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Old March 17, 2006, 01:38 PM   #1
Big Calhoun
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Chambered and cocked?

Hopefully this is the right area to ask this question, it does relate to tatics for home defense.

The scenario (I should say, the reality) was that last night as I was going to bed, I heard sirens. Thought it might be out on an access road, but as I turned the lights off, I could see flashers entering the complex. As I peek out the window, it appeared the local PD was chasing a vehicle. Now why someone would drive into a gated complex to elude the cops is beyond me.

Anywho, had some meetings this morning so I needed to get to bad. SInce there was alot of activity, I decided to chamber one, engage safety, and leave it on top of the pillow. Normally I leave my firearm(s) unchambered and under the mattress or under the bed. As I was going to sleep, it dawned on me that a mechnical failure with a .45 185gr +P round would leve a horrible mess in my bed and a biting headache

Now understanding that all mechincal items are subject to failure at one point or another (could be today, could be 20 years from now), is it wise to leave a loaded and chambered fire arm 'ready to fire' with the safety engaged? I wasn't concerned about grabbing it or bumping into at night. But what if I shifted it somehow and that iniatialized a failure and the triggered fire. Last night, my comfort was the HK USP .45 Tatical. Ultimately I decided to leave it unchambered but safety off. But had someone attempted to get into my home, I wouldn't want to give them a 'warning' by racking one.
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Old March 17, 2006, 01:45 PM   #2
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With firing pin safeties - it would have to be a multiple-point failure in order for the gun to go off on its own - VERY highly unlikely. Chambered and cocked, with an active safety, is how several decent pistols are supposed to be carried. 1911 has a slide lock, XD has a trigger safety, and both are correctly carried chambered and cocked (& locked for the 1911).
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Old March 17, 2006, 01:51 PM   #3
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From what I can see (and I get involved in a lot of mechanical design) most guns are pretty simple as mechanical devices go (look inside a VCR for a comparison).

Assuming a decent designer, the simpler a machine the less failure-prone it is.

I would feel safe having my usp45 on a pillow next to me with a round chambered with the safety on. I'd probably have it pointing away from me, just for paranoia's sake. And I'd probably have it UNDER the pillow, not wanting to be awakened with some creep pointing it at me.

50 years have taught me to never say never, but the chance of the gun just going off by itself are so close to never that if, for some odd reason I HAD to sleep with it pointing at me I would still be able to sleep.

Now, if you already know you are a very restless sleeper, I suppose it is possible for you to whack the gun and have the safety lever snag on the pillowcase, then in a later "operation" whack it again and have the trigger snag, thus obtaining a bang. That's something you have to figure out for yourself.
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Old March 17, 2006, 01:59 PM   #4
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My USP45 has a hammer-blocking safety. I don't know if it also disables the firing pin itself. I trust it less than I trusted the Beretta Cougar safety, which I was told disabled the firing pin by displacing it.
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Old March 17, 2006, 06:28 PM   #5
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Put it in a holster with the safety on, end of worry. Get some quality sleep.
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