Should You Carry with a Round in the Chamber? Part 2

August 25, 2016

If you’ve ever wondered whether you should carry your weapon with a round in the chamber, you’re going to want to read this carefully.

A while back we posted an article about carrying a round in the chamber. Many people who have just begun using their firearms might not understand a few things in regards to carrying a concealed weapon, so we’ve decided to go into a bit more detail.

Is carrying one in the chamber safe?

With modern firearms, it is very safe to carry your weapon with a round in the chamber. Manual safeties, internal safeties, and, of course, trigger discipline will prevent your weapon from discharging accidentally. A 1911 that is cocked and locked is no more dangerous with one in the chamber than a revolver. A modern firearm will not discharge unless the trigger is pulled. But…

The type of holster you use, if you use one, can also have an effect. If the holster is flimsy and not molded to your weapon, and part of it is folded over and gets into the trigger guard when you re-holster, it is very possible for it to depress the trigger and cause the weapon to discharge. Although this sort of negligent discharge is a rare occurrence, it is essential that you use a holster designed for your particular firearm. We believe in using a molded holster, like the Crossbreed holster in the picture below. Making certain that you have a holster that fits your particular firearm can help to prevent such mishaps.

If you’re using a Glock pistol, it has an internal safety called the Safe Action System. This safety does not allow the firing pin to move forward unless you have pulled the trigger. This keeps the Glock from discharging without the trigger being depressed.

If every cylinder is loaded in a revolver, then there is a round ‘in the chamber.’ Yet people somehow tend to believe that a revolver is safer than a semi-automatic because the weapon will not fire unless the hammer is cocked. A semi-automatic works the same way, however. Although a Glock is in a ‘half-cocked’ state while the trigger is forward, it still will not fire because of the reasons already discussed.

Test it yourself

If you still hold a level of uncertainty about carrying with a round in the chamber, pay attention to the following information. Has the trigger of your firearm ever been depressed when removed from its holster? It’s likely that the answer to this question is ‘no.’ If that’s true, then your weapon likely would not have discharged were you carrying with one in the chamber. If you’ve carried your firearm every day for a year with an empty chamber and the trigger was never depressed, then carrying one in the chamber is likely safe.

If you’re still not convinced, then it might be wise to practice handling your firearm a little bit more. That doesn’t mean that you should stop carrying in the meantime, but it should be understood what the consequences of racking the slide are, should you ever need your firearm in an emergency. The following are likely to come into play:

  • Precious moments will be lost (in an emergency with an adrenaline rush, it might take longer than usual)
  • The firearm could malfunction (most malfunctions occur while the slide is moving)
  • You might not have time to rack at all because you’ve already been killed
  • You might not rack at all for a plethora of other reasons

Interested in reading part 1 of this blog? Read more:

Post any questions you may have in the comments.