How many of you conceal carry a semi-automatic handgun, or have friends or family members that do? After knowing this, have you ever wondered their stand point of why they carry, or the amount of training they had with the firearm? Now a question with a twist; how many of you keep a round in the chamber or prefer to charge your firearm when the time is needed? This was a conversation a fellow soldier and I had a few weeks ago; it was interesting but I was in total awe.

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 A few weeks ago I was honored to be a participant in the Marksmanship Master Training Course held at Ft. Benning, Georgia. This is a course put together by the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit to get everyone in the military who has anything to do with marksmanship instruction to be on one accord instead of putting out bad info, and also to debunk some myths all relating to shooting. One day while on break a question was asked to me from SFC Scarborough of Ft. Hood. He asked “When you conceal carry,do you keep one in the chamber or not?

Automatically, I knew this would be a good conversation (or a debate with others listening in on our words). My response was, “Always carry one in the chamber, not having one in does not compute with me.” My reason for saying this is easy, that is how I train. SFC Scarborough responded by stating that he does not feel safe with a round in the chamber, but that is how he trains. Now my thoughts are really trying to make sense of this, but then again, training prepares you for a serious encounter… right? Again my thoughts lead me to multiple past experiences in relation to a firearm as well as mentally putting myself in a position where manually I have to put a round in the chamber under a situation of stress and a deadly threat. Even walking the streets of Baghdad, Iraq we kept one in the chamber. There were a number of people who joined in the conversation and the mix of what they do or what is “correct” was evenly divided. The one point being made when was when the firearm is pulled out is that enough time to charge the handgun putting a round in the chamber in which I did not agree with. My response was more scientific than reason, but stating something I have seen and experienced firsthand.

Adrenaline and stress cause people to react in different ways, but now add in a complex real world situation where you have to pull out your firearm and pull the trigger. This same conversation started by me with a select number of buddies with whom I normally hang with. Their conversation took a different spin. The mindset was more aggressive and in aggreance with my initial response. In the event there is a reason where the firearm has to be engaged for your safety, I would prefer to be in a situation where my firearm is ready to fire, and my focus is more on the situation of changing the behavior of the threat versus having to get my firearm in a state of readiness. Time and space are your friend when a threat presents itself, so isn’t performing fewer steps with a concealed firearm better under a stressful situation? In my opinion the safe factor is to train with your firearm more than twice a year, but carry as you train. My tip is to keep one in the chamber.

This was a friendly conversation between two Soldiers sharing a common interest. From past training events that I was a part of, it was proven that a person can run at you from twenty-one feet and grab you or the firearm before you pull the trigger. A thought might sound good until you put it through a test and see if it works. If not it is time to go back to the drawing board.

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5 thoughts on “Round in the Chamber?”

  1. One in the chamber. If one feels “unsafe” with a round in the chamber, I would certainly feel unsafe with them covering my six.

  2. If one in the chamber scares you, get a pistol with a decocker. Hammer is down, trigger in rest position blocks the firing pin from forward motion. Very safe way to carry, first shot is long double action pull (just like a revolver). Sig, FN, S&W, Ruger and others offer SA/DA with decocker.

  3. COCKED LOCKED AND READY TO ROCK! only way to carry for the SURPRISE when it happens. You barley have time to flip the safety much less rack one in. IMO

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