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Anyone not keep a round in the chamber?

Discussion in 'Handguns' started by Valpo Hawkeye, Nov 14, 2008.

  1. Valpo Hawkeye

    Valpo Hawkeye Loaded Pockets

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    As some of you may remember, I've equivocated on a CCW for a long time. In the past I've been concerned with lethal force. However, my beliefs have changed a bit and I now own a Springfield XD9 sub compact and will likely have my CCW in a few more days or weeks (I applied many weeks ago)

    My question is, does anyone not keep a round in the chamber? I'm comfortable with the weapon and I've put 100's if not 1000's of rounds through the weapon at the range to be as comfortable with it as possible. However, there's just something about a chambered round that raises my blood pressure. Obviously, when the :censored: you want your defensive weapon to be ready to fire. Am I being paranoid because I'm still new?

    FWIW, my method of concealed carry will be in my Maxpedition Lunada.
     
  2. mr.squatch

    mr.squatch Empty Pockets

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    Hello, congrats on your newly found desire to exercise your rights O0 Also congrats on your choice of sidearm, I love my xd-sub, only one I'll carry anymore. I've always carried compact 1911's which have a serious slide safety, so cocked and locked has never been a concern of mine. With the xd I am a bit more conscious about it. Reason I never bought a glock is because you squeeze and it goes bang, that easy. Same (kinda) with the xd. It has another safety device, but still if you grab it and put your finger on the trigger it'll shoot. For carry it's not such a big deal for me, if I'm putting my hand in my maxped or onto my holstered weapon I'm serious about grabbing it, so I'm definitely paying attention to my trigger finger. Practice practice practice keeping your trigger finger on the side of the slide/frame no matter what until you're ready to fire. If you take your brain out of the equation and your body knows to do it, you'll never worry about it again. If you are worried just carry with an empty chamber until you feel comfortable. Because of the lack of a physical deliberate safety, I won't keep it loaded/chambered around the house or under a pillow for example. I've ccw'd for 15 yrs, after a while with the same weapon it'll become just another part of you, don't worry ;) Good luck

    g
     
  3. DonShock

    DonShock Loaded Pockets

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    I can't speak to CCW since I haven't bothered to get a license yet, but I had the same debate with myself on my home defense handgun. I decided that I wasn't likely to be in any quick draw encounters with another armed indiviual. For me, the added safety of an unchambered round was worth the risk associated with the <1 second of added time needed to rack the slide and chamber a round. Also, the act of chambering a round can have a strong psychological effect on, and potentially deter, an attacker. As a young man visiting a friends house in college, I witnessed this first hand. After hearing a prowler rummaging around my friend's storage shed, we went out to investigate. My friend passed me his revolver while he grabbed his shotgun. Of course as soon as we stepped out the door, everything went quiet. A quick invistigation showed disturbed items but no perpetrator. We were worried that the perpetrator may be still in the area waiting to resume his actions when we left, so my friend racked the slide on the shotgun. As soon as he did, there was a sudden commotion from the bushes next to the shed followed by the sound of someone running away down the alley. If the confrontation can be stopped just by chambering a round, that's a much better outcome than it escalating to the point where deadly force is needed.

    No matter what carry mode is used, each will have it's own potential risks and benefits. Each individual needs to determine for himself if the potential benefits justify the potential risks.
     
    ManVsLawn likes this.
  4. Bubba

    Bubba Loaded Pockets

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    how many people carry Glocks including law enforcement, security guards, etc? .. a whole bunch
    now how many accidental discharges are there? .. few if any

    It is a non-issue IMO

    If it happened often / ever because of the design of the gun or the way people use (carry) the gun, it would be news
    We don't hear about it because it doesn't happen

    Guns are safe even with rounds in the chamber, especially Glocks
     
  5. sigmonster45

    sigmonster45 Banned

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  6. rwdflynavy
    • GITD Manix 2XL Owner

    rwdflynavy Loaded Pockets

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    The two pistols I own don't have traditional safeties. Sig and Glock. The most important thing to remember is that any weapon's safety is the grey matter between your ears. Both my pistols are amazing, they won't fire unless i pull the trigger.

    Keep the booger picker off the bang switch and you won't have any problems.

    My CCW and home defense weapons always have a round in the chamber. Especially for CCW you may not have time to rack the slide.
     
  7. BigV

    BigV Loaded Pockets

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    Or remember to rack the slide...
    I have read numerous articles on “Glocks” and ND with these guns. The usual problem (training) is the offender attempts to re-holster the weapon with his/her finger in the trigger housing. As the weapon slides into the holster, the finger depresses the trigger. Guess what happens next…

    During a stressful encounter, will you remember to rack the slide of your weapon? Will tunnel vision keep you from realizing that you gun is not loaded?

    I saw a video (can’t find the link) where a jewelry store was being robbed at gun point and the perp had fired several shots. The owner pulled his weapon and shot back at the perpetrator until his gun was empty.
    A review of the video showed that the owner did in fact pull his weapon, but never fired a shot. When interviewed the store owner said he thought he fired his weapon until it was empty. In reality however he never took the safety off and didn’t fire a single shot.
     
  8. Stelth

    Stelth Banned

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    I carry a Glock and was apprehensive about carrying one in the chamber at first.  I even went so far as to buy an aftermarket piece that fits behind the trigger and can be popped out simply by pressing on it.  I carried like this once or twice and then realized carrying a Glock is a lot like carrying a loaded revolver.  Granted the trigger pull on a DA revolver is much longer; it's still the same principle.  The gun is loaded and there is no safety to manipulate.  As long as my finger isn't on the trigger it won't fire.  That's a pretty simple rule to follow.  It works for me and now is second-nature.  When I pick up the Glock my finger is along the trigger guard/not inside it.  If you can do that every time you should be fine.
     
  9. chavez

    chavez Loaded Pockets

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    On the XD models, you don't necessarily have to rack the slide much at all, maybe just pull the slide back inch and it will load the round and :censored: the firing pin. I have the XD-40 and I have had the same predicament before. I started with the full magazine inserted but no round chambered and worked on a routine holstering and unholstering the pistol by grabbing it from the top sight and handle firmly without engaging the handle safety. Later after getting used to this I started chambering one round and carrying it loaded.
     
  10. SpyderNoir_JHA

    SpyderNoir_JHA Loaded Pockets

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    What do you think of that aftermarket safety feature? I've purchased one myself in anticipation of carrying my Glock 26 concealed.
     
  11. Phaeton

    Phaeton Empty Pockets

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    Isn't your expectation that when you put your finger inside the trigger guard and pull the trigger that the gun will go bang? It darn sure should be. If not, than one should rethink owning or certainly carrying a handgun.

    Remember that many empty chamber carry regulations imposed on LEOs are much more about liability and lawsuits than they are about real safety or using a weapon in a critical and stressful situation.

    Most modern pistols are quite safe to carry with a chambered round. Many such as the Springfield SDs have built in additional safety features and require a very deliberate trigger pull.

    Any individual must weigh the added safety (real or perceived) of carrying a round chambered against the additional step of having to rack the slide, especially in a very high stress situation. Of course, failure to properly or fully rack the slide, or a number of other possible issues could cause a failure to feed. Very bad news at a most critical time.

    Extensive range practice is necessary and probably the best we can do to prepare for a situation that we always hope does not come. How one will respond under stress when it has really hit the fan is tough to know until it has happened. Remember that even professionals have trouble sometimes in these situations. Failure to simply operate the safety has been fairly common.

    I would say to give yourself the best chance of success and survival if that moment ever comes.

    Of course there are exceptions and some pistols and revolvers that should not be carried with a round chambered and the hammer down.

    Real safety is in your head, not in your holster. Do not put your finger on the trigger until your weapon has been drawn and brought to bear on something you absolutely intend to shoot.

    Mark
     
  12. greenLED

    greenLED Empty Pockets

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    :( I'm just going to reply to that by quoting:

    It sounds cliché and all, but there's a lot of truth to it. Being a "DEA agent" doesn't mean you are immune to stupidity!


    Valpo, it's been my experience that training, training, training, and then training some more with a reputable firearms instructor is worth its value in gold. If you own a firearm and have decided it will be used for self protection, you owe it to yourself and those you're protecting to get the best training money can get, and then some more practice on your own.

    I bring up training up because, IMO, it's the single most important thing you can do to prevent negligent discharges and better understand and use your weapons system (yes, it's a system). A lot of these "little" (and admittedly important) decisions will sort themselves out as you acquire experience and reliable information through your training.

    As far as carrying a round in the chamber, you'll probably hear as many opinions as there are people out there. As many other things with handguns, it's a matter of personal preference. There are some very valid reasons that people bring up to justify their decision.

    Personally, I don't mind a round in the chamber. Imagine yourself carrying a baby (or holding a sick loved one) on your support arm and encountering a situation where you must draw your weapon and fire. Sure, I can operate your handgun single-hand (here's where that pesky training mantra comes back). However, would I risk adding 2 seconds or more to mydraw (assuming I racked the slide and chambered a round properly the first time, while moving into cover (hopefully) and worrying about my loved ones.... all when an attack can be over in a split second? Personally, I am not willing to risk that.



    Spyder, IMO a lot of those things are pure gimmicks. Removing that trigger "plug" requires a fine motor skill - the same type that goes out the window the microsecond your amigdala takes over control of your actions.

    As with anything and everything with guns and their defensive use, there are facts, and then there are opinions stated as such. Gotta be careful sorting them out. :)


    One more thing... off body carry of a handgun has its complications. Not that you can't carry in a pack of some sort, it's just that you have to deal with other variables precluding you from having full control of your firearm at all times.


    ...and since I'm on the soapbox this morning: 2 critical skills every CCW should have and practice (IMO):
    weapons retention skills
    one-handed drills

    They're not taught in regular classes, though. ;)
     
  13. BigV

    BigV Loaded Pockets

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    One other issue that I don’t understand.

    I hear folks say that they carry different guns for different occasions, or they switch out their carry guns often. I don’t understand that mindset.

    As stated above, training, training and more training. Even then, fine motor skills (clicking off the safety, chambering a round) become very difficult in stressful situations. Add to that a different gun and all that training goes out the window. I realize that some guns are designed very similar to one another. (1911’s for example) whereas the function(s) of the gun are the same from one model to another. However, those that change guns frequently (say from a single action gun to a double action or from a revolver to a semi-automatic) are asking for trouble should a :censored: situation arises.

    I witnessed this firsthand from a good friend of mine recently. He had always carried a double action S&W. He switched to a 1911 model and had trained with the new weapon for over 2 weeks. We shot in a match shoot, and 3 times he forgot to take the safety off his 1911. When the error occurred, he just stood there for a few seconds before realizing his mistake. An error such as that in a real life situation could cost you or a loved one their life.

    So, practice with the gun you carry, and resist the urge to change your carry weapon unless you have put the necessary time into training.
     
  14. Stelth

    Stelth Banned

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    I stopped using it in my Glock 26. It was a waste of $10.
     
  15. mr.squatch

    mr.squatch Empty Pockets

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    My understanding of the original poster's concerns is the same concerns I have with a glock/xd. Not so much that when I have a proper grip on the pistol I may accidentally put my finger where it shouldn't be,,, but rather when I reach into the bag, or behind my back, or under a pillow without knowing exactly the orientation of the weapon, a finger could go where it should not, and potentially fire a round before I even get my hand on the gun where it should be.

    By bringing up glocks and comparing them to an xd I did not attack glock at all. I like glocks. I've just seen one fire when a stick from a bush found its way into the trigger guard with nobody's hand on it. The additional grip safety on the xd is what made me choose it over a baby glock.

    Before this I had a colt officers 1911. I could pick that up, squeeze the grip and pull the trigger as hard as I want with the round chambered and the hammer cocked and it wouldn't go off. I had no worries about storing that pistol anywhere, in any position because it didn't matter how I grabbed it, it wouldn't go bang. These two other designs you do need to be a little more cautious when fondling, so I believe the original poster's concerns are valid and should be discussed. I am not saying glocks are not relatively safe weapons. Honestly I'm pleasantly surprised there are not more AD or NDs with them, considering how many of them are in active duty. A testament to proper training and good handling techniques.

    If anyone has concerns about the safety of their own weapon, they should talk to those who have experience and have advice. That's what these types of boards are for. If you are then still concerned, maybe you should choose another design that better suits your needs.... The problem with threads like this, is that the poster may be inexperienced and easily influenced, and statements like "Guns are safe even with rounds in the chamber, especially Glocks" are irresponsible and could potentially teach somebody the wrong way of looking at a VERY serious part of life. Telling someone with a legitimate concern, "don't worry, just use your brain" is not a good answer. If they are willing to ask the question, somebody needs to be there to try and teach them. Ahh the beauty of the internet. :popcorn:

    g
     
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  16. sigmonster45

    sigmonster45 Banned

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    MR.SQUATCH you could not have said it any better. :iagree:
     
  17. TKC

    TKC Loaded Pockets

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    Yes, I always keep a round chambered in all my handguns. If and when I should EVER need to use it, every second is precious, and I do not want to loose time by HAVING to chamber a round.
     
  18. RGNY

    RGNY Empty Pockets

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    there is one handgun i leave with an empty chamber.

    i keep a G26 in my nightstand, in a snap holster, with the chamber empty.

    i wake up hard, and if i need a handgun during the night, i want to have my full faculties when i bring it to bear.

    obviously it's just my routine, but by the time i remove the weapon from the holster, rack it and grab the Surefire next to it, i should be awake enough for target i.d. and/or lethal force.

    this is something i practice occasionally by setting an alarm during the night. when my wife is away, of course.... :)
     
  19. Synaptic Misfire
    • In Omnia Paratus

    Synaptic Misfire Loaded Pockets

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    All my carry pieces function the same and always condition 1. I swap out depending on dress and where I am going but the pistols are just different sizes the function remains constant.

    Occasionally I carry off body in a shoulder bag and it has some complications but it is a compromise over not being armed. When carrying off body I have a different mindset as there are entirely different concerns. It is important to actively train with your kit as you carry it because in the unfortunate situation where you do have to use your pistol your mind will do what it knows best.
     
  20. Valpo Hawkeye

    Valpo Hawkeye Loaded Pockets

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    Thank you all for your replies. Obviously there are pros and cons to both my method of carry and my decision to carry chambered or un-chambered. Right now, I'm leaning toward chambered.

    As far as method of carry, I'm a pretty thin guy, I'm 6'3" 182lbs. I've tried on various IWB holsters and just can't really do it. My Lunada is always with me. I've practiced different configurations of the shoulder strap and gun orientation to maximize speed and consistency of draw. I still have to practice it more, but I'm fairly confident it will serve me well if I ever need to draw under duress.

    I still have a lot of reading to do about legalities of lethal force in various situations. I need to do some training too, both in firearms and self-defense.