CCW: One in the chamber or not?

Discussion in 'Carry Issues' started by ArlenGunClub, Jan 24, 2013.

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  1. I have one Glock I keep without a round in the chamber. It's the 17 in the bedroom with a light attached. If I hear something go bump in the night downstairs, I have plenty of time to rack the slide before checking it out. I keep it with the trigger pulled, so I know it's empty.

    I also keep a revolver closer to hand if I need something quicker.

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    #61 HexHead, Jan 25, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2013
  2. Only takes a second to rack the slide, better safe than sorry.

  3. One in the chamber at all times. Do it for a little while then you will forget about and stop worrying.

    With that being said, I couldn't care less what you did. I don't feel safe unless I have one hot and ready to go. If you can (or if you can't) get one chambered in time is really no consequence to's ultimately your life (and maybe your family's) you are protecting.
  4. However you do it, you have to get your comfort level up on carrying chambered. A number of folks mention the time required to chamber as a negative and I agree with that. However, there are two other reasons not to carry empty chamber:

    1) Close quarters struggle with one hand occupied fending off attacker.

    2) Short stroking or riding the slide trying to get a live round into the chamber. It can fail to pick up the cartridge from the mag or it can cause a partial failure to feed.

    I don't personally care how somebody else carries, but they should be aware of the downsides. IMO. either one of the above happening is more likely than the gun going off by itself. Not trying to diss anybody elses choices.

    Finally, if anybody says that they practice this on the range and it doesn't happen, fine (for them). If they can guarantee me that it will never happen on the street, I'll let them buy me a lottery ticket, pick a winning stock or tell me the magic number on the roulette wheel. Things get a little different when the SHTF and you can smell the perps bad breath. Which is kinda why you carry in the first place - right?
  5. AGC,

    Congrats on the new plastic? Did you do your Wal Mart walk already? of the rights of passage.

    1. Trigger Safety
    2. Firing Pin Safety
    3. Drop Safety

    The Glocks are just fine, and won't fire unless that trigger is pulled back.

    I recommend checking out the holsters from our fellow Texans at Comp-Tac. My favorite is their MTAC holster for IWB, followed by their paddle holster for OWB. Both cover the trigger so that the trigger doesn't get pulled accidentally. You still have to do your part to make sure that you're holstering cleanly, with no obstructions, like a string from a jacket, etc.

    I carry hot, but not in the +1 configuration. I'll top off the magazines, and strip one off the top, to leave the magazine down by one. I also carry spare magazines.

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    #65 Beanie-Bean, Jan 25, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2013
  6. Research the 21 foot rule and get back to us
  7. tnedator

    Lifetime Member

    Just curious, why not +1? Do you just feel it's an unnecessary risk handling the weapon after you've chambered the round (removing mag, adding round, reseating mag?) or is there another reason?

    Obviously, going +1 is not as important in a G17, G19 or XDm or the like, compared to say a PM9 or other single stack, lower capacity gun.

  8. Woooo you said a bad word.:wow:
  9. vandros

    vandros 10mm fan

    I'm obviously in minority in my position that one should not chamber when carrying, and that's fine. A lot of knowledgeable folks disagree with me. A lot of knowledgeable folks (i.e., Israeli military) agree with me.

    It seems folks disagreeing with me assume they will operate their firearm when adrenaline dump begins in exactly the same way that they do during their range training. The maxim I agree with is: You fall back on your training when SHTF and you are attacked. BUT, this does not mean you'll perform EXACTLY like you've trained when flight/fight reflex takes a hold of you. Just ask all those police officers who had NDs when placed under stress.

    Racking slide takes me about 0.2 second, and it takes place while the gun is being moved to target. If you so concerned about this 0.2 second, perhaps you should have bullet-proof vest on, have helmet on, have an AK47 with 100-rounds drum with round chambered and have the weapon always in your hands ready to go. And even that will not address all possible scenarios fully.

    Again, all your guys' scenarios are valid and definitely worth pondering. And careful analysis should always be part of each of our individual threat assessment. I see how you all want to be prepared for these scenarios, and I appreciate that. But round in the chamber does not address all possible scenarios. If we follow the logic of wanting to address every possible contingency, then having a loaded gun in the hand is even better than simply having a holstered weapon with round chambered. Having an AK in your hands is even better than Glock. Sitting in a tank is even better than having an AK. See where our natural desire to address all possible contingencies can lead us?

    Conventional wisdom here seems to be that a round should always be chambered when carrying glocks. It also seems conventional wisdom that NDs are a normal occurrence when under stress - especially when holstering/unhostering. I just can't accept this. After reading numerous volumes on the matter, participating in training, and carefully evaluating my options, I choose not to chamber. I just don't feel like having my hot-loaded 10mm HP travelling down my leg would improve my day - as a result of me underestimating the intensity of physiological and psychological response to deadly threat.
    #69 vandros, Jan 25, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2013
  10. Toetag

    Toetag Wannabe

    There are few things in the world less useless than an unloaded weapon.

    Except **** on a boar hog perhaps.
  11. tnedator,

    I rotate through several handguns for my carry rotation, and all different calibers. When my "CCW for the week" goes back into the safe, I eject the round and return it to the magazine I had in the gun. I found that I'd have to have an extra step in swapping firearms, because there would be an extra round. It was just easier for me to run with a dedicated magazine for each pistol and to strip the top round off when going hot. Since I'm not trying to save that carry ammo forever, I'll cycle new rounds in when I've chambered/ejected that top round a few times. Last thing I need to deal with is setback.

    I carry a spare magazine, and sometimes multiple if the CCW is a smaller one, like my SIG P238HD. All of my Glocks use the smaller/flush magazines, with a full-size spare.
  12. tnedator

    Lifetime Member

    You appear to be defensive here. It's important to note that few if any of us recommend someone who isn't comfortable and properly trained should carry a gun properly, which is ready to be used if your life depends on it.

    Obviously, you could get better training or switch to a gun with a manual safety (i'm not a big fan of this, since whether you "think" the safety is on or not, you shouldn't be touching the trigger, so the basic rules apply regardless).

    However, if your comfort level is to err on the side of extra safety, either because you don't feel comfortable or for philosophical reasons, that's your choice.

    We all make decisions on a regular basis that impact how quickly we can deploy a gun in self defense. Where we carry (appendix, 4:00, SOB) or how we carry, OWB, IWB, belly band or smart carry type holster, all impact how quickly the weapon can be drawn when needed.

    So, from a purely "time" stand point, if you opt for a minimally covered, fast access holster, with no round chambered, you could get the gun on target as fast or faster than someone that's wearing a gun in an IWB, tucked under a dress shirt, or in a smart carry type holster.

    Of course, as discussed, if you need to use your off hand to fend off an attacker as you are drawing, something that is a VERY real likelihood and why most self defense training includes such drills, as most bad guys don't announce their intentions from 10 yards away, then you now have to fumble to rack the slide on your belt or as mentioned, use it as a club, or stop defending/keeping distance with your off hand, as you choose to use it to rack your slide.

    It's not just a time factor, it's the knowledge that you have to be in an "ideal" self defense situation to be guaranteed the ability to rack the slide to chamber a round. Lots of self defense situations, possibly most, won't give you the time and two free hands to draw and rack as your plan calls for.

    Anyway, I started this post with the intention of saying that everyone draws their line somewhere. You've drawn your line on the side of ultimate safety, and that's your right. You shouldn't feel the need to defend it in such a strained way. If you feel safer that way, that's all that matters.
  13. tnedator

    Lifetime Member

    Makes sense. If you are carrying multiple guns and unloading regularly, vs. leaving it loaded all the time, I can see the line of logic. On those occaissions I need to unload my carry weapon, such as if I decide to clean/lube it, I always have a spare round hanging around, which I have to keep up with. If cleaning, it's only for a short period of time, but if I'm sending the gun off for repair, putting it up for a while in the safe, or the like, I have this extra round, out of a magazine.

    As I said, personally, I would be much more apprehensive to do it with a gun like a PM9 or PM40, just because they are so capacity limited to begin with, and to an extent even a M&P 9c or 40c, compared to a M&P FS, G17, G19, XDm, etc. that are going to have 14-17 rounds or so, even if you don't top off the magazine.
  14. TRX450R_Racer

    TRX450R_Racer Punisher

  15. vandros

    vandros 10mm fan

    I'm just trying to articulate my position clearly and forcefully, and push back a little against conventional wisdom on this forum. Don't mean to be offensive/disrespectful to anybody's preferred method of CCing. And, I'm ready to be persuaded by well reasoned arguments (not the ones like: "Having pistol without a round in the chamber is the same as carrying a hammer"). :)
    #75 vandros, Jan 25, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2013
  16. I always CCW a Glock and I always carry 'hot'.
    Sole reason for that is in a CCW scenario you have to react to the assailant-doesn't leave much time to rack the slide back to chamber a round.

    I don't want to have to worry about having to manually chamber a round when I have a guy wanting to kill me.
    #76 chemboy, Jan 25, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2013
  17. PhotoFeller

    Silver Member

    Well said, and sensible advice. Everyone new to CC would do well to follow this plan.
  18. You do make a couple valid points. The one that I disagree the most with is your Israel military reference that you have used a couple times.
    I have not studied their training or carry methods, but I guarantee that they are not operating in a war zone with empty hands and an unchambered gun in their holster. They will have their primary weapon in their hands and ready to go.
    A civilian walking down the street with their family is a lot different than a military man operating.
    There is a slight difference in the training that they get also
  19. vandros

    vandros 10mm fan

    I hear you, bro. And, I've taken the training you refer to (my instructor, btw, was in agreement with you). But, here's my scenario for you: You are startled by an attack, you rush to pull out your pistol with round in the chamber, because your fine motor reflexes are shot to hell, as you are pulling out your gun from the holster you accidentally shoot a hot bonded JHP into your thigh severing your femoral artery. As you are recovering from the shock of having just shot yourself, you realize that you will bleed to death in the matter of minutes. As you ponder your ill fate, the BG, shoots your wife, shoots you, takes your gun, takes your wallets and gets away. Is this scenario unlikely? I don't think so, based on how many negligent discharges occur to police officers who are hostering/unhostering their handguns under stress.
  20. PhotoFeller

    Silver Member

    I think this is the most civil discussion of this topic I've had the pleasure of following. Good thoughts., respectful push backs, well articulated positions, agreement to disagree...this is called adult behavior.

    This is a well-worn subject, but folks new to CC benefit from being personally involved in the debate.

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