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Condition Five

Condition Five

Despite 50 years of experience in carrying the single action auto in Condition One (loaded chamber, cocked and locked), there are still folks who are antsy about a cocked hammer/loaded chamber and can't bring themselves to do it. There is also Condition Two for DA/SA pistols and even Condition Three (empty chamber, hammer down, safety off) for 1911 shooters who are willing to risk the time it takes to rack one into the chamber before they can shoot. I once heard an instructor teach an alternate to this method that he whimsically called Condition Five.

Actually, Condition Five makes better sense to me than Condition Three. Condition Five is empty chamber, hammer cocked, safety off. Essentially, this is the same carry mode as Condition Three, with the exception of cocking the pistol's hammer. The advantage of Condition Five is that while you must rack a round into the chamber, you do not have to compress the hammer spring when you do. It simply makes chambering that first round a little quicker and easier.

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