View Full Version : Condition 3 and revolver precautions

Pond, James Pond
December 8, 2011, 03:19 AM
There was a thread recently detailing how some poor guy had his gun taken from him and he was subsequently shot in whatever situation followed.

Now I realise the benefits of situational awareness, but no one is perfect.

By law, I have to carry my semi in condition 3 or less. Given that it is a Glock and I am relatively inexperienced with firearms, I find that easier to swallow than some "locked and cocked" endorsing members might.

I also once saw a film (and I know it is just a film) where there was a scene where a guy had his gun taken. The assailant fired: - click!, and in the surprise that followed was disarmed by the owner of the gun. The catchphrase after a brief pummeling was "never the first round for you!"

So my question to you is, is there more merit in condition 3 or even not loading the first fired chamber on your revolver in the context of a "someone's nabbed my piece!" scenario?

December 8, 2011, 04:51 AM
With a revolver there's absolutely no advantage since your assailant's reaction to the *click* will most likely be to pull the trigger again. So leaving that first chamber empty only knocks down your round count in a weapon that is already relatively short on ammo.

With the semi-autos condition three does make them safer. But keep in mind that if you NEED that gun, you may not have two free hands. And under certain circumstances racking the slide to chamber a round may be difficult, if not impossible. At the very least, it is time consuming.

Keep your weapon concealed, and your awareness up.

December 8, 2011, 04:55 AM
I saw a film - called Daredevil. In the film Electra picked up a Glock and shot at Daredevil, and after she ran out of ammo she kept pulling the trigger and the Glock went CLICKA CLICKA CLICK...

How does that happen?

December 8, 2011, 07:43 AM
Not for street use but if you like to practice fast draw with a double-action revolver, it might be a good idea to leave the first chamber empty (the one the hammer falls on when pulling the trigger the first time) in case you, well, do something wrong. That's also a good reason to carry an automatic with the chamber empty, too. There always seems to be an undue emphasis, however, on a fast draw, as if you were in a walk-and-draw competition or something. True, you may be doing something with your other hand, or for that matter, with your gun hand, but at least it's always there. You have to allow for such things. If you actually needed to draw your chamber empty pistol and in a hurry, it's hard to imagine doing something so important with your other hand that it wasn't available.

Anyway, you reduce the number of rounds in your revolver and for some revolvers, that brings it down to four.

December 8, 2011, 08:25 AM
If you store the revolver off body then there might be a case for it as it is not under your direct control at all times. I would not recommend it however. The last thing you want to be doing when fighting for your life is adding more time to the equation.

December 8, 2011, 08:56 AM
Do you know of any police agencies that recommend or even would let their officers carry a revolver partially loaded? Or even a pistol without one chambered? If you are carrying for self defense, the weapon needs to be ready the moment it clears the holster. What happens if you are pinned to the ground with the guy on top of you pummeling your head? How are you going to chamber a round then? (yes, I know about one handed chambering techniques, but I'd like to know how many people practice them regularly.) Why put yourself at a disadvantage when there are much better solutions to the problem of getting your gun stolen?

December 8, 2011, 08:56 AM
Before I retired I was a fighter pilot in USAF. Under one squadron commander we had to leave the next chamber to come up in our .38spcl Combat Masterpieces empty PLUS the next chamber. Our six shooters became four shooters. Needless to say small arms was not his forte! (Most of us didn't follow his order). :D

December 8, 2011, 09:01 AM
Under one squadron commander we had to leave the next chamber to come up in our .38spcl Combat Masterpieces empty PLUS the next chamber.

Wow. Of course if you are shooting a revolver from the cockpit you have bigger problems than two empty chambers....

December 8, 2011, 09:04 AM
My first thought if someone were to "happen" to nab my piece, would be to nab it back. Its doing me no good with them having it. :)

Seriously though, if youre carrying a gun, you really should have some retention/disarm skills in your bag of tricks. At the very least, some grappling skills, which are or can be very similar. Unfortunately, it seems many who carry a gun seem to think the gun is the answer to all of their problems, and dont feel the need to have other skills.

I personally never understood carrying a gun and not carrying it loaded for instant use. If you dont keep it loaded, youre forcing yourself into the same position of the person youre hoping doesnt get the gun, and now have to get it into working order before you can use it, and probably at that point, all the while trying to keep someone off of you. How many hands does it take to get your gun going from "empty"?

December 8, 2011, 10:35 AM
If I were pinned to the ground, I seriously doubt I could even draw a handgun.

December 8, 2011, 10:41 AM
Then you might want some H2H training, BT...

Some of us still could, if conscious and not disabled immediately by the initial assault.

Bartholomew Roberts
December 8, 2011, 10:47 AM
If you actually needed to draw your chamber empty pistol and in a hurry, it's hard to imagine doing something so important with your other hand that it wasn't available.

I can give three real life examples off the top of my head from past shootings that were discussed here:

1. Two men attack an Ohio CHL while he was gassing up his vehicle. His gun was in the center console of the car. He was forced to use one hand because he was using the other hand to keep them from pulling him out of the car and away from the gun.

2. CHL is carjacked in his apartment complex as he comes home from work. They tell him to give it up and then open fire striking him in the weak hand and stomach. He draws and returns fire killing one and wounding the other - doesn't even realize he has been shot until the adrenaline dies down.

3. CHL is visiting with friends outside apartment when man approaches with gun already drawn. He orders them into apartment. As CHL tries to covertly draw, man spots it and shoots him in the strong hand. CHL continues to fire with difficulty and is struck in other hand as well. Bad guy flees

December 8, 2011, 11:12 AM
I saw a film - called Daredevil. In the film Electra picked up a Glock and shot at Daredevil, and after she ran out of ammo she kept pulling the trigger and the Glock went CLICKA CLICKA CLICK...

Just to add to that count, if you watch NCIS they chamber a round almost every time they pull their gun out of their desk ("grab your gear!"). You never see them eject the round, eject the mag, put the round back in the mag, put the mag back in the gun and put the gun back in the desk for next time. :rolleyes:

I used to keep my weapon in condition 3, but eventually changed to condition 1. I think it's fine, just trading one risk (needing your gun to fire NOW without assistance) for another (having your gun fire NOW when you'd prefer it not or having it fire the second someone takes it away from you). I think it's just what risk you're comfortable taking (for instance I don't train for the FBI shootout).

December 8, 2011, 11:26 AM
I would not carry if I had to carry condition 3. To much of a liability.

Pond, James Pond
December 8, 2011, 01:13 PM
Well, so far not overly surprised by the responses and I should like to clarify that this is not the technique I am considering myself: it was a general question for discussion. Playing Devil's advocate, if you will.

As far as condition 3 is conerned, if I am to obey the law, them I have no choice but to carry my pistol in Condition 3, or conceal my mahoosive revolver instead...

December 8, 2011, 03:41 PM
I have no choice but to carry my pistol in Condition 3, or conceal my mahoosive revolver instead

sell ya a snub nose ;)

December 8, 2011, 03:57 PM
Whats the rationale of having a revolver loaded, and the auto not? Not that some things have any rational thought to them by those who probably have no experience with either that are demanding their use. :)

Then again, Im getting a snapshot of a grumpy old Webly loving curmudgeon who had troubles with the one High Power he ever handled. :D

Frank Ettin
December 8, 2011, 04:26 PM
I'm not aware of any place where carry in condition 3 is legally required. I'd be curious to know where the OP is and what the basis for concluding that carry in condition 3 is legally required is.

And while in the event of a gun grab there may be some theoretical benefit to carrying without a round in the chamber or with an empty chamber in the cylinder of a revolver, IMO the disadvantages more than outweigh any possible advantages. It's certainly nothing that I'd ever consider doing.

The best ways to deal with the gun grab problem are (1) situational awareness; (2) carrying concealed, or if carrying openly using a retention holster; and (3) learning some gun retention techniques.

December 8, 2011, 04:30 PM
Has no one has mentioned retention holsters, to help prevent losing the gun in the first place?

December 8, 2011, 04:41 PM
I believe the OP is a Brit expat residing in Estonia.

December 8, 2011, 04:41 PM
Carrying concealed is so last week. But in my case, I find I need two hands just to draw from serious concealment. With one hand, it is possible but not at all fast. However, let us go back to the original post.

A Glock, you say? Well, that is not such an awful choice but there is no middle ground with a Glock. I did find that the Glock I owned, a Model 19, was just about the easiest automatic with which to chamber a round. It was also the easiest to make go bang, too. I also read your comment about situational awareness but I feel sure there are lots of perfect people here, although I will quickly add that I am not one of them.

Pond, James Pond
December 8, 2011, 04:50 PM
@ AK103K

I think there is no rationale!! That is the problem!! Similarly, I can't own hollow points, and have to keep weapons in a safe!! However, the last two may be up for review.
I can sort of imagine the "we can't reduce the risk of NDs with revolvers, but we can with Semis, so let's at least do that" logic that must have gone through some politico's head but from an SD point of view it is not so useful.

The trigger pull on DA/SAs is enough o reduce NDs IMO, so why they can't have a condition 1 ruling on DA/SA semis is a mystery...
If they did, I might have held out for a Sig, or bought that Jericho 941.


I live in Estonia, hence why you probably hadn't heard of that law.

@ no one in particular.

One pro point of view that I can think of:
People have said that having an empty chamber in a semi or revolver would cost you valuable time in an SD situation. However, if someone took your gun, that is exactly the valuable time afforded to you to try and retrieve it or run your socks off.
In fact probably more as you at least would know what needed to be done if you drew, the gun nabber would not.
You could even train to snap one off on a revolver as you drew having the first loaded cylinder by the time you had sights on. A bit risky, perhaps, in case you messed up your cylinder order, but possible.:eek:

People also say that SA is the key to keeping your gun, yet often people say that shootings occur with feet to spare, not yards!!

If SA isn't always good enough to spot an attack before it is upon you, then it isn't always good enough to spot when someone is going to take your gun before it is happening!

December 8, 2011, 04:55 PM
if you had an older revolver with no transfer bar safety and it was sa/da then yeah i would carry one empty under the hammer but keep all other chambers loaded. now seeing as pretty much all revolvers today have a transfer bar safety then no i would keep all 5-6-7 chambers loaded. and as for semi auto i would always want a +1 semi auto for self defense. but thats just my opinion.

December 8, 2011, 04:58 PM
Way back when you were deciding on whether to get a revolver or the Glock,,,
The law requiring condition 3 in a semi would definitely have pushed me to the revolver.

I'm curious,,,
Did you know of that law back then?

I'm too lazy to search through all the posts. :o


December 8, 2011, 05:30 PM
I think that this strategy relies on assumptions about the mindset of the shooter that can't be counted on. While some people may stop and consider why the shot didn't go off, I expect that most would react instead by pulling the trigger again. That's what I'd do, it's probably what most novices would do as well.

So intead of ... CLICK- HMMM? , it's CLICK-ACK!-BOOMBOOMBOOM

Frank Ettin
December 8, 2011, 06:57 PM
...I live in Estonia, hence why you probably hadn't heard of that law...That explains it.

...I ...have to keep weapons in a safe!..But you can carry your gun outside the home? I ask because a gun grab tends to be an issue only when carrying a gun. If you have access to your gun only for home defense, your gun will be in your hand if you perceive a threat. And if you're concerned about the gun being taken from you when it's in your hand, there are some more significant tactical issues to be concerned with.

If you do carry, then a revolver might be a better choice. Needing two hands to put the gun to use can be a major problem (see post 12).

December 8, 2011, 07:59 PM
In response to Casimer:

One advantage to the lack of second strike capability that many complain about re: Glock, M&P, etc is that one does not waste time pulling the trigger a second time on an empty chamber - it is not an option.

Personally, I think second strike is not a good idea. It will only help for limited types of stoppages; I prefer to go directly into stoppage clearing mode.

December 8, 2011, 08:01 PM
If I had to carry in condition 3, I would put extra training time into learning to cycle the slide using only one hand - with each hand.

Pond, James Pond
December 9, 2011, 01:57 AM
@ Aarondgraham

Yes, I've known about that law all along, and I was leaning towards revolvers on the practical front, but the problem was the absolutely ridiculous retail prices on wheelguns. I could get an HK for the price of a Taurus revolver over here. I got the Glock first for that reason. A decent gun at the right price. The Redhawk came up later and was far too good a deal to pass up.

@ fiddletown

I can carry outside the home, but at the moment I don't and I don't yet know if I will, with the exception of forest camping with my dogs...

@ Mleake

Re racking one handed, I'm planning to do that.
The place is a building site right now so everytime I want to get the gun out I have to move a ton of stuff, so spontaneous training sessions have to be planned hours in advance!!:rolleyes: