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"Patrol Ready" Carbine Status

Discussion in 'Cop Talk' started by Bodyarmorguy, Nov 11, 2012.

  1. Greetings all...I wanted to get some feedback regarding your perception of "Patrol Ready" for your carbine regardless if stored in a secure rack or soft/hard case in trunk etc.

    A little background, I retired from my previous Police job after 22 years and I was involved in or ran the firearms program for much of that.

    At that agency, carbines were stored in a rack in the passenger compartment stored with the bolt forward on an empty chamber, dust cover closed, loaded magazine in the well and selector on mechanical safe. My reasoning behind being on mechanical safe stemmed from almost all of the carbine training I had ever had emphasized returning the gun to mechanical safe unless the sights were on target. Therefor, if the Officer removed the carbine from the rack and chambered a round he did not have a gun that was already "off safe."

    I came to work for a new agency two years ago. It is a brand new agency which had only come to be in existence for about a year prior to me coming on board. Four months after joining the Supervisor who was running the firearms program quit and I was put in charge of it. Last night I was doing an inventory of all of the department guns and while checking them in the cars, I found two that were in the following condition: Bolt forward on an empty chamber, dust cover closed, magazine in the well and selector in the "fire" position. One of the Officers whose carbine was in that condition advised that the previous instructor had advised them to carry in that manner.

    Now, let me throw a third scenario at you and ask if anyone carries in this manner and my thoughts on it: Bolt forward on a loaded chamber, dustcover closed, magazine inserted in the well and selector on mechanical safe. Let me add, all of our racks cover the upper and lower receivers preventing the selector or trigger from being manipulated while in the rack. My logic or thoughts on carry in this condition (condition one), is that if the Officer removes the rifle from the rack, a roound is chambered and he must simply manipulate the selector to mechanical fire when he engages or challenges a target, and would simply retun to mechanical safe to return if to the rack.

    When carried in the first patrol ready condition I described, the officer has to manipulate the charging handle before challenging or engaging a target and prior to returning to the rack, has to remove the magazine, empty the chamber, top the magazine back off and insert back into the well. This, to me, seems like a lot of additional unneccesary manipulation that coould result in a negligent discharge.

    We trust our Officers to carry a handgun with a loaded chamber, but not a rifle? Often, depending on the handgun platform, there is no mechanical safety in place as there is with the carbine.

    Last edited: Nov 11, 2012
  2. From what I recall the shotgun had an empty chamber, was usually dry fired so that you could pick it up and rack the slide to chamber a round. The military is usually you empty the rifle of ammo, verify clear, then you put the bolt forward and dry fire it. The safety cannot be moved to safe if the bolt has been dryfired. All you have to do is yank the chargin handle and you're ready to go.

  3. ray9898


    May 29, 2001
    Our policy is bolt forward, on safe, mag inserted.
  4. blueiron


    Aug 10, 2004
    This. It works well for the military.
  5. OLY-M4gery


    Nov 7, 2001
    Southern WI

    A free floating firing pin makes that dangerous.

    The industry standard, as far as I can tell, chamber empty, magazine in, safety on.

    It may take a second or 2 to get it ready to use, but it's the best way to go.

    Rounds that are chambered more than a few times should be discarded.

    Point the weapon is a safe direction when chambering that 1st round.
  6. I see what you are driving at here. I have, as I am sure others here have as well, removed a live round from the chamber and found a very slight firing pin strike to a primer. This strike is caused by the firing pin being driven forward by inertia as the bolt moves forward. I could forsee a carbine dropped muzzle first to a hard surface from a significant height causing an inertia fire.

    Our rifles are carried in a rack, muzzle up between the front seats. I am neither a scientist or an engineer but I am thinking that there is not enough force delivered to the firing pin through everyday bumps in the road to cause the firing pin to travel forward with enough force to caus an inertia fire.

    Not arguing with you, just tossing out thoughts.
  7. Sam Spade

    Sam Spade Staff Member Lifetime Member

    May 4, 2003
    A policy where cops are encouraged to dry fire their rifle after a stressful incident is asking for trouble, IMO. Likewise, a rifle that is automatically off-safe when prepping for the zombies is a poor choice. We should have as many failsafes in place as practical.

    On safe, empty chamber, magazine in. You grab it, charge it and still have a safed weapon. You remove magazine, clear chamber, reinsert the magazine and rack it. If your brain fart flipped (1)&(2)---not that that *ever* happens with trained professionals---you still have the safety giving you some cushion.
  8. VA27


    Mar 23, 2002
    Chamber empty, safety on.

    Just last week a deputy arriving as backup on a domestic involving a gun, got out, slung arms (2 point sling) and the chamber-loaded AR discharged striking him in the foot. Best guess so far; the safety 'wiped off' when he pulled it from the unit and the trigger snagged on something on his duty belt.
  9. Had he been carrying chamber empty, wouldn't he still have chambered a round upon removing from the rack? Or is your deployment policy different? Probably with the same result?
  10. walkin' trails

    walkin' trails

    Apr 24, 2005
    We don't really have a policy on it, however, I preach that should normally be carried in the vehicle with empty chamber, mag inserted, safety on, ready to be chambered when you need it. Since we really don't issue racks and most often have the carbine inside a case or bag in the trunk, it is a smart thing to do. If you need to have it ready for immediate bail-out and already have it in your hands, you should also chamber a round. When it goes back into the rack, the chamber is clear.

    I learned on a late night in Los Angeles in May of 1992 that the sound of an M-16 bolt slamming into place as it chambers a round is every bit as effective as the sound of racking a shotgun.
  11. The problem isn't just premature ignition of the primer, there is also the possibility of the firing pin hitting the primer enough to deform it preventing the primer from detonating and resulting in a failure to fire, and if that happens when you had to get the rifle and take it off safe you're in deep kimchi.
  12. VA27


    Mar 23, 2002
    I don't think they have racks, it was just on the seat. They don't have a policy, which is probably why it was chamber loaded. If he had been carrying chamber empty, would he have checked the safety when chambering a round? Probably.

    Chamber empty, safety on.
  13. This is the policy in my agency as well.
  14. CW Mock

    CW Mock

    Feb 4, 2006
    Our policy is 30 round magazine inserted, hammer down/tripped. Remove rifle from car, charge and go.

    Not my policy, but the one I have to follow.
  15. DaBigBR

    DaBigBR No Infidels!

    Oct 28, 2005
    Circling the wagons.
    I agree with your initial thought / what you did at your last agency.

    Bolt and dust cover closed, empty chamber, hammer cocked, magazine inserted, safety on. Pull the charging handle when grabbing the rifle and it is ready to use, disengage the safety and it is ready to fire. You have added safety in the fact that the chamber is empty in case the trigger is somehow manipulated in the rack, and the safety is on and can be verified as such.
  16. Bolt forward, safety on, mag inserted.
  17. CAcop


    Jul 21, 2002
    We do it chamber empty, loaded mag, on safe.

    Dry firing is a bad idea. I have seen way too many pictures of patrol cars with 12ga holes in them. Do we need to relive the memories of the 1970s?

    The big difference between pistols and long guns is that the pistol is sitting in your holster when you get in and out of your car. Even if you are pulling it out while getting out of you car you are not sweeping God, yourself, and everybody else with your muzzle.

    It really only takes a few seconds to load and take off safe, a lot of which you can do while bringing it up to your shoulder. If you really need to shoot someone fast while getting out of your car I would suggest your handgun. If they are far enough away you can't hit them with your pistol well you probably have enough time to get your rifle up.

    The whole "must have chamber loaded at all times" thing makes me think of people who refuse to shoot a pistol that has a manual safety on it. Proper training fixes things.
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2012
  18. Plus empty chamber and you have our policy for "patrol ready."
  19. kayl


    Nov 14, 2004
    SE WI
    Chamber empty, bolt forward, on safe, mag in :)
  20. We carry with an empty chamber, bolt forward, dust cover closed, safety on, and no magazine. Mostly due to the design of our racks.