Condition Three and Your Glock, what do you do?

  1. christophereger
    Is there a best way to carry your gun? Do you have a round chambered or no? Why would you have a round in the pipe? Why wouldn\'t you, isn\'t that dangerous? Well let us talk about that.

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    What is Condition 3?

    Modern semi-automatic handguns are carried in one of three different modes when loaded. These conditions are numbered 1-3. Condition One is a term basically used for a single action handgun such as a Browning Hi Power or Colt 1911 in which the hammer has to be cocked and locked with a manual safety on a loaded chamber to fire. Since Glocks are double action only striker fired guns, this isn\'t an option for us. The only exception to this rule would be for a gun modified with an aftermarket manual external safety that was set on a loaded chamber. Condition 2 is generally a loaded chamber and the pistol ready to fire when the trigger is pulled. Condition 3 is a loaded mag inserted in the pistol, but no round in the chamber. This is also sometimes called the Israeli Method or the Israeli Technique, as urban legend has it that the IDF carries in this manner.

    Of course, some purists will argue that a Glock is only ever in Condition 0 or Condition 3 due to its trigger system, but for the sake of argument, let\'s just go with the idea that Condition 3 has a loaded mag, but no round in the chamber, which is the main subject of this article.

    This debate comes up often on the forums here often.

    Pros of C3

    Those who argue for Condition 3 do so usually for reasons of safety. If a gun falls to the ground in CA, it\'s virtually impossible to go off since there is not a striker poised over a live round\'s primer. Likewise, if the gun is stripped away from the user, lost, or otherwise found by someone not familiar with it, simply pulling the trigger will not cause a round to be fired. The slide must be racked before the gun is capable of firing. It cannot be argued that C3 isn\'t safe, since the gun is never fully loaded until this is done.



    A video supporting C3 carry with a Glock.

    This style of carry is often mandated in military, law enforcement and force protection when rules of engagement/SOP are very strict and/or levels of training are low. I have worked several federal contracts and have seen at least one LE agency where this was the case. It can also help reduce accidental discharges caused by triggers being pulled by drawstrings or worn holsters.

    Cons against C3 carry

    In a defense situation, the basic rule of thumb is to be able to draw from a holster, rotate the muzzle out to the target, and engage with a round within three seconds. Two is better. This means the faster you are, the more likely it will be that you will walk away from the encounter rather than be wheeled away afterward. Drawing a halfway loaded firearm means that time is inevitably wasted is chambering that round.



    A video showing why C3 can put you behind the 8-ball fast.

    Of course, this can be mitigated with lots of training, but you counter this with the possibility that you won\'t be able to use both hands in your draw-- if for instance, you are pushing someone away with your off hand, or it\'s damaged already. This means that if you carry in C3, you need to train to be able to chamber a round using your strong hand only. This can be done on the heel of a shoe, across the chest (be prepared for slide burn and always keep that finger off the trigger), or on a belt or the holster itself. You work with what you got.

    When you are under stress that extra step can cost you time, which can cost you a lot. Racking the slide takes time, no matter how you argue it. It also allows a chance for the weapon to jam when you very least need it to.

    In the end, the Condition Glock choice is yours.

    What choice do you make? Let us know below.

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