“Empty Chamber Carry delays your defensive response with a firearm and is not appropriate for those serious about armed self-defense.”
But you stage a concealed carry firearm when there’s an imminent threat — not an actual threat but when you are fairly sure something is wrong and you want better access to your firearm. By staging the firearm, you do not have to move your concealment garment, put your hand on your firearm, and present it.
– Rob Pincus
Fair enough. Choosing a method known to be slower for use in a time-critical task is foolish, especially when the slower approach is used under the facade of safety concerns that don’t (or shouldn’t) exist. And staging in advance when you can also helps perform a time-critical task quicker.
So… you should carry chamber loaded and stage your concealed carry firearm when possible in order to gain an advantage because it will lead to a faster response/access/draw. But staging to gain an advantage in a competition is “bad.” And worrying about gaining an advantage because it will lead to a faster response/access/draw on the clock is also “bad.”
Empty chamber carry causes a needless delay. Know what else causes a delay? General lack of skill caused by never training under time pressure. The exact sort of thing tested and rewarded in practical competitive formats. Telling people to “balance speed and accuracy” (a ripoff of IPSC’s motto Diligentia, Vis, Celeritas) but criticizing the means to actually assess it is counter productive. Other folks have jumped on this issue recently but I used this quote specifically because he’s publicly made claims that participation in competition causes “damage to defensive shooter’s habits” though there is zero proof or examples to verify this.
Pincus is doubly contradictory here for having openly criticized practical competitive shooting and for use of timed exercises, even when they’re warranted. Yes, we can fall into a trap of measuring meaningless increments but many folks fail to establish even minimal base line skills. Ask a group of military or police personnel to shoot a drill in a time frame that a USPSA B-class shooter would find challenging but reasonable, and you’ll understand why many range personnel insist on wearing body armor. In addition to use of a timer for measuring fundamental skill, the time it takes to process information and make decisions can also be measured.
Complaining against a method for being too slow in one place and then complaining against the only means to measure the reduction of slowness is foolish. Because we wouldn’t want to do something that slows us down due to the time-critical nature of the task… but then fail to measure or test elapsed time when performing the task.
This is similar to an issue cited by other low-skill shooters within the hunting community.