Extra round in the chamber?


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N3rday
April 17, 2006, 09:19 PM
Is it okay to load an extra round in the mag, and have the mag fully loaded with a round in the chamber? I know on something like a Glock it wouldn't make much of a difference (16+1 versus 17+1) but I was thinking of getting a Kahr as a second handgun, so I was wondering if anyone does this, and if not, what reason there is NOT to do so.

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Mulliga
April 17, 2006, 10:06 PM
I'd wager most people do this, at least with pistols.

It might affect some guns' reliability, as they are feeding a top round that is under more pressure than if the mag were not fully loaded. In my experience, though, if a gun is that sensitive, it probably isn't very reliable in the first place. The best course of action is to make sure the gun will work fully loaded at the range with carry ammo. Almost makes you want to get a revolver...;)

Ohen Cepel
April 17, 2006, 10:11 PM
It's not a bad idea. However, I don't think it's going to make much difference in a hi-cap pistol (if you aren't done in 15rds then you need a lot more:cool: )

Might be a better option in lower cap pistols.

I have been told (might be BS) that you should feed Glocks from the magazine, then top the mag off again. Slamming the slide with one in the chamber is supposed to be hard on the extractor. I bought a used one once and was told that's why the extractor was busted.

possum
April 17, 2006, 10:17 PM
n3rday,

i carry a khar k40 and before that an xd and i always had a round in the chamber, i see no reason why not too. it hasn't caused any problems at all. You definetly need the extra rd in the chamber with the kahr's like you said 6+1 still isn't the greatest situation to be in but I am very confident that i could handle almost any defense situation with the 6+1, but on my other side i carry an extra mag in a leather pouch that matches the don hume paddle just in case. that is plenty of rds to take care of anything defensively.

half elf
April 17, 2006, 10:18 PM
With a DAO(Double Action Only) autoloader a round in the chamber is a approved carry method, but still reqiures the attention, and respect given to a SA(Single Action) autoloader. I carry a Daewoo, and always have a round in the pipe, and a full magazine.

AndyC
April 17, 2006, 10:37 PM
I have been told (might be BS) that you should feed Glocks from the magazine, then top the mag off again. Slamming the slide with one in the chamber is supposed to be hard on the extractor. I bought a used one once and was told that's why the extractor was busted.
It's usually good practice to chamber from the mag, but that trend really started from people using the 1911 - the extractor is internal on the 1911 and doesn't have much room to move sideways, so it could be damaged over time. Some of the more recent 1911s have an extractor which cams outwards through a slot in the slide - as does the Glock. I think it would take a lot of cycles to break a Glock extractor in that fashion.

MICHAEL T
April 18, 2006, 01:59 AM
I only had one pistol I couldn't carry full mag and round in chamber. If I went 10+1 I was asking for trouble 9+1 was trouble free Didn't really matter after I figured out I figured 10 was plenty.

jeepmor
April 18, 2006, 02:15 AM
First off, most defensive use of CCWs is typically 1-2 shots, sometimes 3. (actually, they are rarely fired and the revealing of the weapon almost always makes the badguy turn tail and run or realize you still get to be alive in prison, so they give up.)

Second, one in the pipe is fine, considering the stress you'll be under if you're in a situation that warrants it, racking a slide may seem like an eternity to get done. However, I have a DAO and DA/SA, so I would choose DA with one in the pipe for carry purposes.

Third - I've placed a single round in the chamber of my PT145 and 10mm Witness and snapped the slide shut by releasing the slide lock. No issues encountered yet, or looseness noted in parts because of it. But these are both external extractor models, may not apply to an internal extractor models.

I usually leave my mag 1 or 2 short just so I don't compress the spring as much, in hopes of giving it a longer life on nightstand duty. (or so I've read, may be BS) However, when I carry it in the car and stuff it under the pillow while on camping outings, it's running on Full with one in the pipe.

jeepmor

N3rday
April 18, 2006, 02:23 AM
Well, if anyone has any experience specifically with Kahrs and how they handle the extra round, that would be great. With any other hi-cap gun it wouldn't matter, but some of the Kahr's only have 5 or 6 round mags!

Autolycus
April 18, 2006, 02:44 AM
I would load it from the mag and then load another round into the mag. Its not going to hurt the gun so dont worry about it. And that extra round may save your life... but then again it might not. So you might as well bring it just in case.

bpisler
April 18, 2006, 02:56 AM
I always topped off the 6 round mags
when i carried a Kahr MK-9.It didn't
seem to affect reliability at all.

carpettbaggerr
April 18, 2006, 04:16 AM
some of the Kahr's only have 5 or 6 round mags!Good Lord! Why, you might as well defend yourself with a revolver! Or a rock! :eek:

NineseveN
April 18, 2006, 11:15 AM
Good Lord! Why, you might as well defend yourself with a revolver! Or a rock!

:D

Frandy
April 18, 2006, 12:25 PM
If I have a semi with me, I always have a round chambered and the mag full.

I do the obvious:

Load a full mag into the gun
Chamber a round
Place safety on or decock
Remove mag
Top off mag with a round
Load mag back into gun


For any semi that I do this with, I've checked this out at the range to assure no problems. None with my Sig 228, 226, 232 or my Smith and Dan Wesson 1911s.

made2cut
April 18, 2006, 12:29 PM
I always carry my PM9 with an extra round in the chamber. Never had a problem with it yet at the range.

Hawkmoon
April 18, 2006, 02:08 PM
I guess I'll show my age and ask the obvious (to me) question: Why are any of you referring to a round in the chamber as "extra"? IMHO and in my experience, the only way to carry a semi-automatic pistol is with a round in the chamber and a full magazine. That's not "extra" -- that's "loaded." Any other way is "reduced capacity."

Old Dog
April 18, 2006, 03:05 PM
Hawkmoon is entirely correct.

WayneConrad
April 18, 2006, 03:16 PM
I keep one in the chamber, but I don't bother removing the magazine after I load to stuff another round into it. Three reasons:

When I unload, I like being able to put the round I remove from the chamber back into the magazine. No loose round rolling around.

Less administrative gun handling means less chance for ND.

The difference between 16 and 16+1 rounds, for a weapon that will in all likelyhood never be used in anger, and if used in anger is unlikely to be fired, and if fired is most likely to have only a few rounds fired, is not worth loosing sleep over.

MICHAEL T
April 18, 2006, 04:10 PM
quoteWayneConrad : The difference between 16 and 16+1 rounds, for a weapon that will in all likelyhood never be used in anger, and if used in anger is unlikely to be fired, and if fired is most likely to have only a few rounds fired, is not worth loosing sleep over.

Now then if that the case why on earth do people buy these 18 round hi cap pistols and carry 1 or 2 more mags. A 5 or 6 shot wheel will do just fine as will a single stack auto with 7 or 8 rounds.
I have a Taurus PT-92AR and a 10 + 1 45 I can't stand these things Theyfeel terrible in the hand and have yet to see reason for all that ammo in a hand gun Its not a M-16 7+1 of 45 or 9mm will handle the trouble. Rest is waste of time packing around.
I stay with my single stack autos and J frames thamk you.

GEM
April 18, 2006, 04:23 PM
Ditto on topped off Kahr - no problems.

Bobo
April 18, 2006, 04:30 PM
Load as many rounds as the gun will fire reliably!!

CZguy
April 18, 2006, 05:27 PM
I usually leave my mag 1 or 2 short just so I don't compress the spring as much, in hopes of giving it a longer life on nightstand duty. (or so I've read, may be BS) However, when I carry it in the car and stuff it under the pillow while on camping outings, it's running on Full with one in the pipe.

Springs do not wear out from being compressed. They wear out from being cycled. In other words you will not do any damage to your firearm by leaving it fully loaded.

I guess I'll show my age and ask the obvious (to me) question: Why are any of you referring to a round in the chamber as "extra"? IMHO and in my experience, the only way to carry a semi-automatic pistol is with a round in the chamber and a full magazine. That's not "extra" -- that's "loaded." Any other way is "reduced capacity."

Outstanding advice!

fast97rs
April 18, 2006, 07:07 PM
I guess I'll show my age and ask the obvious (to me) question: Why are any of you referring to a round in the chamber as "extra"? IMHO and in my experience, the only way to carry a semi-automatic pistol is with a round in the chamber and a full magazine. That's not "extra" -- that's "loaded." Any other way is "reduced capacity."

Exactly.... in a carry gun you should be "Cocked and locked" you will most likely not need the extra round, but you will probably not have time to rack the slide and then continue to fire.... remember this also takes both hands...

I love my 1911. Cocked and Locked.... you draw, drop the thumb saftey, and pull the trigger.... one hand, safe, and fast


if you can't get the job done with 7+1 rounds of .45ACP you should have saved that last round for yourself.......



Jorgy

JohnKSa
April 19, 2006, 01:15 AM
Beretta actually hints that it's better if you not "top off" the magazine after chambering a round.

Here's the quote from my Beretta 92G manual:

LOADING TO MAXIMUM PISTOL CAPACITY: During normal chamber loading, as described above, the pistol contains one round in the chamber plus 14 rounds in the magazine. This is an advantage because the magazine spring is not fully compressed but under about the same tension as a 15-round loaded spare magazine.

I suspect that this is a total non-issue with single column magazines and not much of an issue with most double-column magazines. It is worth noting that if you insert a fully loaded magazine into a pistol that has a round chambered (or that has the slide forward) the spring is compressed a bit by the bottom of the slide. Since some double-column magazines are riding the hairy edge of over-compressing their springs (which shortens spring life), this extra bit of compression may be more of an issue than it seems at first.

Medusa
April 19, 2006, 07:53 AM
CZ 75 has capacity of 16 rounds, i fill it up and chamber a round, drop the hammer all the way,and leave it be (so the mag has 15 rounds in it). There's another reason for it - law forbids having a chamber loaded on semi-auto pistol so i can always appeal on a accidentaly slide racking :uhoh: :o . Though, noone checks it unless i do something stupid (and i'm the only one handling the gun here).

Sport45
April 19, 2006, 12:04 PM
When I unload, I like being able to put the round I remove from the chamber back into the magazine. No loose round rolling around.

If you do this be sure to watch for bullet setback in the round that is repeatedly chambered. I would have a dedicated magazine for the "precharge" and keep the rounds from unloading loose. When the precharge magazine is empty I'd reload it randomly from the loose rounds. At least that way you are not cycling one round over and over and chancing severe bullet setback. (A little setback on some cartridges can add A LOT of pressure.)

Not a problem for me since the only handgun I carry is a revolver.

CZguy
April 19, 2006, 01:02 PM
There's another reason for it - law forbids having a chamber loaded on semi-auto pistol so i can always appeal on a accidentaly slide racking . Though, noone checks it unless i do something stupid (and i'm the only one handling the gun here).

I'm confused. Are you saying there is a law preventing you from having a loaded chamber in a semi auto?

torpid
April 19, 2006, 01:02 PM
WayneConrad
When I unload, I like being able to put the round I remove from the chamber back into the magazine. No loose round rolling around.

Sport45
If you do this be sure to watch for bullet setback in the round that is repeatedly chambered.

I've experienced it too- it's unnerving to set the rounds next to each other and see one that's considerably shorter from setback.
:uhoh:

Medusa
April 20, 2006, 03:19 AM
CZGuy, the law specifically says, one must not have a round in a chamber of a semi-auto pistol (FA-s are illegal to civilians anyway), even when carrying the gun. So when the need arises (is self-defense situation) one must pull the gun, take off the safety, rack the slide and at first shoot the warning shot. If the BG has a gun, the warning shot isn't nessesary. And gun must be carried so that it is concealed, isn't easy to access (for BG of course, so he couldn't grab it). When keeping a gun in home, the gun must be unloaded and secured in safe, ammo being in separate locked box in safe.

CZguy
April 20, 2006, 01:48 PM
CZGuy, the law specifically says, one must not have a round in a chamber of a semi-auto pistol (FA-s are illegal to civilians anyway), even when carrying the gun. So when the need arises (is self-defense situation) one must pull the gun, take off the safety, rack the slide and at first shoot the warning shot. If the BG has a gun, the warning shot isn't nessesary. And gun must be carried so that it is concealed, isn't easy to access (for BG of course, so he couldn't grab it). When keeping a gun in home, the gun must be unloaded and secured in safe, ammo being in separate locked box in safe.

Medusa,

Thanks for the clarification. The world is full of laws that go against common sense, and this sure sounds like on of them.

another okie
April 25, 2006, 06:45 PM
Of the handguns I've owned, only a Keltec P32 was more reliable with a downloaded magazine.

I put one round in an empty magazine, load from that, remove the now empty magazine, and put in a full one. That way I can confirm that a round is chambered. Loading from a full mag it's easy to not notice if the slide fails to strip a round into the chamber.

pytron
April 28, 2006, 07:03 PM
I put one round in an empty magazine, load from that, remove the now empty magazine, and put in a full one. That way I can confirm that a round is chambered. Loading from a full mag it's easy to not notice if the slide fails to strip a round into the chamber.
You are correct that it can be difficult to determine that a round has chambered sometimes.

I start with a full magazine, then chamber a round, eject magazine, add cartridge, re-insert magazine.

If I somehow failed to chamber the top round out of my full magazine, I would discover it very quickly. Because when I try to add an additional cartridge to the full magazine it will not go in.

N3rday
April 29, 2006, 12:37 AM
hate to go off-topic on my own thread but...what is setback?

usp9
April 29, 2006, 09:19 AM
That is how I always carry my Seecamp...load the mag, chamber a round, replace that round in the mag, reinsert the mag...ready to go 7 rounds.

And FWIW, no I don't think this practice harms the mag spring.

JohnKSa
April 29, 2006, 08:29 PM
Setback is specifically when the bullet is pushed into the case during the feeding process (usually in a self-loading firearm), but it can also be used to refer to a bullet that was loaded too deeply into the case initially.

A certain amount of setback can be expected as the feeding process can be quite violent in semi-autos. However, pushing the bullet farther into the case reduces the volume inside the case which causes the pressure upon firing to increase. Some rounds (most notoriously the 180gr .40 S&W) are more sensitive to setback than others and even a relatively small amount of setback in such cartridges can be dangerous.

When it becomes a problem is either reloads or lower quality ammunition in which the case is not crimped properly, or in the situation where a single round is subjected to multiple feeding cycles. The latter is a common situation when a gun unloaded and reloaded often but rarely shot.

It's also possible to have setback in bolt rifles with very heavy recoil when the magazine is topped off repeatedly leaving a round or two in the bottom of the magazine to be subjected to multiple recoil impulses.

Hawkmoon
April 29, 2006, 11:03 PM
Here's the quote from my Beretta 92G manual:

LOADING TO MAXIMUM PISTOL CAPACITY: During normal chamber loading, as described above, the pistol contains one round in the chamber plus 14 rounds in the magazine. This is an advantage because the magazine spring is not fully compressed but under about the same tension as a 15-round loaded spare magazine.

?????

Is it because I'm not Italian that I do not understand how one magazine with 14 rounds has the spring compressed to the same tension as another magazine with 15 rounds? The statement does not compute. Or do berettas come with a different magazine for the spare?

JohnKSa
April 30, 2006, 12:36 AM
When the magazine is loaded into the pistol, the bottom of the slide is compressing the top round downward into the magazine. This can usually be seen when disassembling the pistol after shooting as the downward pressure onto the brass cartridges causes the bottom of the slide to be covered in "brass" marks that have rubbed off the cartridges in the magazine from the slide's backward motion in recoil.

This is common to all autopistols. If this were not true, the round would not pop up far enough to allow the slide to strip it from the magazine and push it into the chamber on the return stroke.

It's also possible to detect this by noting the difference in pressure required to insert a loaded magazine vs inserting an empty magazine, or comparing the difference in pressure required to insert a loaded magazine into a gun with the slide forward versus the pressure required to insert a loaded magazine into a gun with the slide locked back.

For a very simple way to note this, put a fully loaded magazine into an unloaded pistol. Now SLOWLY pull back the slide. You'll note that as the slide clears the back of the top round in the magazine, the round will pop up under spring pressure. That spring pressure was pushing the round up against the bottom of the slide until the slide moved out of the way. And therefore, the slide was also causing the magazine spring to be compressed more than it would have been compressed had it been loaded with the identical number of rounds but NOT inserted into the pistol.

Beretta is saying that the sum of the downward compression by the slide plus the compression on the spring generated by 14 rounds in the mag is roughly the same amount of compression on the spring of a mag that is NOT inserted into the gun (and therefore has no extra compression due to the slide) but is fully loaded with 15 rounds.

N3rday
April 30, 2006, 04:53 AM
Wow, great responses...I hadn't thought of the issue of a full magazine plus one in the chamber as having more spring pressure than just a fully loaded mag...

ugaarguy
April 30, 2006, 05:34 AM
Well I found this interesting; http://www.springfield-armory.com/safety.shtml

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