This is an age old question, should I carry with one in the chamber? Well, it depends on how you train. It will also depend on what you carry. Carrying with one in the chamber does make you that much more ready to defend yourself or your loved ones, especially if taken by surprise. This does however put the risk for accidental misfire higher. Some semi-automatics do not have a mechanical safety, this means that if one is in the chamber and the trigger is pulled it will go bang. Most modern holsters have positive retention and completely cover the trigger to help prevent misfire but cannot eliminate. If you have a mechanical safety then it makes the decision to carry with one in the chamber easy. If you choose not to carry with one in the chamber then train to put one in the chamber with only one hand. In a surprise attack you could have to engage the predator with your off hand while drawing with your strong hand. Practice putting that round in the chamber with only one hand. If you cannot do this then you need to train with one in the chamber. Having a loaded gun without one in the chamber turns it into a 1 pound rock to hit your attacker. Revolver is a totally different animal. Carry one in the chamber, if you have a single action you will need to pull the hammer back just to fire and if you have a double action it will take pulling the hammer back or 11 pounds of pressure to get the hammer to come back and draw. It is almost impossible for you to accidently pull the trigger on a double action revolver.
The key is to practice the way you plan to carry. If you carry using an inside the waist band holster then you should practice pulling from that holster. If you plan to carry with the chamber empty, get some dummy rounds and practice chambering a round with one hand. The same goes for using an ankle holster, a purse or satchel.
Don’t be the person who gets their concealed carry permit and think that you will be able to perform when the attack happens. You need to have more training in protecting yourself than the bad guy has.
Instructor Cannonball Defense