To chamber or not to chamber? The +1 Question: MERGED

To chamber or not to chamber? The +1 Question: MERGED

This is a discussion on To chamber or not to chamber? The +1 Question: MERGED within the General Firearm Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; First off I's like to say that I've been around guns at least 25 of the 31 years I've been around, I understand and respect ...

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Thread: To chamber or not to chamber? The +1 Question: MERGED

  1. #1
    V8 [OP]
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    To chamber or not to chamber? The +1 Question: MERGED

    First off I's like to say that I've been around guns at least 25 of the 31 years I've been around, I understand and respect them to the point of caution. I am having this debate with myself as to if my CCW gun (S&W M&Pc) should be carried with a chambered round or not. I have a 3 year old that has no clue the her daddy carries a gun and I'd like to keep it that way. My CCW has been active less than 2 months so maybe I just need more time getting use to the idea. I understand that a empty chamber requires more time and thought to use defensively and that time is something you will not have in a life or death situation. However I cannot seem to get over the fear of my kid finding my gun or my gun discharging accidentally. Of course I'll do everything to prevent that from happening. I was wondering do you carry a hot chamber or not?

  2. #2
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    Array buckeye .45's Avatar
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    Yup, always hot, both while carrying as a civilian, and whenever possible during the job (during training it's kinda restricted). Chambering a round in a fight means you have to control your muscles through an adrenaline dump to do the motion right, making sure you pull the slide all the way back, in less than ideal conditions. Also, your off hand may very well not be free to perform the action.

    Keep the weapon loaded while it is on your person, and when it is not under your direct control, or say in a bedside safe, unload it.

    Also consider a weapon with an external safety if that would help ease your mind.
    Fortes Fortuna Juvat

    Former, USMC 0311, OIF/OEF vet
    NRA Pistol/Rifle/Shotgun/Reloading Instructor, RSO, Ohio CHL Instructor

  3. #3
    Distinguished Member Array morintp's Avatar
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    I do, but my kids are 9 and 13 and both understand what a gun is. You might want to keep it chambered when you're carrying it, and unload it if you're not. You also might want to think about where you leave it, if you're worried about your daughter getting her hands on it.

  4. #4
    Member Array Rbrown777's Avatar
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    May 2007
    Washington State
    I completely understand, as I have a 7 & 8 year old grandchildren around 24/7 (okay, they do go to school), that said consider two things.

    1. The safest place (where no kids can access it) is on your belt, all day, every day, and perhaps a handgun safe at night. Kids can't mess with what is 100% inaccessable.

    2. Adding that chambering time very well make your little kiddo fatherless, or worse yet accessed by the BG cause you weren't "prepared".
    "If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men." Romans 12:18
    ...if prepared to meet Mr.10mm, .45, .40 or any one of their little brothers.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Array Roadrunner's Avatar
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    NW PA
    I carry chambered. When it's in your holster nothing short of and act of God will make it go off. If you need it, you need it right the hell now. Racking the slide is just one more thing to remember and potentially go wrong. I think you're right to be worried about your daughter, but just make absolutely sure it's always on your hip or locked up and you'll both be fine. The wholly preventable danger of her finding your weapon and getting hurt pales in comparison to the danger that same weapon can protect you both from.
    - Kurt
    “Freedom is the sure possession of those alone who have the courage to defend it.” ~Pericles of Athens
    Primary Carry - Colt Commander .45 in a Brommeland Max-Con V

  6. #6
    Distinguished Member Array SonofASniper's Avatar
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    I have a 2 1/2 year old and a 5 month old. I always carry with one in the chamber. My gun is secure when it is on me, and I secure it in a safe/lockbox when it is not. My wife and I each have a pistol in our nightstands, secured in a lockbox. They are loaded with one in the chamber. In the event that either one of us needed one, we want to be able to pull it out, pull the trigger, and have it go BOOM!

    I hope that helps you find some level of comfort in your decision.
    I will support gun control when you can guarantee all guns are removed from this planet. That includes military and law enforcement. When you can accomplish that, then I will be the last person to lay down my gun. Then I will carry the weapon that replaces the gun.

  7. #7
    Array atctimmy's Avatar
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    I carry a revolver, and I let the hammer "rest" on an empty chamber so there is no possibility of a discharge if dropped or bumped. That said, when I pull the trigger it will still go bang. Maybe you should change your weapon type.
    I American and I Ameriwill!

  8. #8
    Senior Member Array MR D's Avatar
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    I currently carry a Sig P226 chambered and decocked, used to carry 1911 cocked and locked (condition 1) I have also carried a revolver fully loaded... none of these should go bang unless someone pulls the trigger...

    the gun is safer on you than not IMHO

  9. #9
    Member Array packin45's Avatar
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    I went through the same thing when I first started carrying, especially since neither of my pistols have external safeties. After I read the stories of people trying to chamber a round in an emergency situation and jamming their weapon, I made up my mind to always keep a round chambered. You'll get used to the idea of carrying that way pretty fast; before long, you'll start double checking your weapon to ensure that it is indeed hot chambered before you holster it each morning.
    G17, G26

    Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil...

  10. #10
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    Array rocky's Avatar
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    If you are wearing it , it is secure. lock it in a lock box or safe when not worn. I have carried my pistol since my kids were 6-7 yrs old (they are now 12-13) with zero problems.
    I worried more about having them headbutt themselves into my pistol while running around than a AD. Perhaps try house carry cond. 3 to get used to carrying around your child. As long as you use a good holster and follow proper gun handling rules , I feel you have nothing to worry about.
    "In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock." Thomas Jefferson

    Nemo Me Impune Lacesset

  11. #11
    Array ArmedAviator's Avatar
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    Ditto. 1911 cocked and locked. On my person all day, if in restricted area, locked in car. Once home, either on me in holster or locked in safe. Kids, 10, 8 and 3 know I have weapons and where they are but DO NOT have access to safe. Kids WILL find the guns in your house even if you don't tell them where they are.

    My concern is your worry that your daughter might get ahold of your weapon and if its not chambered would be safer. I think not chambering for that reason gives one a false sense of security. Bad habit to start now even if she is currently too young to chamber a round.

    Since we all know the first rule, "treat it like it's always loaded", why not just keep it that way?
    The old sheriff was attending an awards dinner when a lady commented on his wearing his sidearm. 'Sheriff, I see you have your pistol. Are you expecting trouble?' 'No Ma'am. If I were expecting trouble, I would have brought my rifle.'

  12. #12
    Distinguished Member Array BIG E's Avatar
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    I carry a M&P9 and it is always chambered and ready to fire.

    I also have 3 kids. Two teenagers and a 3yo.

    The real issue here is that you are uncomfortable having a loaded firearm around your children. I would say that if you are practicing proper firearm safety then this is a non issue.

    Personally, I get up in the morning and my sidearm goes on with my pants. It lives in a proper holster and there it stays until the end of the day when I take my pants off. It then goes into the safe. At the same time I remove my 38 from the safe and it goes on the night stand. Reverse the process in the AM.

    If you follow the rules and routine that you make for yourself you will not have to worry about carrying chambered.

    I would also suggest that you practice drawing while chambered. Not a live round to start. Get a snap cap. Carrying chambered and drawing chambered are two different things. Watch those fingers. Especially with the M&P.

    On another note, I personally don't hide the fact that I carry from my kids. I play in the floor with my boy with my gun on my side. He knows it is there and that it is not for him. I made him a promise to show him when he gets older. This is just my personal preference. Everyone has their own.


    BIG E
    Don't hit at all if it is honorably possible to avoid hitting; but never hit soft!

    -- Theodore Roosevelt --

  13. #13
    V8 [OP]
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    I'm starting to think carrying a hot chambered gun would actually make me more cautious and aware. Not that I think I'm lacking in that area now.
    I think more than anything the CCW instructor I have scared the crap out of me with the stories of his experiences as a cop and assistant medical examiner. He stressed the point that an auto gun should never be hot.
    I think it'll just take more time to build confidence that the gun won't discharge accidentally unless I do something really stupid and that the weapon won't fall out very easily if at all.
    Up to this point I have carried with an empty chamber. The thing that made me start to question my self is this... Tactical Videos

    Be sure to scroll down also, there are 4 videos in all. I'm sure they have been posted here before.

  14. #14
    Distinguished Member Array sniper58's Avatar
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    1911 and chambered (her .357 mag in same condition)! In a restricted area, it's in the vehicle (still hot). My boys are in different states in school and both are shooters. When grandchildren enter the picture, other firearms are (still) secured as is the ammo for those firearms. Our pistols, however, will remain loaded and on our persons during the day, high and accessible during playtime and visits.

    Aviator is correct - kids will find your firearm, no matter how well you think you hide it. Just make it a point to wear it more than you don't.
    BE PREPARED - Noah didn't build the Ark when it was raining!
    Si vis pacem, para bellum
    NRA Life Member

  15. #15
    VIP Member Array cvhoss's Avatar
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    Hot -- Always. Speed involved in bringing your weapon to bear is one consideration but another is that some situations may arise where you would want to prepare your weapon covertly for pending use such as witnessing a crime taking place and not wishing to immediately cause an escalation but still wanting to be ready to act in an instant. It would be impossible to covertly prepare to use your weapon if you need to rack the slide (not exactly a silent operation). If I still had children at home, I would definitely look at one of the biometric safes.

    Sig 239 SAS 40 S&W / Sig 239 9mm / Kahr PM-9 / Walther PPS .40 / Sig P-245 / Ruger LCP
    Beretta Tomcat / Walther PPK / BDA 380 / Taurus 85 / Kel-Tec PF-9 / Am. Derringer 357

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