If you have been reading any gun boards or gun blogs for any amount of time, you will find an argument about the merits of an empty chamber or keeping a round in the chamber of a firearm that you carry. I was recently on Sharp as a Marble and saw this.
Sharp as a Marble
For those of you not familiar, here is a quick rundown. The argument for keeping the chamber empty is the safety issue. If there is no round in the chamber, then you can not fire the handgun by accident. The argument for keeping the chamber loaded is for self defense. If the firearm is hot, then you can protect yourself quicker.
I can see the pro's and con's for each argument. But, there are better arguments elsewhere online so I shall merely tell you what I did.
My first firearm was a Glock 17. I had some basic training with firearms, but I was no where near an expert. I bought my pistol and I quickly got a concealed weapons permit.
See, the Glock 17 has no external safety. It has a very nice internal safety meaning you can bang around the pistol all day and night and it will not go off. The safety release is on the trigger meaning you have to put your finger on the trigger in order to release the safety. Does that make sense?
So... as a new concealed carrier, I was a little nervous about carrying a loaded firearm with no external safety. I did not fully trust my pistol at the time. I just trusted that if I needed my pistol that I would be able to draw and rack the slide fast enough.
All of this changed when I purchased my second firearm. It was a Smith & Wesson 642 revolver. I carried it a few times and then it hit me. Revolver = No External Safeties. Glock is also = No External Safeties.
Wait a minute!
So, I only carried with an empty chamber for a few months before I became comfortable enough to carry hot. But, as a new shooter I was more comfortable carrying with an empty chamber. And despite all the arguments for and against, the biggest argument for carrying with an empty chamber was that it became a stepping stone to carrying concealed properly. Had I been forced to carry hot out from the start, I probably would have declined and never gotten into firearms properly.