Dry firing in a gun shop


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runningfast
February 9, 2010, 09:12 PM
Hi!

I'm mostly new to this all (guns), and I have a question about etiquette. Is it impolite or inappropriate to dry fire a gun when trying it in a gunshop? Meaning, not your own weapon you carried in... theirs, that they gave you to examine, and which they themselves verified is unloaded.

I'm looking at making my first purchase and I want to feel out some different trigger before shelling out $ to actually rent the gun and get range time, but I want to make sure this isn't a social misstep or anything.

Sorry for the dumb question. I'd rather ask then have a staff flip out on me.

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19-3Ben
February 9, 2010, 09:15 PM
I just ask them if they mind if I dry fire once to test the trigger.
I've never had anyone say no.

gwnorth
February 9, 2010, 09:15 PM
It's always been fine for me at the shops I frequent - BUT....

ALWAYS ask first, don't just pull the trigger assuming it is alright with them.

A1Fiddler
February 9, 2010, 09:16 PM
Personally, I would ask the person who's showing you the gun. That's what I've done in the past and they were always nice and let me. However, I really don't appreciate it when my friends dry fire my guns without permission. If they ask to try it out I toss them some snap caps.

stanmo
February 9, 2010, 09:24 PM
Yeah, I would ask first, some shops have actually said no. I personally have never had a gun I didn't dry fire many, many times. I haven't broke one yet.

X-Rap
February 9, 2010, 09:28 PM
The exception to me would be a gun of high collector value that was unfired or old and the owner had no intentions of shooting himself.

shockwave
February 9, 2010, 09:37 PM
Generally I ask everything. "May I check the slide? May I dry fire the gun?" etc. I'm sure they appreciate that.

kingmt
February 9, 2010, 09:44 PM
I ask first & only if I am almost to the point of buying it. It is a good idea to ask befor field striping on also. I was getting ready to field strip one one time when the guy started to talk about how he hated when people would come in & just take then apart. I just handed it back & bought one from someone that didn't mind. I'm glad I didn't pull the slide off right as he was saying that.

Fat Boy
February 9, 2010, 09:45 PM
I once took a cz52 into a national chain sporting goods shop, thinking of trading it in. The clerk didn't ask, simply cocked it and dropped the hammer after which the back end of the firing pin fell out in his hand.

I always ask, and would hope people would ask me before dry firing.

I realize the CZ deal is a bit of a unique experience; I was aware the of the brittle nature of the CZ firing pins, evidently the store clerk was not.

Needless to say, it was embarrassing for the clerk....

mgmorden
February 9, 2010, 09:51 PM
I ask to open the bolt or slide. I NEVER dry fire a gun in a shop because I know that personally, I don't like to dry fire any gun without snap caps. While some might not have that stipulation, I know that I buy only a small percentage of the guns I look at. Most of them end up going to a different buyer. I know if I was buying a gun from a shop I wouldn't want it to have been dry fired by goodness-knows how many other customers, so I like to return the favor.

greyling22
February 9, 2010, 09:54 PM
ask. some places don't care, some places do. I got chewed out today for checking the cylinder on a blackhawk to make sure it was unloaded too fast (no, I was not free spinning it, just running the cylinder across my hand) said it would mess up the timing. some people just have a bug up their butt. but their gun, their shop, their rules.

texas bulldog
February 9, 2010, 10:18 PM
i've always asked. i've also brought my own snap caps with me before when looking for a specific gun in a specific caliber. i must say, the guy at the gun show table seemed pretty appreciative of that. i just told him that i knew what i came for.

Zerodefect
February 9, 2010, 10:23 PM
I never drop the slide on an empty gun. I don't dry fire at the shop when i'm looking. But when I find a gun that passes my inspection that I'm about to buy. Then i dry fire it.
So if I'm serious, I dry fire. But if the gun isn't for me, I don't bother.

runningfast
February 9, 2010, 10:40 PM
Thanks a bunch for the responses.

lexjj
February 9, 2010, 11:24 PM
I always ask before I pull the trigger, and I gently close the slides. I've never had anyone tell me no. However one guy responded, "That's what its there for!"

I don't think dry firing a center fire pistol or dropping the slide is particularly harmful, but if I don't own it, it isn't my decision.

420Stainless
February 9, 2010, 11:44 PM
I don't dry fire at the shop when i'm looking. But when I find a gun that passes my inspection that I'm about to buy. Then i dry fire it.


Same for me. Its a functional check before the purchase. Otherwise, only if someone invites me to ("Hey, you really gotta feel how sweet this trigger is").

Leonard Pone
February 9, 2010, 11:59 PM
I realize the CZ deal is a bit of a unique experience; I was aware the of the brittle nature of the CZ firing pins, evidently the store clerk was not.


"Brittle firing pins"????

I have not heard of this before. I have a CZ 75 SP01 that I dry fire relatively regularly. Is this something I should be concerned about?

W.E.G.
February 10, 2010, 12:04 AM
"Brittle firing pins"????

I have not heard of this before. I have a CZ 75 SP01 that I dry fire relatively regularly. Is this something I should be concerned about?

The CZ52 is a different animal altogether.
http://preview.tinyurl.com/CZ52brokenfiringpin

Six
February 10, 2010, 12:09 AM
On a revolver I'll just place my left thumb between the hammer and frame.

Other guns I ask.

Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
February 10, 2010, 01:30 AM
Yep, no problem, just:

1. Ask first
2. Check and double check chamber
3. dry-fire, observing all safety rules (point at the ground or sky)

TexasBill
February 10, 2010, 01:53 AM
Anytime a shop employee hands me a gun, I always open the cylinder or yank back the slide to make sure it's not loaded. Since I have no interest in striker-fired pistols, it's a simple matter for me to keep a thumb on the hammer as I try the feel of the action. 90% of the time, that's as close to dry-firing as I come. If I am down to the point of purchase and deciding which gun will be going home with me, I might ask if I can dry-fire the candidates. Never had a clerk say "No."

At home, I have the plastic insert from a box of cartridges that is loaded with snap caps for every caliber of handgun I have. I still make it a practice to hand a gun to someone else with the action open.

tigeroldlone
February 10, 2010, 03:27 AM
I allways ask even thoe I know the answer is yes.

harmon rabb
February 10, 2010, 07:11 AM
i've always asked first if they mind.

Rinspeed
February 10, 2010, 10:39 AM
I always ask and I've had a few tell me no.

veyec
February 10, 2010, 10:59 AM
"Brittle firing pins"????

I have not heard of this before. I have a CZ 75 SP01 that I dry fire relatively regularly. Is this something I should be concerned about?
Tip: For guns with hammers, take a small oring and place it between the hammer and the slide around the firing pin. Get a oring that is sligthly bigger than the gap in the slide (so that it will hold itself there) and dry-fire away. The oring will cushion the impact of the hammer to the slide and also keep the hammer from striking the pin. Way cheaper than a snap cap and easier to get.

woad_yurt
February 10, 2010, 11:51 AM
Just ask nicely, like one should do all the time when one wants to check out another's property.

CJ
February 10, 2010, 12:21 PM
Yes, polite to ask. In shops or at shows, you can see everyone in the area cringe (or so it seems to me) when someone grabs a firearm and rapidly and repeatedly pulls the trigger.

Starcheck55
February 10, 2010, 07:26 PM
ask - good
bring snap caps - better
buy the gun - best

Nick5182
February 10, 2010, 07:38 PM
When I asked my gun guy to dry fire, he told me to hold on, went to the back, and came back with a handful of snap-caps. Then he let me dry fire.

Blind Bat
February 10, 2010, 11:41 PM
Yep, no problem, just:

1. Ask first
2. Check and double check chamber
2b. Check and double check chamber
3. dry-fire, observing all safety rules (point at the ground or sky)

I remember hearing a story about a gun shop that got in a bunch of police trade-ins. The sales guy pulls one out of the box for a customer, racks the slide, and a round goes flying across the shop!

My guns get dry fired A LOT. I personally don't use snap caps because I want to see an empty chamber before I practice at home. ...But that's just my preference. The only gun I wouldn't dry fire is a 1911 with a nice super light trigger job.

marv
February 11, 2010, 12:22 AM
One store I go to has signs saying "If you dry fire it you have bought it" or words to that effect.

maksim
February 11, 2010, 12:45 AM
wow marv.... I would come in with a tshirt.... no dry fire = no buy.

If it is a new gun, I would ask about if it is ok to dry fire, always check to see if unloaded. never gave any issues.

If it is a used firearm, which I love to buy as they are typically much better priced, and why not let someone else take the hit.... at the very least my expectation is to dry fire, and take the gun apart. Even better, if I am buying a used firearm from a store that has a range... I am going to have the assumption that I will be shooting the firearm before I buy it.

If someone doesnt let me dry fire a firearm, I am walking out the door unless it is a once in a lifetime deal and I get a return policy on the gun.

But alot of the recent firearms I have purchased, I have shot them beforehand, either the exact gun or same model. Typically during one of our weekly get togethers on njgf, we get to play show and tell.

CPshooter
February 11, 2010, 02:26 AM
It is probably a good idea to ask, but generally it shouldn't be a problem. However, if it was a $3000 1911, you probably shouldn't dry fire it unless you are serious about buying it. Whatever you do, DO NOT let the slide slam forward by using the slide release/slide stop lever. Always guide the slide forward slowly as you release the slide. Most people would not appreciate that and I cringe every time I see some idiot let the slide slam forward on an empty chamber. It's not good for the gun and just plain stupid to do.

WardenWolf
February 11, 2010, 03:23 AM
I always ask. It's their gun, and they're just letting me handle it, and at the very least they'll want to know before I dry fire it. That snapping sound is never good if you're not prepared for it. I've found most people at gun shows will even let you handle guns for sale that are labeled "Please do not touch" if you ask them, particularly if you know what it is and call it by name. That tells them that you know what you're dealing with, and gives them a bit more confidence that you won't do something stupid with it.

cyclopsshooter
February 11, 2010, 03:47 AM
dry firing a rimfire = bad

most centerfires ok

Demitrios
February 11, 2010, 04:23 AM
Here in NJ I get some really. . . **AHEM** intelligent :uhoh: gents behind the counter of most gun shops and who act like they know everything, which as WE all know just makes those of us who do know everything look bad. But in all seriousness they have the attitude that dry firing is bad and that's that. Even on a revolver or 1911, which as far as I know will never damage the pistol, they become tentative over the matter.

Bottom line, just ask. Not only are you safer that way it shows courteousness as well.

SuperNaut
February 11, 2010, 04:29 AM
One store I go to has signs saying "If you dry fire it you have bought it" or words to that effect.

I sure wouldn't go there anymore.

possum
February 11, 2010, 06:10 AM
i go to teh same gun shop all the time, and they always promt me too try the trigger out, i never have to ask, but if they didn't tell me it was ok first, i would definetly ask.

06
February 11, 2010, 07:40 AM
Veyek, thanks for the terrific tip. I always keep a thumb on the hammer when testing the trigger pull but the "O" ring trick is super. I never dry fire a shooter unless they say yes. It bothers me to hear that hammer strike the pin and nothing be under it. If shops do not have "snap caps" then I wonder how many have dry snapped "my" shooter in the past. Just poor etiquette IMO.

rattletrap1970
February 11, 2010, 07:59 AM
I have an Altoids box that I keep Snap caps in. I keep a handful of calibers that interest me. They are usually sold in packages of 5, so you can either buy one off of someone who sprung for 5 of them or get a group buy with some buddies and split them up (that's what I did for most of mine). For instance A-zoom had .45 ACP for around $17 for 5 (or $3.50 each if you split with 5 friends). I ask them if I can dry fire and tell them I have my own snap caps. At the very least I think the shop owners tend to see you as a bit more serious buyer who cares about their merchandise. If they don't mind me not using a cap, then neither do I. I don't personally believe any gun's firing pin should snap when dry fired. If it does, it had some kind of issue in the first place.

Volfy
February 11, 2010, 12:22 PM
Instead of snap caps, wouldn't a spent empty casing suffice? Afterall, that's exactly what the firing pin is meant to hit.

gwnorth
February 11, 2010, 12:31 PM
Instead of snap caps, wouldn't a spent empty casing suffice? Afterall, that's exactly what the firing pin is meant to hit.
No, not really. The firing pin is "meant" to hit an undented primer, not one already punched in. A snap cap is intended to provide a constant resistance, like an unfired shell casing with intact primer would, so it buffers the firing pin from over travel.

CoRoMo
February 11, 2010, 12:37 PM
My wife has been looking at scads of handguns lately, and she groped a Taurus 941 a while back. She asked the counter help if she could dry fire it, and he promptly installed a plastic disc onto the cylinder so that she could fire away.

Always ask.

The Lone Haranguer
February 11, 2010, 01:01 PM
A good gun shop, barring an unfired collector's item, will actually encourage you to try the triggers, as well as put a target on a far wall for a designated aiming point. But ask first.

OldCavSoldier
February 11, 2010, 05:48 PM
If you want to prove to them that you have their best interest at heart, ask them if they have some snap caps for you to try out the trigger...goes a long way in ultimate negotiations....

hawkass13
February 11, 2010, 06:13 PM
The shop i go to is like the one Marv visits. There are signs everywhere that state "If you dry-fire it, You buy it."

Skillet
February 11, 2010, 06:35 PM
Sorry for the dumb question. I'd rather ask then have a staff flip out on me.

That's not a dumb question at all. I have wondered that for a while, but have never really gone to the trouble to ask. but it never hurts to, right?

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