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Thread: Chambered or Unchambered

  1. #1
    Regular Member Beau's Avatar
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    I was wondering how many people keep one in the hole while carrying?

    I read a post about a guy who was carrying a compact in his front pocket ant shot himself in the leg while trying to remove his keys from same pocket. Don't know if story is true or not. I've heard similar stories time to time.


    I understand and agree with the tactical reasons for having one ready.However, I'm still a little uneasy with having a round chambered.

    I came up with an idea and would like some feedback. I amsure someone else has thought of this but I have not seen it posted.

    Why not carry with a blank chambered? I see some good advantages to this.

    1) Should I have the "negligent discharge" experience, injury and damage would be minimal.

    2) I can draw,aim and fire two shots quicker than draw, rack slide, aim and fire.

    3)If a warning shot was needed to get the point across I need not worry where the shot may go.

    4) If the wrong person should get hold of my gun a blank would possibly give me that extra second or two to get it back.

    If anyone can think of any additional positives, or negatives to this I would really like to hear them.
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    A blank will not cycle your action. It is a lethal weapon and not a warning device.

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    Guns do not just "went off," and poor trigger control is no excuse for stupidity.

    I carry my Glock loaded all the time in my Safariland ALS holster, never had a problem.

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    a properly designed blank can.

    I appologize, i was remembering back when i was thinking of doing some ww2 reenacting.... the guns were modified (i forgot about this).

    at face value it sounds like a good idea... BUT, a blank can hurt someone pretty dang good too... And my reason for not would be that it would create a sense of carelessness, always knowing (if only in the back of my mind) "the first one is just a blank".... the one time you wish it was just a blank is the one time you forgot to make sure it was just a blank.

    I go unchambered... but that's just me, i know i'm no quick thinker (those poor souls on that area 51 arcade game), i figure a few seconds to rack is a few seconds to better think.

    but then again my choice is flawed to, in that i 'know' there's nothing chambered.

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    Hmm, I suppose that I didn't consider a gas-operated pistol. Still...

    Since there is a minimum momentum required to operate any given recoil-operated firearm's action, the cartridge must generate sufficient recoil to provide this momentum. Recoil operated firearms therefore tend to work best when using a cartridge with a grain size (mass) near where the gun's action was originally optimized or tuned in terms of momentum. For example, the M1911 design was optimized for a 230 grain bullet, and, although there is a fairly-wide range over which different grain bullets may still operate reliably, the optimal operation will nonetheless occur around a 230 grain bullet size, for standard factory springs.

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    Regular Member Fallschirmjäger's Avatar
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    I keep all my fuel in cans in the garage, I'll always have time to fill the tank before I need to go anywhere.
    I keep the fire extinguisher unfilled, but the CO2 cannister is right next to it in case there's a fire.
    I don't keep any bandages at home, the drug store is open 24 hours and it's only a mile away if there's an accident.

    Do any of those make much sense?

    There's always enough time to rack the slide before having to shoot as anyone who has had to do so will tell you. Those who didn't have the time, ability, or opportunity won't say anything, they're too busy being dead.


    If a firearm discharges in your pocket while you're digging for your keys, you have made two tactical mistakes. One, you had a firearm in your pocket with an unprotected trigger. Two, you had something else in your pocket where it could interfere with said firearm. The loud noise you just heard should be taken as a hint that you were Not doing the smart thing.


    (Edited by author to remove uncool provocaton )




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    Fallschirmjäger wrote:
    I keep all my fuel in cans in the garage, I'll always have time to fill the tank before I need to go anywhere.
    I keep the fire extinguisher unfilled, but the CO2 cannister is right next to it in case there's a fire.
    I don't keep any bandages at home, the drug store is open 24 hours and it's only a mile away if there's an accident.

    Do any of those make much sense?

    There's always enough time to rack the slide before having to shoot as anyone who has had to do so will tell you. Those who didn't have the time, ability, or opportunity won't say anything, they're too busy being dead.
    i just have a preference for myself... do what you want, i will do what i want.
    (never thought i'd use my line for carrying a pistol over here [not meant in a mean way])

    the proper way to carry a gun depends on the person first and foremost.


    I also don't like those serpa holsters, my opinion, my way.

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    I am not sure what 'hole' you are talking about. If you are talking about the chamber and aren't comfortable carrying a round in the chamber, then don't. Also, No warning shots!!
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    Blanks will not cycletheaction, even with the adapter that traps the gases an M-16 barley works with blanks.

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    Beau wrote:
    I was wondering how many people keep one in the hole while carrying?
    Because that is how you make the gun "ready".

    I read a post about a guy who was carrying a compact in his front pocket ant shot himself in the leg while trying to remove his keys from same pocket. Don't know if story is true or not. I've heard similar stories time to time.

    Probably true. Idiots abound. Carrying a gun in your pocket, with no holster and with other "things" in same pocket is a recipe for disaster. Carry in a safe way, IE: holster.

    I understand and agree with the tactical reasons for having one ready. However, I'm still a little uneasy with having a round chambered.
    Then by all means do not carry condition 1. Carry empty chamber and then seek training to make yourself more competent and confident. Never carry how your not comfortable doing so.


    Why not carry with a blank chambered? I see some good advantages to this.

    Your eyesight needs checked No advantages.




    1) Should I have the "negligent discharge" experience, injury and damage would be minimal.
    I'm sorry, but your fixing a training problem with an equipment problem and that rarely works.
    Would you avoid a car accident by riding your bicycle?


    2) I can draw,aim and fire two shots quicker than draw, rack slide, aim and fire.

    I highly doubt it. Your mention of "racking the slide" indicates you carry a semi-auto. A blank will NOT cycle a semi auto. So no your going to have to draw, fire blank, rack slide and fire second shot. Your method is sending you in reverse of where you wanted to be

    3) If a warning shot was needed to get the point across I need not worry where the shot may go.

    Warning shots are a taboo in modern defensive combat skills training.
    IOW: Don't
    You don't shoot unless you need to shoot to stop. A warning shot is still considered "lethal force". Bad, bad , bad idea.

    4) If the wrong person should get hold of my gun a blank would possibly give me that extra second or two to get it back.
    "Possibly" is the key word. Actually it would give you more than that because refer to #2
    Is that advantage worth it? Your more likely to shoot than you are to have your gun taken. Given that, if your forced to draw against someone drawing or already drawn on you you now are much more likely to not get the shot off before your opponent does.
    Not worth it. Invest in a retention holster and training if your worried about retention. Those are the correct answers to the retention problem.




    If anyone can think of any additional positives, or negatives to this I would really like to hear them.
    Can't think of any positives at all.... And I'm pretty sure you already covered all the negatives


    Seriously, don't take my reply to sternly but the answers are pretty cut-n-dry.

    My advice is to get som pro training and you'll realize more the importance of avoidance, threat management/deescalation and when to shoot and when not to.


  11. #11
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    Pa. Patriot wrote:
    Beau wrote:
    I was wondering how many people keep one in the hole while carrying?
    Because that is how you make the gun "ready".

    I read a post about a guy who was carrying a compact in his front pocket ant shot himself in the leg while trying to remove his keys from same pocket. Don't know if story is true or not. I've heard similar stories time to time.

    Probably true. Idiots abound. Carrying a gun in your pocket, with no holster and with other "things" in same pocket is a recipe for disaster. Carry in a safe way, IE: holster.

    I understand and agree with the tactical reasons for having one ready. However, I'm still a little uneasy with having a round chambered.
    Then by all means do not carry condition 1. Carry empty chamber and then seek training to make yourself more competent and confident. Never carry how your not comfortable doing so.


    Why not carry with a blank chambered? I see some good advantages to this.

    Your eyesight needs checked No advantages.




    1) Should I have the "negligent discharge" experience, injury and damage would be minimal.
    I'm sorry, but your fixing a training problem with an equipment problem and that rarely works.
    Would you avoid a car accident by riding your bicycle?


    2) I can draw,aim and fire two shots quicker than draw, rack slide, aim and fire.

    I highly doubt it. Your mention of "racking the slide" indicates you carry a semi-auto. A blank will NOT cycle a semi auto. So no your going to have to draw, fire blank, rack slide and fire second shot. Your method is sending you in reverse of where you wanted to be

    3) If a warning shot was needed to get the point across I need not worry where the shot may go.

    Warning shots are a taboo in modern defensive combat skills training.
    IOW: Don't
    You don't shoot unless you need to shoot to stop. A warning shot is still considered "lethal force". Bad, bad , bad idea.

    4) If the wrong person should get hold of my gun a blank would possibly give me that extra second or two to get it back.
    "Possibly" is the key word. Actually it would give you more than that because refer to #2
    Is that advantage worth it? Your more likely to shoot than you are to have your gun taken. Given that, if your forced to draw against someone drawing or already drawn on you you now are much more likely to not get the shot off before your opponent does.
    Not worth it. Invest in a retention holster and training if your worried about retention. Those are the correct answers to the retention problem.




    If anyone can think of any additional positives, or negatives to this I would really like to hear them.
    Can't think of any positives at all.... And I'm pretty sure you already covered all the negatives


    Seriously, don't take my reply to sternly but the answers are pretty cut-n-dry.

    My advice is to get som pro training and you'll realize more the importance of avoidance, threat management/deescalation and when to shoot and when not to.
    +100....well stated Patriot

    I can almost guarantee that time to "rack the slide" will not be there in a real world SD scenario......
    It is fairly well proven that, even with training, you need at least 21 ft between you and the threat to draw and fire a single rnd before that threat can reach you if he/she rans at you....and this is with "one in the pipe".
    Nearly all SD shootings occure at less than 20 ft....most at less than 10 ft.......you do the math.
    Training is the answer....
    BTW......yes, I do carry with "one in the pipe"......always.

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    Well enough has been said about why a blank would be a bad idea . But to answer your question, I carry with one in the chamber as well. Some people have to warm up to the idea. It felt natural for me, though.

    I would suggest that you try to get used to the idea of carrying in condition 1. Until then, though, do what makes you confident and comfortable. Condition 3 is better than nothing!

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    I carry with one in the chamber.

    Like other have said, I'd recommend carrying in condition 3 if you are uncomfortable with condition 1. Just make sure you practice drawing and chambering a round, so that you are prepared if the need ever arises.

    I agree with others, blanks and warning shots are a VERY BAD IDEA! You're either in a situation where you can use deadly force or not...and a warning shot would be considered deadly force in a situation where you probably aren't justified in using it. I don't know how a court would look at a blank being fired as a warning.

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    Fallschirmjäger wrote:
    There's always enough time to rack the slide before having to shoot as anyone who has had to do so will tell you. Those who didn't have the time, ability, or opportunity won't say anything, they're too busy being dead.
    Couldn't agree with you more! Although, I would still have to say that a condition 3 firearm in your hand is still better than a condition 1 cop on the phone!



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    There is one very important point in all of this. Suppose a BG gets a round off first and it hits you in your "weak" wrist, hand, or forearm. Racking the slide to chamber a round for battery is not going to be an easy or simple task. Most likely, you'll wind up wounded or dead.

    Defensive handguns, and hunting handguns, were never meant to be carried in a less-then-immediately-ready condition. Yes there is Condition 3 but only a fool, or a victim who is about to be shot, would do this. If you are so worried about carrying a handgun with a round in the chamber (and I understand your concerns), carry a DAO pistol of a DA revolver - chambered, of course. For pistols, the Kahr line in their steel framed versions are among the finest DAO pistols available.

    Believe me. If you are suddenly acosted by a BG or BG's, there just isn't going to be enough time to get your weapon into battery. That only works on TV and in the movies.

    In the final seconds of your life, just before your killer is about to dispatch you to that great eternal darkness, what would you rather have in your hand? A cell phone or a gun?

    Si vis pacem, para bellum.

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    There are way too many things one might need the offhand for; like pulling a loved one out of the line of fire or holding the bad guy off. In a true emergency situation there simply may not be time or opportunity to chamber a round, and the recoil spring on many guns requires a firm purchase (read: dry hands) on the slide.



    Strict firearms discipline, something you better have a damn lot of long before you carry one, will prevent the gun from going off when you don’t want it to. 99% of modern pistols inside a properly fitting holster cannot discharge by accident.

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    I can't imagine carrying without one in the chamber.

    I don't want to have to do anything extraneous when I'm already faced with a life-or-death decision.

    I carry with one in the chamber, and usually with the safety off (except the 1911, which is in a completely different type holster, just to remind me). Carrying safely, and having an 8-or-more pound trigger pull on a double-action firearm in a proper holster does it for me.

    And I usually don't carry the 1911 because I haven't practiced enough with it to be prepared for the different feel. All my other weapons are by the same maker, so the grip and the feel is nearly the same.
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    I have to say, i'd complete advocate carrying a gun unloaded with a magazine or speed loader seperate... no one should try to convince someone to do something they arn't comfortable with. What's the statistic something like 90% of all self denfense handgun use is without firing a shot.

    then again, i'm making the switch from a revolver (4 loaded in a 5 round [empty chamber under the hammer]) to a 1911.... gotta wait till i'm comfy.

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    uncoolperson wrote:
    I have to say, i'd complete advocate carrying a gun unloaded with a magazine or speed loader seperate... no one should try to convince someone to do something they arn't comfortable with. What's the statistic something like 90% of all self denfense handgun use is without firing a shot.

    then again, i'm making the switch from a revolver (4 loaded in a 5 round [empty chamber under the hammer]) to a 1911.... gotta wait till i'm comfy.
    This is because the BG is under the assumption that the gun works, and decides he doesn't want to die that day. Pulling out an unloaded gun is essentially bluffing, since you really don't have anything but a club in your hand. Your life is already on the line if you're pulling your gun out, so what do you want to bet on? That the BG wont call your bluff? Or your aim?

    I'm a whole lot better at shootin' than I am at poker, so I'll leaving the bluffing at the table.

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    DreQo wrote:
    uncoolperson wrote:
    I have to say, i'd complete advocate carrying a gun unloaded with a magazine or speed loader seperate... no one should try to convince someone to do something they arn't comfortable with. What's the statistic something like 90% of all self denfense handgun use is without firing a shot.

    then again, i'm making the switch from a revolver (4 loaded in a 5 round [empty chamber under the hammer]) to a 1911.... gotta wait till i'm comfy.
    This is because the BG is under the assumption that the gun works, and decides he doesn't want to die that day. Pulling out an unloaded gun is essentially bluffing, since you really don't have anything but a club in your hand. Your life is already on the line if you're pulling your gun out, so what do you want to bet on? That the BG wont call your bluff? Or your aim?

    I'm a whole lot better at shootin' than I am at poker, so I'll leaving the bluffing at the table.
    i do stupid stuff... and i'm young enough i'm going to do more stupid stuff... i'd put more probability on me doing stupid stuff than a BG calling my bluff.

    again, just me. not saying one way is right and one isn't, just saying this is why i do this.

    carry cocked with a non safe handgun (no safety), i don't care... if your comfortable with it, do it
    (that's probably my reason for apprehension... my first auto had no safety)

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    Handguns w/o an external, user activated safety are not non-safe. They have safeties, preventing it from firing w/o the trigger being pulled, drop safeties, magazine disconnects, out-of-battery safeties, and so on.

    Like I said before, the best way to carry is the way that makes you the most comfortable, period. With that in mind, it's a fact that condition 3 greatly reduces a gun's effectiveness, it's a fact that a gun w/o an external safety is no less safe than a gun with one, and it is a fact that a properly made handgun in a properly made holster virtually CANNOT go off accidentally, as the trigger is covered.

    Being confident and comfortable is whats important. If you're not both of those, then a gun will do you no good, but don't blame the gun for you not being comfortable with it. It only does what you make it do, after all.

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    DreQo wrote:
    Being confident and comfortable is whats important. If you're not both of those, then a gun will do you no good, but don't blame the gun for you not being comfortable with it. It only does what you make it do, after all.

    i hate to do it... but a car only does what i make it do, still it took me awhile to become proficient enough to become comfortable to drive my car around.

    i don't blame the gun, i just say it's different and i need to get used to it.

  23. #23
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    uncoolperson wrote:
    a properly designed blank can.

    I appologize, i was remembering back when i was thinking of doing some ww2 reenacting.... the guns were modified (i forgot about this).

    at face value it sounds like a good idea... BUT, a blank can hurt someone pretty dang good too... And my reason for not would be that it would create a sense of carelessness, always knowing (if only in the back of my mind) "the first one is just a blank".... the one time you wish it was just a blank is the one time you forgot to make sure it was just a blank.

    I go unchambered... but that's just me, i know i'm no quick thinker (those poor souls on that area 51 arcade game), i figure a few seconds to rack is a few seconds to better think.

    but then again my choice is flawed to, in that i 'know' there's nothing chambered.
    You have already garnished a collection of responses to your post, so I am not about to add to those. Neither am I of a mind to insult or degrade you or your decision to carry in the mode you have described. So please do not think anything which follows to be disparaging or condemning in any way.

    Members on this site/forum are constantly exchanging ideas, opinions, and thoughts about being put in an extreme situation where they may have to deliver a projectile into the body of an antagonist which could result in his serious injury or death. This is very serious business and those of use who have not had to do this yet are in a continual state of looking for information about just such a scenario in order to maybe help us take the right decision and survive such a deadly encounter.

    The first step in all of this is having a weapon handy which measures up to the task at hand. This does not mean a weapon which is not loaded or one which, though loaded, is not in battery. What this does mean is having a weapon at the ready whose state is such where all that is necessary to put it into play is minimum user effort.

    Once again, I am not in any way condemning your or your method of preparedness, but I would suggest you consider this. If you are not at a point with firearms where you are totally comfortable with having them in a 100% state of readiness, you might want to consider not having them around your presence at all. The reason I say this is quite simple.

    When an attack comes, there are many times when it can occur so quickly and so suddenly, that if your weapon is not in such a state that all that needs to be done to use it is to pull the trigger, you may find yourself breathing your final breathes of life.

    I am only offering this as an alternate condition because I would hate to hear of one of our members succombing to a deadly attack. Life has no guarantees and that is a good thing. Howerver, life can and should be cherished and protected. Please do yourself a favor and become comfortale with your weapon to the extent that if you ever need it, all you need to do is pull the trigger and it goes bang.

    Incidently, I am uncomfortable carrying a single action semi-auto pistol (such as a 1911 styled piece) in Condition 1. On the other hand, I am quite comfortable carrying my Glocks or my Kahrs in full battery.


    In the final seconds of your life, just before your killer is about to dispatch you to that great eternal darkness, what would you rather have in your hand? A cell phone or a gun?

    Si vis pacem, para bellum.

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    SouthernBoy wrote:
    uncoolperson wrote:
    a properly designed blank can.

    I appologize, i was remembering back when i was thinking of doing some ww2 reenacting.... the guns were modified (i forgot about this).

    at face value it sounds like a good idea... BUT, a blank can hurt someone pretty dang good too... And my reason for not would be that it would create a sense of carelessness, always knowing (if only in the back of my mind) "the first one is just a blank".... the one time you wish it was just a blank is the one time you forgot to make sure it was just a blank.

    I go unchambered... but that's just me, i know i'm no quick thinker (those poor souls on that area 51 arcade game), i figure a few seconds to rack is a few seconds to better think.

    but then again my choice is flawed to, in that i 'know' there's nothing chambered.
    You have already garnished a collection of responses to your post, so I am not about to add to those. Neither am I of a mind to insult or degrade you or your decision to carry in the mode you have described. So please do not think anything which follows to be disparaging or condemning in any way.

    Members on this site/forum are constantly exchanging ideas, opinions, and thoughts about being put in an extreme situation where they may have to deliver a projectile into the body of an antagonist which could result in his serious injury or death. This is very serious business and those of use who have not had to do this yet are in a continual state of looking for information about just such a scenario in order to maybe help us take the right decision and survive such a deadly encounter.

    The first step in all of this is having a weapon handy which measures up to the task at hand. This does not mean a weapon which is not loaded or one which, though loaded, is not in battery. What this does mean is having a weapon at the ready whose state is such where all that is necessary to put it into play is minimum user effort.

    Once again, I am not in any way condemning your or your method of preparedness, but I would suggest you consider this. If you are not at a point with firearms where you are totally comfortable with having them in a 100% state of readiness, you might want to consider not having them around your presence at all. The reason I say this is quite simple.

    When an attack comes, there are many times when it can occur so quickly and so suddenly, that if your weapon is not in such a state that all that needs to be done to use it is to pull the trigger, you may find yourself breathing your final breathes of life.

    I am only offering this as an alternate condition because I would hate to hear of one of our members succombing to a deadly attack. Life has no guarantees and that is a good thing. Howerver, life can and should be cherished and protected. Please do yourself a favor and become comfortale with your weapon to the extent that if you ever need it, all you need to do is pull the trigger and it goes bang.

    Incidently, I am uncomfortable carrying a single action semi-auto pistol (such as a 1911 styled piece) in Condition 1. On the other hand, I am quite comfortable carrying my Glocks or my Kahrs in full battery.

    All good points. I agree that if someone is uncomfortable having a firearm ready for use, additional training would be a good way to make that person become more familiar with their weapon of choice so they would feel comfortable carrying with one in the chamber. Each person should be comfortable with their own personal weapon. I personally carry a Kimber 1911 in condition one and am comfortable with it, but then I have carried a 1911 type weapon in condition one for almost 40 years.

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    I don't recall the thread on here where it was mentioned, but if one is uncomfortable carrying with a round chambered out of fear of an "accidental" discharge, try the following: clear your weapon, check it thoroughly, load a snap cap and chamber it, and then proceed to drop it, toss it around a bit, and basically try to do anything that you can think of to make it "accidentally" discharge. Then take out the snap cap and look for a firing pin print. See anything? If not, you don't have to worry about an "accidental" discharge. If so, get another gun.

    Sorry, I just have an issue with carrying a gun without a round chambered. To me, it reflects the notion that guns are these animate objects that "go off" unless they're controlled.

    To use the driving analogy, a new driver doesn't deactivate all but one cylinder and brakes on three of the wheels in order to make sure the car more "comfortable" to drive. A new driver takes the car in all its glory, and drives it. He doesn't start with a partial car and build up to a whole car.

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