Should You Carry With a Loaded Chamber?


Should You Carry With a Loaded Chamber?

So if the question is whether or not to chamber a round when you carry a semi-automatic pistol, my answer is, “Of course.” And in a post from last year, we saw that sometimes, not having your gun ready to run can even get you killed. But who wants to read my opinion when they can watch and listen to Paul Harrell opining on the gun range?

Paul’s top three reasons for carrying with a round chambered:

  • Speed — Chambering a round will slow you down, even if you are as skilled as he. And sometimes, a fraction of a second can make all the difference.
  • Reliability — It’s pretty easy, especially in a high-stress situation, to make mistakes when you try to chamber a round… and you cannot afford a mistake when lives are on the line.
  • Ease of Use — A pistol with a chambered round can be brought to bear with only one hand. If one hand is injured or busily fending off a threat, the other one remains free to deploy your sidearm.

But when would you not want to have a round chambered? Well, if you’re allowed to carry a gun, but it may not be loaded. (A stupid sort of law to be sure, but they apparently exist.) Or if the pistol you’re toting doesn’t lend itself to easy use with a round in the chamber, such as a single action with an awkward safety.

Naturally, it’s presented and well-summarized in Paul’s inimitable way. Enjoy!

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Editor & Contributing Writer Russ Chastain is a lifelong hunter and shooter who has spent his life learning about hunting, shooting, guns, ammunition, gunsmithing, reloading, and bullet casting. He started toting his own gun in the woods at age nine and he's pursued deer with rifles since 1982, so his hunting knowledge has been growing for more than three and a half decades. His desire and ability to share this knowledge with others has also grown, and Russ has been professionally writing and editing original hunting & shooting content since 1998. Russ Chastain has a passion for sharing accurate, honest, interesting hunting & shooting knowledge and stories with people of all skill levels.

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