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Old July 6, 2013, 04:32 AM   #1
Bartholomew Roberts
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Why Israeli Carry Is A Bad Idea

Another thread recently brought to my attention that some of our newer members feel it is practical to carry without a round chambered in the pistol. While that may occasionally be the best possible practice given the specific situation, I disagree that this is a good idea as a general practice and wanted to explain why without derailing the other thread.

First, let's look at why military commanders prefer that their troops not carry a round in the chamber. For many militaries, including our own, firearms training is minimal and what training there is concentrates on the use of the rifle. Pistols are simply way down the list and receive minimal time. If a soldier negligently shoots himself, that reflects poorly on the commander. If a soldier is shot by the enemy because he was chambering a round, that doesn't reflect badly on the commander at all. Given how rarely pistols are used and the limited time available for training recruits, the chances are a soldier with a round chambered and minimal training is probably more likely to negligently shoot something than be shot trying to access a pistol. As an additional bonus, if your military has a diverse collection of different pistols, carrying in Condition 3 (magazine loaded, no round chambered) allows you to teach recruits a single manual of arms that works for every pistol regardless of where the safety is located on a pistol or whether it is activated by pushing in, sweeping up, or flipping down.

As a Concealed Handgun Licensee (CHL) though, you have different priorities. First, you are responsible only for yourself and your immediate family. You can devote the resources necessary to learning how to carry a pistol safely with a round chambered. Additionally, it is just as bad for you whether you are shot through your own negligence or through enemy action. Finally, the odds that you are using a different pistol with a different manual of arms are much less and something you have control over. Basically all of the reasons that make Israeli Carry an arguably necessary evil for some militaries, do not exist for CHLs. For a CHL, the only reasons to carry in Condition 3 are if you are improperly trained or you have an older firearm that cannot be safely carried in Condition 1.

If you are improperly trained or have a firearm in poor condition, then Condition 3 is probably a good choice until those problems can be remedied. However, shootings can and do occur where even those of you who practice a blistering fast draw and presentation are going to have difficulty chambering a round. Some examples:

Example #1: Man is playing poker with friends when game is robbed. Robber discovers man's holster while collecting wallets and gunfight ensues. Man is shot in both the right and left hand before he can return fire; but still manages to hit the robber and chase him off: http://www.ar15.com/forums/t_1_5/988015_.html&page=1

Example #2: Man is filling up car at gas station when he is approached by two men who begin talking casually to him and then attack him. His loaded Glock is in the center console of his car. This one has video so you can watch the guy trying to hang on with one hand and grab his gun with the other as the bad guy is trying to drag him out of his car. He also gives his thoughts on carrying with a round chambered: http://thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=454970

Example #3: Man is coming home from visiting sick relative when three men approach him and shout "Give it up!" and then immediately begin firing. He is hit twice in the abdomen and once in the left hand; but draws and returns fire, chasing away his attackers: http://thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=421065
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Old July 6, 2013, 11:36 AM   #2
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I can think of another very good reason to always carry with one up the pipe - if you are in a SD situation, it's very possible you will have the use of only one hand - fending off an attacker, for example. Unless you are reaching for a revolver, that handgun is absolutely useless without the use of both hands (except as a club, of course).
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Old July 6, 2013, 11:51 AM   #3
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This is also why I'm not crazy about manual safeties. When carrying for self-defense, it is very likely that when you need your gun, you will need it right now, and not in a couple of seconds. Chambering a round or properly disengaging a manual safety in a time-critical situation can get you killed. There are plenty of guns out there (SIG, Glock, Springfield XD, etc) that do away with that manual safety and can be safely carried.

As for the point made by the poster above, about possibly only having one hand, well, it is possible to chamber a round in a handgun with only one hand, by snagging the rear sight against something and using that for leverage to work the slide. Not a recommended technique, and possibly unsafe, but possible if the situation requires it.

I definitely agree that chamber-empty carry is usually a bad idea. Too many disadvantages, not enough advantages when using modern guns.
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Old July 6, 2013, 11:57 AM   #4
Frank Ettin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GM1967
...disengaging a manual safety in a time-critical situation can get you killed ...
Not necessarily. If you're properly trained and practiced the safety on a 1911 or Browning High Power will be disengaged during the early stages of the presentation before the gun is even on target.
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Old July 6, 2013, 12:10 PM   #5
manta49
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Quote:
First, let's look at why military commanders prefer that their troops not carry a round in the chamber. For many militaries, including our own, firearms training is minimal and what training there is concentrates on the use of the rifle
Do you think that all the people carrying a firearm have extensive training on handguns. Judging by some of the posts on this forum by people not even knowing what SA/DA is I wouldn't want to be within a mile of them if they were carrying a handgun with a round in the chamber. Its not just a matter of self defence its also people not shooting themselves or someone else. So from that point of view if there is not a round in the chamber they can't accidentally shoot someone and if they do need the firearm they can put a round in the chamber in around a second. So in my opinion carry whatever way you feel comfortable with and don't let other people tell you how to carry your handgun.
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Old July 6, 2013, 12:27 PM   #6
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I don't think that "all the people carrying a firearm have extensive training on handguns", no. But I don't think that carrying a 1911 unloaded is a solution to that. Nor do I think that knowing not to point a gun at someone and pulling the trigger is "extensive training". Nor do I think that knowing what SA/DA means is a measure of expertise.

In real world terms, I think that an untrained or unsure person, with an unloaded 1911 is more dangerous than one that's cocked and locked. If they have to rack the slide, and they are as you suggest "not extensively trained" I think it's REALLY likely that they'll have their finger on the boom lever. If it's cocked and locked they CANNOT fire it until they flip that safety down. But make them rack the slide and they can fire it prematurely, while racking, while trying to come up on target etc.


On soldiers - If a soldier/marine/sailor/airman is in a position where he's moved from his long gun to his M9, that M9 is then placed into DA mode with a round in the bbl. MPs and chasers walking around base aren't clearing rooms or looking for armed insurgents. But the moment they are, they change to "round in the pipe" mode. Civilians aren't typically in that kind of safe situation, surrounded by a barbed wire fence, all visitors identified etc. We (civi's) aren't moving from one state of readiness to the other. We are always (we should be always) in the state of ready.

- BUT -

I do agree with you about one thing. Carry in the manner in which you feel comfortable.


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Old July 6, 2013, 12:27 PM   #7
ClydeFrog
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Condition III, ambi safety controls...

I toted a few sidearms; condition III(empty chamber, safety on, loaded pistol magazine) while on active duty in the US Army(MPs/95B now called 31B).
I worked on force protection details & LE missions(called law & order in the US Army) with my sidearm in this condition.
I didn't feel unsafe or untrained but if I had any reason to feel the need to load my M9, Id load it then return the ambi-safety lever.
To me, condition I or "cocked & locked"/round in the chamber is the most practical way to carry a sidearm or CC weapon.
For most open carry or uniformed security details, I prefer a 9x19mm with a ambi safety(frame mounted). Walther or slide type safety controls are slow & awkward to use in a lethal force event. The 2 96 series pistols I owned were both D or DA only models with no manual safety features.
A safety engaged can assist you if you need weapon retention or prevent ADs(using pistol safes/access to "sterile" areas).

The IDF(Israeli Defense Forces) method seems to have appeal because of the densely populated areas & narrow streets the police, armed security & IDF troops sometimes may be in. A CQB event with a unarmed subject or a angry protestor could turn quickly into a weapon snatch. Condition III would be much safer in those events.
To me, a concealed pistol may not need a safety lever but it should be DA only or have at least a 5lb smooth trigger pull.
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Old July 6, 2013, 12:37 PM   #8
manta49
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Quote:
In real world terms, I think that an untrained or unsure person, with an unloaded 1911 is more dangerous than one that's cocked and locked. If they have to rack the slide, and they are as you suggest "not extensively trained" I think it's REALLY likely that they'll have their finger on the boom lever. If it's cocked and locked they CANNOT fire it until they flip that safety down. But make them rack the slide and they can fire it prematurely, while racking, while trying to come up on target etc.
You say about proper training people can be trained to safely carry and use a firearm in either condition. And some people can be dangerous trained or not.

Quote:
Nor do I think that knowing what SA/DA means is a measure of expertise.
I think knowing how your firearm operates and how the trigger system works on your firearm is fundamental to using it safely and proficiently. And much more important on how you carry it with or without a round in the chamber.

Last edited by manta49; July 6, 2013 at 01:09 PM.
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Old July 6, 2013, 12:49 PM   #9
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I haven't always carried on a regular basis. I carry with one in the pipe and no safety. That is now my preferred method of my pistols these days. Out of the holster or nightstand drawer and pull the trigger.

However, up until a few years ago I'd carry with an empty chamber - even in a holster. It really depends on how proficient and comfortable a person is with firearms and carrying them. It's also good to understand the advantages and disadvantages of each method, because to simply say carrying in condition 3 is like carrying an empty gun is untrue. There are occasions that warrant carrying in condition 3. Holster-less pocket carry or waistband carry, for example.
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Old July 6, 2013, 01:01 PM   #10
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When considering the Israeli technique, one must remember how and why the Israelis developed it. The reason was that, at the time, the Israelis were using a hodge podge of handguns with safeties that operated different ways. The Israeli method was developed because it allowed one technique to be taught that would work with the vast majority of semi-automatic pistols.

For most of us, however, we only need to learn how to operate one type of handgun. Because of this, I don't think that the Israeli method is typically the best technique because of the afformentioned reasons. The only instances in which I'd consider using the Israeli method myself would be if my gun had a safety which was difficult or awkward to operate, the safety was not positive enough to be relied upon, or the pistol was unsafe to carry with the chamber loaded due to the lack of a safety (the Tokarev is the only pistol I can think of which fits this category). Of course, if my gun fit one of those three categories, I'd probably be more concerned with finding a more suitable pistol.
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Old July 6, 2013, 01:32 PM   #11
Bartholomew Roberts
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Quote:
Do you think that all the people carrying a firearm have extensive training on handguns.
No, that is why I added the caveat about insufficient training being a good reason to carry in Condition 3. However ultimately, I don't think continuing to carry a gun while poorly trained is a good long term solution. At some point, you need to make the choice to not carry or get trained for competent carry.
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Old July 6, 2013, 01:38 PM   #12
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Onward Allusion raises a good point about some types of improvised holsterless carry (pocket or Mexican) being safer in Condition 3, even with a good quality firearm in good condition. I didn't think about that because it has been a long time since I've carried without a holster; but I would definitely want to carry a Glock or similar action pistol in Condition 3 in those circumstances.
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Old July 6, 2013, 02:25 PM   #13
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Quote:
You say about proper training people can be trained to safely carry and use a firearm in either condition. And some people can be dangerous trained or not.
I'm getting really confused. Manta, you want to use the "He's untrained so he should carry unloaded" argument. Now you want to use the "Trained people should be able to safely carry in either condition" argument.

I say, trained or not - Carrying a 1911 in a condition that requires you to cycle the slide is MORE dangerous than carrying it cocked and locked.

And again, YOU or anyone, should carry in a manner in which they feel is safe.


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Old July 6, 2013, 03:16 PM   #14
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^OP, AGREED!
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Old July 6, 2013, 03:57 PM   #15
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The Nordic armies changed to the Israeli method a couple of years ago and since then ND/AD have dropped considerably!

People take more care I guess.
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Old July 6, 2013, 04:07 PM   #16
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I have never carried on an empty chamber and seriously doubt I ever will. All that being said, I am not inclined to believe that even 20% of SD shootings ever boil down to [speed of draw] determining the winner. Most SD shootings are not [ stick-em up!] from the bushes and men no longer call each other out into the street and yell [draw!]

I say if people want to carry on an empty chamber, let them. My hope is that they have trained around that decision and have practiced [ draw-rack-fire]. The idea that a person carrying on an empty chamber is somehow doomed to fail in a confrontation is not intellectually honest. Survival depends on a great many things. Could it depends on speed of draw? sure... Is that typical? nah
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Old July 6, 2013, 05:59 PM   #17
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As I have posted many a time....

Several advantages for chamber carry plus a few disadvantages.

1) Simplicity. No need to add another step to get the weapon in action.

2) Immediate first shot in the shortest time period, especially from retention position (that is grabbing distance.)

3) No need for two hands to chamber. You may have one hand hurt or busy and not be able to use two hands.

Grappling with an attacker also makes chambering with two hands rather tough. Opponent may slam you to the ground, or grab the weapon, or just punch you while you try to chamber a round.


4) When under pressure you might short stroke the action and jam the weapon.

The downside is that if you forget the gun is loaded you can pull the trigger and have a AD/ND (but then, just KYFFOTFT till the weapon is on target.) Yes there are AD/NDs every year. No doubt many have their weapons chamber loaded, but then many are ‘cleaning’ their weapons and well, who knows what state their weapons was really in.

Now chamber empty (C3) has a few advantages.

1) A gun snatch will give you a few seconds for the BG to react (you hope) to get the weapon back.


2) If you have kids, and the slide is hard to rack, it's less chancy of they get the gun somehow (but then I feel you should just pick the gun up, ok.)

3) If your gun is not drop safe, then chamber empty is the best way to carry.

4) No safe way to carry the weapon (lack of holster, poor holster, etc..)

5) If you tend to take your gun out and play with it instead of keeping it holstered then C3 might be a better way to carry. (not kidding, there are people that do mess with their weapons like that.)

Overall, chamber empty is an inferior technique for most people.

There are some where it serves a purpose like having the weapon hidden around the house and you have time to chamber a round, but for most, chamber loaded is the better technique for a defensive handgun.

Now why is C3 inferior?

Because of the extra steps one has to take that mostly require two hands under very stressful conditions.

Yes I am aware you can chamber one handed but can one do this quickly and reliably adverse conditions? I do mean quick and reliable, say when grapping with an attacker? Or with various simi-autos that are produced now?

Or in the rain? Or while moving? I doubt it.

One doubts it, right? Doing a one handed rack on a square range on a sunny day isn't the same thing as on the street when things are going down hill quickly.

Is chamber empty safer to carry in the light of ND/ADs?

It is difficult so see how it is safer if you keep the weapon in a proper holster that covers the trigger guard and has adequate retention (in case of a fall or such) and don/doff with the weapon in the holster.

That way the trigger cannot be pulled in any way.

But wither one carries their weapon C1 or C3, it is very important to train to be safe.

If you cannot keep your weapon holstered until needed, don't carry C1, and if you tend to fumble chambering a weapon fast, don't carry C3 (and for BOTH C1 and C3, if you can't keep your finger off the trigger until the need to fire, leave the gun home!) Training is the most important part.

Ignorance is what causes AD/NDs, not the state of the weapon.

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Old July 9, 2013, 04:38 PM   #18
markj
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Always felt that the 1911 would be best slapped alongside the temple

it works too.


I carry mine condition 1 when I carry. Like hunting, you got one in the chamber or you may miss the shot.

altho some should not be allowed to even look at a gun....
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Old July 10, 2013, 08:58 AM   #19
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Quote:
This is also why I'm not crazy about manual safeties. When carrying for self-defense, it is very likely that when you need your gun, you will need it right now,
Perzactly.
That is one of the reasons why I so much like my Walther-styled American Arms PX-22. It is a DA/SA and has a transfer bar safety. Chambered with the hammer down it is as safe a carry, point and shoot as a gun can be. I never engage the hammer block safety. No reason to and in a SD situation could cause delays with unfortunate results.
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Old July 10, 2013, 09:45 AM   #20
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Growing up in a rural area where every boy wanted to hunt, at 12yrs old we took our "Hunters Safety Course". That simple, basic course instilled in me the acute knowledge to always be conscious of where my finger was in relation to the trigger (and to keep my finger off it until I was ready to pull it), whether my gun was loaded or unloaded (and the need to sometimes set the gun aside, and/unload), and to consider what was beyond my shot (and be sure that it was a proper back stop. Now, with that said, I'm of the mind that every person should choose what they feel safest doing, and do that without worrying aqbout what the rest of us think, but this idea that gun safety requires some sort of extensive, formal training is literally childish (child-like mentality) IMO. If a person can't get it through their thick head to be conscious and alert concerning gun safety (without having to enroll in university), they shouldn't be "playing" with a gun. The fact that some militaries can't train men as well as a hunters safety course can train a group of 12 year old boys is mind-boggling to me. Now before anyone decides to argue semantics with me, of course accidents can and do happen (and society is full of morons who magnify the fact), but that does not change the basic sentiment I am attempting to express here.
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Old July 10, 2013, 10:39 AM   #21
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I could see why armies do "Israel carry" you are dealing with many people who do not have that much experience handling handguns. i have read some stats where armies have had more accidental shootings then actual combat shootings.
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Old July 10, 2013, 02:10 PM   #22
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I think C3 went away with the switch from 1911's to Berettas. Honest fellas, those that the army had were shot out worn down pos. No way would I trust it to stay locked. C3 with a G.I. flap holster converted to loaded and cocked on the draw. I think anyone who wore an MP brassard in that time frame could present ready to go faster than I suppose many of you can imagine.
Just as you can cycle the action on your heel, the flap holster with the shelf works just the same, and with practice, Bob's your uncle.
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Old July 10, 2013, 07:12 PM   #23
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If I did not intend to carry with a loaded chamber, I would not carry. If you come under attack time will be important. If one is so unfamiliar with his gun that he doesn't carry one in the chamber, I doubt he will be good enough to work the action and get into action in the time needed.


Practice with the gun until operation is second nature, and that safety is always practiced. If not then maybe a revolver is the way to go.

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Old July 11, 2013, 08:14 AM   #24
Glenn E. Meyer
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Does anyone who carries a modern revolver or uses one for home SD, have it load such that first trigger pull lands on an empty chamber?

Just curious. Is the issue just trigger pull? Human factors research shows that under stress you can ND a DA/SA or DAO semi quite easily.
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Old July 11, 2013, 08:34 AM   #25
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Only reason to have an auto in C3 is when it's being stored off-body, such as in a safe or a nightstand. Having that extra step is safer when you're waking up.

If the gun is on your person, it needs to be in C1 or C2, dependant on the design of your auto.

GM1967: the grip safety on a XD is a manual safety....it is just one that is easier to disengage than other types.
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