On Chamber Checking

Tam relays a story about how she became obsessive compulsive about checking that guns were empty. I don’t have any war stories to tell in this area, and hope I never do. It would seem that people who handle guns enough invariably have these stories, but the consistent pattern I’ve noticed is that the redundancy built into the rules has worked in every case where I knew one of the actors. Remember that you have to break two rules for someone to get shot. It’s like RAID, for gunnies.

6 thoughts on “On Chamber Checking”

  1. I always it out of habit, but last year I found an empty case stuck in the chamber of an AR in the safe. This was at least a week after I’d been shooting, much have been the last round I fired in a range session. Made me pay more attention.

  2. I’ve had an incident that stuck with me and makes me do a check every time. The first was when I was doing some mag drills in the living room with a new holster. It was late, and after a few drills, I put the weapon away and went to bed. The next morning I got it out and did it again. The hammer was down (1911), so I cocked it, put the safety on, and placed it in the holster. Then I drew on my imaginary target and right as I placed my finger on the trigger and flipped off the safety, I decided it was a bad idea and I should check the chamber. To this day, I can give no explanation to how the gun became loaded, but it was. 8+1 with an 8 round magazine so it means that at some point I loaded it, chambered a round, and then pulled the mag out to top it off. Like I said, I can’t explain it. The hammer was down! How did this happen? I lived alone at the time and locked it up at night, and anyway, the hammer was down! This strange incident caused me to check both guns and magazines whenever I handle them, with periodic checks along the way.

    No alcohol was involved, btw.

  3. While it’s impossible to keep a hand grenade pointed in a safe direction, guns tend to be more directional.

  4. I check my carry gun in the morning as I put it on.

    If I pick up a gun that wasn’t in a holster on my body (and I’m not in the middle of actually firing it but set it down mid-string for some reason at the range for instance) then I check it.

    If I’m dry firing and my hand comes off the thing I check it when I pick it up to continue dry firing.

    Learned those rules the hard way.

  5. I picked up the habit of sticking a finger into the chamber and checking the chamber status every time I pick a weapon up or clear it at the range, etc. One ND (no injuries or damage except to the ego, the pointing rule was observed) was more than enough.

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