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Thread: Round in the chamber?

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    I'm new here and was thrilled to find out there are multiple states I can carry openly in during my frequent trips between Maryland and Florida. I carry either a M&P .40 or a Ruger P90 .45 and was wondering if it's a good idea to keep a round in the chamber. The .40 has a trigger safety, and while I've never heard about or experienced a malfunction with these I'm not entirely sure if keeping a round racked is the best thing to do. I was wondering what some of your opinions were.

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    Well, I'd have to say it's personal preference. But i prefer to have my seat belt buckled while driving. As well as lock my doors at night.

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    By the time you realise what has happened and chambered a round, the BG has 3 or 4 rounds in the air, and they are coming at you.

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    How long have you been carrying? As your question brings to light many things.

    For more experienced carriers (openly or concealed) the simple argument is pretty mute. See NavyLT's post and you'll see clearly that you should carry with one in the chamber.

    It's all about personal comfort. This happens to those, even seasoned carriers that switch to a single action 1911. Lots of basic questions. Cocked and lock, etc.

    So back on topic: Do know if it's not comfortable for you to carry one in the chamber then don't do it. Over time and more exposure you'll develop more confidence of the why's to carry it. You can look at the Israeli military as they teach and mandate their folks to carry (one without in the chamber).

    The bottom line is you practice. Your reaction time will be slower but with good practice some of it can be somewhat overcome.

    There can be many arguments as to how fast one should be able to draw and fire. It all depends on how you carry, where you carry it and how fast you can react and recognize a threat happening. Carrying one not in the chamber will add to your response time.

    I'm not entirely sure if keeping a round racked is the best thing to do.
    As for your question as to the best thing to do..... what do you mean? Are you concerned about more mechanical or safety reasons?
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    http://tinyurl.com/1911Con1

    The topic seems to be missing from the board, but here's a cache of a discussion I started about two and a half years ago when I first purchased a 1911.

    Does it count as a double post if I quote myself?

    The first page alone of this helped, even if I wasn't planning on Con3 Carry...

    http://forum.m1911.org/showthread.php?t=22170

    Also
    To lower the hammer you have to pull the trigger. Pulling the trigger on a pistol with a loaded chamber is just asking for trouble, IMHO ..
    http://www.smartcarry.com/cocklock.htm
    Cocked and locked. Chamber loaded, hammer cocked, thumb safety on. This requires you to snick the safety down before firing and snick it back up when you're finished, a test of manual dexterity that can be learned by any creature equipped with opposing thumbs and probably by a few equipped with paws or hooves instead.

    Granted, this is about 1911s, but the discussion still holds.

    Edit: TinyURL'd because the forum software butchered the link.
    Why open carry? Because 1911 > 911.

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    I had this same issue, I've been CCing for about 3 years now and when I first started carrying I never racked one in. I was commenting on another forum about how the Mag. on my H&K p2000sk was really tight when I had a full mag and didn't chamber one. everyone asked why, and it was a comfort think for me and also a safe that if someone some how took my gun off of me I knew it wasn't loaded ready to fire.

    But after getting the response like most people have said, "do you think you have time to chamber one in the heat of the moment?" I tried carrying it with one round ready to go. It was awkward at first but now I never leave it empty.

    My advise, try it out one day when you go out and see hot it feels. I can almost guarantee once you try it, it will become the norm for you. Hope this helps with your decision.


    -Zef

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    Agree with NavyLt.

    I carry one in the tube, cocked, locked and ready to rock.

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    Founder's Club Member thebigsd's Avatar
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    You should definitely keep a round in the chamber. The extra seconds that it could take you to rack the slide could be the difference between life and death.
    "When seconds count between living or dying, the police are only minutes away."

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    Thanks, I appreciate your opinions. I've been carrying now for a year but have been using guns for about 5. Does anyone know why the Israelis keep the chamber empty?

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    nate5ks wrote:
    Does anyone know why the Israelis keep the chamber empty?
    Itchy trigger fingers??? Esp, when in the presence of Palestinians?
    Carry on!

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    Founder's Club Member - Moderator longwatch's Avatar
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    My understanding is that when the new nation of Israel was forming it's military, it had to take what it could get in the way of weapons and most were used or second rate, and not homogeneous, add in a high percentage of low skill level users and one can imagine a hazardous situation. So as a safety measure unloaded chambers were mandated in carry arms. I think then it made sense, now with modern arms, there really is no reason not to carry a chambered round where legal.

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    longwatch wrote:
    My understanding is that when the new nation of Israel was forming it's military, it had to take what it could get in the way of weapons and most were used or second rate, and not homogeneous, add in a high percentage of low skill level users and one can imagine a hazardous situation. So as a safety measure unloaded chambers were mandated in carry arms. I think then it made sense, now with modern arms, there really is no reason not to carry a chambered round where legal.
    Surely that rule does not apply to active combat troops any longer.

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    Founder's Club Member - Moderator longwatch's Avatar
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    I wouldn't bet the rule isn't being employed somewhere by someone.

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    The guns that are in my carry stable are all DAO pistols and are, by definition, inherently safe with one in the chamber. They are either going to fire (hopefully) when trigger is pulled or they're not. It is then ME who is the "safety".

    The time it takes to work (rack) a slide in order to chamber a round is time lost when you may need it the most. NavyLT's reasons are spot on and I would add this to them. Suppose a BG opens fire and manages to deliver a debilitating hit to your weak arm or hand. Now chambering that round just got a whole lot more difficult and time-consuming during a time when you need every second.

    In the final analysis, it is YOU who must take the decision as to whether or not you are going to carry chambered. You can bet a BG is going to be chambered and ready - why not you? The use of a good, protective holster will help alleviate your concerns. But an unchambered defensive sidearm is useless until it is 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.

    America First!

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    My personal side arm was loaded, chambered, cocked, and locked and has been that way for 3+ years now and the only time it leaves that condition is at the range in the course of fire.

    You are the most important safety for the firearm. Both of those pistols you mentioned should be perfectly safe carried chambered if you do your part.

    I for one am of the opinion that an unchambered gun is far more dangerous than a carefully handled chambered one. When you need it most it isn't ready.

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    When I first started carrying I left the chamber empty. After a few months of shooting and practice I became more comfortable with one in the chamber. With all the modern safeties on new guns there isn't a good reason to leave the chamber empty. Also you get one extra round to carry with you. With many guns in 45acp at 6+1,7+1 or 8+1 having that +1 extra round makes me feel better. :-)

    With that said, there are guns that lack safety features and can discharge when dropped. In your case the M&P model is newer and shouldn't have that problem. A salesman at our local gunstore put a bullet through his hand when he dropped his gun. I don't remember the model but it discharged when it hit the floor (in his home) and he was lucky enough that it only hit his hand and not something worse. Although I don't remember the make, I remember that the model was known to have that danger.

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    Let me recount an incident that happened to me and it will illustrate that it's not just about having your gun ready for the bad-guys, but for any other type of aggressor that may cause you issues.

    I was out on a walk (CCing)with my wife, who was pushing our two kids (age 2, 3) in their stroller. They were ahead of me (thin portion of sidewalk) when we passed a house, two doors down our's. The screen door was partially open and there were a couple of teenagers on the porch, one inside the plane of the door, one outside. In an instant the door flung open and there was a very large 80+lbs. dog (if I had to guess, it was a Rott/Pit mix, but it was BIG!) clearing the four steps down to the yard and proceeding my way. Barking, ears up (non-submissive manner, I grew up around dogs) and teeth showing.

    As it crossed the yard towards us, I put my weak side arm up, parallel to the ground (for him to have a target to chew on, besides my face/neck) and drew my G22 with my right hand, keeping it in a retention position at my right hip. Once the dog was within 3 yards or so it looked as if it was going to change it's mind, possibly in reaction to the fact that I looked as if I was not going to just "let" him attack me (& my family). The owner had come to the door and screamed at the dog just as it came to me, at which point it made a 180* turn and ran back across the yard, back up the stairs and inside the door. My neighbor was profusely apologizing, saying they didn't know how it got out, blah, blah.... I just said, "Keep it chained up, it almost got shot today."

    As I reholstered my G22, I grabbed my cell phone and dialed 911, reporting that I had just drawn my weapon in public and the circumstances for doing so. (He who dials 911 first, wins.) They gave me the number of animal control, which I didn't call. The dog was going to attack me, but didn't, so I doubt any enforcement would have been issued. And as for a paper-trail in case something happens in the future, there still is a 911 tape somewhere with my side of the story on it.

    My wife was happy I was carrying, and surprised at how fast theGLOCK came out and that I was ready to fight as the threat presented itself. Also, I learned why you don't have time to carry a gun with an empty chamber. I would not have had time to chamber a round had I needed to. From the time I made the decision to draw to the time I would have needed my left hand where it was to block the dog, was about 1.5 seconds. Time to draw.No time to draw and rack. Period.

    The police never showed up, and I haven't seen/heardthe dog since. If it's my family or myself versus some aggressive dog, the dog is going to lose. I was just grateful that I didnt have to let loose any 180gr Gold Dots in the middle of my neighborhood with kids around.


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    G20-IWB24/7 wrote:
    Let me recount an incident that happened to me and it will illustrate that it's not just about having your gun ready for the bad-guys, but for any other type of aggressor that may cause you issues.

    I was out on a walk (CCing)with my wife, who was pushing our two kids (age 2, 3) in their stroller. They were ahead of me (thin portion of sidewalk) when we passed a house, two doors down our's. The screen door was partially open and there were a couple of teenagers on the porch, one inside the plane of the door, one outside. In an instant the door flung open and there was a very large 80+lbs. dog (if I had to guess, it was a Rott/Pit mix, but it was BIG!) clearing the four steps down to the yard and proceeding my way. Barking, ears up (non-submissive manner, I grew up around dogs) and teeth showing.

    As it crossed the yard towards us, I put my weak side arm up, parallel to the ground (for him to have a target to chew on, besides my face/neck) and drew my G22 with my right hand, keeping it in a retention position at my right hip. Once the dog was within 3 yards or so it looked as if it was going to change it's mind, possibly in reaction to the fact that I looked as if I was not going to just "let" him attack me (& my family). The owner had come to the door and screamed at the dog just as it came to me, at which point it made a 180* turn and ran back across the yard, back up the stairs and inside the door. My neighbor was profusely apologizing, saying they didn't know how it got out, blah, blah.... I just said, "Keep it chained up, it almost got shot today."

    As I reholstered my G22, I grabbed my cell phone and dialed 911, reporting that I had just drawn my weapon in public and the circumstances for doing so. (He who dials 911 first, wins.) They gave me the number of animal control, which I didn't call. The dog was going to attack me, but didn't, so I doubt any enforcement would have been issued. And as for a paper-trail in case something happens in the future, there still is a 911 tape somewhere with my side of the story on it.

    My wife was happy I was carrying, and surprised at how fast theGLOCK came out and that I was ready to fight as the threat presented itself. Also, I learned why you don't have time to carry a gun with an empty chamber. I would not have had time to chamber a round had I needed to. From the time I made the decision to draw to the time I would have needed my left hand where it was to block the dog, was about 1.5 seconds. Time to draw.No time to draw and rack. Period.

    The police never showed up, and I haven't seen/heardthe dog since. If it's my family or myself versus some aggressive dog, the dog is going to lose. I was just grateful that I didnt have to let loose any 180gr Gold Dots in the middle of my neighborhood with kids around.
    Very important points - very important. Glad no one was hurt and good thing you were armed.

    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.

    America First!

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    I carry the S&W M&P 40C with one in the chamber. As a retired police officer, I can attest that when you carry a firearm, and a situation occurs, that situation happens too fast to comprehend or think what to do. Unless you are behind solid cover, and have the time to rack a round, you may not have a chance to even pull your weapon.

    As you stated, the M&P models have a trigger safety, which is something I had no personal experience with, until now. Do not stage, that is pull on the trigger until you are ready to fire, because you might discharge prematurely.

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    nate5ks wrote:
    I'm new here and was thrilled to find out there are multiple states I can carry openly in during my frequent trips between Maryland and Florida. I carry either a M&P .40 or a Ruger P90 .45 and was wondering if it's a good idea to keep a round in the chamber. The .40 has a trigger safety, and while I've never heard about or experienced a malfunction with these I'm not entirely sure if keeping a round racked is the best thing to do. I was wondering what some of your opinions were.
    Don't keep anything anywhere 'til you exit MD 'cept in a locked box in the trunk. Keep ammo and gun separate as well.

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    stainless1911 wrote:
    By the time you realise what has happened and chambered a round, the BG has 3 or 4 rounds in the air, and they are coming at you.
    [flash=560,340]http://www.youtube.com/v/OwGNzZaISP0&hl=en_US&fs=1&[/flash]

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    mrsemman wrote:
    I carry the S&W M&P 40C with one in the chamber. As a retired police officer, I can attest that when you carry a firearm, and a situation occurs, that situation happens too fast to comprehend or think what to do. Unless you are behind solid cover, and have the time to rack a round, you may not have a chance to even pull your weapon.

    As you stated, the M&P models have a trigger safety, which is something I had no personal experience with, until now. Do not stage, that is pull on the trigger until you are ready to fire, because you might discharge prematurely.
    I also have an M&P 40 and its trigger is slightly shorter in its travel than Glocks - my primary carry gun is one of my Glock 23's.

    When an attack comes, it can come so quickly that you're operating on instinct. Anything in the way will be an impediment to your safety. I do not wish to give precious seconds to my adversary.

    Thanks for your input.

    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.

    America First!

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    I was in a situation one time where someone threatened to shoot me, then someone else ran back (out of my view) into the house. At the time, the only retreat I had would have turned my back to the situation ... no way was I going to do that!

    Cops were on the way.

    The only problem is that I carried in Condition 3 at the time and the DA tried to claim I escalated the situation by racking a round. I did not show the weapon, I did not claim that I was going to do anything either ... only that I was not going to turn my back on someone who said they were going to get their gun and shoot me.

    I have carried Condition 1 ever since then.
    cheers - okboomer
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    Regular Member 45acpForMe's Avatar
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    okboomer wrote:
    ... The only problem is that I carried in Condition 3 at the time and the DA tried to claim I escalated the situation by racking a round. I did not show the weapon, I did not claim that I was going to do anything either ... only that I was not going to turn my back on someone who said they were going to get their gun and shoot me.

    I have carried Condition 1 ever since then.
    It seems with DA's you are damned if you do and damned if you don't. I bet if you had carried in Condition 1 that night the DA would have criticized that as being overly zealous to be ready (and willing/wanting) to discharge your firearm! I have heard people recommending not carryingsingle actionpistols because DA's demonize them for needing less actions to go off. When will lawyers wake up and realize 1) The type/model/style of gun is rarely an issue and 2) Prosecuting or defending a client isn't supposed to be about twisting the truth but finding it. I think their careers are judged too much on win/loss of their cases rather than correct verdicts.



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    Regular Member Ruger's Avatar
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    45acpForMe wrote:
    Prosecuting or defending a client isn't supposed to be about twisting the truth but finding it. I think their careers are judged too much on win/loss of their cases rather than correct verdicts.
    Herein lies one of the biggest problems with our justice system. It boils down to a contest between 2 manipulative liars to see who is better at twisting facts to persuade a flock of 12 sheeple. Truth is bastardized &/or lost in the process.
    Carry on!

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