Some serious questions about carrying my Semi-Auto pistol


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sharpshooter74
October 14, 2008, 09:27 PM
Hey guys, I have been carrying concealed since 2006, when I first moved to Georgia from the state of Massachusetts. I currently carry a Taurus Millennium Pro PT145 45ACP pistol. It's a DA/SA type gun. I have never carried it with a bullet in the chamber, because I'm afraid that it will accidentally go off, even with the safety feature on the side.

For you guys who do carry semi-autos pistols similar to mines, if you have a bullet in the chamber, with the safety switch on, how safe do you guys feel carrying it around? Is it normal for you guys to always carry with a bullet in the chamber? I currently live in an area of high crime, and I'm scared that if my gun doesn't have a bullet in the chamber right away, I might lose my life, if I try to cock my gun back, to chamber in the bullet, only to have it jam up on me when my life depends on it. I have been to the range a few times, and my gun would sometimes jam up on me during the loading of the 3rd or 4th round. Which is okay with me, since I think only the first bullet would probably count the most. How safe would I be if I put a bullet in the chamber, carrying it all day, with the safety switch on, 365 days a year?

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tigre
October 14, 2008, 09:40 PM
I carry a Sig P230, which is a DA/SA with no external safety, fully loaded. Not afraid at all that it's going to go off "accidentally" because it's in good working order and has internal safeties to prevent it from firing unless the double action trigger is pulled. With a holster that fully covers the trigger guard I can't see how that thing's going to go off without me knowing about it in advance.

What you need to do is get to the range more often, become more comfortable with your gun, and figure out the cause of the malfunction it's having.

The Lone Haranguer
October 14, 2008, 09:43 PM
If you carry a handgun on your person for defense with an empty chamber, it is effectively unloaded. An unloaded handgun, if you need it bad and fast, is little more than a bludgeon or throwing object.

This is a modern design that if in proper working order is not going to fire if dropped, struck or thrown, but only if you pull the trigger.

Lou22
October 14, 2008, 09:44 PM
I have a few DAO autos that I pocket carry. I always carry a round in the chamber, and if there is a safety, I leave it off. I believe all modern DAO autos cannot fire accidentally, only if the trigger is pulled. And the long DAO trigger is virtually impossible to pull in my pocket, unless I have other objects like keys in the same pocket, which I never do. And I always use a pocket holster. It helps keep the gun in the right position to draw and also keeps most pocket lint out of the action.

I tried carrying a Glock in the same condition, but the short light trigger I felt was too easy to pull in my pocket.

Lou

Loosedhorse
October 14, 2008, 09:47 PM
The gun will be safe. How safe you will be depends on your level of training.

Most people would tell you that, since you can't depend on having a spare hand (or a spare second) if attacked, you carry with a round in the chamber. Pistols these days have "drop safeties," so the firing pin can't meet the primer until the trigger is pulled.

Are you so worried about dropping the pistol? Or that you'll pull the trigger accidently as you draw the pistol? Or that it will just mysteriously "go off" some day.

With all good intent and respect, I would advise you to get enough training so that your comfort level--and your questions--have been addressed by something more immediate and authoritative than an internet forum.

Safety (both from accident and from criminal attack) rest far more in the knowledge, skills, and attitude of the user than in any firearm. I have been to the range a few times, and my gun would sometimes jam up on me during the loading of the 3rd or 4th round. More range time is needed (after the above mentioned training). I would also never carry a pistol that I knew was jam-prone--that needs to be sorted out as well.

Good luck. Welcome. (And why would any gunnie leave Massachusetts? :))

Jimmie
October 14, 2008, 09:49 PM
Wow. Lots of issues here.

I haven't handled a PT145, but every DA/SA I have handled has a long and/or heavy first trigger pull. Add to that the safety and the chances of an accidental discharge are minute. Does your holster cover the trigger? If not, get one that covers the trigger so nothing can catch on it.

I carry a loaded 1911, so yes, I've always got one in the chamber. It's not very useful without ammo ready to go.

You are carrying in "Condition 3." One of the major problems with that condition is that there is a better than nil chance that the first round will not load from the magazine smoothly. If you don't bring the slide back far enough, or if your shirt tail hangs in the chamber, or..... all of these are problems you don't need when you're trying to save your life.

Final problem - you say it fails often on the 3rd or 4th round, but that's ok. NO!!!!!!!

Your gun needs to be 100% reliable or you need to find a different pistol. You have no idea how you will do under stress. Your first 2 shots might be ineffective, and you're gonna need that 3rd round, only to find it's jammed.

Get a gun that's 100% reliable, and carry it in a condition that makes it readily available.

KC0QGL
October 14, 2008, 09:50 PM
I carry my Bresa .380 with one in the chamber all the time. Safty on, hammer down.

gwnorth
October 14, 2008, 09:51 PM
Admittedly, I don't have a CHL yet, but I have to ask, what is your intention or expectations in carrying a handgun without a round ready to go? It seems to miss the whole point of actually carrying a weapon in the first place, and if anything, gives you a false sense of security. The nature of having a gun for self defense is that should the need for it arise, it will most likely come suddenly and without warning. For that same reason my home defense guns are all loaded (1911 in condition 1 in a holster, SIG P226 with round in chamber, de-cocked and on the dresser top, and when I use it, my 4" GP100 has 6 in the cylinder).

sharpshooter74
October 14, 2008, 09:52 PM
Loosedhorse.. honestly I'm scared of the gun going off accidentally. When I was living in Mass. my friends would tell me why it's always dangerous to have a gun because it could go off accidentally, even if my finger didn't accidentally pull the trigger.

sharpshooter74
October 14, 2008, 09:54 PM
my holster does cover the trigger

Jimmie
October 14, 2008, 09:54 PM
Your friends were wrong, man. I think your first order of business needs to be to learn how a pistol works - in detail. You'll find that, as long as it's a quality pistol in good working order, it will not fire unless you pull the trigger.

CountGlockula
October 14, 2008, 10:08 PM
sharpshooter, it sounds like you're insecure about your carry gun.

I'd suggest taking some self defense classes immediately. After training and hopefully additionally training, your insecurities and fears will subside. But it will always boil down to keeping your finger off the trigger until you're good to go.

Having one in the chamber will be as natural as breathing.

I've carried my Glock 23 with one in the chamber, because it's useless empty.

ezypikns
October 14, 2008, 11:41 PM
I carry a full size 1911 cocked and locked in a Milt Sparks Summer Special holster. I've never felt unsafe. Keep your finger out of the trigger guard and you'll be fine.

There's a story about an old Texas Ranger who carried a 1911 'cocked and locked'. A nice old lady asked him if that wasn't dangerous. "Yes Ma'am", he said. "I sure hope to Hell it is."

The point is, if you're going to carry to defend your life, your firearm should be ready. Now.

Pilgrim
October 14, 2008, 11:48 PM
I have been to the range a few times, and my gun would sometimes jam up on me during the loading of the 3rd or 4th round. Which is okay with me, since I think only the first bullet would probably count the most.
This is not normal, and it is definitely not acceptable.

How many magazines do you have. Does this happen with every magazine? If so, something is wrong with your pistol.

If it just happens with one magazine, either clean the magazine, replace the spring, or toss the magazine.

I did have a Springfield Armory Compact that had problems feeding. It turned out the magazine springs were weak. Replacing them with Wolff springs solved the problem.

Pilgrim

DZL HOG
October 14, 2008, 11:55 PM
You need to spend some more quality with your gun. But if your that worried that a DA gun with a safety is just gonna go off as you walk down the street, then you might want to get rid of it.

Confidence is key. You need to know what it takes for the gun to fire and not to fire. Practice handling your weapon(unloaded at first), then get a ton a range time in, some proper training is a great idea. But if your not confident to carry a loaded gun alone, I dont suggest stepping up to a line almost elbow to elbow with 20 other guys all shooting at the same time. Nerves and adrenaline will make you very uneasy with handling a gun around other ppl in a stressful situation. I know that from experience.

I carry a DAO no safety gun everyday and I have a fairly physical job, lifting, bending and climbing on stuff. I worry more about someone seeing the gun if my shirt rides up then I do about it firing without me pulling the trigger.

Definitely get that gun cleaned up and lubed good, then see if it continues to jam after a few shots. If it does get it looked at, it maybe something simple as needing a new mag or something.

John Wayne
October 15, 2008, 12:05 AM
I have a Millenium Pro as well (PT-140, .40 S&W) and have the same concerns.

The Millenium Pro has a pre-cocked striker. Unless you have the DAO version, the Millenium Pro has a very light pull, lots of takeup with a very short travel once the trigger "catches."

I have applied for, but not recived my CWP so as for now I am limited to carrying in my car. When I carry the pistol in the glove box, it has a round chambered with the safety on--if I have to take time to reach into the glove box, I don't want to have to rack the slide too. If I were to carry it on my person, I would make damn sure the trigger guard was covered by something strong enough not to allow an object to move the trigger. Even then I would still use the manual safety.

My CWP instructor told me a story of a local LEO who carried his Glock while off duty. On this occasion, the individual chambered a round and put the pistol IWB in the small of his back--no holster, just a tight belt for a short trip. Well, what he didn't know was that his pants had buttons inside the waist band designed for use with suspenders. When he sat down, one went inside the trigger guard. The pistol rode up, pulled the trigger and blew a chunk the size of a fist out of his left butt cheek.

I am not telling you how to carry your pistol, but here are some things to consider:

-It takes extra time to chamber a round. With one in the chamber, you are pretty much guaranteed that one round. Without, you have a higher risk of failure if you pistol fails to go into battery or you drop the mag.

-You should never sacrifice safety for speed. The LEO I mentioned did so and as such, posed a greater risk to himself by carrying than by not carrying. Better to have no gun, than to be shot by your own.

-If you are not comfortable carrying the gun with one in the chamber, then don't do it. It will cause you to act unnaturally and be worrying about it all the time.

-Just because you don't have a round chambered does not make your gun a "useless hammer" or "paperweight." My CWP instructor mentioned 3 instances over the course of his carrying a firearm (on car, on person, or wherever) in which he has had to use it. All of the confrontations ended without a shot being fired.

-It's always a good idea to carry in the same manner so as to become as familiar with the firearm as possible.

-If you gun is malfunctioning, I would seriously consider replacing or repairing it. I have had no issues with mine but had to send a Taurus revolver back.

gbelleh
October 15, 2008, 12:18 AM
I've never carried a gun without a round in the chamber.

Guns don't go off unless someone pulls the trigger. As long as your holster is secure and covers the trigger guard, you should have nothing to worry about (except your gun jamming on the 3rd or 4th round). :uhoh:

Bezoar
October 15, 2008, 01:19 AM
Thats just typical to feel about when your carrying a gun around like that.
The best remedy for that is to actually take the time to learn how your pistol operates, as well as how all pistols operate on an extremely in depth manner.
ie get a good manual or take a course at a local range, etc. Even an armourers DVD would be nice.

as to your mention of the "safety feature on the side", Do you mean the taurus security system thats activated by the small hex screw driver key?
If your carrying your pistol with the safety lock system ACTIVATED, your really really really trying to get yourself killed as you may not be able to find that key when needed, or to deactivate the lock, or to rack the slide and get a cartridge loaded into the chamber.

Old Navy
October 15, 2008, 01:24 AM
I see two issues here. First of all, a gun doesn't shoot itself anymore than your car starts itself with keys in the ignition. It can take precious seconds in an emergency to chamber a round, click off safety, aim, fire etc. I would NEVER carry a gun without a round in the chamber.

If your gun jams every few rounds, or even every 500 rounds, you should seriously consider getting something that doesn't jam. It's your life you are risking with questionable tools. I once had a taurus that did the same thing. It is no longer with me. My Glocks and CZ's have NEVER given me the slightest reason to believe they'd let me down.

tigre
October 15, 2008, 01:34 AM
I did have a Springfield Armory Compact that had problems feeding. It turned out the magazine springs were weak. Replacing them with Wolff springs solved the problem.
Same with my Sig. It tended to ftf near the end of the mag, but occasionally before that. Replaced the mag spring and it's been flawless.

Sharpshooter, if you could describe exactly what it's doing someone here might be able to help. It's definitely not normal for a gun to malfunction on a regular basis, and certainly not safe in a tool you're carrying for the purpose of defending your life. You've been fed some nonsense by the people you used to be surrounded by up there in Mass. That's not all that surprising, but if you're going to carry a gun you need to understand how it works and how it doesn't work. Outside of campy Stephen King movies (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maximum_Overdrive), machines don't just operate by themselves.

brhodes
October 15, 2008, 05:25 AM
Get a revolver. There's a round in all six (seven? eight? five?) chambers, and it's as safe as you are. Reliable, too. Problem solved.

In fact, go ask your friends about revolvers, see what they think in terms of safety...

chipperi
October 15, 2008, 05:52 AM
I also carry the PT145 I do always keep one upstairs. It is perfectly safe to carry a SA/DA with one chambered. Most carry with the safety off however with the PT145 since it is a SA I would carry safety on. As long as you have a quality holster and keep your boogerhook off of the bangswitch you will be fine.

Nimble1
October 15, 2008, 08:49 AM
I also carry a PT145. Its a 2nd Gen DAO gun and I carry it with a round chambered,safety on. I always carry it in a holster, either a Crossbreed IWB or a belt sleeve type. I feel completely safe carrying in this manner.
And you need to get to the bottom of the gun not feeding the rounds. A carry gun should not have issues like this!

everallm
October 15, 2008, 09:48 AM
The Taurus comes with a firing pin block, transfer bar safety, external safety and models in the range have passed the CA "drop safety test".

I would feel very comfortable with a round chambered, hammer down, no safety or safety engaged.

I would feel comfortable with round chambered, hammer up, safety engaged

I could live with round chambered, hammer up, no safety engaged.

JUST DO ONE METHOD, EACH TIME EVERY TIME

Don't screw around and be inconsistent, therein lies the path to "Oh S**t"

Grayrider
October 15, 2008, 10:42 AM
Nothing to add here, just want to echo some of the above comments to a new shooter.

1. Get a good holster.
2. Make sure your gun works EVERY time you pull the trigger. If not, get rid of it and buy something that does.
3. Train with your weapon of choice.
4. Train some more.
5. See points 3 and 4.

:D

John

Vern Humphrey
October 15, 2008, 11:39 AM
For you guys who do carry semi-autos pistols similar to mines, if you have a bullet in the chamber, with the safety switch on, how safe do you guys feel carrying it around?

First of all, put the whole cartridge in the chamber, not just the bullet.

Next, the M1911 was developed under the functional proponency of the cavalry, who needed a gun that was safe on the back of a terrified and bucking horse. That's why the Army demanded all the safeties (Browning though simply de-cocking with the thumb would be adequate.)

Carrying the M1191 cocked-and-locked is the safest mode -- chambering a round in the midst of an attack can be dangerous, and chambering it before the situation escalates to an attack can be a criminal act.

Cocked-and-locked is the way to go.

Ske1etor
October 15, 2008, 02:36 PM
Empty chamber is the safest way to carry when only thinking about negligent discharge. Most dangerous way to carry when thinking about defensive actions.

Condition zero (One in the pipe, safety off) is the safest way to carry when only thinking about defensive actions. Most dangerous way to carry when thinking about negligent discharges.

Condition one "Cocked and Locked" is the happiest medium between safety and readiness. Safe enough to carry without worry (If all safeties are working correctly) and dangerous enough to defend yourself with (Easily deployed).

John Wayne
October 16, 2008, 12:11 AM
as to your mention of the "safety feature on the side", Do you mean the taurus security system thats activated by the small hex screw driver key?
If your carrying your pistol with the safety lock system ACTIVATED, your really really really trying to get yourself killed as you may not be able to find that key when needed, or to deactivate the lock, or to rack the slide and get a cartridge loaded into the chamber.

I believe he's referring to the manual thumb safety on the side of the frame. The Taurus key lock system locks the slide open, so at least it's pretty obvious if it's activated (as opposed to it blocking the trigger mechanism and the gun appearing to be at the ready).

Darth AkSarBen
October 16, 2008, 12:49 AM
I have the 24/7 Pro in .45 and carry with one in the chamber and it is quite safe. If you look at the slide when it's off (cleaning sometime) notice that there is a small roundish shaped button not far from the extractor and behind it a bit that you can pus up toward the top of the slide with your finger. that is a firing pin block and with it down your pistol won't fire. In the main frame with the slide off if you squeeze back on the trigger a few times, you see a small bar with a raised "spot" on it that moves back when you squeeze the trigger to the back. This engages that firing pin block, or rather moves it up and allows the firing pin to actually travel forward. without this moved up out of the way, the firing pin is totally locked from forward movement. So basically if you were to even try to force the firing pin to go forward it could not because of this block. And, the only way the block is removed is to have the trigger in the rearward position just about to release the trigger sear and fire. The safety on, keeps the trigger from moving backwards and also engages another firing pin lock and really locks things up, including the slide. So to answer your question, you can very safely carry it with one in the chamber, even if you have the safety off, as long as you keep your finger out of the trigger guard and any object from moving that trigger rearward. With safety on, it's pretty much impossible to get the gun to fire.

Ben86
October 16, 2008, 02:07 AM
I feel completely safe with a round in the chamber as long as the gun is on me, in a holster and under my control. You need to be as quick as you can. People are lucky to even see the threat coming in time. Only when I give it to someone else do I feel unsafe and consequently unload the gun first.

On you second issue, you really need to find out what the problem is with your gun. It could be a bad mag, ammo the gun simply dislikes, limp wristing, etc. If you can't figure it out send her back to the womb.

ROVERMAN
October 16, 2008, 12:42 PM
Wow, you have several issues to deal with:
1: Get that weapon to a gunsmith and have whatever is wrong with it rectified. You need to have 100% confidence with your CCW. I fit can't be done then get something else that will satisfy the criteria.
2: Carry a round cambered. Read up on the Teuller Drill.

I personally carry my 92FS in an Uncle Mikes LE with one chambered and decock/saftey off. Unless the trigger is pulled I can say that it will not fire that round.
Ask yourself this question: Do I want to give my life or one of my family members life less than 100% chance?

sharpshooter74
October 16, 2008, 11:56 PM
I found this youtube video about my Taurus.. holy sh*t...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xnzBhMWuWJw

Vern Humphrey
October 17, 2008, 08:56 AM
This video reminds me of something a lady (who is a passionate supporter of Hillary Clinton) said, "At least we know who Hillary is. We don't know who Obama is."

We know who or what the M1911 is. We have nearly 90 years of experience with it, in every part of the world, under all conditions. It has no surprises for us.

And that's why I like it and carry it.

Legionnaire
October 17, 2008, 12:28 PM
Really don't have much to add here; covered very well. But I'll second that you have two distinct issues here:

1. Yes, you should carry a round in the chamber. Good holster and trigger discipline are imperative. But whether a Glock, Khar, S&W DA/SA, or even a Ruger LCP, the whole point in a defensive handgun is to be able to bring it to bear quickly, and you can't afford the time to rack the slide.

2. Get your Taurus serviced, or find another ammo that cycles 100% of the time. I don't consider any particular gun/ammo selection "good to go" unless I can fire 200 rounds without hiccup. Again, if your life depends on the gun you are carrying, it needs to work every time. If you can't get a semi-auto to do this, switch to a revolver!

krs
October 17, 2008, 02:53 PM
sharpshooter,

You sound as though you lack confidence in this new situation; in your pistol as well as in your own competency.

You've had excellent advise to seek out training and to learn how the pistol works. I think that you would be well advised NOT to carry until you have developed the areas already mentioned.

I never like to hear anyone say that any aspect of carrying a firearm is "completely safe". It is NOT completely safe and it cannot be that given the inherent danger of firearms themselves. We'd have little use for them if they were completely safe, right?

As to that video to which you seemed to have reacted so strongly in alarm: I'd ask if anyone has actually fired one of the model in the condition described as a safety flaw. We all hear the 'click' but does that click mean that the pistol would fire if a round were chambered? From the little movie we don't know and so we really can't accept that the film is proof that the pistol would fire in a similar case. Don't be so alarmed about it. How could the scenario be duplicated in normal usage anyway? Who pulls a trigger slightly before setting a safety to "safe"? Well, maybe Chip does. If so would you question his knowledge of manual of arms? Maybe you'll see him at your training class, eh? Hope so.......:)

moooose102
October 18, 2008, 10:45 PM
i carry a taurus 24/7 45 acp up here in the cooler months (now) with a cartridge in the chamber ALL of the time. been doing it over 1 1/2 year, no problems. one day, i was taking the gun out of the holster at night (going to bed) and discovered that somehow, the safety had gotten fliped, and it was off safety! i do not know how, or when this happened. it has never happened again (so far) but (thankfully) it did not create a problem even then. the question i have for you is; if you need that gun in a hurry, how effective is it going to be if you have to rack the slide before you can use it?! by the time that happens, you could be dead.

green country shooter
October 19, 2008, 11:28 AM
1. Gun to gunsmith.

2. You to a training school.

One way to a beat this common perception is to cock the gun with no magazine in, so it's cocked but unchambered. Then insert a full mag and carry it like that. After a week you will notice that the gun is still cocked, meaning it would not have gone off. The problem with this method is it still leaves you carrying with a round not chambered for another week.

Deanimator
October 19, 2008, 11:45 AM
1. Gun to gunsmith.

2. You to a training school.

One way to a beat this common perception is to cock the gun with no magazine in, so it's cocked but unchambered. Then insert a full mag and carry it like that. After a week you will notice that the gun is still cocked, meaning it would not have gone off. The problem with this method is it still leaves you carrying with a round not chambered for another week.
3. How many rounds does the gun have through it? Is it broken in?
4. Try different ammunition. When I bought my Series 70 Colt, it wouldn't feed ball, but was 100% reliable with the 200gr. "flying ashtrays". After it was broken in, it would feed anything within reason, including 185gr. and 200gr. LSWCs.

I just got my CHL. I carried my Glock and an M1911 for a day each with empty chambers just to get used to it. Now, all semi-autos have loaded chambers when carried. Trigger discipline is the NUMBER 1 way to avoid an accidental discharge. Firearms don't go off by themselves. Absent a "cook off" from barrel heat, as in a closed bolt machinegun, you either have to pull the trigger, or cause the firing pin to hit the primer in some other way. Unless the OP is carrying a Japanese Type 94, I doubt he's got a problem with an exposed sear mechanism that could fire the gun without the trigger being pulled.

The Bushmaster
October 19, 2008, 12:28 PM
Kimber UCC II loaded and locked...

BikerRN
October 19, 2008, 02:08 PM
When I was living in Mass. my friends would tell me why it's always dangerous to have a gun because it could go off accidentally

Your friends in Mass. are IDIOTS!

BikerRN

NavyLCDR
October 20, 2008, 05:15 AM
Loosedhorse.. honestly I'm scared of the gun going off accidentally. When I was living in Mass. my friends would tell me why it's always dangerous to have a gun because it could go off accidentally, even if my finger didn't accidentally pull the trigger.

Guns do not go off accidently. They go off because the trigger has been moved by an external force to the full rearward position.

If you don't feel safe carrying the PT145 fully loaded, then trade it for a gun that you do feel comfortable with. Maybe a gun with an external hammer that you can carry in true DA mode?

As far as the FTF problem: try shooting the gun with your pinky finger under the magazine. Your pinky finger will push the magazine up into the gun further and I bet the FTF problem will go away. It is not a solution, unless that is your natural grip, as it is with mine, but it will demonstrate what the problem is.

I would definitely trade the gun in on one you are more comfortable with and that feeds 100% of the time with your natural grip.

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