Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Safety Gizmos

I usually come down with Tam on useless extraneous features. But I don’t think a loaded chamber indicator is totally useless.

Yes, it certainly IS dangerous when you use it as a safety device and then rely on it to wantonly violate Rule 2 and 3 while thinking Rule 1 doesn’t apply cuz the indicator says so.

But let’s say you have a prowler in our basement at 2AM. You grab your blaster with a loaded chamber indicator. It’s too dark in your house to do a press check to see if there is a round there, and you don’t want to take off the rail light on your gun to look for brass in the pipe. The house is dim, but not so dim that your can’t shoot a bad guy (and at my house a guy in the basement at 2AM is NOT a good guy, guaranteed. Might not be the same at your house. It could just be your innocent son in law, so don’t air him out.) with your tritium sights and illuminating the area with the aforementioned rail light. You are pretty sure the gun has a round ready to go, as it always does, but you don’t KNOW. The loaded chamber indicator sits proud of the frame and you can feel that and be good to go.

Maybe. I guess the chamber indicator could be broken and shows a round where there ain’t one so when you confront the murderous meth-head in the basement you are gonna get that click instead of a boom.

So… maybe Tam IS right. Relying on gizmos is probably not ideal in any case.

And can a broken chamber indicator gimp an otherwise functioning weapon and make it fail? That would be bad. Like a failed internal lock could kill you with a click instead of a bang. I dislike internal locks, magazine safeties, and loaded chamber indicators on principle, but my dislike of the internal locks is a bit more acute…

I know, I know, the chances of the internal safety lock failing and rendering the gun unusable is vanishingly remote. You know what's more remote? Me pointing a gun at someone because the loaded chamber indicator is down. I still don't want either of them, or the magazine disconnect, on my shooting irons. Full stop.

8 comments:

Tam said...

"But let’s say you have a prowler in our basement at 2AM. You grab your blaster with a loaded chamber indicator. It’s too dark in your house to do a press check to see if there is a round there..."

This is why God made pinkie fingers: So we can inspect the chamber tactilely as well as visually, each and every time we chamber check our weapon, whether it is dark or light outside. We do this because this is a good habit to have.

Anonymous said...

Maybe it is just me but, I can't understand the concept of Not knowing the condition of your firearm.

My "ready" gun is always loaded.

My other guns are always unloaded,and secured.

Why would I need an indicator or to do a press check.

Dennis the librarian shusher

Turk Turon said...

My old 1946 Walther PPK 7.65mm has one in the form of a pin that stands proud of the rear of the slide a couple of millimeters to show a loaded chamber. It is unambiguous and easy to feel with the thumb; no need to look and no need for light. I tend to think that it was a requirement of the German police at the time. As Tam points out, this would be a crutch, a substitute for proper training. Using a pinkie to check for a loaded chamber on a blowback pistol would be tough. But the Gen III Glocks have a desultory LCI in the form of a tiny raised boss on the ejector, which is next to useless, and probably creates an unnecessary stress point for fracture.

New Jovian Thunderbolt said...

Now how do I get my pinkie finger in there? Especially as a lefty. The chamber is on the 'wrong' side.

I'll have to practice. With my luck I'll press check too far and eject the round. Not so bad with the SIG, I still have 11 left. With the 1911, that's one of seven gone.

Good thing my "Prowler in the basement!" gun is a .357.

Frozen said...

My "prowler" is my XD-45. I do have night sights and a rail light. The XD also has a chamber indicator designed to "fail safe" in that if the indicator fails, the weapon will not. In which case, a finger check is perfectly valid and in case I pull the slide too far back, well, I've still got 12 more.

That said I always know the condition of every weapon I have. As Turk said, they are all unloaded and stored, the XD is in the 1 gun nightstand quick open button combo safe in condition 3 (I have young kids and the dogs will give me the 5 second warning I'll need).

Did it MY way said...

One reason my older model wheel guns are still my favorite. Also my faithful 1911. Like me old but still works. If I need more than 6 or 7 I'm up the creek. Works for me.

See Ya

JB Miller said...

"But let’s say you have a prowler in our basement at 2AM. You grab your blaster with a loaded chamber indicator. It’s too dark in your house to do a press check to see if there is a round there..."

If you are NOT sure. Cycle it. You are then sure. If you hear a cartridge hit the floor you will know it was loaded and is still loaded.

CTone said...

I just check my 1911 each and every time I set it on the nighstand before bed. Every time. I have made this a deliberate ritual to prevent complacency.

And like Frozen, I have little kids to worry about, so the gun stays holstered and secure until bedtime.