Press Checks are Stupid!

Oh fun! Is this the new 9mm vs .45 argument? I'll be watching. I'm easily entertained. :)
Oh... kin I watch too? Kin I? Kin I huh? Some arguments just never end! :lol:

Ok, I check each time I put the gun on at the beginning of the day. Doesn't matter if I go out in uniform or concealed carry.

When I call it a day, it goes loaded into a quick access lock box. Next morning, I start the process all over again.


When I carry a gun, I am betting my life on it's ability to defend myself. By doing the press check, and checking the magazine, I know, that today my pistol is loaded my magazine is loaded, I am ready.

Call me a noob, or whatever. But I know my pistol is ready. Do you know? Or do you just have faith that it is loaded???? Are you willing to bet your life on the answer? Your wife's life? Your child's life?
I verify a gun's condition when I pick one up. Every time I pick one up. That's basic gun handling and gun safety.

Mags are removed and slides get pulled back so I can visually verify the chamber is empty. Revolver cylinders are swung open and I look to verify there's nothing in the chambers. Single action revolvers get put to half cock (if necessary), the loading gate is opened and I check all 6 holes. Long guns get the same sort of treatment. Every time one comes into my hand.


Because I went to high school with a guy that didn't check a shotgun and ended up killing his girlfriend by being stupid with an 'unloaded' gun. He ain't been the same since. The release on the break action shotgun he did it with is right beside the hammer. Leaving aside for a moment that he broke all kinds of safety rules by pointing it at her, all it would have took was his moving his thumb a fraction of an inch and pressing down a little to clear it.

I learned from his mistake and remember it every time I pick up a gun. As far as I'm concerned, condition and safety of all guns not in my immediate personal control are suspect until I deem otherwise by personally verifying it.

I verify my carry gun's loaded (drop mag and press check for bottomfeeders or the cylinder is opened on revolvers) when I pick it up to holster it. I do NOT go around checking it during the day like some Hollywood action movie hero. It's in a holster on my person, so it's still in my possession and under my direct control.
And the arguments continue:

TTAG | Jeff Gonzales: The Folly of the ‘Press Check’
TFB | Rebuttal: “The Folly of the ‘Press Check'”

For those that do press checks, why do you not know that your gun is loaded? The whole purpose of arguing against press checks is to remove that uncertainty by enacting the right procedures. A gun doesn't unload itself. If you forgot what the status of your defensive firearm is, you have a problem. It means that until you performed the press check, your defensive firearm is potentially just a useless paperweight. How are you going to defend your life and the life of your loved ones if you do not know the status of your defensive firearm at all times?

If you think that a family member or an unauthorized person secretly unloaded your gun, then you have an even bigger problem. You either do not trust the people you give access to your firearms or you do not control access to your firearms at all.

What's the harm? First, you perform an administrative gun handling technique that is unnecessary and can result in a negligent discharge during execution or in a malfunction later on. Second, you train yourself to perform an administrative gun handling technique that is not only useless during a fight, but actually can get in your way.

When picking up a gun during a gunfight, you don't press check either. You load the gun, even if it is already loaded.

This has zero to do with handing someone a gun or receiving a gun from someone when there is no gunfight. That's where you perform a safety check to assure the firearm is unladed. In contrast, press checks are performed to assure the firearm is loaded. Big difference! In the first instance, you look for an empty chamber. In the second, you look for brass.
More on this from Trident Concepts | Making Ready…:

Something that has bothered me for years is when a student asks if they can perform a weapon’s check to confirm the condition from the last time they used their firearm. This is not a game, this is combat.

That’s your excuse?

I have played along for years, been amused by it most of the time. When I have to listen to the asinine excuses of why someone is not ready, not ready to defend their lives I have to question the mental preparation. Now, there are times and places for a weapon’s check, but when you strap a firearm onto your body unless it is specifically requested to be unloaded, why would you not keep it in the highest state of readiness. Why, because we as instructors have failed. We have created an environment where we promote this mentality. We promote the mentality by not encouraging and empowering students to stay in the highest state of readiness when appropriate.

Baby steps

In the beginning I completely understand the importance of progressing students at a safe and manageable state. There needs to be controls set in place to ensure a safe training environment. They need to be observed for safe conduct while manipulating their firearms and they need to perform as many repetitions as possible. I am a strong supporter for delivering the material allowing them to develop the skills, knowledge and correct attitude. This is where we fail as an industry. We fail to emphasize the correct attitude.

Carrying hot all the time

Once they develop proficiency at basic manipulations the mind must then be developed. They must be encouraged to carry operationally ready as often as the curriculum or situation allows. The shift in mindset should be towards holstering a firearm that is ready to protect life. Ready so the next time it is pulled from the holster, there is no doubt. I understand this is a class, held at a range, but the mentality we are depriving our students is the importance of handling themselves responsibly at all times with loaded firearms. It is not something to be taken lightly, but it must be encouraged.

You reap what you sow

The negative outcome is students who rely on you to dictate the situation, to set the conditions. Rather than being in a constant state of readiness they miss out on cultivating the warrior mindset. I am not saying you fail as a warrior because you ask to make ready, but when you have doubts as to the condition of your firearm prior to a drill that is a failure. If you have to ask the instructor if you can inspect your firearm prior to the buzzer then you run the risk of creating a lifetime of bad habits. Now, with all this being said, if the class level is appropriate to maintain hot firearms then encourage students to do so, cultivate the always hot mindset.

There is nothing worse than drawing your firearm and getting a click, but where did the failure originate. While willingness may be a mental state, readiness is a statement of fact.
For what it is worth and not trying to change your mind but a press check when loading your firearm should be a necessity. I have trained with Pincus and his rationale for not doing it is just plain stupid. There are multiple reason when you release the slide or charge your weapon why a round may in fact not chamber. If you really do not want to do it then don't but please do not tell everyone that it is not necessary. When chambering a round in a rifle such as a AR. I was taught to touch off the top round of the magazine and insert it charge it and then take mag out to confirm that the double stacked round is now different than it was. In the dark it is the only way to make sure you are locked and loaded. I know for positive that it saved more than one GI from pulling the trigger on an unloaded firearm. As for my EDC I will always press check. JMHO I Never want to press the trigger when I really need it and hear CLICK. Why take that chance unless you are just to arrogant to not bother to check.
All I have to say is, revolvers when loaded, are always chambered. You can also do the visual inspection by seeing brass in the cylinder even before opening it. Simple. My S&W revolver is always loaded, always in a safe location and ready to go.

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