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Old December 6, 2017, 10:58 PM   #1
Psychedelic Bang
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About keeping your carry gun loaded

This is pretty specific to Semi-Autos and I imagine could have gone in: the semi auto forum, or general handgun forum. Feel free to move where you see fit. To me it also has to do with tactics, and training

Do you keep your carry gun loaded, or do you unload daily?


I have been carrying a revolver that up until now I have been unloading and reloading quite a bunch - even though I have a lockbox/safe to put my pistols in, I have been locking up, "empty guns." I know, "all guns, are always loaded."

Anyways, here is the thing. I just got a semi-auto, and I have some very expensive speer gold dot ammo for it. Now I heard I can load up my mags and keep em loaded indefinitely, or cycle them every 4 - 6 months. There are a lot of thoughts on the subject...

My main concern is about the bullet in the chamber. I hear that you should not fire a round that has been chambered more than once in a semiauto, because the bullet gets smacked into the cartridge and it increases the pressure of the round.

So let's say I want to carry my semi-auto and I want to load my magazines with this pricey ammo.. do I just keep the gun loaded 24/7? I mean, I am not going to eject a $1.25 round every time I go in and out of my home.

I also hear that you can chamber the sd bullets 3 times and after that they are range food. But that seems in contrast to hearing, "never chamber more than once, its very dangerous."

So please feel free to shed some light on the situation. Thanks
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Old December 6, 2017, 11:02 PM   #2
jmhyer
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Keep it loaded.
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Old December 6, 2017, 11:02 PM   #3
TripleGGG
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Loaded
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Old December 6, 2017, 11:09 PM   #4
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Although it might be possible that a seated bullet could be pushed deeper by rechambering it some hundred or so times it is not likely. I keep my gun on or near me at all times. I keep the revolvers loaded and treat my semi-autos the same way. They are double action/single action so the hammer is down on a chambered round. Loaded and ready to pull the trigger and fire. An unloaded gun is only a poor club so I keep it loaded.
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Old December 6, 2017, 11:17 PM   #5
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I think bullet setback while chambering is talked about a lot more than it actually occurs. Yes, it is a possibility, and much more likely of you continually chamber, and remove the same round over, and over.
My carry guns stay loaded always. But when I do empty them for cleaning/maintenance I just make sure the round that was in the chamber gets loaded in the magazine. I also inspect, and compare rounds just as an extra measure.
I also rotate out a mag full of that "veey expensive" Gold Dot, and replace it with fresh a couple times per year. My bigger concern is availability of Gold Dot over the twenty something bucks for the ammo.
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Old December 6, 2017, 11:28 PM   #6
Psychedelic Bang
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I bought two boxes of 9mm for $45 and something.. so that's like $22.50 and maybe $1.17 a round. Ok, I don't mind cycling that twice a year, even if you said three or four times.

I was saying, "every time I go in my house, out of my house, in my house." If I had to toss a bullet in the trash, that would add up...
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Old December 6, 2017, 11:38 PM   #7
Bill DeShivs
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Unloading/loading your gun every day is dangerous, stupid, and offers no advantage.
There are a lot of THOUGHTS on magazines. Here is a fact-leave it loaded, too. Cycling does nothing for them.
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Old December 6, 2017, 11:48 PM   #8
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I think bullet setback while chambering is talked about a lot more than it actually occurs. Yes, it is a possibility, and much more likely of you continually chamber, and remove the same round over, and over.
My carry guns stay loaded always. But when I do empty them for cleaning/maintenance I just make sure the round that was in the chamber gets loaded in the magazine. I also inspect, and compare rounds just as an extra measure.
I also rotate out a mag full of that "veey expensive" Gold Dot, and replace it with fresh a couple times per year. My bigger concern is availability of Gold Dot over the twenty something bucks for the ammo.
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Old December 7, 2017, 08:36 AM   #9
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I live by myself. I'm not really too concerned about cycling some ammo.Eyeball comparison will tell you if a round got shorter.
A smooth feeding handgun might be easy on the ammo.

IMO,it boils down to how your personal discipline and general style works regarding safety.
IMO,the negligent discharge factor MIGHT be statistically more significant than your bullet setback issue.
We don't know you or your routine,or who is under your roof.
So IMO,I can't answer your question.

For myself,(and others can do it their way) every time I pick it up,I check the load status. Default assumption,its loaded. (The four rules)

But my preference is this: If its in my holster,under my supervision and control,its loaded. (Round in chamber)

If not,I clear the chamber.
While "all guns are always loaded",nothing goes in my safe or gets left on the nightstand with the chamber loaded.
And when I pick it up,I check it.

My S+W has a plain base mag,and the grip extension mags. I generally don't use the plain base mag.

Its a 12+1 gun. I can leave 12 in the mag all the time. I can load the chamber out of the plain base mag,remove it,and insert my 12 rd full carry mag.

That's my system. I'm not recommending it for anyone else.. You figure out what works for you.

I suggest you not choose a routine that leads to complacency or relying on assumptions.
I prefer to keep both clearing and chambering a round a conscious,deliberate act.

Last edited by HiBC; December 7, 2017 at 09:08 AM.
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Old December 7, 2017, 09:49 AM   #10
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Loaded. Why worry about bullet set back, when it’s so easy to measure if it is happening or not?

Quote:
Unloading/loading your gun every day is dangerous, stupid, and offers no advantage.
That’s a pretty silly thing to say. Go to pretty much any competition and it’s done before and after every stage. If you do something stupid or dangerous while loading a firearm, you are doing it wrong.
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Old December 7, 2017, 11:45 AM   #11
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Quote:
Go to pretty much any competition and it’s done before and after every stage
Quote:
Why worry about bullet set back, when it’s so easy to measure if it is happening or not?

firstly.. a good many people do not want to pull out a micrometer, they would rather not foster the condition to begin with.

Secondly.. what happens in a gun game arena is not something I want to adopt as part of a real life SD initiatives.

My EDC stays loaded unless I am cleaning it
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Old December 7, 2017, 12:10 PM   #12
Jim Watson
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I leave my defense weapons loaded.
I have seen bullet setback from rechambering. Not often, but why court it?
Many ADs are reported from careless loading and unloading. If you don't mess with it, you are not going to slip up.
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Old December 7, 2017, 12:18 PM   #13
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My three carry handguns are always loaded unless there is good reason not to be. When not on me, or on the nightstand beside the bed, they are in a biometric safe near my bed. While an individual decision, constantly unloading and reloading is not a practice I would endorse. I understand that many do, but why escapes me?
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Old December 7, 2017, 12:23 PM   #14
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Loaded firearms are either on me or in a quick access safe in my house. If they are moving from belt to quick access safe they stay loaded. If they move to the general gun safe they are emptied. I would not constantly load and unload a pistol if at all avoidable.
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Old December 7, 2017, 12:32 PM   #15
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Every time you handle a firearm, there is a potential for an accident. If you handle them enough, you’ll eventually see some really bizarre, freakish accidents just by virtue of probability. This is why the four rules are so important - they minimize the damage an accident can cause.

I don’t see any benefit to unloading my carry gun daily. On the downside, you are buying extra tickets in the “Will I have a negligent discharge today?” lottery and bullet setback is a real, albeit rare, issue if you repeatedly chamber and rechamber the same round. Repeated rechambering has also been reported to affect primer sensitivity in some firearms (although no handguns so far as I know). Based on what I’ve seen with premium defense ammo, that is more an issue of hundreds of rechamberings than a dozen; but you can always find a round that slipped through quality control too.

Then again, I don’t have to worry about who else might access the gun either. Your individual living and storage situation may be different.
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Old December 7, 2017, 12:44 PM   #16
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"...Unloading/loading your gun every day is dangerous..." Nonsense. Militaries and police do it all the time and have done so for eons.
"...should not fire a round that..." That's nonsense too. And "eject a $1.25 round" doesn't mean you're throwing it away.
If a factory bullet moves by simply loading and unloading that ammo is defective. Pistol ammo is crimped for a reason.
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Old December 7, 2017, 12:46 PM   #17
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Just keep it loaded. You should not be concerned with this because if you are it is an indicator that you are not shooting your CCW as much as you should to remain proficient.
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Old December 7, 2017, 03:24 PM   #18
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There is no need to unload a semi before you secure it. There are, in fact, some good reasons not to do so, including the possibility of bullet setback, and the fact that additional handling increases the opportunities for mistakes. What do you use as a HD firearm? It is not at all unusual for a person to move his carry pistol to a bedside table at the appropriate time of the evening.

Setback can occur, but it doesn't happen all the time. The people who say that no round should ever be chambered twice are alarmist. The people who put any number on the number of chamberings don't account for variation of ammo, pistol, and handling.

If you are concerned about setback, there are some things you can do. First, if you are going to unload, rotate the round to the bottom of the mag. Second, this is one time when you might want to ride the slide. Easing the slide forward is likely to decrease setback. Third, you can monitor the problem with an inexpensive set of digital calipers. They can be had on sale at Harbor Freight for as little as ten bucks. No, they aren't the best money can buy, but if this is your only use for them they are going to be good enough.

Overall, though, I don't think you need to listen to the alarmists too much.
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Old December 7, 2017, 03:25 PM   #19
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About keeping your carry gun loaded

My two CC guns are always loaded, I never cycle the round out of the chamber, when practicing I’ll swap out the carry rounds from my backup mag but shoot the ammo loaded in the gun.

If shooting high priced “magic bullets” bothers you switch to cheaper JHP then you can really shoot what you carry.


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Old December 7, 2017, 04:32 PM   #20
Psychedelic Bang
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peterg7 View Post
If shooting high priced “magic bullets” bothers you switch to cheaper JHP then you can really shoot what you carry.

Not the statement I made, nor is it relevant to the question I asked. Thanks for your other thoughts.
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Old December 7, 2017, 04:48 PM   #21
Bartholomew Roberts
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I’d add that I not only don’t unload the pistol, I usually remove the holster and leave it in the holster when I go to bed. Next morning, snap the holster with pistol still in it in the belt. Of course, it gets shot often enough recreationally that crud build up in the holster, pistol or magazines is not an issue.

If you don’t shoot it at least quarterly, then that’s a solution that has drawbacks.
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Old December 7, 2017, 04:51 PM   #22
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loaded?

Keep it (them) loaded and stop playing with the bullets.

You're just asking for an incident to occur.
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Old December 7, 2017, 04:56 PM   #23
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Quote:
Every time you handle a firearm, there is a potential for an accident. If you handle them enough, you’ll eventually see some really bizarre, freakish accidents just by virtue of probability. This is why the four rules are so important - they minimize the damage an accident can cause.
sure.. but it doesn't mean you abandon common sense regarding the potential for bullet setback. Rules are rules but your greatest failsafe is between your ears.
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Old December 7, 2017, 06:29 PM   #24
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Keep it loaded. If you do have to re-chamber a round that has been chambered previously do it. Where people come up with some of the stuff that they come up with just makes me shake my head.....that was not directed at you OP.
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Old December 7, 2017, 08:12 PM   #25
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Loaded
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