Dry firing .22 rifle, harmful or not


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runner724
June 11, 2007, 11:06 PM
Many people feel that dry firing a .22 rifle is a sure way to damage it. However, these same people think that dry firing any other caliber rifles is OK.

Does it have something to do with the rimfire mechanism instead of a standard firing pin?

Thanks,
Alex

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dstorm1911
June 11, 2007, 11:10 PM
well considering it is a rim fire and the fireing pin is slamming into the chamber everytime ya dry fire it I'd say it is deffinetly harmful unless ya don't mind chipped or broken fireing pins and dented in chamber edges........

Rim fire that pretty much says it all if there is no rim to cushion the fireing pin then the hardened fireing pin is slamming into the chamber so........... its a no brainer

"Any other rifle" would mean CENTERFIRE still not good for em but most mistakenly think that because the fireing pin isn't hitting metal its ok what they don't understand is that the fireing pin if unimpeded is slamming into the inside of the bolt it can break the fireing pin as well as peening the metal down around the fireing pin hole inside of the bolt....... but it is less damaging than dry fireing a rim fire

SteelyNirvana
June 11, 2007, 11:23 PM
Yeah,it will mess em' up. I always had my Sears 2200 single shot lever action in my room sense I can remember. All of those years of picking it up and dry firing it when I was a kid finally took it's toll on it. It will now only fire about 1 out of 3 times now. Last time I shot it I had gotten good at cocking the hammer and pulling the trigger,repeat,and some times it took three times for it to actually fire:mad:.

kungfuhippie
June 11, 2007, 11:23 PM
So...why does my ruger 10/22 not lock the bolt back after the last cartridge fires:banghead::banghead::banghead::banghead:

dstorm1911
June 11, 2007, 11:26 PM
cost of making the Ruger 10/22.......... BTW all of my 10/22s do lock the bolt after the last shot :) ya can get the kit from Power custom otherwise........ count your shots, me I'm not very good at counting so...... I spent the $67 then duplicated their mags myself rather than buying extras of theirs

44AMP
June 11, 2007, 11:32 PM
The firing pin hits the rim of the round, which is supported by the edge of the chamber. With no round in place to absorb the impact, many guns will allow the firing pin to hit the steel at the edge of the chamber.

Now, the odds of any damage to the gun from a (relatively) small number of hits is small. Snapping the firing pin before extended storage (so no springs are compressed) usually will not harm the gun.

But large amounts of snapping, by dry firing as practice can have an effect. The firing pin may be damaged, and in exptreme cases, the edge of the chamber is "peened", leaving a burr and a dimple in the steel. If the burr is large enough, it can prevent the chambered round from fully seating, or worst possible case, in a semi auto, a burr on the edge of the chamber could act as a firing pin, firing the round as the bolt chambers it. This is quite unlikely (I have never heard of a real case of it happening), but it is not outside the realm of possibility.

What is much more likely is that the (dent, dimple, etc.) caused by the firing pin means that right under where the pin hits the rim of the round, there is no steel to support it. Since the rimfire round required the primer compound inside the hollow rim to be crushed (between the firing pin and the barrel, the most likely result is erratic ignition of rounds. Possible that the gun will no longer reliably fire.

.22s have been made by a lot of people, for a long time. Springs made in the early years of the last century (and before) are often not as well made (material, heat treatment, eyc.) and could take a "set" or even break if left compressed for long periods of time. All the old timers were taught as children when they began shooting, NEVER leave the gun cocked when you put it away. So we learned to snap the firing pin (dry fire) before storage. And the small number of times you do this doesn't hurt the gun, normally.

Center fire guns do not have the problem of the firing pin hitting the barrel when dry fired. Dry firing is encouraged as training, with certain guns.

Other gun designs are not suitable for extended dry firing (training) because of the stress on the firing pin without any cartridge in place. Dry firing of these kinds of guns should only by done with a "snap cap" in place.

Not sure if your center fire can be safely dry fired without snap caps? Check with the manufacturer. Some guns can be, I have an owners manual for a New Model Ruger Blackhawk that says dry firing will not harm the gun. If your manual doesn't say it is ok, then assume it isn't, and always use snap caps for dry fire training.

Hope this helps.

351 WINCHESTER
June 11, 2007, 11:32 PM
I have a cz452. It will not uncock by keeping the trigger back while closing the bolt. I got out the owner's manual and cz says to dry fire to take the tension off the f/p spring. I've done this at least 100 times and have inspected the chamber - no marks whatsoever. I guess it just depends on the rifle and whether or not it has a f/p stop.

mnrivrat
June 11, 2007, 11:34 PM
Harmful .

pdowg881
June 11, 2007, 11:37 PM
The 10/22 manual says it's ok to do.

kungfuhippie
June 11, 2007, 11:41 PM
The 10/22 manual says it's ok to do.

Ruger also said that no honest man needs more than 10 rds. in his magazine.

Ruger also sells replacement firing pins...

runner724
June 12, 2007, 12:10 AM
Thanks for all the tips and stories, guys. They really help.

Geno
June 12, 2007, 12:14 AM
It depends on the firearm. Kimber .22LRs are designed like a center-fire. Dry-fire away. Others, use a snap-cap.

Doc2005

pdowg881
June 12, 2007, 12:15 AM
So because Ruger thinks nobody needs more than ten rounds he is a liar and thought it would be funny to say it's ok to dry fire a 10/22?

It's also a stupid idea to sell replacement parts for firearms too huh? Who does that? Don't they know that every part in a gun is unbreakable and doesn't require maintanaince of any kind?


What I've been told, is that some guns are well made and the firing pin will stop short of the chamber face, but if there was a round it would hit the primer, and on other guns, the firing pin will continue to travel until it hit's the chamber. So it depends on the individual firearm. And yea I trust the manual when it tells me the operation of my firearm.

runner724
June 12, 2007, 12:24 AM
So because Ruger thinks nobody needs more than ten rounds he is a liar and thought it would be funny to say it's ok to dry fire a 10/22?


Very good point. I am glad this was brought up, however, because I own a 10/22 and was confused by the "dry fire OK" notice. Perhaps Ruger knows its bad to dry fire, but figures it would be worse if people were afraid to fire it when empty.

There is no decocker on a .22, so dry firing has to be done at some point.

pdowg881
June 12, 2007, 12:31 AM
Page 20 Ruger 10/22 manual: The rifle can be "dry fired" for practice as long as it is empty and pointed in a safe direction.

kungfuhippie
June 12, 2007, 12:32 AM
pdowg881,
sorry, I forgot to put up my sarcasm warning :)

If the firing pin "stops short" in a "well made" gun that means that something other than the rim stops it. That other part, no matter how "well made" the gun, is will wear out and may break. As much as I like my 10/22 it is not an unbreakable wonder. No gun is.

It's a simple thing-the 10/22 has been around for a long time and has proven profitable for ruger-why change it? that's expensive! When the issue of dry firing was raised it was very cheap to change the owner's manual and continue replacing the very rare dry fire related damage rather than redesign the gun to be better. Every industry weighs the costs or improvement with the cost of status-quo. They almost always choose which ever results in more money. The auto industry is notorious for this stuff.

So dry fire all you want-Ruger will fix your gun if it breaks. They have very good customer service from my experience.

rangerruck
June 12, 2007, 12:33 AM
there are a few 22's you can dry fire, ruger, kimber, nef, but others i could not tell you about. Mostly i would say not.

mnrivrat
June 12, 2007, 12:34 AM
The design of the firing mechanizim on the 10/22 prevents the firing pin from coming foward far enough to make contact with the edge of the chamber. For this reason, it is less likely to cause the damage normaly associated with dry firing a rimfire gun.

My personal opinion is dry firing any gun is not a good practice. After all, if you hit and anvil with a ballpin hammer often enough you will creat a dent in the anvil - the same holds true for anytime you bring two metal pieces together under some amount of force.

Yes, it may take a long time to do damage on some guns due to their design, and yes some dry firing on some guns is not going to do enough harm to be concerned about. Most - not all - rimfire guns are subject to rapid damage when dry fired. Most all centerfire guns can withstand a good deal of dry firing.

runner724
June 12, 2007, 12:35 AM
When the issue of dry firing was raised it was very cheap to change the owner's manual and continue replacing the very rare dry fire related damage rather than redesign the gun to be better.

Makes sense.

pdowg881
June 12, 2007, 12:43 AM
I give up. Your right and Ruger's wrong.



And for the record, there is a firing pin stop built into the bolt of the 10/22, so it actually is designed to be dry fired. It's not some Ruger money making conspiracy. If the manual and design of the gun says it's ok then I'll take my chances and get some good dry fire practice.

runner724
June 12, 2007, 12:49 AM
I give up. Your right and Ruger's wrong.

It's hard to tell who is right. I am just looking for general consensus and personal accounts to help me decide.

kungfuhippie
June 12, 2007, 12:49 AM
I give up. Your right and Ruger's wrong.

I'm glad your eyes have been opened:neener:

No hard feeling - I only meant to stress that it's way cheaper and quicker to pop in a snap-cap than to replace a firing pin (don't ask how I know this;) )

IndianaBoy
June 12, 2007, 02:04 AM
I have a cz452. It will not uncock by keeping the trigger back while closing the bolt. I got out the owner's manual and cz says to dry fire to take the tension off the f/p spring

My CZ 452 uncocks itself just fine if I hold the trigger down and lower the bolt. You might want to have yours checked out.

matt87
June 12, 2007, 03:14 AM
Well it's verboten in the Anschutz .22 target rifle manuals. For dry-fire practise we use snap caps or empty cases. The firing mech is designed to make misfires very rare, and so at its furthest point, the tip of the firing pin would project beyond where the rim of the case would be and into the chamber. (.22lr rim is just 1mm [1/25"]) Hardened steel snapping into hardened steel under spring tension... mnrivrat's hammer-anvil point sums it up.

Mind you, we store rifles with bolts closed, and do so by holding the trigger back and closing the bolt. Once you cam the handle down, the firing pin/striker snaps forward of course. This is less harmful though I think, as the striker is lowered slowly along the bolt handle cam as opposed to dropped all at once by release of the sear, if you see what I mean.

wanderinwalker
June 12, 2007, 08:08 AM
matt87, that's interesting, as my brother had a Walther KK100 that was expressly OK to dry-fire without a snap cap. And his rifle would ALWAYS light off rounds that failed to fire in one of the other shooter's rifles (including the odd Anschutz misfire). Weird.

Ruger's Rimfires are OK to dry-fire. Certain others are as well. Just check the manual. And when in doubt, drop in a snap cap. As said, it's cheap insurance.

SDC
June 12, 2007, 09:48 AM
It depends on the particular model of firearm you're talking about; RUGERS (as mentioned above) are designed so that the firing-pin never gets far enough forward to touch the back edge of the chamber; a pin through the body of the firing-pin stops them from moving past a certain point). Plenty of OTHER designs, though, either require you to hold the bolt back a little way off the breech and then pull the trigger, or to use a snap-cap. With these designs, the firing-pin ends up bouncing directly off the edge of the chamber, and it causes a burr that makes feeding OR extraction difficult.

ArmedBear
June 12, 2007, 03:35 PM
RUGERS (as mentioned above) are designed so that the firing-pin never gets far enough forward to touch the back edge of the chamber

That is true (and also true about some other guns, but not all, and the exceptions would surprise you).

WARNING.... The Ruger semiauto pistol is designed to make sure it doesn't dent the chamber face when dry-firing, but there's a steel pin that acts as a stop. With the steel pin, the gun is indestructible. If the pin falls out and you don't notice, the gun will destroy itself.

Universal advice for Ruger semiauto .22 pistols (which I love, BTW): read the manual, follow the manual exactly, and if in doubt about ANYTHING, put down the gun and go read the manual.

Sig-Hammerli pistols (sold until a year or two ago) are NOT safe to dry fire, and worse yet the barrel is cast with the receiver, so the gun is disposable if you mess it up. Just because something is higher-end, don't assume it will take more abuse than its more commonplace cousins, or any for that matter.

cracked butt
June 12, 2007, 04:03 PM
depends on the model and if it has a firing pin stop in it. I'd avoid doing it with old .22s, I've dry fired my Rem 581 and 541 100s of times.

If dry firing a .22 were as big of a problem as people purport it to be, we'd see threads here weekly about people screwing up their .22s by dryfiring.

MrPeter
June 12, 2007, 05:58 PM
Pray tell, how would one go and find out if their .22 was meant to be safe to dry fire? I don't entirely trust the manual of my Walther G22 (which I love by the way).

kungfuhippie
June 12, 2007, 06:29 PM
aparently one should trust the manual.
I'd go buy a snap cap, I bet a snap cap is a lot less money than replacing a firing pin (or barrel). If you are unsure about dry firing it don't take the risk.

dstorm1911
June 12, 2007, 06:36 PM
Kungfuhippie, a snap cap is ALOT cheaper than replacing a barrel because the chamber has been peened to cr@p.......

kungfuhippie
June 12, 2007, 06:37 PM
whoops typo!!!!

fixed

Oohrah
June 12, 2007, 08:30 PM
Almost all the older 22s should not be dry fired as they form
that raised burr that gradual break off leaving a void that no
longer supports the cartridge rim for a solid strike on the rim
containing the primer compound. Newer models claim it is ok
to dry fire. Mixed emotions as I recall breaking a family 32-40
Marlin M.95 by dry firing as a kid. Yet in Marine boot at the
range, we snapped in for a week. Assuming various firing
positions and dry firing the M-1 Garand ! Don't know of anyone
in the Platoon who broke a firing pin or had ever had any
weapon break from use!:):)

cracked butt
June 13, 2007, 01:02 AM
The worst that can happen is the firing pin strikes the edge of the chamber peening it inward- most modern rimfires have a stop that keeps the firing pin from protruding far enough to touch the chamber. You'll know when this happens because a round will not chamber. Brownell's actually sells a tool (it costs about $20 iirc) that swages the bur out of rimfire chambers that have been damages as such- you don't need to replace the barrel.

edit: I've always found snap caps to be one of the biggest wastes of money- I can only think of a few centerfire rifles or pistols where they would actually prevent damage, but those guns are in chamberings that no snap cap is made for(ex. a cz-52 pistol), and a fired .22 rimfire case will work just fine to protect your gun if you want the extra piece of mind.

kungfuhippie
June 13, 2007, 01:11 AM
The empty case/snap cap not only protects the gun from damage but is a great way of physically clearing the gun so you don't damage you chamber or your wall.

My star in 9mm luger needs a snap cap...

CoolTargets
June 13, 2007, 03:18 AM
There are plenty of 22s that don't need to be dry fired to de-cock the firearm. My advice is to not dry fire any weapon you plan to keep and shoot...

halvey
June 13, 2007, 09:04 AM
If your so concerned about it, spend $4 and buy some .22 snap caps.

kungfuhippie
June 13, 2007, 01:19 PM
This thread is 25 posts longer than it needs to be. Unless we're trying to use peer pressure to convince him :neener:

Vern Humphrey
June 13, 2007, 01:32 PM
Dryfiring is a standard training method -- great shooters probably dry fire their guns tens of thousands of times a year.

Some guns can be damaged by dryfiring, but not all. I will not dryfire my Colt Woodsman, nor my Colt Officer's Model Target. But I have no qualms about dryfiring my Ruger MKII automatic or my Kimber M82 rifle.

Yes, you can make a dent in an anvil with a ball peen hammer. But it takes a lot of pounding. But the firing pin doesn't have the energy of the ballpeen hammer and the firing pin stop is made of better steel than the anvil.

matt87
June 13, 2007, 10:21 PM
matt87, that's interesting, as my brother had a Walther KK100 that was expressly OK to dry-fire without a snap cap. And his rifle would ALWAYS light off rounds that failed to fire in one of the other shooter's rifles (including the odd Anschutz misfire). Weird.
I was at a small bore target rifle match about 6-8 weeks ago, one poor girl got 17 misfires on a 20-round detail. Anschutz was the only brand present. Got to be careful oiling the firing pins too, as to much can slow them and caue a bad strike. We used to get the occasional failure to fire at the club especially during freshers' week with many rounds going downrange and minimal maintenance. None that I know of since we switched from Eley Club to RWS Geco though. (1 cheaper per box too!)

Yes, you can make a dent in an anvil with a ball peen hammer. But it takes a lot of pounding. But the firing pin doesn't have the energy of the ballpeen hammer and the firing pin stop is made of better steel than the anvil.
You can take chunkss out of even a good anvil with very few strikes of a hammer, just ask over at Anvilfire or read Bealer ;) Of course, ths is usually on the edge of the face, but then the ananlgy readilly transfers to .22 rimmies, as the strike point of the firing pin on an empty chamber would be right on the edge too.

As for 'better steel'... perhaps it would be better to say that the pin stop would be made from a softer-tempered steel (or even a low-carbon one which would be less likely to fail under repeated blows from a hard piece of steel. Not flaming you, but it is a rather important distinction; anvils are made from good quality (i.e. consistent) steel (except ASOs, but they don't count ;) ); blacksmiths are rather picky about what one of their three core tools are made from :D

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