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Old July 4, 2013, 07:34 PM   #1
Pops1085
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Should you keep a round in the chamber in a house gun?

I've got a 1911 (clone) and am fairly new to handguns so excuse my ignorance but I did a search and got kind of mixed results. Is it okay to lock my 1911 in my quick access box cocked and locked or should I leave it unloaded with a loaded mag in the box next to it?

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Old July 4, 2013, 07:43 PM   #2
NJgunowner
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Really personal preference, just depends on what YOU are comfortable with. I keep mine with a loaded magazine, but the chamber empty. All I have to do is rack the slide and I'm good to go. I DON'T leave the magazine out of the gun, but I don't leave one in the chamber either.

It's UP TO YOU.
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Old July 4, 2013, 07:44 PM   #3
Gbnk82
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While everyone has a different opinion on it and both have good arguments i always say keep one in the pipe..the reason is that if you ever find a situation where you need your gun you will have only fractions of a second to react..in this situation you will most likely be nervous sweaty and possibly have a bit of a shake in your hands.you may also be bloody or injured (broken arm hand or fingers) if you were attacked having to be able to grab the gun and rack the slide might prove to be a difficult task where as grab point and shoot is much more simple..plus if you have gun locked up why not its nlt like anyone haz acces to handle it then unless you need it.
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Old July 4, 2013, 07:49 PM   #4
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What you have to ask yourself is why wouldn't you. State laws are one reason. If the firearm is secure and legally loaded then the only reason you wouldn't have it ready to go is you're worried about waking up suddenly and being surprised by a friendly or you're thinking about searching the house and being surprised by a friendly. Either one can be remedied by safe gun handling, (muzzle control, finger indexed, be sure of your target and what's beyond it...) I'm not faulting anyone for not having a round in the chamber but the violence could happen suddenly and seconds mean the difference between life and death.
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Old July 4, 2013, 07:59 PM   #5
Mosin44az
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Mechanically, I have never heard that the 1911 can't be kept cocked and locked. I have actually read accounts of 1911s found buried on battlefields in this condition, that still functioned!

Tactically, you should just make sure you KNOW what condition your gun is in when you reach for it. Obviously if the mag is out and there is no mag in the gun, you know what you have to do.

Assuming you have a burglar alarm or other means of advance notice, keeping your gun unloaded, or unchambered, will still allow you time to get it ready for action.
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Old July 4, 2013, 08:03 PM   #6
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Since this seems to be leaning towards a discussion of tactics, I'm going to move the thread to the Tactics & Training Forum.

If the OP's intent was to find out about the functional/safety aspects of leaving a 1911 chamber-loaded, he is free to start another thread in the Semi-Auto Handgun forum with an original post that clarifies what information he is seeking.
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Old July 4, 2013, 08:03 PM   #7
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Strictly a personal choice. Many have years of "never leave a gun loaded in the house" instilled in their thoughts. Good advise, but outdated when defence against two legged home invaders rather than foxes in the chicken house is the purpose.
My choice, an empty chsmber is an empty gun.......locked & loaded.
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Old July 4, 2013, 08:12 PM   #8
redhologram
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I just got a new 1911 yesterday. It was bought for the sole purpose to be another nightstand gun for me. It'll be kept in Condition One just like my EDC piece.
That is a choice only you can make.
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Old July 4, 2013, 08:21 PM   #9
Domino300
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I'm for Condition 1 unless you have kids or immature adults in the house.
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Old July 4, 2013, 09:07 PM   #10
johnelmore
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You should not use a 1911 if you are new to it. Get yourself a revolver and move to the 1911 once you are well practiced with it.
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Old July 4, 2013, 09:17 PM   #11
.38Catt
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While I repect the 1911 platform, I do not own one for the concerns you expressed.

I think Johnelmore's suggestion is wise.

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Old July 4, 2013, 09:20 PM   #12
TheGunGuy
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Re: Should you keep a round in the chamber in a house gun?

In my home, the only safe gun IS a loaded gun.
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Old July 4, 2013, 09:26 PM   #13
Dwight55
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There is not a more safe production hand gun on today's market than the standard 1911.

It has a mechanical safety, . . . a grip safety, . . . and no one's finger on the trigger.

I ask you, . . . what more do you want?

A revolver CAN fire a round with a simple pencil inserted against the trigger, . . . yes it is difficult, . . . but it is IMPOSSIBLE with a properly operating 1911 that is cocked and locked.

Yes, people who are not familiar with the 1911 platform can be intimidated by it, . . . but if one really should be intimidated, . . . take a look at a Glock or a Springfield XD that does not have a grip safety. THOSE are dangerous pieces of handgun hardware, . . . compared to all the rest.

But, . . . to each his own, . . . that is what makes a horserace.

May God bless,
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Old July 4, 2013, 09:28 PM   #14
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No kids at my place anymore, wife uses revolvers, my usual is some sort of 1911, always in condition 1. I'm a Boy Scout, Be Prepared, & a Marine, firstest with the mostest.

An old Gunny says Semper Fi.
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Old July 4, 2013, 09:29 PM   #15
TheGunGuy
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Re: Should you keep a round in the chamber in a house gun?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dwight55 View Post
There is not a more safe production hand gun on today's market than the standard 1911.

It has a mechanical safety, . . . a grip safety, . . . and no one's finger on the trigger.

I ask you, . . . what more do you want?

A revolver CAN fire a round with a simple pencil inserted against the trigger, . . . yes it is difficult, . . . but it is IMPOSSIBLE with a properly operating 1911 that is cocked and locked.

Yes, people who are not familiar with the 1911 platform can be intimidated by it, . . . but if one really should be intimidated, . . . take a look at a Glock or a Springfield XD that does not have a grip safety. THOSE are dangerous pieces of handgun hardware, . . . compared to all the rest.

But, . . . to each his own, . . . that is what makes a horserace.

May God bless,
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Why do some people think a Glock is so unsafe? I have carried a Glock of some flavor or another in just about every way imaginable and never had an "incident"...
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Old July 4, 2013, 09:30 PM   #16
dakota.potts
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Gun should only be loaded if it's on your person or secured. Secured might mean a safe or it might mean a kitchen drawer where you hide it but it probably doesn't mean laying on the coffee table.

I vote for having your gun loaded and ready to go in the safe. Mine doesn't have an external safety but if it did it would probably be off. I do, however, decock it from single action trigger pull to a heavier double action for safety.
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Old July 4, 2013, 09:34 PM   #17
Garycw
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Should you keep a round in the chamber in a house gun?

Like others mentioned its personal preference and what you're comfortable with. On a side note Never assume its unloaded just because the mags out.
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Old July 4, 2013, 09:51 PM   #18
johnelmore
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Simulate a situation by setting your alarm to 3am. Set it to the loudest you can. Next put the 1911 unloaded onto the nightstand. I must emphasize safety and insist you check it twice to make sure its unloaded. Next wake up to the alarm and see how you handle it. Some folks may be able to make it work at 3am while others may fumble. This is why I say revolver.
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Old July 4, 2013, 10:11 PM   #19
dakota.potts
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Nothing difficult about handling a 1911 with one in the chamber and hammer cocked whether it's on safety or not.

My CZ 75 BD has no safety. If one's in the chamber and you pull the trigger, it will fire no matter what.

It's stored loaded in my safe. One in the chamber. If I open it and pull the trigger 15 times, it will go off 15 times.
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Old July 5, 2013, 03:59 AM   #20
JimmyR
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Ideally, I like having a revolver for nightstand duty, but when I have my carry gun next to me (generally a SA/DA autoloader), i tend to keep the round in the chamber. If your nightstand gun is a 1911, i would reccomend keeping it in condition 1 for 2 reasons:
1) Mag capacity- the extra round in the pipe is a much larger proportional increase compared to a 16-18rd 9mm double stack.

2) multiple safties- making the gun inoperable until both safties have been disengaged, reducing chance of errors while sleeping or otherwise around the house.
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Old July 5, 2013, 06:07 AM   #21
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I prefer double-action, safety off (if applicable), and round in chamber. Just pull the trigger and be done with it. Just make sure you have a good holster.
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Old July 5, 2013, 06:08 AM   #22
Vince44
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Usually keep the 9mm on the nightstand. There's no safety so I keep the chamber empty. Personnal preference. Thinking about switching to my .45, but I need to finish sighting in first.
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Old July 5, 2013, 09:25 AM   #23
Bartholomew Roberts
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Personally, I don't see the point in keeping the 1911 cocked and locked in a safe. I don't see a problem with it; I just don't see the logic. A handgun is less powerful and less accurate than most any other firearm. Its one big advantage is that it is convenient to carry and easier to conceal. If you aren't going to make use of that advantage and just plan to leave it locked up in a safe in the house, then why not lock up a long gun of some type and get the better power and accuracy?

On the other hand, if we are talking about a carry handgun that is being stored over night, then I suggest it be carried with a round in the chamber. I can find you several shooting incidents that started with the good guy taking rounds to his hands or otherwise being unable to chamber a round. Likewise, if you plan to carry it with a round in the chamber, then storing it the same way at night makes good sense. The less you handle a gun unnecessarily, the less chances you have to make a mistake. You'll also be able to use ammunition longer without having to worry about setback or primer sensitivity due to repeated clearing and chambering. When I take off my gun at the end of the day, I don't even unholster it usually*. It goes into the safe cocked and locked and holstered.

*However, it gets inspected/cleaned often enough to make sure there is no corrosion or problem with it and it has a finish that is much more resistant to corrosion than bluing or Parkerizing.
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Old July 5, 2013, 09:55 AM   #24
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A couple of minor quibbles with the otherwise good post from Mr. Roberts:

The OP said he uses a quick-access box, not a safe. Access is likely faster, and I don't know of a quick-access box for long guns.

And a lot of folks prefer the maneuverability of a pistol over a long gun indoors.

The rest of the post - carrying chambered, minimizing handling, preventing setback - I am completely on board. A 1911 isn't my choice, but the redundant safeties of the design make it very safe in the described situation, it would seem to me.
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Old July 5, 2013, 09:58 AM   #25
Johannes_Paulsen
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Should you keep a round in the chamber in a house gun?

@Bart Roberts:

If you're using the handgun for protection at home, and it's locked in a safe, presumably when you want to access it, time will be of the essence.
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