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View Full Version : Chambering and clearing your pistol everytime you carry


WootSauce
05-25-2012, 3:48 PM
Ok, first off, please forgive me. I'm sure there is a thread on this topic on the forum but I've used the hell out of the search button and I can find anything. Maybe my google-jitsu is weak.

Anyway, My question is what are your thoughts on chambering and clearing your defensive/carry/duty gun every time you carry and store it(in regards to the chambered round)? I've seen a lot of different thoughts on this. I've heard chamber a round once, then never use it again. I've heard 3 times, 5 times, I've heard rotate it to the bottom of the mag, I've heard chamber it for defensive/duty use once then only use it as plinking/training ammo after that. I've heard it all.

So im looking for advice from the Calguns population. I tend to have my bed-side gun Condition Three so re-chambering rounds isnt an issue, but when I carry in my house I obviously carry with a round in the chamber. Some have suggested that I just store my guns Condition One, but I don't exactly care for that. I have a safe so I could, but I don't exactly like doing that. I'm hoping someone has some good insight on this, I'm not too crazy and wasting my good, expensive, defensive ammo on just clearing my gun every night.

HighLander51
05-25-2012, 3:55 PM
Why would you unload a carry gun? Re-chambering a round can cause bullet setback, which increases the pressure dramatically. It all depends on the brand and bullet weight. Get a calipers and mark a round, keep removing it and chambering it, measure the over all length each time. You will see when it starts to setback, maybe 3 times, maybe 20 times.

Again, don't unload a carry gun, and you can think about something more important than bullet setback. Or if it bugs you too much, get a revolver.

J.D.Allen
05-25-2012, 3:56 PM
If you are talking about carrying IN YOUR HOUSE, why chamber a round? If you're in your house usually you will have some indication that someone is trying to get in before you are confronted by them, and you would have at least an extra second or two to chamber a round. It's when carrying OUTSIDE your home that you would really need to have a round chambered IMHO of course

Fjold
05-25-2012, 3:59 PM
I carry daily and leave my gun loaded with one in the chamber at all times. The only time I unload it is when I shoot it for practice and then I reload it with fresh ammunition.

Turo
05-25-2012, 4:05 PM
If you are talking about carrying IN YOUR HOUSE, why chamber a round? If you're in your house usually you will have some indication that someone is trying to get in before you are confronted by them, and you would have at least an extra second or two to chamber a round. It's when carrying OUTSIDE your home that you would really need to have a round chambered IMHO of course

Because a gun with an empty chamber is an unloaded gun. And an unloaded gun is about as useful as a brick in a stressful defensive situation. Unless someone trains specifically to rack the slide every single time they draw, they won't do it in a stressful situation. Most people train to draw and fire because most people know that you won't always have the half second it takes to rack a slide to defend your life.

HighLander51
05-25-2012, 4:07 PM
If you are talking about carrying IN YOUR HOUSE, why chamber a round?

Why would anyone carry an unloaded gun??? The closest I would get to that is a single action revolver with the hammer down on an empty chamber, because you have to thumb cock it anyway to make it go bang. But then you are down to 5, instead of 6 rounds.

Never holster an empty gun. Never.

Paperchasin
05-25-2012, 4:08 PM
Because a gun with an empty chamber is an unloaded gun. And an unloaded gun is about as useful as a brick in a stressful defensive situation. Unless someone trains specifically to rack the slide every single time they draw, they won't do it in a stressful situation. Most people train to draw and fire because most people know that you won't always have the half second it takes to rack a slide to defend your life.

Winner. I was wondering the same as the OP as I keep my gun chambered with hollow points but I unload it and shoot re-loads at the range. I haven't paid attention, but I've probably unchambered the same round 5-6 times now? Maybe I should rotate the round to the bottom of the mag?

Tiberius
05-25-2012, 4:08 PM
I saw a similar question a while back and the consensus was keep a round in the chamber; don't habitually load and re-load, chamber and un-chamber. My impression is that's what most folks who carry with a CCW do.

Of course, your circumstances (kids, and no safe) might mandate unloading and unchambering; most folks seem to take the gun from their hip and put it straight into the safe, then reverse that process when its appropriate.

Turo
05-25-2012, 4:09 PM
Ok, first off, please forgive me. I'm sure there is a thread on this topic on the forum but I've used the hell out of the search button and I can find anything. Maybe my google-jitsu is weak.

Anyway, My question is what are your thoughts on chambering and clearing your defensive/carry/duty gun every time you carry and store it(in regards to the chambered round)? I've seen a lot of different thoughts on this. I've heard chamber a round once, then never use it again. I've heard 3 times, 5 times, I've heard rotate it to the bottom of the mag, I've heard chamber it for defensive/duty use once then only use it as plinking/training ammo after that. I've heard it all.

So im looking for advice from the Calguns population. I tend to have my bed-side gun Condition Three so re-chambering rounds isnt an issue, but when I carry in my house I obviously carry with a round in the chamber. Some have suggested that I just store my guns Condition One, but I don't exactly care for that. I have a safe so I could, but I don't exactly like doing that. I'm hoping someone has some good insight on this, I'm not too crazy and wasting my good, expensive, defensive ammo on just clearing my gun every night.

Everybody will do something different, but what I do is to ride the slide when I'm putting the chambered round in. It keeps most of the pressure off of the round and I haven't seen any setback even after loading the same round 40-50 times.

It's easier to do with my Glock than it is with my 1911 (the 1911 nosedives if the slide is ridden into battery) but that's why the Glock is my primary home defense gun.

WootSauce
05-25-2012, 4:10 PM
Because a gun with an empty chamber is an unloaded gun. And an unloaded gun is about as useful as a brick in a stressful defensive situation. Unless someone trains specifically to rack the slide every single time they draw, they won't do it in a stressful situation. Most people train to draw and fire because most people know that you won't always have the half second it takes to rack a slide to defend your life.


Never holster an empty gun. Never.

These +1

WootSauce
05-25-2012, 4:20 PM
Why would you unload a carry gun?...


Some have suggested that I just store my guns Condition One[/Two], but I don't exactly care for that. I have a safe so I could, but I don't exactly like doing that.
Just personal preference, I can learn to live with it if its the best option though.


...Re-chambering a round can cause bullet setback, which increases the pressure dramatically...

I know, which is why I'm asking for your opinions

PS, Thank you for your opinion

InGrAM
05-25-2012, 4:38 PM
My main CC pistol is always loaded unless I am cleaning the dust and lint out of it.

Don't unload and reload the gun. Do you unload and reload your HD gun daily? I hope not.

WootSauce
05-25-2012, 4:44 PM
My main CC pistol is always loaded unless I am cleaning the dust and lint out of it.

Don't unload and reload the gun. Do you unload and reload your HD gun daily? I hope not.

HD=Home Defence?

InGrAM
05-25-2012, 4:49 PM
HD=Home Defence?

Yes sir

WootSauce
05-25-2012, 4:56 PM
Do you unload and reload your HD gun daily?

If it's on my table, it's condition 3. If it's on me, in a holster, then I have been chambering and clearing everytime I carry (which isn't every day) but I've been roatating rounds every 3-4 times.

ILVSMOG
05-25-2012, 4:59 PM
I used to clear my gun every time I came home and put it up for the night. I wasted a ton of good, expensive ammo due to bullet setback. I learned my lesson quickly. Now, my carry gun(s) stay loaded, in the safe, at night. They stay that way for a few weeks to a month, depending on my schedule, between range trips. When I go to the range, I fire the carry gun without making any changes to it, just as it's been for weeks. I have yet to have a failure, which is a nice feeling. :)

blakdawg
05-25-2012, 5:03 PM
I carry daily and leave my gun loaded with one in the chamber at all times. The only time I unload it is when I shoot it for practice and then I reload it with fresh ammunition.

+1. My carry guns are loaded 24/7 unless they're being cleaned or at the range.

It's not going to go off by itself when it's holstered, and it's not going to go off by itself when it's in the safe, either.

If you're concerned that the gun has somehow unloaded itself, do a press check. But, if you can learn to not monkey around with your carry gun(s), you won't worry so much that you forgot to load it this morning, or whatever.

The setback thing is real, but only you can tell how bad it is for you and your equipment - measure with calipers, or visually compare to a fresh round.

lilro
05-25-2012, 5:09 PM
I'll rechamber a round until it starts to show visible set back. Then I sit it to the side until I go to the range. Then I shoot it along with the rest of my HD mag. Even though I don't carry outside my home, I keep it condition 1. No reason not to.

dem0critus
05-25-2012, 5:13 PM
Is it bad to unload ammo from a mag, then reload it without chambering any of the rounds?

Turo
05-25-2012, 5:50 PM
Is it bad to unload ammo from a mag, then reload it without chambering any of the rounds?

You aren't going to hurt anything doing that, unless your feed lips are jagged and sharp or something. Even then, you might cause some cosmetic scratches on the ammo, but nothing that would cause issues.

NewbieDave
05-25-2012, 6:02 PM
Compressing and decompressing spring is bad... once loaded, leave the mags loaded. I unload both my carry mags only once a year and that's because I'm shooting the old rounds to put fresh stuff in the mag.

As for cleaning... unless I'm sweating over it or something, I don't clean my carry. I'll check the barrel ever once in a while to make sure nothing got in the barrel... but that's about it. I use grease and not oil, so I don't even bother checking if it needs lub.

bernieb90
05-25-2012, 6:06 PM
I would say most NDs happen when loading, or unloading a weapon. Coming home late at night when you are tired, and unloading a gun is not the best thing IMHO. The same goes for being in a hurry in the morning and loading the gun.

The bullet setback is a real issue as others have mentioned. Also if you are using an AR for HD multiple chambering of the same round can result tin not only setback, but dead primers that makes the gun go click instead of bang when you need it most.

dem0critus
05-25-2012, 6:31 PM
You aren't going to hurt anything doing that, unless your feed lips are jagged and sharp or something. Even then, you might cause some cosmetic scratches on the ammo, but nothing that would cause issues.

good to know. thanks!

jlbflyboy172
05-25-2012, 7:39 PM
I carry daily and leave my gun loaded with one in the chamber at all times. The only time I unload it is when I shoot it for practice and then I reload it with fresh ammunition.

Ditto!

dobek
05-25-2012, 8:03 PM
I remove gun & holster together from my pants - gun stays Condition 1 - set gun / holster in safe location (my youngest is 24 so a safe location is entryway table) - move it to night stand when I go to bed, where I remove from holster and set on night stand.

I come out of condition 1 for range time - or dry fire practice.

Steve

k1dude
05-25-2012, 8:06 PM
For those of you wondering - why unload, I load an unload the chamber all the time.

If you're out and about and decide you want a glass of wine with dinner, you have to lock up your empty weapon in the car. When you get home, you put the mag back in, rack it, then put the round that you removed in the restaurant parking lot back in the magazine.

When you do that a couple times a week, you're rotating the same 2 rounds repeatedly. That's were you run into problems.

unusedusername
05-25-2012, 8:32 PM
If you're out and about and decide you want a glass of wine with dinner, you have to lock up your empty weapon in the car. When you get home, you put the mag back in, rack it, then put the round that you removed in the restaurant parking lot back in the magazine.


This is why I have 2 guns :D The LUCC gun stays unloaded, but never holstered/carried. The HD gun stays loaded.

adrenaline
05-25-2012, 8:47 PM
Always loaded, always one in the chamber. Like the poster above, the only time I cleared was when I used to LUCC. Now....chambered up every time all the time.

NSR500
05-25-2012, 9:17 PM
Revolver = No Setback

G-forceJunkie
05-25-2012, 9:26 PM
Besides setback, I remember a memo put out by a PD a while ago. Officer had his pistol go "click" instead of bang when he really needed it. Later investigation of the bum round turned out to be a damaged primer. The priming compound had been dislodged in the primer after dozens of "load, unload" cycles as was SOP for his duty gun. I'll see if i can dig up that report.

Grumpyoldretiredcop
05-25-2012, 9:32 PM
I carry daily and leave my gun loaded with one in the chamber at all times. The only time I unload it is when I shoot it for practice and then I reload it with fresh ammunition.

^ This with the addition that I clean my carry weapon once a month whether it's fired or not. Otherwise, it stays loaded as I don't have children or anyone else in the house that I need to worry about.

WootSauce
05-25-2012, 9:51 PM
Ok, I can see the general consensus is leave it loaded.

Another question popped into my head though. What about press checks? will they cause bullet setback too? or is it mostly the force of the bullet hitting the feed ramp that causes it?

k1dude
05-26-2012, 12:23 AM
This is why I have 2 guns :D The LUCC gun stays unloaded, but never holstered/carried. The HD gun stays loaded.

I'm not sure I follow you. The scenario I pointed out assumes you have a carry permit and are carrying a loaded pistol before deciding to have dinner and a glass of wine at a restaurant.

Sam
05-26-2012, 8:49 AM
I carry daily and leave my gun loaded with one in the chamber at all times. The only time I unload it is when I shoot it for practice and then I reload it with fresh ammunition.

Me too. What value is an unloaded gun? When I get home I take the holster off with the gun still in it and keep it near me until I go to bed. Then I put it on the nightstand. The round only comes out at the range when I'm going to shoot ball through it.

kenjimatic
05-26-2012, 11:09 AM
I'm an armed guard and have a LTC. When I go directly to and from work it's in my duty holster. On my days off it's in my IWB holster. When I get home, at night or about time to go to bed, I take my gun and put it in the gun vault in my night stand. I carry 10+1 so if I unload the chambered round I may lose it. My Sig P229 is my duty, my LTC and my night stand gun. I like to keep it simple :D. I also have two other guns on my LTC but I carry it's just easier with the one.

Turo
05-26-2012, 5:12 PM
Ok, I can see the general consensus is leave it loaded.

Another question popped into my head though. What about press checks? will they cause bullet setback too? or is it mostly the force of the bullet hitting the feed ramp that causes it?

Press checks won't cause bullet setback. You are correct that it is caused by the bullet hitting the feed ramp.

adrenaline
05-26-2012, 5:44 PM
Press checks won't cause bullet setback. You are correct that it is caused by the bullet hitting the feed ramp.

Glad to read this. If I clear my gun for any reason, I chamber a round by just placing it in the chamber and then sending the slide forward. I guess you don't worry about setback this way right!?! :)

The Virus
05-26-2012, 6:23 PM
an unloaded gun is silly for self defense......

Turo
05-27-2012, 12:26 AM
Glad to read this. If I clear my gun for any reason, I chamber a round by just placing it in the chamber and then sending the slide forward. I guess you don't worry about setback this way right!?! :)

Well no, but you might worry about premature wear on the extractor. I mean, I've done it once in a while, but making the extractor jump the rim is hard on the extractor and puts a dent in the case.

Sir Stunna Lot
05-27-2012, 4:02 AM
Range guns stay unloaded. Defensive guns are always loaded, once u have made aconscious decision to use a firearm as a self edense tool, you need to trust yourself and your weapon to know howt to use it effectively and safely. Like many said above, a gun without a chambered round is useless and also repetitive chambering and unchambering makes amo go bad.

What i do with my defensive guns, when ever i have to unload a gun and unchamber a round (done rarely), i take that round and use it at the range the next time out and give the gun a fresh cartridge.