Empty Chamber Carry

If you’re not ready to carry a gun with a round chambered in a proper holster, you’re simply not ready to carry a gun for personal defense.

Check out this video of a close quarters knife attacker who is able to land repeated strikes on an Armed Professional while several other members of his agency take time to present and load their guns before (finally) shooting and stopping the attacker.

Note that at 55 seconds into the above video the officer closest to the attacker has his weak hand ON the attacker’s shoulder or arm and could possibly have stopped further strikes while drawing and using contact shooting techniques to stop the threat, had a round been chambered in his pistol. Instead, his training and method of carry required that he let go of the attacker and use his weak hand to chamber a round, delaying his response significantly.

Carrying a defensive gun with an empty chamber at the very least will delay your response to violence. In some cases, it may prevent you from being able to respond at all. To learn more about the failures of Empty Chamber Carry, check out this Personal Defense Network Video:


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4 Responses to “Empty Chamber Carry”

  1. Brian

    I'm amazed at how little credit the "Condition 1" types give us. We've thought this through ad nauseum. It's not fear, it's risk mitigation. Allow me to play devil's advocate here. -Statistically, the odds of any non-LEO/security/miltary person needing to use their firearm defensively are very small. Agreed? This is common knowledge.....statistically. Of course it's possible, but pretty small odds. -Next, we must multiply(unrelated factors in probabilities multiply, not add) the odds of you NOT having an extra second to chamber a round. Possible yes, but your probability just went way down. -Finally, multiply these odds with the chance you'll have one hand incapacitated and needing to chamber a round, and now your odds of that scenario unfolding are next to nil. -Now, compare theses odds to a possible accident in your own home or ND, over the life of your firearm ownership (20, 30, 40 years). Do not the numbers bear out that there is a higher risk here? -My firearm will never accidentally discharge, whether its dropped, if my shirt, pants or holster gets stuck in the trigger guard, or during breakdown for cleaning. It will never shoot me in the leg if I brain-fart and put my finger in the trigger before it clears the holster. -Even if my little ones could somehow get their mitts on my gun, they simply cannot physically chamber a round. They will be able to someday, but they'll be trained by then. -Kids can and DO get into stuff, in the blink of an eye. They also like shooting stuff, maybe more than we do. They can be very mischievous. If you don't know that, you're probably not a parent. I've seen my 7 year old watching me open the safe, to see what numbers I push. -Its unreasonable to think over the course of 20 to 30, or even 40 years carrying, you're going to be perfectly safe and mentally alert, every moment. -Since chambering a round on the draw can be programmed into muscle memory, the "disadvantage" in time is milliseconds. Again...probabilities matter. -Many crimes are prevented simply with the presence of a weapon, chambered or not. -We condition 3 types acknowledge a risk in needing to chambering a round, but that risk is far outweighed by the near certitude that an accident wont happen to me, my wife, or my kids. A defensive scenario likely will never play out. As with most truths, it lies somewhere between the extremes. For me, since I live and work in a decent area of DFW, I typically feel safe to carry cond 3. If I'm downtown or in Oak Cliff, Cond 1 is more appropriate. If I'm an LEO, Cond 1 of course. We have the freedom to carry cond 3 when the risk is low, and chamber one when appropriate. If I'm meeting you somewhere for a Craigslist sale, I'll be chambered. I can appreciate the "Condition 1 or you ain't ready for a gun" philosophy, but since the worst that can happen is I need an extra 1/2 second to 1 second to chamber a round, I'll accept those odds. Again, if you're at the gas pump in an unfamiliar territory, chamber one. Then relieve that round when you're comfy again. Easy.

  2. Mr. Fittswell

    Excellent video R.P.! I'm amazed at the number of people I encounter that tell me "Your Crazy!" for carrying loaded. Even more bewildering is the number that own and carry a glock conditon3. Hopefully whatever diety they have chosen has mercy on them in the tragic event of a gunfight.

  3. Venci

    Hi there. It is very nice tip , but what about in countries like Bulgaria where we are oblige by the law to carry pistols empty chamber.We simply don't have choice .This is why all private e gun owners practice drills without round in the chamber.

  4. Dr. Art Joslin

    Absolutely sage advice. I answer this question in my defensive pistol classes regularly. It amazes me the number of people who still insist on carrying a firearm without a round chambered.