Carrying Firearms: The Myth of Empty Chamber Carry

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One significant myth of defensive shooting is the idea that, when carrying firearms, you are equally as well prepared to defend yourself if you carry a firearm with an empty chamber as when you carry with a round in the chamber.

Some people advocate carrying firearms essentially unloaded — with no round in the chamber and the gun needing to be loaded upon presentation at the moment you need the firearm to defend yourself. Just because some people have done it does not mean it is a good idea. In fact it is very inefficient and not a viable option for personal defense. This way of thinking is not what we consider being well trained and responsibly armed in a public environment.

What Are They Thinking?

One line of thinking is that, the chances of ever needing to draw a gun in self-defense are so small, and the possibility of having an accident so high when carrying with a round in the chamber, that it’s preferable to carry with an empty chamber. Needless to say, we do not agree with this reasoning.

Some other fans of empty chamber carry reason that, throughout firearms history, and especially with conscription armies, which have lowest common denominator training because everyone in their population needs to be brought into the fight and armed, have required empty chamber carry. They do this because they don’t have the resources to properly train everyone, and it is true that people without proper training are prone to accidents while carrying with a round in the chamber. That is why these armies practice empty chamber carry.

What We’re Thinking

Our point of view is that you should not be carrying firearms unless you are properly trained and able to carry with a round in the chamber without being at risk of a negligent discharge.