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wyocarp
February 21, 2008, 01:01 AM
On numerous threads people talk about needing to have a bullet chambered because one might not have the split second needed to rack the slide if you carry a semi-auto. I think it would be good to talk about the scenarios that one might find themselves in that wouldn't allow you the time to rack a bullet into the chamber.

shiky
February 21, 2008, 01:02 AM
i would say in any situation where you are facing an armed assailant. kinda like in the movie collateral. "yo homie, is that my briefcase?"

wyocarp
February 21, 2008, 01:06 AM
I'm thinking that is too vague. It takes precious little time to rack a slide while bringing a gun up from a holster, in fact, maybe no appreciable extra time at all.

JohnKSa
February 21, 2008, 01:09 AM
It can be very fast, but it's not as fast as NOT having to rack the slide. In addition it requires two hands. Assuming that you can insure that you never have to draw with an injured hand, while carrying something you can't put down, or that you'll never have to hold off an attacker with one hand while you draw with the other and that you'll never be in a situation where draw time is critical then it's probably not that much of an issue.

Boris Bush
February 21, 2008, 01:12 AM
wyocarp

That may be so, on a range shooting at paper. You just might be carrying something in your racking hand. You might have to fight off someone with your weak hand. A dog may clenching your racking arm.

Racking while drawing on the range might work fine, but in real life it would be a no go and one no go in real life means game over for you.

One thing everyone should realize is the first time you have to use your firearm to protect yourself, it will go exactly how you never trained for it to happen. The less you have to do from the time you skin your smoke wagon and fire the first round, the better off you are.

wyocarp
February 21, 2008, 01:24 AM
Okay, so one scenario is:

When you are jumped and caught totally unaware.

Carrying something isn't a reason for me to not be able to rack my gun in that type of situation unless I'm carrying my wife. Anything else I can drop if needed.

For it to be extremely fast, both hands are needed. But it isn't hard to rack with one hand. I practice it all the time.

Time? Are people not aware of their surroundings? I've not been attacked by a person. I have had several different attacks by animals. There are no animals quicker than lions and bears. I've had both happen. They are so quick that people would look like they aren't moving in comparison. I'm not convinced of the time thing.

shiky
February 21, 2008, 01:29 AM
damn they have lions in wyoming... i'm staying out of there. ;) but honestly, i wouldnt want to have to take the time to rack the slide, or even line up the sights if i'm attack. it'll be down to pointshooting if i actually have to fire.

JohnKSa
February 21, 2008, 01:38 AM
Carrying something isn't a reason for me to not be able to rack my gun in that type of situation unless I'm carrying my wife. Anything else I can drop if needed.Child, spare magazine, flashlight, keys, etc. You can drop ANYTHING, but it's not always a reasonable option and it's often undesirable.For it to be extremely fast, both hands are needed. But it isn't hard to rack with one hand. I practice it all the time.Yup, but while it's possible,it's not as positive a method as racking two-handed, and as you say, it's certainly not as fast. And even with two hands it's just one more thing you have to do and one more thing that can go wrong.Are people not aware of their surroundings?It's not completely unheard of for criminals to do their best to remain unnoticed/undetected until they attack. They understand that it gives them a significant advantage.

A person can't "slice the pie" on every corner or clear every room they enter. It's not always possible to walk without passing near automobiles or other objects large enough to conceal a person.

bigghoss
February 21, 2008, 04:50 AM
I sure would like to know what the advantage is of NOT having one in the chamber

maybe some people just like getting stabbed in the face, I dunno.

predator86
February 21, 2008, 04:55 AM
would you be sitting at a drag race with your car in neutral??? no, its in gear with your foot on the brake because it is .000002 seconds faster takeoff if you dont have to shift right away......




why the hell is this even coming up????? christ talk about playing russian roulette man.........

Hawg
February 21, 2008, 05:35 AM
You won't believe how fast something can happen until it happens to you. Nano seconds count.

evan1293
February 21, 2008, 05:41 AM
would you be sitting at a drag race with your car in neutral??? no, its in gear with your foot on the brake because it is .000002 seconds faster takeoff if you dont have to shift right away......

Good point. And I would add that life or death fights are often won or lost by tenths of seconds. Even if racking the slide is only .12 seconds slower than coming out of the holster with a hot gun, most experienced shooters can fire shots with split times of about .12-.15. Thats one extra shot that may end the fight for either party.

Biff from Oxford
February 21, 2008, 06:01 AM
I notice that you are from Wyoming, I used to live in Wyoming. There are very few people there so maybe you can't imagine all the different scenarios because you do not live in a place where the people that are there are 80% of one color and that color hates you.

Trust me if that were the case those people could and would come up with all types of scenarios that would prove to you that sometimes you don't have time to rack the slide.

gordo_gun_guy
February 21, 2008, 06:04 AM
if you live in Israel, do what's required by law.

In our country, I feel carrying without a round chambered is less responsible than not carrying at all. It could cause a fatal delay in employing your weapon.

I get the impression the OP must live in the sticks. For those of us who carry in urban settings, it's quite likely you may be drawing to a contact shooting. Your off hand may be blocking a strike/trying to keep head control while slipping your thumb in his eye/crushing his windpipe/breaking down his balance while you knee his groin, etc.

Maybe I can't convince the OP on the distance/speed equation, so how about the noise argument?

What happens when you're eating at McFattykins with your family, and the place gets held up? Of course, you're not going to draw to a drawn gun if the perp's looking your way, and your first job should be to discreetly exfiltrate your loved ones. Still, as you're doing the above with the perp's attention elsewhere, would you rather deftly (and SILENTLY) slip your Kahr/Glock/cocked and locked 1911 out of your soft, leather IWB and have sights aligned on the perps back without noise (except maybe the muted click of a 1911 safety)? Or would you rather have the perp turn at the sound of ching-ching? Or worse, have the perp turn early and see your weapon, before you had a chance to chamber a round?

Sounds downright negligent to me. If you're paranoid about having a chambered round, avoid horizontal shoulder holsters and front pocket carry, and instead choose strong side or ankle carry or another mode where you can ensure your muzzle is always pointed safely at the ground in the event that every mechanical failure in the world--or a proton choosing to decay inside your primer--causes an AD.:rolleyes:

Double Naught Spy
February 21, 2008, 07:06 AM
I'm thinking that is too vague. It takes precious little time to rack a slide while bringing a gun up from a holster, in fact, maybe no appreciable extra time at all.

Ah, but it does take extra time. Time that you may not have. It also assumes that you have both hands free for the task. Oh wait, you practice one handed too.

Okay wyocarp, how quickly can you draw and rack the slide on a semiauto when your weak had is busy fending off a person trying to stab you or hit you with a club? Have you practiced being able to do this?

How quickly can you draw and rack the slide when you are using your weak hand to drag a loved one out of the line of fire with it?

How quickly can you draw and rack the slide when you are using your weak hand to staunch the flow of blood on your own body?

How quickly can you draw and rack the slide and your dominant hand/arm has already been disabled in the fight?

People who talk about drawing and racking almost always talk about having both hands free for the task and in real life, we don't always have both hand available for such a task. Now, it isn't so much of a speed issue anymore as it is an issue of just being able to successful accomplish the task and if that gives you problems, it will take a LOT more time. You can learn to do a one-handed rack, but it takes time and increases the risk of inducing a malfunction if not done right, thereby necessitating more time to have to possibly clear the malfunction and then re-rack the slide.

A lot of folks don't practice one-handed racking and a lot of ranges won't allow it to be practiced because it is considered a dangerous way to handle a gun, and it is more dangerous to do than doing it in a traditional two handed rack method.

But hey, if you want to carry without a round in the chamber and feel safe doing so, you are just handicapping yourself, but you apparently don't feel your handicap is enough to give the bad guys an advantage. Good luck.

ZeSpectre
February 21, 2008, 07:12 AM
Gordo beat me to the punch so I'm just going to repeat.

1) Close Quarters - If you have had to push away, or if you are trying to hold a badguy off, your other hand may be fully occupied.

2) Stealth - Visualize "Star Wars"...Would Han have gotten Greedo in the cantina if he'd had to rack a noisy slide? (yes I know, fictional movie, but my point still stands that stealth and surprise are force multipliers). http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e1YbFnkZwZk

tlm225
February 21, 2008, 09:41 AM
Why carry with a round chambered vs. empty? Because I won't give any advantage I don't have to to someone who is a threat to my life or the life of a loved one.

The criminal already has the advantage of chosing the time, timing, method and place of the attack as well as how many assistants he brings along. They are trained in launching an attack up close and with a high level of violence. Not all of them are going to give pre-assaultive behavior that justify your drawing and chambering a round to get ready.

In short, the incident you are involved in may be a "come as you are" event. That's no time to be reaching for a half loaded gun.

Double Naught Spy
February 21, 2008, 09:59 AM
Not giving away any advantage is a good point. Chances are that you will be reacting to a threat and as such, you will be behind the curve even before you start.

arktravler
February 21, 2008, 10:09 AM
Why not try a drill? Have your unload firearm in your holster and have a friend run at you from 21', which is within the area it is said most SD situations happen. Have him/her run at you from there... You un-holster & rack your slide before they get to you. I think you'd be quite surprised:eek: how fast even a fat boy like me can cover 21'. You'd have no time.. IMO....

Musketeer
February 21, 2008, 10:30 AM
So I am in Burger King when a deranged nut job starts a hostage standoff. Do I want him to hear me racking a slide or would I rather his first indication of trouble be my bullet exiting from the front of his forehead?

What I may need to be doing with my other arm:

Grabbing my child
Pushing my wife to safety
Applying direct pressure to a wound
Bleeding and useless because of a wound it received
Fighting off a close quarters attacker while the weapon is brought to bear

rampage841512
February 21, 2008, 10:41 AM
Nobody will make you keep a round chambered if you don't want to.

sterno
February 21, 2008, 10:52 AM
Wyocarp-

It's hard to imagine how fast something can go down unill it actually does. Take this event that happened to me just this past Saturday...

I'm a musician. We had just finished our set and were waiting for 2am to roll around so we could load up the van because the place was packed with people. At 2, the bouncers started kicking all the drunks out, which is totally normal. These two guys were giving one of the bouncers trouble, mainly just talking trash, but still more trouble than usual. After a few minutes of macho jackass talk, they back down and leave.

So we get the van packed up and I go back in the bar for a once over to make sure we didn't forget anything. Two of the five band members were out with the van while two of us went in to do the once over. I got about halfway to the stage when someone from out back called out to us that someone was messing with our van.

The singer and I run out and those same jackasses from earlier were trying to rip the windshield wipers off our van and our guitarist and drummer stopped them. One of the guys was nose to nose with our guitarist and the other guy just kept saying "stay out of it" and "just let them fight".

Let me set the stage from my point of view. We were working, albeit playing music and having a good time, but it's what we do for a living. I was completely sober (I don't drink at all) and so was the rest of the band. We had just come out of a bar, which meant that my pistol was locked in my car across the parking lot. I had a knife, fists, and my most important self-defense weapon - My Brain. I've been doing this sort of thing for years, and this wasn't the first barfight I'd been to and unfortunetly it won't be the last because it's kind of a occupational hazard. From experience, I didn't think this guy was going to do anything. He was drunk and there was 5 or 6 of us and really just one of them since it didn't seem like his friend was into it.

So then this guy totally goes for it and tries to tackle my guitarist. I'm standing right next to them, our backs were to the van (Mainly so no one could come from behind). I'm still in the "I'm going to break up the fight" mindset so I move to grab the guy and pull him off. From out of nowhere his friend hits me and rams me into the van, pinning me. So my left side (arm and all) is jammed up against the van so with my right hand I give the guy a hammer fist, break his nose, and he drops to the ground.

Now that the friend is out of the picture, we kick the crap out of the other guy trying to get him off the guitarist because he just won't let go. Eventually he lets go and they stagger off. They come back a few minutes later, but we're all inside because the cops are on their way.

So I learned a lot from this encounter. It had been over two years since something like this happened. Here's what I learned and how it applies to the OP:

-I was in code burning-hot-like-the-sun, and I still didn't see the guy's friend coming for me. You can't expect yourself to be looking everywhere at all times. It's just not reasonable.

-A guy smaller than me had my left side pinned against that van. Had he had a weapon and I would have not been carrying with a round chambered, that'd been it for me. It's all too easy for someone to do the same thing in any parking lot with the intent to carjack or mug or just kill for the sport of it.

-Last and most importantly, this whole this took place in less than 2 seconds. The friend came around to my side, hit me, pinned me, and got his nose broken in less time than it took for my guitarist and the guy he was tangleing with to hit the ground.


I learned a lot more from this encounter, really just re-enforced things I already knew and made clear why I do some things I do. But they're not relevant to the OP, so I left them out.

mamboreta
February 21, 2008, 11:08 AM
-At the range, I keep the chamber empty untill I start shooting, that´s a RULE.
-My home defense guns are always empty-chambered, mostly because my doors are always locked and my dogs are always "in the chamber". That´ll give me time to open my eyes and clear my mind in case of a home invasion while I sleep, take a bath, etc.

I train often, but I can imagine myself having an accident under stress, or losing control of the gun. Being stupid, maybe. You don´t know until it happens... but I want to pull the trigger and hear some noise.

Keeping a semiauto without a bullet in the chamber it´s almost as good as keeping the next cylinder on the revolver empty. I see no reason to ALWAYS have a round in the chamber when carrying (example: inside a friend´s home), but It´s the best choice for sure.

dwatts47
February 21, 2008, 11:21 AM
see below.

dwatts47
February 21, 2008, 11:22 AM
scenarios that one might find themselves in that wouldn't allow you the time to rack a bullet into the chamber.



To believe that in a situation where you need to use your gun, that you will also be granted the time to make your weapon ready to fire... puts your mindset at unrealistically optomistic at best.

wyocarp
February 21, 2008, 11:28 AM
Sterno, it sounds you did have plenty of time to rack a slide, although it wasn't a gun needed situation.

I am just playing the devils advocate. I read things about people accidently discharging their loaded gun and I am not sure that most circumstances require that the gun have a bullet in the chamber.

Okay, you guys can give it to me for living in the "sticks", but I have to read situations while out hiking just like you have to read situations in the big cities. The difference is, in the sticks, the animals don't care what you're packing and they often attack without any warning or provocation and at speeds that humans can't even dream of. I was charged two mountain lions from 15 feet. Had to unholster my revolver and fire at two targets. My fifth round was through one of the lions at my feet. Few city problems are more intense than that.

And you don't have to be nearly aware in the city as one does in some of the forests out here.

I think a lot of the city problems can be assessed with a little forethought and even avoided if wanted. A guy shot one guy recently in Colorado after two vehicles stopped at a light at an exit ramp. They were having some issues and the single guy got out of his vehicle to confront two guys in the other vehicle. Of course, the two guys got the single guy down and were beating him. He says almost to death. So since he was an off duty officer with a side arm, he pulled it and killed one of the guys attacking him. He needed his pistol with a bullet in the chamber, but I think he is getting off only because he is a police officer. And how stupid can a guy get? But he definitely had time to load a round before getting out of his vehicle since he knew he would shoot someone if he didn't have the upper hand.

I look at the recent shooting scenarios and think that there was plenty of time to load a round.

Diesel1
February 21, 2008, 11:40 AM
If my carry gun actually has to come out of it's hiding place, precious 10ths of a second count. I'm worried enough about pulling the trigger god forbid, that last thing I want to worrry about is did I rack the slide. I understand not doing so on personal opinion.

To use another vehicle analogy, I train peole to ride motorcycles and have been doing so for a long time. When you pull up to a stoplight, you should always keep the motorcycle in 1st gear with the clutch in, ready to go, this has saved me from getting hit from behind twice because I was checking my mirrors for people not paying attention to a stopped motorcycle. Had I not had the bike in first with the clutch in, I seriously doubt I would have escaped being rear ended. It strikes me as similar because seconds count in emergency situations. If I had to try to pull in the clutch and shift to 1st just to move I think I'd have been sitting about 20 forward in the middle of the intersection.

TNFrank
February 21, 2008, 11:45 AM
When I had a semi I stored it in the dresser drawer with a full mag and nothing in the pipe. When I carried then I put one in the pipe. Now that I've got a revolver I don't worry about such things anymore. :D

Glenn E. Meyer
February 21, 2008, 12:16 PM
You fall over and break your wrist on your gun hand side. Then you have to carry on your non-dominant side for quite a few weeks and have your wrist in a cast.

That's my experience for a circumstance that leads me not to consider unchambered carry. In fact, I then took a course on injured shooter moves with the forearm and wrist in a cast. Clever of me to break it to prepare for the class - :D

sterno
February 21, 2008, 12:17 PM
You're right, it wasn't a situation where if I had my gun I would have drawn.
But my point of that post was that if I had needed to draw, at the time I would have most likely needed to draw, I wouldn't have been able to chamber a round.

If after that guy pinned me he would've drawn a weapon, and I would've been carrying without one in the pipe, I wouldn't be typing this right now. Period.

It's the reason I carry a snub .357. No saftey. No Question.

It's also one of the things that the scenario re-enforced. I left it out before because I didn't want to hijack your thread. If I draw, I fire. If I'm not going to fire, I'm not going to draw. I think that's the biggest problem with carrying without a round in the chamber. If I'm going to pull my gun, I'm going to fire it immediately after I draw it. I'm not going to have time to rack a slide or pick some flowers or say some thing menacing. It's either shoot or die.

And as far as accidental discharge, keep your finger off the trigger or get a gun that works. I carried with one in the pipe of a semi-auto for a few years before switching to a revolver. Never one accident. I'm also very trigger finger aware. I even keep my finger off the trigger of power drills and water guns.

But that's me. I don't expect you or anyone else to carry like I do. It a personal choice.

Fozzy_Bear
February 21, 2008, 12:21 PM
Wyocarp,

Ok... You're just playing Devil's advocate. ... I'm cool with that.

Here's my answer:

Regardless of how the situatuion developed, (if I had time, or not) the simple fact is that once you draw a firearm, everything changes in the minds of all involved.

You asailant may panic (and be armed with a sprey and prey); or they may have specifically rehearsed what they would do if their victom drew on them. (maybe they even have a good plan...)

Regardless... Here's my thinking:

I want the first indication my asailant has of my armerment to be my second shot to center-mass. (hopefully the first shot will be folowed too quickly for them to realize it.)

And quite obviously, that will not be the case if I rack the slide first, even if I've practiced very well.

maxkimber
February 21, 2008, 12:34 PM
Everyone is speaking of racking the slide in terms of "time." Think of it as a step in a process, albeit an unnecessary step. When you add a step to any process you add the potential for errors [slippery hands, injury or being restrained preventing a step from occurring, etc.] . Remember K.I.S.S., point and shoot, this alone under a stressful situation may in itself be difficult for those who do not train regularly, why add an unnecessary step? The advent of the firing pin block makes it 'safe' to carry a round chambered (not trying to open a can of worms with that statement). I vote for a chambered round...

I am new to the forum - HI:)

wyocarp
February 21, 2008, 01:06 PM
I don't always carry with one in the pipe. I most of the time feel comfortable with having it with me, even when I leave the sticks and go to Denver. Although I have to admit that I often have a small revolver that I carry.

Even out here in the middle of nowhere, we have issues. I think it was two years ago while driving across Wyoming, there was someone driving down the interstate shooting other vehicles.

There have been a number of deaths and shootings here in Jackson Hole.

I had someone walk into my house just last weekend. They were shocked at how they were greeted. It was a mistake they probably won't make again. I hope they won't it make again.


Some states require a little more training than here in Wyoming to carry. Here, all that is needed is a hunter safety course. That is not enough training to be proficient in firearms. I built a house right next to our local range a few years ago and know that there are precious few people shooting.

I don't know of anyone that spends the amount of money or time on guns and shooting as I do with my son. I handle and shoot something almost every day when there isn't snow on the ground. In the winter, I only shoot 1-3 days a week. I know that some of you guys live in worse places, but I also know that many probably don't use your guns as much either.

So, that is why I wonder about the advice on forums about guys always having one in the pipe. I think we all need to constantly be thinking about our condition of our gun(s) and how we are reacting in different situations. I realize I live in a different world than many of you, but I would stack two young boys I know and shoot with up against many of you because of the amount of time they spend handling, shooting, and reloading many different firearms.

I respect everyone that carries. Although I think many need much more experience before they carry with a round in the chamber. I am more nervous around my wife at a range than I am in a bad part of a big city.

I was pestering people about scenarios. I have learned a lot about dangerous encounters with animals by reading stories and working that stuff through my brain. I think the same could be true about people encounter scenarios for a lot of us on here.

Double Naught Spy
February 21, 2008, 04:20 PM
I look at the recent shooting scenarios and think that there was plenty of time to load a round.

Well damn you must be a frigging hotshot. Good for you. Oh, and Bonzai!

Of course, I see that you fail to understand that what has happened historically with these events is mutually exclusive from whatever event(s) you may end up in when you get to see if you have enough time or not.

The other matter is that while there "may be enough time," many folks end up ******* it away during their momentary reality check when they are trying to decide if what is happening is real and if they will have to use lethal force. Then all that free time is gone and where are you? At NIU, several students commented that they though the guy with the gun was part of a big joke. Folks at Luby's in Texas had trouble comprehending that the automotive accident that resulted in the truck being driven into Luby's was part of the assault of a gunman who got out of his vehicle and instead of needing or giving help, started shooting people.

Indeed, as dwatts47 said, you are an optimist. I am continually amazed at the manners in which people justify their need to be less than prepared when the option to be prepared was available to them.

Lavid2002
February 21, 2008, 05:00 PM
I think the problem that needs to be adressed here is being discussed, but needs to be brought up in words.
That is Is keeping the chamber empty and racking the action when I need the firearm worth the trade off. Can those preciouse split seconds compensate for the risk of having a higher pissibility of a negligent discharge by keeping a round in the chamber?
And personally I dont have a CCW, but I see no readon why someone wouldnt want to have a round chambered....with modern firearms the safeties are everywhere. Can the gun discharge in the holster? Not likely. Can the weapon discharge while in a pocket? With 1911's the safety and the trigger being pushed in at the same time is HIGHLY unlikely, and with the glock....I doubt something could push the initial stage of the triger, then have enough pressure to cause the firearm to discharge.
So in a nutshell, if I had a CCW I would have a round in the chambered. Because I can think of more scenarios where time is precious needing my sidearm than not.
Just my opinion : D
Dave

tackdriver
February 21, 2008, 05:27 PM
I think a lot of the city problems can be assessed with a little forethought and even avoided if wanted.

Glad this was resurrected in some fashion from the locked P32 thread. I think you've made my point for me in the above quote and other references to being aware of your surroundings.

My point is that if you're paying attention, see a mortal threat coming and still have time to draw and rack a slide successfully, you probably had a good chance to get a jump start on escaping that threat. At that point, you probably also want to be drawing your cell phone to call 911.
Otherwise, if you want to practice being scared for your life and running at full speed while trying to draw and rack a round, be my guest. You be the instructor and I'll bring a few pit bulls. We'll start our own school. We'll be rich.:D

Under situations contemplated by many states' self-defense laws, where you absolutely can not escape and your life is immediately endangered, who wants to be fumbling with a slide or having to think, "do I have a round in the chamber, or do I need to rack the slide?"

Which, takes me to my last point -- some of the best advice I ever got from an instructor: whatever condition you carry with a gun, always carry it in that condition. That way you don't have to think about it when it comes time to use it.

spacemanspiff
February 21, 2008, 05:42 PM
Pishposh, I like to rack the slide after I shoot a round, just for effect. Sure I might be losing capacity but hey, it sure looks cool! :rolleyes:

There are no animals quicker than lions and bears. I've had both happen.
Yet your tale about being attacked by two mountain lions involved you using a revolver? Tell you what, you continue to keep an empty chamber, and I'll continue to do what I do, that is: carry my weapon cocked and locked as it was designed to do such.

Glenn E. Meyer
February 21, 2008, 05:56 PM
There's a video out there of a tiger leaping on an elephant in India and mauling the elephant driver. Racking your gun and getting it on target would be quite the feat, even for those who shoot more times than us simple mortals.

It's clear and well stated - do you plan for the end of the event distribution when things go wrong or do you go for the modal event. In the modal DGU, you don't need bullets at all. So you probably do have time to rack your gun. But in the tail of the distribution, speed is a benefit. Choose your risk level. If you think you are going to shoot your nuts off - then carry an unloaded flintlock.

This reminds of the Sleepy Hollow movie with Johnny Depp. Depp and some dude with a flintlock run across the Headless Horseman who comes at them with a sword. Dude shoots him righteously with big old ball. Of course, being supernatural, HH falls down and gets up. Depp seeing this heads for highway but Dude starts to reload the flintlock. Depp looks at him like he is nuts, because you ain't reloading before HH gets to you.

Maybe removing your nuts vs. maybe loosing the fight: that's the debate.

When has it happened that a civilian DGU has ended because the civilian with a racked gun shot his nuts off? Not in the DGU literature.

DMacLeod
February 21, 2008, 06:17 PM
Ok, I'll be honest, I didn't read every response, but here is my thought. What if in a situation where you need the weapon in a hurry... Your mind is racing, your heart is beating extra.....What if you don't remember to rack one into the pipe? I've heard of guys getting frazzled and dropping the mag for instance at the wrong time... Atleast with one in the pipe you still have a chance.

higgy1911
February 21, 2008, 06:24 PM
I don't get it. Sure with practice you can rack the slide real fast. and you can do it with one hand, though probably not in less than a couple seconds on the one hand thing.

But it is never faster then already having a round in the chamber.

Is having a round in the chamber all the time dangerous. Heck yeah it is. It's a gun, its supposed to be dangerous. thats why I carry it for defense. If I wanted something that wasn't dangerous I'd carry a feather duster. I could poke them in the eye if I had too, but probably wouldn't have to worry about accidents.

Besides, the round in the chamber isn't going to be a problem safety wise unless you violate the four saftey rules.

The example of a friend's home was given. If I'm carrying my gun in a friend's home, why would I not have a round in the chamber. In my holster the gun is not going to go off. I don't plan on poiting the gun at my friend or his property, I don't plan on sitting aound with my finger on the trigger. The gun is perfectly safe.

The tiny chance that an AD will occur is nowhere near as great as the chance that something will happen that I have to deal with quickly. Accidental discharges are not a myth but they are close to it. Most "accidents" are in fact negligent discharges. If the gun went off by someone pulling the trigger, then it was not an accident, it was negligence. If someone got hurt by omething other than a ricochet then it wasn't and accident, it happened because someone was pointing a gun at something they didn't want to shoot. A gun going off by itself, is much more rare then violent encounters that require you to keep one hand free to fight while you draw and shoot with the other.

like John Wayne said when the DA in True Grit asked him if his revolver was loaded and cocked. "well, a revolver that ain't loaded or cocked ain't good for anything".

LOAD YOUR GUN folks. Otherwise you just have an oversized sap.

And incidentally, the second post that referenced the fil collateral was not vague at all. The scene in that film shows exactly why you need a round chambered. If he had tried one handed chambering in that scene, he would have been dead, as the second guy would have got him by then. if he hadn't been using his free hand to occupy the first guy, then that one would have got him. Its the perfect example, and its a common scenario in any urban city. Two guys, armed, and in your face.

Wayward_Son
February 21, 2008, 07:29 PM
This post is not intended as a threadjack. It is not a jab at those fond of semi-autos. It is not meant to be offensive; it is matter-of-fact, and if this thread had been posted in the Semi-Auto Handgun forum, I would not be making this post. I am not trolling.

With that disclaimer: All of the reasons or situations already mentioned are solved or circumvented by carrying a double-action revolver.

Samueul
February 21, 2008, 07:30 PM
Carry a .380 in a front pocket holster. Looks just like a wallet when it does print.

BG jumps out "Give me your wallet <expletive deleted>!!!"

Me: Okay Okay, as I reach into my pocket to pull out my "wallet" and I say

"You don't mind if I "rack" it first?"

Boris Bush
February 21, 2008, 08:02 PM
wayward son

An auto-loader with a chambered round and hammer down (on a DA/SA auto) is no different than a DA revolver. One might argue most autoloaders have a safety that may save your life in a gun grab AND have a smooth slick long DA first pull....

The Canuck
February 21, 2008, 08:06 PM
To rack the slide requires movement beyond drawing a gun from a holster. You have to draw the gun, reach out with one hand and rack the slide, then aim, creating a very distinctive sound and motion. Should the bad guy be prepared, you've just cued him to shoot you. Drawing a ready gun from a holster creates a minimum amount of movement and he won't have the sound as a cue to shoot. He will have to rely on what he sees, and in a lot of situations we don't immediately recognize a gun until there is sound accompanying it. Make your motions as smooth as possible and as economincal as possible. A lot of people have been saying that time isn't that important, it is, in spades. The best way to minimize time lag is to economize your movements. Remember this saying? "Slow is smooth, smooth is fast". Be smooth, can you draw, present & rack a slide smoothly?

Just my $0.02.

Semper Paratus
February 21, 2008, 08:06 PM
With a chambered round you are "guaranteed" one shot. If you are relying on a quick rack what happens with a three point jam on chambering the round. Now you are down to, cheap B movies not withstanding, a poor club.

papa shooter
February 21, 2008, 08:12 PM
Carry cocked and locked period...
Why waste the time to rack the slide? Not to mention you wasted a spot for the bullet that might save you or a loved one in the fire fight.
My son still likes to carry a round in the chamber with the hammer on down. I disagree with him but that is how he practices his draw and fire.

Papa

Wuchak
February 21, 2008, 08:32 PM
A pistol with a round in the chamber is a gun, without one in the chamber it's a paperweight with potential.

Erik
February 21, 2008, 08:54 PM
I'm a fully loaded and topped off advocate.

As noted, there are predictable instances where the necessity of having to rack the slide is disadvantageous, regardless of the instances where it wouldn't be a factor.

hogdogs
February 21, 2008, 09:11 PM
Many crimes occur in close proximity. Such as "hey buddy can you spare a buck?"
Than is one...
Brent

orionengnr
February 21, 2008, 09:17 PM
And as far as accidental discharge, keep your finger off the trigger or get a gun that works. I carried with one in the pipe of a semi-auto for a few years before switching to a revolver. Never one accident. I'm also very trigger finger aware. I even keep my finger off the trigger of power drills and water guns.

Exactly.

I cannot believe this is even worth a topic for discussion.
--Nah, I don't need a seatbelt, I'll buckle it before I crash.
--Maybe I'll ride my motorcycle with my helmet and gloves on the seat behind me...I'll have time to don them in the critical moment.
--I'll drive my car without insurance, hey, I can call my agent as soon as I lock the brakes...
--Who needs health insurance, I'll get coverage as soon as I'm diagnosed wih cancer..

Mike Tyson? Hey, I'll kick his butt! Here, let me tie one arm behind my back and put on this blindfold first... :rolleyes:

mountainclmbr
February 21, 2008, 09:45 PM
Always ready to fire. Why not just leave it in the gun safe and go get it if you need to...the other extreme points out the flaws.

ActivShootr
February 21, 2008, 10:26 PM
Let say I am leaving the grocery store carring my infant son in one arm and a bag of groceries in the other. Someone is approaching me and an attack is immenent. Do I drop the only thing that matters to me in this world?

Cocked and locked my friend.

Nemsis
February 21, 2008, 10:46 PM
unless you carry your revolver with an empty chamber also I don't understand why you would on a semi. What's the purpose of keeping it empty?


what do you think would have happened to you when those lions attacked if you had a semi with an empty chamber instead of that revolver?

M14fan
February 21, 2008, 10:49 PM
I will cheerfully drop STUFF! I will not drop children. Condition one is the only way to insure the ability to get your weapon into play reliably without further jeopardizing the child or infant in your arms. I have faced this exact reality many years past. The event was resolved without shots fired but only because the weapon was up and ready to fire quickly and smoothly and was recognized by the threat who fled immediately. My own body was easily interposed between the toddler I was carrying and the threat.

wyocarp
February 21, 2008, 10:50 PM
I think the problem that needs to be adressed here is being discussed, but needs to be brought up in words.
That is Is keeping the chamber empty and racking the action when I need the firearm worth the trade off. Can those preciouse split seconds compensate for the risk of having a higher pissibility of a negligent discharge by keeping a round in the chamber?

That is exactly it. I know that some on here are quite proficient. I am also quite sure that some don't use their guns enough. Should we all carry them in the same way?

wyocarp
February 21, 2008, 10:55 PM
Everyone is speaking of racking the slide in terms of "time." Think of it as a step in a process, albeit an unnecessary step. When you add a step to any process you add the potential for errors [slippery hands, injury or being restrained preventing a step from occurring, etc.] . Remember K.I.S.S., point and shoot, this alone under a stressful situation may in itself be difficult for those who do not train regularly, why add an unnecessary step? The advent of the firing pin block makes it 'safe' to carry a round chambered (not trying to open a can of worms with that statement). I vote for a chambered round...

A lot of good points. Thanks.

imahotshot
February 21, 2008, 10:58 PM
I think it was Col. Jeff Cooper said that in a gun fight mindset is one of the most important factors. If you are afraid to carry a chambered round I think your mindset is really in a fog. If you are afraid to carry a chambered round you probably shouldn't be carrying a sidearm in the first place!

orionengnr
February 21, 2008, 10:59 PM
That is exactly it. I know that some on here are quite proficient. I am also quite sure that some don't use their guns enough. Should we all carry them in the same way?

If one is so disinclined to practice or is so incompetent that an ND is a likely outcome, then one should seriously re-consider the responsibilities inherent in carrying. Period.

David Armstrong
February 22, 2008, 10:42 AM
I'm thinking that is too vague. It takes precious little time to rack a slide while bringing a gun up from a holster, in fact, maybe no appreciable extra time at all.
Correct, and there is another point to go with that. First, right, it does not take any appreciable extra time to rack the slide during the presentation. We actually had a course at the gun club a few years back that had the shooter fire two separate strings of fire. The course of fire was identical except for the fact that one string started chamber empty and the other started chamber loaded. The average difference in time to first shot was less than .20 second. For some shooters, the chamber empty was actually faster on some presentations, but nobody found it to be much slower. And if the big concern is "how fast" the way you carry the gun (IWB.OWB, position of holster, on or off-body, cover garments, etc.) will impact that time as much or more than having a round in the chamber or not.
The other point, and I think the bigger point, is "If there is a difference, does it matter?" And the answer seems to be a rather resounding "no". For it to matter the incident has to break down into a very narrow time frame where you still have time to draw the gun, but don't have tome to chamber the round. If it is on either side of that very narrow 1/4 second (estimated) time frame it does not matter.
About the only legitimate problem is the one-handed issue, and apparently it isn't much of an issue. Throughout most of our autoloading handgun history the usual carry made has been chamber empty. If there was a big problem with this, we would have heard about it. We haven't.
From a pure gunfighting position, chamber loaded is better. However, there is lots to life besides gunfighting, and taken as a whole chamber empty can be a viable solution for certain people in certain situations. Either way, it doesn't matter much. My $.02

MLeake
February 22, 2008, 11:12 AM
... the one-handed issue is another reason why at least some martial arts training is useful, specifically, training in evading grabs and strikes.

I'm not talking about in-your-face, mano a mano brawling, but learning how to quickly and efficiently use foot movement and hip position to get out of harm's way long enough to draw and fire if necessary.

These are useful skills regardless of age or physical conditioning, unless one really has trouble even walking.

Aikido, judo, and jujutsu are all good styles for breaking or evading grabs, and redirecting strikes. Tai Chi is user-friendly to older or less fit students, and has the added bonus of greatly improving the fitness of its students through slow-motion, low impact movement.

Some schools also teach how to draw a weapon while being grabbed by the strong hand's wrist. While the usual focus is on blades, it also applies to sidearms. You'd be surprised at how easy it is to complete the draw, when you know how to move. You probably wouldn't be surprised at how hard this is, if you only try to meet strength with strength.

BikerRN
February 22, 2008, 12:31 PM
I've not been attacked by a person.

Therin lies the problem. Murphey tends to appear at times when we really don't want him to. If you are having to draw and load your weapon while being attacked is a good time for Murphey to appear.

Thus, I want my weapon loaded to minimize Murphey's opportunities of fouling something up. He gets too many chances as it is.

Biker

mvpel
February 22, 2008, 12:39 PM
An unloaded gun is an expensive and ineffective club.

Boris Bush
February 22, 2008, 03:02 PM
David Armstrong

We actually had a course at the gun club a few years back that had the shooter fire two separate strings of fire. The course of fire was identical except for the fact that one string started chamber empty and the other started chamber loaded. The average difference in time to first shot was less than .20 second.

That was a course at a range. B27 targets do not try and rob you in the mall parking lot! While I have never one time in my life ever been in a gun fight in the civilian world (the mere presence of my weapon changed minds a couple times). I have however seen .20 seconds kill people. wether it be in the civilian world or a war zone you NEED every advantage you can get. A rifle carried lacksadaisyly not ready to fire will get someone killed, seen it happen, I have also seen weapons ready save the day. In the civilian world you MUST prepare for the worst, if you can not rack your pistol while fending off one or more badguys (and it will happen, badguys are 3D and not stapled to a target board at known ranges..) You are dead, and just gave the badguy more to carry in the form of your weapon, if you have family or friends with you they just might be killed by your weapon.

When you decide to carry a lethal weapon it aint no joke kids! Violence of action is all you will have when it comes time to be lethal, and you better do it without hesitation or adding non tactical movement by NEEDING to charge you weapon you should have already charged. It would kinda be like only locking your doors after the news reported multiple murders in your neighborhood. You have locks and you probably use them, so why would anyone NOT load their weapon they have the right to carry and defend themselves and others?

Playboypenguin
February 22, 2008, 03:08 PM
I do not think imaginary scenerios really ever convince anyone of anything.

I think it just comes down to what level of preparedness you want to be at during the day.

Do you want to simply be prepared for the extremely unlikely (almost negligent) chance you will ever need a firearm or do you want to take the next step and be prepared for the even less likely (almost nonexistent) chance you will be in a split second situation where you only have one hand and no time?

By carrying a gun at all you have already shown a desire to be prepared for the unlikely, now you just have to decide how far you want to run with that mindset.

Chances are (like probably 99.999%) you will never know whether you made the right choice regardless of which way you choose to go.

tackdriver
February 22, 2008, 03:14 PM
That was a course at a range.
Thanks, BB.

Do I drop the only thing that matters to me in this world?

Babies are remarkably resiliant.:D I'd rather see a baby with a couple of scrapes than leave the kid in the line of fire.

I'm writing a story right now about a guy who drove head-on into a family of three. He was going 70mph+. They were going at least 35. We're talking about the kind of crash where the explosion melts the paints off the cars. The DRUNK driver who ran into them and mom in the second car were DOA. Dad hung on for a few hours.

The baby had a nosebleed.

Glenn E. Meyer
February 22, 2008, 03:18 PM
I'm bored now! There have probably been 75000 posts over the years on unchambered carry. It's always

1. ND
2. Can't fight quick enough in a blitz

Worry about one and the other side stinks.

--- My view is centered on having the arm out of action. Small but finite risk as I did go through a period like that. Thus, no unchambered for me.

There are no new takes or new arguments.

Boris Bush
February 22, 2008, 03:18 PM
Chances are (like probably 99.999%) you will never know whether you made the right choice regardless of which way you choose to go.

playboypenguin

The thing is you WILL know if YOU made the right choice when it is over. I never got anyone killed (goodguys) by makeing a bad decision! I have thought "if maybe we would have... this or that, If I would have watched that window instead of the ally.

If you get yourself killed becaused of a bad desision, then who realy cares, if you (get someone) kill(ed) because of a stupid decision and live the rest of your life clear of guilt, then you are less than human.. I do not mean you penguin, I am talking to anyone that would halfa$$ carrying a letal weapon to the point it might jeopardize the welfare of others. Just an opinion.

Playboypenguin
February 22, 2008, 03:25 PM
The thing is you WILL know if YOU made the right choice when it is over.
When what is over? An imaginary scenerio in which you will never actually find yourself?

Like I said, a situation where you will ever have to draw your gun will probably never happen...one where you have to draw and shoot instantly with only one hand available is a one in a million chance.

Boris Bush
February 22, 2008, 03:36 PM
Playboypenguin

When what is over?

Some here have been there done that. What I wrote about is NOT a "scenario". People not a target at the range would have lived if I thats ME could have had 10 more eyes to watch EVERY window, door and ally that day.

I done that, now that I am back maybe what I did and the training I will pass on will save someone someday. thats how I look at it now..

Playboypenguin
February 22, 2008, 03:40 PM
I done that, now that I am back maybe what I did and the training I will pass on will save someone someday. thats how I look at it now..
Still a one in a million chance even if the story is true and it changes nothing about my statement. :)

Boris Bush
February 22, 2008, 03:44 PM
I need not convince anyone of truth. If you are in the northwest area where I am, then you will see me at point defiance zoo with me wife and kids, it is far too nice to waste my extra halfday off inside.

chamber loaded.....

Double Naught Spy
February 22, 2008, 05:25 PM
We actually had a course at the gun club a few years back that had the shooter fire two separate strings of fire. The course of fire was identical except for the fact that one string started chamber empty and the other started chamber loaded. The average difference in time to first shot was less than .20 second.

And those were all 2 handed presentations.

You aren't going to be able to draw from concealment and one-handed rack the slide and be close to or faster than not racking the slide.

jabotinsky
February 22, 2008, 07:46 PM
A lot depends on why you're CCWing...I think many posters here (my .02) have a heightened sense of crime and being jumped or suddenly attacked, that's partially because SHTF discussions are forbidden. But there's lots of reasons to CCW sometimes besides perceiving you'rein a war zone...I don't live my life in condition orange, my choice. I've been jumped and dealt with without having to use a gun, I'm lucky, I usually can see something coming, or not go where I shouldn't. I don't CCW to go to WaWa. I just want to be able to stick a gun in my waistband when I want to transport it and not have to separate ammo and weapon in the car, and also carry during the next prolonged power outage or natural disaster.

I keep all my guns unchambered until I'm ready to fire or feel the need becoming imminent. I don't have to worry about practicing with different safety setups. Unless you're LE or military or you've chosen to be in a really bad place, the odds of being suddenly attacked by a determined killer are much less statistically than the safety and existential implications of habitually living life with loaded and cocked mentality everywhere you go.

It's the same "you've got to have every edge possible" mentality. One posts that they occasionally carry unchambered, some folks go nuts, it violates group norms, like admitting using anything less than .40 cal for self-defense rounds, or not using the latest high-tech HP round....

Given the statistics, carrying unchambered is a viable option for most civilians not in hot zone.

tplumeri
February 22, 2008, 08:00 PM
Playboy has the right idea.
We all love to talk about the "ultimate" response to a threat, but , lets face it, the majority of us will never be in a situation where a couple tenths of a second will make any difference at all.
I think, more than time to first shot, its more reasonable to look at time to 3 or more shots on target.
Ive never timed it but i dont think rackin as part of the draw slows me down any.
JMHO

JohnKSa
February 22, 2008, 08:21 PM
Given the statistics, carrying unchambered is a viable option for most civilians not in hot zone."Given the statistics" which say that the vast majority of self-defense gun uses do not even require that the gun is fired, it is hard to argue with that. However, it's not often you see people advocating that it's a viable option to carry an unloaded gun or a fake gun based on statistics--although it's certainly a valid an argument "for most civilians not in hot zone" if all we consider are the statistics.

tplumeri
February 22, 2008, 08:40 PM
it's a viable option to carry an unloaded gun or a fake gun

what about just loading blanks.
Oh, sorry, thats already been discussed ....
BTW john, I know you werent advocating unloaded guns!

Playboypenguin
February 22, 2008, 08:42 PM
Carrying an unloaded gun (or one loaded with blanks) violates one of the major rules of drawing a weapon. The rule that if you draw it, you better be willing and able to use it. Carrying without a round chambered does not violate this rule. :)

jabotinsky
February 22, 2008, 08:43 PM
although it's certainly a valid an argument "for most civilians not in hot zone" if all we consider are the statistics.

John, what else can we go with when planning for safety? I have two kids under the age of 5 in the casa...hard for them to rack most of my weapons...statistics tell me there's more deaths from kids getting guns than not having the additional step in an SD situation of racking a slide; more deaths from NDs, etc statistically. Gives me an idea of what to worry about. Penguin said it best, it's how far you already take the unlikely.

In my state, a CCW lets me pretty much transport guns and ammo anywhere, any way I want. Sometimes a dude wants a piece on him just for comfort. Like when camping in the middle of nowhere or during natural disasters or after a terrorist attack or prison breakout or because you've got to Grandma out of that declining neighborhood. Chambered? Sometimes. Doesn't need to be all the time. Statistics say it'll help me live longer. Like moderate drinking, less sunshine, and green teas. See, guns are natural and healthy? :D

Double Naught Spy
February 22, 2008, 08:52 PM
"Given the statistics" which say that the vast majority of self-defense gun uses do not even require that the gun is fired, it is hard to argue with that. However, it's not often you see people advocating that it's a viable option to carry an unloaded gun or a fake gun based on statistics--although it's certainly a valid an argument "for most civilians not in hot zone" if all we consider are the statistics.

Right. The "statistics" represent historical data that are mutually exclusive from whatever situation you may find yourself in when you need a gun. Such data are not good for predicting what may or may not happen to YOU in YOUR situation.

Mannlicher
February 22, 2008, 09:16 PM
Wyocarp I'm thinking that is too vague. It takes precious little time to rack a slide while bringing a gun up from a holster, in fact, maybe no appreciable extra time at all.

its evident that you have not yet experienced a mugging, an armed robbery, or experienced the tunnel vision and hear pounding of an Adrenalin rush as you find yourself in eminent danger of being killed.
Benefiting from the experience of others might save your life.

pax
February 22, 2008, 09:22 PM
John, what else can we go with when planning for safety? I have two kids under the age of 5 in the casa...hard for them to rack most of my weapons...

Jabotinsky ~

That, right there, was why I got in the habit of carrying even at home. (We have five closely-spaced sons who are now mostly into the teenage years.)

Because I have more than the average number of kids, I do know something about small children. So I've really got to urge you NOT to rely on "but they can't rack the slide" as your sole layer of safety between them & a terrible tragedy. Adults sometimes make mistakes, and can accidentally leave a round chambered. Even if the adult makes no human mistakes, little kids can rack a slide, under some circumstances. If the kid is mechanically inclined, or just really stubborn, it might occur to him to shove the slide against the edge of the table, putting his full weight behind it. Furthermore, small children have a really disconcerting habit of growing faster than their parents expect, and suddenly learning to do stuff they were completely incapable of doing just last week.

Just as it's a bad idea to rely on a hopefully empty chamber, it's also a bad idea to rely on a really stiff trigger that a small child "can't" pull. All of the above applies (kids do grow). And one of the classic patterns for small children shooting themselves involves the kid exploring the gun from the muzzle end and pushing the trigger away from him, while the muzzle is pointed typically at his face or upper chest as he leans into it.

A two-year-old sitting on top of my fridge one afternoon taught me how ungood it is to rely on storing anything "up high where the kids can't get it." It doesn't matter how young the kids are, or how generally well behaved; if they want to badly enough, they can indeed get up high enough to reach anything in the house.

If you are not willing to do whatever it takes to keep the guns absolutely, totally, 100% reliably out of your children's unsupervised hands, then you probably should not keep a gun in the house while you have small children. The danger is simply not worth the risk.

This does not mean that you leave your kids in ignorance, by the way. As the kids grow, they need to be exposed to a very deliberate program of firearms education, starting from the time they are old enough to talk (www.corneredcat.com/Kids/firstlesson.aspx) and continuing up through the high school and early college years (www.corneredcat.com/Kids/talking.aspx).

Bottom line, on a thread-related note: if your personal assessment of the costs vs benefits means you decide not to keep a round chambered for whatever personal/tactical reason you choose, I might disagree with you but it's not worth anyone else worrying about. But if the reason you're not keeping a round chambered is because you are keeping otherwise-loaded weapons somewhere you believe or suspect your young children can get to, well, that's just a Really, Really Bad Idea, because you are gambling your children's lives (and your family's happiness) on something that is decidedly less than certain.

Teach your kids, keep the guns locked up when not in use, stay safe. :)

pax

Erik
February 22, 2008, 09:29 PM
Thread drift:

"So I've really got to urge you NOT to rely on "but they can't rack the slide" as your sole layer of safety between them & a terrible tragedy."

Absolutely. Opinions of Israeli style aside, this rational should NOT be the basis for anyone deciding to use it.

Chindo18Z
February 22, 2008, 09:31 PM
Gunfight statistics & probabilities...great stuff to leisurely debate over a cup of coffee in front of the keyboard. BTW: Exactly what I'm doing.

In this and every other thread on the same topic, I've yet to see anyone coherently explain why I would WANT to carry chamber empty.

I see no upside, but (rather) a whole lot of downside to the concept.

It's akin to standing under a thunderstorm on a golf course with a metal club upraised. Or riding a motorcycle without a helmet. You might get away with it, but it isn't smart.

I've been a parachutist for my entire adult life. I'm statistically unlikely to ever need my reserve parachute. Except for the one time I did.

I've been in grappling fights where I would have been happy to even reach my sidearm (much less rack the slide on a paperweight).
I've been blindsided and knocked unconscious by an unseen opponent while busy fighting someone else. I was lucky and had friends (or I'd have been smoked). I've also had my weak hand arm pinned against an obstacle or bodies during struggles.

I'm not carrying my M4A1 chamber empty while I wait for clues that it might be time to chamber a round along Route Tampa. I'm damn sure not carrying a pistol which is not instantly ready to fire. On duty or off...the mode is the same and my life is no less important to me in a WalMart parking lot than it is in Khost or Diyalah.

Several of my friends (police and combat arms brothers) have suffered debilitating hand/arm wounds in the first seconds of assaults, police gunfights, and military firefights.

All my personal life-experience tells me that there is a high likelihood for needing to gunfight one-handed and that bad things happen REALLY fast.

Hope is not a viable strategy & empty chamber carry is utter foolishness.

As always, YMMV...but, hey, it's just the internet.

Erik
February 22, 2008, 09:38 PM
Back on topic:

I find it interesting when threat analyses disrgeard extremes, in that clasically preperation for extremes insures success in dealing with the body.

tplumeri
February 22, 2008, 09:43 PM
I find it interesting when threat analyses disrgeard extremes, in that clasically preperation for extremes insures success in dealing with the body.

Sorry, run that by me again?

DonR101395
February 22, 2008, 09:56 PM
IMHO, carrying without a round chambered because of a fear of ND/AD is an indication of lack of proper training.
Try to push off one or more people draw, chamber a round and fire during non-staged FOF training and it will become very evident that when your weapon clears the holster it better be ready to fire. Strong arm robbers seldom act alone and their lookout is not only there as a lookout, but as a backup to the primary actor.

YMMV

jabotinsky
February 22, 2008, 10:32 PM
I'm not carrying my M4A1 chamber empty while I wait for clues that it might be time to chamber a round along Route Tampa....On duty or off...the mode is the same and my life is no less important to me in a WalMart parking lot than it is in Khost or Diyalah.

If you're toting around an M4 you're already in a different world than me. For me as a civilian, life should be experienced differently when shopping at a suburban strip mall on a Sunday than when theoretically patrolling some insurgent haven in Iraq. It's about the quality of one's life, the richness, some of which is not fully realized when one's center is constantly drifting off in rumination over tactics to be used against mythical attackers that never appear.


Try to push off one or more people draw, chamber a round and fire during non-staged FOF training and it will become very evident that when your weapon clears the holster it better be ready to fire. Strong arm robbers seldom act alone and their lookout is not only there as a lookout, but as a backup to the primary actor.

What are the odds my home is going to be invaded by your demon ninjas that somehow silently creep past lights and dogs and over loose game pieces to have me need to push them off me :eek: rack my slide :mad: only to find out one's like an understudy to the main actor, oh wait, that sounds like tactical talk....:) Anyway, what are the odds? Enough that I should walk around my house with a chambered sidearm at all times or merely rely on randomly placed weapons about my living space.


So I've really got to urge you NOT to rely on "but they can't rack the slide" as your sole layer of safety between them & a terrible tragedy.

A gift for the bloody obvious. Thanks, Counselor Troy...

The Canuck
February 22, 2008, 10:45 PM
tplumeri, I know exactly what Erik is saying.

He is saying he finds it funny that we are all prepared (some better equiped than others) to visit violence upon those who would do us harm, but we are not prepared for how far we have to take it to win. In essence, one cannot be a "hobbyist" when it comes to this stuff. As for the "one in a million" chances guys, if you're so comfortable with those odds, why are you carrying in the first place? Put the gun in the safe and carry on. the chances of needing a gun are one in a million, right?

DonR101395
February 22, 2008, 10:53 PM
What are the odds my home is going to be invaded by your demon ninjas that somehow silently creep past lights and dogs and over loose game pieces to have me need to push them off me rack my slide only to find out one's like an understudy to the main actor, oh wait, that sounds like tactical talk.... Anyway, what are the odds? Enough that I should walk around my house with a chambered sidearm at all times or merely rely on randomly placed weapons about my living space.


Go to google news and type in home invasion. I'd say the odds are extremely high that there will be more than one or two actors. These stories are just from page one of todays news seach; there were 13 pages of links to news articles just from todays news. Out of the nine articles on the first page of todays news search only one involved a lone actor; a female school teacher.
Call it ninja, call it tactical, call it whatever you like and choose to ignore the fact that criminals rarely act alone. Read some of the FBI crime stats or are they too tacticool for you also. Like I said, YMMV, so do as you please.
http://www.mercurynews.com/breakingnews/ci_8324727
http://www.newsday.com/news/local/wire/connecticut/ny-bc-ct--homeinvasionstopp0222feb22,0,5299374.story
http://www.bellinghamherald.com/northwest/story/330144.html
http://www.lasvegasnow.com/Global/story.asp?S=7898409&nav=168XDWn7
http://capitalnews9.com/content/headlines/111075/man-arrested-in-home-invasion/Default.aspx
http://www.wkyt.com/news/headlines/15889052.html
http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2008/02/23/2170655.htm
http://www.news-press.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080222/NEWS0102/80222086/1075
http://www.news-press.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080222/NEWS0102/80222086/1075



Oh wait, that right you have a gun, therefore you need no more training or study:rolleyes:

jabotinsky
February 22, 2008, 11:35 PM
Go to google news and type in home invasion. I'd say the odds are extremely high that there will be more than one or two actors.

Okay. Let's say many "home invasions" involve more than one person. Still, what are the odds you're going to die in your lifetime because of the added step of racking a slide during a home invasion? One in 22 million, or what? Than how 'bout more light bulbs, couple canines and some deadbolts?

Call it statistics, call it history, but the odds are you will probably live longer if you habitually handle weapons unchambered than if you don't.

Hawg
February 22, 2008, 11:43 PM
Okay. Let's say many "home invasions" involve more than one person. Still, what are the odds you're going to die in your lifetime because of the added step of racking a slide during a home invasion?

Not to get off topic but in a home invasion I'll have a shotgun, cocked and locked.

DonR101395
February 22, 2008, 11:46 PM
Okay. Let's say many "home invasions" involve more than one person. Still, what are the odds you're going to die in your lifetime because of the added step of racking a slide during a home invasion? One in 22 million, or what? Than how 'bout more light bulbs, couple canines and some deadbolts?

Call it statistics, call it history, but the odds are you will probably live longer if you habitually handle weapons unchambered than if you don't.

I've never been in a car accident either, but I still buckle up and pay for insurance. I've never had high blood pressure, but I still watch my sodium intake. I guess I just came from a KISS kind of upbringing. No need to put extra steps where they don't need to be. If you don't feel comfortable with a round chambered, by all means don't chamber it, but it is complicating something that shouldn't be complicated. Getting the gun into action when it needs to be.
Using your logic, if you don't handle a gun you'll live longer also. It simply can't be proven.
Statistically speaking most people will never need a gun for anything other than going to the range, but I'd rather not leave my fate to playing the odds.

Take Care,
Don

Playboypenguin
February 22, 2008, 11:53 PM
In essence, one cannot be a "hobbyist" when it comes to this stuff. As for the "one in a million" chances guys, if you're so comfortable with those odds, why are you carrying in the first place?
Why bother carrying a gun at all if you are not going to carry a full size rifle, body armor, helmet, and flash grenades?
I've never been in a car accident either, but I still buckle up and pay for insurance.
But do you weld in a crash rated roll cage, install four point seat belts, and strip your car of non-essential equipment that may cause injury in an accident?

Boris Bush
February 22, 2008, 11:53 PM
The Canuk said it all. Better yet ship 'em to my ffl, I would be more than happy to use 'em.

DonR101395
February 22, 2008, 11:58 PM
But do you weld in a crash rated roll cage, install four point seat belts, and strip your car of non-essential equipment that may cause injury in an accident?

Actually yes:D Cage is mounted to the frame only two seats with 5 point harnesses and no non-essential stuff installed.
http://i149.photobucket.com/albums/s69/Donr101395/327425f9.jpg


Sorry that is the fun truck. I also carry one in the chamber, I also occasionally carry a 1911 one in the chamber condition 1:cool:

Playboypenguin
February 23, 2008, 12:01 AM
Actually yes
No doors or airbags...deathtrap! You should not take that thing out of the driveway. I am surprised you have survived five minutes in that thing. :D

DonR101395
February 23, 2008, 12:07 AM
No doors or airbags...deathtrap! You should not take that thing out of the driveway. I am surprised you have survived five minutes in that thing.

But it's got a canoe on top, I just cropped the picture a little too small:D:)

The Canuck
February 23, 2008, 12:23 AM
Why bother carrying a gun at all if you are not going to carry a full size rifle, body armor, helmet, and flash grenades?


You have failed to remember Cooper's words. "A pistol is for when you don't expect trouble. When you expect trouble, do what Playboypenguin sez"... well, to paraphrase... ;)

XD Gunner
February 23, 2008, 12:57 AM
On numerous threads people talk about needing to have a bullet chambered because one might not have the split second needed to rack the slide if you carry a semi-auto. I think it would be good to talk about the scenarios that one might find themselves in that wouldn't allow you the time to rack a bullet into the chamber.

Think about why you carry a concealed weapon in the first place. To protect your life. Knowing this, if you do not trust your gun while loaded, it poses more of a danger to your life, then one you might use it against.

If you don't trust the gun to keep a round in the chamber, DO NOT CARRY IT. When you decided to carry a gun, you entrusted your LIFE to that gun. Think about that. YOUR LIFE depends on when that trigger is pulled, the gun will fire.

I do not think a SINGLE person on this board, under stress from an attacker wants their gun to go "snap" when they pull the trigger, because if it does, they are a DEAD person.

I carry both of my XDs with one in the chamber. They WILL NOT fire unless I make them. They are my LIFE. When I have one, my life depends on that weapon doing what it was designed to do.

I do not think that, under the stress that comes with defending MY LIFE, or the LIFE of one I love, could I draw, rack, turn the safety off and then have the time or state of mind to get a target sight and fire.

I will draw, aim, and fire. PERIOD. No questions about it, there is ZERO chance that I can mess up racking a round into the chamber, fumbling with a switch, or otherwise improperly using my tool that I have chosen to lean my life on.

The simple fact is that, you DO NOT KNOW if you will have time to rack the slide or not, or if you will even be physically able or mentally stable enough to do it.

I think the answer to your question would be,

There are ZERO situations in which you should carry empty chamber.

Basically. I would rather have one and not need it, then need it and not have it. Carry at YOUR own risk.

Chindo18Z
February 23, 2008, 03:04 AM
"If you're toting around an M4 you're already in a different world than me. For me as a civilian, life should be experienced differently when shopping at a suburban strip mall on a Sunday than when theoretically patrolling some insurgent haven in Iraq."

It's called Planet Earth not Planet Pollyanna. There are actually more available flavors of life experience than everyday vanilla.

You are worried enough about life to own a gun for self defense but not enough to keep it ready? Does that about sum it up? Sounds like being a little bit pregnant...

Iraq, Afhganistan, the Balkans, and several other places were theoretical to me until I experienced them. Had I never left home, I'd have still seen enough to temper my ideas about self defense.

I've lived an upper middle-class existence in what most would consider to be extremely low crime environments for most of my life in America. Nevertheless, I know family members, friends, and work aquaintences who have been victims of homicide, assault, domestic violence, robbery, rape, car jacking, and home invasion. Most of them were shocked that violence visited their lives. Most were not remotely prepared or even armed. Several that were armed were unable to access their weapons. They had the attitude that mere firearm ownership was a powerful talisman to ward off the bogieman. They also had a problem with actually believing that the bogieman was real vice theoretical. Until it was too late.

Some respondents to these threads are philosophically snickering about "Lions and Tigers and Bears...Oh My!". Some of us have been to the dark woods and are merely pointing out that we've seen the critters...and that you might want to be ready. ;)

------------

"A pistol with a round in the chamber is a gun, without one in the chamber it's a paperweight with potential." – Wuchak / TFL

SrA USAF
February 23, 2008, 07:37 AM
I say Carry with one ready to go. Thats how Ive been trained and seems to be the only logical way to carry unless you are carrying just for show (which you arnt supposed to show unless you are gonna use it). I carry for self defense and sorry to say but if I need to pull my weapon then I will be probably crappin my pants at the same time. Im sure that most people who have never been in a dangerouse situation very nervouse. So having to rack the slide could cost them their life.

jabotinsky
February 23, 2008, 07:37 AM
Some of us have been to the dark woods and are merely pointing out that we've seen the critters...and that you might want to be ready.

I've dealt with a few critters myself, but civilian life means not looking for them around every corner.

Creature
February 23, 2008, 08:54 AM
I've dealt with a few critters myself, but civilian life means not looking for them around every corner.

Whether it's in civilian life or military, critters are critters...and they are everywhere.

orionengnr
February 23, 2008, 09:02 AM
but the odds are you will probably live longer if you habitually handle weapons unchambered than if you don't.

Source, please? :rolleyes:

Chindo18Z
February 23, 2008, 11:05 AM
"I've dealt with a few critters myself, but civilian life means not looking for them around every corner."

Nice summation. The problem is that the critters around the corner (whom you are not looking for) will eventually look for you. There is no special pass for being a "civilian".

Profitably playing the odds works for the casino industry, but isn't necessarily a good point of departure for planning your own safety.

-------------

I don't think this discussion will change any minds for adherants of one mode of carry over the other. Still, it's a fun and recurrent topic for debate until the Sturm und Drang inevitably reaches threadlock level. IMHO, it's more interesting than 9mm vs. .45 ;).

Few debates are worth having if you don't feel strongly about a point of view.

I feel strongly about this particular one, but don't lose any sleep over the disagreements. Opposing opinions are always educational. Reasoned debate helps a lot of readers/lurkers in making informed decisions regarding CCW and firearms ownership. We all make personal choices and live with the results.

Having said that... All of you empty chamber advocates are wrong and should simply donate your guns to the rest of us in a new Karma thread. Anything you donate will be well maintained and kept chamber empty...I promise. :)

pax
February 23, 2008, 11:28 AM
A gift for the bloody obvious.

Hey, you're the one who argued that an empty chamber was somehow safer in a home with children. It cannot be so, except for people who regularly leave the firearm in places it should not be left. *shrug*

I've dealt with a few critters myself, but civilian life means not looking for them around every corner.

True enough. There's something fundamentally unhealthy about spending half your life worrying about criminal attacks.

Incidentally, that's why I put a gun on with my clothes every morning, and do not take it off until I go to bed at night. It's as much a part of my daily routine as dropping my car keys into my pocket, and I ordinarily think about it just that much as I start my day.

For me personally, I'd be in an unhealthy mental place if, instead of simply, routinely getting dressed in the morning, I spent a few minutes every single stinking morning thinking about how dangerous my daily activities would be, whether I was going to go into a "safe" or "unsafe" area of town, how likely I was to encounter a criminal while I ran my errands after work, or whatever else it is that someone who carries only intermittently might need to contemplate before choosing whether to leave the gun at home or take it along. For me that would just be a bad place to be, mentally and emotionally. YMMV, of course! (Not everyone gets the same mental wiring ...)

Seems to me that the decision of whether to carry a round chambered or not pretty well falls into the same category as the choice whether to carry routinely or only intermittently. There are sound practical and logistical reasons why a person would carry with a round in the chamber, just as there are sound reasons to carry the gun routinely rather than intermittently. But if you feel more comfortable with an empty chamber, or carrying only occasionally, have at it. It's your life and nobody has the right to tell you how to live it.

The truth is, people who have actually had to use firearms in defense (as opposed to those of us who merely carry them) are pretty universal in saying that they really, really appreciated having a round already chambered at the moment of truth. Some such folks even report that the chambered round saved their lives. But if you don't find that a convincing factor, well, *shrug* ... who really cares? It's your life.

pax

gordo_gun_guy
February 23, 2008, 01:24 PM
If you're toting around an M4 you're already in a different world than me. For me as a civilian, life should be experienced differently when shopping at a suburban strip mall on a Sunday than when theoretically patrolling some insurgent haven in Iraq. It's about the quality of one's life, the richness, some of which is not fully realized when one's center is constantly drifting off in rumination over tactics to be used against mythical attackers that never appear.

I might add that experiencing hypervigilance, and living to tell about it, adds a certain richness to life not to be found in more effete pursuits.;)

Regular, intense, and correct training in self defense actually frees up brain bytes for other pursuits, by moving more and more tactical thought to the level of "background process".

As a civilian, you have a greater range of training available to you than to all but a few very special military members. There's a lot of mall-ninja, make-a-buck tripe out there, but you can also sharpen skills to a level beyond the average battle-tested soldier through quality classes and sports like three-gun and IDPA .

Military training on M-4 and pistol is geared to getting the lowest common denominator up to an acceptable standard. That safety floor, enabling military folks to employ weapons in close proximity without fratting each other, is what folks often point to when they say, "some folks shouldn't carry with a round in the chamber", "only cops should carry handguns" or even, "civilians shouldn't be allowed to have fully automatic weapons." However, civilian folks, with a little initiative, can achieve a level of firearms proficiance far beyond the average military member/cop.

I wouln'd urge a civilian to train like someone carrying and M-4 on MSR Tampa. I'd urge you to train like someone who wants to be able to defend himself with a black rifle, and who wants to be better than the that guy in uniform. After all, you get to train on your terms, because it's fun, not because of what training evolution you're in, or how many rounds are left on teh books for the fiscal year.

Likewise, there are military men who do the minimum training, because they have to as part of their job, and there are those who get the best training they can find--from any source--because they remember what they love about the job....:D

tplumeri
February 23, 2008, 03:02 PM
No doors or airbags...deathtrap! You should not take that thing out of the driveway. I am surprised you have survived five minutes in that thing.



Dunno, Playboy, I think you must lead a very sheltered life!
C'mon out to the country and see how the other half lives! :)

JohnKSa
February 23, 2008, 03:25 PM
John, what else can we go with when planning for safety? I have two kids under the age of 5 in the casa...hard for them to rack most of my weapons...statistics tell me there's more deaths from kids getting guns than not having the additional step in an SD situation of racking a slide; more deaths from NDs, etc statistically.Statistics are ONE input that should be considered. Common sense, logic, the experience of others, knowledge of your firearm, legal issues, safety issues, the specifics of your particular situation, are a few of the other things that should be considered.

Let me be perfectly clear.

Relying on the difficulty of racking a slide as a child-proofing method for firearms is negligent.

Even a surprisingly small child with some ingenuity can rack the slide on a pistol if given some time to figure it out. One method I've heard of is holding the grip with both hands, placing the rear sight against a table or other hard edge and leaning into the gun.

The gun needs to be made inaccessible to children and unauthorized persons.

As others have pointed out, a much more safe option (which has other benefits) is to keep your gun on your person when it's doing self-defense duty.

Erik
February 23, 2008, 04:30 PM
"I find it interesting when threat analyses disrgeard extremes, in that clasically preperation for extremes insures success in dealing with the body."

OK, OK. A little too academic sounding.

I'll take a shot at explaining it:

(Please don't get to hung up on the examples; that's all they are.)

One extreme: The time to perceive a threat, draw, chamber a round, adopt your favorite stance behind cover all in one fluid action which would make your trainer(s) proud and... what ever.

The other extreme: No time. Your perception of the threat begins with the assault. You're fully engaged. Drawing is not an option and won't be be until fighting for the position and control to do so. You do so with the violence and determination which would make your trainer(s) proud and... what ever.

The details entailing "what ever" are irrelevant for our purposes.

The "I'm perpetually in yellow so that could never happen to me" comments are... unrealistic. (Unrealistic is a nice enough word to avoid offense, I trust. I was tempted to use others.)

The body I refered to consists of everything between these two extremes; the bulk of the threat scenario continuum, for lack of a better term. Reasonable preperation for the extremes is essentially reasonable preperation whoich can be applied across the continuum.

I hope that helps. Any economists or others familiar with the concept care to flesh it out further?

Anyway, I find the disregard of the extremes interesting.

Erik
February 23, 2008, 04:58 PM
And now for the common excuses for ignoring the extremes:

Ignorance: When someone doesn't know what they don't know. Everyone's been there. Most never leave.

Denial: When someone upon hearing of an extreme denies it applies to them.

Definition: When someone defines their extremes too narrowly. Realted to one of the above, maybe both. Conversely, if someone defines them too broadly, they may end up in an unworkable training quandry, become frustrated, and give up altogether.

Value: When someone is over-values in their knowledge, skill, and ability levels. They may acknowledge the extremes, but do not train for them thinking, erroneously, that they have. Conversely, when someone under-values the knowledge, skill, and abiliuty of potential threats.

I'm sure there are others. These simply came to mind.

Best - Erik

DougO83
February 23, 2008, 05:33 PM
If you wish to carry your weapon without a round in the chamber and risk losing precious seconds when you may really need them, be my guest. I am not saying it's a great idea, so don't blame me when it blows up in your face. You may have all the time in the world to cock and lock, you may not...why not just cut that step out?

If you are worried about your kid/unauthorized doofus ND'ing your weapon if you keep one in the chamber, you should probably investigate better ways to secure/retain your weapon. Noone has ever taken my wepaon off of my person and nobody without one helluva blow torch is gonna get into the safe when I ain't wearin my weapon.

Yea, so that's just my .02.

ckd
February 23, 2008, 05:40 PM
Attend some FOF courses and you'll discover your answer if the arguments for carrying with one in the pipe didn't convince you of its merrit.

I believe in Darwinism.:D

jabotinsky
February 23, 2008, 05:48 PM
Relying on the difficulty of racking a slide as a child-proofing method for firearms is negligent.

The original quote never implied it was the sole method. It is part of a redundant safety system including biometric safe for guns, difficult height, no loaded mags in guns in the house, no rounds chambered, ammo stored in separate locked area, hard to rack slides or separate trigger locks, etc.

As for what I was trying to say, it's mainly that most of us don't even need to CCW everyday, it may make you feel better, or for any reason, it's your right. But I use my CCW to mostly transport my weapons or have them nearby. I make sure I live and travel only to safe areas at this stage of my life. Every life & death situation I've been in was caused by being in the wrong place so I only got to right safe, places. Yeah, bad things can happen there, too...when your card is up, it's up...but I'll keep playing the odds until then.

Glenn E. Meyer
February 23, 2008, 06:55 PM
I make sure I live and travel only to safe areas at this stage of my life.

Which planets or alternate dimensions are those?

The Mall - Tacoma
The University = NIU, VT, etc.
Church - Colorado
The Amish
Your gated, upscale community - the Petits
Your home in the nice country - The two Dartmouth professors, etc.

Yep - all scenario are rare events, you don't need ammo for most defensive gun uses.

We are going around in circles and just having folks who are stubborn insisting on their way.

Boring, boring, boring.

JohnKSa
February 23, 2008, 08:29 PM
As for what I was trying to say, it's mainly that most of us don't even need to CCW everyday, it may make you feel better, or for any reason, it's your right.It's true. At any given time the VAST majority of persons these days don't need to CCW.

It's also true that at any given time the VAST majority of persons don't need to have a spare tire, airbags, a seatbelt, insurance, a fire extinguisher, a first aid kit, a smoke detector, locks on their doors, a security system, etc.

However, every day a few people DESPERATELY need those things. Same with CCW. By the most recent estimates of defensive gun uses, around 5500 persons a day use a firearm in self-defense. Even if only 1% of those are CCW holders that's about 50 a day in the U.S....I'll keep playing the odds until then.Not me. Just because something's unlikely doesn't mean I'm willing to bet on it not happening to me. Why? Because if it were to happen, the results are unthinkable.I make sure I live and travel only to safe areas at this stage of my life.Unfortunately it's hard to get criminals to agree to stay out of "safe areas"...

tplumeri
February 23, 2008, 08:41 PM
I make sure I live and travel only to safe areas at this stage of my life.

Yeah, and i believe rubbing a unicorns horn will protect me from evil.
Get real!

Double Naught Spy
February 23, 2008, 10:23 PM
As for what I was trying to say, it's mainly that most of us don't even need to CCW everyday, it may make you feel better, or for any reason, it's your right.

Yep, in 8 years of concealed carry and a few years prior in carrying while "traveling," I have never had to shoot anyone. I have never had to point a gun at anyone. I have never had to draw. I have never been robbed, raped, beaten or murdered. So I guess I don't need to carry either. Oh wait, historical data of mutually exclusive events bears no significance on future mutually exclusive events.

I make sure I live and travel only to safe areas at this stage of my life.

People always seem really surprised when they or somebody they know is burgled, robbed, raped, beaten, or murdered in safe areas. I don't like to be surprised by bad things so I live, work, and travel in unsafe areas. That way, I am only surprised by the good fortune of not having something bad happen to me! Its just good common sense.

Odds are something huge like one in a million that a plane I fly on will have a bomb on it, so I always like to bring a bomb with me because odds are one in 100 million that there would be TWO bombs on the same flight, hence I am that much safer if I bring my own bomb - just good common sense.:D

jabotinsky
February 23, 2008, 10:51 PM
The OP wanted to know if there are scenarios that forum members could suggest where the extra step of racking the slide could spell disaster. My assertion is that those scenarios are almost nonexistent in real civilian life and that I believe a habit of leaving the chamber empty could contribute more to general longevity.

If I were CCW daily with the intent of self defense, I'd keep a round chambered. But I've chosen to make the trade-offs necessary to live in a relatively low-crime area. I remember walking through downtown Jersey City at 2:00 or 3:00 in the morning as a young punk because I had to get home and nobody was gonna tell where I could walk or when...now I bend in the wind as the cliche goes, try to think the best of people I meet, not have plans to kill them, try to connect, get along on my way, keep it all real. At the end of the day, there's always somebody badder than you out there if you want to go to bed every night with sharpened chopsticks by your bedside.

I think this thread has been great, folks have been passionate but not personal, maybe it's not entertaining enough for some, but a lot of us are staying inside this weekend 'cause of the cold & snow, and this thread has been pretty cool.

Musketeer
February 24, 2008, 03:35 PM
As for what I was trying to say, it's mainly that most of us don't even need to CCW everyday, it may make you feel better, or for any reason, it's your right.

I felt that way and then needed it in my first year. Now, over a decade since the incident, I still feel it is not needed 99.9% of the time. I just don't know when or if that .1% will pop up again...

FerFAL
February 24, 2008, 06:54 PM
Wyocarp wrote:
Time? Are people not aware of their surroundings? I've not been attacked by a person. I have had several different attacks by animals. There are no animals quicker than lions and bears. I've had both happen. They are so quick that people would look like they aren't moving in comparison. I'm not convinced of the time thing.

You think that bears and lions are more lethal than people?
Try checking out how many people lions or bears kill, vs. the amount of people humans kill.

Also, try some force on force classes. You’ll quickly understand why you need to be able to shoot with one hand, and always carry with a round in the chamber.
Against a younger, stronger adversary, you’ll have no chance without a chambered round, you’ll be beaten to pudding, specially at the ranges attacks are likely to occur on the street.

FerFAL

David Armstrong
February 24, 2008, 06:54 PM
That was a course at a range.
Sorry, but it is pretty tough to get that timer into action during a real gunfight. But as the issue was one of time, how much is needed, how much the racking adds, etc. the range is the best place to do that. And we find that there just isn't enough difference in the time for it to matter much.
In the civilian world you MUST prepare for the worst,....
Why? The worst rarely happens, and being prepared for the normal works almost all the time. Very few of us, if any, are always prepared for the owrst all the time. We all compromise.
if you can not rack your pistol while fending off one or more badguys (and it will happen, badguys are 3D and not stapled to a target board at known ranges..) You are dead, and just gave the badguy more to carry in the form of your weapon, if you have family or friends with you they just might be killed by your weapon.
Again, if this was much of a problem, we’d have seen it by now. We haven’t. In fact, just the opposite, we have not seen any evidence that the quick draw ability makes a difference. So, I guess we have that traditional problem...should we worry about something that is made up and would be very rare, or should we base decisions on what is normal and common? More important, IMO, is why one should get so excited if another chooses a different sort of solution to meet their different situation?
You have locks and you probably use them, so why would anyone NOT load their weapon they have the right to carry and defend themselves and others?
Depending on the situation, I might lock the doors at times, at others I might not. There is more to the home life than a single "keep everyone outside" situation. And there is far more to life and CCW than the gunfight.

My view is centered on having the arm out of action.
Right Glenn, that is probably the most valid reason, and of course it is part of that situational analysis. If you only have one arm available, chamber-empty carry is probably not a very good choice. Of course, one could also argue that given that situation an autoloader might not be the best choice either. lots of variables coming into play.

David Armstrong
February 24, 2008, 07:00 PM
The "statistics" represent historical data that are mutually exclusive from whatever situation you may find yourself in when you need a gun. Such data are not good for predicting what may or may not happen to YOU in YOUR situation.
On the contrary, they are very good about predicting exactly that. The stats won't always get it right, but they do predict to a pretty good degree what may happen, or what may not happen. And far from being mutually exclusive, your situation becomes part of the ever-growing database one can use to make those predictions. It is no different than using statistics to predict any other danger.

Hope is not a viable strategy & empty chamber carry is utter foolishness.
And yet we have seen over and over how so many of what most consider to be some of the best fighters in the world, in some of the toughest places in the world, opt for that "utter foolishness." I guess that it works so well for them they just haven't needed to find out what was wrong with it.

David Armstrong
February 24, 2008, 07:14 PM
Some of us have been to the dark woods and are merely pointing out that we've seen the critters...and that you might want to be ready.
And others, who have also been in the dark woods and seen plenty of critters, are suggesting that if your version of "ready" is determined by whether or not you walk around with a round chambered, you probably aren't ready. I carry chamber loaded, I carry chamber empty, and at times I don't carry at all. But that has nothing to do with me being ready.

MLeake
February 24, 2008, 07:23 PM
Do any of the posters who recommend chamber empty carry for SA autos also recommend carrying DA revolvers with the hammer on an empty chamber?

For David Armstrong: I don't think people are talking about knowing they will have only one arm to use, in advance, so much as suggesting the possibility that an arm will be disabled early in the fight via bullet wound, knife wound, grab, or pinning of the body by the assailant(s).

Given those criteria, do the range timed tests use any scenarios where shooters are 1) evading an attack while attempting to draw and chamber; or 2) drawing and attempting to rack the slide using rear sights against belt or nearby solid object? If not, then time comparisons are a bit incomplete.

Note: practicing use of belt, boot top, or other solid object to rack a pistol could be hazardous; obviously, use of inert training ammo would be safest for this, but such practice is useful.

FerFAL
February 24, 2008, 07:32 PM
David Armstrong wrote:
Depending on the situation, I might lock the doors at times, at others I might not. There is more to the home life than a single "keep everyone outside" situation.
Why would you leave your door unlocked???:confused:

FerFAL

David Armstrong
February 24, 2008, 07:46 PM
Do any of the posters who recommend chamber empty carry for SA autos also recommend carrying DA revolvers with the hammer on an empty chamber?
Although some in the past used to suggest that, I don't think anyone does any more given a modern revolver. Looked at logically, chamber empty in the revolver does not change the dynamics of anything except ammo capacity.
....so much as suggesting the possibility that an arm will be disabled early in the fight via bullet wound, knife wound, grab, or pinning of the body by the assailant(s).
Sure. There are all sorts of possibilities. My point is fairly simple: if these possibilities were much of a problem in real life we would have found out about it by now. But, on the contrary, we just don't see any evidence of that being an issue. You can create any possibility to prove a point, but one needs to see just how realistic that possibility is.
not, then time comparisons are a bit incomplete.
The time comparisons were not meant to be complete. They were meant to deal with a specific issue, that of the time needed to get a round off between chambered and unchambered firearm. Again, that is the realistic question. If one wants to test for all sorts of low-likelihood probabilities, I'm all for it.

Why would you leave your door unlocked???
Well, yesterday we were having a little party. Sort of silly to keep locking and unlocking doors as the guests move around from the house to the patio to the deck to the game room. So all the outside doorw were unlocked. Right now the front door is unlocked, but the back door is locked. I don't feel particularly fearful of boogie men running in through the door. When I go to sleep tonight, after my daughter gets back in, we'll lock up. I'll probably lock up tomorrow while I'm at work, although I've left the place unlocked before so workmen could get in, and so on. Frankly, if I had to live someplace where I thought I needed to keep my house locked up 24 hours a day I think I'd move.

FerFAL
February 24, 2008, 08:08 PM
Man, it must be nice to live in such a safe place. I’d still lock the doors though.

If something ever did happen, not only the buggyman, but just a kid looking for cash to steal, even if it’s very unlikely, you’d want to kick your own butt for not using doors for their intended purpose: Keeping people out! :)

FerFAL

FerFAL
February 24, 2008, 08:21 PM
David Armstrong wrote:
Sure. There are all sorts of possibilities. My point is fairly simple: if these possibilities were much of a problem in real life we would have found out about it by now. But, on the contrary, we just don't see any evidence of that being an issue. You can create any possibility to prove a point, but one needs to see just how realistic that possibility is.

I know of a few cases where an empty chamber would have proven fatal, actually that applies to most shootings I know of (people I know, or cases I’ve been told of by my instructor )
1)Cop shooting with a wounded (useless) arm.
2)Civilian drawing and shooting while keeping the discharging bad guy’s gun away from his face.
3)Civilian shooting a carjacker while keeping him away with his weak hand.
Just to quickly mention a few.

I don’t know anyone that carries a pistol with an empty chamber. Most gun people I know of that have been in gunfights would consider it a laughable idea.:confused:

Why carry with an empty chamber anyway? To avoid AD?:confused:
I’m sure that most people that had AD thought that the gun was empty at the time.

FerFAL

Nemsis
February 24, 2008, 08:28 PM
Well I asked a good friend of mine who is a Chicago police officer this question and he said

and I quote" that don't make sense, it's like wiping before you poop"

Chindo18Z
February 24, 2008, 08:44 PM
My point is fairly simple: if these possibilities were much of a problem in real life we would have found out about it by now.

As in the Jeff Cooper literary style imperial "we"? Well..."we" have found out about it.. even if you haven't.

In my case, admittedly unlikely theoretical events have already occurred; thus shaping my point of view. I expect no one to adhere to my point of view, but I throw it out there for consideration by those who may be undecided. Otherwise known as "YMMV".

Frankly, if I had to live someplace where I thought I needed to keep my house locked up 24 hours a day I think I'd move.

Frankly, if you live someplace where you think you need to own a gun for self defense, you should probably also move.

Neither frank opinion is particularly relevant to the discussion. Nor is the recommended course of action reasonable for most of us.

Changing azimuth...

Why would I want to carry a modern semi-auto chamber empty?

I'm willing to entertain a good reason, but I've yet to hear one.

Conversely, would it be a good idea to rotate the cylinder on my Colt, Smith, or Ruger revolvers so that the first DA trigger pull falls on an empty cylinder? Why or why not?

'Cause I'm thinking that we just might be on to a money-making training proposition here... ;)

BTW: I'm enjoying the cut and thrust...so don't anyone take it personally.

MLeake
February 24, 2008, 09:14 PM
I don't ever remember reading about an AD or ND caused by a round having been chambered. The vast majority of AD/ND I've read about have been caused directly by operator error. One or two have been hangfire scenarios, but those may not have been appropriately handled by operators.

I have heard of sear failures causing additional, unintended follow-on shots, but I can't say I've heard of an AD caused by a chambered round, on its own.

Can anybody cite instances where AD or ND happened to a cocked and locked SA that did not involve operator error (finger on trigger; muzzle pointed someplace inappropriate, etc)?

MLeake
February 24, 2008, 09:18 PM
It seems to me that while being mugged / attacked is statistically unlikely, that it would be even unlikelier to be mugged / attacked by somebody who did not attempt in any way to interfere with the victim's attempt to draw a weapon.

For example: Would a woman being attacked by a would-be rapist be likely to have both hands easily free?

We must have some seriously incompetent thugs in the US these days...

Side note: Trying to draw my 1911 from strongside IWB with weak hand is a real pain. Unfortunately, I have yet to find a comfortable crossdraw position...

acetum
February 24, 2008, 09:23 PM
I've skimmed threw some posts.... Here are my two cents....

I've carried a CCW for 12 years now, I've been in 2 shootings (3 dead bad guys). I shoot about 1000 rounds a month, all different scenario’s.

Both shootings happened at night: one caught me off guard (drive by shooting), the other I knew was coming (tried to rob the wrong guy, he lost I won, obviously).

Could I have chambered a round in both shootings? Yes. But why?

If you want to carry without one in the pipe then good for you. But don't ever have one in the pipe for any reason, unless you just racked it and are going to pull the trigger.

If you're going to carry one in the pipe, good for you too, then don't ever have your piece without one, including while you sleep, when you shower, or any other time. You train, you practice, and shoot, one way and only one way (in pipe or standby). Any other combinations and you cause doubt. Not only you but those around you. My wife knows that if she ever has too, she can pick up any of my firearms and pull the trigger.

My buddy was VBPD and now DALPD he's had 2 accidental discharges! He carries in stanby. I've had none. Statistics are good for politics in RL they mean doodoo.

FerFAL
February 24, 2008, 09:34 PM
MLeake worte:
Side note: Trying to draw my 1911 from strongside IWB with weak hand is a real pain. Unfortunately, I have yet to find a comfortable crossdraw position...
Bend your torso forward, chest pointed to the floor as much as you can (the more you bend, the easier it will be to draw)
With your weak hand going behind your back you grab the grip and draw.
That’s the standard weak hand draw, when the gun is on your strong side.

FerFAL

jabotinsky
February 24, 2008, 10:44 PM
Why would I want to carry a modern semi-auto chamber empty?

I usually don't carry for personal protection, but generally leave my weapons with chamber empty so I don't have to focus on different "safety" mechanisms, knowing I or my wife or friend could pick up any weapon in the place, rack and fire.

MLeake
February 25, 2008, 09:46 AM
Jabotinsky,

If you are transporting the weapon solely to transport it, why have any ammo in it at all? It would be safest to leave it with no round in chamber and no mag in the well, wouldn't it?

This seems like an apples and oranges comparison, when discussing what people do for SD carry...

jabotinsky
February 25, 2008, 11:55 AM
f you are transporting the weapon solely to transport it, why have any ammo in it at all? It would be safest to leave it with no round in chamber and no mag in the well, wouldn't it?

This seems like an apples and oranges comparison, when discussing what people do for SD carry...

Good question. The OP wasn't asking about CCW for self defense, just a generic "are there times an unchambered weapon can be a big problem?"

If you're talking about carrying, and if I was going to CCW in a bad place because I had absolutely no other choice, I'd want one in the pipe.

But my purpose for a permit is not to conceal carry frequently because of personal safety fears. In my state, I have to separate ammo from weapons during transport in different compartments, and need to be traveling to a dealer or range. With a CCW permit, that disappears. Taking an extra weapon out but no room in the bag? Throw it in your pocket. Want to have a piece in the glove compartment in case you get stuck somewhere? Don't need one chambered, but don't wanna have to fish for the mag? No problema. Want to carry something in your backpack on a camping trip just in case? Another flood has knocked out power and alarms in your neighborhood? ..the list goes on and on.

I have chosen in my life not to have a weapon instantly deployable at all times. And despite all the interesting posts in this thread, there remains very little evidence of significant numbers of weapon usage disasters due to keeping them unchambered.

David Armstrong
February 25, 2008, 12:03 PM
As in the Jeff Cooper literary style imperial "we"?
No, as in the "we who do research on topics like this instead dof relying on anecdotes."
Frankly, if you live someplace where you think you need to own a gun for self defense, you should probably also move.
Huh?? The choice of where I live has nothing to do with owning a gun, or carrying a gun. I would suggest that owning a gun for self defense is quite a different issue than being afraid to leave your door unlocked on your house at any time.
Why would I want to carry a modern semi-auto chamber empty?
Because it fits their personal situation better.

MLeake
February 25, 2008, 03:09 PM
I'm not quite sure which "their" David Armstrong meant in that last post. Not trying to be a wiseguy, just not sure who "they" are.

So far, this thread seems to hold two major camps. One group is primarily focused on SD issues, and feels strongly that the tactical advantages to eliminating the added time and step (chance for things to go awry) are worth the suggested (but nowhere demonstrated on this thread) risk posed by carrying with a chambered round (cocked and locked SA or decocked DA).

The other group is more worried about AD/ND than SD, and feels the overall risk of the chambered round is greater than the risk of a blindside / ambush attack.

Still, nobody has shown any statistics supporting the argument that a chambered round is a great threat to the operator.

Academic/statistician types, please?

David Armstrong
February 25, 2008, 04:29 PM
I'm not quite sure which "their" David Armstrong meant in that last post. Not trying to be a wiseguy, just not sure who "they" are.
My bad, I misread the post. Trying to get some stuff done in a hurry. Should have read "your" instead of "their".
So far, this thread seems to hold two major camps.
I think you left out a camp. How about the "each has advantages and disadvantages, but most of the time it doesn't even matter, so figure out what is best for you in your particular situation" camp. Also, I think you have presented camps 1 and 2 in a distinctly biased manner, FWIW.
Still, nobody has shown any statistics supporting the argument that a chambered round is a great threat to the operator.
One might also point out that nobody has shown any statistics supporting the argument that carrying with an empty chamber is a great threat to the operator either. But even without the stats, I think most folks if they are honest about it will admit there are a lot more AD/NDs than shootings of BGs. Whether or not that is an issue is a separate discussion, IMO.

Glenn E. Meyer
February 25, 2008, 04:43 PM
Well, since there are supposed 1M to 2M DGUs and no shots fired in 95% of time (if Kleck holds up) - then it is clear that that the ND rate must be significant less than the failure to win the day rate as that can be done with no ammo in the gun. There aren't 1M NDs.

So, is it legit to compare the rate of failures to actual win the day in a gun fight where shots were to be fired with or without a round chambered to the rate of actually ND in what situations?

Kid getting the gun, you putting it a box, pulling the trigger by mistake - or what? I've seen two videos of officers running up to a fight and putting their fingers on the trigger having an ND.

It would be really hard to come up with a solid decision analysis on this one with comparable situations.

MLeake
February 25, 2008, 04:45 PM
I don't think I'm showing bias, so much as frustration. Posters claim that their beliefs are based on statistics vs anecdotes, but then fail to cite any pertinent statistics. That makes their claims seem somehow condescending, at least to me.

I will grant, based on own observation while deployed with the military, that AD/ND events happen. However, the majority of those with which I've been acquainted occurred at the loading barrels, where people chamber and unchamber rounds from sidearms and rifles. I never understood why certain quarters made such a big issue of AD at the barrels; it's why we have barrels...

However, the ND's I've read reports on tended to be along these lines:

1) Airman is walking with chambered round in M16, holding rifle by pistol grip. Airman falls. Claims finger was not on trigger, and safety failed. Selector found in semi-auto position. No injuries. Investigators think airman's finger was on trigger.

2) Security guards are bored, and decide to practice quick-draw with M9 pistols. One shoots the other in abdomen. Victim dies.

IE, it's not the chambered round, it's the mishandling of the weapon, either by improper selection of safety position, or gross stupidity.

Please cite some stats showing the risk of AD from a properly handled weapon.

45Marlin carbine
February 25, 2008, 07:00 PM
I got a Makarov. practically imposible to fire the loaded chamber without knocking off the safety.

Chindo18Z
February 25, 2008, 11:45 PM
Huh?? The choice of where I live has nothing to do with owning a gun, or carrying a gun. I would suggest that owning a gun for self defense is quite a different issue than being afraid to leave your door unlocked on your house at any time.

You must have missed the intended sarcasm. I should have added an emoticon. Locked doors and self-defense gun ownership are actually two expressions of the same basic need...self-preservation. Again...I think neither are relevant to the discussion at hand.

-----------

Why would I want to carry a modern semi-auto chamber empty?

Because it fits their personal situation better.

In all seriousness...what does that mean? That I should carry chamber empty because it gives me a warm and fuzzy feeling? I guess I'm actually looking for a more defineable physical advantage which would be conferred by chamber empty carry.

---------------------

No, as in the 'we who do research on topics like this instead dof relying on anecdotes.'

I agree with you...anecdotes are questionable. Which is why I don't base my carry mode on them.

stevejet
February 26, 2008, 12:09 AM
I am new to this site, but my Colt .45 80 Series Government Model has been my only semi-auto pistol since 1984 and I've been reloading and shooting handguns for better than 37 years. But I have to plead ignorance here and ask....How do you rack a slide one-handed?

DonR101395
February 26, 2008, 12:13 AM
How do you rack a slide one-handed?

Hook the rear sight on your belt, holster or heal of your boot.

stevejet
February 26, 2008, 12:32 AM
Thanks DonR - After reading your response on the one-handed slide rack technique, I vote to flip the thumb safety off and fire the cartridge already in the chamber.

Double Naught Spy
February 26, 2008, 08:19 AM
Hook the rear sight on your belt, holster or heal of your boot.

This doesn't work if you have snag-free sights common to many concealed carry guns. So then you have to hook the muzzle end (which is really hard if you have a FLGR and adds an additional layer of danger to the rack because of a lack of muzzle safety) or do a friction rack by pressing the top of the slide against your thigh or hip with enough force that it will be held in place with friction as you push against the gun to cause it to rack.

Most ranges will not let you practice any of these one-handed racks because of muzzle orientation/safety issues.

MLeake
February 26, 2008, 08:31 AM
Once upon a time, they also taught us how to rack a 12ga pump one handed, by gripping the pump between knees or thighs. At least the muzzle is usually well clear of body parts during this technique.

With pistols, not so much...

I haven't had a lot of formal training compared to many TFL members, but what training I have received was from USMC and SF instructors, so I had the opportunity to practice these techniques with live rounds. (As stated by Double Naught Spy, ranges are not likely to let you do these things)

I think my favorite instructor line (vehicle extrication drill) was:

"Don't shoot the truck! It's leased!"

Amazingly, we didn't shoot the truck.

MLeake
February 26, 2008, 08:35 AM
I have to confess ignorance here:

Why is it safe to leave the hammer down on a live round with a DA revolver or a DA auto? Is it just a function of the higher force required to move the hammer back? What keeps an impact on the hammer from firing off the round?

I was taught that it's safe to carry my Sig P220 that way (decocker only), but nobody ever actually explained why it's safe.

thmsmgnm
February 26, 2008, 09:51 AM
Mleake,

Modern DA revolvers and DA autos are designed and built to safely be carried hammer down on a chambered round, older pre-Vietnam era firearms it just a toss-up. From beefed up firing-pin springs (non-series 80 1911) to pistol hammers that don't drop far enough to impact the firing pin unless the trigger is pulled, then there are transer-safety bars. Different manufactureers use differnet designs.

thmsmgnm

DonR101395
February 26, 2008, 10:02 AM
This doesn't work if you have snag-free sights common to many concealed carry guns. So then you have to hook the muzzle end (which is really hard if you have a FLGR and adds an additional layer of danger to the rack because of a lack of muzzle safety) or do a friction rack by pressing the top of the slide against your thigh or hip with enough force that it will be held in place with friction as you push against the gun to cause it to rack.


I have never had that issue, but I also won't use Novak style sights. I've never had a problem doing it with Heinie Straight 8s, Trijicons or Mepros. I also put a piece of skateboard tape on top of the slide in front of the rear sight.



Most ranges will not let you practice any of these one-handed racks because of muzzle orientation/safety issues.

Quite true, the same way most ranges won't let you practice from a holster.

acetum
February 26, 2008, 12:31 PM
this made me laugh:

MLeake
I think my favorite instructor line (vehicle extrication drill) was:

"Don't shoot the truck! It's leased!"

Amazingly, we didn't shoot the truck.

That's funny cause my buddy shot through the window (thinking it was open), I laughed he paid.

DonR101395
February 26, 2008, 07:26 PM
That's funny cause my buddy shot through the window (thinking it was open), I laughed he paid.

That's why you use junkers, running junkers if you need to drive them, but junkers none the less. If you shoot enough around, near, over or under them, they will eventually get hit. Stuff happens.

Art Eatman
February 26, 2008, 07:39 PM
DonR, there was an article in The American Rifleman some fifty years ago about an MP (might have been an SP, since I vaguely recall that he was stationed at Key West) who by military regulation had to carry with an empty chamber and the hammer down in the GI flap-type holster.

Open the flap, draw, snag the military-type rear sight on his pistol belt and then have at it. He demonstrated that it was faster than using his other hand to rack the slide, plus there was the benefit of having the other hand free to fend off somebody or pull his nightstick.

Art

Ohio Rusty
February 26, 2008, 09:34 PM
A good topic draws lots of debate .... Like this one. My only carry gun is a Keltec P3AT. I ALWAYS have one in the chamber ready to fire. The P3 is small and sometimes hard to slingshot the slide in a confined place .... like sitting in the front seat of your car with the steering wheel in the way. I would hate for that one time I have to rack the slide and the edge of the hollowpoint round fails to chamber properly and hangs up on something internal .... This exact thing can happen to any gun whether it is a $250 Keltec or a $1250 custom Kimber.
Those precious seconds of trying to clear a jam may cost you dearly.
What happens if your attacker jumps out and cuts your arm with a knife disabling your arm?
What happens if the bad guy has you over the hood of your car and you have one arm trying to keep him pushed away?
What if it's not a bad guy but a big loose pit bull that comes out of nowhere and grabs your arm that you threw up to defend yourself against his bite?
What if it's a gang banger that comes up to your window from the blind side of your car, and you have one arm tied up putting on your seat belt. Now you are totally vulnerable. Can you stop this car jacking with an empty gun?
What if you are coming from the store and loading groceries in your car and one hand is wrapped up in the plastic bag handles .... Or you are strapping your child or grandshild on their car seat ???

In every one of the above scenario's .... it is virtually impossible to get a round in the chamber in time when the bad guy jumps you or is in your face from out of nowhere. It may be impossible to even get a round in, period. The obvious solution is to keep one in the pipe ....keep that gun loaded as you are not always in a situation where you have both hands free.
That is your only insurance that you can get a shot off fast enough.
Ohio Rusty ><>
Psalms 27:1-3/Psalms 91:9-11 (AMP)

DonR101395
February 26, 2008, 09:48 PM
DonR, there was an article in The American Rifleman some fifty years ago about an MP (might have been an SP, since I vaguely recall that he was stationed at Key West) who by military regulation had to carry with an empty chamber and the hammer down in the GI flap-type holster.

Open the flap, draw, snag the military-type rear sight on his pistol belt and then have at it. He demonstrated that it was faster than using his other hand to rack the slide, plus there was the benefit of having the other hand free to fend off somebody or pull his nightstick.

I believe I know the article you're talking about, I think it may have been republished in the 70's or 80's. IIRC, he did it static without someone actually trying to knock his brains in. Don't get me wrong, chamber empty can be a viable option through training, Israel has done it for years. They also train that way from day one. But the reality is that most people won't train it to the point that they are proficient at combatives like an Israeli Commando.
I've been handcuffed at various times by the same type of restriction(empty chamber) usually based on someone's(leadership) lack of knowledge, training and proficiency.

73 Jock
February 27, 2008, 02:38 AM
Most of us live comfortable middle or upper class lifestyles. Danger is simply not lurking around every corner.

Nonetheless, we carry because we know -- and it has been demonstrated -- that even the upscale mall or neighborhood which "feels" safe, can be violated without notice.

Carrying chambered requires absolute discipline, rigid training, and a strict manual of arms. The gun may be safe while on your person, but it is an ever-present danger while off your person. Where is it when you are in the shower? or in bed? or out washing the car? When the gun is removed do you lock it up? or clear the chamber?

Every moment that chambered weapon is off your person is exposure to Murphy's Law. You need to get it right 100% of the time, all of your life. Murphy only needs one chance to wipe out your lifetime perfect record.

Some gun owners may not have the opportunity to adequately train for chambered carry, or may feel they lack the discipline required. This is not to be mocked; it is a demonstration of sound judgement, and understanding of their limitations. (Certainly, all of us can think of one time when we did something stupid with a chambered weapon.)

However, considerations regarding response time and the likelihood of losing the gun to an assailant are valid. I would encourage proponents of non-chambered carry to reconsider their commitment to training. Training will bring more confidence.

Additionally, that gun is meant to protect your loved ones -- buy one with multiple safeties protecting the chambered round (trigger, drop, striker). The fine choices available leave no excuse for a cheap, unsafe gun.

In any event, train the way you carry, and carry the way you train. When the threat strikes, you will be surprised and frightened. Blood is drained from your extremities and rushes to your core organs. Clear thinking will be difficult, fine motor skills are degraded and simple procedures (racking the slide) will become complex.

Your success will depend on learned habit and muscle memory. Everything you do sloppy in training, you will do sloppy during the threat. Everything you do right in training, will support you facing the threat.

Captain38
February 27, 2008, 05:50 AM
When a murder suspect, still armed with a .38 special revolver, UNEXPECTEDLY responded to my command to come out from his hiding place.

Fortunately, he focused on the muzzle of my issue 12 gauge and quickly determined that he wanted to go peaceably. HE never knew the difference!

Art Eatman
February 27, 2008, 10:15 AM
Some bits and pieces: I've always figured that my thinking should be about what action to take, not how to do it. The "how to" should be reflex. That simplifies the whole deal.

Ronin Colman first exposed me to, "As you train, so will you perform," back in 1980 in a combat pistol course. Watching folks in IPSC competition proved him to be absolutely correct. Whether you call it "muscle memory" or "reflex", it's creating a pattern of behavior via repetition. (Hey, I was able to learn stuff even after over thirty years of messing with the 1911!)

For me, then, carrying cocked and locked removes any thinking about, "I gotta remember to rack the slide!" or, "I'm in trouble; what do I do first?" from the equation. I can stay focussed on the threat and on tactics. Simplifies the equation.

'As you train, so will you perform.": Don't change your pattern. If you normally carry with an empty chamber and change to carrying cocked and locked, your own training may have you draw, rack the slide--and watch a round fall to the ground, distracting you from what you really oughta be watching. And it just cost you 14% of your capability. The opposite scenario can be a real loser. Helluva note to go flatline because you thought it WAS loaded.

For those concerned abut clothing rubbing the safety to the off position, I note that while the extended thumb safety may be Tacticool, the standard old GI safety has far less lug protruding to do that rubbing. FWIW.

Just some notions...

Art

David Armstrong
February 27, 2008, 10:35 AM
Please cite some stats showing the risk of AD from a properly handled weapon.
Irrelevant, IMO, given the fact that so few people handle their weapons properly all of the time.

David Armstrong
February 27, 2008, 10:41 AM
In all seriousness...what does that mean? That I should carry chamber empty because it gives me a warm and fuzzy feeling? I guess I'm actually looking for a more defineable physical advantage which would be conferred by chamber empty carry.
It means just that...what is your personal situation? That defines what is better. MLeake points out the number of ADs at the clearing barrel. If you are in a position that require clearing the chamber a lot, then chamber empty might be a better option. Of course the bullet design can also figure into that because of possible bullet setback. The gun you choose might be one with a particularly difficult 1st DA shot, and thus you get a faster, more accurate shot by racking the slide to get the first round out SA. There are all sorts of advantages and disadvantages to each mode depending on each person, their situation , the gun they carry, and so on. The trick is finding which advantages/disadvantages impact you and making a decision based on that.

David Armstrong
February 27, 2008, 10:44 AM
How do you rack a slide one-handed?
There are a number of alternatives, generally focused around using some part of the slide or sights pushed against something else. Depending on the gun it can be rather quick and easy or darned near impossible.

Frank Ettin
February 27, 2008, 11:46 AM
I'm coming late to this party, but I might as well through in my $0.02. I will always carry a 1911 in condition 1 (cocked and locked) for the following reasons:

[1] That's how I've been trained at schools such as Gunsite.

[2] I'm not going to count on have two hands available if I need my gun. I am more confident of my ability to clear my weapon safely than I am confident that I'll have the use of two hands in an emergency. The former is within my control, and the latter is not.

[3] I acknowledge that, statistically, the odds of me actually having to use my gun are minuscule. But based on my training I'm convinced that in the highly unlikely event that I do need to use my gun, the odds of needing to do so quickly are overwhelming. As I see it, the likelihood of needing to use a gun and the likelihood of needing to use it quickly are completely independent variables. The fact that I'm unlikely to need a gun is not, therefore, a good reason to carry a 1911 in other than a state of readiness (i. e., condition 1).

[4] Even though it is possible to rack a slide with only one hand, it is still slower than presenting a pistol carried in condition 1.

MLeake
February 27, 2008, 12:13 PM
I think it's fair to say that there are MANY of us who are well trained in safe weapons handling, so I don't think it would be at all irrelevant to list statistics for numbers of AD's that happen solely due to weapon malfunctions.

(Note the number of military and LE backgrounds among the posting group)

Assuming we don't put our fingers on triggers prematurely, place weapons in improper containers with things that can switch off safeties and manipulate triggers, etc, how often do quality brand firearms actually AD?

I think that would be an entirely relevant statistic to this debate. My suspicion is that nobody has such stats at hand, and therefore anecdotal evidence is factoring in more heavily than it otherwise might.

With my C3 in a thumbreak holster, cocked and locked, I don't think the odds of an AD are even close to significant.

Having fended off an attack or two, human and canine, I can say that the odds of my having both hands free are entirely dependent on how quickly I note the situation developing. Sad to say, sometimes there are sucker punches (and silent bites) in life.

David Armstrong
February 27, 2008, 03:46 PM
But the reality is that most people won't train it to the point that they are proficient at combatives like an Israeli Commando.
The reality is that the Israeli doctrine developed specifically because of the large number of folks with very limited training, not becaue of those with particularly high levels of training.

David Armstrong
February 27, 2008, 04:07 PM
I think it's fair to say that there are MANY of us who are well trained in safe weapons handling, so I don't think it would be at all irrelevant to list statistics for numbers of AD's that happen solely due to weapon malfunctions.

But that directly ignores the fact that the overwhelming number of gun owners have minimal levels of training, much less anything approaching well trained. And of course it restricts the ADs to a very narrow category, those that happen solely as a result of weapon malfunctions. Seems you are already stacking the deck instead of looking at the broad issue.
Note the number of military and LE backgrounds among the posting group
And we all know how few ADs occur in the military or LE!
Assuming we don't....
But we do those things, and we do it a lot, so why would we assume otherwise?
My suspicion is that nobody has such stats at hand, and therefore anecdotal evidence is factoring in more heavily than it otherwise might.

True, such stats are not collected. But I would venture a guess that even in this august company the number of AD/ND incidents far outnumbers the "and then I had to quick-draw my gun with only one hand" incidents. One source might be a look at the older NYPD SOP9 info. For example, in 1991, while there were 94 gunfights, there were 70 ADs. Given the fact that these guys were actively going out hunting fo the BG, I would suggest their gunfight chances would be much higher than non-LE. One might also assume the AD rate would be lower, based on greater training (either assumption is open to challenge, I realize, and is presented for general info discussion purposes only.)

FerFAL
February 27, 2008, 07:01 PM
David Armstrong worte:
The reality is that the Israeli doctrine developed specifically because of the large number of folks with very limited training, not becaue of those with particularly high levels of training.
And because they had a variety of handguns, it made a standard drill for all of them impossible.
Empty chamber gun, draw, chamber round, fire, works for pretty much any auto out there.

FerFAL

MLeake
February 27, 2008, 08:33 PM
David Armstrong wrote: But that directly ignores the fact that the overwhelming number of gun owners have minimal levels of training, much less anything approaching well trained. And of course it restricts the ADs to a very narrow category, those that happen solely as a result of weapon malfunctions. Seems you are already stacking the deck instead of looking at the broad issue.


Given the nature of the discussion, in a Tactics and Training forum, I think it's a fair assumption that the original question was asked with a well-trained operator in mind. Trying to answer that question for the gun owning population as a whole stacks the deck the other way, IMHO.

For a newbie gun owner or a do-the-minimum-to-qualify CCW, I wouldn't recommend a semi-auto in the first place, let alone a cocked and locked 1911. However, for those of us who train actively, and especially for those who train for potential hostile environments, cocked and locked offers distinct potential advantages, because there are times when the weak hand is busy or restrained.

With that in mind, statistics about the risk of carrying in cocked and locked, vs improper manipulation of controls, would be useful to the discussion.

TripIII
February 27, 2008, 11:08 PM
Here are some scenarios when you should be locked and cocked:

1. You have been knocked down and are about to be shot

2. You have been knocked down and are about to be beaten with a blunt object

3. You have been stabbed and are down

4. You are at an intersection about to be car-jacked by an armed assailant (sp?)

5. You are at the barber shop and an armed robber points a gun at your barber's head

6. You are approched in the mall parking lot by three assailants

7. You are sitting quietly typing on your computer and the front door flies open

8. There is an intruder in your house, you are in your defensive position, and you do not want to give away your location and the fact that you are armed. All that intruder is going to hear before the blast is the click of the safety.

Cocked and locked is for people who are ready to defend themselves against iminant (sp?) death or serious bodily injury.

Not cocked and locked is for people who think the "Ka-Ching" sound is a good deterence to iminant death or serious bodily injury.

Glenn E. Meyer
February 28, 2008, 10:51 AM
Why did we go to cocked and locked! I opine that cocked and locked is inherently dangerous due to significant number of times that folks forget to manipulate the safety. It happens to trained and practiced folks all the time. Watch the 1911 crew at matches with high level shooters. OOPS.

Thus the only gun to carry is the immediately shootable Glock series. :D

Captain38
February 28, 2008, 12:18 PM
I've seen it time after time and AGREE!

Boris Bush
February 28, 2008, 03:51 PM
Glenn E. Meyer

Why not a SIG or CZ-75? From the DA neither one needs to have a safety turned off.

FWIW I have NEVER seen a person shooting competition forget to turn the safety off that was shootin a cocked and locked pistol. I have seen people skin a Beretta 92 and forget to turn the safety off, pulled a couple times turned and swept most of us watching with a hot weapon! He wanted to know why his pistol was broke? The guy never fired from the DA when playing at the range and rules were everyone had to use all safeties on the gun. OOPS.

Glenn E. Meyer
February 28, 2008, 04:27 PM
I've seen high level shooters forget the safety and do the Oh, Poopy yelling dance several times.

With a Glock you have the ultimate handgun for simplicity of use and reliability. :D

Boris Bush
February 28, 2008, 05:00 PM
Glenn E. Meyer

I hear ya on the Glock. I have owned a couple in the past and they just didn't do it for me. My buddy has two G19s and to tell you the truth if I liked them I would carry one. It is just an opinion, but I believe the G19 is second only to a full size 1911A1 for best pistol ever designed (23 for the 40 s&w fans).

Right now my two main carry guns are CZs that are either safety off DA or cocked and locked.

Playboypenguin
February 28, 2008, 05:12 PM
I've seen high level shooters forget the safety and do the Oh, Poopy yelling dance several times.
That is why I prefer revolvers and DAO pistols. My Kahr and Sig have the greatest safeties ever made...a long trigger pull. There are no manual safeties to remember or forget. My Sig can be SA but I always carry it de-cocked.

spacemanspiff
February 28, 2008, 05:16 PM
Whats next, someone suggests disabling safeties on weapons? (http://www.thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=189467)
:rolleyes:

Frank Ettin
February 28, 2008, 06:25 PM
I've never seen a 1911 shooter fail to properly disengage the safety either in competition or in training. I also find it passing strange that it seems like the only guys who I've heard claim to have seen such things like Glocks.

You guys use whatever you like. I'll stick with my 1911 in condition 1.

Playboypenguin
February 28, 2008, 08:10 PM
I also find it passing strange that it seems like the only guys who I've heard claim to have seen such things like Glocks.
I have seen people forget to disengage a safety at the range many times...not just with 1911's but with all kinds of guns that have manual safeties and I am not a lover of Glocks.

Frank Ettin
February 28, 2008, 08:27 PM
Playboypenguin, not that I doubt you, but I'll still stick with my 1911 in condition 1.

Playboypenguin
February 28, 2008, 08:30 PM
Playboypenguin, not that I doubt you, but I'll still stick with my 1911 in condition 1.
Nothing wrong with that if you train with it. I carry a 1911 (ParaOrd Slim Hawg) myself sometimes. DA is just my preference...not my rule.:)

pax
February 28, 2008, 09:28 PM
We're drifting a bit off-topic, and had been going in circles for awhile before that, so I suppose it's probably time to close this one down.

Thanks for the interesting discussion, everyone. Feel free to open new threads on related topics.

pax