How to Load Your Gun "+1"

Everything you wanted to know (but were afraid to ask) about loading your semi-auto with a round in the chamber.

posted on December 20, 2021

No, we're not talking about trying to sneak an extra guest onto that party RSVP! When you read gun reviews or hear descriptions of how much ammunition any given semi-automatic pistol can carry, you'll often hear the term "plus one" or "+1." You've definitely heard the idiomatic phrase for it, which is "one in the chamber."

However you refer to it, it means that you have your semi-auto's magazine loaded to its capacity, with an extra cartridge loaded into the gun's chamber. The primary reason to do this is that it means your concealed-carry gun is in a ready condition should you need it at a moment's notice. The secondary reason is that it gives you one more round to work with.

In this terrific, step-by-step video from Smith & Wesson's GUNSMARTS series, pro shooter and brand ambassador Julie Golob explains the hows and whys of loading a "+1" in your defensive firearm. Safety is of course the primary concern, and Golob offers you tips about how to find angles in your home that allow you to manipulate your firearm while observing the rules of gun safety.

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