Do you carry with one round in the chamber? Should you be locked, cocked, and ready to rock?
Short form answer, Yes. Here, I’ll even give you some video evidence.
Still not convinced? Want a little bit more of a breakdown? Don’t worry, there would be no short form without a long form. So: Whenever you have your weapon on you, a round should be chambered and ready to fire at any second, AT ALL TIMES. Full stop. Period. End of discussion.
Or is it?
In reality this is easier said than done. There are a multitude of people who feel incredibly uncomfortable carrying their weapon around, concealed or otherwise, with a round chambered and ready to fire. The reasons for the fear ranges from “I have kids around the house and I would hate for them to get a hold of it!!” to “What if someone takes my weapon and uses it against me?” Lets be honest, both of these fears are legitimate concerns.
That being said, these fears can be put into better perspective if you take those same questions and apply them to a knife. You would take care to not leave a knife lying about the house, do you not trust yourself to do the same with your weapon? What about carrying a knife? Would it not be safe to assume that if someone had the ability to take your gun from you that could also take your knife? Mace? Hammer? Lead pipe? Candle stick in the library?
Maybe not the last one.
All jokes aside there are extremely important reasons that you should carry ready to fire. In the first video, you see a close encounter between an attacker and someone who is armed. In the first scenario the victim has a round in the chamber and is able to engage her attacker. In the second scenario she has to rack the gun before she is able to engage. Spoiler alert, she cant.
Granted, in this video you see a worst case scenario. In reality you should never let someone who is a possible threat come that close to you in the first place. Nor should you allow yourself no avenue of escape when a possible threat is near. (We will cover this in another article.)
Yet there is an even more important reason why you should carry with a round in the chamber that fits in with the video. In a real life situation you must contend with the person who is attacking you, but you also have to contend with yourself.
In violent unexpected encounters, your body undergoes a series of changes and chemical reactions. Mainly your adrenaline SKYROCKETS. Your heart races, you begin to experience tunnel vision and auditory exclusion, your hands shake. Fine motor skills are lost. Operating a safety is not an option. Finding that rubber “alarm” button on your car key fob suddenly becomes impossible. It’s almost as if your body is working against you.
Now, imagine all of that happening to you, and then picture yourself manipulating your weapon attempting to get it battle ready. The likelihood of you being able to load a round into the chamber, get your weapon on target, and place ONE shot, all while having someone attack you, is not just highly unlikely, its just about impossible.
I’m not saying you wont get a shot off. I’m just saying you have a high percentage of being gravely injured in the meantime. Oh, and don’t worry about the bag guy using your gun against you. He will have plenty of time to rack the slide and get a round in while you’re lying unconscious.
This is an incredibly serious matter. Unless you want to handicap yourself, you should always carry with a round in the chamber. Said another way, if you are going to carry, never carry without a round in the chamber. Your life may depend on it.
Be Prepared. Stay Vigilant. Remember that YOU are your first line of defense.