with friend and co-worker. People have lots of questions, but there is one that is most frustrating: “Should I carry my gun fully loaded? That seems dangerous and unsafe.”
Hearing such a question always forces me to stifle a heavy sigh. I am not in the business making anyone feel out of place. I am in the business of training. It is my goal to pass on information, teaching those who don’t know about a very important topic, gun safety.
So let’s talk briefly about conditions of carry and why we carry the way we do.
The correct condition in which to carry your firearm is what’s called Condition One. That is, the firearm should be fully loaded. A round should be in the chamber and all safeties should be engaged. In the case of a Model 1911 style pistol that means the hammer must be fully cocked in order for the
frame-mounted safety to engage. Once engaged, the safety locks up the entire mechanism.
In an emergency you must acquire a firing grip, draw your pistol, acquire the sight picture, disengage the safety and press the trigger. That is five steps. Do you really want to add another required movement before you are able to defend yourself or your loved ones?
If you do not carry your pistol with a round in the chamber, you need to grasp the slide, retract it fully and release it completely somewhere in your rush to defend yourself. I vote “no” on all that extra action.
Now let’s briefly discuss why we carry in Condition One. First and foremost is safety. Negligent discharges happen most often during administrative handling—that is, when you are performing extra functions not required for the fight. Trying to load your pistol at the beginning of a fight is an invitation for trouble. Reloading during a fight is tough enough. There is no need to add another function to the mix.
Also keep in mind that all modern properly functioning pistols are drop-safe. Guns don’t simply “go off.” Guns must be made to fire. So if you don’t perform all the steps needed to make that gun go loud, it will not fire. That means, if you load and make your pistol ready, put it in the holster and then LEAVE IT
ALONE until you are faced with a life-threatening emergency, you will be fine.
So, I ask you, “Why would you carry a half-loaded gun when carrying a fully-loaded gun is safer and more efficient?”
You know the answer. Strap on your gun and leave it alone until you need it. If you do that, you will be perfectly safe.