Carry a round chambered or not?


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When you're carrying, if you carry a semi-auto, do you keep a round chambered or not?

Yep. When I first started carrying, like most, it took a while to get used to it. But my sons pointed out that you may not have enough time or stealth to be able to rack a semi-auto in the event you need to use it...:help:
There may be some safety issues with a single action auto but with a DBL action or DBL action only there is absolutely no reason not to. That is just one of the reason I carry either DBl action or DBl action only handguns. If you don't your are decreasing your odds of survival during an armed confrontation.
Thanks for the input. I have been carrying a revolver and just got a semi-auto. I wondered what everyone thought. It does make a lot of sence to be ready as soon as the gun comes out of the holster instead of having to rack one into the chamber before your ready.
Round in the Pipe

I have always carried with a round in the chamber. I have a semi-auto SA/DA that has a safety/decocker, and keep the safety on almost all the time. I do that because it makes handling the gun - moving it from nightstand to desk to holster, etc - safer. If I sense the possibility of a confrontation - i.e. I am walking on the street in the dark at night, or something starts not to look right - I click the safety off. Then I am ready - if necessary - to just draw and fire.

This was easy for me, since the first time I handled a gun - i.e. a double-barreled shotgun - the vast majority (99.9%) it was loaded. Basic training in the Army was a trip for me - it was the first and only time I carried an unloaded weapon for any measurable period. Got a lot of muzzle control from all those years in the woods.
Topic beaten to death already. My goodness do you not know how to search?

Yes, one in the chamber. Why?

1. I would rather chamber the round in a controlled environment so that I can double check that the round has chambered properly rather than trust myself and my gun in a shtf moment. What if a malfunction were to happen while you were, under the stress of about to lose your life, trying to get a round chambered within the time frame of a couple of seconds? :fie:

2. What if one of your hands/arms was restrained in some way and you have to draw/fire with one hand?

3. In a modern handgun, keep your dang booger picker :to_pick_ones_nose: out of the trigger guard (and everything else out of the trigger guard) and the gun will not go off, unless it is broke and you need to get it fixed anyway, then.

I am going to punish myself now and actually subscribe to this thread
I have always carried cocked & locked. My Kahr has no safety but is DAO and it stays cocked and locked. From the time I was first introduced to firearms, and now still, I was taught that all firearms are LOADED, no matter what. In my house, they really are LOADED, 24/7. An unloaded firearm is about as useful as a large rock.

Those that visit me all know that if they are handling one of my firearms, that it has one in the pipe. Unless it is one of the only two friends I have who I actually trust to handle one of my loaded firearms, people know not to touch them until I personally unload them and hand it over. Even then, they know to PROPERLY double check, or I will take it away and they won't handle firearms around me anymore.
The overwhelming majority of those who carry a handgun prefer to carry with a chambered round. It takes long enough to draw and aim in a stressful situation, particularly if one is clearing a cover garment. Very few want to add cycling the slide to the program. Plus, you may only have one hand available for handling the pistol---for example, if you are fending off an attacker with the weak hand.
I always carry with one in the chamber. This is a matter of personal preference and do what you are comfortable with. I carry chambered for a number of reasons. Most important for me is taking one step out of the equation. When it comes down to fractions of seconds for reaction time, the more actions you have to perform the more likely you are to have a malfunction.

If you do not carry with one in the chamber, I urge you to practice and practice to make the motion of drawing and racking the slide one fluid motion. Know your gun so when under the extreme stress of a situation you do not accidentally drop the magazine as you rack the slide.
I carry 10+1 when holstered, but there are rare times that I will "Mexican Carry" - just tucked in my pants. If I do this, I do not keep one in the pipe. With the trigger guard exposed, I don't want to take the chance of of a ND/AD.

That being said, I RARELY carry like that. My everyday carry config is a Crossbreed Supertuck, 10+1 Springfield XD .45 Compact
I had this same question when I went from a revolver to an automatic. I followed everyones advice and practiced. Did some training with a LEO that explained how the internal safteys operate Eventually I found the right holster configuration and a good understanding of how the weapon works. I carry a Smith and Wesson M&P 45ACP. without a thumb safety in a Galco Combat Master holster. I'm perfectly at ease with one in the pipe.
have always carried with a round chambered and ready to go. when I take my holster off I put the safety on. when I put the holster on I take the safety off.
As well as reducing crucial steps and time in the defensive draw in a deadly force encounter, if you carry withOUT a round in the chamber, and your adversary is literally "on you" in whatever type of assault, God help you if you have to draw from concealment, attempt to rack your slide back AND fend off an assailant when both hands HAVE to be on your gun just to make it work.

It's unwise to enter any fight without use of your hands. Since an encounter within arms reach is not uncommon, speed means everything. In CQB, I encourage the good guy to use his/her non-firing hand to punch, jab, palm-heel strike and/or cover defensively while drawing and shooting from the hip with only the firing hand. This is impossible if your chamber is empty. You would be getting pummeled and likely never get the gun into battery.

Introducing an unloaded gun into such a violent encounter, when fractions of seconds and swift, decisive action separates first place from dead place, is futile in my opinion.
We were trained in the USMC (1911 A1) to drop the safety while
simultaneously pulling the trigger.

Safety is never off unless engaging a target.

Safety is immediately snapped on after engaging target until new threat rears it head.

Swat teams prefer this weapon because of safety and speed while engaging target.

Most jams I've seen with automatics occur while chambering the first round.

Due to debris in the chamber, magazine too full and "limp wristing" the weapon.

Keep your finger out of the trigger guard until the weapon is clear of your body and "friendly" folks.

Some newer weapons come with a ridge to rest the trigger on when not engaging a target.

Wallace Crawford

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