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Is It Safe To Carry With A Round Chambered?

Ike Stephens | Big Tex Outdoors

A big discussion in the world of concealed carry, especially among beginners, is the question of whether or not it is safe to carry with a round chambered.

Now as most of you know the answer is quite obvious. YES! But the majority of folks asking this question are new to concealed carry and maybe even firearms in general. So today I’m going to go back to square one and briefly touch on why we carry with one chambered and also how it is safe to do so..



Often times when this question is asked it is met with responses along the lines of “you’re better off carrying a stapler.” or “why even carry a gun?” 

I’ll be the first to admit that I have been guilty of such responses myself and while they do have a point, in reality they do not do anyone a bit of good. Responses like those certainly won’t help alleviate the fears one may have to carrying with a round chambered and making someone feel stupid most often does more harm than good. 







-Why we carry with a round chambered


When forced to use your firearm to defend yourself or a loved one from a life-threatening situation, your body will be under tremendous amounts of stress. Your heart rate greatly increases, the adrenaline is pumping and your body will react in a much different way than it normally does. Simple tasks such as racking the slide become increasingly difficult in these conditions as opposed to a static environment like the range. While you may be able to draw and rack your slide very efficiently while practicing in your living room or at the range, when forced to do these same basic tasks in a critical situation you’d be surprised how incredibly difficult it becomes.


Not to mention a variety of other circumstances where it nay not even be possible to have both hands available to rack the slide. For instance let’s say an attacker is coming at you and you are trying to fend him off with one hand as you draw your firearm with your other. You no longer have the luxury of both hands and are now forced to rack the slide one handed using your holster, belt buckle, pocket or some other object. Can it be done? Absolutely and I hope that you do practice one handed weapons manipulations no matter how you carry, but all you’re doing is adding valuable time that it takes to get your gun in the fight. In these types of situations the difference between life and death can be fractions of a second. Do you really want to waste unnecessary time?



There are many different scenarios that could render you without the use of both hands. The simple truth is that having your gun ready to go (with a round chambered) is by far the best way to be prepared for any self defense scenario.



So is it safe?



With any modern handgun there are tons of safety features hat are engineered into the design to make absolutely sure that the only way for the gun to fire is when the trigger is pressed. Even the Glock, the infamous gun with no safeties, actually has 3 internal safeties. Simply put, on any modern handgun the trigger has to be pressed in order for the gun to go off.






When carrying your firearm with a proper holster there is absolutely zero chance of the gun going off unless the trigger is pressed. The main function of a holster is to protect the trigger. If the device you are using does not do this then you should discard that product immediately as it is unsafe and unfit for carrying a firearm.




There are a multitude of holsters out there there that are safe to use and will fully protect the trigger. I strongly recommend using one that is made specifically for your gun. It will fit your gun perfectly, offer complete trigger protection and retain the firearm securely in the holster. The generic type holsters are typically flimsy and not suitable for safely carrying your firearm.





I have quite a few holster reviews on my YouTube channel (good and bad) HERE is a playlist where you can browse through the ones I have reviewed. I typically do 2-3 new videos a month so the list is constantly growing. Just so you have an idea of products to avoid I have compiled a playlist called the Hall of Shame. That playlist features products that should be avoided at all costs. They are poorly made, designed and could get you killed.



A recent study claims that as many as 11 million Americans carry a firearm every day. I’d be willing to bet that an overwhelming majority of those do so with a round chambered. It’s not very often that you hear of someone shooting themselves accidentally and if it does happen, it’s because the gun was out of the holster and their finger (or something else) had pressed the trigger. Certainly not because the firearm malfunctioned and went off by itself.

If you follow the 4 cardinal rules of firearms safety and use a proper holster you have no reason to worry about carrying with a round chambered. 



Whichever way you decide to carry is ultimately up to you. Hopefully I was able to sway our opinion or at least spark spark some thought that causes you to research some more. No matter how you decide to carry I would strongly recommend seeking out some additional training from a competent instructor or school. You can never be too prepared and there is a huge difference in knowing how to shoot and knowing how to effectively use your firearm to defend yourself and your loved ones. If you need help finding a good class in your area I’m more than happy to help. You can email me:



Please join me in the Facebook group: Concealed Carry in the United States. It’s an excellent place to discuss guns, gear, ammo, training and anything firearms related. I hope to see you there!


If after reading this article you are still un-comfortable carrying with a round chambered, I believe you should seek out some training and learn more about your firearm. You may also, wish to consider holding off on carrying your firearm until you have a better understanding of how it functions. This comes with time and getting to know your gun. The training from a competent instructor cannot be stressed enough. Get some quality training and carry with confidence!


-Ike Stephens







  1. I was mesmerized by this video. I’m sorry that cunrret generations don’t seem to be as interested in police history as some of us old timers. In some ways, nothing has changed. Just follow Joe in the film. Thanks, Richard, for cracking open the time capsule.Randall

  2. Just have a couple of extra roduns between the fingers of your support hand in case the Tabasco-Slim-Jims-Diet-Mountain-Dew catalyst induces fart/belch-related shooting error.

  3. Jenniferlady

    I just wonder how much of that was how it rellay was, considering how far from the truth a lot of depictions of police work now are. I rellay enjoyed seeing every civilian wearing a suit, but it bothered me watching all the officer safety issues (not handcuffing, pulling up in front of the location, etc.). It reminded me of all the officers that had to die for us to learn what not to do.

  4. Love it. Shot a bit low but adjusted sitghs and ok now. Recoil is snappy and it tapped my index finger once, but very manageable. I would say it almost compares in recoil to my 2 inch 357 with a light load. the Federal 135s are sweet. I have now shot several types of ammo and no FTF or FTF, wonderful fist full of power with this very concealable 40. Recoil is enough that I won’t be shooting daily, but that is not what I bought it for, this is a conceal carry piece that will do the job. See me shooting here.

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