Chamber a round or not

Question for the group:
I carry 1 of 2 pistols. Winter when i can shoulder holster it’s my 9mm, summer, it’s my S&W sigma .380
I didn’t chamber a round in either. After talking to a veteran friend of mine, he questioned, almost chastised me for not having one in the chamber.
I found his argument to be note worthy, so now i have one chambered for my 9mm, which has a safety, but the sigma is hammerless and has no safety so i don’t have one in it. I don’t want to shoot myself accidentally and pull a Plexico Burress.
Seeking points for and against one in the chamber while carrying. And do you remove it once at home?


This topic already has an open thread here.


Most people here will do the same, and it’s verboten to debate it on this forum.
At the risk of getting in trouble again, though, I would still say that it’s better to have a pistol on you than to have it at home because you’re uncomfortable carrying it. If you’re not comfortable having one in the chamber, then carry it without until you find a way to get more comfortable. Folks here have some good advice to help you out, but don’t let anyone badger you because you carry differently than they do.


If you can come up with a reason for or against that is not listed, go for it!


I’m not going to chastise you for making a decision about how to carry a firearm. I carry all of my firearms with a round chambered.

Instead, I would ask you to learn and understand just how your firearms work. If they are striker fired, do some research and see for yourself the various safety mechanisms that are in place to prevent a firearm from “going off on its own”.

Plaxico Burress is an idiot and a very poor example of a gun owner. It’s very simple, if you don’t press the trigger, the firearm will not ever fire a round.

Most if not all ND’s are born of concealed carriers shifting, touching or manipulating their firearms while they are concealed. As we used to say when I was working full time. “Stop Touching It.”


When the bad guys agree to carry un-chambered, I will, too.


Anything holstered is chambered, on or off body. That’s my s.o.p., and I’m sticking to it. No manual safety on my carry guns. Trigger finger always straight unless I’m shooting.


My $0.04

  1. My 9mm semiautos have safeties. Starting this year after lots of practice and reading on the subject, I now carry with the safety off.
  2. One in the chamber - always.

In both cases, I go back to basics:
trigger finger is the key.


It’s always about how we mentally understand our safety.
Handgun was designed to do nothing without pressing the trigger so it’s on us, how safe it is.
Proper gear, proper handling and habits make each firearm safe even with chambered round.

Now you have to decide what’s more important - having a firearm ready when needed or feel safe and learn the procedures of fast chambering after or during draw stroke.

For me to there’s no pros or cons.
My self preservation dictates what’s best for me.


As for me I carry 2 weapons with me,in the morning when i wake up O put my 45 in my shoulder and my 9mm in a ankle holster is is part of getting dressed,and also all my weapons has a round in the chamber and have the safty on and all my pistols have thumb softies on them,am just used to thumb softies


As I’ve stated previously, one in the chamber or two feet in the grave! Unless you’ve been trained by Mossad, you’re not going to have time to chamber a round from retention!
I think of it like this, it’s better to have it and not need it, you know the thing…

To answer some points in your question. One in the chamber is “condition 1”, there are no bullet fairies.
If you were chambered the day before you’re chambered or in condition 1 in the morning.
Chambering and un-chambering will do damage to the round.

There are two internationally known safeties!

Times have changed, we live in Brandon’s world, crime is literally legal!
A lot of things change if there are children or irresponsible people in your life!


But back to the OP, if he’s currently uncomfortable with one in the chamber, then isn’t it better to carry with an empty chamber (i.e. have it on his body) rather than to not carry at all (need it and not have it)?

To put it another way: if I’m uncomfortable with my setup, can I still draw and chamber a round faster than I can go back to my car and retrieve my firearm?

I understand 1 second is better than 2 seconds, but 2 seconds is still better than a minute.

With time, training, and/or some equipment changes, he can get to the point where he carries with one in the chamber. But I don’t understand what USCCA members have a carry-our-way-or-not-at-all mentality. I think most of us started off carrying one way and then evolved.

I’ll stop now before I get another time out.


I agree, wholeheartedly that if someone is uncomfortable, so be it!
IMHO, just want people to be safe.

Was never saying that a person had to change to condition 1 tomorrow. Some education and training is advised. My wife was worried about condition 1, 3 days later and she’s my number one gunslinger!

As for carrying un-chambered that will surely depend on how well you’re trained and how quickly you can get your firearm into battery!
We all know, that sh/£ happens when it’s not supposed to. Not to mention fast!

As far as your first statement, I’m not sure…
If you present any empty firearm, I feel that could be fatal. Escaping to my vehicle could be safer. ( woulda, coulda, shoulda ). In any case, I’m only presenting my firearm if I have to defend myself against a deadly encounter, I will also be immediately prepared to fire and stop a deadly threat.

To the untrained, during a self defense situation, the possibility of looking down at your weapon to chamber a round or just taking your eyes off the prize, could cost you or someone else their life.
My post on the matter is just a recommendation.
Not a requirement.

No time outs required, our conversations allow others to more fully understand how we live life with a firearm strapped to our hips!


My j-frame has five chambers with a bullet in each one.


Great post. I’ll try to copy links of prior similar entries. So poignant, that it still comes up for discussion. You’ll probably hear lots of good responses here.

I appreciate that one chooses to carry, and respect how you are extra careful not to have an accident which can hurt you or someone else.

I’m biased, in I want “responsible” law-abiding CCW holders to carry. I’d rather you not carry one in the chamber, if that’s your preference, than to leave it at home.

If having a safety lever helps you be more comfortable, then good for you. If possible, maybe consider another one with a safety lever, to replace your S&W sigma .380, if you prefer.

I carry the same calibers as you do.

This is part of the reason I was careful to seek fire-arms (FA’s) of better quality, within my budget.

At home: IDK, it depends, if there someone else at home who can gain access to it, I might prefer to take extra safety measures.

What comes to mind is how the brain works, habits, and learning. In the heat of the moment, God-forbid, are we for certain to know if we have one in the chamber, do we need to rack it, or do we need to flip the safety switch?

For that reason, personally, I tend to want to have all my FA’s set to the exact same stage of readiness, so that I have less on my mind, and focus on the safety business at hand, and doing the right thing.

To support protection around young children, and intellectually disabled in my family, I carry a portable light weight lock box with key entry for ease, instead of using a thumb safety.

As someone else mentioned, it does take a lot of skill to keep one’s finger and other items away from that trigger. I tend to think of it as an obsession to the point of “there is no over doing it” when it comes to trigger safety.

One fear I have is when holstering, being extra careful not to allow one’s finger, or “shirt “, to get into the trigger guard, nor scarf, or any other cloth.

With one’s firearm completely unloaded, nothing in the pipe, and pointed in a safe direction, imagine or pretend to have a shirt swoop by the trigger guard, and one can see how easy it is to get it trapped in the trigger, and as one pushes the FA into the holster, the cloth acts just like a finger tugging on the trigger, an innocent cute & tiny shirt button – a dangerous anchor.

Food for thought:
Think further, could such a firing ever have occurred, an accidental shot, then the person pulls their FA out of the holster to look at it and try to figure out what happened, blaming it on the gun, but if a shirt got tangled in it - how on earth would they ever even know?

I commend you for raising the awareness.


Random thing I’ve been meaning to say for awhile, the acronym “FA” confuses me. This is the only place I think I have ever seen anyone say FA to mean firearm, I only know it to mean full auto. Always take me awhile to figure out what the post with FA in it is saying.

And yes, chambered. As stated by someone above, my sop is, holster = chambered

If you aren’t comfortable with one in the chamber I suggest training and/or a different gun so that you are comfortable with it


Field Artillery


Free agent


I carried with an unchambered handgun for awhile. Then i watched a vid on Active Self Protection where a guy was shot several times BEFORE he could chamber a round in his. Had the guy been carrying with one in the chamber both him and his son would still be alive today. That extra second needed to get a round in the chamber cost him his life, and his sons life as well.

Make sure you have a quality holster made for your specific firearm where the trigger cannot be manipulated inside of it.

 I can 100% understand the stance here on keeping one in the chamber.  I agree that yes the trigger needs pulled for a round to be sent.  I'm not fond of this particular weapon.  I lack the ability to sell it,  as i would never sell one that I've already purchased. It's just so easy to carry,  seems to be a hot topic that most of you are passionate about. 
 Thank you for your replies.