How to get used to one in the chamber?

I am new in this world and how does someone get used to one in the chamber?

I got a gun just for my home but started to carry it and I like it… I like the feeling knowing my gun is with me… but How to get used to one in the chamber?


It just takes three things - training, practice, and time.


Lots of answers to your question here. :+1:

Should you carry with one in the chamber?

Firearm TrainingMental Training



The best way to get used to carrying with one in the chamber is to carry with one in the chamber. If it makes you feel weird, keep doing it, and it will stop feeling weird.

If it bothers you so much that you don’t carry, then go ahead and carry with an empty chamber. Better to have a firearm nearby than to have none at all. Don’t worry about the enthusiasts who say you have to do everything the exact same way they do it.


This is probably the most important piece of advice any of us can give or receive. Thanks, @Ouade5.


@Ouade5 and @OldGnome already said it, @AZJustMe2021 , but I will toss another log on that fire.

You don’t have to “get used to one in the chamber.” You do you. Nobody can decide what the best balance of safety vs security is for you except you. Just don’t argue with folks about it. There are a whole lot of emotional security blankets in the concealed carry world, and a lot of them get very cranky when they feel their mythology is being threatened.

But here’s my direct answer to your question:

Get very, very comfortable carrying in Condition 3. The rest will work itself out in time.


AZ - Your gun and your holster may contribute to your comfort level.

If your gun itself makes you uncomfortable, e.g., as in Glock: striker fired, safety is on the trigger itself or what have you – you may find that another gun that really fits your hand and that you can shoot well will fill the bill. As you carry and become more comfortable with the concept, you may find that you are also comfortable switching to a gun that is perhaps easier and quicker to use but that has different features.

Features that make you more comfortable might include using a Double Action Only pistol, or DA on the first shot, and then easier squeezes on follow ups.

One of my two carry pistol is a Springfield XDE which is Double Action on the first round (in the chamber) and then standard lighter shots from the cocked state. I have to confess that this takes a lot of practice to make the first quick shot accurately. But using a laser training cartridge makes this training very economical. One could also cock the XDE on the draw, but that step has always been a little tricky for me, even though I have fairly large (glove size 11-12) and strong hands. So I’ve worked to make the first DA shot quickly and accurately. My other carry pistol is a Glock 17, which I carry in the seasons when I can wear a bit more clothing and concealment is easier. The holsters I use might not be ones with which you are comfortable (see below).

You might also consider a revolver, in spite of the severe limitation on ammo capacity. For me, even with quick reloads using speed loaders (more practice) the low capacity has been a show stopper. I have used speed loaders with my revolvers and find that I am much faster changing magazines, and there are relatively few revolvers with more than 6 rounds.

Your holster may also go a long way to providing comfort in carrying with a round in the chamber. There are a wide variety and number on the market. You might want to look for the holster that allows you both reasonably quick access and the comfort of knowing that your gun and trigger are very protected. Nothing can get to the trigger (no twist, bend, sitting, jumping, rolling, you name your body position and maneuver) and your “loaded gun” is very unlikely to slip out, get knocked out, or otherwise be removed from the holster - and then your trigger is exposed, etc…

Finding a good holster that you like may go a ways to assisting with your comfort level.

If these things don’t settle things, I’m with others in the thread - it’s far better to carry and have to chamber a round than to not carry. If that’s what you wind up with as a carry plan, that’s your plan. You’ll just have to practice THAT set of muscle memory tasks and practice in various postures and various grips. Practice points:

  • How do you draw and rack the slide from a sitting position? In your car, in your kitchen chair (restaurant practice), etc.
  • How will you draw and load the chamber if you are on your back? You may find yourself on your back if you fall, are knocked or beaten to the ground, if you arrived in cover or concealment (not the same thing) and you find you are on your back.
  • What ways can you rack the slide if one of your hands is incapacitated or occupied? (The Marine Corps manual on pistols illustrates different ways to hook the slide with your boot, or with edges of things, and it’s daunting to think of circumstances when one would have to do that).

It was actually working through some of those drills that first took me to the point that I was convinced that regardless of my initial discomfort, I had to figure out ways to carry fully loaded and with one in the chamber. Especially if I was in a position of losing the use of one of my hands. That took me to the XDE, and then the holster work got me to the place of carrying my Glock full up.

But - Do what you are comfortable with now, and practice a lot, and see about options as you go.




One more thing; depends on your firearm. Manual safeties are nice for folks that are unsure. Cocked & locked is always good. All the above advice is also very good. Good luck

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Finger control is the first thing that one should work to master. Drawing your gun with your finger off the trigger and at the low and ready working to the high and ready then putting your finger on the trigger and extending it out towards the target is the proper steps to take to finger control. This is what I have practice with an Air soft gun before even applying it to my gun when training. I have practiced this for five minutes a day to speed up my draw and do it properly. The mental thought that there is a round in the chamber is always a good practice to remembering finger control. Just remember that going steady is fast and going fast is when problems may accrue. So, as everyone else will tell you, practice and training will give you the confidence in carrying.


Hi OldGnome! Later in my entry I did say I currently carry either a Glock 17, or an XDE. (Glock 17 when I can wear enough to easily conceal it anywhere I might be going.) The full size is a bit awkward for me in not being easily concealed when I’m wearing a T-shirt and shorts. So, late Spring and Summer, early Fall = XDE for me.

But when I started carrying every day and everywhere allowed, the Glock was uncomfortable to me from a nagging feeling about that one in the chamber and all that was necessary to fire was engage the trigger.

I kept working through holsters and where/how to carry the gun so it wouldn’t print and I’d also be comfortable with it and be able to draw cleanly from various positions (like the driver’s seat). I eventually decided that I just couldn’t do it with light clothing, but did work out what was to me a safe and accessible concealed method and now carry the Glock through much of the year.

The XDE has a smaller form factor, does carry 10 with one in the chamber, and has a stiff but uniform DA trigger pull. It also has an easy to use external safety/decocker. Conceals very nicely, easy draw, and it is accurate for what I figure I might have to do with it.

So - Glocks are great, but probably an uncomfortable entry gun, except maybe for taller and larger folks. Due to the Safe Action Pistol design, I’d also feel a need to counsel new shooters on some rigid care in following Rule #2 “Always keep your finger off the trigger until ready to shoot” - with cross body muscle responses it’s super critical to keep the finger way out of the trigger guard. Some train with finger on the slide right above, I’ve trained with a draw with my finger on the ejection port (long fingers). It’s very comfortable, and as I’m drawing there is a relatively long time to engage the trigger as the gun comes up or to let the initial high position transition to along the slide above the trigger guard.

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I think it depends on the model. My 43 is extremely concealable and my 43X is almost as small.


Yah! - That’s true. Still Safe Action Pistol characteristics, but way concealable. And who knows, there may still be a small Glock in my future… :grinning:


Well said. Just remember the old axiom that if you don’t carry with one in the chamber, you could spend the rest of your life racking the slide…


Here is Massad Ayoob’s (a respected firearms trainer) take on it: Is an Empty Chamber Dangerous? | The Armory Life

" Conclusion

It’s your gun, your life … and perhaps the lives of those you bought the gun to protect. It’s your choice. Please make it a fully informed decision. I know where I stand on it."


Is it safe to carry one in the chamber?

The basic design of almost every popular self-defense firearm made today is what makes them also inherently safe for carry with one in the chamber . Almost without exception they are equipped with redundant active and passive safeties that keep them from firing unless the trigger is deliberately pulled to the rear.

If your firearm is the exception to this I would seek a firearm I trusted.


I myself have pondered this similarly. For this reason, my personal current instinct tendency is to shy away from appendix carry, to instead shoulder or hip carry, when with one chambered.

Been looking more at the grip safety models. Manual thumb safety to me can offer more peace of mind, if trained/practiced, but stronger is my fear that I’ll accidentally turn it on via thumb or if it turns on by accident from recoil, though some models offer a stronger/firmer safety with a more audible click (sound).


Definitely look at the posts from the other string which Bruce26 linked/attached above. : - )


Mind set! Great responsibility! Practice, training, and a lot more of the same!

Old saying! All guns are always loaded! Until you clear it yourself!


I’m just gonna Trump all of you here.
The Taurus PT111G2C is a compact 9mm Ruger polymer gun recommended by an experience g FW firearms dealer. I has several safeties build in including a physical lock. Mine performs really well. I like it so much that I bought one for my wife and son for Christmas. Of course my was sunk in a boat accident. I’ll have to get a new one some day.
Oh and you can hardly beat the price. $279 not on sale. I bought mine during Veterans Day and got it on sale plus a veterans discount at Academy Sports


Thank goodness…a great question finally!!!

Ok, there’s a couple things you need to do to help overcome your fear.

  1. buy yourself a quality holster that protects the trigger from accidental discharges.
  2. carry it in said holster everyday. DO NOT play with it, don’t draw it (unless you need to use it), leave it in that holster when you carry unless safely removing it to clean or secure it.

a couple things will happen. You’ll keep reminding yourself that the gun will NOT accidentally discharge because the trigger is protected and nothing is going to yank it unless you CHOOSE to. You’ll also learn that your pistol has a safety you never knew about…it’s called your finger. If your finger isn’t pulling the trigger, the gun won’t go bang! You’ll eventually grow more confident and worry less about accidental discharge.

EVERYONE worries about it in the beginning…but time teaches us to remain calm.