October 23, 2007

What condition should you carry your weapon?

Posted in Gear and Strategies at 1:44 am by Rid

I am new to the CCW world. (Even though I have been around weapons my entire life.) I just got qualified last month and am trying to find my legs as a responsible gun-toting member of society. Some of the questions that we newbie’s will face will be: what pistol, what caliber, what size, what shape, what color, what carry, what condition…..what, what, what?

This entry is on what condition should I carry my weapon in. The three conditions are condition 1, 2, and 3. Condition 1 is the condition that many police carry their weapon – that is what is euphemistically called “cocked and locked.”

Quite simply, cocked and locked means you pull the trigger (purposely or negligently) and the damn thing is gonna go BANG. Condition 3 (on a semi-auto) means that you have a magazine inserted but not chambered. To use the weapon, the round must be “racked.”

Most modern semi-autos (think Glock, as the product represents over 50% of recent hand gun sells) do not have a safety lever. They rely on your good sense and 100% adherent to good “finger” control and use practices. This is the dilemma that I faced, cocked and locked or mag inserted but no round in chamber.

That is what this blog is entry is about: How I reached my decision on how to carry and in what condition. I started by speaking with some of my LEO friends and went on to reading hours of online discussions on the subject. There are some marvelous chat boards out there so please take the time to visit and read them. I found that the “vast” majority of the posters carry their weapon in condition 1. Their theory is that they gain a valuable second or two not having to rack a round. They also reason that if you have your non dominate arm injured, then you will most likely be up a creak without a Glock.

I think these are all very valid considerations. But………..As I professional pilot I live in a world of constant risk/reward analysis. (Do I save 200 miles by picking my way through weather or just going around it.)

I see this decision process as being no different. What is your risk/reward by carrying in C-1? The upside is probably saving about one second (even though I think it is less) by carrying hot. The downside is what is known by some as an increased probability of an A.D. or accidental discharge. BS. There is no such thing in my book. If that hawg leg goes off and you aren’t either on the range or intending to stop a BG (bad guy), your action was negligent – period. That is why I bristle at the understatement of calling it an accidental discharge.

I think ND’s make us all look like a bunch of red-neck hay-seeds and the negligent discharge statistics will no doubt, be used by the ACLU to bring unwanted scrutiny on the privilege and right to carry. Next, ND’s can kill or seriously injure innocents that had the bad misfortune of being around the dumb ass that discharged his pistol. So, carrying a pistol, in and of itself, is an extraordinary responsibility. Carrying it cocked and lock requires absolute and unwavering adherence to safe use protocols.

Next, I did a threat assessment on my personal carry environment. If I am handling cash or driving in an area that I know to be questionable, I will be in C-1. But about 98% of the time I am in C-3. REGARDLESS, I ALWAYS TREAT THE WEAPON AS IF IT IS IN CONDITION ONE – NO EXCEPTION, ALWAYS!

Also, I practice the Israeli style of simultaneous drawing, cocking, pointing and firing. I have timed it from my paddle holster and from my quick release fanny pack. The difference, if there is one, must be less than a second. But in return, I get “some” piece of.

The operative word here is “practice.” If you aren’t shooting once a month, I personally think you have no business being a CCW.

So, be careful out there and let me know what is working for you.

 

UPDATE:

The above was written in Oct, 2007. It is now March, 2011. As my children are now 9 and 7, there is no doubt in my mind that only a fool would carry a concealed weapon cock-and-locked. You are asking for trouble. Since this I wrote this, I have dropped my weapon on 2 separate occasions – once in a theater and once in a restaurant.  When I was at the show, I had the weapon in my coat pocket, which I had taken off. In the dark, I accidentally turned the coat up side down and heard the distinct clunk of my .40 cal bouncing off of the floor. In the restaurant, I was in the toilet and had sat the weapon on the toilet tank. I again knocked it off and it crashed to the floor.

I am ever more convinced that only a moron carries a concealed weapon cocked and locked. I could see holstering a different story, but must holster don’t conceal that well, particularly when you are lightly attired.

41 Comments »

  1. Zack said,

    For me it depends on the weapon I’m carrying. I carry my Glock in C-3 for the same reason you do, but I carry my Bersa 380CC in C-1 mode simply because it is a “DA” (first shot) pistol, so I see it as no different than carrying a loaded revolver.

  2. Corey said,

    C1 in my Springfield XD. I chose this weapon because of the safeties… trigger safety, similar to glock, and a grip safety, similar to the 1911 series. The gun WILL NOT go off unless my hand is properly wrapped around the pistol and the trigger is pulled appropriately. Carrying C3 is for newbies that need more practice.

    Peace of mind is developed through practice, not carrying condition. There’s more peace of mind to know that I can incapacitate an attacker more quickly by carrying C1 than the peace of mind that I’m less likely to ND my weapon.

    • Anonymous said,

      Same for me with my XD

  3. Don said,

    condition 1 does not save you less than a second. it saves more. do a test. get a toy gun, or air soft, have a friend stand 20 feet away from you. say “go” and you pull your gun, rack the slide and shoot him. at the same time when you say “go” he will run towards you. you will be suprized at how close he is to you, if in fact he is not to close to even shoot

  4. David said,

    As far as I’m concerned the Israelis have it right. Most, but not all, of their military and law enforcement personnel who carry a pistol carry it in C-3.

    As for myself? I’ve been around firearms all of my life. I’ve seen it all; I’ve done it all; and I am intimately familiar with what can and cannot go wrong with all different sorts of firearms.

    Kind ‘a sadly, I wasn’t on the internet for too long before I realized that you just can’t talk to younger men who think they know it all, and are possessed of what I can only describe as an, ‘American cowboy mentality’.

    Unfortunately, it’s impossibe to reason with someone who watches too much television and too many police video tapes. I call the mentality of these people, ‘instant ambush’ thinking.

    You mention, ‘trade-offs’. OK, the facts are that during the next 100 years, you will, probably, never be instantly ambushed by anyone. So the trade-off, here, is to place all of your: family, friends, and neighbors at risk of an ND so that you can be, ‘Johnny Rambo ready’ for an instantaneous ambush event that’s less likely to occur than an auto accident.

    (In other words, it can happen; but the numbers are in your favor and the actual event will only seldom occur.)

    In well-practiced hands the actual difference in draw speed is no more than .45 second. The only disadvantage to an, ‘Israeli draw’ is the necessity to use two hands on the draw instead of one.

    Me? I’m a dirt magnet. I, also, happen to live in a, ‘rough neighborhood.’ One of my immediate neighbors was very badly shot up a couple of years ago; (The shooter has never been caught.) and several other neighbors have occasionally tried to shoot me.

    Now pay careful attention to what I’m going to say next: I might very well still be alive today because I carry in C-3. Why, you ask? Because I realize that I’m at a slight disadvantage; consequently, I’m always a little more apprehensive, a little more alert, and a little faster than I otherwise might be.

    I’m, also, heavily practiced in CQB pistolcraft; and most of my wonderful neighbors are very well aware of this. I read other people very well. I, also, throw normal courtesy, ‘to the wind’ and will instantly act to forbid anyone from stepping inside my personal action zone. I don’t think twice about holding out my support hand to someone and saying, ‘Stop right there!’

    These are the personal habits that work to keep BOTH my family AND myself safe everyday. In all the years that I’ve been doing this, I’ve never found a need to adopt an, ‘instant ambush mentality.’

    If you get caught in an instantaneous ambush at close quarters then you either work in a liquor or convenience store where you must allow bad guys to get close to you; or else you’ve made other more serious tactical mistakes for which your lack of attention to detail is going to cost you.

    Still, it’s been my experience that if the other person is under 30, then, you’re not going to be able to convince him that C-3 carry is a much better way to go. Cowboys are cowboys; and that’s all there is to it.

    PS: By the way, you’re right about the differences between an ND and an AD. That’s exactly the way the Marine Corps Commandant views the situation. (There are no AD’s in The Corps.)

    • Leha said,

      David,
      I appriciate what you wrote. I was reading it aloud to my husband who is 27, to convince him that C-1 carry is totally unnecessary and that I refuse to be around him if he will be carrying a weapon C-1. Also, tried to stress the point that keeping his pistol in the dresser drawer under t-shirts and underwear in C-1 seems ridiculous to me. I feel that if a person came into our home, up the stairs, and into our bedroom, that the time it would take to go to the dresser and uncover the pistol should include the 1/2 second or less to chamber a round. He just assured me that both will be in Condition 3. Thank goodness, I believe you convinced him.

      Take care,
      Leha

      • Tony said,

        I appreciate both of these posts. I am 20 years old and just started carrying around 2 months ago. I never carry my firearm in Condition One. I am more worried of an accidental/negligent discharge than I am about being able to chamber a round if I need to. I carry a Glock 19, which only has a trigger safety. Granted, if I were carrying an XD or another gun with more than just a trigger safety, I would be more open to carrying in Condition One. I have a friend who also carries a Glock (model 21 or 17, i’m not sure which), and he carries in Condition One. I know that he is very conscious of his firearm at all times, but it still makes me nervous. Moral of the story, not all of us younger guys use the “cowboy”/”I’m a badass” mentality. I just thought that it would be good to restore some faith in the younger generations!

  5. David said,

    Leha, That’s unusual (remedial) behavior! Your husband must love you very much. Best of all you might live longer too. A C-1 Glock absolutely does NOT belong in a home environment.

    Right now, there’s a loaded G-19 behind the computer screen. It’s in C-3, of course. Unless the neighbors are starving for food and breaking in everywhere, it’ll stay that way.

    If you’re worried about home security you should google the NRA store, go to the Library Section, and order, ‘The NRA Guide To The Basics Of Personal Protection Inside The Home’. It’s a real good read.

    http://www.nrastore.com/nra/home.aspx

    Glad I was able to help. Like I said, yours is an unusual situation. Most young men are highly resistant to, ‘taking off their spurs’. ;)

    – David

  6. Jesse said,

    I strongly disagree that condition one is the way only a “fool” would carry. If your holster has such poor retention that it falls out, then I’d call that negligence. I carry a full size 1911 in condition one on a daily basis, and the only time my weapon ever leaves condition one is when I’m cleaning it. The Israelis use condition 3 because they’re implementing safety measures for the lowest common denominator. If you feel the need to include yourself in that category, more power to you…

    My weapon has two external safeties as well as an internal safety to prevent a ND if dropped. I’m not seeing a safety issue there.

    As for putting everyone around you at risk, this means our men and women in blue are putting the lives of innocent civilians (think of the children!) at risk every time they go out in public.

    I’ve never heard of a pistol jumping out of a holster to go on a spree. If your weapon remains in your holster like it should, the trigger should be covered. Using a little bit of logic here, If nothing can reach the trigger, how is anyone at risk?

  7. Joe Mama said,

    ” have dropped my weapon on 2 separate occasions – once in a theater and once in a restaurant.”

    Well, you can’t fix stupid.

  8. Anonymous said,

    This article is incorrect. The writer states “Quite simply, cocked and locked means you pull the trigger (purposely or negligently) and the damn thing is gonna go BANG.”

    This is not true at all. the “locked” part of “cocked and locked” means the safey is on. There is C-0 which is not even mentioned here. C-0 is cocked and unlocked. The writer states he was new to the CCW world when he wrote it. This proves it. he also does not mention C-4 either.

    Below are the correct and complete conditions. I’m surprised no one has corrected him on these replies in the last three and a half years.

    Condition 0: round in chamber, hammer cocked, safety Off, loaded magazine
    Condition 1: round in chamber, hammer cocked, safety On, loaded magazine
    Condition 2: round in chamber, hammer uncocked, loaded magazine
    Condition 3: empty chamber, hammer uncocked, loaded magazine
    Condition 4: empty chamber, no magazine in weapon

  9. Cam said,

    This article is incorrect. The writer states “Quite simply, cocked and locked means you pull the trigger (purposely or negligently) and the damn thing is gonna go BANG.”

    This is not true at all. the “locked” part of “cocked and locked” means the safey is on. There is C-0 which is not even mentioned here. C-0 is cocked and unlocked. The writer states he was new to the CCW world when he wrote it. This proves it. he also does not mention C-4 either.

    Below are the correct and complete conditions. I’m surprised no one has corrected him on these replies in the last three and a half years.

    Condition 0: round in chamber, hammer cocked, safety Off, loaded magazine
    Condition 1: round in chamber, hammer cocked, safety On, loaded magazine
    Condition 2: round in chamber, hammer uncocked, loaded magazine
    Condition 3: empty chamber, hammer uncocked, loaded magazine
    Condition 4: empty chamber, no magazine in weapon

  10. Anonymous said,

    Thank you very much Cam these conditions are clear and will be very helpfull to those in need of them,gun users must also be aware that if they make make mistakes of not practicing their own carrying conditions they might not get second chances to live again. in need of them,gun users must also be aware that if they make make mistakes of not practicing their own carrying conditions they might not get second chances to live again.

  11. Anthony said,

    To me it doesn’t make sense to carry a weapon on you that is not ready to fire in a moments notice. Do you have a fire extinguisher that you have to load? I doubt it, you pull the pin and its ready to go. First of all, if you are dropping your weapon for any reason, then you need to find another way of carrying that weapon. There is no excuse to be dropping a weapon like that.

    I have the choice of 2 different firearms that I carry almost every single day. My first is the Taurus 709 Slim 9mm (DAO) and the second is a Beretta PX4 Storm 9mm (DA/SA). The Taurus was a pretty sweet gun to carry and I carried that pistol loaded with the safety of. I can do this because I have trained myself to draw and release the safety in one motion so the draw to shoot time is quite respectable because of the Double Action only trigger. However, on the Beretta i can’t do that. Granted I have only owned the Beretta for 2 months now, but the safety is too much of a stretch to keep on while in the holster. I carry the Beretta loaded and ready to shoot. The first trigger pull is a Double Action and Single Action after that. With good finger training, you never draw your weapon with the finger on the trigger. My Beretta doesn’t allow you anyways to carry it with the hammer down and the safety on. However, in ANY SITUATION where you feel the need to draw your weapon, you need to be able to shoot right then. In a stressful situation, you are not going to have the exact mechanics you have when you train under no stress situations.

    My girlfriend had a problem with me carrying with my weapon loaded with the safety on. She wanted me to carry so I would have to rack it before i would be ready to shoot. Trying to make her happy, I noticed when racking it, my thumb was in the position on releasing the magazine. More often than not practicing that move the magazine would get partially released on my Taurus. I do not want to have that kind of problem where my life, or the life of my family is on the line. That is the reason I carry with one in the chamber always.

    In life and death situations, factions of a second and small mistakes can get yourself killed. Practice proper drawing and hand positions with help as well. But you should never be carrying a weapon loosely where it can fall out. What if you lost your weapon and a child got ahold of it? Then the police come knocking at your door (assuming its registered to you). Its not hard concealing a pistol on your hip, I do it no problem even when the Beretta is almost twice as thick as my Taurus.

  12. K said,

    I agree with you, Cam, a terrible post by “fastmetal”. Furthermore, is the poster “fastmetal” saying that he does not conceal carry using a holster? If this is the case, then fastmetal has no right to call anyone else a “moron” or “fool” for any of their concealed carry decisions. Anyone who carries a concealed firearm without using some form of approved holster is, in fact, a moron and a fool. Why is fastmetal posting on a topic about which he seems to know little to nothing? All this on top of no mention of condition 0,2 or 4 in the post! Finally, how is fastmetal not a “moron” himself dropping his weapon in public places like coat rooms and toilets stalls? Maybe if fastmetal used a holster, he wouldn’t be dropping his firearms everywhere. So, to recap, the poster is judging and insulting those who CAN safely carry in condition 1, yet this same poster is carrying concealed firearms without any holster and dropping his weapon in myriad public places. Good grief…Fastmetal should have his CCW revoked before someone gets hurt.

  13. Anonymous said,

    A few more notes on the above:

    C-0 is not a recognized condition. It was started on Glock Talk back around 2006-2007. (I believe by, ‘GSD17’.) Originally it was a highly facetious remark that was particular to Glock’s well-known safety idiosyncrasy.

    By definition (and according to Glock’s own advertising) C-0 does NOT mean, ‘cocked and unlocked’ – Right! Glock advertises a, ‘3 component personal safety system’ that is supposed to maintain one of their pistols in a constant locked state UNTIL the user pulls the trigger.

    (It’s not important whether or not Glock’s trigger safety design is always on. Even the most ardent, ‘Glockophile’ is aware that Glock’s trigger safety design is far from being either fumble-finger or idiot-proof.)

    C-2 applies only to pistols with hammers and may, also, refer to carrying a pistol at, ‘half-cock’ with the thumb safety either, ‘on’ or, ‘off’.

    As for Fastmetal’s comments? I hope he’s not saying that there are occasions when he doesn’t use a holster! (Then, again, he did mention that he’s new to all of this!) Still, exactly how you drop a pistol in a coatroom or a toilet is beyond me?

    On those occasions when I voluntarily decided to remove my pistol I was always inside a men’s room stall where all that extra weight on my unfastened belt proved particularly inconvenient. When my own pistol comes off it always goes on top of a paper towel that’s lying on some sort of flat surface; e.g.: the top of the water tank, or on one of those (super convenient) baby’s diaper changing tables that are now included in all modern men’s rooms.

    By the way, those men’s room baby tables are a great idea! I can’t think of a better place to keep my: pistol, extra magazines, belt knife, cell phone, and flashlight while my pants are down. (Hopefully, America’s social planners will never figure out that 99.9% of all men would rather break an arm or a leg before they’d ever allow themselves to be caught using one of those things for its original purpose!)

    Those comments about dropping a pistol in a theater or restaurant have me really puzzled? That’s way, way, too much on and off with your carry piece. Go ahead and unblouse your shirt if you must; but, don’t remove your pistol. (How do you do that?)

    There is a place in this world for the respective definitions of both accidental and negligent firearm discharges. Yes, I know that in the Marine Corps there are only, ‘negligent discharges’; but, last time I checked, all of the Corps was carry their sidearms in C-3. A mechanical fault in the firearm that causes the weapon to unexpectedly discharge is, nonetheless an, ‘accidental discharge’. (It’s everything else that’s negligent.)

    As for what caliber handgun should be carried? What does the shooter shoot and handle well? As for myself, I bounce around a lot between 9mm and 45 ACP. Personally, I don’t know two better self-defense cartridges; however, if I knew I were going to a pistol gunfight, then, I’d carry a 45 ACP. (It’s 9mm, 38 Special, and 45 ACP that I’m able to shoot the fastest and the straightest against IDPA style targets.)

    I’m able to easily conceal a full-size 45 ACP pistol frame (but, then again, I know how!). When I want to be either especially comfortable or discreet, I’ll carry a mid-size 9mm frame. On those rare, ‘touchy-feely’ family events when I need to be especially discreet I go IWB with a little 380 ACP. Although, never do I not use some sort of secure holster – Never!

    It’s NOT the magazine that gets, ‘chambered’ – It’s the cartridge. Neither do you, ‘rack a round’; more correctly, you rack the slide AND chamber a round. I’ve been hunting, shooting, a Range Officer, and a Firearms Instructor for a very long time. Let me tell you something: My hat is off to someone who regularly shoots as often as once a month.

    Most gun club members I’ve known don’t shoot anywhere near that often! In fact the vast majority of shooters I’ll encounter only show up immediately before hunting season begins, or else shortly after another one of these horrific murders gets, ‘four-walled’ by the national news media.

    A Mossad (or, ‘Israeli’) draw does not – or should not – add a second to the draw. (Glad to read about the use of holsters, here!) A highly skilled pistolero can draw and fire one accurate shot in an additional .25 second. Most practiced pistoleros can do the same thing in .35 to .45 second. A, ‘lout’ with a handgun will take a full second or longer and would, probably, benefit greatly from receiving skillful handgun self-defense training.

    Personally, I do not believe, ‘most people carry their handguns in C-1’. I think it only appears this way whenever you’re on a website like, ‘Glock Talk’. (Excluding police officers I’d, also, be very curious to know the typical IQ range of people who insist upon carrying their pistols in C-1 as compared to other people who prefer to carry in C-3? Should be interesting, huh!)

    Let me tell you something: As I believe I’ve already mentioned, the likelihood of an ordinary civilian getting himself caught in a sudden surprise ambush is extremely low – extremely low! For most people (self-excluded) it’s even less than a once in a lifetime event. On the other hand I can tell you from my experiences as a range officer that the likelihood of someone ND ‘ing his firearm are relatively common. In fact events like this can occur, repeatedly, throughout the year.

    (Even at our, ‘little range’ negligent discharges occur as often as twice a year – Which is, ‘Why’ the owner employs MORE THAN double the number of Range Safety Officers he actually needs!)

    In my opinion, the chance of experiencing a sudden ambush is far too low to justify the risk to both yourself as well as everyone else from constant C-1 carry. That, ‘Glock Talker’ who insists he’s 100% safe with his C-1 pistol is either a very occasional user, a fool, or else he’s a liar. (I don’t know exactly how many; but hundreds, if not thousands, of – I would presume – well trained police officers have been shot by their C-1 pistols!)

    I’ve carried a pistol, on and off now, for more than two decades. During this time I’ve been involved in several armed confrontations. So far, nobody’s ever beaten me to the draw; nobody’s ever had his muzzle on me before I had my muzzle on him; and, with only one exception where I saw the attack coming and anticipated the need for my handgun, I have always drawn from C-3. This isn’t Disneyland; this isn’t internet machismo; it’s fact.

    Want to know what really scared me? It’s these young men whom I often see walking around everywhere in C-1. This behavior simply isn’t necessary; it places all the rest of society at undue risk, and accomplishes very little – if anything at all – toward keeping a civilian C-1 pistol carrier safe and alive. As for getting shot in the arm during a gunfight? If you get shot anywhere during a gunfight you’re already at a significant disadvantage.

    As for, specifically, getting shot in the arm? This ain’t Hollywood! The vast majority of gunmen – and especially civilian gunmen – are going to be COMPLETELY OUT OF THE FIGHT. (Don’t even bother to ask me how I know; so that argument doesn’t, ‘wash’ either!)

    Cooper’s first rule of safe gun handling is, ‘TREAT EVERY FIREARM AS IF IT IS LOADED!’ It shouldn’t be necessary for an experienced gun owner to have to call this rule out – Instead, it should be an integral part of, both, your habitual reactions and personality. (Just last weekend an older man covered me with his muzzle while I was on the firing line. He knew I was there; he even glanced at me before he put his pistol down on the bench. Subsequently, I discovered he knew a very great deal about firearms too; but, none of this stopped him from (at best) indifferently covering me with that muzzle!)

    All shooting involves the use of self-depreciating skill sets; but, this is especially true of pistol shooting. The more you practice with a pistol the better you’re going to be. If you’re using a holster that doesn’t conceal very well then you’re making, at least, one other serious mistake with the way you carry a pistol.

    It’s obvious the original poster is, at least, occasionally, ‘felony carrying’ his Glock without using a holster – THAT truly is idiotic! I’ve been carrying a pistol for more than 50 years. That I remember (and I have a pretty good memory) I’ve dropped a handgun exactly thrice during this time: Once off the top of a slippery toilet tank where it just slid down to the floor; once after I was tripped in a supermarket, went plummeting to the floor, and my pistol was levered out of an open-topped Kydex holster; and, once again, from off the top of a metal restroom garbage can after a construction vehicle hit the building and severely jarred the entire room – With the exception of the supermarket incident, my pistol was always in C-3.

    In the supermarket incident, I had just finished firing a grueling 3 + hour 500 round range session. After I finished shooting I quickly gathered up my stuff, and (impulsively) slapped the last loaded magazine into the pistol and racked the slide shut for the ride home. Then I got a call from my wife to pick up a few things before coming back to the house. So, into the supermarket I go: cocked, locked, and ready to thwart the first, ‘instant ambush’ that came my way.

    Well, as I was leaving the range, God must have seen me chamber that round and wanted to warn me I’d been reading way too much Glock Talk. The store was especially crowded; I was tired and didn’t see the chair someone had left in front of Customer Service. Whammo! My foot stumbled against one of the chair legs; I began to fall; the arm of the chair slipped up under my jacket, and levered my pistol right out of its holster!

    Talk about feeling like a giant dumb ass! There I am lying on the floor; the back of the pistol’s slide almost touching my nose with the muzzle pointing at this nice middle-aged black woman who was standing there looking so sorry for me! (A sentiment NOT shared by several of the older white men in the crowd.) Just when I thought things couldn’t possibly get any worse I suddenly realized that I was wearing my range jacket with my firearm instructor’s credentials emblazoned on my chest and sleeve!

    Don’t, ‘felony carry’ your pistol – OK!

    • Erik Hansen said,

      I really appreciate your post. It is nice to hear from someone with experience like you have. I am trying to decide between C1 and C3. I have a Ruger LCP with a DeSantis SuperFly pocket holster. I am leaning towards carrying C3, but am still considering the options.

    • Anonymous said,

      sry informative or not, I couldn’t finish reading your comment after: “By the way, those men’s room baby tables are a great idea! I can’t think of a better place to keep my: pistol, extra magazines, belt knife, cell phone, and flashlight while my pants are down. (Hopefully, America’s social planners will never figure out that 99.9% of all men would rather break an arm or a leg before they’d ever allow themselves to be caught using one of those things for its original purpose!) ” Maybe your joking but Thats some really ignorant false macho bullshit you state their and I hope you never have any kids while having this attitude, and I can confidently state that the number of men willing to break a limb rather than care for theirs or even someone ELSE’s children’s hygiene will not equal anywhere close to 99.9%. Is that what you’d rather do? have some other man change your kid?

  14. Acobb1985 said,

    When carrying any kinda of weapon you should never give up positive control. Why did you leave it in your jacket and then take your jacket off? Better yet why did you unholster a loaded weapon in a public bathroom and set it on the toilet? That is complete negligence on your part. You have no business even being around a loaded firearm as far as im concerned.

    • Isn’t that the heart of any and all gun control debates? WHO gets to decide WHO gets to own/carry use firearms and what calibers? If the duly elected Gov officials or their law policies can’t tell YOU that YOU cant have and carry them then why the hell should some reckless idjit who is simply not as awesome as you at responsibly managing a firearm..let YOU decide for them either? Seriously if we have no respectable lawmaking power on the matter of “gun control” then I or any private citizen should be able to procure own and operate a working battle tank or,rocket launcher or aircraft carrier in U.S. territory, without so much as a citation. The framers of U.S. constitution did not live in an era that one small squad of men with enough reloads could have routed or annihilated their entire militias with small submachine guns in minutes..but never-mind the past this is about the future..we need to decide who gets to decide..weapons tech will not stop developing until violence is abandoned from our species..but we COULD have civilizations that at least regulate HOW WHEN and WHY its civilians can murder each other.

  15. J.A.B. said,

    Reflecting on ‘Fastmetal’s comments, ‘Anonymous states “when my
    own pistol comes off it always goes on top of a paper towel thats lying on some sort of flat surface; e.g. the top of the water tank’ or on one of those [ super convenient ] baby’s diaper changing tables that are now included in all modern men’s rooms.”
    EXCUSE ME?
    With all due respect, you would leave your weapon on a changing platform,out of reach, in a public restroom, while sitting on a crapper in a stall several feet away??
    Unbelievable! A ‘Range Officer” you say?

    • Anonymous said,

      He is talking about the changing stations INSIDE the stall. Not the ones OUTSIDE of it.

  16. Anonymous said,

    if you drop it so many times you shouldnt be carrying it in the first place.

  17. MarcT said,

    I really wish “we” gun rights advocates would refrain from using the term “weapon” – weapons are used in wars and crimes….legally armed citizens carry sidearms, firarms, pistols, handguns…..we don’t carry “weapons” – it may be semantics..but “weapon” carries a negative connotation….especially for the unknowing and media…..

  18. Anonymous said,

    My entire family is in LE (or retired), Military and I grew up with weapons. My teaching was such that the last thing you want to do is actually shoot someone. Far better to have them retreat – too much mess and aftermath to deal with. “The last thing a home intruder wants to hear is a round being chambered in any weapon. Typically inducing involuntary defecation in the intruder’s pants!” – Retired FBI Special Agent.

    I carry C-3 with Sig and Glock. My other thought is that should my weapon be wrested away from me, they will not know it’s in C-3. that gives me a big advantage, IMO. Not that this has happened, nor would I easily allow it to, but it is a consideration.

    Just my 2 cents. Great discussion here!

  19. Anonymous said,

    I toatally agree with David. I am an Iraq and Afghan Veteran with the USMC. We didnt even carry our weapons at condition 1 the entire time while in country. We only went condition 1 when we went outside the wire. SO why if I was condition 3 while in Iraq would I need to be condition 1 while carrying around town? A weapon does nothing if you dont have situational awarness. Please people carry condition 3 and if you sense danger go condition 1. Because as he said NDs are WAYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY more common than a shootout at Starbucks!!!!!

  20. S said,

    I have a CCW and have always carried C-3. I too feel doubtful that an instant ambush will occur. I guess if I had car trouble in a bad part of town I might go ahead and go to C-1. But I agree, one must be aware of their surroundings, and I feel that going into the mall, or the gas station C-1 is for Cops. I don’t feel I need to get involved unless there is great chance of violence. Better to let the guy robbing the store get away with money than create an issue.

    If I am in an aisle and see a situation, I figure I’ll have time to rack the slide and have some element of surprise.

    I have had one home invasion, and my 1911 was beside my bed. When the intruder heard me rack the slide and chamber a round, he vamoused through the front door to be arrested just down the block.

    Just my two cents.

    • Anonymous said,

      you sir, are a rational and responsible example of CCW.

  21. [...] the status of your weapon, when you want that status to be ready to rock (some might refer to it as Condition 1).  It literally takes seconds to do and can save you quite a bit of heartache if you failed to [...]

  22. Anonymous said,

    To the people who criticize those who have admitted their accidents here with a “you shouldn’t carry”, how many of you have broken the law and gotten a speeding ticket? Accidents happen. People with experience know this and plan for this as best they can. If you carry C-3 because you are uncomfortable carrying in general, then get more practice and training to become more comfortable. If you carry C-3 because you’ve done a risk analysis, then that seems completely reasonable.

  23. I used to carry in Condition 3… However that Condition gives the assumption that you’re going to be facing a threat in a standing position, and at a distance. It puts your safety at the ability of chambering a round. With the recent self defense shooting of George Zimmerman being nearly beaten to death by Trayvon Martin, Zimmerman was on the ground, on his back, having his head smashed onto the pavement. He didn’t have the luxury, time, or ability to reach his weak hand over to rack a round into the chamber.

    If your dropping your weapon out of a coat, or off of the tank of a toilet, you are not carrying it correctly. You need to invest in a quality holster. You should not be carrying a firearm in a pocket. That is how accidents happen.

    • Anonymous said,

      BS not self defense. but point is true If he wasn’t lying about the entire encounter and evidence indicates he was, George had to have been carrying at condition 0 yet another indicator that he meant or expected to discharge the weapon. Willfully approaching an unknown pedestrian while not acting in cooperation with any military or law enforcement agency or mandate with your firearm at Condition 0, along with all other indicators such as his voice recordings (never showed any of the typical indicators of fear) should nullify any argument for GZ that he was in any way “afraid” of the boy at any point until perhaps when he was already supposedly getting his head bashed..perhaps many of the readers here would have been afraid but most of these would have likely acted in cooperation with law enforcement and stayed in their vehicle or else approached/tracked the suspect with their sidearm unholstered at condition 0 or 1, if they were afraid. Who here would have approached this large boy/person (after he runs because your noticeably tracking him..so you’ve definitely been spotted) with your side-arm holstered and yet get close enough to allow him to take a swing at you, while afraid for your life? w/e u can’t convince me he didn’t bully this kid to death we his reasons hwether it was racism or crime prevention it was murder, but w/e, point is true condition 0 assumes your not already getting your ass handed to you somehow and both your hands are available..is this enough of a cowardly reason to generally walk around “hot” putting unsuspecting lives at stake I’ll let everyone be the judge for themselves.

  24. Jim said,

    I agree with the few people who called out the instant ambush people who are very concerned about protecting their family. Really? While you are with your wife and kids on a family trip? If you are a regular married person with children how many hours a day mon-fri are you with your spouse and kids? At home sleeping is one thing but that’s not conceal and carry. When you wake up you are probably going to spend 12 of the next 16 hours apart from your family. I believe the protect my family reasoning is really just an excuse to be a cowboy. Lets go to instant ambush. I grew up in an area that would probably be a 5 in a rating system of good to bad areas rating between 1-10. I am 46 now and live in a much better area that would probably rate an 8 or 9. I have many times in my life found myself in areas that would rate as low as a 1 or 2 as far as how bad the area was. In my 46 years of life I have never been instantly ambushed even once. About 10 years ago I won a daily 3 number lottery both straight and box. It’s the only time I won anything in lottery. The odds were around 10,000 to 1. I believe the average person has a better chance at winning the mega millions or being struck by lightening than being ambushed with less than a second to respond. You don’t see people putting a down payment on a mansion on their way to buy a lottery ticket or wearing rubber insulated clothes when it rains. C-3 should actually be a law. I’m out!

  25. Anonymous said,

    As a former FAST team leader in the USMC I can simply say your method of carry is decided by how your weapon was designed to operate. A Beretta M9 is designed to be carried condition 1. It has several safeties such as the firing pin block which is meant to prevent the firing pin from negligently striking the primer upon dropping or knocking of the weapon. Where as a different pistol say Glock 17 has only internal safeties(minus the trigger) and is meant more for cond 3.

    Oh and P.S. don’t buy a shotgun

    • Rid said,

      Simper Fidelis, Marine.

  26. Anonymous said,

    I like how the one guy made the fire extinguisher analogy. How you don’t have to load a fire extinguisher, it’s ready to go, just pull the pin. Well wouldn’t racking the slide be the equivalent of pulling the pin on a fire extinguisher? In both situations nothing happens when you squeeze the trigger until you pull the pin/ rack the slide.

    I carry an M&P .40c condition 3.

  27. xwiredogx said,

    Thank you all for your contributions to this important topic. I am new to the CCW community (Shield 9mm) and have been researching this debate for some time. This is BY FAR the most informative discussion I’ve come across. The read is just short of being able to have a gun specific conversation concerning the subject with M. Ayoob. Thanks again!

  28. Anonymous said,

    All right, I’ll put in my two cents. I’ve been CCW since it became legal here, and always carry a full size 1911 in condition 1. I’m a pretty big guy, so it’s actually pretty easy for me to conceal it, plus it’s the handgun that I’m most comfortable / accurate shooting.

    That being said, there is one big issue with carrying condition 3, and chambering a round when you “sense” danger: What if another CCW or LEO sees you unholster your gun, and chamber a round? It’s very likely that they will think YOU are the bad actor, and respond accordingly. If you’re lucky, and it’s an experienced LEO, he might just tell you to drop the gun, check you over, and maybe cite you for brandishing. If it’s a rookie LEO or a trigger happy CCW, you might end up dead. CCW means carry CONCEALED, and when removing your gun to chamber is round, it’s no longer CONCEALED.

    For all the guys here who state that they can chamber a round in < 1 second, that might be true at a range in a no-stress condition, but try that with some knife wielding maniac 5 feet away. Most LEO’s (and I know a few) will tell you that even with all their training, it’s an extremely stressful situation, and something as simple as drawing from a holster can be a problem, much less having to chamber a round. If I remember correctly from one of my CCW classes a while ago, a person armed with a KNIFE is considered to be an imminent threat at 7 yards, as that distance can be covered in about 1.5 seconds, which is the average time it takes for an LEO to draw & aim his / her pistol.

    As far as the original post that started this whole discussion, if you are dropping your pistol all over the place, then you are probably shouldn’t be carrying. It takes a lot of guts to state that “If you aren’t shooting once a month, I personally think you have no business being a CCW”, when you are dropping your pistol in restaurants and bathrooms. I’d feel a lot safer next to a CCW that goes to the range twice a year and carries responsibly than anywhere near you.

  29. Kris said,

    I’ve been training in Krav Maga and Muay Thai for years, and have investigated the Cond 3 training methods….I’ve read countless blogs, etc… on Cond 1 vs. Cond 3. I’ve been an LEO for 10 years and typically carry Cond 1….I normally don’t post on these but have noticed a pattern that really confuses me….

    Many advocating Cond 1 make statements that those that carry Cond 3 are “newbies” or “untrained”….or make other negative statements with no evidence to support them…

    Many advocating Cond 3 make statements that those that carry Cond 1 are “fools” or “reckless” etc….again, no evidence to support the statements….

    I don’t understand why people need to pontificate like this….it reminds me of those in martial arts that think they’re Bruce Lee and their style of martial art is the best and greatest thing in the world….

    These types of statements indicate that the individual making the statement is not confident in their training system (whether its Cond 1 or Cond 3)…… Those of us that train and are proficient with our craft should be working together to help each other grow and get better, not tear each other down….

    • Rid said,

      Hi Kris,

      It is rare that I reply to my initial post that started this topic, but here I go:

      I understand your points and maybe I feel a kindred spirit with you, having practiced Krav Maga at John Jay University in NYC. I was always told by my instructor, a prior service IDF, that they never carried cocked and locked. Their training incorporated this position and if it works for them, it sure as hell is good enough for me. That is why I personally adopted the style.

      I also grate at the comments from the peterperfects that are quick to judge those the have either accidentally dropped their piece or had a negligent discharge. It happens to the best military and civilian LEOs every year. Sometime when you are really bored, Youtube the DEA Agent that professed to be the “only person in this room qualified to handle this Glock,” then promptly blew a 40 caliber freaking hole in his leg.

      My logic is that if you can’t guarantee 100% of something, and you need to… reevaluate. I sacrifice 1/2 a second, racking a round, to make sure I never, ever, ever harm another person or one of my family, by sending an unintended round down range. That is the price I am willing to pay.

      But ultimately this discussion is about a respectful discourse between well meaning people on a very important topic.

      The path I have chosen is 100% safety over the extra second I may lose while charging a round. But, ultimately, this is what works for me.

    • Stephen McGregor said,

      Depending on conditions 99% of the time I carry Condition 3. My reason is no chance of Accidental Discharge, and honestly I don’t picture most of the situations I might get into as being a “Quick Draw” type of thing such as a LEO might be involved in.

      I do however often change to condition 1 if I am in parts of town where a quick situation might occur, and where my pistol might be needed.

      One of the main reasons I carry is based on action by mobs such as happened to Reginald Denny after a civil outbreak.

      Not being an LEO and not being trained in “Bank Robberies” etc, I honestly would never intend to become a combatant in an Armed Robbery, unless… My family, My self, or the Clerk etc were in ABSOLUTE eminent danger. I don’t plan to ever be the one that escalates.


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