I recently wrote an article about keeping your self-defense handgun without a round in the chamber, so-called “Israeli Carry”.
My opinion is I think you should keep a round in the chamber, because there’s no reason not to given that modern guns are so mechanically safe.
Some people chimed in to defend carrying without a round in the chamber. Some points were well thought out, but there still appear to be many people that think they will possibly h
ave time to recognize a life-or-death situation … and then … have time to rack the slide before defending themselves.
Today, I want to look at a video making the rounds on the internet — from Israel no less — that shows how quickly a situation can turn deadly and the disadvantages of “Israeli Carry” in such a situation.
The Palestinian-On-Israel “Crash and Stab” Campaign of Late 2015
Maybe these things are happening all the time in Israel and we’re just now reading about it because we have the internet, but in late 2015 in Israel there has been a wave of violence, mostly in Jerusalem.
As we go to press, Palestinians have killed three Israelis and injured up to 22 in attacks using cars, knives, guns, and meat cleavers.
Today, we’re going to look at this video …
Israeli police were checking out suspicious characters at Damascus gate.
In the picture below you can see the officer in the middle of three standing officers, holding a blue object, which are the papers the seated guy (in a blue jacket) gave him.
He appears to hand the papers back and then question the seated person more …
The seated man stands up, casually pulling up his pants and adjusting his clothing as he looks away from the police officer and his two friends that are questioning him.
As soon as he gets standing, it appears that he drew a knife with his right hand from somewhere on the back of his body …
And in way less than a second, he reaches out with his left hand and grabs the officer’s head, and brings the knife up getting read to plunge it down into his neck and upper torso.
You can see the officer’s friend has already started to react to the first stab by reaching out with his hand …
But it’s too late as you can see the officer’s body react to the stabbing in this freeze frame …
But the attacker loses his left hand hold on the officer’s head, and the officer backpeddles away from the attacker — making too much space to get stabbed anymore and the attacker follows him as the other officers react.
Now, he’s turned to face the other officers …
And it’s interesting to note that it appears at last 3 of these 5 other officers look like they’re reaching for their handguns to begin their drawstroke …
It looks like the officer directly in front of the attacker throws a front kick at the attacker (that the attacker parries with the knife in his hand), as the officer behind him draws his sidearm …
Pay close attention to the officer who drew his gun first (it appears)– that I drew a red arrow pointing at. You can see he has the gun out of the holster at this point and it’s even pointing in the direction of the bad guy. At this point he could of begun shooting …
Except that, it appears he is carrying Israeli style and had to rack the slide on his handgun to chamber a round before he could engage the attacker. Again, look at the red arrow I drew you can see him turning the gun horizontal, and reaching over with his support hand to rack the slide with a slingshot grip (if you watch the video in slow motion, and pay careful attention, you can see the whole process)
In the time that it took for him to rack the slide and then reacquire the sight picture on the attacker, the attacker had moved quite a bit and started going towards the other officers …
Of course he eventually shoots, and they all swarm him and shoot him to the ground eventually …
What Can We Learn From This?
Number one, it appears that it’s still popular to carry Israeli style in Israel. Go figure …
Number two, I don’t know much about the equipment that Israeli Police in Jerusalem carry, but these cops were kitted out. Here’s a picture of two others that I found online and it appears that drop leg holsters are popular (it’s what the guy who I pointed arrows at in the video was wearing as well).
I point this out because I can almost guarantee you that your concealed carry draw is slower than drawing from a drop-leg holster like this.
Which means in a life or death situation, the time it takes you to
1. Realize you need your gun
2. Draw your gun
Is going to be a lot slower than even this officer was able to react.
And finally …
In Self-Defense Situations, You Often Find Yourself Way Behind The Power Curve
In fact, this video is a perfect example of knife stabbings …
Because, contrary to movies or what is commonly taught as knife defense in most martial arts schools — you generally find out you’re in a knife fight after you realize someone is stabbing you.
You see, most traditional martial arts train for knife defense with a “start” position like this — where the guy with the knife is standing a couple feet away — holding the knife, letting you know “Hey! I’m about to stab you! Are you ready?”
In real life, this is usually the “start position” for defending against a knife attack — when you realize there’s a guy who’s stabbing you :
In other words, you are WAY behind the power curve in real life because you’re the good guy.
Again to quote Jeff Cooper’s Principles of Personal Defense:
“In defense we do not initiate violence. We must grant our attacker the vast advantage of striking the first blow, or at least attempting to do so. But thereafter we may return the attention with what should optimally be overwhelming violence. “The best defense is a good offense.” This is true, and while we cannot apply it strictly to personal defensive conduct, we can propose a corollary: “The best personal defense is an explosive counterattack.””
I will note that in this video, you’ll notice the police officer that was stabbed was out of the fight. He never had a chance to draw his gun. In fact, if he did not have 6 other friends with him, with their own guns, he might be dead.
Something To Think About …
In short, it’s hard enough to even get your gun out and on target when you’re being attacked, why make it harder on yourself by carrying an unloaded gun too?
ALWAYS KEEP A ROUND IN THE CHAMBER! & YES..ALWAYS HAVE A GUN WITH SOME KIND OF “SAFETY!”..PERIOD!
You may not have time to release a safety when the SHTF. I want my weapon ready to fire when I bring it into position with out having the added stress of having to manually release a safety when under attack.
I would say yes to the safety, for your sake as well as others.
I have a Ruger 9S, 9mm, with 17 round clip, (one extra in chamber,) with the safety right on the pistol where the thumb goes, so it can be released as you draw. This type gives you safety where you need it, protection against accidental firing, and protection against having to hunt for a safety too long.
Clips are what girls wear in their hair!! Warriors use magazines in their weapons.
Although I carried a Walther for 30++ years and it has an external safety and I trained to the point that recovering the gun from the holster instinctively releases the safety with the thumb on the sight-in I also own Glocks without manual safeties and see no advantage one way or the other
The key is to realize the pros and cons of each. The Walther is a DA/SA so if desired the trigger pressure can be all but a few pounds while the Glocks need atleast a bit more pressure to be safe. I have seen guys modify their Glocks to 2-3 pounds of trigger pressure and surely that is asking for an accident but on the flip I can’t justify the requirement for a manual safety with the current technology built into guns
I could NEVER understand the issue of Open chamber carry it is about as bad as not carrying. This video is just one example and I have seen others similar that go to the extreme where the bad guy instead of going to a knife purposely went for the gun and knowing it wasn’t loaded (or not carrying if it was or not) atleast succeeded in not being shot and disarmed the officer so it became a man on man fight with both parties being unarmed.
The only advantage a gun has in a fight is the ammo and if there isn’t any in the chamber then why carry it? If you are so concerned about safety either your own or someone else’s as a result of an accidental misfire please don’t carry a gun you aren’t trained well enough!
You should always keep a round chambered, you just never know when the time may come. And never trust a muslim, PERIOD!
Muslims’ religion teaches that all faithful Muslims have a responsibility to harm “infidels” in any way they can, and to kill “infidels” when they can. We finally got the Catholics to settle down and stop abusing and killing us, and now the Muslims are on the rise.
The only good muslim is a dead muslim………….
Amen to that.
I trained in martial arts and practiced knife defense quite a bit. I can tell you one thing for sure; you are going to get cut. How bad depends on how quick you are, but you are going to get cut. It isn’t like in the movies. A skilled attacker with a knife can close a 20′ gap in less time than it takes to you to draw your weapon. You are going to be stabbed and cut several times given the added time to chamber a round or release a safety, especially if the attacker is closer like this one.
A 1000 times yes! I can’t even start counting how often I heard: “He just had a knife, you can fend that off!”
Thank you Jim for adding that perspective. If you can’t retreat from a knife when you are empty handed prepare for a prolonged hospital stay.
Will it weaken the spring in the gun to leave it cocked?
No it will not weaken the spring. Metal fatigue comes from the movement of metal. The repeated tightening and releasing the spring. The spring will not develop memory if not compressed more than 80-90%..
I just want to thank Caleb for these great instruction videos an comments on what to do in different situations, that are very very helpful, THANKYOU CALEB.
Never get that close if possible, use the 3 step rule
It never ceases to me that some jerk must yel about the Catholics. That is just more prejudice created by good Anababtists and their KKK bretheran. This is about how to carry or not carry a firearm, your descretion. NOT what may or may not have been done by Catholics. Before these good babtists throw stones, they need to look at their own part in how blacks were treated in the south, by them, and th good kind KKK!
An unloaded gun (unchambered) is a hammer
But always clear that round when you get home….you never know if someone else is going to gain access to your weapon. Family and friends always find what you have interesting. So unless in public or if a threat may be present try and be mindful of safety. As much as I have heard negative about revolvers. I like the empty round as I can pull that trigger in a flash, without thinking. Chances are the first bang will end things or scatter the attacker or attackers as they generally do not all want to meet Allah.
It is not 1948 anymore. Israel now has standardized weapons. A police officer or soldier doesn’t carry a K98 on Monday and a SMLE on Tuesday. Today they know where the safety is on THEIR gun. What was necessary in the days of supply choas is foolish today
My personal carry is a Glock 20. It has no safety I have to worry about in the heat of the moment, and with today’s good holsters, there is no worry about “accidently” blowing your foot off in a fast draw. Not carrying a round in the chamber is like having no weapon at all. If you cannot be mindful of the weapon and the situation that may confront you, you have no right to be carrying at all. I also always carry a tactical blade, and have for 60 years. A lot of my friends and I are in agreement that they would much rather be shot than cut. Nothing in the world would be more of a surprise to you than looking down and seeing your guts hanging out. Just sayin’…
Is it safe to carry a Colt Mustang Pocketlite with the hammer down on a loaded chamber? This Colt is single action so I would have to cock it—there is no half-cock position—before firing. I could engage the safety. I am afraid of dropping the gun and having it go off. Thanks in advance for your advice.
I really have no idea as I don’t have experience with that gun
A revolver solves all these problems. I carry a J-frame in vest or jacket pocket and can shoot thru the vest if very close, no draw required, 5 rounds VERY fast. No safety, no racking, no tap-rack-bang, nothing to remember, no BS. If in a hi-threat area have a hi-cap auto as backup, use either as appropriate.
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The safety catch on a pistol is an accident waiting to happen!
In competing in an IPSC math, many years ago, and I had drawn, slipped the safety off, many hundreds of times, prior to this stage.
I missed the safety! In the time it took for these two targets to swing vertically, and drop out of sight… They were gone.
I switched to my just acquired Glock 17. And now a Gen4 Glock 19, many years on. Pull, point, and press!
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Consider that if he had a round chambered he could have also inadvertently shot himself or bystander while panicky to draw. The macro movement of chambering is probably easier than the dexterity for safeties. ALSO it depends on the gun, if it is a gun like a Glock which pretty much has no safeties, Israeli carry is the way to go.
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Interesting! 1965 deep in the South Vietnam jungle a Vietcong walked right next to me in the jungle. I already had my 45 out C1 I pointed at his head as the safety clicked he turned toward me to meet a 130 grn hardball in the face. If I would have been carrying C3 it probably would have turned out in his favor. Since I have never ever carried C3 ever. But then I do not use Glock pistols either.
Israeli/C3 was developed for carry by people with minimul gun training. Safety is maximised.
I prefer modern Double Action Only pistols.
Like a revolver. The only Safety is your brain, and finger off the trigger ❗
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