When do you unload?

This is a discussion on When do you unload? within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Unload as in "remove the magazine and/or ammunition from the weapon" not as in "empty the magazine at a BG" I ask because as I ...

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Thread: When do you unload?

  1. #1
    Member Array antimatter's Avatar
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    When do you unload?

    Unload as in "remove the magazine and/or ammunition from the weapon" not as in "empty the magazine at a BG"

    I ask because as I carry nearly every day, I find myself occasionally in situations where there is an unplanned dinner or someone wants to grab a beer after work, etc. Common sense tells me to be as far as possible from a loaded firearm after consuming alcohol, even though I rarely drink to excess any more, especially if I'm at a restaurant/bar. I will generally lock the weapon (unloaded) in the glove box, and put the magazine in the trunk. (I've also started carrying with one less round in the mag than its capacity, that way I can unload, clear the chamber, and put the round back in the magazine until I load again.)

    I'm wondering if anyone thinks I'm doing something majorly wrong here, or is this common practice, or do you not even worry about it? I know the laws vary state to state, but in general what are your thoughts?

    Thanks,
    Matt

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  3. #2
    VIP Member Array Brad426's Avatar
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    Sounds responsible, but why not just put the loaded weapon in the trunk? Plus you shouldn't load and unload rounds repeatedly, as it can damage the primer.
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    Member Array PoLockNLoad's Avatar
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    I unload it to clean it, dry-fire practice, and swap SD for FMJ at the range. Otherwise its loaded.

    Its on me from the time I put my pants on in the morning, until I take them off. If its not on me (shower, laying in bed, etc) its within 4'. I don't go to bars, nor do I usually go places I'm not allowed to carry.

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    VIP Member Array livewire's Avatar
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    Good thing you clarified, I was wondering if you meant "from the bottom" or "from the front"

    I generally fall into the "lock it up when drinking" crowd, but there are two places I drink. If I go to the bar, I can't take it with me anyway in WA, and I won't be driving after, so it gets locked up at home or stashed in the vehicle someone else will be driving home. No need to clear it, as the holster goes with (IWB holsters feel funny when they're empty). If I drink at home, I stuff it in the safe or the 'temporary hiding spot', and again, no need to clear as it's secured. But drinking is, for me, a very rare occurrence (as in, maybe four times this year so far, and that's more than normal)

    Also, as Brad426 mentioned above, be careful with rechambering the round more than a few times. I've never heard of primer problems, but bullet setback (and therefore overpressure) is a big concern in most handguns. I mark the "top" round and start cycling it from the bottom, but some prefer to just toss that round in the 'range' pile after a coupe chamberings.
    BigJon10125 likes this.
    There are four boxes to be used in the defense of liberty: soap - ballot - jury - ammo

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    Member Array The Dark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PoLockNLoad View Post
    I unload it to clean it, dry-fire practice, and swap SD for FMJ at the range. Otherwise its loaded.

    Its on me from the time I put my pants on in the morning, until I take them off. If its not on me (shower, laying in bed, etc) its within 4'. I don't go to bars, nor do I usually go places I'm not allowed to carry.
    This - except I cannot carry at work - at that point it is in the safe. I carry a G26 and will swap out a 17 rnd magazine for around the house and a 10 rnd for carry (with a 15 as a second). But it is always loaded, always a rnd in the chamber. If no on me, within arm's reach. Florida outlaws bar carry and I am not a bar goer anyway.
    "To predict the behavior of ordinary people in advance, you only have to assume that they will always try to escape a disagreeable situation with the smallest possible expenditure of intelligence." Friedrich Nietzsche

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    VIP Member Array BigJon10125's Avatar
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    Every morning after my coffee! Oh the guns? Well in that case, usually only for cleaning and at the range. Every month or so when I switch out ammo as well. I leave it loaded and in a locked safe in the car, or loaded and in the safe at home.
    BigJon


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    Member Array SFCDan's Avatar
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    I feel you are being responsible. I am not an expert, but from what I have found good rule of thumb is to not consume alcohol or any mind altering substance while carrying. I have posted this question to a LEO friend of mine from MA and was informed in accordance with MA law, legally intoxicated is where the line is drawn. I also have a RI licences and their regs. generally state "no use". Of course all of this would be out the window if you had 1 beer and was involved in an incident where someone was shot.
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    VIP Member Array BigJon10125's Avatar
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    In CA you are not allowed to consume alcohol while ccing. For informational purposes only.
    BigJon


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    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    When do I unload? Whenever I make the weapon safe, ahead of being made inactive as my defensive tool and put away. Otherwise, it's loaded and holstered, ready to go.
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    VIP Member Array livewire's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigJon10125 View Post
    In CA you are not allowed to consume alcohol while ccing. For informational purposes only.
    I think Nevada gets it best. You can carry in any bar, casino, or other establishment, but if you're too drunk to drive*, you're too drunk to carry.

    * well, that was the intent. Instead of referencing the law about DWI, they quoted it in the carry law. So now, instead of .08, it's .10 because when the law for DWI changed, the CCWI didn't.
    There are four boxes to be used in the defense of liberty: soap - ballot - jury - ammo

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    VIP Member Array BigJon10125's Avatar
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    I think its a good rule personally. Car has as much potential to harm as a firearm, why differentiate? Was in Vegas the other day, really wished I was able to be armed...
    BigJon


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    Senior Member Array Beans's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brad426 View Post
    Sounds responsible, but why not just put the loaded weapon in the trunk? Plus you shouldn't load and unload rounds repeatedly, as it can damage the primer.
    I never heard of it damaging the primer but it can and does creat, however small, divits in the case rim which could lead to a failure to extract.

    On my DC I only unload to clean the weapon. If it leaves my control it is placed in an area where it can be locked upped and only I can access it.

    Of course I follow all range rules and unload there if required. If So I will fire the round I ejected from the chamber.
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  14. #13
    Member Array antimatter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigJon10125 View Post
    In CA you are not allowed to consume alcohol while ccing. For informational purposes only.
    And I guess that's kind of my point... I want to be sure (by virtue of clearing the weapon and storing ammo separately) that I cannot be judged to be CCing any longer. Certain ammo considerations, etc as mentioned above are secondary to staying on the right side of the law.

    From some of the responses, some states (or posters) consider a holstered, loaded weapon secured in your vehicle to no longer be concealed? KY does not consider a loaded weapon in a factory installed compartment of your vehicle to be concealed. Does concealed vs open-ish matter if you are in possession of a loaded weapon and have had alcohol recently?

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    VIP Member Array livewire's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by antimatter View Post
    And I guess that's kind of my point... I want to be sure (by virtue of clearing the weapon and storing ammo separately) that I cannot be judged to be CCing any longer. Certain ammo considerations, etc as mentioned above are secondary to staying on the right side of the law.

    From some of the responses, some states (or posters) consider a holstered, loaded weapon secured in your vehicle to no longer be concealed? KY does not consider a loaded weapon in a factory installed compartment of your vehicle to be concealed. Does concealed vs open-ish matter if you are in possession of a loaded weapon and have had alcohol recently?
    Most of the time, if the firearm is not within reach of the occupant (e.g. locked in a box or an inaccessible part of the vehicle) it's no longer considered 'concealed' and becomes 'stored'. Careful though, as a plurality of states and Federal law don't define it as 'stored' unless it's also unloaded.

    In my example, I should have clarified that my normal 'DD' also has her CPL, so it's not important; but in WA the law states that the firearm must be unloaded unless an occupant of the vehicle has a CPL.

    OTOH, I am also not aware of a law in WA that says anything about intoxication and carry... just being in an establishment or part of an establishment restricted to 21 or over by the liquor control board.
    Last edited by livewire; September 19th, 2012 at 07:35 PM. Reason: awkward wording
    There are four boxes to be used in the defense of liberty: soap - ballot - jury - ammo

    “The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie: deliberate, continued, and dishonest; but the myth: persistent, persuasive, and unrealistic.”
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    Member Array Ionracas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by livewire View Post
    Good thing you clarified, I was wondering if you meant "from the bottom" or "from the front"

    I generally fall into the "lock it up when drinking" crowd, but there are two places I drink. If I go to the bar, I can't take it with me anyway in WA, and I won't be driving after, so it gets locked up at home or stashed in the vehicle someone else will be driving home. No need to clear it, as the holster goes with (IWB holsters feel funny when they're empty). If I drink at home, I stuff it in the safe or the 'temporary hiding spot', and again, no need to clear as it's secured. But drinking is, for me, a very rare occurrence (as in, maybe four times this year so far, and that's more than normal)

    Also, as Brad426 mentioned above, be careful with rechambering the round more than a few times. I've never heard of primer problems, but bullet setback (and therefore overpressure) is a big concern in most handguns. I mark the "top" round and start cycling it from the bottom, but some prefer to just toss that round in the 'range' pile after a coupe chamberings.
    Would you mind clarifying this for me please? I am still new to shooting and my EDC and range gun are one in the same. I run seperate magazines so I do not have to constantly exchange carry and range ammo but there still is that chambered round being loaded and unloaded.
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