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View Poll Results: Do you carry handgun with a round in chamber i.e. live round?
Yes 146 94.19%
No 9 5.81%
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Old November 10, 2008, 06:37 PM   #26
That'll Do
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I always carry with a round chambered.

In the unlikely event that I need my weapon, I want it to be ready as soon as it's out of the holster.

I carry either a S&W M&P40 or M&P9.
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Old November 10, 2008, 06:50 PM   #27
Deaf Smith
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Nah guys, I carry mine with the magazine locked in the safe and a trigger guard lock on the gun. Can't be to carefull about ADs, right? I just as the BG to come back in 10 min.

Of course one carries it chamber loaded. Yea I know about the Israelis and the way they rack the slide. Sure hope you have those two hands when the balloon goes up.

The only firearm weapons one carries chamber loaded are a few French rifles (MAS 1936 to be exact, Martini Henry, and other rifles with NO safety, the Colt SSA, with it's half-cock notch, some striker fired Ruby pistols, and the like.)

But modern pistols are quite safe chamber loaded. It's a matter of training. If you aren't willing to train some, stay way from machinery.
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Old November 10, 2008, 07:10 PM   #28
4thPointofContact
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There are dozens of people who can testify first-hand that it's perfectly OK to carry a self-defense pistol with an unloaded chamber and that you will always have time to rack the slide back with your free hand.















The ones who didn't have a free hand to rack probably won't say anything, they're too busy being dead. Which side of that equation do You want to be on?

If you are going to carry with an unloaded chamber they all you have to do, to do it safely, is always keep your strong-hand ready and......

Never hold your cap or hat in your off-hand
Never carry a grocery bag in your off-hand
Never hold a dog's leash in either hand
Never hold your keys in your off-hand, because it'll take time to either put them away or decide to drop them
Never get a hard hit in the off-hand by a club, or a pipe, or a bat
Never get a hard hit in the off-hand by a brick
Never get hit in the off-hand by a bullet
Never get hit in the off-hand by a knife
Never hold tightly on to anything with your off-hand so that loosening your grip would cause you to lose your balance
Never hold a long arm with your off-hand unless it's on a sling.

I could go on, but I think everyone could add their own to this list without problem.
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Old November 10, 2008, 07:18 PM   #29
skeeter1
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Well, yes and no. My NAA revolver has all five chambers loaded, but it also has safety notches on the cylinder, so the hammer isn't over a live round. I don't know why someone didn't think that up sooner. It's a clever idea.
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Old November 10, 2008, 07:59 PM   #30
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I usually carry a 1911, condition 1, . . . sometimes a Bersa Thunder, . . . one in the tube and ready to go.

Once I load a weapon, . . . it most generally is never "unloaded" except by trigger pull(s). There are exceptions to that little rule of mine, . . . but they are few and far between.

When I go shooting, . . . I'm ready to go, . . . then I clean them, . . . load them, . . . and try to schedule my next shoot.

All the guns I may need for "anticipated" SD or HD situations are loaded, whether they are in the gun safe, . . . in my pocket, . . . on the night stand, . . . where ever. Just me and the wife, . . . no kids or munchkins, . . . and it works for us.

May God bless,
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Old November 10, 2008, 09:14 PM   #31
Deaf Smith
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One question guys.

For those that say carrying chamber empty is a 'non issue', as david does, just look at youtube were people get into struggles and ask youself if you could have racked the slide of your 'chamber empty, it's a non-issue' gun?

Real hard to rack a gun with the off hand if in that position. This is what retention shooting and H2H skills are all about. Grappling does happen on the street, with the BG trying to take the gun away from the other.

So keep that in mind.
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Old November 10, 2008, 09:49 PM   #32
cschwanz
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whats the point in carrying a gun without a round in chamber ready to fire? its just a paperweight at that point. as for drills to prevent an AD or ND...keeping your finger out of the trigger guard has always worked for me up to this point.
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Old November 10, 2008, 10:43 PM   #33
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Think of 'racking-the-slide' 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 believe if you are afraid or unwilling to carry a round in the chamber (a live round, not a dummy round), you are afraid of the weapon and need to receive some training. Once you understand the weapon and understand guns don't just fire by themselves, loaded or unloaded; you will carry with a round in the chamber. Carrying an unloaded gun can potentially be more dangerous, for reason listed in earlier posts, then carrying a loaded gun.

Edit: I forgot to answer the question regarding minimizing AD/NDs - Answer, I do not pull the trigger unless I intend to fire; thus not an AD/ND...

Here's another 8 pages on topic: https://www.thefiringline.com/forums...d.php?t=281520

Last edited by maxkimber; November 10, 2008 at 11:02 PM.
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Old November 10, 2008, 11:09 PM   #34
scorpion_tyr
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In my FNP .40 S&W I carry one in the chamber always. It has the de-cocking lever for added safety when chambering. I don't use the "safeties" on the few guns that I have with them. The reason I carry one in the chamber is because I have been in the situation where I used lethal force in self defense (wasn't a gun though... wasn't armed at the time). I've seen just how fast that situation can come up. Chambering a round can only take a second, but that might be a second too long and you might not have the use of both of your hands. The second reason I carry one in the chamber is because though the chance may be very small, it's still there, that you can experience a malfuntion while chambering the round. As long as you follow standard safety guidlines carrying one in the chamber is the best way in my opinion. In my home defense shotgun I do not keep one in the chamber. My reasoning for this is that the sound of a 12g pump racking one into the chamber is the best... and only warning an intruder will get in my home.
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Old November 11, 2008, 04:23 AM   #35
bestbod85
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fully loaded and "HOT" is the only way you should ever carry your weapon imo
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Old November 11, 2008, 08:38 AM   #36
Creature
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guntotin_fool wrote:
Quote:
live round loaded. in a commander.

I too never hit the safety until the gun is up and at the ready, its just the way I was trained, and the way I practiced,
Trained to do this by who??

By "at the ready", do you mean once you pistol clears leather...or only when your gun is actually pointed at the target?

Last edited by Creature; November 11, 2008 at 09:22 AM.
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Old November 11, 2008, 09:37 AM   #37
maxkimber
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"In my home defense shotgun I do not keep one in the chamber. My reasoning for this is that the sound of a 12g pump racking one into the chamber is the best" (I couldn't find the quote button???)

Your reasoning should be because a shotgun doesn't have the internal safety device to prevent an AD/ND if a loaded shotgun is dropped. Although, I agree the chambering of a shotgun (pump) is internationally recognized.

I believe, not 100% positive, that all newer handguns (I forget the year they began) have at least one internal safety to prevent AD/ND. Most shotguns and rifles do not have these safeties; this, I would consider unsafe to carry one with a round in the chamber, unless on patrol, hunting, on-scene, etc.

- For the record, there are only Negligent Discharges, there are no accidental discharges when it comes to weapons.
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Old November 11, 2008, 10:20 AM   #38
Threefeathers
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Yes, I do. I have a routine that when I come home I automatically clear and lock the slide, feel physically then close.
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Old November 11, 2008, 10:40 AM   #39
David Armstrong
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Sigh. Folks, it's nice to talk all about this "what if" stuff, but it is hard to argue with years of success. For those that are new to the business, for most of the time that autoloaders have been around chamber empty was the preferred mode of carry. And strangely enough we don't find much, if any, evidence of people having problems because of it. Chamber loaded as the normal carry mode is fairly new in the game, and in fact is still frowned on by lots of people in lots of places, places that are real hot-spots where people have to use their handguns a lot. Glenn offers the only real concern issue for chamber empty, that being if your off-hand is already injured. Certain guns, certain situations, a variety of factors can all come into play. Fortunately it really doesn't matter much, adn there are advantages and disadvantages for each method of carry. The trick is finding out what works best for you.
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Old November 11, 2008, 10:47 AM   #40
Glenn E. Meyer
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To return to the 'endless' discussion - Captain Picard - do you keep a power pack in your phaser?

I have thought about this as two different models of event planning. One is for the average and one is for the extreme. This viewpoint is laid out in the book: Black Swans.

As my buddy Dave points out most incidents will be handled with a chambered or unchambered gun with most likely a positive outcome. Thus, if carrying unchambered fits your view of your risk profile - risk of attack outcome, risk of ND/Disarm - then it probably works for you.

If you plan for the extreme - being disabled or unable to use your your arm - as something you worry about, then carry chambered or use a revolver.

The same analyses of risk work in:

1. Carry an extra mag
2. Carry a BUG
3. Do you carry a 1911 and worry about forgetting the safety under stress

etc.

Do you worry about the rare event? The Black Swan argument is that the rare event can lead to a catastrohic negative outcome for you, so do you downplay that one?

We don't have to go near racking the shotgun again - please, Oh, Lord!
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Old November 11, 2008, 10:56 AM   #41
maxkimber
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"for most of the time that autoloaders have been around chamber empty was the preferred mode of carry"

- Like I stated above, the earlier models did not have the internal safety devices; thus, it was not necessarily the 'preferred' method of carry, but it was the safest; but now, with newer autoloaders it is just as safe to carry a loaded vs. unloaded. An example if I may, back in the old Corps, when we carried old .45s, there was no round in the chamber, unsafe. Did we like it, no, but it was the safest method of carry - and we hated it (not the round, but the method of carry with the old .45s). Now with the M9/Sig, there is a round in the chamber. Some branches/divisions now carry new .45s and guess what, there is a round in the chamber.

I do not believe the old vs new argument works in this argument...


"there are advantages and disadvantages for each method of carry"

- I am curious, what are the advantages of carrying an unloaded gun?
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Old November 11, 2008, 10:58 AM   #42
maxkimber
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"We don't have to go near racking the shotgun again - please, Oh, Lord!"

I agree...

(How do you quote, why can't I find the quote button?)
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Old November 11, 2008, 11:16 AM   #43
David Armstrong
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Quote:
Some branches/divisions now carry new .45s and guess what, there is a round in the chamber.
And just as some now carry chamber loaded, some still mandate chamber empty. Doesn't seem to matter much, which is my point.
Quote:
I do not believe the old vs new argument works in this argument...
If it has worked well for years, and it still works well in most other parts of the world, it seems strange that it should suddenly become useless in some places.
Quote:
I am curious, what are the advantages of carrying an unloaded gun?
It is not an unloaded gun. There is a magazine full of rounds loaded in it. Advantages will differ for different people in different situations. You mentioned one already--guns that are not equipped with some of the more modern safety designs. Another might be if your situation requires you to load/unload a lot. Some guns the safety is hard to get too or to operate for some people. Others might find the first DA pull of a DA/SA gun to be problematic. Again, it is always situational. What is an advantage for one person in one situation might be a disadvantage for another person or in another situation. But, as mentioned, in the overall scheme of life it really doesn't matter much. Either method works fine for virtually all non-LE situations.
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Old November 11, 2008, 11:34 AM   #44
Glenn E. Meyer
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Quote:
"We don't have to go near racking the shotgun again - please, Oh, Lord!"

I agree...

(How do you quote, why can't I find the quote button?)
Copy the text. Paste into a reply box. Look at the top row under Message.

See the two arrows on the right.

Under that there are two boxes - the left is a scene with a mountain for inserting images.

Next is a word ballon - hit that and it puts quotes html tags around the text.

Then chamber a round and rack your shotgun and point it at the CPU and yell you'd better put quotes on or you're a
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Old November 11, 2008, 11:41 AM   #45
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"And just as some now carry chamber loaded, some still mandate chamber empty. Doesn't seem to matter much, which is my point."

The ones that mandate an empty chamber are lead by old-school leaders who haven't educated themselves on the new weapons - ignorance is not bliss. Example, I have seen a law enforcement unit that only carried 7 round in their 15 round magazines and no round in their chamber - what do you think they carried? They carried the M-9. There is no logical explanation for carrying only 7 rounds in their magazines and no reason to not have a round in the chamber??? The answer is the leadership used to carry the old .45, and that was how it was done in the old days...so that is how it is still done - ignorance.

I agree, if you carry an older gun, with no internal safeties, do not carry it with a round in the chamber (although die-hards will still argue this point - I do too, but would not condone/recommend it for others)

"Some guns the safety is hard to get too or to operate for some people."
- Then they shouldn't be carrying that weapon or they need effective training.

"Either method works fine for virtually all non-LE situations"
- I respectfully disagree. Read some other 8 pages on the link I posted about "Time to Rack a Round."

I mean not disrespect, just defending my point. If you desire to carry a gun with no round chambered - go for it. But seriously ask yourself why? Look at the polling numbers on this thread...
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Old November 11, 2008, 11:46 AM   #46
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Quote:
As my buddy Dave points out most incidents will be handled with a chambered or unchambered gun with most likely a positive outcome.
(my bold)

Maxkimber has very solid points. Its those "black swan" incidents that always bite the hardest. I can only image the poor sucker and how he feels during his "Oh darn, if only I had just chambered that first round..." moment. I am a firm believer that what can go wrong will go wrong...especially in a fast developing situation. Forgetting to chamber a round while defending oneself during an attack is a self-inflicted, and possibly mortal, wound. The KISS principle wasn't invented yesterday and IMO is more important in civilian SD situations then ever.

Last edited by Creature; November 11, 2008 at 11:57 AM.
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Old November 11, 2008, 12:18 PM   #47
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Quote:
Copy the text. Paste into a reply box. Look at the top row under Message.

See the two arrows on the right.

Under that there are two boxes - the left is a scene with a mountain for inserting images.

Next is a word ballon - hit that and it puts quotes html tags around the text.
Thanks mate...
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Old November 11, 2008, 12:55 PM   #48
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Quote:
The ones that mandate an empty chamber are lead by old-school leaders who haven't educated themselves on the new weapons - ignorance is not bliss.
Maybe, maybe not. My cousin, who is a bit of a wheel in the AF, mandated chamber empty carry for handguns after 3 NDs. He's quite educated, BTW---Gunsite, Thunder Ranch, etc. But again, it really doesn't matter much, which is my main point. Lots of talking about it, but it ranks right up there with revolver vs auto, 9mm vs 45, and so on.
Quote:
Then they shouldn't be carrying that weapon or they need effective training.
Why? If they are happy with it, and it works fine, what is the problem? I've got a few Israeli friends and old SAS friends, very well trained, who still carry chamber empty that I would put up against most other folks and not have any worry at all. My wife carries a Makarov chamber empty. It's the gun she carried for years working with the Russian militia, and she is good with it and fast. Why should she change?
Quote:
I respectfully disagree. Read some other 8 pages on the link I posted about "Time to Rack a Round."
One can disagree all they want, but it doesn't change a thing. History has shown that all these worries about chamber empty carry just don't seem to translate into real life. Speaking of time, that is one of the best examples, one I use a lot. Let's say (for purpose of discussion only) that it takes 1 second to draw the gun. Let's also say that it takes 1/10th of a secdond to rack the slide. So, if the attack occurs in the less than 1 second time frame, it doesn't matter. If it occurs in the more than 1.1 second time frame it doesn't mater. The only time it matters is if the attack fall in that narrow 1/10th of a second between 1 second and less than 1.1 seconds.
Quote:
I mean not disrespect, just defending my point.
No problem, and I tend to agree. Given modern arms, modern training, etc. chamber loaded is the natural default and it is what I usually teach my clients. My point is that a technique that has been successful for decades doesn't suddenly become useless just because something neew comes along, and that there are still some situations where chamber empty can make sense.
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Old November 11, 2008, 01:13 PM   #49
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And maxkimber,

If you add =name after QUOTE in the first bracket,i. e., [QUOTE=name] you will get

Quote:
Originally Posted by name
.....
And thus you can easily identify the person being quoted.

As for the question of carrying with a round chambered, maybe it won't matter almost all of the time. In fact, almost all of us will get through our entire lives without having ever having to use our guns, except for recreation. And maybe one, with practice, can chamber a round very quickly. But I do know at least one person who tells the story of being attacked late at night, being knocked to the ground onto his weak side and having only his strong hand to draw and take the first shot with his weapon. Black Swan? Perhaps. But in his case, at that time, having a round chambered made The difference.

So my choice is to pick a type of gun I feel confident carrying with a loaded chamber and that I can deploy with one hand if necessary.
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Old November 11, 2008, 03:13 PM   #50
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Good discussion...

Quote:
"The ones that mandate an empty chamber are lead by old-school leaders who haven't educated themselves on the new weapons - ignorance is not bliss."
Maybe, maybe not. My cousin, who is a bit of a wheel in the AF, mandated chamber empty carry for handguns after 3 NDs. He's quite educated, BTW---Gunsite, Thunder Ranch, etc. But again, it really doesn't matter much, which is my main point. Lots of talking about it, but it ranks right up there with revolver vs auto, 9mm vs 45, and so on.
This is a training issue, not a round in the chamber issue. I have been around NDs with an empty chamber, both handguns and shotguns - kids will be kids. It really blows my mind, but when some are out in the 'field' on on a 'post,' they get bored. I had a guy that would bring in his own ammo and shoot rabbits with is service pistol - WOW!!!

Quote:
"Some guns the safety is hard to get too or to operate for some people."
- Then they shouldn't be carrying that weapon or they need effective training.
My point here was, if you can not effectively operate the weapons safeties, whether there is a round in the chamber or not, choose a different weapon. One must be comfortable and confident with the weapon of choice to truly be proficient. Training and/or practice will rectify this issue.

Shooting the M-9 for years, then shooting the Sig - you would be surprised how many of us swept a nonexistent safety on the Sig as we raised to fire - muscle memory is very powerful. So, if you practice a lot anything is possible - the problem many of us do not get adequate training practice on a regular basis.

Quote:
and that there are still some situations where chamber empty can make sense.
When???
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