Downside of an empty chamber

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Mobuck

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After having a discussion of loaded vs empty chamber with a somewhat naïve (newer) concealed carry person, I came up with some good points(seem good to me anyway).
Although it may seem that an empty chamber makes the firearm 'safer' to carry, simply carrying isn't the big issue. AD's are more likely to occur during handling(as in loading/unloading) and once the firearm is in the holster, it's quite unlikely to discharge w/o outside influence.
From my perspective, the bigger concern is the extra movement and handling required if/when one might need to draw the gun and chamber a round. Do you have that much time? Do you have free use of both hands? Can you manage this w/o making a big show of the actions? Will those actions be considered 'escalation of force' later?
I'm not a big fan of quick draw--if I feel the need, I intend to have my gun in my hand. That said, being able to discreetly draw w/o showing your intent is a BIG factor. Dragging out your hogleg and yanking the slide is VERY provocative and for the witnesses might seem that you're the aggressor.
FWIW, I don't unload my carry guns unless/until I need to clean them.
 

dweis

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In Israel law enforcement and military by rule do not have a round chambered. I have watched a number of videos on YT of the way they are trained to charge the pistol fluidly when drawing. They do it with exceptional speed and in the process they go into a shooting stance. From my perspective I think they do it faster than I can with a chambered round. Of course, the are trained as to develop muscle memory. From what I have watched I don’t think they are at a disadvantage, but I don’t think their technique gives them ant advantage either. I always have a chamber round in my pistol. The only time I do not is when doing maintenance on the gun. I select my holsters carefully and have been doing this for decades so I feel comfortable and safe. My EDC is Security 9 Compact. I keep the safety disengaged. The safety is designed so that it will not accidentally engage. However, I have trained myself to use my thumb to release the safety on the draw so that if it were to accidentally engage I would flick it off. It is easy to disengage. So I am a happy camper with a chambered round.
 

GunnyGene

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After having a discussion of loaded vs empty chamber with a somewhat naïve (newer) concealed carry person, I came up with some good points(seem good to me anyway).
Although it may seem that an empty chamber makes the firearm 'safer' to carry, simply carrying isn't the big issue. AD's are more likely to occur during handling(as in loading/unloading) and once the firearm is in the holster, it's quite unlikely to discharge w/o outside influence.
From my perspective, the bigger concern is the extra movement and handling required if/when one might need to draw the gun and chamber a round. Do you have that much time? Do you have free use of both hands? Can you manage this w/o making a big show of the actions? Will those actions be considered 'escalation of force' later?
I'm not a big fan of quick draw--if I feel the need, I intend to have my gun in my hand. That said, being able to discreetly draw w/o showing your intent is a BIG factor. Dragging out your hogleg and yanking the slide is VERY provocative and for the witnesses might seem that you're the aggressor.
FWIW, I don't unload my carry guns unless/until I need to clean them.

I don't know what the split is on the question, (50/50 maybe?). But it seems to breakdown to fear vs confidence. Fear of an AD, etc., versus confidence in handling. I think.
 

blammer

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Interesting. As Mobuck says, odds are overwhelming gun discharge will only happen when it is handled. Odds of modern pistol going off bouncing around in a holster is very very small.

Given that, my concern is when I DO have to handle the pistol. My old, fat hands grabbing a pistol from a pocket make the odds of an ND go up (and even more so when reholstering). That's why I carry a pistol with a manual safety, practicing putting the safety on 'fire' as part of the draw. Yes, it's an extra step and might cause me problems with adrenaline kicking in. But at least around here, odds of having to touch the pistol during a critical incident are much lower than having to do it for normal cleaning and practice.

It's a individual decision, balancing safety and accessibility. Just be sure to make a conscious decision after some research, thought, training, practice. Because everyone who handles a gun is responsible for every bullet that gets fired from it.
 

Mike J

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I would agree with you Mobuck. As you say if the pistol is in a quality holster that covers the trigger guard it should not be possible for it to fire. Currently I carry pistols that do not have an external safety but if one trains to keep one's finger off the trigger during the draw until the pistol is pointed towards the target I am fine with that.

I also agree with dweis. I used to carry a Ruger P-series with the safety/decocker. I carried it with the safety off. Then one day I discovered that it was on when I thought it was off. If carrying a firearm with a safety I consider it necessary to train to disengage it whether I leave it on or off.

I believe it all really comes down to training/familiarizing yourself enough with your equipment to be competent & confident in its use.
 

Mike J

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I probably shouldn't double dip but this thread made me think of a fellow I encountered at Academy a while back. I went to the aisle where the ammunition is to see what is available & wound up talking to another guy that was there looking. I noticed he was open carrying. I probably shouldn't have but I asked what he was carrying. It was a FNP-45 (large DA/SA pistol) . Then I looked closer at the pistol & said, "Oh, you're carrying cocked & locked." Then after looking closer again I said, "You're carrying cocked & unlocked."
He told me that he was carrying chamber empty. He had the safety off & the hammer cocked to make it easier to rack the slide & chamber a round & avoid the double action trigger. It kind of blew my mind a bit. I think I said, "Oh." I got away from him pretty quickly after that.
 

BearBiologist

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Elsewhere there is a post quoting Wyatt Earp. In a nutshell, speed doesn't win gunfights, accuracy does!
 

Biggfoot44

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My sincere hats off to the Rank & File men & women of Israel Military / LE/ related types to their endeavoring to maintain skills to do as well as they do , Despite the unforgivable bureaucratic inertia to still be tought / mandated to use totally jacked up doctrine .

**************************

As mentioned by Mobuck -

If you ( excluding a couple of rare historical examples , or first generations of cheap piece of manure .25acp or .22lr pot metal pocket pistols you shouldn't actually carry anyway ) leave a pistol alone in the ( vaguely properly designed) holster , it's not spontaneously going off , or jumping out and attacking anyone .

Conversely , administrative chambering and unloading is the leading occasions of duty related AD's . Much less trying to do so for real , under stress , when hands are sweaty / muddy/ bloody / etc .

***********************8

If someone hypothetically doesn't trust themselves with a loaded gun , I won't try to change their minds . I just question the point of carrying an UNloaded gun instead .
 

Dan in MI

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I'll play devil's advocate.

When I started carrying full time I wanted to get used to it. Previous forays had been short term and shoulder holster. For the first two weeks I carried it empty chamber, but cocked and locked. Just to get used to it and test for any potential unknowns. I learned something about the holster I had chosen. Something about it, or how I had it positioned, hit the mag release. My mag hit the floor once (at home) and twice I noticed it popped, but not out of the gun.

Holster change try again. No weirdness in the two week test period. It's been chambered and cocked and locked since.

Yes, I know if something happened in that two weeks I'd have all of the above mentioned possibilities. To be honest, I don't ever see myself in a required quick draw scenario. I expect most times a EDC is pulled there is time to evaluate the situation and draw controlled. I'm not saying don't be prepared for it, I just believe if you are aware of your surroundings/situation you'll already have a plan devised and may well be into implementation of that plan if the time comes.
 

Pat-inCO

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Most of you have clearly defined why I LIKE a Sig. Hammer down on a loaded chamber,
WITH a decocker to SAFELY lower the hammer. If (hopefully not) ever you need to use
it: Draw, use the booger hook to activate the trigger. NOT a matter of IF I did anything.
Just pull the trigger and listen for the loud noise.

I've run across many people that complain about the difference in trigger pull between the
first round and the remainder of the shots. In my practice, I could NOT tell you if there
was any difference! The stress of a shoot situation makes ALL of that a non issue.

YMMV.
 

vito

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Both of my semi autos that I use for concealed carry are striker fired guns, a Ruger Lc9s and a Glock 26. I have never had any serIous concerns over carrying with a round in the chamber, in a holster that fully covers the trigger guard. The one revolver that I sometimes carry is a S&W 642, which has an internal hammer. I carry that gun with all 5 chambers loaded. For all of carry guns I just need to draw it, and pull the trigger. Nice and simple.
 

GunnyGene

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I'll play devil's advocate.

When I started carrying full time I wanted to get used to it. Previous forays had been short term and shoulder holster. For the first two weeks I carried it empty chamber, but cocked and locked. Just to get used to it and test for any potential unknowns. I learned something about the holster I had chosen. Something about it, or how I had it positioned, hit the mag release. My mag hit the floor once (at home) and twice I noticed it popped, but not out of the gun.

Holster change try again. No weirdness in the two week test period. It's been chambered and cocked and locked since.

Yes, I know if something happened in that two weeks I'd have all of the above mentioned possibilities. To be honest, I don't ever see myself in a required quick draw scenario. I expect most times a EDC is pulled there is time to evaluate the situation and draw controlled. I'm not saying don't be prepared for it, I just believe if you are aware of your surroundings/situation you'll already have a plan devised and may well be into implementation of that plan if the time comes.
I had the same mag release issue with a P365 when I first bought it and a leather OWB holster for it. Just carved out the part of the holster that was pressing on the button. No problem since then and I carry this rig every day.
 
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Jack Ryan

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I've never figured out why if so many people are so all fired positive they have everything figured out and are at the absolute pinical of gun knowledge, why does it bother them so much about what any one else wants to do? I think they are trying to convince their self more than any one else.
 

cwo4uscgret

Bearcat
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Mar 9, 2010
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My primary carry gun is some variant of a 1911. I carry that with a round chambered, hammer back, safety on. On the draw the safety comes off and the trigger finger goes in the trigger guard as I take aim.

No matter how you carry or what you carry practice, practice, and more practice.
 

Mobuck

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"pinical of gun knowledge"
I don't claim to be 'the PINNACLE of gun knowledge' (I can only assume that's what you meant).
Here on RF, we all have our preferences but it's still best to go with the flow and have civil discussions. Us 'old guys' have been places and done things that give us a bit of knowledge that others may not have had the misfortune to accumulate. Over the past 50+ years, I've 'unobtrusively carried' a variety of firearms ranging from a small 22 semi-auto in a hip pocket to a folding stock sub-machinegun in a backpack.
 
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My preference with my every day carry is the old style Ruger 380 or a Kel-Tec P32, both of which have no safety and a long hard trigger pull, which in effect is sort of a safety. They are as small and light as can be. I carry with a round chambered and in my right front pocket. Summer dress is almost always shorts and a T-Shirt. Like the lobsterman with a belt knife, you may only have one hand to work with when an emergency occurs. I really like revolvers, but they just print too much.
 

Mobuck

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" Like the lobsterman with a belt knife, you may only have one hand to work with when an emergency occurs."
This brings up another point: with my striker fired, loaded chamber pistol carried in a cross draw holster, I can fairly effectively draw and fire with my left hand should my strong hand become encumbered. This is virtually impossible with most other carry options.
 

Jeepnik

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One of the best advantages of a cross draw is as Mobuck stated. Another is access while seated. A third is that you can blade your body to your target much easily and quickly when drawing. This presents a much smaller target.
 
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My limited experience... none of which is from the real world, but probably as close as one can get. I've take a force on force class twice at the Sig Academy and what I learned is you have just about one second when things go bad to make a life or death decision.... the realty is when 'it' hits the fan... all bets are off.... if you are able to walk away that is a good day.
 

Jack Ryan

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Joined
Aug 21, 2012
Messages
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"pinical of gun knowledge"
I don't claim to be 'the PINNACLE of gun knowledge' (I can only assume that's what you meant).
Here on RF, we all have our preferences but it's still best to go with the flow and have civil discussions. Us 'old guys' have been places and done things that give us a bit of knowledge that others may not have had the misfortune to accumulate. Over the past 50+ years, I've 'unobtrusively carried' a variety of firearms ranging from a small 22 semi-auto in a hip pocket to a folding stock sub-machinegun in a backpack.
So? Assume what ever you want.

Go with the flow is the problem with this country today.
 

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