Should You Carry A Glock With One In The Chamber?

Carrying around a self-defense firearm that is not ready to fire might sound ridiculous. What is the use of carrying the extra weight of a pistol if it’s not ready to fire? Some might argue that their pistol doesn’t have manual safety and they feel comfortable carrying with an empty chamber. While others might say that this way they don’t have to worry about going live after accidentally dropping the firearm.

However, remember that the firearm in question has bypassed many safety tests before reaching you and is built for safety. There are many gun holsters for ensuring safety in such cases as this one from Tulster. Let us go through some common arguments as to whether or not you should carry the chambered round.

Arguments that expresses why carrying a concealed firearm is not a threat to anyone:

Response to a threat

When you come face to face with a public threat you might be too scared or frightened to react right at the moment. You might momentarily lose the ability to think rationally in such situations. The fear might be anything from fear of heights to fear of the dark. This is when the term “fight-or-flight” comes into play. Fight-or-flight is our body’s response to fight an unknown danger or run away from it. But the body’s automatic response might manifest fear or anxiety.

It might result in a rapid increase in heartbeat and tensed-up muscles. The tensed-up muscles become primed for action which results in our inability or impairment. Since it might become life-threatening. Hence, you should never carry a firearm without a chambered round to save yourself in such a situation.

The tools of survival

What about the case of a life-threatening situation where the threat is a wildlife predator? Here, having the correct tool for survival is the only way out alive. A ready-to-use firearm can be your only chance of survival. Especially when you come face to face with a dangerous wildlife animal trying to attack or maul you. When time is short and you have decided to deal with the predator, the loaded firearm can come to your rescue.

According to several data, it only takes 1.5 seconds as the total average reaction and execution time. This time includes identifying the threat, the decision about how to deal with it, and the final execution. Within such short notice, it is impossible to slide a round and make it ready to eliminate the threat.


All the popular self-defense firearms that are manufactured today are made with extreme safety measures along with several level testings. They are considered to be inherently safe and equipped with passive safety measurements and redundant active elements.

Some manufacturers even equip the air pistols with a passive trigger safety option. This needs you to depress the trigger pulling into the rear. And pistols from certain manufacturers have a grip safety where the trigger should be depressed before pulling. With such high-level safety measures, it is safe to say that you can carry one in the chamber.

Arguments that addresses the concerns against carrying a gun with a round in the chamber:

Going off inadvertently

One of the biggest mechanical malfunctions when it comes to firearms is going off inadvertently or without any manipulation. If a round gets dropped in a certain way accidentally a specific gun can fire and go off. Having a quality firearm and good quality holster is very important to avoid such disasters. Holstering your firearm carefully can eliminate the dangers of firing it unintentionally.

Racking the slide does not take long

Some of the biggest arguments state how every millisecond is critical when somebody is under attack. And racking the slide to the chamber, one round does not take a lot of time. What we argued about the 1.5 seconds as average time to think, react, and execute is contradicted. Adding 0.5 seconds to that equation is enough to load the firearm.

Racking the slide typically requires two hands and in case of a self-defense encounter, one hand might be blocked or tied up. So one hand practice sessions make the most sense in this case.

Safety rules

As per one of the oldest weapon safety rules that say that “keeping the weapon unloaded until ready for use”. This makes a lot of sense especially with contemporary scenarios where almost everybody is carrying an unlicensed gun. While choosing to carry a handgun make sure to own one with external manual safety measures. The amount of time to disengage the safety measure is very negligible and it ensures extra peace of mind.