Loaded vs. Unloaded Chamber

“Well, a gun that’s unloaded… ain’t good for nothin”.

– Rooster Cogburn –

Why You Should Carry With A Round In The Chamber:

As long as I have carried a handgun I’ve run across people with different opinions regarding carrying their firearm with a round in the chamber. Most want to carry with a round chamber in order to facilitate a quick draw and shoot, but some want to carry with the chamber empty to ensure against an accidental discharge.

In my humble opinion, planning to draw and chamber a round after the SHTF is like planning to fasten your seatbelt after you see the other guy run a stop sign.

Below are some blogs and videos that discuss whether or not you should carry your semi-automatic pistol with a round in the chamber. It is recommended that you carry your firearm chambered so that you can quickly engage a threat. You may find that you can’t draw and chamber a round with one hand if you are having to fight or hold back an attacker with the other. One arm may be injured making it more problematic to chamber a round. Law enforcement always carries with a round in the chamber for this very reason, and you should too.


Won’t I Accidentally Shoot Myself?:

If you are carrying with a round in the chamber of a modern, well maintained, quality pistol in a rigid Kydex or quality leather holster that covers the trigger and trigger guard, then there isn’t a way for your pistol to accidentally discharge. The linked blogs and attached videos will discuss safety issues and procedures related to carrying a chambered firearm, but some quick pointers include:

Follow the four golden rules of firearms safety:

  1. Treat all guns as though they are always loaded and always perform a clearance check every time you pick one up.
  2. Never point a gun at anything that you are not willing to destroy.
  3. Keep your finger off the trigger and out of the trigger guard until you are on target and have made the decision to shoot.
  4. Always be sure of your target and beyond.


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