Bolt Action and dry firing


April 11, 2006, 09:24 PM
Just picked up my new Rem 700P. Now, not having much experience with a bolt gun, need to know about storing the rifle and dry firing.

If I close the bolt, it is obvioulsy cocked. Does it hurt to store it cocked? Or should I pull the trigger and dry fire? Or should I store it with bolt open?


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April 11, 2006, 09:31 PM
Dry firing usually won't hurt a center fire, but don't do it with a rim fire because the firing pin will hit the edge of the chamber if there is no soft brass rim to hit.

Springs don't take a set either, so storing with rifle cocked will be OK as well.

April 11, 2006, 09:59 PM
On the 2 bolt actions I have (M-48 and a 91/30) I just open the bolt, pull the trigger and close the bolt. By doing this your effectively firing it, but with a control, firing pin doesn't slam forward, more like a controlled release. Depending on the bolt action and how often you dry fire you could actually round the shoulders of the firing pin (Where it hits the bolt face, someone will correct me on proper terminology) causing im-proper primer strikes or possible primer punctures.

But, this will take either poor metal, or multiple dry firings, or a little bit of a and a little bit of B.

(Disclaimer, my limited knowledge pertains mainly to bolt actions of Mil-surp caliber)

April 11, 2006, 11:10 PM
When storing any firearm, whenever possible I take the stress off the mainspring by dryfiring it before putting it away. This practice may or may not be beneficial but it doesn't hurt anything. With my s/s and o/u shotguns, I use snapcaps and, as mountain clmbr indicated, using a snapcap or a fired shell might be wise when dry firing any rimfire firearm (though there are folks who argue even this isn't necessary).

Better safe than sorry or pay me now or pay me later!

April 11, 2006, 11:19 PM
you won't hurt a 700 by dry firing it.
you can store it cocked if you like. or, you can pull the bolt and store it (and if you do that, it will be cocked unless you manually uncock it). it makes no difference.

fwiw, i dry-fire before storage, but you won't hurt it w/ any method.
April 12, 2006, 01:04 AM
Snap caps are not expensive and remove all the conjecture about dry firing. Personally, I haven't seen a bolt action centerfire get messed up doing so however I have one handgun that was dryfired so much that the firing pin return spring broke! There simply isn't a good reason not to purchase a snap cap or in lieu of that at least use a spent casing. Bear in mind that you really shouldn't use a spent casing in this manner more than a couple of times as the primer gets dug out pretty fast leaving you at square one.

April 12, 2006, 04:07 AM
I prefer to store my bolt actions ( 3 Mosins) with the bolts closed, in the fired position. As far as I can tell, the only advantage to storing with the bolt open is the reduced width of the rifle.

April 12, 2006, 05:29 AM
Thanks for all the great ideas. That's why I come to THR. And why I like Larry the Cable Guy.

April 12, 2006, 01:44 PM
on a lot of rifles, you can hold the trigger down while you push the bolt and it will not cock it....i know my mil-surps and my savage could.

April 12, 2006, 09:36 PM
Yep, just pull on the trigger as you close the bolt. That's the method I prefer.

Jim K
April 12, 2006, 10:17 PM
When handling other people's guns, including gun shop guns, I let the firing pin down easy if possible. With my own guns, I just pull the trigger. I know it won't hurt, but some folks go berserk when they see a gun being dry fired.

(The above applies to center fire rifles and most pistols and shotguns. Some guns should never be dry fired, like the Dreyse and Mauser pistols, which break firing pins with regularity.)


cracked butt
April 12, 2006, 11:24 PM
Centerfire bolt action? Snap away, it won't hurt a thing, in fact it can be very good practice.

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