Pros & Cons of press checks

Discussion in 'General Handgun Discussion' started by PANDEMIC, May 22, 2019.


    PANDEMIC Well-Known Member

    So yesterday I've been playing around with my Glock using snap caps and decided to do some press checks, chamber checks, brass checks whatever you wanna call it for practice and for fun.

    Is there any pros and cons to doing this?

    I'll be carrying my EDC with an empty chamber for a while until I get really confortable with it. But eventually I would like to have it chambered and make it a habit of doing just a quick press check before leaving the house.

    What do you guys think? Some say its pointless, some say its a very smart thing to do especially if your trusting that weapon with your life.

    Is there any setbacks involved on the round if you press check or if you do it more than once?

    I know there is a chamber inditcator on the Glock but I think seeing it for yourself gives you peice in mind that your gtg.

    I noticed when I do a press check that I got to push the gun forward or use my thumb to close the slide into battery. Some people I've seen sometimes give the slide a bump or 2 from the rear to make sure a round is seated and the slide is fully locked into battery.

    Again is this a bad habit to get into? Or is it something that I'm never going to use in reality? Most people I've read just say its optional if you want its fine, some say that its people with OCD that do this but than again your trusting your life with it so why not considering it takes just 2 seconds.

    Anyways, any tips & advice? Do you guys do it at all or sometimes do it?
  2. locutus

    locutus Well-Known Member Supporter

    There is no downside to press checks. On a Glock they aren't necessary though since the extractor also acts as a loaded chamber indicator.

    Just touch the top of the extractor with a fingertip and it will tell you if the chamber is loaded.

  3. Fred_G

    Fred_G Well-Known Member

    I don't know of any down side to a press check. I often do one the day after I clean or dry practice with the carry gun. No extra pressure to get mine into battery, not sure why yours is doing that. Clean it, lube it, and repeat until it goes into battery easily, or maybe contact the maker.
    Rifling82 and PANDEMIC like this.

    PANDEMIC Well-Known Member

    Well I put about 15 rounds or so down range just a few moments ago and did the press check thing and the slide goes into battery perfectly fine with no assistence or anything needed.

    I noticed it only happens every now and then with snap caps, the slide needs a slight push with your thumb from the rear to get into battery. But like I said its pretty rare with snap caps, alot of times its actually me not pulling it far enough to see it and instead catches (still getting used to it). But with live rounds it actually goes into battery perfectly fine.

    Sorry for the confusion.
  5. Dakota1

    Dakota1 Well-Known Member

    It's possible to do a press check & not notice that the slide has not fully closed, in which case the gun won't fire.
    If you want to be absolutely certain that a round is chambered, a press check isn't necessary. Here's a better method - better because you can actually see the chambered round.
    Point the gun and a flashlight at a mirror. (Finger OFF the trigger, of course to prevent 7 years of bad luck). Move the flashlight beam until it illuminates the barrel & you will clearly see the chambered round.
    Last edited: May 23, 2019
    locutus and PANDEMIC like this.
  6. IowaShooter

    IowaShooter Well-Known Member Supporter

    I've never carried a gun that didn't have either a LCI or a "peep hole" (like a SW Shield) in which to see the brass)

    I find it interesting to read about other ways of checking...
    Caveman Jim and PANDEMIC like this.
  7. BlackGuns4Fun

    BlackGuns4Fun Well-Known Member

    I do them every time even though my carry gun, a G19, has a LCI. Moving the slide back just enough to see that shiny brass is easy piece of mind and cheap insurance.
    PANDEMIC and IowaShooter like this.
  8. danf_fl

    danf_fl Retired Supporter

    I will check on some guns, but not for others.
    I don't like the answer "It depends", but I have to answer with that.

    When younger, I "lost" a deer to a click when there should have been a bang.
    Caveman Jim, IowaShooter and PANDEMIC like this.
  9. oO_Rogue_Oo

    oO_Rogue_Oo Well-Known Member

    Not a fan of press checks. I own a lot of guns that are tightly fitted and require being pushed back into battery after a press check so I got away from them completely.(I prefer my guns be loaded from the magazine as intended)

    As far as not trusting the loaded chamber indicator goes; please let me know the first time it is wrong and I may change my thinking.

    Meanwhile a press check is redundant. Also I don't leave my EDC where anyone else has access to it so no reason to do press checks; I loaded it; LCI says its loaded and no one else has touched it.

    Can something go wrong from doing press checks? Like the gun not going fully into battery etc. Probably not but then I'll never know because i don't do them so I KNOW nothing can go wrong due to doing them.

    EDIT: You may think that I'm lax about the loaded condition of my gun because I don't do press checks but nothing can be further from the truth. I am keenly aware of the loaded condition of my gun; to the point that i don't need to press check to verify. There is a part of me that says if you don't trust that you know the loaded condition of your gun then maybe I shouldn't trust you with your gun either.
    Last edited: May 24, 2019
    JimRau, bluez, Wambli and 4 others like this.
  10. Dallas53

    Dallas53 Well-Known Member Supporter

    I have to agree with Rogue on this issue. My carry pistols are always loaded, and chambered. I go back to one of the basic rules of Gun Safety, assume any gun is loaded and treat it as such.

    90% of all my pistols and shotguns are loaded, and or, chambered at all times.

    If you carry weapon isn't chambered, you are carrying an expensive paperweight. It's use as a firearm, is zero. If you don't trust the pistol you are carrying to be chambered, then either look for a different pistol for carry purposes, or get more training to be confident in carrying that particular pistol chambered.

    PANDEMIC Well-Known Member

    Will lots of dry fire practice, shooting it from time to time and making it a habit of having the gun on me all the time build enough confidence to carry it chambered?

    Its not that I don't trust my pistol being chambered its just things can happen. I have chambered it, holstered it, drew it out and then shot it as way of practice if I do carry it chambered, I know what to expect.

    I just don't want accidental discharges to happen like for example you bend down to pick something up and your shirt or belt gets caught inside the trigger guard kind of thing.

    Will carring a snap cap/dummy round chambered around the house be a good way to gain confidence?
  12. freefall

    freefall Well-Known Member

    Quote from "Justified":
    Raylan's dad: "You should be home loading YOUR guns!"
    Raylan: "My guns are always loaded"
    I don't press check. I have always heard (maybe erroneously) that often the first shot from an auto is off because it doesn't chamber the same as being slammed forward after recoil. So I have always chambered a round by locking the slide back, inserting a magazine, hitting the slide stop and letting it slam home.
    If I doubt the gun is loaded (rare) I drop the mag, rack the slide, catch the round that came out, lock back the slide, reinsert mag, drop the slide, drop the mag and put the round back in.
    Sounds like a lot of monkey work, but it's quicker to do than describe. And I know my gun is loaded, so it doesn't happen all that often.
    Also, I should say, I carry mostly 1911s, so if the hammer is locked back, it's loaded, if it's down, it's not.
  13. primer1

    primer1 Well-Known Member Supporter

    The downside is, if you spend two seconds performing this check every day, you will lose twelve minutes per year.
  14. Rifling82

    Rifling82 Well-Known Member Supporter

    "practicing" a press check? o_O
  15. Chainfire

    Chainfire Well-Known Member Supporter

    Same gun, chambered, cocked and locked, thumb safety on, always, nothing to think about.

    Draw, safety off, sights on, finger on trigger. I will probably be able to do it for two weeks after I am in the casket, although I might have a problem seeing the sights; I hear it is dark in there.
    JimRau likes this.
  16. schnuffleupagus

    schnuffleupagus Well-Known Member

    If my weapon is on my hip/concealed it has a round in the chamber
    Smith hammerless Detective special has a full wheel.
    I'm old, my process is:
    insert the magazine
    Charge the weapon
    Safely drop the hammer, if applicable
    Apply safety, if applicable
    Confidently Holster weapon.

    For the revolver...
    Check cylinder, verify 6 unfired cartridges loaded
    Confidently place in pocket(hoodie, windbreaker)
    Rifling82 likes this.
  17. SSGN_Doc

    SSGN_Doc Well-Known Member


    No press check required. Look for or feel the bump at the end of your extractor. If it is sticking up, it’s got something in the chamber. If it is flush with the slide, chamber is empty.

    If you really are worried about something getting into the trigger guard and causing an unexpected discharge, then get a holster that covers your trigger well and good, or explore a pistol option other than a striker fired pistol that isn’t a double action. There are a couple DA striker fired handguns out there (Canik TP9Da and Walther P99 if you can find the Walthers, or the S&W 99 version of the Walther if you can find one of those). Otherwise there are several hammer fired DA pistols that are just as easy to pack as the G17.
    Last edited: May 23, 2019
  18. BlackGuns4Fun

    BlackGuns4Fun Well-Known Member

    So when you clear a handgun after shooting, do you depend on a non-protruding LCI to show clear or do you pull the slide back and look for an empty chamber?

    If it is important enough to get a look at the chamber to show clear wouldn't it be important enough to get a look at brass to show it's loaded and ready?
  19. Caveman Jim

    Caveman Jim Well-Known Member

    My XDM40 has a LCI on the top of the slide and it is pretty obvious there is or isn’t a round in the chamber and I trust that explicitly.
  20. bluez

    bluez Well-Known Member

    I also dont do press checks.
    No big reason. Just never got in the habit.
    SGWGunsmith likes this.