Staggering Snap Caps with Live Rounds?


September 19, 2008, 04:40 PM
Anyone stagger snap caps with live ammo while at the range to check and see if you are jerking or "anticipating recoil" as you fire? Does this harm your cylinder by not having as much weight in each chamber like there would be if they were filled with loaded rounds? I find this to be great practice!

However, the reason I ask is because I did this for about 125 rounds of .357 magnum ammo in my new 686, and when I was all done the cylinder didn't spin as fast and evenly as it normally did prior to shooting. It had a very slight wobbling feel to it. So, I took the gun home and cleaned it. I noticed the rear-most side-plate screw (not the one that holds in the cylinder arm) was loose. The other two were tight. I took the cylinder off, cleaned it and the whole gun very well and re-lubed. When I reassembled everything the cylinder spun fast, freely, and perfectly balanced as it always had.

Is it common for a .357 to shoot a bit loose after over 100 rounds of magnum ammunition? And (even though it sounds ridiculous) does this have anything to do with staggering live rounds with snap caps?

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September 19, 2008, 05:41 PM
Alternating snap caps won't hurt your gun. Another good exercise is to balance an empty case on the top strap of your gun (no live rounds in the gun) and squeeze the trigger through in double action mode while keeping the empty casing from falling off. This helps to develop a smooth trigger pull.

Any screw can back out while firing on the range regardless of calibre . Some like to put Locktite on them, I prefer a good gun-smith screw driver and just check them periodically.

Guy B. Meredith
September 19, 2008, 06:48 PM
An absolutely excellent way to get quick improvement in your shooting.

Snap caps shouldn't be a problem.

I usually use fired rounds, but to be lazy and get more shooting in I often just spin the cylinder after each shot so I don't know whether the round I just shot is coming up next or a live one.

Brian Williams
September 19, 2008, 08:29 PM
Yes, but I make do with empties mostly.

September 19, 2008, 08:33 PM
The Army used to teach just that to detect and overcome a flinch - called the 'Ball and Dummy Drill.' It is/was an excellent teaching tool, that I still use.

Chief 101
September 21, 2008, 12:24 PM
I like to leave empty chambers when teaching new shooters but always remember to check the barrel for clearance everytime there is a fail to fire. Chief

September 22, 2008, 04:03 AM
My friend uses .38 Special rounds to do this. It's cheaper, so we can get in more shots for less money, and it still shows if you are flinching or not. It's even better since we load for each other, so the shooter doesn't know the sequence of .38 Specials interspersed with the .357 Magnum rounds :)


September 23, 2008, 04:03 AM
Like the others I also use this method of practice and I also use spent cases instead of snap caps.

September 23, 2008, 04:18 AM
just make sure your using good ammo... this is not a time you want to have a hang fire.

September 23, 2008, 05:19 AM
sorry, wrong post!

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