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Thread: Why you should carry with a round in the chamber

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    Why you should carry with a round in the chamber

    I am sure this has been previously posted, but I haven't seen it around. I am sure a lot of you are familiar with the "Tueller Drill", also known as the "21 Foot Rule", meaning that the MINIMUM distance an attacker with a blade has to inflict a mortal blow before you can register the threat, react, draw your firearm, and fire. No way you'd be able to do this if you do not already have a round chambered.

    A man with a knife at a distance is a legitimate threat, not to be taken lightly.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v0kI9...layer_embedded

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    Re: Why you should carry with a round in the chamber

    I have to disagree for one reason. My carry gun is a Glock 23, and as such, has no safety. I love my gun; it's excellent... but if I had one chambered, there is a strong possibility of a mishap, and that's not something I can afford. I guess it depends on the holster as well. I would have less of a problem with it if my holster was composite or kydex or something, but I'm a big boy, and I pretty much rely on nylon holster for comfort and draw speed.

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    It depends on the firearm. There are some semi auto's that have a hairpin trigger when there's a chambered round. That would make me a little uneasy if I were unfamiliar with the firearm, or if my holster didn't properly secure the trigger.

    I have absolutely no problem carrying revolvers, as long as the hammer is not back.

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    Regular Member SFCRetired's Avatar
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    I have a Ruger P89 that I carry with the hammer down on a loaded chamber. It is a decocker and the hammer is blocked from the firing pin until the trigger is pulled. That is the only safety on that weapon. I am very comfortable carrying it like that.

    My other weapon is a Springfield Armory 1911 which I carry cocked and locked as it was meant to be carried. Again, I am comfortable carrying it like that.

    The key is knowing your weapon and practicing with it until you are completely comfortable with it. That does not mean you quit practicing. Neither do you get complacent.

    Always be aware of where your trigger finger is and where the muzzle is pointed.

    I don't know enough about Glocks and some of the other pistols to say anything other than I don't think I could ever get comfortable with one from what I have seen. That is not to say that they are not good pistols; they just are not for me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Meatbag79 View Post
    I have to disagree for one reason. My carry gun is a Glock 23, and as such, has no safety. I love my gun; it's excellent... but if I had one chambered, there is a strong possibility of a mishap, and that's not something I can afford. I guess it depends on the holster as well. I would have less of a problem with it if my holster was composite or kydex or something, but I'm a big boy, and I pretty much rely on nylon holster for comfort and draw speed.
    I am unfamiliar with Glocks, however, while it is likely that it has no switch called "a safety," it surely has safety devices that allow for carry with a chambered round. There are scads of different safety devices that handguns employ, such as grip safeties, double triggers, double-action triggers, decockers, etc. Surely your Glock has at least one of these.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Meatbag79 View Post
    I have to disagree for one reason. My carry gun is a Glock 23, and as such, has no safety. I love my gun; it's excellent... but if I had one chambered, there is a strong possibility of a mishap, and that's not something I can afford. I guess it depends on the holster as well. I would have less of a problem with it if my holster was composite or kydex or something, but I'm a big boy, and I pretty much rely on nylon holster for comfort and draw speed.
    Keep in mind you are carrying an expensive brick if you do not have a round chambered. If you are unable to chamber a round quick enough and end up on the losing side of the deal, your unloaded gun will now be in the possession of the **** that took you out.

    When people ask me about my opinion of carrying a loaded gun, I simply tell them that if they are scared of the loaded gun, please leave it at home. When they have taken time to be properly trained and understand that guns don't magically fire then they have the mindset to be a responsible person.

    I am not knocking your choice, so please don't take offense. I am offering a thought you mind not have considered.


    The number one safety on any gun, is between the owners ears.
    Last edited by Super Trucker; 12-17-2010 at 11:08 PM.

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    Regular Member Dreamer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by eye95 View Post
    I am unfamiliar with Glocks, however, while it is likely that it has no switch called "a safety," it surely has safety devices that allow for carry with a chambered round. There are scads of different safety devices that handguns employ, such as grip safeties, double triggers, double-action triggers, decockers, etc. Surely your Glock has at least one of these.

    No, actually the Glock has NO external safety switch at all, nor does it have a "decocker", nor is it truly DAO.

    The Glock has what they call a "safe action trigger". What this means is that when a cop shoots himself in the ass or shoots an innocent bystander due to a ND, he will be safe from prosecution, sanction, or restriction. But when a citizen has an ND with a Glock, the system will spring into action to prosecute him to the fullest extent of the law.. </sarcasm>


    Actually, I own and carry a Glock 36. I carried it for two months without a round in the tube, because I wasn't terribly comfortable with it in the Serpa, knowing what I know about Glocks (I worked for the DOJ in the DC area during the time when DC Metro PD was switching over from revolvers to Glocks, and they had over 100 NDs in the first few years of carrying the Glock). But now that I've owned it for several months, and put several hundred rounds through it, I feel safe with the firearm's "safety" mechanisms, the holster, and my abilities to handle it safely.

    The key to handling a Glock with "one in the chamber" is training. If you keep your booger hook off the bang switch while drawing and re-holstering a Glock, it's just as safe as any other firearm. The grip angle and trigger geometry are SUBSTANTIALLY different from a 1911, and manipulating a Glock in and out of a holster requires a slight modification in trigger-finger position when using a Serpa. A few thousand presentation drills will imprint this difference on your muscle memory though...

    All that said, I would NEVER leave a "hot" Glock in an unsecured location in my house. It's either on my hip, or unloaded and locked up. The functionality of the Glock makes it just TOO prone to ND in untrained hands to be trusted in unsupervised or untrained hands.
    Last edited by Dreamer; 12-18-2010 at 12:51 AM.
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    Regular Member rotorhead's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Meatbag79 View Post
    I have to disagree for one reason. My carry gun is a Glock 23, and as such, has no safety. I love my gun; it's excellent... but if I had one chambered, there is a strong possibility of a mishap, and that's not something I can afford. I guess it depends on the holster as well. I would have less of a problem with it if my holster was composite or kydex or something, but I'm a big boy, and I pretty much rely on nylon holster for comfort and draw speed.
    Your Glock does have a safety, it's built into the trigger (as with all Glocks that I am aware of). It may not have a separate safety switch, but it does have the primary safety built in to the trigger system making it virtually mechanically impossible for a unintentional firing. You literally have to pull the trigger for a round to go off- that is your safety. You can bump it, slap it, drop it, or look at it mean all you want, but it should not fire unless you pull the trigger in a manner that first depresses the safety mechanism.

    A stock Glock out of the case will have roughly 5.5- 6.5 lbs psi of a trigger pull unless you go and do some filing or shaving. If someone manipulates the trigger system in such a way then they run the risk of a round going off before the intended minimum pull- but still, a round should not fire without the built in safety mechanism being depressed on the trigger. That means you have to physically put your finger on the trigger and pull it for it to fire. Without that physical motion, there is (supposedly) no way for it to fire.

    Due to this, the safety for Glocks and many of the newer (past ten years or so) composite pistols is actually your awareness more than anything else. If people develop the habit of never touching the trigger unless the gun is aimed at the intended target and they are mentally and physically prepared to fire at that moment, there is no way for the round to go off.

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    Regular Member Dreamer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rotorhead View Post
    Your Glock does have a safety, it's built into the trigger (as with all Glocks that I am aware of).

    The Glock "safety mechanism" is like building a Porsche 911 Turbo with no brake pedal, and then selling it to people saying "as long as you don't press the gas pedal, you'll never run into anything..."
    It is our cause to dispel the foggy thinking which avoids hard decisions in the delusion that a world of conflict will somehow mysteriously resolve itself into a world of harmony, if we just don't rock the boat or irritate the forces of aggression—and this is hogwash."
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    SAP or DAR?

    If you're uncomfortable carrying a semi-automatic pistol in a ready-to-fire state, would you feel the same about a double-action revolver? If not, why not carry one or two of those instead?

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    Regular Member sultan62's Avatar
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    I'm not a big fan of the style of safety on the Glock. I got a Springfield XD45, and made sure to get one with the thumb safety for that reason. It also comes with the trigger safety (which I hate) and the beavertail safety, which I like. I really prefer having the thumb safety though.

    Just my $0.02.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Meatbag79 View Post
    I have to disagree for one reason. My carry gun is a Glock 23, and as such, has no safety.
    This is incorrect.

    1. It has a 5.5 lb trigger pull, close to that of nearly all revolvers. It would take a decisive trigger pull to make it fire. Provided you keep it properly holstered and refrain from hot-dogging with it while it's loaded, you're unlikely to accidentally discharge the weapon.

    2. Your firearm doesn't have one safety. It actually has a three-tiered afety system:

    "Glock pistols are designed with three independent safety mechanisms to prevent accidental discharge. The system, designated "Safe Action" by Glock, consists of an external integrated trigger safety and two automatic internal safeties: a firing pin safety and a drop safety. The external safety is a small inner lever contained in the trigger. Pressing the lever activates the trigger bar and sheet metal connector. The firing pin safety is a solid hardened steel pin that, in the secured state, blocks the firing pin channel (disabling the firing pin in its longitudinal axis). It is pushed upward to release the firing pin for firing only when the trigger is actuated and the safety is pushed up through the backward movement of the trigger bar. The drop safety guides the trigger bar in a ramp that is released only when direct rearward pressure is applied to the trigger. The three safety mechanisms are automatically disengaged one after the other when the trigger is squeezed, and are automatically reactivated when the trigger is released." - Source

    I love my gun; it's excellent... but if I had one chambered, there is a strong possibility of a mishap...
    No. If you keep it holstered in a retention holster, the liklihood of any sort of accidental discharge is a lot closer to nil than accidentally dropping a live round.

    I would have less of a problem with it if my holster was composite or kydex or something, but I'm a big boy, and I pretty much rely on nylon holster for comfort and draw speed.
    Examine your holster. Most nylon holsters are woven around a thin but hard plastic form designed to conform to your firearm and protect it from blows.

    I'd say you're far safer with one in the chamber than you are with giving a perp an extra two seconds to tackle you, knife you, or shoot you.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dreamer View Post
    All that said, I would NEVER leave a "hot" Glock in an unsecured location in my house. It's either on my hip, or unloaded and locked up. The functionality of the Glock makes it just TOO prone to ND in untrained hands to be trusted in unsupervised or untrained hands.
    I'd say this pretty much applies to all firearms. The contrary point, however, is that in trained hands, particularly while holstered, it's as safe as any other firearm from accidental discharge.*

    I do not consider pulling the trigger of an unholstered firearm to be an "accidental" discharge as per Rule 1: It's always loaded.
    Last edited by since9; 12-18-2010 at 03:41 AM.
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    yeh,,,

    thanks 09
    im not a clock guy but they are excellent and and safe guns.
    reliability and instant safety reset after use.
    just like a double action revolver, pick it up, pull the trigger, no muss no fuss.
    the real safety is between your ears.
    all guns should shoot, when you pull the trigger.
    if you cant trust your self around guns that have triggers,
    you shouldnt be trusted around guns!
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    So, as I said, the Glock does have "safety systems," even if it does not have a traditional safety switch. I'd rather have a thumb safety and dislike a heavy trigger pull, as with a double trigger or a double-action trigger. However, I'd carry one in the chamber unless the firearm had no reasonable safety system.

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    I'm a little more apprehensive about carrying loaded with my XD-45, so I don't do it regularly. I like my Springfield TRP 1911. I have no problem carrying it cocked and locked. That said I have on more than one occasion found the safety switched off after having to leave it under the seat since I have to go into places with CHL restrictions. S I always check it. Like Dreamer said though, if you keep your "booger hook" off the trigger you'll be fine.

    I also have the luxury of a private range where I can practice draw, safety drop, and trigger pull.
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    Regular Member SouthernBoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dreamer View Post
    No, actually the Glock has NO external safety switch at all, nor does it have a "decocker", nor is it truly DAO.

    The Glock has what they call a "safe action trigger". What this means is that when a cop shoots himself in the ass or shoots an innocent bystander due to a ND, he will be safe from prosecution, sanction, or restriction. But when a citizen has an ND with a Glock, the system will spring into action to prosecute him to the fullest extent of the law.. </sarcasm>


    Actually, I own and carry a Glock 36. I carried it for two months without a round in the tube, because I wasn't terribly comfortable with it in the Serpa, knowing what I know about Glocks (I worked for the DOJ in the DC area during the time when DC Metro PD was switching over from revolvers to Glocks, and they had over 100 NDs in the first few years of carrying the Glock). But now that I've owned it for several months, and put several hundred rounds through it, I feel safe with the firearm's "safety" mechanisms, the holster, and my abilities to handle it safely.

    The key to handling a Glock with "one in the chamber" is training. If you keep your booger hook off the bang switch while drawing and re-holstering a Glock, it's just as safe as any other firearm. The grip angle and trigger geometry are SUBSTANTIALLY different from a 1911, and manipulating a Glock in and out of a holster requires a slight modification in trigger-finger position when using a Serpa. A few thousand presentation drills will imprint this difference on your muscle memory though...

    All that said, I would NEVER leave a "hot" Glock in an unsecured location in my house. It's either on my hip, or unloaded and locked up. The functionality of the Glock makes it just TOO prone to ND in untrained hands to be trusted in unsupervised or untrained hands.
    The Glock design is a DAO. The trigger performs two tasks and always two tasks to fire the gun (not talking about the "third" task of disabling the striker safety). It does not have automatic retry (reset) capability, a factor common with striker fired pistols. Pistols which operate like the Kel-Tec P11 do have retry capability because they are hammer fired and do not need the movement of the slide to reset the striker and trigger combo. One could almost call pistols like the Glock design a double action only hybrid for this reason.
    Last edited by SouthernBoy; 12-18-2010 at 05:16 PM.
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    Regular Member SouthernBoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Meatbag79 View Post
    I have to disagree for one reason. My carry gun is a Glock 23, and as such, has no safety. I love my gun; it's excellent... but if I had one chambered, there is a strong possibility of a mishap, and that's not something I can afford. I guess it depends on the holster as well. I would have less of a problem with it if my holster was composite or kydex or something, but I'm a big boy, and I pretty much rely on nylon holster for comfort and draw speed.
    My primary carry gun is one of my Glock 23's and it is always carried in full battery; with a round in the chamber and ready to go. There are two very important factors working against someone who carries a semi-auto handgun without a chambered round.

    Time. It takes time to chamber a round into a semi-auto handgun and that is time you may not wish to spend bringing your gun to the ready. In the heat of an extreme encounter, it's too easy to make a mistake, mess up racking the slide, and one could find themselves paying the price with their lives.

    Injury. Suppose your assailant(s) manage to injure your support arm or hand and you cannot use that hand to work the slide of your Glock? What now? Yes there is a drill for this, but that is also a lot of time wasted that could otherwise be better spent defending yourself.

    Your best friend is a holster designed to protect the gun's trigger and training. The chance of a Glock discharging without a deliberate action on the part of the owner is negligent almost to the point of impossibility. So have the proper equipment and train, train, train. Let your gun do what it was designed to do for you.
    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?

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    Regular Member Kloutier's Avatar
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    With my XDM I would have no issues with one in the tube. I trust my gun ,my holster, and my ability to make sure does not have a NG.

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    Regular Member buster81's Avatar
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    If I were uncomfortable with a gun's design enough to be uncomfortable carrying it in a usable state, I would find a different gun.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sultan62 View Post
    I'm not a big fan of the style of safety on the Glock. I got a Springfield XD45, and made sure to get one with the thumb safety for that reason. It also comes with the trigger safety (which I hate) and the beavertail safety, which I like. I really prefer having the thumb safety though.

    Just my $0.02.
    Glocks CAN be modified to have a thumb safety!

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    Regular Member Ivan Sample's Avatar
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    I always carry a round in my G-22 in a Fobus security holster because I never now whats going to happen and if I need to draw and shoot right away. Due to the fact that if I didn't and had to encounter BG-I don't have time to rack my slide and chamber a round. Doing that could easy get you kill and all it takes is a split second. Plus your safety is your trigger finger on any gun.
    Capricorn

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    I carry a round in the chamber because a square won't fit.
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    All of my semi automatics (mostly Glocks) are DAO. I carry in a single retention holster that is entirely leather except the metal snap. Glocks are extremely safe weapons, as are M&P's, Sigmas, and other guns from reputable manufacturers.

    As with any weapon, read the manual about its safeties and other features. Train with your weapon. Practice drawing the weapon (unloaded) from the holster you use. Practice indexing your finger along the frame just above the trigger.

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    Regular Member Deanimator's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Meatbag79 View Post
    I have to disagree for one reason. My carry gun is a Glock 23, and as such, has no safety. I love my gun; it's excellent... but if I had one chambered, there is a strong possibility of a mishap
    As long as you carry in a proper holster and keep your finger off the trigger, you CAN'T have a "mishap".

    Carry how you want, but the above is no justification for carrying with an empty chamber.

  25. #25
    Regular Member Deanimator's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SouthernBoy View Post
    The Glock design is a DAO.
    No, it's not.

    A Beretta 92D is a DAO design. Pulling the trigger cocks and releases the hammer. The hammer is NOT cocked in any way until the trigger is pulled, and after the round is fired, the hammer remains in the lowered position. DAO pistols like the 92D have a second strike capability. If the chambered round fails to fire, the trigger can be pulled again without any other manipulation of the action.

    The Glock is NOT a DAO, or even a DA. It is, as previously described, a "safe action" type pistol. When the slide is retracted, the striker mechanism is partially retracted. When the trigger is pulled, the striker is retracted the rest of the way and released. If the firearm fails to fire, the slide MUST be retracted before it can be fired. There is NO second strike capability.

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