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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Not new to shooting but I'm a noob when it comes to carry. I'm comfortable carrying with a loaded magazine only, but when it comes to one in the chamber I am a little nervous. Should I be? Logic obviously says the sole purpose of carrying is defense, and response time can be critical. But there is still the pucker factor. Any insight would be greatly appreciated.
 

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Wont do you any good if its not chamber loaded. Just remember, your finger is your primary safety. Keep it off the trigger until you are ready to destroy what you are aiming at. Get a good holster that covers the trigger and you should have nothing to worry about.
 

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I felt the same way when I started carrying. My honest opinion is if you don't feel comfortable carrying with one in the chamber then don't. Take it one step at a time. eventually you'll start feeling comfortable and you'll start carrying it chambered. It took me nearly a week to feel confident enough in my gun (and myself) to do so.
 

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:lol: I was a little worried at first started carring a manual safety the after practicing found it to be to much to raise shirt draw and remember to shut off 1911 only have the backstrap Xd has backstrap and trigger plus stopp block doesnt bother me a bit 8) always remember drop clip and empty chamber before you show it to some one :oops:
 

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If you're not comfortable with one in the chamber than I would suggest that you not carry at all... This can get you killed. There are many things that can go wrong trying to load the first round into the chamber under stress. You could have issues fumbling with the slide, the round could jam, the pistol may not go completely into battery, the mag my not be seated properly and may fall out during racking.

Besides all that even if the first round goes in fine... why would you want to waste that time with a drawn weapon? The BG would be able to notice that you need to rack the slide and KILL you...

Modern guns are SAFE... IMO you are much more likely to be killed by a BG while you rack the slide than you are by the gun "accidentally" discharging... Learn your weapon and how to handle it safely.
 

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If you carry that thing with an empty chamber, you might as well just stick a hammer in your beltloop. Remember your safety rules and respect its danger.
 

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While I agree with the responses here, I know exactly how you feel. My suggestion is to just shoot the gun. When you know how it works, you'll feel more comfortable with it. Also, this helped me allay the fears of condition one, field strip the gun and then work all the parts; see how all the safteys and parts interact with each other. When you realize all that has to happen for an XD to fire, you'll be more comfortable with cond 1. Finally, get a good, quality holster. Knowing that your gun is safe and secure in it's little leather (or kydex) home will also help.

The only other thing you can do is just carry it; you'll get used to it fairly quickly.

Be smart, be safe!
 

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Jeff Cooper's Rules of Gun Safety
1) All guns are always loaded.
2) Never let the muzzle cover anything you are not willing to destroy.
3) Keep your finger off the trigger until your sights are on the target.
4) Be sure of your target. (and what is beyond it)
 

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You know what helped me? Draw drills at the range.

Go to the range or call, ensure that they allow holsters and drawing from holsters. I would recommend y ou do this before anythign else because alot of public ranges and some clubs that own thier own ranges have strict rules about this because of idiots who draw with thier finger going right to the trigger before aiming and the resultant "accidental" idiot-fires. If your range doesnt allow it, find one near you that does. A drive to get to the range and get this practice done could be well worth it in the unlikely event that you ever are forced to draw down on someone.

Anyway, find a range that will allow holster drills. Ensure that you can both spend the time (probably a couple hours) AND can afford a decent amount of ammos to properly drill with. (In other words, dont expect to just go for half an hour and go through a 50 round box and feel comfortable.)

1) Practice going from "ready" to target and firing, untimed. This practices mechanics. Ensure that your finger stays off the trigger until you have an aimpoint. This is an untimed drill (so dont hurry! do it right!) meant to reinforce the basics. No double taps, take your time and rebuild your sight picture before each round. Up-fire-fire-down is a good pattern that I personally like. I would recommend doing this every time you go to the range no matter what. A return to basics is always a good start.

On the same token, dont burn much ammo on this unless you havent fired your XD in a while. A magazine or two should be fine.

2) The next drill is going to be an unresisted draw. Start with your gun in your hand next to your body, roughly where it would be on a draw. DO NOT STICK IT IN YOUR PANTS OR A HOLSTER OR WHATEVER. Make sure your finger is NOT in the trigger guard. Just like before, you are going to draw (unresisted) and then pull your handgun to firing position, acquire a sight picture, and fire. At first, go slow making sure that you are following the correct technique. Your finger should not enter the trigger guard until you have acquired a sight picture.

As you spend more time on this drill, slowly speed it up, ensuring that you do NOT sacrifice technique on the drill for speed. Remember, "fast" is relative. There is no one shooting back at you and its best that you take your time and do it right and ingrain good technique so that when you do later or more advanced drills you are doing it right, every time.

3) Tension-adjusted light dry-fire draw. If you have a holster and are comfortable that you can now do a draw without resistance, adjust the tension on the holster, using your XD to test tension while unloaded. Right now, you are going to want to adjust tension downward so that you have minimal retention. If you bend over or move around a little, the XD should not fall out but it should not resist your hand much on the draw. You want to get a feel for the direction and method of the draw. You dont even have to be at the range to do this, just somewhere where people arent and wont be alarmed that you are doing this. ENSURE YOUR HANDGUN IS UNLOADED.

Starting from standing straight up with your gun holstered and your hands at your side, grab your XD in the holster, smoothly draw your gun, and point it at your "target". At the same time as doing this, assume your stance and balance of preference. I prefer a modified weaver stance.

In my case, as my hand goes from my right hip to draw the weapon up, then forward towards the target, my right leg moves behind me and I align my body towards the target, bringing my left hand up to support my shooting hand.

With a sight picture, insert finger into trigger guard, dry fire at the target. Drop the handgun to ready position, then re-holster.

Again, this is an unloaded drill. The emphasis here is on an unresisted draw and re-holster of the weapon. You want to be comfortable with the mechanics of removing and replacing the XD in and out of the holster. You will dry fire the weapon. Dry firing an XD will not harm the gun as it uses a striker-fired system, dont be afraid to do it. Make sure both the chamber and magazine are empty before performing this drill and, as always, never point the handgun at something that you are not willing to put a hole in, in any case.

Start slow and as with the other drills, speed up as you become more comfortable. Make sure that you are still not putting your finger in the guard before you have a sight picture, ensure that at no time your gun is sweeping your body parts or anything around you. (E.g. the gun should remain in almost the same plane of movement the entire time.)

4) Without adjusting tension, now load two rounds into the XD. This should be done at the range. Chamber the first, leave the second in the magazine. Execute step 4, this time acquiring a sight picture and live firing the handgun. ALL NORMAL SAFETY RULES APPLY. If you aren't comfortable with what you are doing, return to step 3. Remember, the focus is on draw mechanics, safety, and accuracy. Speed will come with practice and a greater degree of comfort with your handgun.

This is easily the most dangerous of the training processes. All it takes is screwing up your technique once and being careless to make a HUGE mistake. Dont move past your comfort level and if your arms get tired or you need a break, by all means take one. You arent paying an instructor by the hour and no one is grading you.

5) Repeat 3 and 4 above adding more tension until you reach the tension point that you intend to draw from.

6) Repeat steps until you reach both a draw speed and comfort level with your handgun that you find acceptible.

Practice, practice practice. If you dont shoot at least once a month, go back to the range for refreshers. If you intend to carry, you assume the burden of being trained with the handgun. Self training and self practice is critical. Courses are great but we arent going to a new advance tactical splendiferous shooting course every month so make sure that when you have the chance to go and practice, you do so.

Please, for the love of all things holy (and even some of those not), you make sure that SAFETY is your #1 concern. Know the law. Know your capabilities, and for gosh sake dont make the stupid mistake of trying for speed before technique. Speed comes with practice and training.
 

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Flame away . . . but at the present time I don't carry one in the chamber.

I've spent 8 years in the Army, four in the infantry. I've been shooting since I was 10, and now in my early 30's, I have a lot of time on the range and have put a lot of lead downrange. Handling a gun safely and comfortably isn't an issue. So why do I carry but not chamber?

I carry because there may be a time when I wish I had a firearm at my disposal, the same reason we all carry. I have a wife and two little girls, and I want to know that I have significantly increased my ability to protect them. Would one in the chamber shave a couple of seconds off time to target? Of course.

But I live in a nice area. I'm observant. I try to avoid areas or situations that don't feel right, as we all do. And, I know that my two girls are always playing and very physical. I wouldn't be able to forgive myself if an accident were to occur. How many of you dad's (or mom's!) have had your children leap on you from behind, hanging on to your waist or belt. I realize the chance of anything snagging the trigger in a quality holster is slim to none, but it's not zero.

I guess I'm comfortable that I've raised my protective posture by having the capacity to be armed. I'm comfortable that it may take a second more to load the pistol if needed. Without a firearm I'm reduced to being unarmed, and this staus can't really be changed in a dangerous situation. With one on me, even without one in the chamber, I'm a couple seconds from being armed (I agree that unchambered is unarmed).

I don't buy the 'it's totally useless without one in the pipe' mentality. I'm trading two seconds for a lot of anxiety. I can control what I do as an adult, it's the actions of children that are a variable.

Now, having said all of this . . . if I were in a position where children were not a factor? I'd likely carry one in the chamber.

I'm sure some of you will want to debate this, and I'm all for it (maybe you'll change my mind?) -
 

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If you are uncofortable with carrying woth one in the chamber maybe you need to be carrying a DAO revolver or a DAO automatic. Both of these won't shoot without a long deliberate pull of the trigger and can be carried safely fully loaded.
 

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Wow, you are getting a lot of responses. :wink:

If you do not feel totally good about carrying with one in the pipe (condition 1) that is FINE. With all respect to those who have answered, CCW implementation is not a quick draw ordeal. Proper tactics and situational awareness are your MAIN goals. Know your environment, know your action plan. Next practice your draw, again, again, again. Do it in a mirror, make it second nature, find your rhythm. All this combined with range time, some IDPA matches (just for the experience), FATS if your range has it, and classes, classes and more classes will give you everything you need to be safe and knowledgable.

As for me, when I carry openly it is ALWAYS in condition 1, concealed Glock no, concealed XD yes. This is just me, it doesn't have to be you. :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thanks for some great info. Safety is my #1 concern. Looks like I have some homework. Now I need an OWB thumbreak holster. IWB not an option as I'm not buying all new pants. Suggestions?
 

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sageguy said:
Thanks for some great info. Safety is my #1 concern. Looks like I have some homework. Now I need an OWB thumbreak holster. IWB not an option as I'm not buying all new pants. Suggestions?
I have a Galco Fletch personally and it is a nice OWB holster w/ thumb break. There are others though.

When it comes to carrying one in the chamber I can see how a lot of people would be wary of doing so with a single action pistol. However, given that an XD is not really single action, and knowing how it operates and that it is safe from misfire without a deliberate depression of both the grip safety and the trigger, I am comfortable with it in condition one. I would feel less safe carrying a single action pistol that only had a manual external safety with one in the chamber. That could easily get bumped and flipped.
 

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3 shots at 3 feet in 3 seconds.

That's the "typical" self defense shooting situation.

If it takes an extra 2 seconds to rack the slide, you have given away two thirds of the rest of your life! If he has a gun you have given him the opportunity to get off several shots while you load your gun. If you are within arm's reach of the criminal, he can kill you while you're trying to rack the slide. If he's armed with a knife or bludgeon and rushes you, you will need one arm to keep him from killing you while drawing your gun and firing it with the other hand.. Can you effectively defend yourself with one hand and rack the slide with that same hand at the same time? I don't think so!

I read about a Subway sub shop robbery that went like this: Two criminals come in at the busy lunch hour. One has a pistol and he lines up all the customers and employees along the counter. Then he puts his pistol to the temple of the nearest customer and demands their wallet and jewelry. The second criminal is the bag man and takes the stuff from the victim. Then the armed criminal goes to the next in line. The criminal was agitated and very aggressive. Is this guy a real threat to your life when he gets to you? I think so. Now, in this type of situation you might want to draw your weapon quietly before he gets to you and then when he is distracted with abusing another patron you will take a slight step forward and shoot him in the head for an instant stop. Then you will shoot at the bagman, who is probably armed as well. Can you stealthily rack the slide? No way. Is the additional two seconds going to give away all of your advantage. Absolutely.

BTW, this happened in a "nice" neighborhood to nice people who thought they were staying away from dangerous situations. You can't always predict where the criminals will be and you can't always see them coming.

If you aren't comfortable carrying a round in the chamber, I suggest the following. Buy a new snap cap with the brass fake primer. The red plastic ones with the brass base work well. Load it into the chamber and then load a full magazine into the gun. Carry it like this for a week or so. If the firing pin is somehow triggered, it will leave a very visible dent in the fake primer. I did this just to prove that my gun's safeties were really working properly when I carried. I think it will give you a lot of confidence in your gun and your carry methods if you try it, and then you'll be willing to carry a fully loaded gun.

BTW, the police carry fully loaded weapons and they don't suffer spontaneous discharges.

The highest danger point is probably when you place the gun into the holster. I do it slowly and deliberately, with my trigger finger well away from the gun so it doesn't snag in the holster and get jammed in front of the trigger and pull it. If you carry a pistol with a hammer, you can ride your thumb on the hammer as you holster so you can tell if the trigger is being pulled (because the hammer will start to move). Basically, though, just holster slowly and deliberately. Don't just jam the gun into the holster so hard that if something like your shirt or finger gets snagged it will pull the trigger.

With the XD, hold it in such a way that the grip safety isn't pushed in. This will guarantee that the gun cannot fire as you holster it, even if the trigger gets snagged. You can prove this at the range by holding the gun with the grip safety not pushed in and trying to fire it.

Obviously treat the gun with care when unholstering as well.

I understand kid issues very well! My kids learned ASAP not to mess with Dad's gun when I'm carrying it. If it is concealed then they really cannot in any way remove it from the holster, and any decent holster will fully cover the trigger so they can never pull the trigger.
 

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I have to agree with burke on this one -

I carry because there may be a time when I wish I had a firearm at my disposal, the same reason we all carry.
Personally, I trust my XD whole-heartedly and, when I carry, I carry with loaded chamber. That being said, how many times have you heard this argument..."A .32 in my pocket is a lot better than a .45 in the safe"? Well, a mag loaded XD on my hip is still providing a great deal more protection than a chamber loaded XD in my glove box or nightstand. Having a weapon with you, in the vast majority of situations, is still going to provide immediate access to a weapon and additional protection, even if it takes an extra second to chamber a round. I don't know about you guys, but racking the slide on my XD can be accomplished in a relatively short amount of time. I don't want to put on the boxing gloves here, I am just saying that having a gun, any gun, can provide more protection than not having a gun. And I fail to see how this equates to carrying a hammer. A hammer can't be transformed into a firearm in one second. A mag loaded XD can.

If you come across a situation where the bad guy doesn't know you are armed and you have some degree of cover or stealth, having to draw, rack and fire is still better than having to lay on the floor and risk getting shot. And if you are in a situation where you can't afford that extra second to rack....well, don't pull out your gun. You are still no worse off than if you had left your gun at home.
 

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When I first got into the 1911 I was doing some competetive shooting. The pistol offered the greatest accuracy and longest sight radius over anything else I owned. I was not yet comfortable with the cocked and locked aspect, so I came up with something. I carried my holstered 1911 cocked and locked with an empty chamber. I did all of the usualy activites around the house, not taking any special care to avoid the holster. This went on for about 3 days. The gun NEVER unlcoked itself and the hammer NEVER fell on the empty chamber, no matter if I bumbed the gun against a wall, table, etc. The next time I shot in competition I used the 1911 in the same holster and did not have a single worry in the world. The XD is essentially the same thing, single action with a cocked and locked. Grip safety needs to be depressed and trigger pulled in order to drop the firing pin. You'll be hard-pressed to make your XD drop the firing pin inadvertently. If you have a quality holster with no obstructions inside the trigger guard, the gun will not go off.

B9
 
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