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I have been carrying for a while and at first I was apprehensive about having one in the chamber. The thoughts of having the gun discharged by accident or negligence consumed me for some time. With time I did overcome this feeling as I realized that with due care I can and have carried my gun without incident. The only time my weapon goes off is when I'm at the range and squeeze the trigger.

This leads me to my thoughts of why anyone would choose to carry a gun without "one in the chamber". Through reading about many shooting incidents it seems that you would not have enough time to chamber a round and shoot to defend your life. So why go un-chambered.

Just today I ran across a friend of mine and we were talking and the subject of guns came up. He asked me if my gun was "locked and loaded" when I concealed carry. When I told him yes he asked me if I was crazy. I laughed and told him he has a lot to learn about guns. Anyway I would appreciate your thoughts on the subject.

This topic has been debated many times before on other forums but since this is a new forum for Florida I would like this to be available for those new to concealed carry.
 

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I think it comes down to three things:
  1. An unrealistic belief on their ability to effectively chamber a round under stress
  2. A poor understanding of modern fire arm safety mechanisms and what is involved in getting a live round to fire
  3. Not realizing that the most important safety on any firearm is the one between their ears.

-JT
 

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I'll just say this as i was told in my class"A gun without a round in the chamber in nothing more then an expensive Paper weight". If you are attacked your not gonna have time to rack that slide.You have to be ready!! Just my opinion.
 

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My first firearm was the Glock19. I had never handled a firearm before so here I was learning to shoot for the first time with a gun that had no external safety. However what was stressed to me was that the real safety was my finger. So right away I was taught trigger decipline. Now when it came to stuffing that gun in my pants with the thing loaded that was another story. It took me buying a good holster that had a trigger guard and carrying for just one full day to mentally convince myself that this thing won't go off on its own. I have practiced drawing and racking the slide as fast as possible and the results were good standing in my living room however thinking about real world situations made me think otherwise.

If you are sitting in traffic and all of a sudden your window gets smashed and the next thing you know is that you are being dragged out of your car, you would not have the time to draw, rack the slide and shoot before your lying on the ground in the street. If there is a round already in the chamber you could be using your free hand to fight while drawing your weapon with your other hand and takng care of business.

If you have good trigger decipline then by all means you should be carrying with a round in the chamber but if you lack that decipline then don't do it.
 

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ive only been carrying for 3 months now, i have a glock 19. i do understand that the finger is the best safety, im not convinced my choice is safe with one in the pipe. i guess i need to think about a revolver. i do like the safety on a colt 1911. then theres the firing pin spring being compressed most of the time i would worry about some sort of malfunction there when i need to stop a bg. maybe i worry too much, but you have to think about those things.:pistols
 

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As a newbie myself the only advise I can give to others new to concealed carry is to know that the goal it to always have a round chambered. But you have to set goals for this. I would say work your way up to it. Become proficient and comfortable with your gun. Eventually you will be carrying with a round chambered and not even think twice about it.
 

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When I first started carrying I did so without a chambered round. While I was around the house I would practice and experiment with comfortable carry positions. Doing so, I realized that knowing I had an un-chambered round gave me the false impression that I was safer. This lead to poor handling of the firearm, I would pull it out and handle it knowing that it was "unloaded".

One night I just said to myself, "Don't be an idiot, suck it up and chamber this round, draw properly and handle the firearm safely." It was scary at first but after it while, I knew that the gun would not "just go off" unless I handled it improperly. I think carrying unchambered is almost like carrying just to be a deterrent or to intimidate. I carry because my life may depend on it one day, that split second counts.
 

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The first time I carried a Glock pistol...I was of the same mindset. I was carrying it in a soft-sided "pouch" and I was just plain uncomfortable having one in the pipe...until...

Until I was in a restaurant late one night...or rather early one morning...and these guys came in...and I was certain they were gonna rob the place. In the end...they didn't...though they were acting VERY strangley...but the whole time I was sitting there...I had managed to slide the Glock out of its belt-side pouch and hide it under my leg (hand on it)...but I kept thinking...
"How the hell am I going to chamber a round without drawing attention to myself?"

Since I couldn't reconcile carrying a Glock with one in the pipe without it being in some sort of holster with a trigger guard...I traded it and went back to my beloved 1911 style. :)

If you are sold on a polymer pistol...I would consider switching to the XD...it has a grip safety as well as the trigger safety AND some of the new ones actually have a 1911 inspired thumb safety. Lotsa safety... ;)

Just remember the Cooper rules of gun safety:

RULE I: ALL GUNS ARE ALWAYS LOADED

RULE II: NEVER LET THE MUZZLE COVER ANYTHING YOU ARE NOT WILLING TO DESTROY

RULE III: KEEP YOUR FINGER OFF THE TRIGGER UNTIL YOUR SIGHTS ARE ON THE TARGET

RULE IV: BE SURE OF YOUR TARGET
 

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It's funny. I've been carrying for years. My Beretta and I have been friends for a long time and I have never had a problem carrying it with a round in the chamber. The big old safety latch on the side filled me with confidence. Then my wife decided that it was time for her to get armed. I wanted to give her a gun that was dependable and that I trusted. I gave her my Beretta. It was an act of love.

I bought a Kahr CW45. For the first two days I couldn't carry it chambered. I guess not having an old-fashioned safety spooked me. Not to mention the size of the holes that it put in the target when I took it to the range. On the third day I got over it and have been carrying chambered ever since. I still double check my finger location before I slip it into my bellyband every day though.
 

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RULE III: KEEP YOUR FINGER OFF THE TRIGGER UNTIL YOUR SIGHTS ARE ON THE TARGET

It doest matter how many safeties that are on any given firearm, Revo, Semi Auto, Bolt, or muzzle loader.
this rule will keep the weapon from (going off)
 

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I suppose there is some safety benefit to carry a weapon without a round chambered should you have to grapple with some terrorist, but I just can't get used to the idea of chambering a round under an extreme stress situation.

I'm sure it becomes second nature with a bit of training, but no matter how quick you are, you still have to bring the weapon into a position to rack the slide before you can point the weapon at your target.

That can take a second or two and could make all the difference in the world.

For those who carry a Glock and would like a bit more of a comfort level when carrying a chambered round, there are some very simple modifications to the trigger that can be done easily that will increase the trigger weight. The most common is switching to a 3.5lb. connector and adding a NY1 trigger spring. This will do two things for you. It will give you a slightly heavier pull (another pound or so) as well as take up the slop you feel in the trigger squeeze. It's a good mod to consider and very popular.
 

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1) Keep your boogerhook off the bang switch until the muzzle is pointed at your target, preferrably with a good sight picture
2) Use a method of carry that covers the trigger and trigger guard, and allows you to draw your weapon with your trigger finger resting along the frame
3) Rely on the safety between your ears before all else

-JT
 

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I have been carrying for a while and at first I was apprehensive about having one in the chamber. The thoughts of having the gun discharged by accident or negligence consumed me for some time.
This is normal for individuals who are new to the idea of having a loaded firearm on their person, with time and practice this sense of dread soon dissipates.


This leads me to my thoughts of why anyone would choose to carry a gun without "one in the chamber". Through reading about many shooting incidents it seems that you would not have enough time to chamber a round and shoot to defend your life. So why go un-chambered.
The purpose of carrying a concealed weapon is to be able to respond to a "forcible felony" which will require an immediate response. There may be a situation when the luxury of time to load a round into the chamber simply does not exist. It is for these situations that a round in the chamber is a must.

Just today I ran across a friend of mine and we were talking and the subject of guns came up. He asked me if my gun was "locked and loaded" when I concealed carry. When I told him yes he asked me if I was crazy.
Your friend either does not understand the premise of concealed carry, or he may be a "liberal" who thinks that all guns are dangerous.

Just remember, your life and the lives of your loved ones, depend on YOUR ability to protect them, NOT on the opinion of a misinformed friend who obviously does not have the same sense of responsibility that you do.

:thumsup
 

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I always keep the hammer down on an empty chamber when carrying a Colt Single Action Army.
 

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My carry weapon is my Kel-Tec P32. If I am carrying iwb using Kel-Tec's clip at 1:00 I will not have one in the chamber. If I am using my DeSantis pocket holster or my Uncle Mike's Sidekick iwb holster or Kel-Tec's clip at 4:00, I will have one in the chamber. Just my particular comfort level. :thumsup

Safe and sane shooting everyone,

johnstuf
 

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I always keep the hammer down on an empty chamber when carrying a Colt Single Action Army.
True...a typical single action revolver is a good reason to have an empty chamber. Folks like Ruger have safety devices on their newer SA revolvers to mitigate that risk, though.

-JT
 

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My advice for anyone who doesn't carry with one in the chamber is to try some FoF drills. It might change your mind. Not only will you not have enough time to chamber a round but you wont even see the sights. Guys who have shot thousands of rounds with a 1911 for example forget the thumb safety, others have problems with proper grip etc. Your fine motor skills will go out the window in high stress situations. Just remember how close and how quick most gunfights happen. That weapon will NOT discharge itself, it needs help. If your not comfortable carrying locked and loaded be it Glock, XD, M&P I suggest more training until you become confident in your ability to safely handle and carry a loaded firearm and thats not a slam against those that dont, its for your own protection. There will be very little time to react as you most likely will already behind the OODA loop as it is.
 

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anyone remember the movie "Blackhawk Down"? when the captain told the Delta Force soldier that his weapon was "Hot" (safety was not on), and he replyed by holding up his trigger finger and saying "This is my safety!"

Well its true, a gun does not fire unless the trigger is pulled to the rear. I watched my loaded S&W 1911 for days just sitting on the nightstand, cocked, locked and loaded, and not once did it ever go off, all by itsself. I even disabled the grip safety and would you believe it, still after many, many nights left all alone the gun never went off.

I guess I can get some sleep now and quit watching the gun......
 

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I agree that when carrying concealed, a round in the chamber is the way to go...but what about a nightstand gun?

I don't chamber a round in my nightstand pistol because I figure I'll want to take that extra second to rack the slide and give myself a chance to "come to" out of a dead sleep. I figure between the physical barriers, dogs and alarm system, I'll have just enough advance warning of a home invasion/burglary to get ready to "repel boarders".
 
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