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Press check

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by kmewing, Aug 18, 2019.

  1. kmewing

    kmewing Member

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    I have a couple of colleagues who disagree on something and I’m curious to hear the input of this forum on the two points of view.

    The question revolves around the following practice: After loading a semiauto handgun, do a “press check” (pull the slide back a smidge) and visually confirm that a round has indeed loaded into the chamber.

    The points of disagreement are:

    Point #1: This is a good practice to ensure that the gun does have a round in the chamber.

    Versus

    Point #2: This is a bad practice because pulling the slide back like this will cause the gun to go out of battery and potentially cause a malfunction.

    Those are the points of debate. How do you all respond? Thanks for your input.
     
  2. troy fairweather

    troy fairweather Member

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    this is why a loaded chamber indicator is needed.
     
  3. Mustangowner

    Mustangowner Member

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    Lol press checks... The same guys that draw to their chest and extend then pull back into their chest before holstering. Meaningless. You should know if your gun is hot to start with, but even if you don't, like every single firearm made in the last 20 years has a loaded chamber indicator. Another point, if I don't trust my gun enough to know if it actually chambered a round when I closed the slide, I don't think I'd be carrying it... Maybe not even shooting it. I personally think it's a novice action, it probably won't jam a decent firearm, but cycling over a full magazine I would think could change the position of the second round.... Perhaps. Also, I've shot a lot of guns for a long time, I've never had one single instance of a gun failing to chamber a round without me instantly recognizing that it didn't chamber it.
     
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  4. Deus Machina

    Deus Machina Member

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    Often useless, but not harmful. Give it a quick look, then just make sure it goes back into battery before removing and topping off the magazine.
    I do it, but then I'm also the type that makes sure his alarm is set half a dozen times before going to bed.
    If nothing else, it may reveal problems other than an unchambered round. The only two times I've ever had a gun need help returning to battery without help revealed that the ammo was out of spec, or that I had forgotten to clean a tight one for far too long before planning on sticking it in the glovebox.
    Never happened with my usual carry guns with my SD rounds, though. Which is why I stick with them.
     
  5. Jammersix

    Jammersix Member

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    If we're betting my life (and we would be) on whether or not my weapon is loaded I'd check.

    If we're just betting your life, it's up to you whether or not you check.
     
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  6. edwardware

    edwardware Member

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    A press check requires a confirmation of return to battery. I do it ~ every morning, right before a reseat-pull check on the magazine. I really want to know that the gun is loaded.

    Giggle away. Those techniques were developed in response to specific problems that got trained cops shot or killed. That you do not understand, and that some instructors are theatric for emphasis, does nothing to devalue muscle memory. Drawing to close retention is faster and more reliable than the more natural draw-and-sweep, but it requires forming the habit.
     
  7. JTQ

    JTQ Member

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    I do press checks since I like to be sure. As to point two, I suspect it's possible in the theoretical, but in all the press checks I've done, I've never experienced it. Perhaps it may be a technique or gun specific thing.

    For Mustangowner - After you fill up your Mustang at the gas station, when you get into the car, do you check the gas gauge to make sure the tank is full?
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2019
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  8. milemaker13

    milemaker13 Member

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    Uh oh- this is gonna be another hot one...

    I only recently learned what 'press check' means... so obviously I have not been doing it and all seems well so far.
    As far as betting my life wheather or not a round chambered... I think topping off the mag will generally be a good indicator.
     
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  9. Reinz

    Reinz Member

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    If you’ve spent a significant amount of time with your pistol you can tell if the chamber is loaded by the sound and even by the feel when you rack the slide.

    You can also tell by listening to others rack a slide. Even on TV or movies you can tell if a blank has been chambered or not.

    Sounds silly? Give it a try.
     
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  10. GBExpat

    GBExpat Member

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    Welcome to THR, kmewing!

    IIRC, with all of my semi-auto pistols I can actually see a bit of the loaded cartridge base thru gaps in the mechanism so I do not have a need to "press check".

    ... and, o'course, some of them sport a loaded chamber indicator. :)
     
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  11. luzyfuerza

    luzyfuerza Member

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    A press check just after loading is never useless, and is not harmful if done properly.

    We train ourselves to look at an empty chamber to confirm that a gun is empty. A press check is visual confirmation that a gun is loaded. Two sides of the same coin.

    A press check should be followed by a bump to the slide to confirm that the gun is in battery.

    I reach over the rear of the slide and use the rear ridges to move the slide to the rear. In well-lit conditions I can see the brass; in the dark I can feel for the brass with my pinky.

    I prefer not to do a press check using the front of the slide. Too close to the muzzle.

    My EDC only leaves the holster when I'm at the range, or when I'm cleaning it. The holster and loaded gun go on as a unit in the morning and come off as a unit at night. I do a press check as described above every time I load it with carry ammo. Too much is riding on this gun being loaded not to verify that a round was chambered.

    At the range, a press check might seem a little unnecessary. A click instead of bang there is no big deal. But if you're practicing at the range using the same procedures you use with your EDC, then I think it makes sense...
     
  12. luzyfuerza

    luzyfuerza Member

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    Oh, and on my pistols, gunk can accumulate under the lever of my loaded chamber indicators. Just as I'd never use a loaded chamber indicator to ensure that a gun is unloaded, I'd never use one on my EDC to confirm that it IS loaded.
     
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  13. Bama59

    Bama59 Member

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    I chamber a round and double check it pistol is loaded with view hole ,after that I don't mess with it . Do what you have trained and prefer to do and always be safe.
     
  14. Speedo66

    Speedo66 Member

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    Press check. I thought this, from the title, had to do with pressed, rather than cut, checkering. Oh well.....

    Do you intend to check after every round to make sure the next round has chambered? Can't you visually watch a round being chambered while the slide is being released?

    The only thing I was trained to do was to visually scan around me for another bad guy, with my gun following my vision path, before I holstered my gun after shooting, not bringing it up to my chest. In an adrenaline spiked incident you tend to develop tunnel vision, so always a good idea to look around you.​
     
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  15. Mustangowner

    Mustangowner Member

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    Yes I will giggle every time I see that, look up the black rifle coffee guys on YouTube, they're all former SEALs, Rangers etc, they do an excellent job of mockery on the subject and every time I see somebody do it I think of them
     
  16. JTQ

    JTQ Member

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    For those that aren't familiar with a "press check" here are a couple of video's where it is demonstrated, the first by Tiger McKee with a 1911, and the second with Ernest Langdon and a Beretta 92. Both demonstrate their technique early in their videos.



     
  17. newfalguy101

    newfalguy101 Member

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    Both points are valid.

    Its easy enough to verify that the slide is in battery, with a look or by feel
     
  18. JR24

    JR24 Member

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    I'm not worried about point #2, never have had a gun fail to go back into battery after a check and it's pretty easy to visually tell it is in battery, at least with my guns. This is with handguns, I have an AR that likes to fail to RTB if you do a brass check.

    As for #1, I don't do it in that instance, no. When I load a mag and rack, if I'm holstering for carry loading my mag back up to full lets me know it chambered a round, and at the range I don't worry to much. I guess I might during competition perhaps.

    But, with my carry gun every morning I do check as I was taught to always verify the status of any gun that's been out of my possession and it's too ingrained as habit to want to change.
     
  19. Trunk Monkey

    Trunk Monkey Member

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    As GBEpat mentioned you can look at the back end of the chamber and see the rim of the cartridge.

    I have two carry guns, they're never unloaded unless I'm shooting them or cleaning them. I see no need to verify that they're still loaded when I get out of bed in the morning. I'm pretty sure my cat isn't unloading my gun while I sleep
     
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  20. 1KPerDay

    1KPerDay Member

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    YouTube is an excellent authority on the validity of tactics. Fourfty percent of Real Operators have developed their operational tactics and beard care from YouTube. I learned that statistic from YouTube. When someone else mocks something I feel compelled to join the mob because it makes me feel like I belong to something important. :cool:
     
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  21. Mustangowner

    Mustangowner Member

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    Aww everybody's feelings getting hurt now. You guys all keep doing your press checks, I think it's an amateur action that doesn't solve anything and I'll leave it at that
     
  22. troy fairweather

    troy fairweather Member

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    i would rather do nothing, just release the slide like normal. if you have to do the check in the worst case scenario, people can do some wired things when there is adrenaline rushing. like i said a loaded chamber indicator is nice.
     
  23. larryh1108

    larryh1108 Member

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    .....and here I thought it was a Steven Seagal thing.
     
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  24. JR24

    JR24 Member

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    That solves it. The internet authority on professional gun handling has spoken. :)

    Me, I'll keep doing what I've been doing since my grandpa first handed me a gun and taught me how to use it and not worry too much what web forum posters and YouTube folks do, easier that way.
     
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  25. Charlie Horse

    Charlie Horse Member

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    Last edited: Aug 18, 2019
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