Try This to Overcome Your Fear of Carrying with a Round in the Chamber

Try This to Overcome Your Fear of Carrying with a Round in the Chamber

Try This to Overcome Your Fear of Carrying with a Round in the Chamber

By Brandon – Republished with Permission from Concealed Nation.

For many, carrying with a round in the chamber is a step that hasn’t been taken yet. The reasons vary, but it’s definitely an issue for a lot of people. In this article, I am going to discuss a simple thing that you can do to ease your mind.

If you came here to say something along the lines of “Carrying with an empty chamber is stupid” or “Why even carry if your pipe is empty?”, save it. This article isn’t for you.

If you’re still reading, I hope that you’re here for the tip in this article.

First, keep this in mind: For a modern handgun to fire, the trigger needs to be depressed. For the following example, I am going to be referring to Glock pistols as the example, since they have no external safety (aside from the trigger safety).

Try this:

If you don’t already, start to carry your firearm with the trigger in the forward position, shown below:

Glock 26

At the end of the day when you take your firearm out of your holster to put it away, chances are the trigger is still in that position. If it is, congrats, you did not ‘experience’ a negligent discharge. The word ‘experience’ is in quotes because we are under the assumption that a round was not in the chamber, rendering a negligent discharge impossible unless you racked the slide before the trigger was accidentally depressed.

Now, if you ever unholster your firearm and see the trigger pulled back, we have a real problem. Again, if your trigger is in the position shown below when you unholster, you need to take a serious look at your carry setup. Something or someone is pulling your trigger back:

Glock 26 Trigger

If you are using a proper holster (by our standards, one that is molded to your particular firearm) and follow all of the safety protocols, a depress of the trigger should never occur if the firearm remains in the holster.

Another area of concern is holstering the firearm. This is rather obsolete given the scenario above, but I’ll touch on it anyway. Holstering is something that everyone should practice on a regular basis. If you are still concerned with holstering with a round in the chamber, try the same thing as we just discussed. If you holster and unholster, and your trigger is still forward, you’re good to go. The main concern with holstering would be getting a piece of clothing inside the trigger guard, or a part of the holster itself. With the right setup and continued practice, this will become a non-issue.

I hope that this article helps at least one person who has been hesitant to carry with a round in the chamber. We’re all on different levels of carrying, and it’s nothing to be ashamed of.

You may also be interested in the following articles:

Is it safe to carry with a round in the chamber?

Should You Carry With A Round In The Chamber Part 1

Should You Carry With A Round In The Chamber Part 2

This is Why You Should Always Carry with a Round in the Chamber [Graphic Content]

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Luke McCoy is the founder of USA Carry. In 2007, he launched USA Carry to provide concealed carry information and a community for those with concealed carry permits and firearm enthusiasts.
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William Sullivan

Definitely get comfortable with it, because carrying an unloaded gun is dangerous. I’d go farther and say if you can’t get used to it carry a revolver.


I agree with you 100 percent. In a stressful situation where you’ve decided you need to pull your gun, you don’t want to be fumbling with racking the slide when you’re already going to have tunnel vision due to the human physiological reaction to stress. It’s why I prefer a Glock with no safety to snick off either.

Joseph H.

How about a test method for single action guns? =P

Jon Hammett

The glock is a single action gun. Did you mean double action?


Actually, the Glock is technically a double action gun because a pull of the trigger performs two actions: The striker spring is first cocked at the beginning of rearward trigger travel, then released when the trigger is fully depressed. However, Glock calls it neither single or double action, but ‘ safe action’ instead.

Sir TuberKopf

I prefer Sig Sauer with both single and double action, a decocking lever and no obvious mechanical safety. It does have an internal firing pin block that will not allow it to discharge unless the trigger is actually pulled. The pistol and its holster become a set, holsters are a primary safety device in my book The combination of the two must be tested together.

My test method is a reprimed empty case loaded in the chamber, and the hammer down. Then carry like this while doing some heavy chores around the house. Do some yard work, change the oil in the car, fix the plumbing. Do this and more for several days. Handle the weapon until you can do every normal activity with it, with your eyes closed, short of aiming it.

This is as much a test of the owner as it is the pistol and holster. Any unintended discharge will just make a noise. I’ve done this with several different holster, pistol combinations. I’ve never had the primer go off, but I have discovered other problems or limitations.

Understand this is only a test that I restrict to my property. And yes I choose demanding activities, don’t be afraid to get down on the floor and wrestle with the dog. I expect the pistol to be retained by the holster, and remain under my control, the magazine to not mysteriously eject, and the pistol to not discharge unless I purposely do it.

Alan Lynn

I carry an XD 45. This has a grip safety and mine has a safety similar to a 1911. I usually don’t use the second safety but it is there.

If you are not depressing the grip then an accidental trigger pull is not a problem. The second thing is confidence and familiarity, if you carry all the time and train regularly then at some point these will come and you will feel safe enough to chamber and carry.

Empty chamber is not ideal but carry anyway that is infinitely better than needing a gun which is locked up somewhere.

BOB, Vet. in Illinois

Great way to approach this topic! I was one of these folks. Not sure why, as I’ve carried a locked & loaded firearm in my day. Just a “safety thing” I guess. Something we teach in Hunter Safety – a safety is a mechanical device that can and may fail”. A pistol has more built in safeties than a shotgun. Got over it with further reading and training. Sorry, but MUST REPEAT – an “unready” gun is a useless club! Whatever safety device your gun has, train with it until your reactions are automatic! God Bless America!


Common sense.

My EDC is a Glock 21 with 13+1. Locked and loaded and ready to draw and fire at a moment’s notice. I have been carrying this gun this way for years. No NDs. No close calls. Only the confidence that comes from being trained and ready.

cougar 64

Well that is what one local police chief thought after carrying a sidearm for over 20 + years and then one day while cleaning his firearm at the station, he shoots himself in the hand by drawing his sidearm out of the holster. Oh, by the way, he and the entire department carries Glock 22’s. So even mistakes can and do happen even if you have been carrying for many many years. Just saying.


Doesn’t apply to double action pistols where the trigger returns to the initial position after s discharge.

Greg Taylor

No problem with my beretta 92 hard double action first shot,you have to mean to do it!


I carry my Glock 23 in a Kramer #3 horsehide inside the waistband holster, and I always carry with a round in the chamber. The only scenario that presents any danger of an unintended discharge is snagging the trigger on something while reholstering the weapon. So my gun stays in the holster whenever I put my rig on or take it off. I like the snug fit and the fact that the holster retains its shape with the weapon removed, making for safer reholstering if I’m shooting outdoors, etc. The holster is a bit pricey these days, but I’ve had mine over ten years now and while it shows some wear from use, its still rock solid. It hugs the body due to its shape, making for great concealment even when wearing only a t-shirt over it.


Why I carry DA/SA the Transfer bar is the key even with an extra Thumb saftey. The best 9mm built tho it is heavy in DA/SA is the 3rd gen S&W 5906 with it holstered you can safely push up the safety to off when ready to draw .Until the Hammer is fully cocked it will not discharge because the Transfer bar is still in use.

The Best tested Ergonomic Plastic Frame By Gun Test magazine and Lowered price Striker fired DA only tested in is the M&P Shield in 380 and 9 mm.Over the S&W Dove and Ruger LC 9 and Taurus Latest 9 mm. I carry a Revolve .357 J frame Back up Smith and Wesson and main Side arm my is One of my 1911 in 9 and 45 But My Lightweight is my SIGSAUER P226 9mm. My S&W 3rd gen 5906 is my favorite Truck and Home defense Gun .