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  1. #1
    KY SHOOTER's Avatar
    KY SHOOTER is offline Junior Member
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    Confused about dry firing!!!???!!!

    I've been told all my life never to dry fire anything with a floating firing pin. I'm not brand new to handguns, but you might say a novice, and still learning. I have noticed in a few posts here (somewhere on here) that it's been done hundreds sometimes thousands of times in trying to break in a revolver. I asume to get things loosened up so there isn't a light strike???? Can someone help me understand a little better...,

  2. #2
    Steve M1911A1's Avatar
    Steve M1911A1 is online now Senior Member
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    Dry firing is essential to skill development. It can also help break-in a gun.
    Any gun may be dry fired safely if its chamber is loaded with a snap-cap. Snap-caps are dummy cartridges with polymer or spring-loaded "primers" designed to accept, and slow, the thrust of the gun's firing pin. Snap-caps come in colors that clearly distinguish them from loaded cartridges, so they may be safely used for practice.
    Any gun shop, and most mail-order dealers, sell snap-caps. They're not expensive.
    Buy a set suited to your gun(s), and practice, practice, practice.

    Although it's probably true that dry firing a pistol with a fixed firing pin (i.e., one attached to the gun's hammer) without a snap-cap will cause no damage, I prefer to use snap-caps in every gun with which I practice.
    Many floating-firing-pin pistols will be damaged in one way or another from repeated empty-chamber dry firing. One or two "snaps" won't hurt, though.
    Although modern guns are designed to accept it, I make it a practice never to dry fire a .22 rimfire. (It's a case of "suspenders and belt," I guess.)

  3. #3
    KY SHOOTER's Avatar
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    Thanks Steve. I'll see if i can get them at my local gun shop next time I'm up that way.

  4. #4
    lostsoul is offline Junior Member
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    If we are talking about Glocks,it's perfectly fine but I would not do it with other guns.

  5. #5
    James NM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve M1911A1 View Post
    Although it's probably true that dry firing a pistol with a fixed firing pin (i.e., one attached to the gun's hammer) without a snap-cap will cause no damage, I prefer to use snap-caps in every gun with which I practice.
    Many floating-firing-pin pistols will be damaged in one way or another from repeated empty-chamber dry firing. One or two "snaps" won't hurt, though.
    Although modern guns are designed to accept it, I make it a practice never to dry fire a .22 rimfire. (It's a case of "suspenders and belt," I guess.)
    Steve, I think it's the other way around. A fixed firing pin is in danger of damage if dry fired (like a SAA). A floating firing pin (like the previous run of S&W revolvers) are ok to dry fire.

    All rimfires (new or old) should not be dry fired, as a general rule.

    It's always best to use snap caps when dry firing.

  6. #6
    Steve M1911A1's Avatar
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    James;
    Example: Kel-Tec P3AT. Floating firing pin impinges upon retaining screw when dry-fired empty. Impingement batters screw, making it hard-to-impossible to remove intact.
    Example: M1911A1. Floating firing pin is perfectly free to move and is controlled by spring. No impingement anywhere.
    Example: Some international-match .22 RF pistols and rifles are made expressly to be dry fired as part of the practice routine. No snap-cap required.

    Although you may be correct about fixed-firing-pin revolvers, and I don't know any better, I completely agree with you that one should always use a snap-cap to dry-fire.
    Better safe than sorry.

  7. #7
    Fred40 is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by lostsoul View Post
    If we are talking about Glocks,it's perfectly fine but I would not do it with other guns.
    It's perfectly safe to dry fire a 1911. No snap caps required. I've dry fired mine hundreds (if not thousands) of times as practice for bullseye shooting.......as do virtually all bullseye shooters. It is extremely rare to damage the pin in a 1911 by dry firing. I know shooters who have dry fired their 1911's 10's of thousands of times with no damage. If you ever did manage to damage the pin it is very cheap and easy to replace. You will never damage the chamber.

    Quote Originally Posted by James NM View Post
    Steve, I think it's the other way around. A fixed firing pin is in danger of damage if dry fired (like a SAA). A floating firing pin (like the previous run of S&W revolvers) are ok to dry fire.

    All rimfires (new or old) should not be dry fired, as a general rule.

    It's always best to use snap caps when dry firing.
    It is perfectly safe to dry fire a Ruger Mark III .22. To be extra safe though it's probably not a bad idea to use snap caps. The Ruger's have a safety pin stop which prevents the pin from striking the chamber. However, frequent dry firing (daily) could eventually result in a bent or worn safety pin stop. If doing frequent dry firing snap caps would be recommended. For occasional dry firing go right ahead.

  8. #8
    Steve M1911A1's Avatar
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    Like to use 'em or not...
    I've just now been using a set of A-Zoom snap caps. Previously I've been using the plastic-and-brass ones.
    What a difference!
    I lose one plastic-and-brass snap cap, after about every week of practice. The plastic cracks, the brass base backs out, and the snap cap sticks in the gun's chamber and is difficult to remove.
    The A-Zoom snap cap is one piece of aluminum, with a polymer pellet in its primer pocket. (How's that for alliteration?) It doesn't break, it doesn't wear out, it'll never jam!
    Get them from Brownell's.

  9. #9
    clanger's Avatar
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    Yep - them plastic ones are....umm.....yeh.

    Get the A-Zoom's. They will serve one well.

    I use them on all my shooters, esp when new.

    Saves a ton of wear and tear on them (no recoil wear, no cleaning either) and get's the trigger 'married' quicker if one is not apt to 'marry' them the old fashioned way (get's old quick pushing off with a thumb on the hammer etc....).


  10. #10
    James NM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fred40 View Post

    ...It is perfectly safe to dry fire a Ruger Mark III .22....
    Yea, as long as you didn't loose the safety pin stop out of the gun when you cleaned it last. In whick case you now own a parts gun. IMO, anyone who dry fires a rimfire without snap caps is asking for trouble.

  11. #11
    Brydawg's Avatar
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    Could one use a spent shell casing as a snap-cap ?

  12. #12
    chathcock's Avatar
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    i wouldn't recommend it, as the spring in the snap cap is really what your after. if you were to use a spent casing the primer is already dented and wouldn't absorb the impact the same if at all.

  13. #13
    Steve M1911A1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by James NM View Post
    ...IMO, anyone who dry fires a rimfire without snap caps is asking for trouble.
    The only "snap cap" available to a .22 rimfire shooter is a spent cartridge case. You need to remember to give it a 1/8 turn before each snap, and to replace it with a fresh spent case after seven snaps.

    Quote Originally Posted by Brydawg View Post
    Could one use a spent shell casing as a snap-cap ?
    You can use a spent centerfire case as a snap cap, but you would have to deprime it and replace the spent primer with something resilient, like a small, thick piece of leather. Further, the empty case would not chamber easily, and it would be unsafe (due to possibilities involving confusion with loaded rounds) to crimp a bullet into this kind of home-made snap cap to make chambering easier.
    Geeze...Buy a set of snap caps. They're not that expensive.

  14. #14
    Brydawg's Avatar
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    Thats what I was thinking Steve,,, I just wanted conformation...

  15. #15
    johnr is offline Member
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    my sig mosquito came with a small red "protecctor" it has a tab that extends out of the chamber as an indicator that it is in place. i use this as a "snapcap" when practicing. the mosquito has to have a mag in place to release the hammer with a trigger pull.

    while at the range, if i feel i am loosing focus, missing shots, i will often put the saftey on and dry fire on the saftey.

    i don't think this "saftey firing" is harmfull for the firing pin.

    YMMV

    John

  16. #16
    dondavis3's Avatar
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    +1 Steve M1911A1

    I never dry fire my guns without using snap caps.

    Why would you snap caps are inexpensive.

    Just my .02


  17. #17
    Poink88 is offline Junior Member
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    Thanks for the info guys! I bought a pack of 5 A-Zoom .40 cal snap caps from Cabelas earlier today on our way down to Edinburg, TX. My little daughter actually had fun going around Cabelas at Buda, TX and want us to go back again later. Most importantly, my wife agreed.

  18. #18
    dondavis3's Avatar
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    A-Zoom is the brand of snap caps that I use too.

    You'll get years of service out of them.


  19. #19
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    Exclamation Dry firing

    As a gunsmith all I've ever seen or read on dry-firing is: NEVER dry fire ANY weapon without a
    spent cartridge, at the very least, in the chamber!

    Gene Smith

  20. #20
    TheReaper's Avatar
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    I dry fired my first Sigma 40 at least 300 times to break in the trigger and it still shoots fine.

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