Last week, I was checking out a local gun shop trying to kill time. I overheard a couple other customers talking about how they carry their firearm and it caught my attention. The older gentleman said he carries an older model Smith & Wesson 686 but leaves the chamber empty just in case. To be honest, this isn’t the first time I’ve heard someone say something exactly like this and plenty of other odd comments as well. Whether it’s carrying sub-par ammo or practicing bad habits that will do more harm than good in the long run. Let’s dive into the depths of insanity when it comes to concealed carry myths.
1. Carrying On An Empty Chamber
Carrying on an empty chamber is probably one of the most common beginner mistakes I hear. In the past, I’ve heard people say they aren’t comfortable carrying a loaded firearm on them or want to just scare people away. I often say this is like saying you’ll have enough time to put a seatbelt on before you crash your car. Carrying on an empty chamber with a revolver is probably one of the worst offenders because you limit yourself even more by losing a round in a limited capacity. Instead of having a 5 shot capacity you’re now down to 4 which frankly is extremely low for general concealed carrying.
In the case of semi-auto pistols, in the event of pulling a firearm for self-defense in an incredibly stressful situation, it won’t be easy to remember to chamber the first round. Some people may think carrying an empty chamber is the correct thing to do, but I promise carrying a round in the chamber is the best way to go.
2. Shooting Without Ear Protection
One of the craziest things I heard growing up was the idea of shooting 3-5 rounds every range session with no ear protection. A family member claimed it was good to become acclimated with the sound level of a shot going off. The main argument for training with no ear protection is to get rid of any flinching associated with the loud crack from a firearm. I get the idea behind this type of training but it’s never a good idea to willingly damage your hearing for the sake of training. When it comes to a self-defense situation, the sound of the handgun going off will not be enough to disorientate you in a stressful situation where you have to defend yourself. So please, when you’re firing your gun at the range, keep your ear protection on for your hearing’s sake.
3. First 5 Rounds Are Self Defense Rounds Followed by FMJ
Call me crazy, but I’ve heard this theory probably a dozen times one way or another from people. They either don’t want to spend money on a box of new self-defense ammunition or just think they will only need 5 rounds for a situation. Not only is this an extremely cheap way to carry a concealed firearm, but honestly it’s dangerous at a certain point with various cartridges. Having the correct ammunition in your carry gun is essential with handguns chambered in 9mm or other calibers with high velocities.
Picking out a good hollow point that can expand and transfer its energy into the target is the number one priority. In many cases, an FMJ will simply blow through, and once that round goes past the target, you are now accountable for every round and the collateral damage it may cause. Having the proper rounds that transfer all their energy in your target is not only good for stopping the threat but protecting others from over penetration.
4. Inexperienced Shooters Should Buy a Bigger Caliber Gun
I still don’t understand the thought process but I’ve heard this in at least two different settings with guys talking about their wives. Both times, the husbands have openly acknowledged the fact their wives are not great shots and rather than getting proper training say a bigger caliber is better. The main argument behind this is the fact they will get only 1-2 shots off before they are attacked by an intruder so it might as well be a 10mm or .44 Magnum.
I can’t tell you how terrible of an idea this is and rather than giving someone a hand cannon they can’t control, instead just invest that money into a couple basic handgun courses. People aren’t naturally good at shooting right off the bat and often times need a fair bit of trigger time to develop their skills. It’s important to feel comfortable with your firearm and instill confidence rather than saying F*#K it and putting the biggest gun you can find in their hands. Training your significant other can be a great asset in a self-defense situation along with giving you both a common hobby to share in your free time.
In short, people say crazy things sometimes and the spread of misinformation is rampant sometimes. The best piece of advice I can give to new shooters is just do your research and don’t just take one person’s advice as gospel. That includes what I have to say and I know certain people will disagree with at least one of the topics I talked about earlier and that’s alright. The biggest issue is talking to that “one friend” you have and taking everything they say as the absolute only way. Let me know what are some of the craziest things you’ve heard from people in the comments below. If you have a question about concealed carrying or anything in general, feel free to send me a message on Instagram @fridgeoperator. Stay safe out there.