Carrying with a round in the chamber.


March 30, 2003, 05:54 PM
I just got back from my grandmother's birthday party. A lot of family members were there. We all like guns and hunting. Anyway I mentioned I wanted a Glock 31. One of my cousins has a G22 so I asked him how he felt about the gun's safety. He said he never carried one in the chamber so it wasn't a big deal. He said the only people who carry one in the chamber are 1)Law Enforcement or 2)up to no good! I told him I carried one in the chamber of my Beretta all the time. He said it wasn't necessary, that you would have plenty of time to pull the gun and rack the slide before something happened.

Since there were a lot of family members there I hadn't seen in a while I didn't get into it with him. What do you guys think?

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March 30, 2003, 06:02 PM
You should have taken him out behind the shed and whipped him!!


March 30, 2003, 06:02 PM
I think he doesn't know what he's talking about.

Mal H
March 30, 2003, 06:03 PM
Check out this thread:

March 30, 2003, 06:05 PM
My response would have been to point my finger at him like it was a gun and yell "GIMME YOUR MONEY NOW!" ... then ask him if he thinks he can draw, rack and fire his pistol before you can say "Bang!".

also have him read this thread over on GlockTalk

March 30, 2003, 06:10 PM
Cool 9mm I would be curious to get your cousins opinion on why "people up to know good" and "cops" carry with one in the pipe. I think his comments might be interesting to say the least on this subject.

Needless to say if I have a sidearm on my person there is always one in the pipe unless I am at the range and have finished shooting and I am walking down to the target.

March 30, 2003, 06:14 PM
Sounds like his firearm knowledge came from the Hollywood movie industry instead of formal training.

March 30, 2003, 06:22 PM
In some places they consider racking a slide to be 'brandishing". Couldn't have that now could we? :o

March 30, 2003, 06:24 PM
I carry my Glock with a round chambered.

On the range, it is easy to rack the slide when you hear the start signal.

In real life, the start signal might very well be something slamming into your left arm, rendering it useless and you unable to quickly rack the slide. Or you might already be holding a small child with that arm; throwing the baby to the pavement so that you can rack your slide may be considered good tactics but poor parenting.


It is hard to imagine a more stupid or more dangerous way of making decisions than by putting those decisions in the hands of people who pay no price for being wrong. – Thomas Sowell

March 30, 2003, 09:20 PM
I always carry one in the chamber.
1. Racking the slide takes time.
2. Racking the slide makes much noise.
3. You shouldn't have to think about it.

Most guns have a safety of some sort. DAO has a long hard trigger. 1911 has several safeties. And I won't even tell you what I did to my Glock-17 (Comonollie).

There are only a few guns that you shouldn't have one in the chamber or behind the firing pin. My Ruger Single Six .22 caliber ,3-screw model, was one of them. But I had the safety upgrade done so it is safe now. I forget which others had a safety flaw, but most can be upgraded or fixed, usually for free.

Just my 2 cents...

March 30, 2003, 09:28 PM
I carry DAO selfstuffers with a round in the chamber.

A friend of mine carries SA/DA selfstuffers with empty chamber.

There's no accounting for preferences, but I'm lazy and forgetful.... :D

March 30, 2003, 09:28 PM
I think he needs some training, sounds like he's afraid of the gun still.

Steve in PA
March 30, 2003, 09:30 PM
Bet he got the glock because it went with his shoes or matches his car!!! :neener:

Only dead people carry without one in the chamber :banghead:

Double Naught Spy
March 30, 2003, 10:45 PM
If your cousin thinks you are going to have plenty of time to chamber a round in a crisis, then he must also know that there is no reason to carry a gun as you will have plenty of time to get out of the situation, right?

The only folks that carry chambered are cops and bad guys up to no good? If bad guys up to no good carry that way, it seems like it would be really prudent to carry with one in the chamber simply to help even the odds between you and the bad guys.

March 30, 2003, 11:14 PM
(Said in game show host fashion...)

And the number 1 answer is:

Possibility of FTF when racking the slide!

Neither my Taurus nor my Beretta have EVER had a problem feeding a round in the chamber while firing away. BOTH have had a few jams when I racked the slide manually.

Was it the gun's fault? I doubt it. I think it was MY fault. - and I wasn't even being stressed out!

I trust the gun more than I do myself. Suppose I "ride the slide". What if it is raining and the slide slips out of my hand before getting all the way back? Nope, that is a completely unnecessary risk to take. True, the time it takes may also be a problem. I am more worried about successfully chambering a round in an emergency. Why take the risk?

My .02


March 30, 2003, 11:18 PM
That's my concern, Logistar.

With one in the pipe, I'm pretty sure that I've got at least a single shot, and I practice so that should be all I ever need.

If the gun works, I'll have more shots, but I don't like "if".... :D

El Rojo
March 30, 2003, 11:42 PM
I bought my Glock in 1999. I think in that 4 years, it might have been empty chambered for no more than 6 months. I think there is nothing more useless than a gun not loaded. ESPECIALLY if you are going to depend on it for self-defense. Sounds like he needs more training and to build some confidence.

March 31, 2003, 12:04 AM
Round in the chamber, carry mags topped off, spare mags topped off. I carry a Keltec P-11, and/or 1911, the later is always cocked and locked.

Tueller drill: a man can get to you in 1.5 seconds from 21 ft !!

I've seen people not be able to get unholstered before target was upon them.

Ala Dan
March 31, 2003, 12:13 AM
Aw, he would be surprised if he were to visit me!

With today's QUALITY self-loader's a round in the
ole' chamber is a given; at least for me. I consider my
SIG-Sauer handgun's to be among the world's safest
firearms; bar none!

Best Wishes,
Ala Dan, N.R.A. Life Member

March 31, 2003, 02:39 AM
I allways carry with the chamber empty. It seams to me i need to do one or the other all the time to be safe.

So i carry empty.

I'm still beter off than 99% of the people.

Not only that but i bought a 15 round hi-cap for my BDM and usually only have 8-10 rounds in it.


March 31, 2003, 03:41 AM
Ala Dan

You have real life experience, training, and SA.
And your kinda partial to a Sig 220 --I've heard ;)

I have no doubt the BG would be surprised --even with your model 60.

The difference IMO is simple. One trains, practices shooting, scenrios, SA etc, and better to understand firearm use. Thier firearm becames a natural extension.

What the guy say about loaded cocked and locked, when he pointed to his head " this IS my safety...his finger off trigger.

Some of the CCW students, armored car, security guards..etc finally had to learn the nuances of their tools an to properly use them. Squashed some mis-conceptions, A particular platform is safe, and it ain't gonna reach up and bite you. Safety is a big deal and it finally sinks in, use the tool as designed, safely and your fine. Now it s up to them to practice and use what learned, and get more training.

March 31, 2003, 07:26 AM
What do I think? Your cousin needs some sense beaten into him. :)

March 31, 2003, 07:44 AM
No offense but your cousin is nuts. If he's that afraid of carrying with a loaded chamber maybe he should be carrying a cell phone instead.;)

March 31, 2003, 09:33 AM
My primary carry weapon was designed to be carried with a round in the chamber. So I do.
This does not make me a police officer or a criminal.
If he feels that his gun is unsafe to do so, and/or is confident in his ability to ready his weapon in sufficient time, that's his call.

March 31, 2003, 10:19 AM
I usually don't chamber on in my p-32. I just can't. It makes me nervous. Call me a sissy if ya like :)

In my NAA revolver I NEVER carry one under the hammer so I only have 4 rounds in it usually which is plenty for a single action I think.

The only guns I carry chambered is a P7M8 and a GP-100. But they are both big enough that I rarely (ok never) carry them concealed.

I'd never tell anyone what they should or shouldn't do. My advice is to do what you are most comfortable with, within reason.

March 31, 2003, 11:10 PM
Thanks for everyone's replies.

If you liked that, you'll love this: he keeps the gun in a pack out in his shed with his camping equipment!:rolleyes:

Ala Dan
April 1, 2003, 02:55 AM
Att: re1973-

Thanks for the wake-up call. You are so right, as I do
have some training and experience; however I
would like to learn more!:uhoh: And oh yes, I do favor
the world-class .45 caliber SIG P220A.

After all, 30+ years of handguning I ought to be good
at something; don't you think? Grant it, I feel real lucky
just to be alive! After a near fatal car accident on 16
March 98, whereas I suffered a broken-neck; I consider
each extra day of living a blessing and I THANK THE

You might ask, "Do you get a crazy check or some other
form of disability"? The answer is, NO SIR, I DON'T!

Then you might ask, "Do you work for a living?" And the
correct answer would be, some people call it work and some people call it play; but I do have a hide-out that I go to 5 days a week! Oh yes, its WORK my friend.

Best Wishes,
Ala Dan, N.R.A. Life Member

Double Maduro
April 1, 2003, 05:14 AM
Ruger P90- one in the pipe and safety on.

1911- Locked and cocked safety on.

I know, I know, but I like the safe feeling that a safety provides. Besides, by the time either one is on target the safety is off.

April 1, 2003, 10:35 AM
It seems to me that your cousin has it wrong. Police carry one in the chamber because they may have to react to something. I believe most armed thugs do not carry one in the chamber as racking the slide is a form of intimidation and since they are planning the no-good, they also know when they will need that round chambered. I would say he has it backwards. People up to no good don't carry one in the chamber.

April 1, 2003, 11:07 AM
Sorry to go OT on ya, but I cant stands no more...


You always got the coolest quotes in your posts. Do you got the coolquote encyclopedia or just spend 24/7 finding them online or what?:cool: :D

Back on topic, Carrying with a round in the chamber is dangerous. Carrying with an empty chamber is even more dangerous, I'll stay chambered, thank you.

April 1, 2003, 11:54 AM
That's like saying you should carry odd numbers of cartridges in revolvers so you can make the OTHER guy flinch.


Dex Sinister
April 2, 2003, 11:12 AM
In my NAA revolver I NEVER carry one under the hammer so I only have 4 rounds in it usually which is plenty for a single action I think.

Your NAA mini-revolver should have notches between the chambers in which to rest the hammer for safety. If yours is an early model that doesn't possess them, NAA offers free replacements - which requires shipping the gun back to NAA, as the revolver cylinders are timed individually.

NAA FAQ - see 2nd comment under cylinders (


I always carry my Kahr K-40 with a round in the pipe.

OTOH, my wife doesn't feel comfortable carrying a chambered round in her S&W 4516. Frankly, I can't see why, since the safety also de-cocks the weapon, and there's no hammer spur to hit anything. But, alas, what can one do? <shrug> At least she has a CCW, and leaves the house carrying a .45!

Gus Dddysgrl
April 2, 2003, 02:12 PM
I'm not 21 so I don't carry, but I think when I do I will have one in the pipe. However when at home I might not. My reasoning: my dad thought he would practice aiming and pulling the trigger without anything in it, but ended up shooting the TV. It gave a whole new meaning to the bumper sticker that says "shoot your TV". Luckly he was aimed at the TV and not anywhere too close to the 5 or 6 other people in the room watching TV at that time. He did miss the 3 people in the line of fire. So it was by the grace of God that no one got hurt. I did learn to be more careful when messing around in the house.


April 2, 2003, 03:09 PM

Thanks. :)

I've been collecting quotes since I was a kid. Used to carry 'em around in a notebook, until I got a computer. Now I've got somewhere upwards of 400 pages of quotes in a Word file, alphabetized by subject. Takes just a second to grab the one I'm looking for, if I remember it exists. Takes hours to browse because I get lost in there... ;)

Re carrying without a round in the chamber, I also usually keep gas in the gas tank rather than in a gas can in the trunk.


I always have a quotation for everything -- it saves original thinking. -- Dorothy L. Sayers

April 2, 2003, 10:27 PM
I always have a quotation for everything -- it saves original thinking.

See what I mean?!:D :cool:

Byron Quick
April 2, 2003, 11:21 PM
There's only three categories of folks I know of that carry without a round in the chamber:

1) Automatics: Mossad assassins and others of the Israeli doctrine.
2) Folks who carry old SA revolvers.
3) Folks who don't know what they're doing, know it, and are uncomfortable with their knowledge.

Take your pick.

April 3, 2003, 12:46 PM
"Your NAA mini-revolver should have notches between the chambers in which to rest the hammer for safety. "

Yeah it's got notches. But man those notches are not deep enough at all to make me feel comfortable with them. So I carry 4 rounds. What's the big deal? I have to pull the hammer back to fire either way right?

"3) Folks who don't know what they're doing, know it, and are uncomfortable with their knowledge."

Well that might be me I suppose although I've been shooting every weekend for nearly 20 years. I've seen guys who carry "cocked and locked" at the range have an AD. The thought of spending weeks in a courtroom terrifies me.

I'd prefer to add a #4 that says people who know how a biased jury will react to a "gun nut" who walks around with one in the pipe looking for trouble. Also with my luck I'd have an AD that would find the nearest baby carriage. I know it sounds stupid but hey, you carry your way and I carry mine and everyone's happy :)

I'd rather carry my gun in a way that is comfortable to me than not have it with me when I need it because I didn't feel good about bringing it along.

Byron Quick
April 3, 2003, 01:31 PM
I'd really classify the NAA mini-revolver in a subheading under #2.

I can't say I've never had a negligent discharge...I have. I can state that I have never had one due to carrying cocked and locked for almost thirty years.

April 3, 2003, 01:43 PM
Not only is racking the slide considered 'brandishment' but it also aggravates hostile activity.

The best advice is to carry your gun with a round in the chamber, in a proper holster and do not draw it unless you have already reached the decision that deadly force is justified and that your life is in danger.

April 3, 2003, 01:46 PM
NAA revolver is #2 I agree. But I also don't carry my p-32 with one in the pipe. Only the GP-100 and P7M8 gets carried that way but I almost never carry hem concealed. They are too big for my tastes.

The risk of an AD vs the advantage of one in the pipe balances on a different side of the scale for me. I don't think that makes either of us right or wrong. What's right for you is right for you.

By the way, am I the only one who used the ter "AD" here? AD is "accidental discharge." Everyone else used ND which I'd never heard of until I started posting here. Is AD confusing anyone? SO should I start saying ND instead?

Byron Quick
April 3, 2003, 02:09 PM
I carry my P-32 fully loaded in a molded pocket holster that completely covers the trigger and trigger guard. I would not carry it with one in the chamber without such a holster. But then I would not carry it all without such a holster. Same thing goes for my NAA Guardian. I PM'ed you about the AD vs ND to avoid thread drift.

Matt G
April 3, 2003, 02:15 PM
Read what pbman (who carries chamber empty) said:

I'm still beter off than 99% of the people.

Now, I agree that quality handguns can safely be carried with a round in the chamber. THAT SAID, I will suggest that as many as half of the above posters left their homes today, UNARMED. "Yeah, but when I carry, I carry tactically!" Um, so? pbman's point stands: better to carry in ANY fashion --even if it's not the fastest-- than not to carry at all. Many were trained in the military NEVER to chamber until immediately prior to firing. They have been so indoctrinated, that they feel uncomfortable carrying in Condition One. Okay, so they carry in Condition Three-- AT LEAST THEY'RE CARRYING!!!!

Many, many times, I've found myself having to go out on a sultry Texas summer evening, wearing a polo shirt and slacks or jeans. One of the few viable answers to my "always carry" rule is to put on an ankle holster, and shove a M-37 Airweight or KelTec P11 into it. If my trousers have no flair (which they rarely do, as I have not succumbed to the '70's retro fashion trend, and I can't seem to find affordable boots in my outlandish shoe size), it takes a little struggle to get the cuff of my pants up high enough to draw my little gun. Obviously, I've given up the tactical advantage of a fast draw. I don't deny that this is true. But at least, if I'm out of the house with my pants on, I'm carrying.

The Israelis train even their super-duper anti-terrorist squads to carry chamber-empty. They also train for it, and consequently, they are pretty durn swuft at racking and firing. They probebly don't give up more than a quarter to a half-second on my Condition One presentation.

My father has an old striker-fire Bauer .25. After a few years of carrying Condition One, he got to looking at how it was constructed, and began carrying it chamber empty. It just made him toooo nervous. But until he obtained a reliable P-32, that was his "always gun."

Do YOU carry an Always Gun? If not, why not?

Byron Quick
April 3, 2003, 02:31 PM
They probebly don't give up more than a quarter to a half-second on my Condition One presentation.

Matt G, I agree totally with your point about always carrying regardless of condition one or condition three. But I want that extra quarter to a half second. I'll probably need it.

April 3, 2003, 03:06 PM
I will suggest that as many as half of the above posters left their homes today, UNARMED.
I guess I'm in the good half.
My circumstances require that only my secondary weapon be carried today, but there's one in the chamber (or rather, the cylinder is full).

El Rojo
April 3, 2003, 09:26 PM
Toss it up anyway you want. If you are carrying in a safe manner, it ought to be loaded and ready. Safety is a moot point when you know your firearm and you know how it operates. Guns don't go off by themselves. Train for it. You can draw with your finger off the trigger and shoot two in under 1.5 seconds if you train. Why waste time racking the slide? Sure we can all think of being in the restaraunt and having time to rack the slide. I can also think of the bad guy holding a gun to you and asking for your wallet. No time. If I can't shoot as soon as I clear leather, I am screwed. Why limit your abilities if you don't have to and you can overcome them with training and practice? As always do what you want. I know I will. No hard feelings.

April 3, 2003, 09:53 PM
By the way, am I the only one who used the ter "AD" here? AD is "accidental discharge." Everyone else used ND which I'd never heard of until I started posting here. Is AD confusing anyone? SO should I start saying ND instead? No, you're not the only one. I always say AD, and also have never heard the term ND until I visited this board. AD always seemed good enough for Jeff Cooper..............

On the subject, I purchased a H&K USPc .45 because I didn't want to carry cocked and locked, and I figured one of the new DA
wonder guns was right up my alley. Always carried with one in the chamber but with a double-action pull. It was the SA cocked and locked that bothered me. Well, now I carry a small 1911 cocked and locked. Doesn't seem to bother me anymore.

April 3, 2003, 10:28 PM
Well, I left home today armed with my 1911 full size, C&L. It is my always gun prolly 90% always. Other times it may be my Bulldog 44 special w/wo my FA 22 mini revolver.

My 1911 45 has been cocked and locked for the better part of about the last 18 years. Easily 85, maybe 90% of the entire time since it was bought new. Twice in 18 yrs I've found the manuel safety disengaged. Never an AD or a ND.

Everybody drifted away from calling them accidental discharges (AD) and started calling them negligent discharges (ND's) because probably in 99.9% of cases it is shown that they were in violation of one of the 4 rules of gun safety. Usually rule #2 which is 'Keep your finger off the trigger until your sights are on the target'. Violating one of the 4 rules of safety is no accident, It's negligent, hence ND.

April 3, 2003, 11:37 PM
Now, I agree that quality handguns can safely be carried with a round in the chamber. THAT SAID, I will suggest that as many as half of the above posters left their homes today, UNARMED.

You are right.

Number one priority for me is to be 100% safe.

And I learned to carry with the chamber empty.

I find it real hard to relearn, carrying fully loaded and not forgeting and droping the mag. and beliveing it is empty.

Thre is a very dangerous transition period, that i don't want to go through.

So i don't.

April 3, 2003, 11:59 PM
Racking the slide, or any other form of noise making is a classic case of losing advantage. Watch television and do the opposite of what they do if you want to win.

Do not rack the slide. Have your weapon fully loaded and ready to whack the BG. There may be the rare case where racking the action scares off the baddies, but I'd rather be silent and let them make noise. Let them hear the primer going off instead of the action.

Do not run up to and slam against the wall when you are maneuvering in a building. This lets the BG know where you are. Sheet rock is notoriously ineffective at stopping rounds.

Do not point your weapon at the ceiling. There are most likely no BGs on the ceiling unless you are in The Matrix, in which case you will find TwoBlink there ranting about your Beretta while he tries to clear his jammed HK. Point your weapon in the direction in which you think the BGs are.

In short, do not make uneccesary noise, such as racking the slide, unless you want said BGs to know your whereabouts. This is not recommended.

April 4, 2003, 12:04 AM
glock 30 loaded to the hilt. back up is a torus 357 revolver. Dont have to worry about worry about a thing. Pull it out and pull the trigger baby!


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