Sheriff's Tips: Empty Chambers

by
posted on October 9, 2015
condition1_1.jpg

Lately I have been hearing that a number of people are carrying their defensive semi-automatics without a round in the chamber. I suppose that this is most often done with a thought to increasing the safety of the handgun and avoiding a negligent discharge. However, it considerably defeats the purpose of the defensive handgun.

A criminal attack often comes from very close range and with very little, if any, warning. A person simply may not have time to chamber a round in his or her pistol before the attacker is upon them. In addition, chambering a cartridge requires the use of both hands at a time when the support hand may be busy trying to fend off the attack or pushing a loved one out of the line of fire. From holster to on-target, one should be able to operate a defensive handgun with only one hand, should that become necessary. 

Some folks are concerned about a single-action semi-automatic having the hammer cocked back. I was too, back in the Dark Ages. But I took the time to get some professional training and learn the pistol. I soon found that they don't go off by themselves.

Others are concerned about the fact that striker-fired pistols—like the Glock—have no external safeties. And they have heard stories about people who have accidentally shot themselves. Well, let me let you in on a little secret ... those are not accidents. They are nearly always a case of negligence—that is, someone fooling with the pistol and causing the trigger to be depressed when they didn't intend for it to be.

In the case with any of the autoloading handguns, a good defensive instructor can teach a person to operate it safely and to carry it with a round in the chamber. 

In the case with any of the autoloading handguns, a good defensive instructor can teach a person to operate it safely and to carry it with a round in the chamber. Regardless of those people who think they are a born shooter—Wyatt Earp Jr.—nothing will benefit the defensive shooter like professional training. And proper and safe manipulation of the defensive handgun is an important part of that training.

Regardless, there are those who just don't feel comfortable carrying any sort of semi-auto pistol with a round in the chamber. The solution is a simple one and it has been around for well over 100 years. Of course, I am talking about the double-action revolver. When the DA revolver is fully loaded, no springs are depressed and the hammer is not cocked back, yet it is ready to go at a moment's notice.  A person who carries a pistol with an empty chamber is telling the world that they don't know what they are doing. I hope that those folks will get serious about their personal defense, get some professional training, and carry whatever defensive handgun they have confidence in. Whatever gun they choose, it should be ready to go when the attack comes.

 

 

Latest

right side bolt-action rifle wood stock leather sling black metal
right side bolt-action rifle wood stock leather sling black metal

The Rock Island Arsenal Model of 1903

Although the names “Springfield” and “’03” are virtually synonymous, that gives short shrift to the other
government facility that made the venerable “U.S. Rifle, Caliber .30, Model of 1903”—The Rock Island Arsenal.

NRA Gun of the Week: Hi-Point Firearms C9

On this week’s “Gun of the Week” video preview, American Rifleman staff examines a budget-friendly semi-automatic pistol from Hi-Point Firearms.

The Armed Citizen Sept. 24, 2021

Read today's "The Armed Citizen" entry for real stories of law-abiding citizens, past and present, who used their firearms to save lives.

Building A Takedown Pistol In .308 Win.

With the large amount of components available for the AR-10 platform, along with a new trend of more compact AR pistols, constructing your own foldable, compact, takedown AR-10 pistol is possible.

Kahr Arms To Host Annual Rod of Iron Freedom Fest

Kahr Firearms Group is hosting this year’s “Rod of Iron Freedom Festival” at its Greeley, Penn., Kahr Headquarters facility.

Mossberg Maverick 88: Mossberg's Budget-Priced Pump Shotgun

The Maverick 88 is one of Mossberg's best known shotgun models and is currently available in 14 different versions.

Interests



Get the best of American Rifleman delivered to your inbox.