December 17, 2017

One In The Chamber

If you have your CCW permit, do you carry with one in the chamber?  When I first got mine I didn’t.  I told myself that, if needed, I would be able to get one in the chamber fast enough to be effective.  Thank you Lord that I never had to find out, but I feel pretty confident that I was wrong.

I had a few reasons but they boiled down to a lack of confidence.  I had been to the range a few times and was proficient in putting holes in cardboard, but the idea of carrying with a round loaded made me uneasy.  It’s not that I thought it might just go off.  I knew better than that.  If the gun is only going to fire when I pull the trigger, then the problem is me.  Once I understood that, I examined why I wasn’t confident and rethought my opinion that I would be able to get a round in the chamber fast enough.


Anatomy of a Gun Fight

I don’t know if this is true or not but it sounds accurate to me. I have heard this figure a few times in the self-defense circles; “in the average gun fight there are three shots fired in three second in the space of three yards.”  I have heard both yards and feet, but nine feet seems like a more believable distance to me than three feet.

I wish I could say I was a very quick draw.  In truth, I haven’t spent a lot of time practicing drawing to make it sink into muscle memory.  I also carry concealed, so I always have a jacket or shirt over my firearm.  Add these two things to the mix and a good bit of that three seconds has been chewed up just getting the weapon out of the holster.

It is possible to fire a shot immediately after you draw the gun and before you are in a typical stance.  This could only be done if there is one in the chamber.  If you have to chamber a round, you’re now under immense stress, bringing your weak hand over to chamber a round.  Do you think you can do that fast?  Get some dummy rounds and try it out.


Situational Awareness is a Must But it’s Not Enough

While it might be true that the average gun fight last three seconds, my guess is that the clock starts once the first shot is fired.  There is almost always a sign before violence erupts.  If you are using Cooper Color Code, you are actively scanning everyone to determine if they are a threat.  You can then either escalate the code or deescalate, based on your judgment.  While this may be true, that only means you are aware of the danger before it erupts into violence.  Situational awareness is a must, but it is not enough.  It will let you know there is going to be a fight, but won’t put rounds in play faster once you’ve drawn.


Good Habits

I have always practiced good habits with any firearm; finger never on the trigger until I am ready to fire, never pointing the gun at something I am not willing to destroy, etc.  I have carried with one in the chamber for some time now and it hasn’t just gone off on its own.  I haven’t shot myself in the leg when I unholster the gun at home.  I do, however, remove the magazine and take the round out of the chamber once at home.

Do any of you who are more experienced with firearms have anything to add?


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