Some who concealed carry are nervous to carry their handgun with a round in the chamber. Why might that be? Is it safer to carry with a chambered round or without a cartridge loaded?

Kevin Michalowski, director of content for the U.S. Concealed Carry Association, believes in carrying your self-defense gun with a round in the chamber. How can you become more comfortable doing the same?

Why People Don’t Carry With One in the Chamber

Speaking on “accidental discharges,” people may believe having a cartridge loaded is too high risk. What does that mean for concealed carriers who carry revolvers? Revolvers always have a round chambered. A firearm is an emergency, lifesaving tool. When you need it, you need it now.

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When you reach for your firearm, you’re in a high-stress, dangerous situation. You won’t have time to think about or do extra steps. It’s likely you’ll be acting mechanically based on the neuropathways you’ve created in training. Leaving the chamber empty could end up with you hearing a click when you need to hear a bang.

Now you’re facing the problem of having to pause, then figure out and correct the problem, all while an attacker is gaining ground.

Can You Safely Carry With a Loaded Chamber?

All modern firearms are built to safely have a loaded cartridge. In fact, every police officer is trained to carry with a round in the chamber and ready to go. Remember, guns don’t simply “go off.” They need to be made to fire. The operator needs to do a specific series of actions to make the gun fire. If your firearm goes off when you don’t want it to, it’s a negligent discharge.

The first step in becoming more comfortable carrying this way is to get a decent holster. A hard, Kydex holster that protects the trigger will prevent the trigger from being pulled unintentionally. Then, when you practice, be sure to maintain perfect trigger finger discipline. This includes practicing pulling your gun from your holster.

Good gear and good training will help you feel more comfortable carrying in the safest manner possible.