Should I Carry My Gun With A Round In The Chamber?

LCPL JOSEPH A. STEPHENS, USMC [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Long story short, you need to carry your gun with a round in the chamber. If you’re going to have a handgun for concealed carry or self-defense, it needs to be loaded.

The point of getting your concealed carry permit and carrying a pistol – or having one in your home – is so you can defend yourself with it if presented with a lethal threat. If you carry without a live round in the chamber, it increases the length of time as well as the number of actions you must perform before doing that. That’s an unnecessary handicap.

Since fine motor control all but disappears under increased stress, it cuts down on the likelihood you’ll be able to make your gun ready before being harmed. Therefore, don’t do it.

Some people who carry a gun every day do so with the camber empty. If you aren’t confident enough to carry a loaded pistol, get some professional training and practice with your firearm until you are. Book a class or hire a private instructor so you can learn about gun safety, and learn to handle and carry firearms safely, competently and confidently.

U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Kevin S. Beauchamp [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

If you aren’t confident enough in yourself or your gear to carry with a round in the chamber, you either need more training or you need better gear.

With that said, let’s go over WHY people engage in this practice and what can be done about it.

Primarily, people new to carrying a gun or keeping one around are concerned about a negligent discharge. As a result, many of them carry with the chamber of their semi-automatic pistol empty.

But a little bit of gear and some knowledge of gun safety can prevent this problem altogether.

We know more or less what causes an unintentional discharge. In most cases, it’s due to inadvertent actuation of the trigger – where the trigger is inadvertently pulled – or a drop-fire, where the weapon is dropped and the impact causes the hammer to strike the firing pin or the firing pin/striker itself to strike the primer of a cartridge in the chamber.

So, how can you prevent these things from happening?

The first step is to ensure adequate protection of the trigger guard.

A Glock 42 holster. Note the trigger guard is completely covered. Credit: aliengearholsters.com

Unless it’s placed in a safe, a loaded pistol should always be carried in a holster. The holster should be designed and made of material that’s durable enough to preclude anything from being able to snag or otherwise move the trigger once the gun is holstered.

This guards against an accidental discharge as the trigger can’t be pulled accidentally. Additionally, if said holster is carried securely such as on/by a belt of sufficient rigidity, the pistol won’t easily be dropped. If your activity level demands more retention than your holster provides, get a holster with a retention device, such as one worn by law enforcement.

Another common perceived safeguard is a manual safety. Click it on, and the gun can’t be fired.

Askild Antonsen [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Bear in mind, however, that a manual safety can fail just as any mechanical device can. Therefore, a manual safety on any pistol – be it striker-fired, double-action or single-action – must be treated as a link in a chain rather than a safety net.

However, any manual safety presents an additional challenge. Namely, you need to train to deactivate the manual safety should you need to draw and fire your pistol. If you need to get your gun out to defend yourself, you need to be able to index the safety with your fingers and deactivate it in time to save your (or someone else’s) life. It’s fine if you want a gun that has one, but you need to be sure you can operate it when you need it most.

LAPD [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

With that said, If your pistol is carried in a secure manner on your person or placed in a safe, then it’s not strictly necessary to have one. However, some people do prefer them, so it’s worth mentioning.

Some women carry their pistol off-body in a purse. What if that’s you? For starters, it can be almost as unsafe as carrying in a pocket without a holster. Another common cause of accidental discharge is a purse that’s dropped, leading to a drop-fire, or when a child accesses a pistol from a purse and fires it.

There are two ways to solve this.

First, don’t carry a gun off-body. If you can’t stand to wear a belt and a holster, there are other solutions available, such as a belly band holster such as this one pictured below:

A belly band holster. Credit: tacticafashion.com

Easily concealed, with a polymer retention shell and a comfortable holster base, it will carry securely and prevent tragedy from occurring. There are other designs available, of course; this is just an example.

The other solution is, if you’re going to carry in your purse, get the RIGHT purse to carry with. Look for one that a holster can be mounted in, or at minimum has a dedicated pocket for carrying a gun that is not easily opened by small hands. A strong magnetic flap enclosure (look for rare earth magnets) and/or heavy-duty zippers should close the pistol compartment at minimum.

This also applies to carrying a gun in a backpack, messenger bag or briefcase. Keep in mind that carrying a gun in a purse or other bag also makes it more vulnerable to theft.

At some point, someone invariably brings up Israeli carry. Can that make carrying with an empty chamber viable? The short answer is maybe…but in the real world, probably not.

The Israelis evolved a method for carrying any semi-automatic pistol – whatever the make, model or operating system – in complete safety. Back in the day, they didn’t have a regular supply of sidearms for law enforcement or the military, so they had to come up with something that always worked for everyone.

The gist of it is a magazine is inserted into the pistol. When a threat presents itself, the pistol is cocked upon drawing and then firing commences.

Now, when it’s well-drilled, it’s actually viable. Here’s a good example on video:

The man in the video goes from slack to the first shot in just under two seconds. However, note that he must use his support hand, which you might not have in a real fight. Here’s a good comparison of the Israeli technique versus the standard technique of drawing a loaded pistol:

This shooter is clearly experienced. The time it took to go from the pistol holstered to the first shot was an average of about 1.5 to 1.6 seconds, from concealment and with a loaded pistol. Not blistering, but clearly experienced. With the Israeli draw, he added about another 0.3 seconds to those times. He also had to use both hands.

Now, again, that’s for an experienced shooter. For a novice? Under stress? It could get you killed.

To sum up:

You should carry with a round in the chamber; military personnel and law enforcement do and so should you. If you carry with good gear (and a decent holster is neither hard nor expensive to get) carrying with an empty chamber isn’t necessary. To be able to load and fire a pistol under stress and in sufficient time to save your own life requires a lot of training and also ideal conditions that may not be present.

What are your thoughts? Carry loaded or unloaded? Sound off in the comments!

comments

  1. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

    Yes, you should keep a round in all 6 Chambers.

    1. avatar Eric in Oregon says:

      I know you’re only three-quarter serious, but I agree! If carrying a light-triggered semi in condition 0/1 spooks you then absolutely carry a revolver in a quality holster instead.

      1. avatar Hank says:

        I think this is an overlooked advantage of revolvers. That is, for training new carriers to carry a loaded gun with reduced fear of an ND. When I was young and first started out carrying I had a fear of carrying with a round in the chamber too, and I think every new carrier goes through that phase. An old timer suggested I carry a revolver for awhile, and explained why. I did and it worked. And I think carrying that revolver for so long helped me learn a lot of carrying skills. Best advice I’ve received on the topic of carrying.

      2. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

        Or if you’re an experienced shooter who can handle the recoil of magnum loads. Revolvers are a lot easier to carry than a Desert Eagle.

        1. avatar Rad Man says:

          I carry a 44 Desert Eagle in a Thunderwear holster in the front of my pants. You know, to impress the ladies.

    2. avatar Anymouse says:

      Seriously. Some say to leave the chamber under the hammer empty when the old-style revolver doesn’t have a hammer block, transfer bar, or other mechanism to stop a blow to the hammer from setting it off. Nobody says to leave the next chamber empty in case you accidentally pull the trigger.

      1. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

        True, old style SAAs are best loaded with rounds in 5 of the 6 Chambers. Although if I knew I was about to get into a gunfight I’d go ahead and load the sixth. Always wanted to see that in a western…

        1. avatar Gadsden Flag says:

          Gov, check out The Duke’s advice to Ron Howard in The Shootest.

        2. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

          Seen it but it’s been years.

        3. avatar Brian says:

          Watch True Grit (the John Wayne version). He carries with an empty chamber “so I won’t shoot my foot off.” But loads the sixth chamber before he plans an ambush.

    3. avatar paul howell says:

      That’s Headley…..

      1. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

        What are you worried about, it’s 1874. You’ll be able to sue her!

    4. avatar Richard Steven Hack says:

      And when you run out of those six rounds, spend another two to three seconds reloading. Assuming you bothered to carry a reload because you *believed* (as in faith) statistics that claim you only need two or three rounds in most conflicts…

      Uhm, no.

      1. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

        When I’m done with those six rounds my biggest concern will be not tripping over the bodies.

  2. avatar Bake says:

    You can carry an unloaded gun if you want to. It’s a free country-in some parts.

    1. avatar Rad Man says:

      Bingo. Carry any way you feel comfortable but be aware of any potential limitations. Also, I’d argue most NDs are because of people unnecessarily fiddling with their gun. Don’t do it!

  3. avatar Oliver says:

    All of these arguments, pro and con, lack any rigorous data. It is all pure non statistical opinion. The Israelis, who are under constant threat, and the Shanghai police department back in the 20s who had more firefights daily than most police departments do in a year, as lead by Fairbairn, absolutely disapprove of loaded chamber carry. Everyone else though, especially if you’re a tactical keyboard commando in the US or a “trained” US police officer thinks you ought not to even bother to carry if you dont chamber. What I want to know though is simple: do more people get shot through negligent discharges when carrying chambered than get outgunned because they are not? It’s a simple ratio. If no one has those stats then it’s all just personal opinion. Nothing more and nothing less.And that’s my opinion.And arguing that racking a slide takes too long is like arguing that opening the zipper on your first aid kit takes too long or even drawing from a holster takes too long. You may as well advocate that for normal everyday carry you wear tourniquets on your limbs, and carry an AR, at the ready, round in the chamber, while grocery shopping. Because anything less, you may as well never leave the house. Prove me wrong with statistical data please.

    1. avatar jwtaylor says:

      “The Israelis, who are under constant threat, … absolutely disapprove of loaded chamber carry”
      This is not necessarily the case. Israeli roops, security personnel, and citizens may, or may not, carry on a loaded chamber depending on location and their duty at that time.
      It should also be noted that a great many Israeli troops and some military leaders blame the carry on an empty chamber as directly leading to the deaths of guards at checkpoints.

      1. avatar Sian says:

        Empty chamber carry in Israel has two driving factors IIRC

        1: conscription lowers training standards, and it’s easier to train ‘keep the chamber empty’ than to train proper handling safety.

        2: attackers like to try to snatch guns from armed personnel who aren’t paying attention. Not having the firearm ready to go gives valuable seconds to respond.

        1. avatar jwtaylor says:

          Number 2 is the biggest deciding factor. In areas and duty stations where there is lots of constant interaction with the population from all angles, “Israeli Carry” makes sense. Complete situational awareness is often impossible, and if you can expect to have people crowded around you while you focus on your job, the practice has value.

        2. avatar Rusty Chains says:

          Number two is far less important if you use a proper retention holster when open carrying. I always have a round in the chamber of my carry gun.

    2. avatar D says:

      “All of these arguments, pro and con, lack any rigorous data”

      WRONG. There is lots of data proving that racking the slide takes additional time, time that you may not have in a gun fight. It also opens you up to forgetting to rack the slide and short stroking which will induce a failure.

      Also, the support hand may not be available to rack the slide. It may be injured, captured, holding kids, etc.

      Misinformation like the above is why people should not take advice from internet posting and get training from professionals instead.

      1. avatar Oliver says:

        Cite the data please. Non cited. Of course racking a slide takes more time. So does wiping your butt before getting up off the toilet. But that wasn’t my argument. And of course circumstances should warrant when something is done. Because in order to shoot you must have a round chambered. Clearly. In a bodega at 3AM you may need to have it chambered within arms reach.

        1. avatar Knute(ken) says:

          DD could not answer the question: “what is a six letter word for the front end of a firearm”. I’ll bet that D cannot answer that question either.
          I theorize that D, DD, Vlad, Pg2, and Lamp of whatever are all sock puppets of one overall string puller.
          Care to prove that YOU know the answer, D?

        2. avatar D says:

          Oliver,

          If you can’t understand what I posted, you should not own a gun. You are dangerous without knowledge.

        3. avatar tdiinva says:

          Caleb Giddings has a video on Israeli carry. He showed it is slower to get a round off. Israeli carry has a more rigorous training requirement. You can watch the videos of expert doing it but you have to constantly train to make it work. And the Israelis may walk around without a round in the chamber but if Israeli police or military know they are going encounter a potentially deadly situation they a chamber a round before they get there.

          If you are concerned about and ND get a pistol with a safety. It is a lot easier to train to disengage it then it is to become proficient in Israeli carry. Anybody who tells you carrying a pistol like a 1911 “cocked and locked” is dangerous doesn’t know much about firearms. The big knock on pistols with safeties is that you will forget to disengage and the gun won’t go bang.

        4. avatar B.D. says:

          Cite the data? Go to fucken youtube and watch the thousands of videos of people dying from carrying on empty chambers yourself. Use your fucken head. No surprise idiots like you would associate someone telling you that carrying ready to rock is the entire design behind MODERN striker fired handguns and compare them with actual trolls like vlad. Get over yourself.

          seriously. Just youtube search “carrying without a round in the chamber” and watch in horror. All those people could have had a chance.

        5. avatar Oliver says:

          YouTube isn’t data. For every video of someone forgetting to rack their slide in he middle of a firefight I can find another video of someone, usually a police officer or a highly trained competitive shooter, shooting themselves in the leg while drawing or someone’s four year old blowing their brains out because Detective Shmuckatelli had his chambered Glock on the bed stand in a worn out security holster when he went to take a brief whiz. Without data it’s all just opinion. Back and forth, back and forth. And the “more training” mantra doesn’t cut it for me. Unless you live and breath firearms, your typical CCW owner will probably invest the barest minimum of time and then spend a few hours at the range annually, if that. They have other hobbies and priorities. Combat pistol craft for most people, including cops, will be last on the list for those folks when it comes to skill training. That’s the reality.

        6. avatar B.D. says:

          You can find data on youtube… you’d just have to weigh the number of videos and see which one has more.

          So instead… do the research yourself? Ever wonder why more people/trainers/professionals/random carry individuals carry with one in the chamber than there are ones that don’t? Gotta say something about common sense, even though it’s not a common trait.

          It’s very easy to collect data on negligent discharges. Trying to use someone not securing their gun is not the same thing. Round in the chamber or not. If you leave it out with kids around, you are a jackass. If your shit is not secure when it’s not on you, you’re a jackass. That has nothing to do with a round being in the chamber, it’s simply just about security. I have two guns insecure in my house, with no kids. The others are in a safe that is secured to the floor. If I had kids or people in and out of the house, they would all be secured. You can have secure guns easily accessible, but denied access to anyone not responsible enough to use them.

          Also, if you shoot yourself in the leg, an ND, while drawing, that is trigger finger problems. Why would your finger be on the trigger so soon? Ever? You don’t put your finger on the trigger until the weapon is pointed at the target from any firing position. Competitive shooter, officer, random idiot… doesn’t matter. It is 100% training. Simply having a round in the chamber does nothing. The trigger does not pull itself.

          I say again: THE TRIGGER DOES NOT PULL ITSELF.

          You’d think for a bunch of EDCers, you would all be willing to entertain the idea of a quicker self defense mechanism, and thanks to things like the internet, the information is readily available to anyone, and growing in popularity because it makes sense. Arguing the round in the chamber being the problem? That’s absolutely no different than blaming the gun when a psycho goes on a rampage. You should all be ashamed of yourselves. The person is to blame. NEVER THE OBJECT.

    3. avatar GDMF says:

      Whether you’ll have enough timer to chamber a round is not an arguable point. You will or you won’t… and you won’t know until it happens.

      If you don’t have time, what are you going to do? Tell your attacker(s) about the Israelis and Fairbairn to try and distract them so you can make the time?

      Time is only part of the equation, too. If you are suddenly attacked and injured or must protect or direct someone around you you may not have a free hand available.

      Besides, I’ve watched enough of the Active Self Protection videos to see that the time most have to react in an assault before being overwhelmed is a lot less than most people practice for.

    4. avatar Aono says:

      I want to see statistical data from you that shows how people fare in a gun fight when starting with loaded magazines vs starting with unloaded magazines. Until you can show me a regression analysis your argument is invalid. See what I did there? Seems stupid, doesn’t it?

      The Israelis started this for one reason, they had a giant pile of sidearms that only had one manual of arms in common: rack, bang. This, a conscript army, plus a heaping dose of institutional inertia is why this is even still cited as an example.

      1. avatar EndDangerEd says:

        If you are starting with an unloaded MAGAZINE put your hands up or die…. If it’s an empty chamber you have a chance… and the NEXT time you carry (if there is one) you’ll have a live round where it can do the most good in the shortest time.

    5. avatar strych9 says:

      Fairbairn’s ideas were born of the fact that the SPD didn’t have standardized weapons for which a standard training protocol could be developed. His idea was based on the idea that there wasn’t time to train each officer on the proper use of their specific pistol.

      1. avatar jwm says:

        The Shanghai cops had a variety of weapons. And seeing as it was nearly a hundred years ago now they had no pistols that were drop safe.

        I imagine the Israeli’s had the same concerns.

        1. avatar strych9 says:

          His concern wasn’t drop safe… safeiness… safeyness? It was that the cops were unintentionally shooting people because they were poorly trained.

          At the time the cops in Shanghai (according to Fairbairn) bought and maintained their own weapons, so it was all about coming up with a single standard for the new fangled semi autos they were often packing but which were pretty much all different in small ways like where the safety was. The lack of standardization in gear meant that a blanket rule for any semiautomatic on the planet had to be invented so that the same rule could apply.

          This is part of why he later designed the FS knife based on an ancient blade design. Rather than trying to teach people to use various blade designs properly you just standardize the blade and teach everyone how to use it. Since that knife is primarily meant to kill people rather than be used as a utility knife, the blade design is fine for the use and the style is flexible since the knife stabs very well and slashes pretty well in both directions. The shorter blade makes traps and blocks that target the arm difficult if the user knows the knife because they don’t need big, exaggerated motions to do devastating damage. Plus the hilt design indexes the blade to your hand without looking at it making switching hands easy, something figured out with the bollock (named that way since the hilt looks like a pair of balls) daggers as they moved from tools to weapons in the middle ages.

          Fairbairn was a smart dude who streamlined a lot of things for quick training of a largish force via standardizing some part of everything where possible.

    6. avatar Martin says:

      Well said! I agree completely.

      1. avatar Martin says:

        This response was for Oliver. Again, WELL SAID!!!!

    7. avatar JayBee says:

      Exactly! I agree 100%, I’ve seen more AD’s in the military vs. anyone ever running out of firepower. Everything depends on your situation, your comfort level.

    8. avatar Ekim says:

      Hi Oliver. Ok, here’s my stats for proof that most average shooters need to know. I train one to three times monthly. I’m 65 years old. Unless I trained a lot to rack the slide to load a round, which I cannot/do not, and since I am not a policeman or a former Navy Seal, I would probably be killed in a real life situation. I have carried with a round in the chamber since Illinois permitted conceal carry because I believe it may save my life. I know I can practice dry fire in my home, but I don’t. You are probably right though, but I think this to be MY best option for my situation…

  4. avatar Texheim says:

    Yes. Why was this written?

  5. avatar ShockingTruth says:

    Yeah yeah…faster engagement is better than slower but anything is better than nothing. Just always carry and practice to YOUR best ability, not someone else’s advice or their style!

    1. avatar WARFAB says:

      This ^^^^^^

    2. avatar B.D. says:

      There’s good reason behind people’s advice to carry one in the chamber.

      Even a quick YouTube search will convince you it’s the correct way.

      1. avatar Ronin says:

        B.D. says: “…Cite the data? Go to fucken youtube and watch the thousands(why not millions!!!) of videos of people dying from carrying on empty chambers yourself…”

        Ummm, I went to youtube BUT …only found one video…it’s of an Internet troll drunk on arrogance and hubris with the initials B.D. carved into its forehead.

        1. avatar B.D. says:

          So your research sucked. Sorry dude. Sounds like you are the arrogant one, unwilling to do the research or participate in the training that proves your theory wrong. Good luck to you. Hope nobody suffers because of your negligence.

  6. avatar former water walker says:

    Quit trolling Oliver. NO ONE gives a damn what Israelis or Chinese secret police do. This is America slick😄🇺🇸

  7. avatar Tim says:

    If it’s a DA/SA like the photo – absolutely.

  8. avatar Shire-man says:

    Should you drive with your seatbelt buckled? You can just snap it when you see a crash coming, right?

    1. avatar d says:

      LOL I like that!

    2. avatar Mister Fleas says:

  9. avatar TheUnspoken says:

    Yes.

  10. avatar Swarf says:

    Yes, fer fuck’s sake. This has been beaten to death. There is no debate to be had here, there are only people who agree that if you are carrying for self defense and not for fashion, you carry a loaded goddamn gun, and there are people who are wrong.

    If you can’t handle a loaded gun, train more or admit that you are a ballistic fashionista with an out-sized ego who thinks they can channel John Wick in an emergency.

  11. avatar TexTed says:

    All these “absolutes” … there are no absolutes.

    Israeli carry is a choice, and a viable choice for many people. If you’re a young mother with a gun in your purse and a toddler in the shopping cart, israeli carry can prevent a tragedy from happening.

    If you keep a gun in your home, not locked in a safe, israeli carry can prevent a tragedy.

    If you carry a Glock, Israeli carry can prevent Glock Leg.

    Everybody always talks about the micro-second reaction time of a gunfight. Read the NRA’s “Armed Citizen” column, far more often than not the person has gobs of time. The whole “draw and shoot in 1/4 second” thing is, apparently, the exception and nowhere near the rule.

    EVERY DECISION YOU MAKE INVOLVES A COMPROMISE. Manual safety or not, cocked & locked or not, Condition 1, Condition 3, revolver or semi-auto, laser or no laser, hip or appendix or off-body. They all involve compromises. Each individual’s situation is different. If you have only one arm available, israeli carry is probably not a good idea (although it could be made to work with racking off your holster or belt, some holsters are made specifically for it).

    How about more articles on what the options are, rather than preachy “you should do this” or, even worse, You’ll Die If You Don’t Do Things My Way.

    1. avatar uncommon_sense says:

      TexTed,

      I keep one or more shotguns at the ready in my home. Every shotgun has a full magazine. And every shotgun has an empty chamber. I opted to keep the chamber empty as an added safety measure should a child manage to discover the hiding place/s.

      1. avatar Bubba says:

        That is the correct state for a shotgun that is staged.
        If you were carrying it on a patrol, then you would chamber a round and engage the safety, just like a rifle.

        1. avatar uncommon_sense says:

          Bubba,

          I agree completely.

    2. avatar Jimmy D says:

      TexTed, the most intelligent comments yet on the subject in my opinion. Practice, training, proper equipment, and the confidence derived from those all go into the equation more than just “this is the only way.”

  12. avatar BusyBeef says:

    In other news – should I make sure my fire extinguisher is charged? Should I have gasoline in my car? Do I need batteries for my flaslight?

  13. avatar John Boch says:

    Obviously you should. Anyone who knows anything about good tactics and how the real world works knows you should and does.

    People like Oliver better hope they don’t get educated on the street about how quickly criminal attacks happen. Especially when you aren’t paying attention.

      1. avatar Todd V. says:

        People like O̶l̶i̶v̶e̶r̶ John Boch better hope they don’t get educated on t̶h̶e̶ ̶s̶t̶r̶e̶e̶t̶ their leg about how quickly c̶r̶i̶m̶i̶n̶a̶l̶ glock attacks happen. Especially when you aren’t paying attention.

        There ya go John, fixed that for ya!

        1. avatar B.D. says:

          You just admitted to not paying attention while reholstering. Is that the guns problem, or the person using it?

          Some of you idiots would get chewed up and spit out in a court room. You make it so easy.

  14. avatar strych9 says:

    I don’t think professional al training is the answer to being nervous about carrying with one in the pipe.

    Simply carry the gun in a proper holster without one in the pipe but otherwise in the condition it would be with a round in the chamber. If you don’t want to do it in public then do it around the house for a few days.

    At the end of each day, draw the gun and inspect it. You’ll find that it’s in the same condition as when you holstered it. IOW, it didnt “go off by itself”. After you’ve satisfied yourself that the gun doesn’t pull it’s own trigger, pop a round into the chamber and reupholster the gun, leaving it on your bedside table or whatever overnight. In the morning you’ll see that again, it hasn’t fired itself. Over time you’ll get comfortable with it.

    Basically exposure therepy for firearms. I did this with my wife since she wasn’t used to carrying a pistol and her dad taught her to not carry a bird gun with one in the pipe while hunting since the old shotties were not drop safe and face planting while carrying your shotgun was a possibility where they did a lot of hunting.

  15. avatar SoCalJack says:

    Out in public, yes one in the pipe. Recall this story: http://concealednation.org/2019/04/video-father-and-son-lose-their-lives-after-father-struggles-to-chamber-round/
    When i’m at home, with the kids, I Isrealli Carry. Almost all the gun owners I know do NOT even home carry, but claim they have quick access to a them.

    1. avatar former water walker says:

      I carry at home with one chambered satety ON. NO little kid’s. In fact we’re having a garage sale right now and no one knows I’m carrying😏

      1. avatar kahlil says:

        all my guns, carry and range toys, all presently have one in the chamber EXCEPT my tac-14. If the need arises for home defense I have several options in various places to choose from, plus the sound of racking a scattergun might add to the psychological effect of dissuading a prowler. For some reason, perhaps the very light trigger, but I can’t seem to mentally accept my tac-14 with a shell in the chamber unless I am actively using it.

  16. avatar Ranger Rick says:

    “Should I Carry My Gun With A Round In The Chamber?”

    If you’re asking this question you should rethink the proposition of you carrying a gun.

  17. avatar Dave says:

    Certainly having a round already chambered would be quicker. But is there a difference between having to rack the slide versus turning off the safety?

    1. avatar strych9 says:

      Two major differences come to mind.

      1) racking the gun usually takes two hands

      2) the slide on a pistol is like the charging handle on the AR platform, dicking with it greatly increases the chances of malfunction where you don’t get the slide all the way back and end up with a failure to feed. Making sure the gun is properly in battery doesn’t eliminate the chances of a failure like this but greatly reduces them by removing the chance for human error from that part of the process.

      Flicking a safety off doesn’t introduce this set of problems. You can miss the safety but that’s a quicker and one handed fix as compared to the gun jamming.

      1. avatar Dave says:

        Thanks, Strych9. I appreciate the insight.

  18. avatar John in Ohio says:

    “The point of getting your concealed carry permit”

    The only point of getting a concealed carry permit is to get around government infringement upon exercise of the unalienable individual right to keep and bear arms. That is ALL getting the King’s permission is about.

    “The point of getting your concealed carry permit and carrying a pistol – or having one in your home –”

    The two choices are “getting your concealed carry permit (and carrying) or having one in your home?!?!

    I guess this is The Truth About Gun Privileges website now? News flash, not everyone who carries begs permission from tyrants. Hell, there are even, *gasp*, constitutional carry states.

    This continued divisive way of referring to carry is bad mojo. There is licensed carry. There is just carry. There is open carry. There is concealed carry. Please stop. Let’s just refer to it as carry, m’kay? There are times when it make sense to distinguish between them. Nothing good comes from making the distinction when it is totally unnecessary; as is the case in this article.

  19. avatar Mike H in WA says:

    If I have to off-body carry (which does happen), then I carry without a round in the chamber… off-body carry introduces too many unforeseen variables out of my control, and if someone manages to snatch my firearm from me, they’re in for a bad surprise when it doesn’t go bang when they pull the trigger, buying me time.

    On body (which is 95% of the time), round in the chamber in a holster.

    1. avatar B.D. says:

      What the fuck? Off body should be even more of a reason to carry one in the chamber.

    2. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

      Off body and holsterless pocket carry are the two examples of when condition 3 is better. Neither is optimal but a lot of people around here seem to forget that the vast majority of DGUs involve zero shots fired. You could have a completely empty gun and get out trouble 98% of the time if you’ve got a decent poker face.

      1. avatar Richard Steven Hack says:

        That someone relies on a statistic saying that most firearm displays do not result in discharges is saying something about what incredibly stupid arguments some people will reduce themselves to to win some other stupid argument.

        You don’t carry an unloaded gun – or even dumber, a fake gun – for security on the basis of some stupid statistic. Such an argument doesn’t work for the stupid “only 2 or 3 rounds ever fired” – where “ever” is bullshit – and it doesn’t work for this discussion either.

        You carry a firearm to be *ready* to deal with a *real* threat and a *real* threat is *not* a “statistic”.

        A *real* threat is not someone trying to punch you out, or stab you, or hit you with a pipe. A *real* threat is an active shooter, a terrorist or an armed robber with *his firearm out and pointed at you.* In that scenario, which is the realistic scenario you are primarily carrying a firearm to respond to, you have *no time* to respond, but *must* respond *anyway.* In *that* scenario, you can *not* be reducing your ability to respond for *any* reason other than practicality, i.e, you don’t have a tank or an F-35 to respond with, only your handgun.

        So carrying a weapon which is *effectively unloaded* is just plain stupid.

        1. avatar jwtaylor says:

          You lost me at someone trying to stab me is not a real threat.
          Even if I agree with you on the rest, it’s hard to take you seriously after that.

        2. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

          First, I said COULD, not SHOULD. Learn to read.

          Second, in your active shooter / terrorist scenario, if you’re the first person targeted it’s too late – the gun is pointed at you and you’re dead before you can draw. If you’re the third person targeted you’ve got time to rack the slide. So chambered or not will only matter if you’re the second person targeted. Now compare the odds of being the second person targeted in a mass shooting vs the potential for a negligent discharge (and don’t tell me you’ve never had a brain fart) and make your own decision as to which scenario to prioritize. Not that I agree with carrying condition 3, but you’re more likely to be struck by lightning than for that to matter, so I’m not going to lecture anyone who chooses to carry in a manner other than mine.

        3. avatar B.D. says:

          Gov :
          Wrong. Just because you get shot doesn’t mean you die instantly. every scenario you create has a counter scenario. So let’s say that in that active shooter scenario you mentioned someone has a gun on you already you get shot you fall to the ground somehow you’re able to draw your weapon as soon as they’re walking past you thinking that you’re dead. See how that works?

          You carry ready to rock.

        4. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

          BD, your scenario wouldn’t be effected by having to rack the slide unless you’re shot in the arm to the point of it being incapacitated, and then the psycho/terrorist will probably not assume you’re dead and even if he thinks you’re dead he’s likely to put one in your brain just to make sure. As I said above, I carry with a round in all six chambers, but some people around here are as bad as the militant LGBTQETC people. It’s not enough that you carry the way I do you can’t be tolerant of people who carry differently! The simple matter of fact is that very few of us will ever have to draw our weapons, and far fewer will ever have to fire a shot in anger. So the odds that the condition of your weapon will cause you to lose a gunfight are infinitesimal, especially compared to the odds that you will someday have a brain fart or someone else will get their hands on your weapon. You should probably not be so worried about how other people carry and more worried about your cholesterol.

        5. avatar B.D. says:

          Wrong again. I can tolerate it. I just try to inform them of the mistakes, and hope no one suffers because of those mistakes.

          If your argument is that you are more likely to get struck by lightning, or that very few will ever need to use it, then why carry at all? That question alone should be the solution to be prepared for the worst in such small cases to begin with. The end. Hypocrisy deterred.

        6. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

          ‘If your argument is that you are more likely to get struck by lightning, or that very few will ever need to use it, then why carry at all?’

          I was thinking more like a meteorite, but yeah, something like that. However, that’s a very narrow sliver of DGUs. Carrying an empty pistol would likely get you out of the vast majority of incidents, carrying w/o a round chambered would get you out of the vast majority of the remaining incidents. Personally I don’t carry because I fear my neighbors, I carry because I am a free man. One of the Greek philosophers, Plato maybe, said that when you see two men walking you can always tell the slave from the free man – the free man is armed.

        7. avatar B.D. says:

          A democracy is two wolves and a small lamb voting on what to have for dinner. Freedom under a constitutional republic is a well armed lamb contesting the vote.

          Free? Maybe. Being armed doesn’t make us free… it’s simply gives us the ability to contest. And in a world with drones, nukes, and numerous privacy invasive maneuvers, I’m just happy to have the bare minimum to kill a tyrant if presented the chance. The pen is indeed mightier than the sword. Personally, I know this, but I still accept that I’d rather die fighting for what I believe than live on my knees.

          Guess since you didn’t argue my point, that’s a W. Take care.

  20. avatar B.D. says:

    Not even a little bit surprised at some of these comments. About what I expected from ttag.

    The answer, and the only answer, is yes.

    1. avatar Scotty Knows says:

      B.D. says; live on my knees.

      That is the only truth you said in this entire section.

      Welcome out!

      1. avatar B.D. says:

        When you take one line out of context, it shows that you’re manipulating the truth.

        are you by chance a Democrat? Or cross-examination lawyer?

        I already know you’re a troll, because you can’t seem to find the same screen name.

  21. avatar possum" they can take your badzooka,I hunt with landmynes" Fudd says:

    In competition I can’t win racking the slide or cocking the hammer with a pistol. However a SA revolver is just as fast, if not faster, but that’s apples and oranges because SA revolvers are set up different then a pistol. How do I carry my pistol ? With a round chambered and the hammer on half cock. DA revolvers have the best of both worlds, I would carry those instead of a pistol if they would make a DA revolver with a detachable magazine. I don’t like striker fired pistols, I don’t even trust the safety on a bolt action rifle, and the only time I chamber a round with them is when I’m set up, waiting, not walking to get where I’m going.

    1. avatar James W Crawford says:

      I always carry my hunting rifle with an empty chamber until I am ready to shoot. I can cycle the bolt almost as quickly as I can flick off a safety. The speed wiyh which I can cycle a bolt also explains why I dont hunt with a semiautomatic rifle.

  22. avatar VicRattlehead says:

    Just a quick view of the videos shows two things very clearly for anyone willing to watch with a ‘what can I learn here’s attitude:

    -racking the slide takes a minimal amount more time, but more time none the less. I tend to believe that extra few tenths of a second will only change the outcome of an attack in a minority of cases (though it’s CERTAINLY possible a few tenths could matter).

    -‘one in the pipe’ can be drawn and fired quickly and easily with one hand. Here is where I think the biggest advantage lies. There are TONS of scenarios where a second hand can be very much unavailable.

    Me personally, I carry with one in the chamber because I’m not convinced that, if attacked, I’ll have a free hand to rack a slide nor am I sure I’ll be able to chamber one properly with some punk threatening grievous harm to me or mine.

    1. avatar tdiinva says:

      Neither of these videos indicated how long it took to get to an acceptable level of proficiency. I have played around with Israeli carry at the range and found there was a big difference between proficiently racking the slide and proficiently racking the slide and hitting the target.

      Just because it works for Mossad operators doesn’t mean it works for anybody else.

  23. avatar Vlad Tepes says:

    The author ignores the “real world” for two reasons:

    1. He will not admit that some guns are unsafe to carry with a round in the chamber and which by admitting this would reduce the gun sales of certain model guns.

    2. He ignores that fact that even with training it has been proven that in a life or death situation the persons finger automatically goes for the trigger and many people fire their guns before they intended too and end up shooting some one who turned out to be perfectly innocent. Police accidental shootings with Glocks and single action and single action/double action pistols prove this over and over again. They not only shoot innocent people but many times accidentally shoot themselves as well.

    The Glock without a manual safety is unsafe to carry with a round in the chamber period. The amount of accidental shootings are legion among Glock pistols used by police and many departments have given up and dropped using it and ditto for the avalanche of copy cat designs all of which would have been totally outlawed if they came under the jurisdiction of the Consumer Safety Division of the Government. Life though is considered cheap in Capitalvania where blind greed rules and human life is expendable. This is not opinion its fact. Glocks have gone off in their holsters for a variety of reasons and Glocks go off when not carried in a holster as easily if one carried a revolver with the hammer cocked back. Its a simple example but the low I.Q. “out house gang” either refuses to believe it or believes no accident will ever happen to them.

    With the Glock the average low I.Q. Gun Owner cannot see the danger of a concealed striker fired weapon and so not understanding how his gun actually works does not fear carrying it with a round in the chamber (until he learns the hard way, assuming he even survives).

    Old fashioned single action pistols are no panacea either although in my opinion safer to carry with a round in the chamber than any Glock or copy cat Glock. So why do not people carry more single action guns with manual safeties like the Colt 1911 or Browning High Power or the plethora of guns that operate similarly. Its simple, because a person can see a visible hammer cocked back and realizes that if the safety is accidentally knocked off the gun may accidentally fire while carrying it or even attempting to holster it.

    I might add with the old fashioned hammer fired guns like the 1911 accidental discharges from dropping them (those that did not have passive firing pin safeties ) and also the hammer slipping when lowering the hammer resulted in many discharges as well because the half cock notch does not always catch the falling hammer when the finger is still on the trigger when attempting to lower the hammer.

    The article mentions the Israelis carrying guns with cambers empty implying it was their original idea but long ago the U.S. Military had so any accidental discharges with the 1911 they made their low I.Q. recruits carry their 1911’s with the chamber empty long before the State of Israel even existed.

    There are also some designs that were originally both double and single action that have been deliberately converted to double action only for police use and studies proved beyond all doubt that when this was done accidental shootings were cut substantially because of the long heavy double action pull versus a short stroke single action type pull. Life is often a double edged sword because pistols like these often guarantee a complete miss at ranges beyond a few feet which results in bystanders being accidentally shot or the policemen being shot because the person shooting back at him did not miss because he was not using a double action only pistol.

    YES THERE ARE INDEED PISTOLS THAT ARE SAFER TO CARRY THAN OTHERS. HERE IS SOME EXAMPLES OF THE SAFEST.

    For non police work a pistol like the Beretta that is both a double action and single action and still has the manual safety on it is way safer gun to carry with a round in the chamber, the only fly in the ointment is that the safety operates in the wrong direction for most people to operate quickly.

    The H&K P30s is perhaps the better choice as the safety operates like a 1911 Colt and as an added bonus can be left in the “on” position when lowering the hammer and it is done without touching the hammer because it has a decocker button (hammer dropper lever is the more clear term to use but when did an American ever use clear descriptive information that even a beginner can understand instantly). I might also add that the Beretta or the H&K can be also carried with the hammer down and safety on, and with the passive firing pin safety you cannot get much safer than this when using or carrying a pistol.

    Most people though prefer the Glock because carrying the H&K with the hammer cocked back scares the shit out of them while carrying the Glock with the same danger does not simply because again and again they cannot see the danger of a concealed cocked striker. Again its Darwinism improving the breed because less Glock owners survive carrying a Glock than those that carry a H&K P30s or Beretta 92 or weapons like them.

    The standard reply from the low I.Q. Out House Gang is ” I never made mistake in my life and I never will so I carry a Glock. Thousands of Tombstones should read “The validity of Darwinsim is to carry a Glock.

    1. avatar Cloudbuster says:

      Go away, troll.

    2. avatar Martin says:

      Vlad: Well said!!!

    3. avatar Richard Steven Hack says:

      “Glocks have gone off in their holsters for a variety of reasons…”

      All of which were preventable by proper holster inspection and maintenance – which is precisely what cops are poor at.

      And that a bunch of dumb, poorly trained cops have shot themselves with Glocks due to fumble fingers and being tired and inadequately trained in holstering and re-holstering means nothing to the argument.

      So your entire post is bullshit.

      1. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

        Shouldn’t you be walking around the mall with your AK47 at the low ready position?

        1. avatar B.D. says:

          Shouldn’t we all?

          Shall not be infringed.

        2. avatar jwm says:

          Nobody should be walking around a mall for any reason.

    4. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

      I carried a Beretta 92 for a while and while the slide safety never bothered me, the gun is not suited for small hands at all. I’ve also owned a couple Ruger P95s and a P89 over the years. They’re a little slimmer in the grip than the 92. Unfortunately Ruger discontinued the P series. But for most people DA is for short range purposes only. I carry a GP100 now. I should practice in DA more, I don’t think I’d trust my aim over 15 yards or so in DA. Half that if there were bystanders in harms way. But most DGUs happen closer yet and thumb cocking the hammer takes a quarter second. Much like racking the slide, it takes time, but unlike racking the slide it doesn’t require both hands, which is IMHO the biggest drawback of condition 3. And it usually won’t be necessary.

      If you can find a DA/SA semi-auto that fits your hands where you can easily manipulate the safety and thumb the hammer, that would be the safest way to go and would cover all the bases. But those are few and far between these days.

      1. avatar Knute(ken) says:

        Definitely rare to find now, but I can easily do with both my M92 and my M659. But I have big hands. And big feet. And you know what that means…… Yes, big gloves and big shoes. 🙂

        1. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

          14 and XXL here.

          My wife has no complaints.

    5. avatar Christopher Erickson says:

      Please cite examples to support your declarative statements like you want everyone else to do.

    6. avatar Eli2016 says:

      “Again its Darwinism improving the breed because less Glock owners survive carrying a Glock than those that carry a H&K P30s or Beretta 92 or weapons like them.”

      Darwinism and the Glock owner… wow. I’ve known idiots in my life but you VLAD epitomize what it is to be a complete, all-encompassing, verbally incompetent, idiot. FYI, I’ll continue to carry my Glock with one in the pipe (as I have done so for the past 9 years) and I hope Darwin doesn’t roll over in his grave. Thank you.

    7. avatar James W Crawford says:

      Smith and Wesson Third Generation pistols are my only carry guns.
      Round chambered but safety on. I train to rotate the safety as I lift the gun from holster to aim.
      However; I also carry a Glock with a 17 round clip inserted and 2, 33 round clips for reloads in a locked truck vault.
      The stainless steel, Ruger Mini-14 rifle with Butler Creek folding stock stays tucked away unloaded under the rear seat along with s couple of 30 round clips.

      I live in a rough neighborhood where the bodies of murdered mothers are often dumped in ditches, fields and rivers.

  24. avatar ZKahr says:

    “Some people who carry a gun every day do so with the CAMBER empty.”
    This is why chamber empty carry is attractive, because like this author, we nake mistakes with our fingers. I carried on an empty chamber until I switched to double action pistols with exposed hammers that allowed me to ride the hammer into the holster. Now I carry condition one completly comfortably. The extremely small chance that I might need to use my gun vs the much larger chance of putting a bullet in my leg with a striker fired gun never made sense to me.

  25. avatar tsbhoa.p.jr says:

    yes.

  26. avatar Auxwood_rebel says:

    If you’re not going to carry a round in the chamber why not just carry single action revolver? This would also prevent accidental doubletaps, or if you really don’t trust yourself how about one of those fake holstered guns.

  27. avatar Eric Bishop says:

    Carrying without one in the chamber is better than not carrying at all. In a “real” world situation your attacker is most likely going to be a hood with zero training and skills so with even a little practice and range time you still hold an advantage and if you train to rack one in as you draw (even if you don’t carry that way) nine times out of ten you’re still going to hold that advantage. I would say that a carrier that trains to do so could be quicker than one that rarely trains at all and runs with one in the chamber. I train left handed, one handed (both left and right), arm behind the back (to shield my children and get them behind me), arm across the chest and have also become proficient in racking while drawing. It’s all about training, training and more training, and to be overly closed minded about other methods of carry seems absolutely foolish to me. Just my two cents.

    1. avatar Richard Steven Hack says:

      In a “real world scenario” the hood is likely to have his gun out and pointed at you. That would certainly be the case in an “active shooter” or terrorist incident (however rare those are in reality) and would also be very probable in any armed robbery. Only in instances where the criminal does not have or has for some unknown reason not drawn his gun would this not be the case.

      You now have *zero* time to respond. The only time you will have is his inability to respond to the fact that you *are* responding to his threat (see Lee Morrison on this) and whether or not he is really prepared to kill you (not something I’d want to rely on.)

      In that situation, you probably won’t be able to draw *at all* without risking death, so it won’t matter if you’re carrying with a round chambered or not. But if you suspect the assailant is prepared to kill you, you may not have a choice. In which case, *any* additional time taken to draw may be fatal.

      You never want to limit your ability to respond to a threat based on a “maybe” scenario that the threat is or will be less than it could be. The only exception is if it’s simply not feasible to be so prepared that said threat is no longer feasible, e.g., carrying an M-60 machine gun around as your “defensive weapon.”

  28. avatar Richard Steven Hack says:

    The *only* argument for not carrying with a round loaded is kids.

    And *that* can be solved by doing all of the following:

    1) Train all kids not to touch firearms. Even toddlers can be so trained. Don’t allow anyone else’s kids in the home unless the firearm is locked up or they have been trained to not touch firearms.

    2) *Never* allow the firearm out of your sight at home or in the presence of children (yours or anyone else’s) unless it is locked up in a gun safe with (hopefully) not too many vulnerabilities.

    The kid isn’t going to get your gun out of your purse if you’re paying attention to the firearm – *and* your purse – while carrying it, as you should be.

    If a kid manages to get past all that and kill himself (or you) with a firearm, well, that’s Nature’s way of eliminating the stupid. It’s called an “accident” for a reason and just like “security”, there’s no such thing as being able to prevent them from happening.

    But that doesn’t serve as an excuse for risking your own death in an armed conflict by not carrying a weapon ready to respond and with adequate training to prevent you from injuring yourself due to poor control of the weapon.

    “The extremely small chance that I might need to use my gun vs the much larger chance of putting a bullet in my leg with a striker fired gun never made sense to me.”

    Bad argument. First, you’re arguing that your fingers can have “accidents”. Yes, they can – and yes, you can shoot yourself in the leg or even, heavens forbid, in the balls. That’s not the same as being too slow with your firearm against someone who is trying to *kill you.*

    Second, you’re arguing that you’re too lazy to insure that when you are holstering or re-holstering your firearm, you don’t make mistakes.

    The only time you should even be possibly capable of making a mistake in that situation is when you are practicing your fast draw – and that should be done with an unloaded firearm initially until it is perfect and your muscle memory no longer makes mistakes. This is also what dry fire is for. Only later do you load, draw rapidly and fire with live ammo.

    When you’re holstering and re-holstering in a non-rapid manner, you should be *paying attention* and “accidents” should not be possible.

    Also, you should be regularly inspecting and maintaining your holsters so that no possible “accident” can occur due to defects or impediments in the holster, which is also another reason for paying attention when removing or replacing the firearm.

    Carrying a firearm is inherently dangerous because the device is inherently dangerous. That doesn’t mean we should over-emphasis the risk of carrying a dangerous device over the reason we’re carrying it in the first place.

    1. avatar ZKahr says:

      Your talk of making the draw stroke perfect and making mistakes impossible leads me to believe that you don’t realize what a mistake or accident actually is.

      “Bad argument. First, you’re arguing that your fingers can have “accidents”. Yes, they can – and yes, you can shoot yourself in the leg or even, heavens forbid, in the balls. That’s not the same as being too slow with your firearm against someone who is trying to *kill you.*”

      Here it looks like you’re about to provide a counterpoint but then you just nake my point for me. No one has ever tried to kill me, i have an opportunity to shoot myself in the leg or balls everyday. So I choose to use the weapon and holster that minimizes the chance of shooting myself at the expense of not shooting it quite as well at the range, or at someone trying to kill me.

    2. avatar Mad Max says:

      “The *only* argument for not carrying with a round loaded is kids.”

      Or a striker-fired pistol with a light trigger and no safety (Sig P320). A good way to get shot in the thigh. That little contraption called a striker control device for Glocks would help (if they had it for the P320).

  29. avatar Richard Steven Hack says:

    Sorry for all the * in my posts, but it’s bad Internet etiquette to use upper case letters for emphasis. 🙂 And some of this stuff deserves emphasis due to some of the stupid responses in this thread.

  30. avatar Xanderbach says:

    I always carry with one in the chamber, and I carry an Israeli pistol- A Jericho 941 F (SA Only). Amusingly, a safariland M&P holster fits it perfectly.

  31. avatar Mad Max says:

    Carrying with an empty chamber = dead man’s gun.

  32. avatar Coyyote says:

    Have carried a 1911 cocked and locked for 25 + years. Recently have expanded to a couple of glocks and a Poly 80. If the striker fired handguns are in a proper holster then round in the chamber works for me. On rare occasion I have resorted to “Mexican Carry” (has taken awhile to find a holster for Poly 80). If resorting to Mexican Carry the Israeli Carry goes hand in hand with that style. The other rule for me is if I used appendix carry (aka femoral artery carry) then Israeli carry would be a must for me then, having seen first hand how quickly one bleeds out with a transected femoral artery.

  33. avatar Hannibal says:

    The first few times I carried a semi-auto, I didn’t have one in the chamber. Intellectually I knew it was silly but it still took me a couple days to really get used to it. Not a bad idea since it gave me time to get used to holstering, etc.

    But yeah. If you’re carrying a drop safe gun- and you should be- there’s no reason not to carry one in the chamber and there’s plenty of reason not to carry without one.

  34. avatar Thisiswhyyourewrong says:

    Nope. This article is too tacticool arrogant. I “Israeli carry”, and it’s not from a lack of confidence. It’s a simple risk assessment:
    Yes my gun is useless if I only have a split second to draw and shoot and there’s nothing in the pipe, but that’s only one threat scenario. It’s still more accessible on my hip than in my car… but on the other hand, the risk of briefly but accidentally letting my guard down around my curious young children is also there. It’s not worth the extra risk of having a round chambered, because an empty chamber buys me extra time to intervene if, God forbid, one of my toddlers got their hands on my gun somehow (and I’m sure YOU’ve never had your gun get a little loose in the holster before).

    1. avatar ZKahr says:

      Risk assessment is exactly right. I totally agree that a gun with an empty chamber in the hand beats a gun with one in the pipe in the car. Having said that, have you considered carrying something with a double action trigger AND a safety? I feel this could give you the best of both worlds. However if how you described is the only way that you’re comfortable carrying then you are still far better off than unarmed.

      1. avatar TommyJay says:

        I was surprised when I got my DA/SA CZ-75B, and discovered that the thumb safety will not engage unless the hammer is cocked. I get it, sort of. They think that having a DA trigger pull is 100% safe in all scenarios. Of course, that just isn’t true. But now I am protected from being “too safe.” Dumb move CZ-USA.

        They did this even though the thumb safety is supremely quick, easy and natural to disengage.

      2. avatar Thisiswhyyourewrong says:

        I am comfortable and proficient with the guns I own and don’t have plans to buy a DA with a safety. Even if I did, I’m carrying today. Israeli carry works if you’re not the only good guy with a gun or when you are protecting someone else who is under threat. It just doesn’t work for the specific situation where you are the target and they get the drop on you.
        Anyone who says “train your children” is the answer probably doesn’t have any. Train your children, yes, but also remember that they are children and expecting them to always obey procedural mitigations is not a good line of defense if it’s the only mitigation you put in place.

        1. avatar ZKahr says:

          You’re right about the “train your children” argument. Yes we should train our children, and children disobey all of the time, its part of growing up.

  35. avatar Timothy Toroian says:

    I knew a dumbo who carried a Walther PPK, chamber empty and SAFETY on. He claimed he could work it fast enough. I demonstrated how he would be dead if I shot through my coat pocket with my Smith Model 38.

    1. avatar Cloudbuster says:

      In fairness, if someone is going to plug you without warning with a snubbie in a coat pocket, a chambered round isn’t going to help much.

    2. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

      Just my 2 cents on safeties – they should always be carried engaged. I carried a Beretta 92FS for a while and a couple of times the safety got accidentally disengaged, which is not a big deal with a DA/SA semi-auto. However the reverse is not true. If you draw your weapon in a time of need and expect the safety to be disengaged but find that it is engaged it will cost you precious seconds to realize why your gat didn’t go bang and to correct the situation.

  36. avatar Alan says:

    Regarding the classic Double Action Pistol, Double Action First Shot, Single Action thereafter, why would one carry such a pistol with an empty chamber?

  37. avatar B.D. says:

    Carry with chamber loaded for 3 reasons. 1) under stress it is possible to short stroke the weapon and cause a double feed. 2) If I am with my family I may need to use one hand to hold back or shield my wife or smaller kids so that leaves only one hand to draw and fire a round or two before getting both hands available. 3) driving in a car, someone approaches your window, that 0.4 seconds could make a difference.

    I understand it seems safer to not chamber a round, but it is an issue of training. Period.

  38. avatar Grumpster says:

    It is all a personal choice on how to carry a handgun.

    I CCW with no round in the chamber. It has nothing to do with needing more training or better equipment. For my situation and where I live I have a better chance of getting hit by lightning than needing to fire my weapon in self defense. With no round in the chamber no round can discharge through the barrel no matter what – AD, ND, or I pass out/fall in the store and a seven year old picks up my pistol and points it at his mom. I will take my chances with no round in the chamber and the little extra time it would cause me to load my weapon over even malfunction in the very rare chance that I would need to do it. I am not telling anyone else what they should do for their situation, just what I do for mine and NO one is going to convince me otherwise. I expect there are a whole lot more people like me that do the same but don’t often discuss it because of the ridicule and name calling that often results on forums admitting such which I don’t understand.

    1. avatar B.D. says:

      Well, when you have a no compromise stance, prepare to be ridiculed for being wrong. From what I gather, is 90% of people who carry with no round in the chamber are older and more likely to fumble when the adrenaline kicks in. They are also very stubborn, but at least you admit it. If you are worried about passing out and your gun coming out of it’s holster, invest in a holster with better retention. You carry because of the rare chance you will need to defend yourself with it, right? So why would you jeopardize those already precious milliseconds after becoming a part of that small statistic? Nobody who carries without a round chambered can tell anyone to do the same because it’s their lack of training that leads them to believe it’s the better option. There are no reasons not to other than an ND, which happens due to complacency and lack of training. That doesn’t mean you need a professional to show you how to re-holster and draw without instantly pulling the trigger, it means practice. The same practice you put into zeroing your shot group to a notebook sized piece of paper sized target simulating a torso. It means realizing that the trigger stays stationary when holstered inside the proper holster. It means all those internal safeties on guns are there for a reason, to minimize the need for external safeties and allow you to carry one in the chamber and put a round in the target as soon as it leaves your holster and is pointed at the enemy, which is more than likely to have already put their hands on you or drawn their own gun and possibly even shot you. The chances are slim, but in the event of self defense, you have to be able to act quickly and with as little motion/movement as possible to neutralize the threat presented to your life. Simple. Sorry if it feels like I am belittling you, but it’s just the facts of self defense and why the old methods of carrying are dying. It’s just safer overall to carry one in the chamber.

    2. avatar Bubba says:

      Absolutely, it’s your choice alone to make…and your consequences to face.
      I just hope nobody else has to deal with the consequences of your choice.

      1. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

        Those consequences are not a one way street. I’ve heard of toddlers shooting themselves dead by reaching into their dads’ pockets. I once read an anecdotal article that detailed a half dozen incidents where cops’ lives were saved when the bad guys couldn’t manipulate the safeties on the weapons they grabbed of the cops (pretty sure that was Mas Ayoob). For the vast majority of us the method of carry will never make any difference, but everyone has to do their own risk/threat analysis. If you found yourself unarmed in the midst of a mass shooting in progress, would you rather be surrounded by a dozen people carrying condition 3 or no one carrying at all?

        BTW, IMHO the biggest downside to carrying condition 3 is the possibility of accidentally chambering a round and not realizing it. This is far more likely to get you into trouble than having to rack the slide before you can fire in a DGU.

      2. avatar N.A.D. says:

        @Bubba says, Absolutely, it’s your choice alone to make…and your consequences to face.
        I just hope nobody else has to deal with the consequences of your choice.

        Agree, hope nobody else is shot because of your choice to carry with a round in the chamber.

        1. avatar B.D. says:

          @N.A.D.

          show us the number of negligent discharges vs. number of people who could have been saved had they carried ready to rock. Can you? If not, then show me how an ND is the bullets fault for being in the chamber, or the guns fault for you pulling the trigger, or not paying attention when reholstering. Can you?

          That is all.

        2. avatar N.A.D. says:

          hey fucker

    3. avatar Eli2016 says:

      “I expect there are a whole lot more people like me that do the same but don’t often discuss it because of the ridicule and name calling that often results on forums admitting such which I don’t understand.”

      I agree and it is a sad state of affairs when 2nd Amendment people who are “supposedly” on your side ridicule you for just doing what you feel comfortable with. I carry with one in the pipe but I would never force my views on someone who wishes to carry without a loaded chamber. This kind of name-calling and criticism is common among the liberal/democratic set. Yet we see the same thing on these forums by the very people who cry out for personal freedom. It makes you wonder who the real enemy is.

      1. avatar B.D. says:

        Dude this is the internet. It’s full of assholes. Not everyone with a different view on the subject is one of them. If you comment, expect feedback. Don’t just get all liberal butthurt and call someone intolerant and forcing their opinion on you just because they are trying to show you the faults of something.

        My god, this comment section might as well be on an NBC article.

        1. avatar Eli2016 says:

          Funny I thought you from NBC.

        2. avatar Red says:

          You are a leftist progressive B.D.? Right? Because your level of projection and mind numbing circular “logic” is off the charts.

          “If you comment, expect feedback.” So here is yours:

          Literally EVERYTHING you accuse Eli of doing is actually you!

          You have been in every post above the “Internet…@sshole” “intolerant” of “everyone with a different view on the subject”(empty chamber) because you’re “butt hurt” because you have not been able to force “your opinion on” “just because they ‘will not accept’ you trying to show(force on to) ‘them’ the faults of something” (your opinion).

          Condition 3 is their choice, now take your “thousands of you tube videos” and Shut The Eff Up!

        3. avatar B.D. says:

          U mad? Yea… u mad.

          It is a choice, like I said earlier. Since it’s the internet though, expect feedback for making stupid choices.

          Funny how you trump nuts consider everything that proves you wrong as liberal. How pathetic. Same shit different toilet with you wing nuts.

    4. avatar Chris Morton says:

      What’s your plan if:
      1. One of your hands or arms is disabled?
      2. You’re assaulted at close range by a couple of people from front and back and have to disengage in order to draw?

      If you don’t think 2 happens, I talked to somebody who experienced it. Saw the surveillance video of the shooting too.

      You DO have a plan, DON’T you? Hint: “Insh Allah” is a LOUSY “plan”.

  39. avatar Chris Morton says:

    “You can’t have enough needless complications in a deadly force confrontation”… said NOBODY, EVER.

    Nobody whom I’ve ever seen advocate carrying with an empty chamber even TRIED to explain how you’re supposed to fight off two assailants, draw, chamber a round and engage.

    Not so long ago, a couple of drugged up imbeciles in Dayton jumped a guy pumping gas. He was JUST able to keep one at bay with one hand while he drew and shot the other. The one he didn’t shoot ran like hell, leaving his buddy to bleed out on the pavement. By his own admission, if he hadn’t had a round in the chamber, he would have been overwhelmed, disarmed and murdered.

    If you’re so afraid of your firearm that you can’t carry it in a condition where it can be used immediately, you need to carry a different gun, a different kind of gun or no gun at all.

    1. avatar Cloudbuster says:

      Pretty much. If you won’t carry a semiauto with a round in the chamber, you should seriously consider a revolver.

      1. avatar Chris Morton says:

        I’ve heard of people that frightened and ill informed actually carrying a modern five shot revolver with the hammer down on an empty chamber…

    2. avatar B.D. says:

      dude this comment section is scary. Just look how many “Responsible gun owners” advocate not carrying a round in the chamber. Just feeding gun grabbers their arguments. It’s pathetic. They are so scared of shooting themselves or someone else they should never be carrying to begin with. Breaks my heart, it truly does. Then when you try to inform them of their negligence, even through tactfully and respectfully stating why, they pull the intolerant card and go all far left saying things like “It’s my choice”… lol. Yea. You can choose to be wrong if you want. People forget the internet is a public place, and when you say dumb shit, you get corrected.

  40. avatar Bubba says:

    I carry with the topslide removed

    1. avatar Cloudbuster says:

      And the ammo in a separate biometrically locked case? 🙂

      1. avatar Chris Morton says:

        I keep the sear in an alternate dimension that I can’t actually access. 🙄

  41. avatar Dave Huff says:

    If you don’t carry a round in the chamber, your weapon is little more than a hammer…..

    1. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

      Hammers (and other blunt objects) are actually used to take the lives of twice as many people as rifles.

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