Dry fire?


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skeptiq
December 12, 2008, 09:45 PM
I have seen conflicting posts about dry firing. What is the general concensus? I have a S&W SW9VE with 180 rounds through it.

What is the danger, if any in dry firing my gun?

Thanks in advance!

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sniper7369
December 12, 2008, 10:02 PM
I always use snap caps. IIRC firing pin or firing pin spring damage is the usual result of excessive dry fire.

theotherwaldo
December 12, 2008, 11:13 PM
I don't have all that much faith in snap caps. I usually use either a loop of synthetic cord, that is, anything from parachute cord to clothesline, as a pad between the hammer and frame of the guns that I'm breaking in. Snap caps can't handle the hundreds of cycles that I put the gun through when I'm "working in" a trigger.

Other folks prefer a leather pad for this. Most are shaped like a little tombstone with a hole through the middle for the firing pin. Just make sure that the leather STAYS thick enough to keep the hammer from hitting the firing pin.

Daniel1120
December 13, 2008, 12:15 AM
The guys who work at my local range always respond with this "its a modern gun, its ok". I don't agree, some brands are more prone than others. For around $5-10 consider it insurance.

Sunray
December 13, 2008, 12:28 AM
Dry firing is a long recognised training technique for practicing sight picture and trigger control. It doesn't bother any centerfire firearm.
"..."working in" a trigger..." That'd be causing wear. You can save yourself the time and effort with a proper trigger job.

.38 Special
December 13, 2008, 12:29 AM
A-Zoom snap caps are pretty much the gold standard and are capable of standing up to many, many hits. They're not necessary in all guns, but if you don't know for a fact that your particular piece is impervious to dry firing, then snap caps are cheap insurance. And Sunray, I'm afraid you are about to get an education. There are numerous posters on this site who have written of damaging their centerfire guns through dry firing.

Sunray
December 13, 2008, 01:01 AM
"...numerous posters on this site who have written of..." Dry firing doesn't damage a centre fire. Gets blamed a lot though.

.38 Special
December 13, 2008, 01:15 AM
Good to know. I'm sure extensively dry firing every centerfire ever made was quite a project, and we appreciate your sharing the experience with us. You did apparently miss the CZ-52...

<edit> And the Kel-Tec...

Oro
December 13, 2008, 09:59 AM
Snarky comments aside, Dry firing has been stated as safe for any S&W centerfire pistol by the manufacturer for decades. Snap caps are a kinda snake oil to take your dollars, not really provide a function. In rimfires they are vital, in centerfires, no.

From a lot of reading and anecdotes, I can only find a few very limited cases that dry firing a center-fire was "blamed" as harmful:

1) poor quality, brittle fp's and springs on some lightened 1911's "back in the day" that did crack the fp. Modern and quality components obviate this.

2) some few revolvers with pinned fp's that worked loose. They would have under normal use, too, just attributed to dry-firing.

In short, these were going to break anyway, dry-firing just helped ID the problem a little sooner. But letters to the editor in gun mags, and article by less-than-super competent gun writers have perpetuated a myth.

Colt, S&W, and others are on record saying that dry-firing a center-fire product of theirs will not accelerate wear any more than "wet" firing. When people who offer lifetime warranties and who pay the bill if anything goes wrong says this, you should probably take them at face value.

It is much easier to go through a few hundred dry fire cycles to work in your trigger assembly than pay to have it "pre-worn" by a gunsmith, which is what many trigger jobs consist of. Most S&W revolvers, for example, only get better as they are shot - minimum of 500 rounds is the conventional wisdom before you should even contemplate a trigger job in one of those.

Some top shooters I have read about recommend that at least 40% or 50% of your shooting be dry; this helps build good muscle memory and sight alignment to counter flinching and other stress-induced muscle action that degrades the sight picture in anticipation of recoil. Since reading that 10 years ago, I have made dry firing a major part of my shooting routine, and my modest skills have improved dramatically because of it.

Go with God, and go dry fire! Preferably, lots.

JImbothefiveth
December 13, 2008, 03:46 PM
Dry firing has been stated as safe for any S&W centerfire pistol by the manufacturer for decades. Snap caps are a kinda snake oil to take your dollars, not really provide a function.
I disagree with this.

Ruger says the 10/22 is safe to dry-fire, but if you do it a lot, somewhere between 10-20K times, it causes a notch in the barrel, which caused jamming.

Use snap caps!

Fenris
December 13, 2008, 04:09 PM
I find that dry firing causes far less damage to my television screen than live fire.

RyanM
December 13, 2008, 06:22 PM
Depends on the specific model. Generally, if something uses a plate to retain the firing pin, dry fire is probably fine. If the firing pin is held in with another pin, dry firing is not fine.

TDR911
December 13, 2008, 06:51 PM
Dry fire on the SW Sigma series ,Others may not be. As with any firearm after many thousands of dry fire there is wear. Check and or replace firing pins and especialy springs as needed.

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