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Carry a 'blank' in the chamber?

CA_Libertarian

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Jul 18, 2007
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Stanislaus County, California, USA
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What got me thinking about this is that my new baby isn't broken in yet; all the springs are really tight (plus I'm still getting used to the new gun), so I've noticed a higher 'failure to chamber' rate when I practice loading. So, I was browsing for ammo today, and came across some 'blank' rounds. This gave me an idea...

One of the dilemmas of carrying unloaded is the few seconds it takes to insert a mag and rack the slide. What if one were to keep a 'blank cartridge - that is, a round with no projectile - in the chamber? This could shave valuable seconds off your loading time, as it would chamber a live round when you fire the blank.

The obvious disadvantage is that your first shot will have no physical results on your target. If the element of surprise is an issue, you would be giving away your position. Practicing your 'double-tap' shooting would be key to overcoming this.

The advantages would be:
  • reduced loading time (racking the slide not necessary)
  • ensures a round is chambered (in a pinch, failure to chamber a round due to a fumbled slide-racking can cost you your life)
  • no slide racking needed - helps if the element of surprise is important (the sound of you racking your slide may compromise your position)
Oh yeah, and apparently a firearm is only loaded if the 'loaded' cartridge(s) have projectiles...

Code:
12031 (g) A firearm shall be deemed to be loaded for the purposes of
this section when there is an unexpended cartridge or shell,
consisting of a case that holds a charge of powder and a bullet or
shot, in, or attached in any manner to, the firearm, including, but
not limited to, in the firing chamber, magazine, or clip thereof
attached to the firearm; except that a muzzle-loader firearm shall be
deemed to be loaded when it is capped or primed and has a powder
charge and ball or shot in the barrel or cylinder.
I'm interested in what you guys think. While I'm not certain I would want to do this, I might consider it once I get some feedback. So far I see the advantages outweighing the disadvantages.

ETA: OK, the forum doesn't want me to add bold to the quote, so what I'm trying to piont out here is these words: "...an unexpended cartridge or shell, consisting of a case that holds a charge of powder and a bullet or shot..."
 

Jim675

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Bellevue, Washington, USA
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In my experience blanks don't generate sufficient energy to cycle the action unless there's some kind of blank adapter in use that seals the bore so no energy escapes.

Anyone tried blanks in an unmodified semi-auto that cycle?
 

marshaul

Campaign Veteran
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Aug 13, 2007
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Location
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A blank will only cycle a blowback-operated automatic. I carry a 1911, which is short-recoil operated. Such a weapon will not cycle with a blank.

CA_Libertarian, get to the range ASAP! :)
 

ConditionThree

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May 22, 2006
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Shasta County, California, USA
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I dunno. With officers not being able to make a distinction between loaded and unloaded, I'm not certain that these same folks are going to be able to make a distinction between a liveround and one that is a blank.

Then there are the issues of training for the doubletap, assuming a blank has sufficient force to blowback the slide to chamber the next round.

Perhaps it would be better to focus our energies towards making loaded open carry lawful.
 

CA_Libertarian

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ConditionThree wrote:
Perhaps it would be better to focus our energies towards making loaded open carry lawful.
That would be the best solution. However, until then...

Another way I though of to guarantee that first round is chambered is to simply change up the order of loading. So far, I have always followed what came to me naturally: drop empty mag, insert loaded mag, rack slide, acquire target.

Simply changing this to: rack slide (empty mag locks it open), drop empty mag, insert loaded mag, release slide, acquire target. While it is still possible to fumble the slide rack, at least you would know it when the slide doesn't lock open. I think it also may be slower, but maybe that's just because I'm so used to the other way...
 

Kevin Jensen

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Santaquin, Utah, USA
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Blanks will only go bang, they will not operate the firearm to load the next round. Guns that do cycle blanks are modified with a very small opening in the barrell, or a blank adapter.

This is what I put on the end of my Stag to make it cycle blanks.
41VD3W2SG0L._SL500_AA280_.jpg
 

KBCraig

Regular Member
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Aug 7, 2007
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Location
Granite State of Mind
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SGT Jensen wrote:
This is what I put on the end of my Stag to make it cycle blanks.
It's a bit problematic to remove between the initial blank, and follow-on shots with live rounds. ;)

The infamous BFA --"Blank Firing Adapter"-- is the bane of every soldier who ever had to clean an M16 after firing blanks. Instead of just the gas from the gas tube, 100% of the nasty crud from a blank is blown back into the action.
 

Mechanic

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May 20, 2008
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Location
Los Angeles - San Fernando Valley, California, USA
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Sounds like an interesting idea.

So I guess the next question would be whether you could handload enough powder to rack your slide when fired. I have the equipment to handload my 9mm, but I'm not sure how you''d seal the powder in without creating a projectile or fouling your barrel. Wax?

I have some target loads for my .357 that use just a magmum primer and a cylindrical plastic projectile, no powder. It's used for target shooting indoors. I'm sure you can find them for other cartridges, but I'm also certain that this projectile would be classified as a bullet.

Any thoughts?
 

marshaul

Campaign Veteran
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Aug 13, 2007
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Location
Fairfax County, Virginia
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Truth be told, it's not all that bad. In an ideal situation, I can load a mag as I bring the weapon up, so it's not much worse than carrying loaded mag empty chamber (condition 3 or the "Israeli draw").

Obviously, that's an ideal situation. But, then, someone has to be positive! :p
 
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