After you choose your handgun, you’ll have another decision to make: Should you keep a round in your chamber or not? There’s no single right answer to this question, and it really comes down to how you are using the gun, its purpose and your training. There are pros and cons to carrying your gun without a round in the chamber. The firearms experts from Gun Safety Training Pros, the professionals to turn to if you’re interested in taking an online firearms safety course, offer some things to think about.
Emptying the Chamber Reduces the Risk of Negligent Discharge
The most significant benefit of emptying the chamber is that it makes a negligent discharge less likely. If you’re storing your gun properly and following all gun safety guidelines, there’s little risk of the gun going off without you meaning to shoot it. Unless you’re firing the gun, there usually isn’t a reason to have the safety off or have your hand anywhere near the trigger. However, emptying the chamber helps you get a little extra peace of mind. Many people like to do so just to be on the safe side.
Some Regions May Require Empty Chambers
Another thing to keep in mind is your location. Depending on where you live, there’s a chance you might need to remove the rounds from your chamber. The majority of states let you keep a round chambered as long as you have the right license. However, when you’re carrying certain types of guns or storing them in your vehicle, some regions may have different rules. It’s always a good idea to be up to date on the rules for the area you’ll be in.
A Chambered Round Lets You Be Ready to Shoot when Needed
Though there’s technically nothing wrong with emptying your chamber, in some cases, it’s a bad idea. The main reason you might want to keep a round chambered is for self-defense. In an emergency situation, a gun without a round in the chamber may not be as helpful. Racking the slide to load a round in the chamber may only add a second of time to your draw. However, when you’re in a tense situation, that brief period of time can make a huge difference in the outcome. Furthermore, dangerous situations often make it difficult to perform tasks you’ve done a million times already. Even an expert shooter might fumble with racking the slide when his or her life is on the line, and this could be disastrous.
Knowing You Have a Round in the Chamber Can Make You More Cautious
A surprisingly high number of gun-related accidents happen specifically because the owner usually doesn’t carry with one in the chamber. This can lead to a false sense of confidence, and the individual might do something dangerous like pull the trigger randomly or point the gun at someone else (even though responsible gun owners know this is the number one rule of gun safety). If you usually have a round chambered, it’s easier to get into the habit of following another critical gun safety practice: always treating your gun as if it’s loaded.
Regardless of how you decide to carry, it’s crucial that you train and practice. This is especially true if you decide to carry without a round in the chamber. Racking the slide to load a round needs to become second nature or muscle memory during your draw of the gun. Otherwise, when you’re in a tense situation you won’t remember, and a gun that doesn’t have a round in the chamber isn’t too useful for self-defense.
Whether you already own a firearm or you’re considering purchasing one, it’s essential to know how to use it safely. Gun Safety Training Pros is dedicated to providing the finest firearms training available. If you need to learn how to handle a gun and shoot safely and you want high-quality firearms education, check out our online gun safety course. For more information, contact one of our knowledgeable team members today at [email protected].