Chamber that round!
It is always a point of discussion and can sometimes become a very heated discussion. The question;
Do you chamber a round in your defensive firearm? Well, do you?
People will give all kinds of reasons for not chambering a round in not only their carry gun but any defensive firearm. I have heard many of them over the years. Many of the reasons are nothing more than excuses for personal failures to be safe and follow safety protocols for concealed carry.
“I just don’t feel safe carrying a gun with a round in the chamber.” Why? “Because I don’t want it to go off accidently.” or “Just because I don’t.” With no defined reason. This is not a good reason for not chambering a round in the gun you are going to rely on in a split instant to defend yourself or an innocent. If this is your concern you are doing something wrong. Plain and simple. A gun will not fire by itself. Ever seen the pictures and videos with the guy yelling at the gun trying to get it to fire. Won’t happen. No Bang! There has to be something, some object in the trigger well that interacts with the trigger to make a gun discharge. If a gun is carried in a well maintained holster, a pocket by itself, a purse by itself, in a car console by itself, in a glove box by itself, or on the night stand by itself it will not fire. The problem comes when there is something else present that can interact with the trigger to cause discharge of the gun. If the gun is in a pocket with keys, lipstick, ink pens, pencils, coins, a pocket knife, a package of gum, torn or ragged cloth, or loose ammunition it possible one of these items can get inside the trigger well and interact with the trigger and cause an unintended discharge. The unintended discharge is not caused because there was a round in the chamber. It’s because you can’t follow basic safety protocol when carrying a gun. It’s because you are not safe. If you can’t keep items out of the pocket or holster with the gun you might not want to carry at all.
“I don’t want someone to pick up the gun and press the trigger and shoot the gun accidently.” Again a bogus reason for not chambering a round even more so than all others. A gun, especially a defensive firearm, should not be laying around where just anyone can pick it up and press the trigger. A gun should never be accessible to unauthorized people. If you are leaving guns lay around and openly accessible to anyone who enters the area you are a fool and probably shouldn’t have a gun to begin with. When carrying a gun no one should be able to just walk up and take it out of your holster. Any attempt by anyone to do so should trigger one hell of a fight response. You should not be leaving your loaded defensive handgun lay on the coffee table so that one stupid drunk friend can come visit and pick it up and shoot at your TV or worse. If you have persons in your home a gun should be on your person or stored wear only authorized people can get to it. It may be necessary to store the gun in a vault and unloaded to avoid mishaps by unauthorized persons.
“I don’t need to keep it loaded when I carry. I’ll have plenty of time to operate the action and load my gun.” Really? Over the years I have looked at a lot of studies on this. I have studied tons of videos. I can tell you without a doubt you will not have time to operate the action to chamber a round in a spontaneous ambush situation. The highest percentage of gun fights happen at the distance of 0-5 feet. 95% of all gun fights happen within ten feet. You are most likely to be ambushed and the attacker will already be with reach. At this distance any attempt to operate the action will give the attacker ample time to get hold of the gun before you can complete the operation. Or he will use his before you can get yours in the fight. If the attacker is armed with an edged weapon you may and will most likely be cut to shreds before you can complete the operation. Most people who carry a defensive handgun are not trained in weapons retention which means you stand a risk of losing the gun if you can not immediately shoot your attacker. Most importantly it typically takes two hands to operate the action of the semi-automatic handgun in order to chamber a round. I can tell you your support hand will not be available to you to operate the action of your handgun. Your support hand, the one you would like to use to grasp the slide, will be busy. It will be busy deflecting an attack. It may be busy redirecting an attack. It may be busy grabbing and controlling an attack. It may be busy striking or pushing the attacker away to gain distance. It may be busy guiding or directing someone you wish to protect. You may be using it to dampen the impact with the ground as you are knocked down by the attacker. No. No. No. You will not have time or be able to operate the action to chamber a round when you are under attack. If you are going to carry a gun unloaded. You are putting yourself even further behind in the fight. No place to be when your life or the life of another is at risk.
If you are carrying a handgun for defensive purposes it should be loaded and ready to use at a split seconds notice. By that I mean; around in the chamber and a fully loaded magazine locked into the magazine well. Quit making excuses and be fully prepared or leave the gun in the gun safe at home.
Chamber That Round! Make Ready! Respond!