Dry Firing?


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HarcyPervin
January 10, 2011, 08:39 PM
I was always taught that dry firing a rifle/shotgun/pistol was bad for the gun when I was growing up. This may be a dummy question, but I've been hearing people talking about dry fire practice etc, so I'm curious, whats the skinny on dry firing? Am I unnecessarily stressing the firing pin if its not landing on a primer? Is it better off having one of those plastic caps in there?

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tyeo098
January 10, 2011, 08:43 PM
I was told it was OK by the guy I learned guns from. Just not to on my PA63 for one reason or another, so I didnt to that one ahah

dfariswheel
January 10, 2011, 08:53 PM
Most all modern firearms are dry fire safe.

Check the owner's manual or ask the manufacturer, but even most .22's can be dry fired with no damage.

If you intend to do a lot of dry firing, or if just to make you feel better about it, buy some snap caps.

Durty
January 10, 2011, 08:54 PM
I was taught the same thing. Snap caps are probably ideal but I don't use them.. They are relatively expensive for bullet-shaped pieces of plastic. And for some reason, I have lost every snap cap I have ever bought...(Random I know). Over the years, I have dry fired my rifles and shotguns for practice and have never had an issue. There may be some truth to it but I have never heard of an actual firing pin breaking.

HarcyPervin
January 10, 2011, 08:58 PM
yeah, didn't intend on doing it a lot, plus I really really dislike the idea of making "dry-firing" a habit because it just seems to increase the liklihood of having an accidental/negligent discharge like I've heard about in other threads, just one of those curiosity things i guess...

Zerodefect
January 10, 2011, 09:41 PM
I dry fire the tar out of Glocks, 1911s, and Ar15's. No harm done yet.

bigfatdave
January 10, 2011, 10:37 PM
Snap-caps are more than "a piece of plastic", they contain a spring-loaded dummy primer to cushion your firing pin as well as being dummy rounds. While most modern guns are dry-fire safe, I prefer to use a snap-cap for other reasons in addition to the cushion effect.

And they're fairly cheap if you order, not so much buying one at a time at a gunshow (what a rip! every show there's a booth selling singles for $3-5 each, most of them look used!)
I use them for extended dry-fire, they can't hurt and having a bright red/purple thing that is NOT live ammo in the chamber is a good extra precaution. Having a device other than live ammo to do function checks with is handy sometimes, too, particularly after maintenance.

Ignition Override
January 10, 2011, 10:40 PM
What is the probable effect on a '55 (SA) M-1 Garand (Service Grade) or 1943 Enfield #4s, #5s, Norinco SKS or Yugo Mauser 48A?

For example, about 20-30 times per week on each?

avs11054
January 10, 2011, 11:33 PM
yeah, didn't intend on doing it a lot, plus I really really dislike the idea of making "dry-firing" a habit because it just seems to increase the liklihood of having an accidental/negligent discharge like I've heard about in other threads, just one of those curiosity things i guess...
Ensure the gun is unloaded, leave the ammo in a separate room, and go to another room to do your dry-firing. I believe dry fire practice is an excellent thing to do. For me, it helps my body do the same thing when the gun goes "bang" as I do when the gun is going click (ie not flinching, not anticipating the shot).

Hatterasguy
January 10, 2011, 11:53 PM
Modern stuff is pretty tough I wouldn't worry about it. Some of the older rifles you need to be careful with though. I know my FN49 has a questionable firing pin and spring, I wouldn't want to beat on it.

brandon_mcg
January 11, 2011, 12:51 AM
most of the negative things i have heard about dry firing relates to old firing pin in hammer guns such as old school revolvers.

i dry fire my weapons without concern.

pitsmile
January 11, 2011, 02:36 AM
What are the advantages to dry firing?

Davek1977
January 11, 2011, 03:05 AM
What are the advantages to dry firing?

Cost effectiveness---its free!!
Trigger control
getting a "feel" for your gun
convinience---you can do it on your couch watching tv!

vaupet
January 11, 2011, 07:16 AM
competitionshooters do it all the time,
you get a realy good feeling for triggercontrol and watch-true.
You can see the movement of the barrel caused by the trigger finger.

modern competition air-rifles and pistols have special provisions for dry-firing without emptying the compressed air-bottle.

dry-firing would'nt hurt modern centre-fire rifles but could hurt .22 lr (firing pin slamming in to the side of the chamber) Most competition rifles (think Anschutz) have provision to dry fire without damage.

greetings

Peter

jmr40
January 11, 2011, 12:21 PM
You will never be able to afford the ammo to become a really good shot without lots of dry fire practice. I have a rife that is close to 40 years old that has been dry fired well over 100,000 times with zero problems. That would have cost me between $75,000 to over $100,000 for ammo. Many other rifles and handguns with high dry fire counts as well with absolutely no problems.

Never owned a snap cap, but if it makes you feel better buy and use them. I pick up one of my rifles and dry fire practice at rabbits, squirrels and birds in the woods behind my house on an almost daily basis to stay in practice.

Some guns will wear out prematurely from dry fire practice. If you have one, don't do. My Kel-Tec pistol specifically says NO. With most guns if you break something while dry firing, it would have broken at exactly the same round count from live fire.

unterlegend
January 11, 2011, 03:34 PM
Certain types of actions shouldn't be dry fired, I've never owned a rifle like that but I do know they exist I just can't remember them. And we dry fire our M16/M4s all the time and they are close to 15 years old, never heard of one being damaged that way. For every round I've fired I can honestly say I've dry fired 100+ times.

nathan
January 11, 2011, 03:45 PM
I try not to overdue it but i do dryfire when admiring my guns. The .22s i dont .

A_Matthew
January 11, 2011, 04:44 PM
I've heard that dry firing an older gun is bad, and could result in damage, especially rimfires. But if you have a newer gun, it should be okay for several reasons. Today's guns are manufactured with stronger steels, (in most cases) therefore, not hurting the gun. Not only that, but with the increasing amount of people who regularly dry fire their guns, the manufacturers deliberately design their guns with dry firing in mind.
Just my 2 cents. Matthew
P.S. American Hunter Magazine (NRA) did a test on dry firing rimfires a couple of years ago. The general consensus was that dry firing recent rimfires was okay.

Quentin
January 11, 2011, 06:12 PM
I don't dry fire my .22s but did with all my centerfires until one, a Star PD 45ACP, turned up with a broken firing pin. Must have been due to dry firing and I couldn't find an orginal firing pin so had one fabricated.

Today I dry fire centerfires if firing pins are easy to obtain. I don't with Star, Llama and Lugers.

bigfatdave
January 11, 2011, 10:33 PM
The general consensus was that dry firing recent rimfires was okay. General consensus be damned, if the gun lacks a FP stop to prevent FP-chamber mouth impact it is not good to dry-fire, and if it does have such a device it is OK to dry-fire.
The factor isn't age, it is design.

And I should have mentioned above, snap-caps for rimfire are pretty much overpriced pieces of plastic, the rimfire design does not lend itself to springs to cushion the FP. I just use a spent case for rimfire, some people remove the FP and others make their own sacrificial plastic FP impact absorbers from scrap.

jcvibby
January 11, 2011, 10:51 PM
You can dry fire a bolt action rifle as many times as you would like. CF pistol too. I dont dry fire my rimfires because it can damage the firing pin.

pitsmile
January 12, 2011, 12:55 AM
A lot of people have said dry firing a .22 will damage the firing pin, why only on .22s?

Davek1977
January 12, 2011, 02:53 AM
A lot of people have said dry firing a .22 will damage the firing pin, why only on .22s?

Its because of the nature of rimfire rounds. The priming compound is in the rim of the cartridge (hense the name). When dry firing some rimfires, the firing pin hits the face of the chamber. This isn't an issue with most centerfire designs, because the firing pin hits the center of the cartridge (or empty chamber) rather than the face of the chamber.

okiewita40
January 12, 2011, 03:14 AM
I have always been taught that dry firing a center fire be it bolt, semi-auto, lever or a pistol is ok. Just not to dry fire rim fire's due to damage of the firing pin and chamber mouth. This applies to shotguns also

mcdonl
January 12, 2011, 09:22 AM
I dry fire the snot out of every pistol I carry. Once ensuring it is unloaded, I practice drawing from concealment and pulling the trigger.

I also like to focus on the knob on my reloading bench and practice pulling the trigger without moving the front site off the wooden ball. You can learn a lot about your trigger skills by doing this.

A man needs something to do during commercials and half time.

BrocLuno
January 12, 2011, 12:35 PM
I dry fire and I use Snap Caps. Geez, why take a chance on beating on the pin stop or the hammer on an old one when the caps do the work? They last for ever and if you keep them with your cleaning kits, they are right there for a function test :)

Guns and more
January 12, 2011, 10:00 PM
Snap caps are cheap insurance.
A-zoom brand are aluminum, not plastic and seem to last forever.
I've seen plenty of modern guns that say "do not dry fire" for whatever reason.
I keep them in all my guns, then I'm covered.

Skylerbone
January 12, 2011, 10:47 PM
What's more important to consider when dryfiring without caps is not continuously releasing the slide on an empty chamber.

With regards to snap caps I don't own any but plan on buying a few sets for those ocasions that involve plunking down my hard earned on a potential purchase. I've read far too many posts of late lamenting the fact that pistol X or rifle Y was inoperable on its first outing. That's the sort of cheap insurance I'm interested in.

ngnrd
January 12, 2011, 11:04 PM
I was working on the trigger of my Savage 24 and was dry firing it to test the trigger work as I went. I had it broke down and out of its furniture, so using a snap-cap was impossible. After a while of doing the polish-fire shuffle, the firing pin broke and went flying across the room.

Yeah. I use snap-caps any time I can.

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