at home all have to mag loose, ready to be clicked in place and ready for trouble.

  21. avatar Recoil_Therapy says:

    Anyone who advocates for carrying a gun in a condition that is NOT ready to fire on presentation is a dummy. It literally offers you zero tactical advantage. In fact, it puts you at a distinct DISadvantage should the balloon go up, especially if the baddies get the jump on you. Which they will, unless you’re some weirdo who lives in condition RED 100% of the time!

    Here is a load of objective evidence.

    1. avatar Higgs says:

      I have to disagree. Not carrying at all offers you no tactical advantage.

      Ten years ago I did not carry at all. When I started to carry I carried condition 3 until i was very familiar with my carry pistol. Now I carry condition 1 with a pistol I trust. Can you honestly say my tactical situation did not improve once I started carrying?

      Hear is a the real question. Given that most defensive gun uses we know of end without a discharge, is Condition 3 not tactically safer than no gun at all?

      If we went from 16 million concealed carriers to 32 million, but the next 16 million all carried condition 3, to you really think there would be no tactical improvements?

      Nothing this man suggested would put any one in harms way. Celebrate any one who responsibly carriers.

      But thats just my opinion.

  22. avatar Ropy saliva says:

    The writer presented his rationale for his choice in a thoughtful, well-considered manner. He seems to be aware of the advantages/disadvantages of the method he’s adopted. I don’t see any reason for rock-throwing at the writer. Let’s all do the best we can with what we have and where we are in life. Sheeesh!

    1. avatar Bloving says:


      1. avatar Tom in PA says:

        I’m not entirely sure why I find this so funny, but I think it’s pretty funny!

      2. avatar ropingdown says:

        Laugh. Yep. There hasn’t been a murder in my township of 25,000 residents in twenty-one years, and that one long ago was a consequence of a bad divorce. If I moved downtown or delivered pizza, I’d rework my carry habits assiduously. Circumstances of life vary.

  23. avatar Jackass Jim says:

    Doc Durocoat: Pay no attention to the myriad pimple-faced mall ninjas giving you jazz.

    Your analysis is valid and well presented.

    As an aside, I posit that the majority of those denying the frequency of negligent discharge, rarely even touch a gun – let alone carry regularly.

  24. avatar Avid Reader says:

    Do what works for you.

  25. avatar Motto says:

    Empty Chamber carry or Israeli carry, has been adopted by oppressors as a safegaurd in their occupation of abuse of victims who in the face of death and disgrace will resort to reaching for their tormentor’s firearm. If the playing fields were equal the Israelis would carry 2 up. In their jets.

    Israeli carry is disgraceful.

    1. avatar jwtaylor says:

      What oppressors?

      1. avatar jwm says:

        It’s them ebil jooz, dontcha know.

    2. avatar ropingdown says:

      It’s really (William E.) Fairbairn carry, and isn’t disgraceful. If it’s good enough for a 1933 Shanghai riot squad, it’s possibly good enough for others. Fairbairn had the thumb safeties removed from the (innovative for a police force) .45 ACP gov’t models. He is probably the inventor of the “shoot house.” His WWII hand-to-hand fighting system was the father of Krag Maga. The Polish Jews who were the largest contributor to the Israeli irregular forces leading to independence were openly aware of, and students of, Fairbairn’s WWII teachings.

  26. avatar Leighton Cavendish says:

    Israeli carry is better than NOT carrying.
    If the bad guy gets your gun first, may fluster them when it does not go bang when the trigger is pulled.
    But there is a reason cops carry ready to fire. Of course, many have holsters, too.
    As long as you carry and train to rack quickly…go for it.

    1. avatar Tony says:

      Yep, there’s a reason. They wear a target called a badge, that says “shoot me” to many criminals. Most of the people on here claiming Condition 3 carry is a bad idea can’t say that, and frankly, if you get jumped or someone gets the jump on you so that Cond 3 carry will get you killed, maybe you need to rethink how you’re going about things.

  27. avatar jwm says:

    Let’s get back to this baby. Why drop the little shit machine when you can throw it right into the bad guys face? A much better distraction. 😉

    And everybody know. If you’re serious about self defense you carry a revolver. Duh.

    1. avatar Serpent_Vision says:

      Uh, yeah, throw the baby in the exact direction that you’re going to be shooting as soon as you’ve racked the slide. What could possibly go wrong????

      1. avatar jwm says:

        Babies are easy to replace. Speaking from a male point of view it’s fun making babies.

        Other than doorstops, what else are they good for?

        1. avatar ropingdown says:

          Jonathan Swift already covered that ground, JWM.

  28. avatar tickTalk says:

    I just had flashbacks of Hellboy tossing a baby into the air as he selects the chamber in his huge pepperbox ‘Big Baby’ then catching the baby on the way back down..

    1. avatar Bloving says:

      Looks at giant monster. Sniffs and shrugs.
      “I’m gonna get Big Baby…”

      Those movies were great. Del Toro just has the Midas touch, never seen anything he did that sucked.

      1. avatar Ingenero says:

        Don’t watch “The Shape of Water”, then. Unless you’re into, um…. fish? The Hellboy movies rocked, though, I heartily agree…

  29. avatar mrlyle says:

    Agree a ND is much more likely than an ambush. Carry on my friend. BTW had a cargo shorts operator that was horrified I use the manual safety on my edc.

  30. avatar Someyungguy says:

    I agree man, I say the same thing about my seatbelt. People tell me all the time, “ you won’t have time to put it on”, and I’m like, “bro, I practice.”

    1. avatar Timothy says:

      Your analogy ignores the very real safety tradeoffs of NGs vs time drawing, and it ignores the fact that over 90% of the time shots in a DGU aren’t even necessary, but at least you were a prick about it!

      Good job!

      1. avatar Someyungguy says:

        I made the analogy simple, and to the point. “I will have time, I will see it coming” mentality will get you hurt, or worse. Please do not spread Israeli carry, it’s strictly for the ignorant.
        Unless your condition red all the time (which no one is, and would indicate possible mental disorder if you were), you will be reacting to an altercation. You might, or might not have time to deploy Israeli carry. The question is, do you know if you have time? The answer is always no. So will I be a prick about someone defending a method of carry thats almost self defeating? Yea, kinda.

        1. avatar ropingdown says:

          Your “weak-side hand” is supposed to be holding your fresh, tested pepper spray. Used with skill (to avoid blow back) it suits reaction to fast attacks. Alternatively, learn to kick the SOB fast and hard while your hands do the gun-handling. Or just carry chambered, and give up the mid-range option.

        2. avatar timothy says:

          The only thing that’s self defeating to carry is shaming people who carry just because it’s not the way you think they should carry.

          Israeli Carry is better than no carry. If someone isn’t comfortable with Condition 1 and you make them feel inadequate and treat them like they have a mental disorder, you’re harming the community.

          But who cares about all that right? Instead just be a prick!

      2. avatar Someyungguy says:

        I won’t rag on someone for carrying empty. I rag on someone who tries to sell me on the idea (or anyone for that matter) that’s it’s a superior, or even the same as carrying with a round in the chamber. If you actually read, you could gather that.

        1. avatar Timothy says:

          You know, I just thought that you were an ass, but now that you pointed out that I don’t actually read, I’ve changed my mind!

  31. avatar NateInPA says:

    My only advice to anyone that carries empty, is to seek someplace and someone that does force-on-force training with Simunition or airsoft, or the like. It is difficult to fathom how fast a situation can go bad until you actually experience a few. And I get the whole “I go to the range three times a week…I dry fire and live fire practice five times a day…I watch Operator Zero videos on YouTube…I read a book by _____ and they said blah, blah, blah…”. I was one of those guys. But after seeking to make myself better and trying some different types of training, I realized how wrong I was.

    I’m by no means anywhere near what I feel is adequate in my training and manipulation, and if I ever, God forbid, have to experience a DGU, at least I won’t have to worry about a “what if” if the situation goes the wrong way.


    1. avatar Red in CO says:

      Right? I don’t care who you are, how much you train, what you own… you’re SEVERELY limiting yourself if you don’t engage in any UNPREDICTABLE training while under stress. Force on force can be excellent for that

  32. avatar Rocketman says:

    I think that Israeli carry makes sense from the perspective of being around Arabs that might want to try and grab your gun out of the holster to shoot you with it, and an empty chamber give a second to two of pause for you to grab the gun back.

  33. avatar former water walker says:

    Wow and I thought I was a bit of a fudd carrying my lowly Taurus 709 chambered with the safety on…being old even I carry with one in the chamber. Doctor huh?!?

  34. avatar Dr. Michael S. Brown says:

    I’m thinking about purchasing a Glock 43 as my next EDC pistol. I love the light trigger pull of the Glock 43 and I shoot it really well. I’m hesitant, because I’ve always carried pistols with either a heavy trigger pull or an external safety (or two.) I use a good holster and trigger discipline, but the safety factor still doesn’t quite meet my personal standards. After reading this article, I think I will go ahead and get the Glock and practice Israeli carry at the range.

    If I used appendix carry, I would also give this option serious consideration. It’s all about weighing the odds and consequences for your particular situation. This is clearly a YMMV situation and I don’t feel it’s helpful to denigrate folks who choose an option you don’t care for.

    1. avatar Cletus says:

      I would only use a Kydex holster if you plan on appendix or pocket carry, no floppy suede or nylon. I would also never insert a gun into an appendix carried holster that is already in your pants. Put the gun into the holster, then put the holster iwb. It’s too easy to catch something like your shirt in the holster and with appendix carry there is no room for error. I personally see no advantage to appendix carry due to safety concerns. I know all the cool kids do it, but I can carry just fine iwb at 3:30-4:00.

    2. avatar Timothy says:

      Step 1, make the decision to carry. Step 2, choose the best means of carry for you. Step 3, practice. Step 4, ignore mall ninjas and keyboard commandos.

  35. avatar Owen says:

    Huh, I always carry with one in the chamber of my DA/SA pistol. I’ll agree that in a striker fired it seems less safe but that’s why you train if you accept the responsibility to carry.

    As I understand it Israeli carry was started because of the possible loss of sidearms in an urban environment. I’ve heard that the mag is also close to empty so they would have to reload right away also.

    1. avatar ropingdown says:

      “Israeli” carry is Fairbairn carry, and it was started to reduce the risk of gun-grabs and relatively low-training-time police recruits in Shanghai….which was a very dangerous place in the 1930’s.

      It seems to me many people who carry chambered find the alternative an affront. I agree only to this extent, that it was (is?) a battle to get DAs to accept that a pistol isn’t useful until it’s chambered. So speaking with The Man, I always insist that carrying chambered is the only way to effective defense. That’s easier than explaining my personal approach.

  36. avatar Ark says:

    Your defense is “it doesn’t matter that my draw is slower, because most people have slow draws due to lack of practice”? Really?

    I’ll be you don’t wear a seatbelt, because you’re confident you will anticipate a wreck in time to buckle it. Israeli carry is indefensible and actually will get you kilt in the streets. A lot of people have died dicking around with their slides.

    1. avatar timothy says:

      I have the best idea. Let’s take everyone who’s not comfortable with Condition 1, shame them, tell them Israeli Carry is pointless and will get them killed and then sit back and watch people new to guns leave their guns at home! That’ll make everyone safer right?!?

    2. avatar Bo Sundling says:

      I have carried Israeli for years. I played with my favorite Uncle when I was in the Army many years ago overseas. Our area of responsibility was Western Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. I carried a 1911 and still do. When I got out, I worked ER as an RN for 30 plus years. I have never had an accidental discharge and have seen more than I can count… a child picking up the gun, someone not checking his safety before holstering or unholstering, etc., often with tragic results.
      One of the reasons for the Israeli carry is if someone grabs your gun in a physical brawl, he can’t shoot you right off. You have some time to respond and possibly take the gun back.
      In my experience, more innocent people are killed accidentally by people who carry chambered than any other reason. To the people who think that it is no big deal to go through that… let me just say, I have watched too many go through that hell. If you carry locked and loaded, you are statistically more likely to have a ND. In the last few years, cops in NY and Oklahoma (those are the only ones I can think of off the top of my head) killed people by mistake and it was nerves that made them pull a trigger that should not have been pulled
      I have seen too many who have an ND because they thought that it could not happen to them. Pride goes before a fall and that fall is frequently a lethal one for an innocent victim or bystander

  37. avatar David says:

    Carrying with a loaded chamber is a calculated risk. Carrying with an empty chamber is a different calculated risk. Going armed is a calculated risk. Going unarmed is a calculated risk.

    Empty chamber is better than no gun, but I prefer a loaded gun.

  38. avatar Patrick says:

    There are also mechanical considerations. Some pistols have very heavy recoil springs (e.g. my P7M8 and Makarov). There are also self-lubricating firearm finishes such as NP3. Both of these factors could impede reliable reactive slide manipulation – especially when combined.

    1. avatar Vic Nighthorse says:

      The P7 is a gun that one can be fairly certain ADs are not likely with.

  39. avatar J. Edwards says:

    I can draw and get two rounds on the target in 2.5 seconds and you’re trying to say that Israeli carry is just as good? By the time you are pulling the trigger the first time, I’m pulling the third time. Also you say that your faster then your buddies who don’t train drawing from a holster. Whoopie. There are other people you know who suck more then you. That is not an affirmation of your carry style. “Good enough” should not be in anyone’s vocabulary. Get better everyday. If it takes you three seconds to get off a shot, you should train until you can do it in two seconds. If you can’t get there, change your technique. If you think an empty chamber is safer, then git rid of the gun you have and buy one that you can depend on.

  40. avatar JoeCitizen says:

    “Please don’t comment with phrases like… It sounds exactly like the empty phrases anti-gunners use when open carry is discussed.”

    No. Actually it sounds a lot more like you only care about your own opinion and no one elses. No meed to read the rest of the article, it sounded arrogant from that alone. If training can make Israeli Carry effective, it can also make it obsolete.

  41. avatar Richard Kennedy says:

    If that is the way you choose to carry, then train and carry on.

  42. avatar Sian says:

    Carrying without a round in the chamber is kind of like driving without a seatbelt on and assuming you’ve got time to put it on before you get into a crash.

  43. avatar Casey says:

    If you practice it and you prefer it, fine. I have seen people practice and dedicate a lot of time to it, and they are certainly faster than your average carrier – but they’re not faster than people who practice and dedicate time to one-handed draws.

    Personally, I’ve had to draw one-handed while my other hand was busy fighting off a nutjob, so I will never carry in any fashion that requires two hands.

    And before you ask, yes, I options to draw one handed no matter which side is busy.

  44. avatar Pete says:

    What percentage of NDs occur when re-holstering vs drawing a firearm?
    Israeli carry means that you have to drop the mag, eject the chambered round and insert it into the mag and then insert the mag into the gun before holstering the gun .

    1. avatar DrewR says:

      This is a very good point, in my test below I had to only put one round in the magazine each shot when practicing an Israeli carry draw.

    2. avatar Tom in PA says:

      It does seem that whenever I read a story on an ND, a high percentage involve reholstering, so the stats would be interesting. If the holster is a type that allows such, pull the holster, reholster the firearm, place the holstered firearm back in your preferred carry location. Trigger is covered, clothing can’t hang on it, so it reduces the probability of an ND

  45. avatar On fire in Texas today says:

    i was trained at an early age by my Brother-in -law who was a Dallas Police officer, He told me to kept my guns loaded. Meaning a round in the chamber. he would state over and over many times, A lot of Good people have been hurt or killed by unloaded guns. Carrying Israeli style would seem to me that you would always have a little doubt as to whether you firearm is Chambered or not. I think if you are going to carry, you need to put in the practice and learn to carry safely with a chambered round.

  46. avatar Curtis in IL says:

    “I handle my gun twice each day, when I put it on and take it off.”

    You’re doing it wrong.

    Leave the gun in the holster. Mount the holstered gun on your belt or inside your waistband, and remove the entire assembly when necessary. Use a good retention holster for open carry. Remove the gun from the holster only for training, and follow the rules of muzzle discipline and trigger finger placement when you do so. A properly maintained, modern pistol cannot fire when it’s in a proper holster.

    Every law enforcement officer in the U.S. carries with a round in the pipe. They represent the vast majority of open carriers in the country. They’re constantly going hands-on with bad guys often in the presence of children. If there was something inherently dangerous about this practice, they would have changed it by now.

    I think those who can’t follow the procedures necessary to prevent negligent discharges should maybe carry revolvers instead.

  47. avatar Risky says:

    “In 80% of the incidents, the citizen had time to take their firearm from storage, often from another room. People on the web worry about being ambushed, but you will likely be aware of an impending assault.”

    The reason these events were included IS because they had time get their firearm which turned it into a defensive gun use. Obviously if they weren’t able to retrieve their firearm, it wouldn’t become a defensive gun use…

    Fundamental failures to understand the data and its limitations leads to failures of developing sound techniques and procedures… like Israeli carry.

  48. avatar Sam I Am says:

    Nice article; caliber wars under a different banner.

  49. avatar Hannibal says:

    You don’t receive hate because of your practice of carrying a certain way. You receive criticism when you try and perpetuate the silly practice with modern firearms. There are many perfectly reliable and inexpensive handguns available today. Israeli carry practices were born based off the lowest common denominator- troops with insufficient training or ability using firearms that sometimes are of indeterminate safety, not some commando-like super ability to rack a slide.

    Carry how you want, but don’t pretend that it’s a salve for the problems above. After all, what if you actually have to chamber a round? Apparently you shouldn’t be trusted with it.

  50. avatar Dale from Kansas says:

    As one person mentioned, one benefit of Israeli carry being overlooked is being able to easily unload and reload if you need to do so often or even regularly. They mentioned the risk of extra gun handling but in addition to that is the problem of bullet setback due to repeatedly chambering the same round.

  51. avatar Mark Kelly's Diapered Drooling Ventriloquist's Dummy says:

    If there ain’t one in the pipe it’s just a club.

  52. avatar achmed says:

    It’s not optimal and personally I don’t see the point in an empty chamber. Modern pistols are designed to be carried loaded.

    Nevertheless the author makes decent points and it’s obviously safer. Everybody needs to make their own judgments, plenty of people carry appendix and there’s no freaking way I’m doing that.

    1. avatar J says:

      I expected to see more responses along this line in this thread. Instead, what I see is silliness. Everyone makes their own decision on what is optimal for them, isn’t that our founding principal.

      Seems to me our basic rights, life, liberty and property, come well before the amendments, including 2a. Don’t trample on my liberty while telling me how I should or shouldn’t exercise my right to bear.

  53. avatar Richard Steven Hack says:

    I don’t know where to begin…

    Let’s try the rationales…

    1) Someone may grab your gun. Fine. Now you’ve lost your gun because you were unaware and had poor holster retention. He tries to shoot you and fails. He fumbles with it, looking for a safety, maybe realizes he needs to rack the slide. He does so. And shoots you. What are you doing during all this? Probably running – not fast enough. You sure as hell aren’t fighting him because you would have done that the instant he tried grabbing the gun and therefore you wouldn’t be worried about whether he can fire it.

    Not to mention that successfully grabbing your gun out of its holster depends on how you carry it. Cops and soldiers carry on duty belts where the holster is very exposed. Most civilians carry under clothing which is going to be harder to defeat to grab the gun before the carrier is aware.

    Stupid reason. Especially since any time you draw a gun on someone, the odds are they will try to grab your weapon (unless they are already armed with a firearm.) It happens very often, probably as often as someone actually managing to get your gun out of its holster. You need to train in weapon retention and be able to fire when they do. Having to stop and rack the slide in that situation is idiotic.

    2) Kids might pick up the gun and fire it. In other words, you’re a moron. If there are kids around, you secure the weapon on your person or in a (properly built) lock box. There are no other options – unless you are a moron. Your personal weapon should never be out of your sight unless locked up in a safe.

    3) Negligent Discharge: If you never point the weapon at yourself or anyone else while handling it, and properly holster and unholster when you do handle it, you will never have a negligent discharge. It’s that simple.

    The rationales are bogus and irrational. Which makes Israeli carry bogus and irrational.

    Firearms should be ready to fire when drawn – this is why grip safeties were invented. Fumble fingered people do happen which is also why they were invented. You can drop the gun without fear of accidental discharge while still being able to draw and fire when needed without messing with an external safety. If you prefer an external safety, you train to be able to deal with it in a half second.

  54. avatar RandaII says:

    It’s always a logical fallacy when someone replies to me when I tell them I don’t carry with a round in the chamber. That’s how I know they aren’t thinking. They’ll say, “What’s the point in that?” or “You might as well not even have a gun.” This is from people who are gun guys but don’t have a permit or carry–ever.

  55. avatar DrewR says:

    So, I see a lot of opinion in both the article and the comments, so let’s introduce some facts.

    I happen to be the proud owner of a shiny new shot timer and my own backyard range, so when I saw this article I decided it would be a great time to try out the timer. I first practiced Israeli carry dryfire about 20 times just to get a feel for it, then headed to the range. Next I fired 15 rounds each in chambered and Israeli carry against the clock as practice then ten rounds each style recording the times. I threw out one time each style due to catching my shirt in the draw with Israeli carry and accidentally performing an Israeli draw during chambered carry so I got an average from 9 shot groups for each. The gun used was an S&W SD9VE with an Apex trigger kit carried IWB at about the 3:30 position on the strong side hip. Here are my conclusions:

    1) If you aren’t shooting with a timer you should be. I was surprised at how much this slight stress inducer affected my performance and I suspect you will be too.

    2) Israeli carry isn’t as slow as you think. My mean average draw time chambered was 1.94 seconds, with a mode average of about 1.8. My mean average with Israeli carry was 2.42 seconds with a mode average of about 2.5. I was expecting at least a second slower but only got half of that. Accuracy was similar with each method.

    3) Due to the above, Israeli carry is surprisingly viable for self defense under certain conditions.

    I still think carrying chambered is the better option for most people most of the time for several reasons including the possibility of one handed presentations and situations where the attacker is already on top of you; but I now don’t see Israeli carry as being as much of a drawback as I used to. However, my opinion is that most people would be better served with a DA revolver than an empty chamber if they are concerned about a negligent discharge.

    Ultimately, carry what and how you are comfortable, and practice like mad with what you have. I also agree with one of the comments above that you should consistently carry one way or the other due to my accidental Israeli technique after only a half hour or so playing with it. I would rather have someone carrying empty chamber than no gun at all.

    1. avatar Ingenero says:

      Which utterly makes sense to me. As someone who cannot carry (I live in California, in a county where the Sheriff either wants a signed affidavit from Al Qaeda that they want to kill you or evidence in quadruplicate that you carry around tons of cash all the time in order to issue a CCW permit), it’s entirely theoretical for the time being, but I’d probably look into (and practice) Israeli Carry if I ever had the opportunity as I have young kids. That would change when they get old enough I can properly train them. Most of the naysayers sound like they duct-tape extra trauma plates to their back so they can shield their S.O. from .338 Lapua rounds while she puts together a single-shot rifle… Sure, things get dangerous out there, and people should carry however they are most comfortable, but some people sound less prepared than crazy…

  56. avatar samuraichatter says:

    Two serious workarounds to consider:

    1. Go revolver.

    2. Get an automatic holster (necessitates open carry and is very gun specific).

    1. avatar Shallnot BeInfringed says:

      Heh-heh… the combination of words you used in #2 jarred my memory back to the “power holsters” from Harry Harrison’s Deathworld Trilogy.

      Much quicker than any presentation method discussed here; didn’t need to be carried openly (because it would rip right through your sleeve to move into position); and quite gun-specific – as well as extremely hand-position-specific!

      Still, I’m eagerly anticipating the day when these become available. (If I live that long.)

  57. avatar derfel cadarn says:

    This is 21st Century America, we are not Doc Holiday. Comprehensive situational awareness should more than compensate for any slight delays from your method of carry. All the wannabe Ed McGiverns out there will surely disagree, they are only fooling themselves.

    1. avatar Vic Nighthorse says:

      Only fictional characters like Jedi have seamless situational awareness though. You might think you do, but it is very unlikely that you are correct in that.

  58. avatar Ryan says:

    I think Israeli carry has its merits. I know quite a few people who are just starting out with concealed carry who don’t yet feel comfortable with one in the pipe. Israeli carry offers a way to ensure that they actually have a gun on them, while they build the confidence in themselves and their firearm. While I wouldn’t carry an unloaded gun by choice, I wouldn’t discourage anyone from doing so themselves if they don’t yet feel okay with a loaded one.

  59. avatar OldShooter says:

    “Israeli carry” is a historic ACCIDENT brought about by the coincidence of lines of untrained just off the boat immigrants and crates of assorted arms of a dozen types. Each model had a different safety mechanism and there was no time to train every soldier on each model. Since all pistols need the slide pulled to load they went with “Grab, Rack, Aim, Shoot”.

    There is not and never was a tactical benefit from it besides simplicity.

  60. avatar Peter Goznya says:

    While I respect your opinion, you are wrong dumb dumb.

  61. avatar JOE MATAFOME says:

    I know several people will only carry this way. You are faster than many of your friends because you practice a lot. I’m sure you’re not faster than yourself if you carried using both styles. I have nothing against your style but it’s something I would never do because it’s easier to point and shoot during an emergency.

  62. avatar R D B says:

    I carry w a round in the chamber, and I’ve had a negligent discharge… Don’t think anyone else admitted that. I have a kid and thats probably the best reason to isreali carry IMHO. If you’re carrying and practicing I don’t care what other details are involved, thank god it’s a free country. Keyboard ninjas can suck it. How many of y’all carry a tourniquet or first aid for afterwards, think you won’t spring a leak if your DGU goes sideways?

  63. avatar JD says:

    Carrying with an empty chamber is amateur hour bullshit. Get skilled with your weapon or don’t bother carrying a gun. Buy pepper spray.

    1. avatar DrewR says:

      You must be fun at parties.

      1. avatar JOE MATAFOME says:

        Carrying without one is the pipe might be a good choice for the beginner who is afraid to shoot themselves.

  64. avatar Tom in PA says:

    If you’re not comfortable carrying with one in the chamber, you need to train with your firearm until you’re competent and safe. With an attacker in close proximity, you are in a better position if you have the ability to use one hand to keep an attacker at length, while drawing the weapon and shooting from retention. If you can’t do that, then you may lose that fight. You have the rest of your life to rack that slide – that could be years, months, or a couple of seconds – your preparation may be a strong influencer on how long it ends up being. It is fundamentally illogical to suggest that you will somehow create time to load your weapon when a violent attacker is upon you. Additionally, this method suggests that the attacker will do nothing to interrupt you loading your weapon. One could argue the attacker could foul your draw, but if that’s the case, at least you have a loaded weapon, and may be able to deliver a shot into the attackers lower extremities – a higher probability proposition than a dry weapon. You may disagree, but I see Israeli carry as a method for unskilled gun handlers that is completely fine as you work toward increased competency.

  65. avatar Sean Hephner says:

    I don’t fully agree with the author in regards to the effectiveness of Israeli Carry. For example, why not use a firearm with a double-action trigger, a thumb/grip safety or hell, all three? Then you get excellent passive and active safeties and the firearm is faster into action.

    That being said, I really appreciate the author being frank about the importance of personal gun safety. There is nothing wrong with being overly careful: ND’s only require a moment of forgetfulness or absent-mindedness to occur. Unfortunately, there’s a lot of tactical-toughguy posturing in the comments about how carrying a gun like this will get you killed (I’m sure the guys making those comments are all ex-Mossad/Navy Seals/Captain America, so they’ve seen it happen :)). But the Israeli’s have proven that it’s viable if you practice and it does guarantee the maximum degree of safety if your main concern is ND’s.

  66. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

    I’d carry Israeli, but my EDC has 6 chambers and it would seem like a shame to leave them all empty.

  67. avatar Eli2016 says:

    I train Israeli carry and I carry Israeli. I’m comfortable doing it and I carry all day every day. WTF is the problem?

    1. avatar Tom in PA says:

      I would suggest setting timing yourself in a Mozambique drill around 3-5 yards on a IPSC/USPSA target. Go at a speed that ensures you get A zone hits for all shots – shots outside the A zone are a fail for the drill. Time yourself shooting with the weapon in condition 1 or 2 (depending on weapon type) and then condition 3, then compare the times. The delta between them is what you’re giving up carrying in condition 3. The idea is establishing a quantitative measurement for how fast and accurate one really is when given a drill to perform that measures against established benchmarks. Some people are really fast and have no wasted motion, so they don’t give up alot if their technique is good. I’ve noticed that my hands are slower now that I’m 50+, so my technique is more important than ever. I can say that once you train in close quarter gunfighting with a quality instructor with real world applications, your view of Israeli carry shifts dramatically. I know I went from “maybe” to “absolutely not” very quickly – your mileage may vary. Keep training, brother of the gun!

  68. avatar Eric in Oregon says:

    Horse shit. You do you, but this article is absolute garbage.

  69. avatar Kerg says:

    I understand the concern about a ND,. Instead considet a TDA pistol, or even a revolver. Your giving up too much with Israeli carry.

  70. avatar TriggaNo1Kev says:

    Yeah, none of that was a defense of Israeli carry. Good, I’m glad you practice, but literally 1/2 the article is “I can practice and my buddies can’t, so I’m right.”

    Your defense of those 2 seconds is flawed, especially when being rushed with a knife. 2 seconds is more than 10-20 yds to someone fast like me.

    And on presenting a gun, yeah, you aren’t as fast as me drawing and shooting from retention, you would be a fool to think so, and good luck keeping pace while racking and trying to shoot from retention. People act like cops when administratively handling their gun: Unconsciously trained, they should know better, but they aren’t thinking about it, and accidents happen. Just keep your head on. Anyways, you paid the money, so do what you want. Do with this what you want, your failures or death would never be my problem to begin with.

  71. avatar William Green says:

    I fully support the right to carry a firearm in any legal manner that makes the owner feel protected. It is counterproductive for 2nd Amendment advocates to argue with each other about how to carry. As long as you carry legally, then the method is completely up to you.

  72. avatar Dan says:

    The “Israeli” method of carry was implemented by the Israeli army to prevent accidental discharges by
    green and inexperienced soldiers. It was to prevent injury and death in NON COMBAT situations where
    pistols were being carried. As such it’s a rational method of decreasing risk. It is NOT the correct or proper
    method to for carrying a concealed self defense weapon. While there may be a tiny number of gun aficionados who practice long enough, hard enough and often enough so that they can draw a pistol, chamber a round AND put rounds on target in a very expedient manner such people are the exception.
    MOST people will FALL to the level of their training and experience….which is usually minimal at best.
    Thus when the ‘balloon goes up’ and they need that weapon to go bang RIGHT FUC*ING NOW they
    are left fumbling trying to get the safety off, get the round chambered and defend themselves all before catching lead themselves…..and hope to god they don’t shortstroke the slide jamming the pistol or hit
    the mag release while fumbling to chamber a round. No……’Israeli’ carry may be a great idea for Israeli soldiers…..but it’s STUPID IN THE FIRST DEGREE for CCW defensive carry.

    1. avatar Eli2016 says:

      Your statement is stupid and polarizing.

  73. avatar Barry Rosenschein says:

    It boils down to time. In the civilian world the average attack distance is 3′. No warning, just reaction. It doesn’t allow much time to rack the slide.

    1. avatar Bruce Clark says:

      At 3 feet you won’t even have an opportunity to react. Let alone disengage a safety. You might as well be carrying condition 0. And before you get all fluffed up and resort to insults realize that others have different opinions than you. That’s what’s great about this country.

  74. avatar adverse5 says:

    They put manual safeties on firearms for a reason. No safety, no sale. Nothing is idiot proof.

  75. avatar A H says:

    You are “comparing” the two methods of carry but between different skill levels and practice. This is invalid.

    You are admitting you are not confident or responsible enough to handle a loaded firearm. You then use other’s idiocy and irresponsible behavior to “justify” this attitude.

    You fully admit to handicapping your ability to present and fire, yet choose to do so anyway.

  76. avatar NCTJ says:

    I practiced “Israeli” carry for awhile, and became very proficient in getting the 1st round fired rather quickly. However I also trained myself to shoot that first round immediately whether I needed to shoot or not. That’s when I decided to go back to the loaded chamber and practice drawing and assessing before letting the 1st round fly,

  77. avatar Bruce Clark says:

    I always carry “Israeli”. Cocked and locked has never appealed to me. Too many really bad things could happen that outweigh the good. Because I have been carrying Israeli for over twenty years now, it would take a while for this old dog to learn new tricks.

  78. avatar Steven Harris says:

    You advise people to know the law of their state. After you misstate the law of Florida on open carry: “Here in Florida, open carry is only allowed while hunting and fishing . . .”

    Not to worry. Your article was otherwise nothing more than the typical nonsense defense of Israeli carry.

  79. avatar Kev says:

    I carry a revolver but I do have a semi-auto on the table by my bed.
    It doesnt have a round in the chamber for a few reasons #1 if I get woke up by someone breaking in I have to rack the slide which will help wake me up. #2 The burglar might hear that sound & decide he broke into the wrong house & leave (of course its not as loud as putting a round of 00 Buck in the 12gauge). #3 If someone were to get a hold of it they wont know its not loaded, so I go get my revolver & wait for the Police to come take him to jail. #4 If u have children in the house & they were to get a hold of that gun it wont go bang.

    If I go out of town especially overnight I will carry my Semi auto with a round in the chamber & all of the mags I have loaded !

    1. avatar NM says:

      1. Better to smack yourself in the face 😉
      2. Never count on that or any other sound scaring anyone off
      3. You put yourself at a disadvantage too, though
      4. The gun should be LOCKED UP when it is out of your direct control

  80. avatar Ken says:

    If I’ve learned anything from the gun culture/self defense thinking, it’s that everyone has their own way of doing things and opinions to that fact. The only constant should be the situational awareness. I totally agree with you as to your personal preference of carrying. It gives another way to think about how to practice ccw. Stay safe and thank you for a well written opinion

  81. avatar Aleric says:

    Every persons form of carry is their own personal business, no one has the right to tell another person how to carry unless they are being dangerous or causing harm to others.

    Now after saying that I carry with a round in the chamber because my Kimber .45 has to be cocked to fire and I know I can draw and cock having shot single action revolvers before. Also my carry is not in a way I can do a fast draw so I will not be trying to out draw someone if an event occurs. Its more about knowing your surroundings and using cover and your body to allow you to draw and fire. If I was in country or going to an event I know was happening at that moment then I would chose to carry open and ready to use as soon as I arrived.

  82. avatar NM says:

    I prefer to be overly pessimistic, rather than overly optimistic, when planning my defense. I may not have time or two hands available or the room to maneuver, etc.

    It is interesting to see the lengths people will go to while attempting to justify (bad) choices, though.

  83. avatar Mike Murphy says:

    A simple question. How many gunfights have you been in? One more question how many of you all have young children or grandchildren that can move at the speed of light? Need I say more! Safety is the most important tool we have. I’ve always carried on an empty chamber and I have the confidence and skill to protect myself and loved ones with practice practice practice.

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