Jan 14, 2020 8:30:00 AM
Should you concealed carry with a round in the chamber? Chances are, if you’re asking this question, you’re not entirely comfortable with your firearm.
First Time Owners: Should You Keep a Round in the Chamber?
Owning a firearm for the first time is a big deal. If you didn’t grow up around guns, you might feel nervous just holding a gun, let alone carrying one around with you all day in a holster.
When it comes to gun safety, there’s a lot to learn. If you don’t know how your gun works, how to shoot it, how to properly handle it, or how to properly store it, you need more training.
Here’s the problem: if you’re concerned about carrying your firearm with a round in the chamber, it means you don’t trust yourself to properly handle and store a gun, OR, you don’t trust your holster to properly cover your trigger guard.
If you’re doubting yourself, dedicate yourself to learning the ins and outs of your firearm, until you know it like the back of your hand. Until you feel confident enough to conceal your firearm with a round in the chamber.
If you’re doubting your holster (perhaps you’ve had a bad experience with a holster in the past, or you’ve known someone who’s had a bad experience with a holster), do some research to ensure the holster design you choose will properly protect your trigger guard.
The Point of Concealed Carry: Self Defense
Many people argue this: the time you save by carrying a round in the chamber isn’t significant enough to make a real difference in a self-defense situation, therefore, if you don’t want to risk an accidental discharge (again, this can be avoided with proper training and a well-designed holster) then you should carry with an empty chamber.
Sadly, this isn’t true.
It boils down to pure logic: you can’t do two things as fast as you can do one thing. If you’re faced with an immediate threat, you can’t rack the slide and shoot your firearm as fast as you can simply shoot your firearm.
The reality is, you don’t know how much time you’re going to have. Because of this, carrying a firearm will never guarantee your safety, however, you want to do everything you can to increase your odds.
If you take the training and acquire your concealed carry permit, you’re being ineffective by carrying your firearm without a round in the chamber.
Also, if you’ve ever encountered a surprise attack, you know that your fine motor control flies out the window the second you’re hit with a threat. Therefore, you’ll be even slower to rack the slide and shoot your firearm than you would be in practice, so carrying your firearm without a round in the chamber will severely handicap you.
Negligent Discharge: What Causes It?
Most of the time, a negligent discharge is caused by either of these two things:
● Inadvertent actuation of the trigger
● A drop fire
How do these things happen and how can you avoid them?
The trigger can be inadvertently pulled if something gets between the trigger and the holster. This could be a piece of clothing, or, in the case of carrying off-body, anything else that might be in the same compartment as your gun (which is why your gun should always be kept in an entirely separate compartment).
Additionally, if you drop your firearm, the impact can cause the hammer to strike the firing pin, and thus fire the gun. If your holster properly retains your firearm, and your belt (if you’re carrying OWB or IWB) provides enough support, your gun won’t fall out.
Holsters & Trigger Safety
Many accidents occur because not only do people use poorly designed holsters, but they choose to carry their firearm without wearing a holster at all.
It’s surprising how many people believe their firearm will be safe simply tucked into their pocket. This is not the case. A loaded firearm should always be carried in a holster. The holster should be made from a material that will protect the trigger guard, and securely retain your firearm.
A cloth holster won’t provide the best protection. Your firearm should be covered with either some sort of plastic, or leather.
Tactica holsters either feature a strong layer of TPE polymer for trigger guard protection, or a custom-molded shell that provides perfect retention and proper trigger guard protection. Many plastic holsters, while they provide enough protection, are uncomfortable against your skin.
Tactica’s hybrid holster design allows for safety and comfort by featuring a soft, neoprene backing.
Also, never underestimate the importance of a strong and sturdy gun belt. Your gun belt shouldn’t sag under the weight of your holster; that’s why Tactica gun belts are reinforced with a spring steel core.
Holstering: Make Sure Nothing’s in There!
When you go to re-holster, it’s important to confirm that no piece of stray clothing, or any object in general has made its way into your holster. If nothing is between a trigger guard and a well-designed holster, the firearm is not just going to fire at random.
If you’re carrying off-body, make sure that your firearm is holstered in a separate compartment by itself. Placing a firearm in a separate compartment isn’t enough on its own; it needs to be inside a holster. That’s why you need a bag or purse that’s designed specifically for concealed carry.
So, are you confident in handling your firearm? Are you confident in your holster? If not, take the time to become more familiar with your weapon, and invest in the best holster design. The whole point is for you to be properly prepared, and to feel confident in your ability to protect yourself.
About The Author
Born in Arizona, Paisley Saris graduated in 2019 from North Idaho College, and will continue her education at Gonzaga University in the fall. She lives in North Idaho with her Husband and two step kids. She’s a passionate advocate for the 2nd amendment, and on her off days she enjoys the outdoors and spending time at the range.