View Full Version : Gun Magazine Detail

01-03-2014, 09:42 AM
I've never shot a gun that has a magazine (only revolvers). My question is if you remove the magazine from a handgun (let's say a Glock 22 Gen4 for specificity), is there still likely a bullet in the chamber, or can you consider the gun to be unloaded if the magazine is removed?

Super easy question, that I would know if I had shot a gun with a magazine or anything like it before.

01-03-2014, 10:15 AM
You are correct. You cannot consider the gun to be clear unless you check the chamber.

Whether a round is actually in the chamber after you pop out the magazine depends on whether the weapon was chambered before the magazine was removed, but as I'm sure you know, every gun should always be treated as if it's loaded, and that goes times a thousand if it hasn't been properly cleared.

So, for your story purposes:

1 - Should the gun be treated as if it has a round in the chamber? Yes.
2 - Is there 100 percent definitely a round in the chamber? No. (Whether there is or not will depend on what's happened before in your story.)

Does that all make sense? I'm not sure. ;)

Oh, and :welcome: to AW!

01-03-2014, 05:45 PM
Super easy question, that I would know if I had shot a gun with a magazine or anything like it before.
Unloading a semi-automatic pistol consists of removing the magazine and racking the slide to eject any cartridges in the chamber. I carry a concealed weapon and always have one in the chamber so, in your question, removing the magazine would still leave me one to fire.

Many modern pistols have a loaded chamber indicator, required for sale in some states. Some pistols have a magazine disconnect, remove the magazine and the gun will not fire, even with one in the chamber. So there are plenty of ways to write what you need for your plot to work.

The Glock 22 is carried by many of our local officers. The Gen 4 has a loaded chamber indicator but it's not blatantly obvious. It will fire with the magazine out and one in the chamber, there is no magazine disconnect. It's also not available for sale in California because of this. :)

Feel free to PM me, or ask here, for more details and suggestions.


Storm Surge
01-03-2014, 06:58 PM
can you consider the gun to be unloaded if the magazine is removed?

I've been told many times to always treat a gun as if it's loaded.

The unloading procedure I've seen a lot is drop the magazine, rack the slide, then visually check to make sure there is no round in the chamber. Just yesterday someone told me about how he had a misfire and the cartridge did not eject even after the slide was racked multiple times. He had to take a cleaning rod and push it out.

01-04-2014, 01:03 AM
The way a semi-auto pistol works is that the magazine is loaded, and inserted into the grip, and the first round must be loaded into the chamber by hand (by working the slide) to prepare the gun to fire.

Once the first round is chambered (by working the slide) the gun is ready to fire. Once the fire round is fired the action of the slide automatically loads the next round.

So, if the pistol had a round chambered manually, it would still be in the chamber if the magazine was removed.

And, if the pistol had been fired, the round that was automatically loaded into the chamber after the previous shot would still be in the chamber even if the magazine was removed.

The only way removing a magazine would NOT leave a round in the chamber would be if the shooter inserted a full magazine and then never actually worked the slide to load a round into the chamber.

Some people will store a handgun at home with a magazine inserted but the chamber empty. It's not typical, but it is sometimes done.

In some cases, especially for people unfamiliar with firearms, they might carry the gun with the magazine loaded, but the chamber empty. This is called "empty chamber carry" and is not recommended. (Because you may not be able to work the slide to load the round into the chamber when the crisis occurs).

Some pistols have a "magazine disconnect safety." This prevents the pistol from firing if the magazine is removed. In that case, if the chamber is still loaded, but the mag is out, the pistol would not fire. (Assuming the safety worked correctly).

The Glock pistols do NOT have a magazine disconnect safety. If the chamber is loaded, and the trigger is pulled, the pistol will fire, whether or not the magazine is in the pistol.

01-04-2014, 02:47 AM
Thank you for this information. It is as I expected. The gun had been fired before the magazine was removed so I am going make sure there is a bullet in the chamber that the character has to deal with. The scene is going to be much more interesting now. Sorry for repeating myself, but I have to say again;

Thanks for your expertise it is much appreciated.