Whats the BEST type of SNAPCAPS to use?


September 24, 2009, 04:30 PM
I finally realized I should purchase some SNAPCAPS so I can practice dry-firing my pistols. But after looking online I am somewhat bewildered between choosing one. With that said here are my questions;

1. Do you get what you pay for? (I notice some brands cost way more than others well like $5-$10 more)

2. How long do Snap Caps last? (I mean like how many times can you dryfire one before it no longer serves its purpose)

3. Whats your top recommended brand for 9mm & 22lr? (The guns in question are a Taurus PT92 & Beretta 21a)

I appreciate all the help & info yall can give me!

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September 24, 2009, 04:35 PM
i have some of these in 9mm (tipton brand):


they seem to work pretty well. i haven't used them a TON, but they have held up well and will probably last quite a while.

September 24, 2009, 04:38 PM
A-Zoom brand are the only all metal snap-caps I am aware of, and they last far longer in use then the all-plastic ones.



September 24, 2009, 04:45 PM
These are the ones I prefer: A-Zoom (http://www.midwayusa.com/viewProduct/?productNumber=691109)

Very tough CNC Aluminum. Do what they do very well. Available in 9mm, but not 22LR.

They do have a 22LR dummy round...

Shadow 7D
September 24, 2009, 04:50 PM
But aren't A-zoom basically AL dummy rounds?
what would be the difference between using a spent case and an A-zoom?

September 24, 2009, 05:00 PM
No. Not the same as a dummy round or fired round at all.

They have what they call:
"The highly durable dry fire “Dead Cap” can take over three thousand dry fires while protecting the firing pin."


A fired primer is only good for a few hits until it is beat out and offers zero protection to the firing pin.


September 24, 2009, 05:36 PM
I use the A-zoom ones in centerfires, and I have some of their "action proving dummy rounds" for 22 LR. The latter are NOT snap caps, though.

September 24, 2009, 06:18 PM
I'm not sure if there is a real snap-cap option for rimfire ... seeing as the whole rim would have to be spring-loaded somehow.
I use a set that is probably Tipton for 9mm, they look like the ones pictured, and the name is familiar ... but the white printing is totally worn off of mine from chambering, rolling around on the ground, etc etc.
They seem to be holding up just fine, I have no idea how many strikes they have on them, and I'm sure you'll lose count as well. Probably upwards of 500 each, possibly over 1000 ea.

The A-zoom brand ones look pretty good, too ... but I really like the bright red plastic, since there isn't any ammo in the house that looks even vaguely like the Tipton caps.

September 24, 2009, 08:23 PM
A-zoom are really hard to find in the grass at the range.

September 24, 2009, 08:55 PM
noeyedeer, that's another reason I like the bright red plastic ones.

September 24, 2009, 10:03 PM
Another +1 for A-zoom

September 24, 2009, 10:43 PM
I make my own with my reloading press. Deprime a spent case, DON'T PRIME OR ADD POWDER, then seat a bullet. Cut a piece of pencil eraser to fit the primer pocket and you have your very own snap cap for a much lower premium than Azoom and the like.

This trick is particularly useful for wildcat or rare cartridges.

September 24, 2009, 10:48 PM
I have some ST Action Pro .45 snap caps and are junk imo.
After 3 hits from the firing pin the plastic orange bullet/cap pushes out of the casing.
This allows the firing pin to operate like no dummy round is in it at all.Then when you go to eject it the round is too long now since the end is pushing out of the casing.

Maybe some super glue may fix this,but i wish i had invested in better ones.

September 24, 2009, 11:03 PM
I don't mean to be contentious, but what happened to persuade you that you need snap caps? I have dry-fired each of a dozen different guns thousands of times, some no doubt tens of thousands of times, with no adverse effect I can detect. Did something happen to your guns?

September 24, 2009, 11:22 PM
If it's a hammer fired handgun you can put a foam earplug in the hammer channel and dry fire away.

September 25, 2009, 11:29 AM
Looks like A-Zoom is a winner!

I appreciate all the help from yall!:)

p.s. If 22lr snapcaps are not available is there a way to make one to safely dryfire my Beretta 21a?

September 25, 2009, 11:36 AM
A spent casing will work a few times, just collect a handful from the range.

September 25, 2009, 02:30 PM
You want some resistance given to the firing pin to prevent failure, over-extension or breakage, which is why snap caps and dummy rounds all are composed of rubber or soft plastic at the contact area.

If you want to use spent brass, pull the primer and put a glob of latex glue (caulking, sealant, etc.) into the hole so the firing pin will hit that. Just letting the firing pin strike a dented-up primer cap doesn't do much.

September 25, 2009, 03:07 PM
There are .22 snap caps available, or at least there used to be. I used them a lot when the kids were little and dry firing their Chipmunks on the living room floor. They are made of plastic and look like a hollow .22 short. I'm assuming they were made by the same company that made or makes the red plastic snap caps, as the plastic looks the same.

Here, I found what I have left. If you look close on the "rim" of the round up on end across the others, you can see the impacts of the firing pin.

These days, I too use the A Zooms. They far out last the old red plastic ones. It would be nice if they made them a little brighter, but hey, I'll live with it. I know most of the modern gun makers say you dont need them to dry fire, but I think the snap caps cant hurt, and they add an additional level of safety, as you need to unload the gun and load the snap cap, and in doing so, you physically verify the gun is empty.

I used to make them out of brass, bullets and erasers too. I never had good luck with longevity with them, and the bullets soon set back after repeated loadings. They are also easily confused with live ammo, making them a bit of a danger.

Shadow 7D
September 25, 2009, 06:23 PM
Some weapons are sensitive to dry firing, notably pistols like Kel-Tec where the aluminum block will ping from the hammer striking it and the firing pin can break.

September 25, 2009, 06:29 PM
The kel-Tec hammer cannot hit the aluminum frame block, unless the slide is off the gun.
Firing pin damage and/or retaining screw damage from the firing pin striking it are the only result of dry-firing any K-T pistol.

There are an awful lot of older gun designs, both centerfire and rimfire, that can / will be damaged by dry-firing.

Colt SAA's, Winchester lever-actions, and a whole raft of cheap .22's come to mind.


September 25, 2009, 06:48 PM
CWL, I was talking about rimfire - see above for opinions regarding centerfire.

September 25, 2009, 07:59 PM
Sorry but I don't recall the maker, but....

I bought some that are completely black, I suspect
an epoxy paint, the fake primer is a hard rubber that
has yet to have a dimple from dry firing and the paint
hasn't chipped from function test - 1911 & .45 ACP
Snap Caps. They were 5 for $15 - when you
handle them - they are lighter, as well as if you clank
them in your hand against each other they sound
different than Brass loaded cartridges.

FWIW - the plastic snap caps with replaceable plastic
primers that ( two ) came with my CZ 75B were a joke
and didn't last long.

SOme people poo poo them, but considering their function
testing as a safety feature, and the dry firing of a nice
1911, pretty chaeap actually.


blue german
September 27, 2009, 08:56 PM
i own and use snap caps, mostly in 9mm PB, constantly. I have used many brands of the 9mm plastic snap caps, such as Pachmayr, Tipton, and several others. In addition, I have also used the A-zoom aluminum snap caps in 9mm and 380.

I much prefer the plastic rounds. In my experience, they seem to decelerate the firing pins on my 9mms much better than the simple rubber lump used in the A-Zoom rounds. In addition, the brass parts of the plastic rounds seem to hold up better than those of the aluminuum A-Zoom. Over the years, and thousands of 'snaps', I have actually broken two plastic 9mm 'rounds'..... but many years ago I bought a pile of 9mm rounds (22 packages of five rounds each) off of eBay. I'm certain these and 30-40 others will last me the end of my days.

September 27, 2009, 10:16 PM
I'm also riding the A-Zoom bandwagon. I have them in 12ga, .223, 7.62x54r, and 9mm.

September 27, 2009, 10:53 PM
I recently picked up a box of 9mm dummy rounds. They are reloaded 9mm cases and bullets with a spacer inside (I can see it through the primer hole and some of them rattle a little) so the bullet can't be driven back into the case further by hitting the ramp. There's no primer at all but my CZ isn't prone to issues from dry firing. For a few I'm going to fill the primer pockets with some hot glue and then slice the bump off flush with the end. That'll handle the guns that do have sensitive firing pins.

Best $14 for 50 I've spent on specialty tools. 50 was more than I need so I sold 1/2 to a buddy.

They look suspiciously like real bullets until you see the missing primer so I'm going to get some brass blackening solution to color them.

I've got some A-zoom snapcaps as well but I find the rim is getting pretty chewed up pretty quickly. And I haven't even used them all that much.

As soon as I get into reloading for my other calibers I'm going to make up a few of the same sort of dummies for each caliber I shoot.

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