I have heard both ways that it is alright to dry fire your handgun to practice your aim and I have heard you should not do it. what is the answer?
Re: Dry fire
Nothing wrong with dry-firing a center fire cartridge weapon (9mm, 5.56,.308 etc)... in MODERN weapons. Older firearms may have issues due to advancemrnts in metals over the years. However, there may be exceptions that are dependant to certain manufacturers (I don't know of any).
It will damage rim fire cartridge weapons (.22 etc) over time from what I've been told... I don't own any rim fires so I cannot deny or confirm.
I guarantee some will disagree... but every expert in the law enforcement & Marine Corp/Sniper community agrees it causes no harm to the firing pin or action. I regularly dryfire my custom .308 at least 100 times a training session and do the same with my Beretta's & Sig's.
If you really want to play it safe you can use snap-caps... which are great for staging malfunctions and other drills.
Re: Dry fire
You'll probally be fine. But personally I use snap caps (a rubber molded round). They are very cheap and it just makes me feel better. Plus if you load them in a live mag at the range you can practice clearing a jam or ftf
Some makers warn of excessive dry firing without the use of "snap caps" could possibly damage the striker. Read your manual from the maker as some guns doesn't hurt them at all.
Thanks Guys, I think to be safe I will purchase some snap caps. I need to practice my trigger pull because I tend to pull the gun when I shoot. I heard from a friend of mine that he puts a nickel on the handgun and then pulls the trigger to work on his accuracy and holding the gun steady.
If you don't have a nickle, a penny or a dime will do.
Originally Posted by Trekman
Balance the coin atop the gun. When you can dry-fire the gun without dislodging the coin, you're doing well.
So then balance the coin atop the pistol's front sight, and start all over again.
Bruce Gray has a nice dry fire packet that you can get by going to grayguns.com. The details are somewhere on his site. It's sends the packet to you automatically when you send a email. It is good material. If you do not know, he is a well respected shooter, instructor, and runs a pretty good little gunsmith shop.
You never said if you were inquiring about rimfire or centerfire. Like the others said, I do not know a centerfire off the top of my head that cannot be dryfired. I have dryfired mine maybe more than live fire, and do not use snap-caps. No damage so far. 95chevy made a good point about malfunction drills. That works best if you don't peak while loading your mag and mix in snap-caps (or have someone else load them). You'll also get to see if you are flinching or how much you are pulling when that dud come up.
There are a lot of rimfires that can be dryfired. Best to see if the manual mentions it, most do.
There are cheaper/alternative means other than snap caps that are safe also. If it has a hammer, a foam earplug or a rubber o-ring between the hammer and the FP/transfer works. For rimfires that cannot be dryfired, a plastic wall anchor works well. The only snap-caps I own are for rimfire. On the rimfires I have found that after a FP strike or 2 the edge gets deformed and needs to be sanded/filed off. I bought mine mainly for working on used .22's I buy, especially for tuning Hi-Standard mags. It's also nice to have on you if you are looking at used .22's and want to test a trigger.
The coin on the barrel is good, but when move on to standing them on their edge you may want to start w/a nickel.
I have all handguns. A Sig Sauer M11-A1 (P228) 9mm, Kimber full size stainless classic .45, and a Smith and Wesson .357 magnum revolver model 686. I want to get better at trigger pull since I know I have a tendency to pull the gun to the side when shooting. I think that may also be the problem with feeding on my Sig Sauer, I may be absorbing the recoil with my poor techniques.
When I do this, I use a dime and balance it on the front sight blade. This is good practice and should be part of one's trigger discipline regimen.
Originally Posted by Steve M1911A1
As for drying firing, your first source is the owner's manual. Dry fire practice is a VERY important component of your regular handling practice and something you should do a lot if you ever expect to become proficient in the use of a handgun. I would avoid purchasing a handgun who's manufacturer recommended against this practice. Yes you can use snap caps but even with those, there will be some exercises that you can't do properly with them. The commonly used semi-autos out there are fine with dry firing and do not need the use of snap caps.
Much depends on the hand gun. There certain guns you DO NOT dry fire without snap caps.
Rim Fire- Already noted. The firing pin can strike the breech face causing damage.
Old Colt Revolvers - I've been told that repeated dry firing of Older Colt designs such as the Python and Trooper is not wise. Not entirely sure why, but I've heard it more than once. Since parts for old Colts aren't that easy to get these days, it seems wise to use caution.
Springfield XD & XDm pistols - The OEM Roll pin has a reputation for failing under extended dry firing. It's a cheap fix to order a new, heavier duty roll pin.
When in doubt, play it safe.
I always use snap caps.
I'd like to predicate the information in the next paragraph by saying that I'm not one who just listens to someone on a subject and automatically believes them. I consider myself an individual thinker and I try to weed through the BS.
So... I was researching something and came across a video on YouTube in which the guy compared the various snap caps (see below) available. I must say, he made some very interesting points, most of which are in reference to the fact that most of the brands tend to shed some sort of debris after some use. Now, granted, any responsible gun owner should be religious about cleaning their weapon - especially a handgun that you're using to protect your life - and I look at the information in the video as a simple warning to inspect your weapon after using certain caps.
I have the A-Zooms and I've noticed that the guy is correct. I probably wouldn't have ever thought about it had I not seen the video.
It's kind of a lengthy video and the guy has some long fingernails (probably for guitar finger-picking), but it's interesting and somewhat informative, nevertheless.
SNAP CAPS : best & worst - YouTube
You can, of course, make your own snap-caps.
All it takes is empty (fired) cartridge cases and some sort of resilient material.
1. Remove the empty case's primer. You can do this with a nail, or even with a drill.
2. Round-in the empty case's mouth, so the case slips easily into a pistol's chamber. You can do this with hand pressure, pressing against a table-top.*
3. Place a pellet of resilient material in the empty case's primer pocket. It should be a jam fit.
You now have a snap-cap.
*You could also seat a bullet into the empty case, and crimp it in place. You should then also drill a couple of holes into the case, to indicate that it's empty of powder.
• In the case of the M1911, a narrow piece of foam rubber, or even of leather, cut to fit tightly into the slot into which the hammer drops, will do the trick. No snap-cap is required.
• In the case of a revolver with a hammer-mounted firing pin, a neoprene O-ring that fits snugly on the firing pin will do the job. No snap-cap is required.
You know, I have thought about that several times, but just haven't put my mind to it. Thanks for the intel! Might make a few this weekend.
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