There are many conditions in which to carry a gun. Most experts recommend Condition 1. However, there are some who don’t want a round in the chamber. Experts call this Condition 3.
Condition 3, also called Israeli carry, consists of a loaded magazine with the safety off and no round in the chamber. However, the Israelis didn’t event this form of carry. Years ago, numerous experts recommended this method. One reason was the potential of a drop fire. If there is no round in the chamber, a dropped gun can’t go off. As such, some believe that safety overrides readiness.
Today, however, few prefer this method of concealed carry. Most handguns come with a block safety to prevent drop fires. Of course, drop fires do happen, but typically because of user error rather than hitting the ground. Good holsters prevent handguns from falling, forcing owners to grab the gun as it falls and potentially pressing the trigger.
Reason Against Condition 3
While there might be a reason for Condition 3, there are also many reasons for not carrying in this condition. Case in point is the video below showing two men getting into an altercation where one man pulls a gun. It appears as if the gun doesn’t have a round in the chamber. So, to use it the man must rack the slide. However, he had to use his free hand to fend off the other man. Because of this, he can’t chamber a round. Additionally, the other man is able to grab the gun, at which point he loads the gun and proceeds to kill the gun’s owner.
There is no way of knowing what would have happened if the gun had been chambered. However, it is safe to assume that things might have gone differently.
Firearm Readiness Conditions
Col. Jeff Cooper is known for coming up with the Modern Pistol Technique and founding Gunsite Academy. He also came up with the firearm readiness conditions followed by most shooters. Of course, the conditions relate to the 1911 and other single-action pistols. However, it can be used with any hammer guns.
Condition 0: Full magazine with a round chambered, hammer back and safety off.
Condition 1: Full magazine with a round chambered, hammer back and safety on.
Condition 2: Full magazine with a round chambered and the hammer down.
Condition 3: Full magazine without a round chambered and the hammer down.
Condition 4: Magazine empty, chamber empty and hammer down.
Every person who carried a gun must decide for themselves how to carry a handgun, but in most cases, Condition one is best.