1. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    How to hide a belt of ammo?

    Discussion in 'Research' started by Mckk, Aug 7, 2014.

    As someone with no experience with firearms, I need help with this. Basically, my character is wearing a tank top and cargo pants. There's a belt of ammo - I think likely regular bullets for a handgun/shot gun (I don't actually know if there's any difference - but it's definitely a gun people would carry around on a regular basis for self-protection in a rough area).

    So, in my story, I have her hide this under the waistband of her cargo pants. The ammo/belt belongs to a taller man. Character in question is a slender woman.

    Is this realistic? Or would it bulge out that everyone would be able to see it?

    The situation is that my character is trying to hide weapons and ammo for someone else on her body, because that someone else is gonna be searched whereas she (the character in question) will probably not.
     
  2. Lae
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    Lae Contributing Member Contributor

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    I'm not a gun person but hiding clips for a normal handgun would probably be more realistic, hiding loose bullets for a revolver might work on some sort of belt i guess. Hiding shotgun shells would stand out quite a bit i assume, they're quite bulky. I think.

    I'd also assume ammo belts are quite sturdy and possibly quite bulky?

    for a scale reference have a look here: http://herohog.com/images/guns/ammo/

    about a third of the way down is a picture with a battery for reference, #1 would be a shotgun shell and #10 a 9mm (which i think is a typical handgun round)
     
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  3. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I guess also any education on guns that people can give me would also be appreciated. I don't even know the difference between a revolver and a handgun.
     
  4. Lae
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    Lae Contributing Member Contributor

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    a typical modern pistol has an chamber build into the barrel i think (think modern day police issue stuff), a revolver has a cylinder with chambers that revolves into line with the barrel. (think old style western)

    so typically a pistol would feed bullets into the chamber via a spring loaded clip, a revolved would turn the chamber after each round is fired and thus lining up the next bullet. They usually have 6 chambers i think.

    oh additionally, a pistol is any firearm that can be fired with one hand i believe. I'm not sure if handgun is a correct term.
     
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  5. stevesh
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    stevesh Banned Contributor

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    Depends on how many rounds you want her to have. Cowboys in the Old West carried rounds for their revolvers in loops in their belts, which would have limited them to thirty or so at most. If she's carrying ammo for a semi-auto pistol, it would be in magazines, anywhere from seven to fifteen rounds per. Each magazine would be around five inches long, 1 1/2 inches wide and 1/2 to 3/4 inch deep. Any more than a few shotgun shells would be impossible to conceal in that outfit.
     
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  6. nippy818
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    nippy818 Active Member

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    My uncle was a gun smith and i have been around firearms my entire life. In the old west pistol and carbine/rifle could be interchanged. that is something us american's have really taken to heart. anymore you can buy semi automatic carbines chambered in a range of semi automatic pistol rounds. such as the hi=point carbines or Barrett carbines. all chamber in 9mm .40 cal and .45 cal. i would recomend if the story is modern, having the character using a nylon belt, folding it up and putting it in one of her cargo pockets. There is a few carbine/pistol/sub machine guns that go so far as to have interchangeable magazines. most notably Glock magazines that work in the Kriss vector in .45 cal.
     
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  7. Jack Asher
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    Jack Asher Wildly experimental Contributor

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    A revolver is a handgun. Handgun's come in two flavors (mostly), revolver and semi-automatic
    This is a revolver, you can see the cylinder referenced by some others. For the most part the cylinder holds 6 or 8 rounds
    [​IMG]
    This is a semi-auto. It's called that because as soon as a round is fired it's expended through the breach, (you can see that is the little rectangular opening at the top) and a fresh round is loaded into the barrel, from the clip (that little thing on the right.
    [​IMG]
    The ammo belt you describe could be several things, but if you're talking about something like this
    [​IMG]
    Then it's very unlikely that the woman would be using a semi-auto. The clip takes a couple of seconds, and a dexterity roll to load with bullets, before it's loaded into a clip. That's the reason the semi-auto looks the way it does, the clips are easy to carry and load, and have a higher capacity then the revolver.

    If I was trying to hide it I would clip the belt buckle to my waist band and string it down my leg, securing it with duct tape.

    Alternatively the ammo belt might look like this
    [​IMG]
    With just clips in it. Again this is much higher capacity, but easy to hide in a cargo pocket.

    Lastly this is a shotgun, more specifically the SPAS-12 anti riot, with extension stock, you might recognize it from it's break out role in Jurassic Park.
    [​IMG]
    It's ammo isn't referred to as "rounds" but "shells", and they look like this
    [​IMG]
    As you can see the important difference is that the shotgun shell is filled with "shot" instead of a single bullet. Video games make it look like the spread of the shot is huge over a small distance, but it's really only about the size of a dinner plate at a hundred yards for most (unmodified) (personnel) shotguns.

    You can see from the picture of the SPAS that it would be very hard to conceal, it's more likely that the person would try to hide a "sawed off" shotgun. This is a shotgun that has had the barrel litterally sawed off
    [​IMG]
    In most cases it is extremely illegal to modify a shotgun like this, because it is so easy to conceal. the spread of this shotgun is also larger, though not as wide as video games portray.

    Hope that helps, let me know if you have any questions.
     
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  8. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    @Jack Asher - wow that's such an informative post. Thank you! Especially for the pictures, because honestly I wouldn't know what you were talking about otherwise.

    I do have a few questions.

    1. What's a roll load?

    2. What do you mean when you say "the clip takes a few seconds"?

    3. So "clips" are specifically that rectangular barrel of rounds, am I right?

    4. I'm not sure I understand the difference between a shot, a round, a clip, and a bullet.

    5. What do you mean by "spread"?

    6. Considering my story is a sci-fi dystopian novel and said character is supposed to be from the slums, realistically which gun would he carry? And therefore which kinda ammo belt would he likely be wearing? It should be a gun that you can carry with you easily, carries a good amount of rounds, and used within a confined space like tunnels and alleys etc. What kind of fire power would such a gun have? What would it be sufficient for?

    7. So what kinda ammo goes into a belt that goes across your chest? (and what kinda gun would that be for?)

    8. I've come across the idea of a bullet's calibre etc - what exactly is that? (I assume it means fire power) What kind of calibre of bullets should my character want for what he uses it for? (mostly in case of getting attacked in dark narrow streets)

    9. I assume the length of the barrel makes a difference - what difference does it make? And what would a gun with a long barrel be good for, and what about a short barrel? (please define what is considered to be a "long" or "short" barrel)

    10. Lastly, what would be suitable for a woman to use, if a semi-auto isn't it? And why not? (I didn't get your explanation the first time sorry)

    Thank yooooou!!! :D
     
  9. Selbbin
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    Selbbin I hate you Contributor

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    Not an exact answer, but.... When I was in the army and wanted a 'souvenir' I hid a few lengths of 5.56 (blanks) belt ammunition for the FN Minimi (M249 SAW for you yanks) by wrapping it around my legs and securing it in place with the round itself (the disintegrating links allow you to make a full connection all the way around.) I then wore those bands of ammunition tight against my skin and under my pants, avoiding the usual ammunition searches at the end of a training operation. I think I smuggled around 200 rounds.

    So for you character, wrap the ammunition around her ankles/ lower legs and under the cargo pants. The cloth is baggy and no-one will know. Trust me ;)
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2014
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  10. Selbbin
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    Selbbin I hate you Contributor

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    Answers 3 to 10


    3 - A clip is generally a magazine, or a unit of storage for ammunition loaded directly into the weapon.

    4 - A shot is the cartridge for a a shotgun, which fires lots of pellets rather than a single bullet. Edit for correction: Shot refers to each pellet (ball-bearing type thing) in a cartridge or shell. A round is the combination of the shell/cartridge and bullet. The shell/cartridge is where the 'explosives' are housed to fire the bullet. A clip is a magazine, or a storage device holding ammunition loaded directly into a weapon and feeding the ammunition as the weapon fires. A bullet is a solid single projectile, often made in various ways from various materials.

    5 - I believe the meaning here is how wide the pellets from a shotgun spread out when fired. They don't all go directly forward, but spread out slightly to cover a wider area.

    6 - Shotgun or pistol. I'd vote pistol, with a magazine (clip) belt.

    7 - Anything. Any gun. You can have a variety. But often in movies it is the chain belt ammunition for machine-guns. many rounds linked together to be rapidly fed into the machinegun.

    8 - You'll need to google that. It's a lengthy explanation. But basically it's the size of a round.

    9 - yes. Longer generally = more accurate. Longer - sniper, shorter - close combat / easy to hide and faster to aim.

    10 - Semi-auto is just a firing rate, where you don't need to reload the weapon, but just keep pulling the trigger and it reloads itself. A woman would likely have a semi-auto pistol.
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2014
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  11. Okon
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    Okon Contributing Member Contributor

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    One of the coolest things I've read here:cool:.
     
  12. Selbbin
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    Selbbin I hate you Contributor

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    When you're a writer you gotta think creative ;)
     
  13. Lae
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    Lae Contributing Member Contributor

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    I don't know what a roll load is but for #2.

    Loading a clip or magazine (that has say 15 bullets already loaded) is quicker than loading the bullets individually, you hit the release on the side, the clip drops out, you shove the new clip in and give it a firm push to make sure it clicks in. You have reloaded
     
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  14. Jack Asher
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    Jack Asher Wildly experimental Contributor

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    We didn't get into it before, but there's a third kind of ammo belt
    [​IMG]
    This is actually called a belt or a chain, and it is used almost exclusively for fully automatic weapons.
    A full auto is a gun that can fire several bullets without any input by the wielder. To be more specific, all you have to do with a full auto weapon is squeeze the trigger and the gun will fire until it is empty. These weapons are illegal to buy or sell in the U.S. except under specific circumstances.

    A belt like this might feed a minigun like this
    [​IMG]
    or a M2 like this
    [​IMG]
    But neither of these weapons is what you would call...discrete.

    There's no reason a woman couldn't use any of these guns. But a larger (higher caliber) gun will be easier for a woman to use. The heavier guns have a lower kick back then the larger ones. My wife's p99 is difficult for her to control, so she usually ends up using my Glock 9mm.
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2014
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  15. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    When you're in a hurry, you eject the clip and let it fall, rather than trying to hold the empty clip while loading the full one. Time permitting you will pick up the old clip, but only after your handgun is fire-ready. If you're in a running gun battle, your life is more important than an empty clip, even though they aren't exactly cheap.

    Another point to consider in some situations is that the shell casings are ejected as part of the firing cycle of a semi-auto, but remain in the cylinder of a revolver until removed by the shooter to reload. In a crime scenario, those ejected casings are evidence. In a combat situation, it's generally unimportant.
     
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  16. mg357
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    mg357 Active Member

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    If I may politely add my own 02 cents if she is carrying a semi-automatic pistol her ammunition for that weapon would be stored.

    in magazines and because of their small size she could lots of them in pockets of her cargo pants.

    An she could use an empty pants pocket to store her empty pistol magazines for reloading later on.

    Regarding revolvers If she wanted to she could carry a snub nose revolver as a backup weapon.

    it has a short barrel of 2 inches or less and because of its small frame size it can be carried in a pants pocket as well.

    If you want the female character to carry this type of revolver I suggest the S&W Model 642 .38 caliber revolver.

    it has the hammer inside of the guns frame, so carrying it in pocket would workable without the risk of an accidental discharge.

    Regarding shotgun shells she could carry them in a bandolier around her waist and just wear a longer tank top to conceal it.

    Or she could take them out of the Bandolier and hide them in her pockets because shotgun shells are small in size.

    Regarding Machine gun ammunition that does come on belt and that can be concealed around her waist, all she would need to do is wear a longer tank top to conceal it.
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2014
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  17. Bryan Romer
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    Bryan Romer Contributing Member Contributor

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    It is incorrect that larger calibre pistols have less recoil. It is a bit more complicated than that. But a .22 or .25 calibre pistol will definitely NOT have more recoil than a 9mm or .45 ACP. A heavier gun tends to absorb some of the recoil, but most large heavy guns tend to be chambered for powerful ammunition which increases the recoil.

    In general, using the term "clip" to refer to the magazine of a semi-automatic pistol will get you a lot of negative feedback from people who know guns.

    Unlike cowboy times, ammunition is very rarely carried on belts. Even revolver users are more likely to be using speed loaders (Google speed-loader) or loose ammunition in pouches.
     
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  18. nippy818
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    nippy818 Active Member

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    Don't use the term clip unless you talking about a stripper clip (mostly bolt action rifles use these.) The reason i bring it up is if you have someone experienced in a book say clip your going to turn off a lot of gun people. the correct term is magazine.
     
  19. T.Trian
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    T.Trian Overly Pompous Bastard Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Okay, this is just a quickie: most likely your character, be they male or female, would carry a semi-automatic pistol, like a Glock 19 in 9x19mm. They might carry a spare magazine (that's the proper term in most cases: calling magazines "clips" makes the author look like a dilettante) on their belt, but most don't because most modern pistols, even compacts, hold well over 10 rounds (the G19 holds 15 + one in the barrel), and if you need 16 rounds in a gun fight... well, let's just say most gun fights end after only a few shots. The movie-style back and forth is just Hollywoodian bs.

    Some people are adamant that you shouldn't carry a gun with a round in the chamber (the aforementioned +1) for safety reasons, but from a purely practical, self-defense standpoint, that's just stupid; when the shit hits the fan so bad you need to shoot someone, chances are, you won't have time to rack the slide to chamber a round. You want your gun to be ready, just point and shoot (unless your gun has a manual safety like 1911s etc). Glocks, XDs etc.have trigger safeties and the XD even has a grip safety, so worrying about negligent discharges when carrying one in the barrel is just pointless unless you're a dumbass who can't keep his finger off the trigger before it's time to shoot something.

    That being said, your character definitely wouldn't be carrying cartridges on the belt; it's extremely slow, cumbersome, difficult to conceal, and just not worth the hassle.

    The character would likely also carry the pistol and the possible extra mag in IWB (inside the waistband) holsters. They are just about the only practical choice if you need to conceal your weapon but still be able to draw it quickly from under your shirt or jacket. OWB (outside the waistband) holsters are comfier but much more difficult to conceal (you'd need a sturdy jacket for that) and easy to spot. If the character wears an IWB holster, they need pants one size bigger than normal 'cause the pistol adds an inch or so to your waist size. Oh, and the shirt needs to be long enough and loose; skin-tight clothes just don't mesh with concealed carry.

    Oh yeah, one more terminology-thingy: a bullet is the tiny bit of metal that shoots out of the barrel. The things you load into the pistol (or, rather, magazine) are called cartridges or rounds. This is another thing that would turn off knowledgeable readers if you get it wrong. Calling magazines "clips" and cartridges/rounds "bullets" are some of the pet peeves of gun-savvy folks when talking about factual errors in films, books, or even conversations.

    Just my 0,02€. :cool:
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2014
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  20. thewordsmith
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    thewordsmith Contributing Member Contributor

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    STOOOOOOOP!
    Gosh darn. And you were doing SO good, too!

    Without going into the fine points, totally not needed here, a CLIP is NOT a MAGAZINE. They are distinctly different and for different types of weapons and different uses.

    The pistol [shown above] uses a magazine. Ammo is pressed in and spring loaded for discharge. A clip holds the rounds but generally the weapon has the source of advancing the rounds. [See below]



    [​IMG]

    Also, a shotgun is not likely to use either a clip or a mag (though there are some dual barreled - rifle/shotgun weapons, they are interchangeable so you have to remove one barrel to affix the other), and although you will find belts for holding the shells they will likely be bulky and intended for cross-torso or over-the-shoulder carry. This is called a bandolier.

    Now, after going back and reading what others have written, you have an excellent collection of information on which to draw.

    Re-read T.Trian's post. It's not only excellent info, it offers a wonderful real-world perspective at the street level, so to speak.

    And, thanks to T.Trian for my chuckle of the day on that last paragraph!
     
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  21. Jack Asher
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    Jack Asher Wildly experimental Contributor

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    Here's a .gif that will help you understand what's happening in a semi-auto pistol
    http://www.gunlink.info/images/1911_cycle.gif
    [​IMG]
    It shows up for me in the post but I don't know if it will for you.
    What @T.Trian is talking about when hes says you'd carry one in the chamber is that the gun will look like the first frame. Otherwise when the character want's to fire the gun they will have to pull back (rack,) the action/slide (the sliding thing) with their hand to load the first round. Here's a great first time explanation of how you should do this safely.

    As you might imagine carrying a gun like this is mildly dangerous, and there are more then a couple of cases of people accidentally shooting their own nuts off.
    No, really
    It's generally accepted that carrying a round in the chamber means you are either well prepared, or looking, for trouble.

    If
    you rack the gun with a round already in the chamber the only thing the happens is an unexpended round pops out and onto the floor. You might see people rack their guns in movies all the time. The important thing to remember is, if they are racking the gun, that gun was never ready to use.

    It's also important to remember that if a round is in the chamber and a character ejects the magazine, that round is still in there, and the gun is still loaded.

    What @T.Train is talking about is loading a magazine into the gun, chambering a round, ejecting the magazine and loading it to capacity, then reloading the magazine into the gun.

    Once again, ask if you have any questions.
     
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  22. Selbbin
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    Selbbin I hate you Contributor

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    How embarrassing. Although in my defence, in the army everyone, even the instructors, referred to the magazines as clips from time to time and it was never corrected (especially for the Browning). It must still be a vernacular thing left over from the early wars. However, they got incredibly irritated if you ever called your rifle a 'gun.' I remember one overly enthusiastic instructor point to the Howitzer on the corner of the parade ground in a rage and scream: 'that's a fucking gun', and then hold up the Steyr, 'this is a rifle!'

    Now why the Australian government thinks of an air-rifle as a fire-arm I'll never understand.
     
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  23. Jack Asher
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    Jack Asher Wildly experimental Contributor

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    Yeah for some reason I remember my instructor in the concealed carry course using "clip".
     
  24. Jack Asher
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    Jack Asher Wildly experimental Contributor

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    Oh I thought of more things when I was out!
    Tactical reload.
    When a semi auto magazine has been completly emptied it will look like this
    [​IMG]
    The slide will open and lock like that. There's no, "did I fire six shots or only five?" here. The slide is locked. You are empty.
    What this means for the shooter is that they have to:
    Expend the magazine
    Load a new magazine
    release the slide lock, allowing the action back into place
    Then rack the action again to chamber a new round.

    Because of this a gun with the slide locked will be seen as (reasonably) safe by anyone who knows what they're doing.

    But with a tactical reload you can get around all of this by just releasing the magazine while the last round is still in the chamber, and slipping a full mag back in.

    Also you might have heard the word "cock" running around, as in "I cocked my rifle".
    This does not refer to loading a round into the chamber. You cock a gun by pulling back the hammer, like this
    [​IMG]
    This changes the gun from shooting double action (where pulling the trigger both pulls the hammer back and releases it) to single action.
    You may have noticed in the .gif up there that the hammer is being pulled back every time the slide goes over it. That's the case with most semi-autos. Every shot cocks the gun. While a character might do this menacingly before his first shot, he would actually have to uncock the gun if he wanted to menace someone after that.
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2014
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  25. T.Trian
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    T.Trian Overly Pompous Bastard Staff Supporter Contributor

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    For some reason my tablet's browser doesn't let me remove that image from the quote, but whatever...

    Anyway, I'd just like to elaborate on carrying one in the chamber (not responding to anything you said, just saying a few more things about the subject): it really is dangerous... if you're one of those idiots who shouldn't own a gun in the first place. If you're a responsible gun owner, however, there is no danger; the gun will not go off on its own anymore than the lights in your living room or your car turn on by themselves. And how often has that happened? As long as the gun is holstered, it's physically impossible for it to go off because concealed carry holsters cover the trigger and the trigger guard.

    The only times when negligent (I won't say "accidental" because these instances are always, without fail, due to negligence) discharges happen, they happen because some moron put his or her finger on the trigger when they weren't supposed to. I know, even some professionals have NDs (one cop shot himself in the foot while lecturing about gun safety :rolleyes:), but being a cop or a soldier doesn't automatically make you adept with firearms. I know plenty of LEOs and soldiers who are pro level shooters... and, sadly, I know plenty who are only marginally less catastrophic than someone who's never touched a gun. Or maybe they're even worse because they think they already know everything they need to know which leads to overconfidence and unsafe handling of firearms.

    That being said, all self-defense experts and other truly skilled people I know who carry firearms for self-defense carry one in the chamber. None advocate carrying with an empty chamber and that's for a good reason; when it's a matter of life and death (and when guns are drawn, it always is), you don't want or need the extra hassle of racking the slide. It even wastes precious seconds which might mean the difference between survival and dying, having your loved one die, or some such.

    If the character in the story has any sense at all, he or she will practice using the gun; it's not rocket science, information on techniques, tactics, and gear (different guns, holsters etc) is available for free on YouTube, discussion forums, websites etc. They don't need to practice hours daily, just an hour or so per day at first until they become proficient enough and have a solid routine with the four golden rules of safe gun handling (paraphrased and in no specific order: 1. Never point the gun at anything you don't want to destroy, 2. Only put your finger on the trigger when you make the decision to fire, 3. Always treat all firearms as if they are loaded, even when they are taken apart for maintenance, 4. Always know what you are shooting at and what's behind your target so you don't fire a high-powered rifle through the bad guy, the thin wall behind him, and hit your child in the next room), then running a few dry fire drills about once a week or so (that means they practice with "fake" bullets aka snap caps that are used instead of just an empty gun since some models can get damaged if fired empty, and with snap caps you can do malfunction clearance drills as well) to keep up their chops.

    Btw, @Jack Asher, I've always been taught that a tactical reload is a slightly different thing or at least has a slightly different function: the way I've understood it is when you've fired a some rounds and you might not know how many are left, but there's a lull in the fight, you're behind cover, or somehow have an opportunity to switch magazines, you grab a full magazine, eject the partially depleted mag, slam in the fresh one (the old mag held between your pinky and ring finger), and then you pocket or holster the old mag for later use if need be. This way you know you have a full gun and you can also visually check how many rounds are left in the partially depleted mag.
     
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