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Old May 7, 2018, 08:16 PM   #1
Runs With Fire
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CC empty vs live chamber

A discussion on another forum left me with a question. Of those who concealed carry, is there a general concenceous on using that +1

round in the chamber?
Empty chamber?
Why and why not?
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Old May 7, 2018, 08:34 PM   #2
5whiskey
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Cops do not carry with an empty chamber. Not does the military during war of guard duty. Hunters do not hunt with an empty chamber. I do not understand the discomfort anyone would have carrying condition 1 (magazine in/round in chamber).
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Old May 7, 2018, 09:10 PM   #3
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Too many things could go wrong trying to chamber a round under a stress. Always one in the chamber. They say most gunfights are over in 2.5 seconds. I don't want o spend my time racking a slide.
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Old May 7, 2018, 09:29 PM   #4
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I always carry with one in the chamber. It's an extra round in the gun and there are plenty of videos out there of recorded real life shootings that can show you just how fast it can go down....very fast so you may not even have time to draw + chamber a round. Plus, to me the very act of racking the slide on a fully loaded mag multiplies the chances of a jam 1000%. What if you short stroke it? What if you don't but the jams up chambering a round? Some videos even show the good guy losing because the gun jams up when the slide is racked, it's just too much of a risk to carry without a round in the chamber.
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Old May 7, 2018, 09:45 PM   #5
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For those who don't want to carry with 1 in the pipe, I did see an interesting custom car holster where the weapon is carried with an empty chamber. With a single grabbing/pushing motion on a gun in the modified holster puts 1 in the chamber and releases the retention lock on the weapon. Just pulling on the weapon doesn't release or load the weapon.
The theory is it's safer in the event someone tries to grab the gun or remove it from the holster as it can't be fired until the particular motion happens.
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Old May 7, 2018, 10:02 PM   #6
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I have heard (can't remember how long ago now) that Israeli soldiers are taught to carry with an empty chamber and train vigorously to draw and rack the slide on their weapons in essentially one smooth motion.

That said, I'm not Israeli, and I know I'm not that competent, therefore I carry with one in the chamber. Drawing and getting on target smoothly, quickly and consistently are tough enough for me.
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Old May 8, 2018, 06:11 AM   #7
Runs With Fire
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"Israeli carry" was the topic of debate on the other fourum. Party 1 teaches it and says it's safer. Party 2 says it's stupid and teaches round in chamber.
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Old May 8, 2018, 06:36 AM   #8
Don P
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Party 1 teaches it and says it's safer. Party 2 says it's stupid and teaches round in chamber.
Just for fun, at a range that allows it. Have a friend, or you use a shot timer to time yourself from when the the go is given or the shot timer goes off, draw your gun, rack the slide, and take a shot. See how long it takes, then you can evaluate how much practice will be needed to be proficient at the Israeli carry method. My personal opinion is, if one cannot carry a firearm safely with the chamber loaded then maybe one should not carry a firearm to start with
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Old May 8, 2018, 06:50 AM   #9
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Very few competent firearms instructors recommend carrying with an empty chamber. Regardless of how much training you put into becoming proficient at racking the slide upon presentation, it will always be slower and it assumes that you will have both hands free to use. Neither of these is a fair assumption to make, especially when you begin watching footage from real citizen involved shootings.

That said, this does tend to be a hot topic and usually doesn't last too long before being closed. A quick search will reveal many past threads on this very topic.
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Old May 8, 2018, 08:06 AM   #10
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It's up to the SITUATION.
The same three rules apply, APPLICATION, APPLICATION, APPLICATION.

I'm not in Baghdad, I'm not on the gun range, I normally do not carry with a round in the chamber or under the hammer.

With semi-autos I drill with charging the chamber, and I use dummy rounds in the mags so my clear & charge is fast & smooth. Having been in combat with issued M9 & Checkmate magazines, I'm perfectly aware that sidearms don't always function...
Failure drills are a must if you actually think you will get into a gunfight.

I'm the freak in this bunch, when I carry, most times it's a 'Cowboy' revolver with the firing pin on the hammer, and I'm working. With fixed firing pin, you are an idiot to have it over a loaded round...
I don't want snake shot in my leg when a tool strikes the hammer.

I've been near or present when 'Accidental Discharge' happened,
I was present when the firearms instructor from the Kentucky state police shot himself in the leg on the range demonstrating 'Quick Draw', I was present with the armorer for a city police department shot his finger clearing a jam, etc.

This spring, three people I know shot themselves, one in the butt (holstering loaded), one in the hand (charging the chamber) and one in the leg (drawing) and this is just this spring!
One I didn't know shot himself in the knee, don't know the details.
This is in my little, low population town...

Two of the three I know the details were 'Firearms Instructors' in one capacity or another, one park service and one teaches NRA Hunter safety classes. The park service guy is still sitting on a 'Donut'!

I'm old legs don't work as well as they did, but I have no wish to shoot them up, and if I shot myself in the butt I couldn't sit down and waste time on this forum!

If I lived in Chicago it might be different.
In 40+ years of POTENTIAL sidearm carry, 98% of civilian life I don't carry, only two times in 40+ years I felt the need to draw on a human in civilian life, and once I wish I'd been carrying & wasn't (my wife was!).

It's up to you & how you practice, and if you don't practice, you probably shouldn't be carrying...
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Old May 8, 2018, 08:34 AM   #11
Glenn E. Meyer
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This has been discussed so many times that it has become a Internet cliche in the gun world.

No respectable trainer or person with a modicum of realistic quality training carries unchambered. If this insults your personal viewpoint or style, that is unfortunate.

I would suggest the OP search on unchambered carry in TFL before we get pages of silly outrage.
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Old May 8, 2018, 08:38 AM   #12
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Add to Don's suggestion: Do it with your support hand in your pocket, using only your strong hand. How do you feel about empty chamber now?
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Old May 8, 2018, 08:54 AM   #13
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+1? Why not? As long as you are careful not to rechamber a single cartridge excessively, an extra round in a subcompact single stack may prove significant.

An unloaded chamber? No.

Israeli carry is mostly an obsolete artifact. If you need to train as many people as you can, as fast as possible, and everyone has a different piece of postwar surplus, you need to teach the safest and most basic manual of arms that will work on every single semiautomatic. This is probably not your situation.

The average gunfight lasts mere seconds. Depending on which statistical source you believe, it might take half that gunfight just to cycle that slide (and that's if you are lucky enough to do so). That's pretty scary if you ask me.

Waiting to chamber that round also introduces a significant fumble factor. If you do some forum searching or googling, there's numerous videos of this. Videos of a Jimmy-John's robber inducing a malfunction on cycling, a jeweler taking three tries to cycle his pistol and sustaining fatal injuries, and a shopkeeper fumbling the slide and getting himself and his son killed tend to be posted in these kinds of threads.

Of course, the flip side is that it's difficult to catch a case of Glock leg on an empty chamber.

I think, for the most part, that you would need a very good reason to carry on an empty chamber. In the civilian world, outside of an emergency, this is unlikely.
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Old May 8, 2018, 08:57 AM   #14
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They are hand-guns, not "hands guns".

In many times when someone is attacked the confrontation is so close that you need one hand to fend off the enemy. If your chamber is empty you effectively have a small club, not unlike a rock.

Keep one in the chamber.
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Old May 8, 2018, 09:13 AM   #15
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It is my understanding that the "Israeli carry method" originated by necessity. The Israeli operatives / military were carrying an eclectic mixture of pistols with different safety configurations and other control issues. To "simplify" operation with whatever pistol was in your hand training involved racking the slide to make it ready to fire which was a solution to help simplify a unique problem. It should further be noted that should one in the military be forced into using a pistol the situation is fairly dire. Soldiers primary weapons are seldom pistols. From a tactical stand point a delay as pistols are readied that loses one or two soldiers is disheartening but not "mission critical" (no I don't know the right word). I'm not sure they are the ideal example.

While I think the problems created by needing to rack a slide are overblown and over stated I think they exist none the less. Racking a slide is slower, requires movement that is not movement towards target, and unless one is really good at catching the rear sight on a belt requires two hands.

The reason most people don't carry with a round in the chamber is comfort with the firearm or comfort involving control and security of the firearm. These issues can be overcome and should be if you are carrying a pistol for defense. If they cannot be one should wonder if a pistol is your best choice as its use is unlikely anyways. If YOU, as a CCW holder, need a pistol chances are time is of the essence, you will already be attempting to overcome long odds, and there will not be multiple lines of defense or others behind you should you fail. These things all argue for carrying in as ready of a condition as you are capable of.
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Old May 8, 2018, 09:54 AM   #16
riffraff
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Personally if I'm carrying, and it's a rare occasion if I do, there is never one chambered. The reason for it is I simply do not trust myself or want the liability of being a trigger pull away from an accidental discharge with an item that is casually on my person or sitting next to my bed at night. I'm not sure my trigger discipline is real good out of a dead sleep at 2:00 AM either.

I don't have the training or discipline in my day-to-day life and I'm aware of that and I think it's that's perfectly OK. So many of the potential situations that arise leave you plenty of time anyway, the ones that do not you simply can't draw - it's concealed and you are not worse off having it concealed than without it at all.

My personal inclination is if you threaten me in arms reach with a weapon I'm going to #1 retreat to safety if I can (then I'll chamber one), #2 attempt to take it from you if I feel I must and I can, #3 do what you are asking until I can find an opportunity for #1 or #2.

Attempting to draw and fire on someone who is already pointing a gun at me I just can't see ending well for me - within arms reach I'd be far more confident in my ability to re-direct the muzzle and take it away from most people. As a 230 lb male though my concern generally would be getting robbed, the person wants your wallet not to detain you; for a 120 lb female the considerations would be different.

Last edited by riffraff; May 8, 2018 at 09:59 AM.
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Old May 8, 2018, 10:21 AM   #17
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I carry with one in the chamber. I also require a manual safety on a gun I carry.

Having said that, what is right? It depends on the situation. There is no right answer. Its what you feel comfortable with.

There are situations where having a round in the chamber and no safety is going to get you killed (ie person grabs you from behind, takes gun from you, shoots you). Having a manual safety or no round in chamber could of saved your life in that situation. On the flip, you need to draw fast and aren't grabbed, being able to fire right away might save your life. As you can see we can come up with situations all day long where one vs the other was right or wrong.
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Old May 8, 2018, 10:42 AM   #18
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Good replies! I'm new to cc and am trying to understand the extra thought process involved. I previously only carried a 22 revolver on my hip in the woods. Always had six rounds in the cylinder.
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Old May 8, 2018, 10:56 AM   #19
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The issue with empty chamber defensive carry is not only about the extra time needed to bring the gun into use. It (IMHO) is more about the action of running the slide under stress, possibly with only one hand WHILE fending off a violent assault.

Yes, i know you can run the slide one-handed, off your belt etc. try doing that in the moment, under stress, while wrestling with an attacker.

Look up “Active self protection” on youtube. Lots of videos showing actual gunfights. Some showcasing empty chamber carry. The reality does not match most peoples concept of the fight.
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Old May 8, 2018, 12:15 PM   #20
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Insisting that in a life or death situation there will be time to chamber a round shows real lack of knowledge in my opinion. Justifying that decision by pleading lack of training or practice, or by living in a safe area where guns aren't really needed and gunfights take place at a more leisurely pace makes no sense. Carrying a gun responsibly does not mean carrying it unloaded. It means putting in the time and effort to learn to do it right. Those not willing to do that should leave it at home in my opinion.
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Old May 8, 2018, 12:55 PM   #21
Bartholomew Roberts
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Why Israeli Carry Is A Bad Idea: https://thefiringline.com/forums/sho...=israeli+carry
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Old May 8, 2018, 01:41 PM   #22
riffraff
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Myself, if im fending off a violent assault and the assaliant doesnt have a gun, attempting to draw and fire isnt going to be in my top 3 reactions even with one in the chamber. For instance if someone starts waving a knife or bat in your direction you are going to try and shoot them before they do you serious harm? Im going to run or go hand to hand, either way a better bet for me.

But whatever the case the idea that you gotta be ready to fire at a moments notice or not at all i think is awfully closed minded. It does not hurt to have a concealed weapon if it doesnt come out, you are not any worse off and in many situations you will have time.
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Old May 8, 2018, 02:01 PM   #23
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Myself, if im fending off a violent assault and the assaliant doesnt have a gun, attempting to draw and fire isnt going to be in my top 3 reactions even with one in the chamber.
Why?

Quote:
For instance if someone starts waving a knife or bat in your direction you are going to try and shoot them before they do you serious harm?
If they are close enough to pose a serious, imminent threat, absolutely!

Quote:
But whatever the case the idea that you gotta be ready to fire at a moments notice or not at all i think is awfully closed minded.
Have you ever participated in exercises of the kind demonstrated by Dennis Tueller? An average assailant starting his attack with a contact weapon from a distance of around twenty feet can close that distance in the time it takes for a trained defender to draw and fire a handgun without racking a slide.

Quote:
It does not hurt to have a concealed weapon if it doesnt come out,...
What on earth does that mean?

Quote:
...you are not any worse off and in many situations you will have time.
If you say so.

You really, really need to avail yourself of some quality defensive training before you start carrying a firearm.
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Old May 8, 2018, 02:07 PM   #24
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Previous military/LE. I'm no expert by any measure, but I've got a clue. IMHO this is exactly why striker fired handguns took off. Actually safer than revolvers were at the time they were introduced (or that was the perception), yet it solved the 'cocked and locked' debate. Pull and fire. Triple safety design with the simplicity of a revolver. As much as I like 1911's, I'd never carry one as a personal protection. Not because the design is unsafe, but because I've never developed muscle memory to trust my life to it. Well that, and the weight.

If you aren't confident enough with your ability to safely carry a sidearm with one in the pipe, you probably shouldn't be carrying a loaded gun in the first place.
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Old May 8, 2018, 02:36 PM   #25
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