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Old February 21, 2008, 11:28 AM   #26
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Sterno, it sounds you did have plenty of time to rack a slide, although it wasn't a gun needed situation.

I am just playing the devils advocate. I read things about people accidently discharging their loaded gun and I am not sure that most circumstances require that the gun have a bullet in the chamber.

Okay, you guys can give it to me for living in the "sticks", but I have to read situations while out hiking just like you have to read situations in the big cities. The difference is, in the sticks, the animals don't care what you're packing and they often attack without any warning or provocation and at speeds that humans can't even dream of. I was charged two mountain lions from 15 feet. Had to unholster my revolver and fire at two targets. My fifth round was through one of the lions at my feet. Few city problems are more intense than that.

And you don't have to be nearly aware in the city as one does in some of the forests out here.

I think a lot of the city problems can be assessed with a little forethought and even avoided if wanted. A guy shot one guy recently in Colorado after two vehicles stopped at a light at an exit ramp. They were having some issues and the single guy got out of his vehicle to confront two guys in the other vehicle. Of course, the two guys got the single guy down and were beating him. He says almost to death. So since he was an off duty officer with a side arm, he pulled it and killed one of the guys attacking him. He needed his pistol with a bullet in the chamber, but I think he is getting off only because he is a police officer. And how stupid can a guy get? But he definitely had time to load a round before getting out of his vehicle since he knew he would shoot someone if he didn't have the upper hand.

I look at the recent shooting scenarios and think that there was plenty of time to load a round.
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Old February 21, 2008, 11:40 AM   #27
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If my carry gun actually has to come out of it's hiding place, precious 10ths of a second count. I'm worried enough about pulling the trigger god forbid, that last thing I want to worrry about is did I rack the slide. I understand not doing so on personal opinion.

To use another vehicle analogy, I train peole to ride motorcycles and have been doing so for a long time. When you pull up to a stoplight, you should always keep the motorcycle in 1st gear with the clutch in, ready to go, this has saved me from getting hit from behind twice because I was checking my mirrors for people not paying attention to a stopped motorcycle. Had I not had the bike in first with the clutch in, I seriously doubt I would have escaped being rear ended. It strikes me as similar because seconds count in emergency situations. If I had to try to pull in the clutch and shift to 1st just to move I think I'd have been sitting about 20 forward in the middle of the intersection.
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Old February 21, 2008, 11:45 AM   #28
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When I had a semi I stored it in the dresser drawer with a full mag and nothing in the pipe. When I carried then I put one in the pipe. Now that I've got a revolver I don't worry about such things anymore.
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Old February 21, 2008, 12:16 PM   #29
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You fall over and break your wrist on your gun hand side. Then you have to carry on your non-dominant side for quite a few weeks and have your wrist in a cast.

That's my experience for a circumstance that leads me not to consider unchambered carry. In fact, I then took a course on injured shooter moves with the forearm and wrist in a cast. Clever of me to break it to prepare for the class -
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Old February 21, 2008, 12:17 PM   #30
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You're right, it wasn't a situation where if I had my gun I would have drawn.
But my point of that post was that if I had needed to draw, at the time I would have most likely needed to draw, I wouldn't have been able to chamber a round.

If after that guy pinned me he would've drawn a weapon, and I would've been carrying without one in the pipe, I wouldn't be typing this right now. Period.

It's the reason I carry a snub .357. No saftey. No Question.

It's also one of the things that the scenario re-enforced. I left it out before because I didn't want to hijack your thread. If I draw, I fire. If I'm not going to fire, I'm not going to draw. I think that's the biggest problem with carrying without a round in the chamber. If I'm going to pull my gun, I'm going to fire it immediately after I draw it. I'm not going to have time to rack a slide or pick some flowers or say some thing menacing. It's either shoot or die.

And as far as accidental discharge, keep your finger off the trigger or get a gun that works. I carried with one in the pipe of a semi-auto for a few years before switching to a revolver. Never one accident. I'm also very trigger finger aware. I even keep my finger off the trigger of power drills and water guns.

But that's me. I don't expect you or anyone else to carry like I do. It a personal choice.
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Old February 21, 2008, 12:21 PM   #31
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Ok... You're just playing Devil's advocate. ... I'm cool with that.

Here's my answer:

Regardless of how the situatuion developed, (if I had time, or not) the simple fact is that once you draw a firearm, everything changes in the minds of all involved.

You asailant may panic (and be armed with a sprey and prey); or they may have specifically rehearsed what they would do if their victom drew on them. (maybe they even have a good plan...)

Regardless... Here's my thinking:

I want the first indication my asailant has of my armerment to be my second shot to center-mass. (hopefully the first shot will be folowed too quickly for them to realize it.)

And quite obviously, that will not be the case if I rack the slide first, even if I've practiced very well.
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Old February 21, 2008, 12:34 PM   #32
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Everyone is speaking of racking the slide in terms of "time." Think of it as a step in a process, albeit an unnecessary step. When you add a step to any process you add the potential for errors [slippery hands, injury or being restrained preventing a step from occurring, etc.] . Remember K.I.S.S., point and shoot, this alone under a stressful situation may in itself be difficult for those who do not train regularly, why add an unnecessary step? The advent of the firing pin block makes it 'safe' to carry a round chambered (not trying to open a can of worms with that statement). I vote for a chambered round...

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Old February 21, 2008, 01:06 PM   #33
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I don't always carry with one in the pipe. I most of the time feel comfortable with having it with me, even when I leave the sticks and go to Denver. Although I have to admit that I often have a small revolver that I carry.

Even out here in the middle of nowhere, we have issues. I think it was two years ago while driving across Wyoming, there was someone driving down the interstate shooting other vehicles.

There have been a number of deaths and shootings here in Jackson Hole.

I had someone walk into my house just last weekend. They were shocked at how they were greeted. It was a mistake they probably won't make again. I hope they won't it make again.

Some states require a little more training than here in Wyoming to carry. Here, all that is needed is a hunter safety course. That is not enough training to be proficient in firearms. I built a house right next to our local range a few years ago and know that there are precious few people shooting.

I don't know of anyone that spends the amount of money or time on guns and shooting as I do with my son. I handle and shoot something almost every day when there isn't snow on the ground. In the winter, I only shoot 1-3 days a week. I know that some of you guys live in worse places, but I also know that many probably don't use your guns as much either.

So, that is why I wonder about the advice on forums about guys always having one in the pipe. I think we all need to constantly be thinking about our condition of our gun(s) and how we are reacting in different situations. I realize I live in a different world than many of you, but I would stack two young boys I know and shoot with up against many of you because of the amount of time they spend handling, shooting, and reloading many different firearms.

I respect everyone that carries. Although I think many need much more experience before they carry with a round in the chamber. I am more nervous around my wife at a range than I am in a bad part of a big city.

I was pestering people about scenarios. I have learned a lot about dangerous encounters with animals by reading stories and working that stuff through my brain. I think the same could be true about people encounter scenarios for a lot of us on here.
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Old February 21, 2008, 04:20 PM   #34
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I look at the recent shooting scenarios and think that there was plenty of time to load a round.
Well damn you must be a frigging hotshot. Good for you. Oh, and Bonzai!

Of course, I see that you fail to understand that what has happened historically with these events is mutually exclusive from whatever event(s) you may end up in when you get to see if you have enough time or not.

The other matter is that while there "may be enough time," many folks end up pissing it away during their momentary reality check when they are trying to decide if what is happening is real and if they will have to use lethal force. Then all that free time is gone and where are you? At NIU, several students commented that they though the guy with the gun was part of a big joke. Folks at Luby's in Texas had trouble comprehending that the automotive accident that resulted in the truck being driven into Luby's was part of the assault of a gunman who got out of his vehicle and instead of needing or giving help, started shooting people.

Indeed, as dwatts47 said, you are an optimist. I am continually amazed at the manners in which people justify their need to be less than prepared when the option to be prepared was available to them.
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Old February 21, 2008, 05:00 PM   #35
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The REAL question here

I think the problem that needs to be adressed here is being discussed, but needs to be brought up in words.
That is Is keeping the chamber empty and racking the action when I need the firearm worth the trade off. Can those preciouse split seconds compensate for the risk of having a higher pissibility of a negligent discharge by keeping a round in the chamber?
And personally I dont have a CCW, but I see no readon why someone wouldnt want to have a round chambered....with modern firearms the safeties are everywhere. Can the gun discharge in the holster? Not likely. Can the weapon discharge while in a pocket? With 1911's the safety and the trigger being pushed in at the same time is HIGHLY unlikely, and with the glock....I doubt something could push the initial stage of the triger, then have enough pressure to cause the firearm to discharge.
So in a nutshell, if I had a CCW I would have a round in the chambered. Because I can think of more scenarios where time is precious needing my sidearm than not.
Just my opinion : D
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Old February 21, 2008, 05:27 PM   #36
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I think a lot of the city problems can be assessed with a little forethought and even avoided if wanted.
Glad this was resurrected in some fashion from the locked P32 thread. I think you've made my point for me in the above quote and other references to being aware of your surroundings.

My point is that if you're paying attention, see a mortal threat coming and still have time to draw and rack a slide successfully, you probably had a good chance to get a jump start on escaping that threat. At that point, you probably also want to be drawing your cell phone to call 911.
Otherwise, if you want to practice being scared for your life and running at full speed while trying to draw and rack a round, be my guest. You be the instructor and I'll bring a few pit bulls. We'll start our own school. We'll be rich.

Under situations contemplated by many states' self-defense laws, where you absolutely can not escape and your life is immediately endangered, who wants to be fumbling with a slide or having to think, "do I have a round in the chamber, or do I need to rack the slide?"

Which, takes me to my last point -- some of the best advice I ever got from an instructor: whatever condition you carry with a gun, always carry it in that condition. That way you don't have to think about it when it comes time to use it.
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Old February 21, 2008, 05:42 PM   #37
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Pishposh, I like to rack the slide after I shoot a round, just for effect. Sure I might be losing capacity but hey, it sure looks cool!

There are no animals quicker than lions and bears. I've had both happen.
Yet your tale about being attacked by two mountain lions involved you using a revolver? Tell you what, you continue to keep an empty chamber, and I'll continue to do what I do, that is: carry my weapon cocked and locked as it was designed to do such.
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Old February 21, 2008, 05:56 PM   #38
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There's a video out there of a tiger leaping on an elephant in India and mauling the elephant driver. Racking your gun and getting it on target would be quite the feat, even for those who shoot more times than us simple mortals.

It's clear and well stated - do you plan for the end of the event distribution when things go wrong or do you go for the modal event. In the modal DGU, you don't need bullets at all. So you probably do have time to rack your gun. But in the tail of the distribution, speed is a benefit. Choose your risk level. If you think you are going to shoot your nuts off - then carry an unloaded flintlock.

This reminds of the Sleepy Hollow movie with Johnny Depp. Depp and some dude with a flintlock run across the Headless Horseman who comes at them with a sword. Dude shoots him righteously with big old ball. Of course, being supernatural, HH falls down and gets up. Depp seeing this heads for highway but Dude starts to reload the flintlock. Depp looks at him like he is nuts, because you ain't reloading before HH gets to you.

Maybe removing your nuts vs. maybe loosing the fight: that's the debate.

When has it happened that a civilian DGU has ended because the civilian with a racked gun shot his nuts off? Not in the DGU literature.
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Old February 21, 2008, 06:17 PM   #39
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Ok, I'll be honest, I didn't read every response, but here is my thought. What if in a situation where you need the weapon in a hurry... Your mind is racing, your heart is beating extra.....What if you don't remember to rack one into the pipe? I've heard of guys getting frazzled and dropping the mag for instance at the wrong time... Atleast with one in the pipe you still have a chance.
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Old February 21, 2008, 06:24 PM   #40
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I don't get it. Sure with practice you can rack the slide real fast. and you can do it with one hand, though probably not in less than a couple seconds on the one hand thing.

But it is never faster then already having a round in the chamber.

Is having a round in the chamber all the time dangerous. Heck yeah it is. It's a gun, its supposed to be dangerous. thats why I carry it for defense. If I wanted something that wasn't dangerous I'd carry a feather duster. I could poke them in the eye if I had too, but probably wouldn't have to worry about accidents.

Besides, the round in the chamber isn't going to be a problem safety wise unless you violate the four saftey rules.

The example of a friend's home was given. If I'm carrying my gun in a friend's home, why would I not have a round in the chamber. In my holster the gun is not going to go off. I don't plan on poiting the gun at my friend or his property, I don't plan on sitting aound with my finger on the trigger. The gun is perfectly safe.

The tiny chance that an AD will occur is nowhere near as great as the chance that something will happen that I have to deal with quickly. Accidental discharges are not a myth but they are close to it. Most "accidents" are in fact negligent discharges. If the gun went off by someone pulling the trigger, then it was not an accident, it was negligence. If someone got hurt by omething other than a ricochet then it wasn't and accident, it happened because someone was pointing a gun at something they didn't want to shoot. A gun going off by itself, is much more rare then violent encounters that require you to keep one hand free to fight while you draw and shoot with the other.

like John Wayne said when the DA in True Grit asked him if his revolver was loaded and cocked. "well, a revolver that ain't loaded or cocked ain't good for anything".

LOAD YOUR GUN folks. Otherwise you just have an oversized sap.

And incidentally, the second post that referenced the fil collateral was not vague at all. The scene in that film shows exactly why you need a round chambered. If he had tried one handed chambering in that scene, he would have been dead, as the second guy would have got him by then. if he hadn't been using his free hand to occupy the first guy, then that one would have got him. Its the perfect example, and its a common scenario in any urban city. Two guys, armed, and in your face.
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Old February 21, 2008, 07:29 PM   #41
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This post is not intended as a threadjack. It is not a jab at those fond of semi-autos. It is not meant to be offensive; it is matter-of-fact, and if this thread had been posted in the Semi-Auto Handgun forum, I would not be making this post. I am not trolling.

With that disclaimer: All of the reasons or situations already mentioned are solved or circumvented by carrying a double-action revolver.
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Old February 21, 2008, 07:30 PM   #42
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Carry a .380 in a front pocket holster. Looks just like a wallet when it does print.

BG jumps out "Give me your wallet <expletive deleted>!!!"

Me: Okay Okay, as I reach into my pocket to pull out my "wallet" and I say

"You don't mind if I "rack" it first?"
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Old February 21, 2008, 08:02 PM   #43
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wayward son

An auto-loader with a chambered round and hammer down (on a DA/SA auto) is no different than a DA revolver. One might argue most autoloaders have a safety that may save your life in a gun grab AND have a smooth slick long DA first pull....
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Old February 21, 2008, 08:06 PM   #44
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To rack the slide requires movement beyond drawing a gun from a holster. You have to draw the gun, reach out with one hand and rack the slide, then aim, creating a very distinctive sound and motion. Should the bad guy be prepared, you've just cued him to shoot you. Drawing a ready gun from a holster creates a minimum amount of movement and he won't have the sound as a cue to shoot. He will have to rely on what he sees, and in a lot of situations we don't immediately recognize a gun until there is sound accompanying it. Make your motions as smooth as possible and as economincal as possible. A lot of people have been saying that time isn't that important, it is, in spades. The best way to minimize time lag is to economize your movements. Remember this saying? "Slow is smooth, smooth is fast". Be smooth, can you draw, present & rack a slide smoothly?

Just my $0.02.
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Old February 21, 2008, 08:06 PM   #45
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With a chambered round you are "guaranteed" one shot. If you are relying on a quick rack what happens with a three point jam on chambering the round. Now you are down to, cheap B movies not withstanding, a poor club.
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Old February 21, 2008, 08:12 PM   #46
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Carry cocked and locked period...
Why waste the time to rack the slide? Not to mention you wasted a spot for the bullet that might save you or a loved one in the fire fight.
My son still likes to carry a round in the chamber with the hammer on down. I disagree with him but that is how he practices his draw and fire.

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Old February 21, 2008, 08:32 PM   #47
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A pistol with a round in the chamber is a gun, without one in the chamber it's a paperweight with potential.
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Old February 21, 2008, 08:54 PM   #48
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I'm a fully loaded and topped off advocate.

As noted, there are predictable instances where the necessity of having to rack the slide is disadvantageous, regardless of the instances where it wouldn't be a factor.
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Old February 21, 2008, 09:11 PM   #49
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Old February 21, 2008, 09:17 PM   #50
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And as far as accidental discharge, keep your finger off the trigger or get a gun that works. I carried with one in the pipe of a semi-auto for a few years before switching to a revolver. Never one accident. I'm also very trigger finger aware. I even keep my finger off the trigger of power drills and water guns.

I cannot believe this is even worth a topic for discussion.
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