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Thread: Carrying with safety on, and no round in the chamber

  1. #1
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    Carrying with safety on, and no round in the chamber

    I have a friend who recently started open carrying. He said he does not feel comfortable carrying with a round in the chamber, so he carries it with the loaded magazine and the safety on. I told him that in an emergency situation, he may not have time to chamber a round and de activate the safety switch before damage was done.

    He said he doesn't feel comfortable, because he's worried that if his firearm drops out of his holster, or if he's in a car accident, that the gun will discharge.

    What are your thoughts on this?

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    Regular Member Curmudgeon's Avatar
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    I'm thinking your friend is in over his head, and needs training... FAST.

    It's one thing to carry empty-chamber because you have had training, know full well what you are doing, and have made a conscious knowledgeable decision to do so.

    Based on your friends comments, it sounds like he has not had any training, and has no idea what he is doing or why.

    How is he going to use a firearm in a self-defense situation when he is so afraid of it, and seems to have no idea of it's basic functions?

    It sounds more like he is doing this because he thinks it is the cool think to do, or is trying to impress someone, A firearm is a powerful tool... not an outfit accessory.

    Please help him, before he gets someone killed.
    While many claim to support the right to keep and bear arms, precious few support the practice.

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    I agree that it will be a potential issue to ready the weapon in case of need (in certain hypothetical scenarios).

    On the other hand, I felt similarly when I first started carrying. It took time, and some training for me to feel confident in carrying chambered, which is how I carry now (and have been for many years).

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    Regular Member amzbrady's Avatar
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    I have a Taurus PT 111 Millineum Pro and the best fit holster I have been able to find for it is a Bladetech for a glock 26. The holster flips the safety off when I holster the pistol. I dont feel comfortable carrying with a round chambered and the safety off. I called Taurus to find out about that, and I was told the PT 111 has a nine pound trigger pull and should not worry about a discharge, and that the safety was more there because of US laws than for actual safety. I couldnt believe that a taursus costomer service agent would advise carrying chambered with the safety off. It didnt give me enough of a warm fuzzy feeling to take his advice.
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    I agree. He goes shooting quite often, so I know that he's familiar with how the firearm works. I have no idea why he's worried about accidental discharge. Safety precautions is all it takes. I mean, how common is it that a pistol will discharge because it's dropped? I haven't heard of that happening many times, if ever - unless pressure is applied to the trigger upon the drop.

    Investing in a good holster is money well spent VS carrying un chambered with the safety on.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Curmudgeon View Post
    I'm thinking your friend is in over his head, and needs training... FAST.
    Please help him, before he gets someone killed.
    Don't you think that is a bit sensationalist?

    It is incredibly unlikely that even an untrained individual will negligently kill someone with a gun. Unless you're of the belief that guns jump out of the hands of untrained persons the way that some dogs run off their leash?
    Last edited by diesel556; 11-13-2010 at 04:02 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aaron1124 View Post
    I agree. He goes shooting quite often, so I know that he's familiar with how the firearm works. I have no idea why he's worried about accidental discharge. Safety precautions is all it takes. I mean, how common is it that a pistol will discharge because it's dropped? I haven't heard of that happening many times, if ever - unless pressure is applied to the trigger upon the drop.

    Investing in a good holster is money well spent VS carrying un chambered with the safety on.
    It depends on the weapon, though most seem to be engineered to prevent the situation you're talking about. To show your friend an example of this type of mechanism (I don't know what he carries), show him a google search on "Colt Series 80 Firing Pin Block", or the following link:

    http://www.sightm1911.com/lib/tech/s80fpb.htm

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    Opt-Out Members BigDave's Avatar
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    First off your friend must be new to firearms or has little training as to lack of understanding of modern firearms and more so with his weapon of choice.

    His apprehension will fade with knowledge and experience with his firearm and he will reach this point quicker by seeking professional training.

    Carrying a firearm that one is not comfortable with can spell trouble for him and can be hesitant deploying in a time of need as a likelihood of being unsure of the weapon or his handling and being able to hit the target.
    Last edited by BigDave; 11-13-2010 at 04:14 PM.
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    I find from time to time that many gun owners share the attitude and experience of your friend. They have fallen for the anti-gunners hysteria that guns are bad, that they can just discharge on their own and they are inherently unsafe.

    Those who take the time to understand how modern firearms work understand that it is virtually impossible for firearms, especially modern handguns to discharge unless some outside force takes place. In nearly all factory semi autos that are a DA/SA type gun, the DA trigger pull is anywhere from 8-10 pounds. To give you and idea on that, a gallon of milk weighs about 8 lbs. Think about moving a gallon of milk with your finger, it takes a bit of effort and strength to do so. That is an equivalent measurement that people can relate to for understanding.

    It is time to spend some time with your friend and undo the media and anti-gunners efforts to portray guns as unsafe.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aaron1124 View Post

    He said he doesn't feel comfortable, because he's worried that if his firearm drops out of his holster, or if he's in a car accident, that the gun will discharge.

    What are your thoughts on this?
    Here's a good idea; address the issue.

    Introduce him to the wonderful world of retention holsters. I love my CQC Serpa and got it for this reason. You pull my gun, you're pretty much going to have to rip off my belt.

    Show him a vid of those crazy old people that have nothing to do but torture perfectly good guns for no reason. You know, throwing glocks out of airplanes and dragging XDs thru mud.

    If it comes to a negative ending, tell him he can always donate to me, I have plenty of room for more guns.


    Oh and one more thing, the biggest thing that got me comfortable to carrying loaded, when at home alone, carry loaded! Build his way up. If you force him, he is going to spook and become the next anti.
    Last edited by OrangeIsTrouble; 11-13-2010 at 04:24 PM.


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    Regular Member skiingislife725's Avatar
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    I wouldn't worry about it if he's just started carrying in general. I did the same thing because I had a Glock. I even got a Siderlock for it. Carried chamber empty with the Siderlock engaged...then onto chamber full with safety engaged...then onto safety off (like a normal Glock) and chamber full.

    It's different with everyone. And especially if their gun doesn't have a conventional safety. Give him some time. If he's still doing it two months from now, I'd run it by him again. I think it took me a few weeks to make the full transition (carrying everyday).

    And +1 to the getting a good holster tip. That helps ease the fears of a ND a million times over.

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    Regular Member amzbrady's Avatar
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    I have no fear of my firearm going off while just walking around chambered with the safety off, My ONLY concern is with reholstering. Until I can afford to get a better holster, I have retrained myself from flipping the safety off while drawing, then shooting, to drawing halfway, racking the slide, and shooting. Only a few seconds difference in time.
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    Opt-Out Members BigDave's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by amzbrady View Post
    I have no fear of my firearm going off while just walking around chambered with the safety off, My ONLY concern is with reholstering. Until I can afford to get a better holster, I have retrained myself from flipping the safety off while drawing, then shooting, to drawing halfway, racking the slide, and shooting. Only a few seconds difference in time.
    Something to consider on the issue of not carrying one in the pipe is that you are adding a possibility of having a failure to feed issue arise, carry one in the pipe and incorporate disengaging the safety during the draw (once both hands come together in front of chest as you are pushing out to acquire your target) and the main thing is that you practice and practice to have it become second nature.

    Why second guess a quality handgun and how it was designed and have been used this way for years?
    Last edited by BigDave; 11-13-2010 at 04:57 PM.
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    most modern pistols have this interesting thing called a "drop safety" basically what this means is that the firing pin is in someway rotated out of the way until 1 of 2 things happen. Either the trigger is pulled and it rotates the firing pin down at the early stages of trigger pull, or until the safety is disengaged.

    Do some research on the "features" of his firearm. Most will tell you something like "Glock pistols are designed with the Auto-Safe Feature. This prevents the firearm from discharging unless the trigger is pulled."
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    A different perspective....

    First, support your friend. The main point is they are carrying.

    What is comfortable for them.... we all come to terms on our level of how and what we carry and in what condition. Sometimes it's dictated by the firearm (1911 style) or our physical limitations and particular situations.

    I support FIRST - that folks carry. How you feel comfortable - may take time. Do you absolutely need to carry in Condition 1? No. You absolutely need to carry... Yes!

    Don't make fun of them. They will come to their own terms. Their comfort level doesn't automatically make them a "new" to shooting. It may just be they are newer to carrying.

    Either way... what I strongly recommend is that you be consistent and practice with the way you carry. For those that don't carry in Condition 1 - look at the Israeli method. They are pretty good at what they do. It's a technique as you present your firearm to grip the slide and rack a round into the chamber and fire. It's a very smooth and fast but must be practiced a lot.... to get it right and be good at it.

    So to all those that put people down - Look at your own past and the progression into your current ability. We all started off someplace. We all take different paths and we all have different "requirements."

    Encourage and nudge but don't put down a fellow gun owner because they aren't to your speed.

    Yes, it's not "optimal" but what is really optimal. If you talk to a rifle guy - he'll laugh at you about your pistol.

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    Regular Member Tomas's Avatar
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    Greatly depends on what he is carrying.

    One of my semi-auto pistols, a S&W 59, had a manual safety that flicked off if you so much as brushed it against something. Very, very light detent on that thing.

    That pistol I always carried with an empty chamber.

    My more recent pistols have all had decent manual safties that stayed put until actually moved - good detents on 'em.

    My current carry is a Taurus 709, and the manual safety on a Glock-like mechanism lets me carry very comfortably with one in the chamber and manual safety on (in a Bianchi 82 with retention lever).

    Your friend may have a pistol who's safety he doesn't trust (like my 59), he may just be in the "learning stage" of getting comfortable with carrying openly, or he may need a better holster...

    Talk with him about it.
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    give it time

    I too carried condition 3 when I first started OC'ing. I was paranoid about bullet setback in my carry rounds because of Wisconsin's ridiculous vehicle carry laws. I also did not want people to call the cops when I locked and loaded in a parking lot. After some serious thought about scenarios where I might need to defend myself with my firearm, I concluded that carrying condition 3 was probably the last thing I should be doing. I spent some quality range time practicing my draw and shooting with a round chambered. Im now comfortable with it and actually feel safer carrying with one in the pipe. I also enjoy the click click click of racking my slide then holstering with my serpa. I also no longer care about what sounds Im making locking and loading in parking lots. Im way passed caring if my OCing makes people uncomfortable. So get your friend to the range and he will probably get over his fear of carrying a hot weapon.
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    I carry a 1911 in condition one and have since I started carrrying it. However, it took me a while to be truly comfortable with that, even though I knew that they were built to be carried that way. Now I am much more knowledgeable about my gun and much more comfortable with carrying it that way. I also have a good retention holster so I know it isn't going anywhere on it's own. Before I got that gun, I was carrying my S & W M & P 9 mil compact. Occasionally I would find that the safety was off and that bothered me a bit, even though it is d/a. The safety on it comes off very easily, but it has a harder trigger pull than the 1911, so I really had nothing to worry about. Sounds like your friend just needs some practice, encouragement, and time to get used to the idea. Learning something new is a journey and most likely very few of us were comfortable in the beginning.
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    Opt-Out Members BigDave's Avatar
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    Have him unload his gun, cock it and put on the safety and tell him go ahead and try his dammist to have that hammer hit with out taking off the safety.

    If he cannot intentionally get the hammer to fall then whats the problem?
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    Regular Member sudden valley gunner's Avatar
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    I'm with OldKim on this, just be glad he is carrying, it is still better than not having anything. He will probably like skiing said change as he becomes more comfortable. If not he is still one of us. Kudos to him!!! For carrying and doing so openly.
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigDave View Post
    Have him unload his gun, cock it and put on the safety and tell him go ahead and try his dammist to have that hammer hit with out taking off the safety.

    If he cannot intentionally get the hammer to fall then whats the problem?
    His carry sidearm is a hammerless Taurus. But I'm sure he'd still get the concept

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    I will add my $.02 here. When I first started Ocing, I carried without a round in the chamber and with the safety on. It came with TIME and confidence in my firearm. I needed to put more rounds through my Beretta, and just learn even better how she worked. Even in the military, I didn't have her daily. After I learned that and that my daughter wouldn't be randomly shot with the safety on, I carried one in the pipe ever since. It's a time thing. Lastly, my SERPA helped a lot and Kydex over my nylon shoulder rig really helped.

    +1 more for get a good holster.

  23. #23
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    Taurus

    I have a Taurus PT 24/7 PRO DS. It has a feature I really like, after you chamber a round it is in SA. However if you push a little more on the manual safety it decocks and goes to DA until your first shot. This makes me feel more comfortable with one in the chamber.
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    Regular Member amlevin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aaron1124 View Post
    I have a friend who recently started open carrying. He said he does not feel comfortable carrying with a round in the chamber, so he carries it with the loaded magazine and the safety on.


    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


    What are your thoughts on this?
    What your friend needs to do is first learn as much as he can about the firearm he is carrying. Is the ONLY safety device on his pistol the Safety "switch" or are there layers of safety. Others have mentioned firing pin blocks/locks. Does his pistol have one? What about a half-cock position from which the hammer can't be released unless it is first pulled to a full-cock position? The key is regardless of which combination of safety's there are, he should know and understand them as well as other functions of his firearm. When he becomes more knowledgeable he will feel more "safe" without essentially carrying an unloaded gun.

    Let's face it, he'd have a tough time with some firearms. He'd pull all the hairs out of his head trying to find the safety on a Sig P-229.
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    Thoughts on not fully loaded carry

    My weapon of choice should be obvious to many people here: I carry a full size Springfield XD .45. The weapon is practical in the sense that there is no fumbling of a mechanical safety to make it ready to fire and your hand must have a solid grip on the weapon for it to do ANYthing. The following statement is a matter of personal preference when it comes to my style of carry: I always carry without a round in the chamber. Why? There are/were some considerations when it comes to carrying this way:

    1) It was easy to load/unload the gun when carrying without a CPL. I didn't need to unholster and clear the weapon in public and cause an otherwise uneducated person to freak out -- which was common in the area I was living in (South Everett).

    2) This may put me more at risk if the need to draw and fire arises, but I am not one who likes fighting and would rather give the BG every possible opportunity to reconsider his chosen lifestyle. I have practiced enough to where i can draw and cock the gun in one smooth motion. But that "click click" gives the BG pause and alerts possible witnesses. It may or may not have its intended effect and I might lose that extra split second, but it might also give me a strategic advantage over the situation, or it may cause the guy to lose his lunch and/or run away -- which may be done by the presence of the firearm itself, but regardless of if you are around guns or not, that "click click" means that I mean business.

    Regardless of the tactics being used, there is never a guarantee of the intended result. What I intend above all else is to de-escalate if possible without shots being fired while still bringing any required force to bear as quickly as possible.
    Last edited by acmariner99; 11-13-2010 at 09:34 PM.

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