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Some serious questions about carrying my Semi-Auto pistol

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by sharpshooter74, Oct 14, 2008.

  1. sharpshooter74

    sharpshooter74 Well-Known Member

    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?
  2. tigre

    tigre Well-Known Member

    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.
  3. The Lone Haranguer

    The Lone Haranguer Well-Known Member

    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.
  4. Lou22

    Lou22 Well-Known Member

    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.

  5. Loosedhorse

    Loosedhorse member

    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.
    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? :))
  6. Jimmie

    Jimmie Well-Known Member

    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.
  7. KC0QGL

    KC0QGL Well-Known Member

    I carry my Bresa .380 with one in the chamber all the time. Safty on, hammer down.
  8. gwnorth

    gwnorth Well-Known Member

    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).
  9. sharpshooter74

    sharpshooter74 Well-Known Member

    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.
  10. sharpshooter74

    sharpshooter74 Well-Known Member

    my holster does cover the trigger
  11. Jimmie

    Jimmie Well-Known Member

    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.
  12. CountGlockula

    CountGlockula Well-Known Member

    Go back to your self defense training.

    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.
  13. ezypikns

    ezypikns Well-Known Member

    If you have a good quality holster you shouldn't have a problem.

    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.
  14. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Well-Known Member

    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.

  15. DZL HOG

    DZL HOG Well-Known Member

    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.
  16. John Wayne

    John Wayne Well-Known Member

    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.
  17. gbelleh

    gbelleh Well-Known Member

    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:
  18. Bezoar

    Bezoar member

    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.
  19. Old Navy

    Old Navy Well-Known Member

    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.
  20. tigre

    tigre Well-Known Member

    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, machines don't just operate by themselves.

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