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Old March 18, 2005, 10:28 PM   #1
JimW
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When is a pistol "loaded"?

May sound like a silly question, I know but when do you consider a pistol to be loaded? A revolver is obvious, pull the trigger and bang, but is a pistol that has a magazine inserted but not 1 in the chamber considered loaded? If there is 1 in the chamber but no magazine inserted it is certainly loaded.
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Old March 18, 2005, 10:49 PM   #2
sarmstrong806
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A gun is always loaded as far as I'm concerned.

Edit:

But I guess when ammunition is in or close to a posistion where it can be discharged.
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Old March 18, 2005, 11:02 PM   #3
ATW525
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A gun is always loaded until I've checked that it isn't at least twice.

However, as far as a loaded semi-automatic pistol... having rounds in either the chamber, magazine or both is loaded in my book. The legal definition here in New Hampshire is 'A loaded pistol or revolver shall include any pistol or revolver with a magazine, cylinder, chamber or clip in which there are loaded cartridges.'
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Old March 18, 2005, 11:09 PM   #4
BillCA
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Jim,

It can depend on what state you are living in.

For most of us, a firearm is always loaded until you have proven it is not.

Consider a magazine fed firearm loaded if there is a round in the chamber OR there is a loaded magazine inserted in the firearm. Having the gun's chamber empty (check it!) but the loaded magazine separated from the gun is an unloaded gun (i.e. safe to handle).

In the Peepul's Republik of Kalifornia, however, a magazine fed firearm is deemed to be loaded if the gun's chamber is empty and the magazine is loaded, even if it is not in the gun! However, for a revolver, if you have rounds in a speedloader but the chambers are empty, it's deemed to be UNloaded. Go figure.
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Old March 18, 2005, 11:14 PM   #5
Colonel Klink
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Treat any gun as loaded until you assure yourself otherwise. Even if someone hands you a gun saying it isn't loaded consider it loaded until you assure yourself otherwise.
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Old March 18, 2005, 11:14 PM   #6
pamick
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I fully concur with ATW525 and sarmstrong806, a gun is always assumed loaded. It's only not loaded when I establish it's not loaded. Many years ago, I was shot from an "unloaded" gun.
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Old March 18, 2005, 11:21 PM   #7
ATW525
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And NEVER EVER take the word of a DEA agent that a particular firearm is unloaded (or anybody else's word for that matter).
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Old March 18, 2005, 11:49 PM   #8
Walter
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Quote:
In the Peepul's Republik of Kalifornia,
...I never fail to be amazed at the nut-cases who pass for lawmakers
in California. I posted a copy of the letter Ronnie Barrett sent to the
Chief of Police of L.A. I read in the latest 'AMERICAN RIFLEMAN' that Barrett had refused to ship the LAPD's .50 Barrett back to them, and if they wanted it, they should send someone to pick it up.

It is good to see someone with cojones telling the "Anti-Gun" people where
to go.

Rock on, Ronnie!

Walter

(EDIT) Sorry, I didn't mean to hijack this thread, it's just that some
things trip my trigger. Anti-gun zealots are one of them. In answer to
the question, I consider ALL guns to be loaded, until I determine otherwise
to my own satisfaction.
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Old March 19, 2005, 12:39 AM   #9
DesertRat
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Rule #1: All Guns are ALWAYS loaded.
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Old March 19, 2005, 12:47 AM   #10
Hkmp5sd
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A gun is always loaded until verified unloaded and remains unloaded only while in physical contact. If you lay the gun down to do something else, when picked back up it must be re-checked to ensure it is still unloaded.
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Old March 19, 2005, 03:45 AM   #11
chris in va
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HKMP nailed it. Always loaded, re-check after setting down. Every time.
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Old March 19, 2005, 05:05 AM   #12
mete
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With a loaded mag in the gun but empty chamber -that's sometimes refered to as 'half loaded'. In a legal context in some places it's considered loaded unless empty in chamber and magazine. For safety context it's loaded.
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Old March 19, 2005, 01:48 PM   #13
perception
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The only time my gun is unloaded is when there is no magazine anywhere in sight, when there is no amunition around, and when the slide is locked back. Any pther condition and the gun is loaded.
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Old March 19, 2005, 02:04 PM   #14
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After about 3 beers
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Old March 19, 2005, 02:31 PM   #15
ATW525
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Quote:
In the Peepul's Republik of Kalifornia, however, a magazine fed firearm is deemed to be loaded if the gun's chamber is empty and the magazine is loaded, even if it is not in the gun!
The law for carrying concealed pistols here in New Hampshire doesn't specifically state that the magazine has to be in the gun, so it could taken the same way. Especially since the laws concerning carrying longarms in a vehicle do make such a distinction. Of course in NH if you can buy a pistol, you can get a permit, so it's not a big deal.
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Old March 19, 2005, 04:04 PM   #16
oneeyeross
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It's always loaded.

My firearms are always considered loaded.

Whenever I pick up a pistol, I drop the mag and rack the slide. ALWAYS. Then, I might see that the chamber is empty, but it is still considered loaded.

Rifle, open the bolt, visually check the chamber, but it is still considered loaded.

Grampa always said "No one is accidently shot with a loaded gun."
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Old March 19, 2005, 04:55 PM   #17
kelsey
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Besides the #1 gun rule of everygun being loaded. Leagally, a gun is loaded when ammunition is either in the barrel or in a feed device inserted into the firearm. This is what Washington defines as loaded for transport or hunting.


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Old March 19, 2005, 06:09 PM   #18
Springer45
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I thought it was pretty clear the guy was asking for a technical and legal definition of "loaded"; not for a firearms safety lecture.

I'm as safety-minded as anybody, but don't y'all think that the first reminder by sarmstrong806 was enough?
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Old March 19, 2005, 08:12 PM   #19
Nnobby45
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At Gunsite, "make ready", means load pistol by putting a round in the chamber. This is obviously the definition shooters associate with a loaded pistol.

In my State (Nevada), the legal definition of a loaded firearm is a round in the chamber. This is both legal and practical.

In California, and some other States, a loaded firearm is one with loaded rounds in the magazine, and possibly, any round attached to the firearm in any way. This is a legal definition, and hardly practical.

Springer was correct: Jim W wasn't asking for Safety lessons that did nothing to contribute to answering his question. A little CONTRIBUTION along with the SAFETY LESSON would have been ok.

Regarding safety rules, "TREATING a gun as if it were loaded" suggests acting like it's loaded when we "know" it isn't. A Gun Is ALWAYS Loaded implies a heavier sense of responsibility with the knowledge that some day, it really will be when we're positive it isn't and that we'll be safe regardless---and that we assume full responsibility.


Additionally, I know that I'm being observed by all knowledgeable firearms owners, just as I observe them with regards to safety. I know what I think of those who are unsafe and I'll make sure they know it too. Of course, setting a good example for those just learning is paramount, also. Hope I wasn't too long winded.
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Old March 20, 2005, 10:11 AM   #20
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I see most folks are answering the question from a gun safety perspective, which is fine, but I think JimW was looking for something a little more technical.

Simply put, a gun is loaded if there is ammunition in the gun.

It can be with a round in the chamber and a loaded mag in the gun.
It can be in a mag in the gun with an empty chamber.
It can be in the chamber with an empty mag or no mag.
It can be in a revolver cylinder, even if just one round and that round isn't next in line to be fired.

A gun is not loaded if there is no ammunition in the gun.
A gun is not loaded if there is no ammo in the gun, but there is ammo nearby, in a magazine not in the gun, or otherwise carried outside of the gun.
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Old March 20, 2005, 12:41 PM   #21
Russ5924
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No matter how many times I take one of my guns out I will ALWAYS check it.A friend got playing with his gun took the clip out and playing put it to his head he's been dead a few years now.I would say any gun with a loaded Mag. would be a loaded gun
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Old March 20, 2005, 12:59 PM   #22
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Agreed Double Naught Spy - my version is: Aside from the obvious Rule #1(Treat all guns as if they are loaded.) I consider any firearms that I pick up to status check to be loaded when I find live rounds in the gun - whether in the magazine or the chamber doesn't really matter.

After confirming the lack of such, I can treat the weapon as if it is unloaded - for such things and field stripping and cleaning. If rounds are found, it must be unloaded first.
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Old March 20, 2005, 07:25 PM   #23
boston strangler
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In the academy on our first day of firearms (classroom) our instructor brought ~50 handguns in and had them set up for us to handle/checkout. On the chalkboard was written "One of these guns is loaded". I laughed and said "the one you don't check right". The instructor just smiled.

ALL GUNS ARE ALWAYS LOADED
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Old March 20, 2005, 07:54 PM   #24
Japle
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A gun can be considered unloaded if I've checked it and still have it in my hand. If I set it down, even for a second, it's considered loaded until I check it again.

John
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Old March 20, 2005, 11:37 PM   #25
Nnobby45
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Japle

A gun can be considered unloaded if I've checked it and still have it in my hand. If I set it down, even for a second, it's considered loaded until I check it again.
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Admitt it, you're really Jeff Cooper aren't you!?
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