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9 October 2017 by Online Carry Training
Many people have differing views about carrying with a bullet in the chamber or not. This can be a pretty heated topic and there is not really a right or wrong answer.  There are, however, a few things to consider before you make the decision to carry with one in the chamber or with the chamber empty.

Why would you carry with the chamber empty?

Some people think it is unsafe to carry with a bullet in the chamber because:

1. Negligent discharge

2. Don’t want kids or untrained people accessing their gun and shooting it. If you take off your CCW at the end of the day and put it down, a child could get a hold of your gun and accidentally shoot himself or herself or someone else.

3. Risk of Drop Fire. A drop fire is where a sharp knock (caused by dropping a loaded gun) can cause the firing pin or hammer to strike a chambered round, causing an accidental discharge.

I doubt anyone would say that theses are not legitimate fears. However, there are those that feel that those fears can be overcome and would recommend carrying with a bullet in the chamber.

Why you should always carry with one in the chamber.

  • Carrying with the chamber empty delays or prevents your defensive response time. The entire reason for carrying a concealed weapon is to always be ready to defend yourself from a threat. In a situation where someone is attacking you, you may not have enough time to draw, rack a bullet in the chamber, aim and shoot. If your gun is already loaded, all you need do is draw, aim and shoot.

  • When you are not carrying, your gun should be under lock & key. If a child or untrained person can access your gun, you have not stored it properly.  When you are not carrying your weapon it should be stored in a safe place under lock and key.

  • The risk of a drop fire happening is minimal due to drop safety features on modern weapons. The practice of carrying with an empty chamber dates to the 19th century, when most pistols and rifles were all susceptible to drop fires. Virtually every modern pistol today has a drop safety. It’s even required by law in some states.  Modern firearms include far more safety features than older designs. 

For most people that carry a gun, it is a matter of personal preference. I will say though, that in that moment that you are faced with a threat, your stress and fear levels will be off the chart. Do you feel confident enough that you have had enough training and practice to get your gun unholstered, chamber a round, take aim and fire before your attacker shoots you? Think about it.

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