What are your carry variables?

How do you carry?

  • Round Chambered, Safety On

    Votes: 33 43.4%
  • No Round Chambered, Safety On

    Votes: 2 2.6%
  • Round Chambered, Safety Off

    Votes: 32 42.1%
  • No Round Chambered, Safety Off

    Votes: 6 7.9%
  • Other

    Votes: 9 11.8%

  • Total voters


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I carry with no round chambered and safety off. I worry about the consequences of response time and failing to properly rack the slide, but I feel safer.

Gotta love those variables

I prefer not to carry a round in the chamber for many reasons....and my KelTec has no safety.
So...no round, brain and holster on?:D
I carry my 1911 in condition 1 because cocked and locked is how Mr. Browning designed it.

With two safeties and a good holster where you can't get your finger in the trigger when drawing and re-holstering ND's should be non-existent
Round chambered, safety off.

My pistols have a heavy DA trigger that do the duty of a 'safety'. If I ever needed my pistol, I would not want to have to rack that slide. It better be in action right away after leaving its hiding place.
Round chambered

That brings me to a question for the experienced gun guys: do you not see any possible value in the act of chambering a round being, in itself, a major deterrent to the BG in continuing whatever it is he's doing?
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I won't carry a weapon unless it's ready to go! The time it takes to rack a round could cost you your life. What happens if someone shoots you before you have time to pull your weapon and rack it? What if you are hit in the arm or hand? You are dead! If I'm carrying my 45 it's cocked, locked and the safety is off. This is the normal way to carry a 1911 style weapon. A safety on an automatic is useless if it's a DAO. Just like a revolver you have to pull the trigger all the way back to have it fire. Kel-Tec's, Kahr and other manufactures make their weapons without safeties for a reason...it's not needed. The trigger pull averages around 5+ lbs on these weapons and it takes a deliberate pull of the trigger to fire. Some hammer type autos do have a safety but most are a decocking lever. This caused the hammer to fall and rest against a hammer block. Bottom line is if you carry your weapon in a holster and leave it there until you need it It's not going to fire on it's own! All my weapons are carried with a round in the chamber and the safety is off if it has a safety!
Since the whole point of carrying a gun is to ensure that it is dependably available at a moments notice, I only carry a gun which I trust with a round in the chamber... and I do so, in the manner the specific gun was designed. With the revolvers, I load all of the chambers ;)
That brings me to a question for the experienced gun guys: do you not see any possible value in the act of chambering a round being, in itself, a major deterrent to the BG in continuing whatever it is he's doing?
I think legally using a weapon as a deterrent would be against the law. A CCW holder is not part of law enforcement. By definition all state laws on use of force state you can only use your weapon if your life is in danger or think it's in danger. I was told if you pull your weapon you had better prepared to fire it.
round chambered safety off.

Speaking of safeties, the ONLY safety a firearm needs is the one between your ears, and if that safety is insufficient I am sure you will be welcomed to the Brotherhood of the Darwin Awards!:eek:
I voted 'chambered/on'. I carry Glocks, so technically, it was an accurate vote, but its really more like chambered/off, and that's OK. Proper holster, trigger finger discipline, follow the 4 rules, etc.

If someone's violently threatening me, or someone that I choose to defend, in a manner that warrants the use of deadly force, I don't want there to be any more required actions than draw aim/point, and press. The more you have to do before you're ready to fire, the more time it takes and the greater the chance of a fatal fumble on your part. Also, while the action of, and sound from, racking a slide may seem menacing, it also tells the BG if he is going to shoot you, that he better hurry. No need for me to urge him into speeding up - I want him as confused and stunned as possible if I'm having to draw reactively to his actions.
Any modern firearm, in good working condition, when carried in a well made holster that covers the firing controls, is perfectly safe to carry with a round in the chamber. The setting of any safety or safeties is dependent on the manual of arms of the specific weapon.

If you don't feel comfortable carrying your chosen weapon with a round in the chamber, there might be a couple of things going on - either of which could end up costing you your life.

First is a lack of familiarity or confidence in your sidearm. The best way to overcome this is training and practice. Get to know your chosen CCW until you're completely comfortable with its manual of arms and are able to clear any potential malfunction with your eyes closed. An experienced instructor - especially one who is conversant with your pistol - can help immensely.

This isn't to say that it's not a valid decision to carry Condition 3 (I don't agree with it, personally) but to make that decision based on fear and mistrust of the weapon will likely manifest itself as an inability to "run the gun" when it gets down to where the cheese binds.

The Israeli military and police carry Condition 3, but they have a great deal of proficiency with their weapons. They train that way - extensively - and they can get off the X with a holstered, concealed and empty weapon faster than you or I could with a drawn gun, a sight picture, and half the trigger slack already taken up.

The second issue can be a lack of mental preparedness to apply lethal force in self defense. If you are carrying a lethal weapon, but haven't made the mental commitment to respond fast enough, forcefully enough: "I'll just shoot them in the leg" or "I'll give them a warning shot, I'm sure they'll run away", you really need to give some serious deliberation as to whether you should be carrying a gun for self defense.

Ziggy, the intimidation factor of chambering a pistol may have a deterrent effect on an assailant, but a couple of rounds center mass is guaranteed to be even more discouraging. Do a search on "Tueller Drill" for a real eye-opener.

The bad guy decides when and where he's going to attack you. The only decision you get to make is how you are going to respond. You can do that right now while it's calm and quiet and you can think about it all you want... or you can do it on the spot.

Been trained to retreat if possible.
However if the danger is great enough and no other choice exists, no other way out, then I draw and fire. There is a round in the chamber and every carry weapon I own is double action with a long trigger pull.
Retreating is the better option. Killing another human being no matter how bad he/she may be changes your life completely.
This is something to think about ahead of time and look for any avenue of escape rather than shooting.
The most important thing a person that carries a gun can do is practice, practice, practice, and be constantly aware of your situation.
I carry in condition 1.

I don't have a problem with carrying in condition 0 but don't because by the time my weapon clears the holster my safety is off. JMB designed a fabulously ergonomic gun that makes drawing and unsafing as natural as just getting a good grip on the gun. He also designed one that is absolutely safe to be carried that way. Kimber added a grip safety deactivated firing pin block in the event that I accidentally drop my gun off of the Empire State Building.

Why would anybody carry with the chamber empty and the safety on? I don't get that one.
Great discussion from all. This is a good chance to mention what type of situations we carry in. I live in a small farming town in which I feel relatively safe (although no place is too safe). My permit is used mostly for hiking on public lands where I don't want to scare too many nature hippies. I am still relatively new to guns, and that might be the one reason I carry unchambered. But, if I was in the "city" you can bet your busters that I'd carry chambered, although then I'd probably still have safety on.
I voted on behalf of my 1911 Carry weapon since my SIG's technically don't have safeties.

I carry “cocked and locked”. My personal view is that there is no point in carrying an unloaded gun. There is a lot of controversy regarding chambered -v- un-chambered carry and I really don’t want to go there.

Whichever mode of carry you choose, all I can say is… practice practice practice! ;)

By the way, welcome aboard Commander! :cool:
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Ziggy, the psyche of a violent attacker is different from yours or mine. These guys understand fear and how to create fear in their prey. Attempting to intimidate a really mean SOB by racking a slide is, to them, just a challenge. If you REALLY meant business, you'd already be in stance, aiming the weapon center of mass and taking up the trigger slack.

And maybe, just maybe, they won't play according to the rules you want them to. Maybe they'll start running at you as soon as you pull the gun, and by the time the slide is getting racked, it will be taken from you, or a fist the size of a watermelon will be slamming into your head.

It sounds to you like you fear your weapon, or you don't have the confidence to carry with a round in the chamber. Practice carrying and drawing, become familiar enough with your weapon that you no longer fear a negligent discharge. Get snap caps for your practice. And here's one - have a friend stand 20 feet away and start running at you at the same time you draw (USE SNAPS CAPS). Can you rack the slide and pull the trigger before they reach you? 10 bucks says you can't.

Actions meant as psychological deterrents, even ones that seem very frightening to you, will often have NO EFFECT AT ALL on a really mean SOB. In the fantasy of their mind, they are 8 feet tall and bulletproof, and you are making hilarious, empty threats. Don't prove them right.

If an attacker believes you to be unarmed, you have more of a tactical advantage. If you wave around your pistol, they can get used to the idea of you being armed, and overcome any fear they have.

Sorry for being long-winded.


That brings me to a question for the experienced gun guys: do you not see any possible value in the act of chambering a round being, in itself, a major deterrent to the BG in continuing whatever it is he's doing?
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"That brings me to a question for the experienced gun guys: do you not see any possible value in the act of chambering a round being, in itself, a major deterrent to the BG in continuing whatever it is he's doing?"
No. I just see it as taking longer to get off the first shot, takes 2 hands to bring the gun into action, and you're going in 1 round down. I carry a Steyr, which like a glock is meant to be point and shoot. When I carry a SA auto it's in Cond 1.
Round chambered always!!!!!! Safety on/off is a personal choice. For me it depends on the firearm I am carrying.

DOA - Safety off
1911 - Cocked and locked
I always have a round chambered. Glock has no manual safety so...Taurus PT140, I carry it with the safety on since it has one and it has a light trigger. My Beretta Tomcat I carry with a round chambered, cocked, with the safety on.
Always chambered. My Hk has the LEM trigger so no need to worry. But other firearms that I have that have a safety I would also carry safety off. Most modern dbl action autos should be safe when carried ready to go and that is why I don't carry a single action auto.

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