CCW Mistake That’ll Get You Killed

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CCW Mistake That’ll Get You Killed

October 25th, 2019

3:17 runtime

Editor’s Note: This is the first entry in our 12-part Armed & Ready series from Richard Nance and Handguns magazine. The series covers a range of personal defense and CCW topics. Tune in next week for the next entry in the series. See links below for the other entries:

What’s a sure way to get yourself killed with your CCW handgun? Here’s a hint — it’s one that you think will make you safer. I’m talking about carrying with an empty chamber. While this might seem like a safer option, don’t make this mistake.

Rich Nance takes you on the range to explore the reality of loaded-chamber carry for your EDC pistol.

Look at it this way. If you’re driving a car, do you think you’ll have time to put on your seatbelt right before a crash? Silly, right? Well, that’s pretty much the same thinking behind carrying your self-defense gun with an empty chamber.

When It Counts

While you might be able to perfect drawing and chambering a round quickly under ideal conditions on the range, in a real-world situation where you are facing a threat it will not be so easy. When you are in a deadly confrontation, your body experiences significant physiological changes — the duress dysfunction — that will affect your ability to act.

While it might seem safer to carry your CCW pistol with an empty chamber, will you remember to cycle that slide?

Under these conditions, you will most likely forget or be unable to execute the process of not only drawing your pistol, but also cycling the slide manually before lining up on the target. If this is the case, you may fumble while attempting, or even worse forget and pull the trigger on an empty chamber.

Proving the Point

To prove this, I went out to the range with a Springfield XD-S Mod.2 9mm pistol and a shot timer, and ran some drills of a standard draw with a loaded chamber as well as drawing and firing from an empty chamber. As I suspected, the difference between the two was notable. And remember, this was on the range under controlled conditions.

Getting off that life-saving shot when you’re under attack is your first and primary concern.

Why start with a disadvantage? A good, quality pistol like the XD-S Mod.2 from Springfield Armory is designed to be safely carried with a round in the chamber. The result is a capable defensive tool that is safe but ready to be engaged at a moment’s notice when you’re facing a threat. Don’t make the mistake that could get you killed.

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Handguns Mag

Handguns Mag

The Handguns mission, as America’s only small-arms media property, is to emphasize the proper use and selection of handguns for self-defense and sport shooting.

Springfield Armory® recommends you seek qualified and competent training from a certified instructor prior to handling any firearm and be sure to read your owner’s manual. These articles are considered to be suggestions and not recommendations from Springfield Armory. The views and opinions expressed on this website are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Springfield Armory.

© 2019 Springfield Armory. All rights reserved.

Springfield Armory

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