Sunday, January 20, 2013

One in the chamber? or not?

Recently a friend and I were discussing whether a handgun should be carried with one in the chamber or not. He was talking about a semi-automatic pistol.

A revolver, we know, can be carried with the hammer against an empty position in the cylinder. Assuming it's a double-action revolver, a pull of the trigger will rotate the cylinder and drop the hammer on a live round.

What about a semi-automatic pistol? Thoughts? Carry a round loaded in the barrel?

A number of questions come to mind, but the first is, is you need to fire, will you be able to rack the slide and load a round? Will you have time to do so? What if you have only one hand available, and that's the one with which you are holding the weapon?

Let's say your need to fire is not immediate? You hear a window breaking elsewhere in your house late at night, awakening you from sleep in your bedroom. Fine. You've got time to rack the slide, load a live round, move to a safer position, dial 9-1-1. Time; you've got time...

Now, let's consider that you answer your door during the day. As you open it, some thug pushes his way in and grabs you by the arm. Now you're down to one loose arm. You grab your pistol from the holster. But you don't have a round loaded.

How are you going to get a round into the chamber?

This is why I recommend carrying a semi-auto pistol with one in the chamber. If not double-action, hammer back. Safety on, with one in the chamber. Ready to fire with only one hand free, if necessary.



yagottabekidding said...

Wow! I hope you're not planning on teaching any AARP firearms classes!

M.U.G. said...

One in chamber with safety on for semi-auto. If you can't flick the safety off by the time the weapon is drawn and pointing towards the purp you better get some serious practice in.

tommy said...

One in the chamber also applies to cocked double action only/striker (ie. hammerless) firearms like the Ruger LCP and Glocks which have no external safeties.

bill Matteson said...

Good question Gus.I don't know if there is a correct answer,just a matter of personal preference. I am not feeling safe with one in the chamber, cocked and locked, although,it doesn't bother some people, like most police officers.
keeping the chamber empty and racking a round in when needed is also time consuming, especially for Klutzes like me. so I have a revolver, its,safe and ready to go, plus it doesn't jam.

Gus said...

I watched a detective try to unjam a pistol one day on a range. Took him 3 minutes.

Mike said...

In the chamber of course! I own personally and have ued a department issued glock 23 for years. There is always one in the chamber. At first I worried about it accidently going off. I was told when first issuedthat was not an issue, that it couls be dropped andwould not go off. To test it i actually threw it up into the air and let it land on the ground with one in the chamber multiple time with no discharge.