Is Dry Fire Practice Bad For The Gun?


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joey93turbo
June 14, 2004, 03:02 PM
All my life growing up I was taught not to dry fire a gun. More and more I see and hear about people dry firing and I'm just wondering, isn't it bad for the gun?

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AZ Jeff
June 14, 2004, 03:23 PM
The answer is "that depends".

Depends on what, you say?

It depends on the type of pistol being dry fired. For example, MOST .22 rimfire pistols DON'T deal well with the firing pin slamming into the barrel face, so dry firing them a bunch is not a good idea.

On the other hand, most centerfire autoloaders are NOT harmed by dry firing. Your average bullseye shooter will dry fire the bejesus out of his pistol for practice, and RARELY does it any harm.

Pistols I would avoid dry firing are the following:

1. Lugers, Lahti's, Nambu's, and the like
2. Old striker fired .32 and .380 caliber "pocket pistols"
3. most .22 rimfire pistols (with exceptions for those with "dry fire" mode on the trigger group)
4. CZ-52 pistols

Pistols that I KNOW are safe to dry fire include:
1. M1911 pattern pistols in all calibers (except .22 rimfire)
2. Glocks
3. Sig-Sauer centerfire pistols, all post war versions
4. S&W centerfire autoloaders, all versions
5. H&K autoloaders, all versions
6. Beretta postwar centerfire autoloaders, all versions
7. Ruger centerfire autoloaders, all versions
8. Taurus centerfire autoloaders, all versions

Ktulu
June 14, 2004, 03:24 PM
Ultimately it depends on the firearm and all dryfire wears the gun in some way.

CZ52GUY
June 14, 2004, 03:25 PM
...some firearms (especially older models) are not set up to take dry firing. My CZ-52 for instance has a very brittle firing pin. I know of one gentleman that intended to replace the original so he did a test and busted the original pin with less than 20 dry fires. There are some good threads on dry fire that you can find with a search.

The conventional wisdom is that modern centerfire weapons are safe to dry fire. As an added measure of safety, and to provide a physical reference object as part of my dry fire practice, I use snap caps. I've had good luck with A-zoom (widely available at places like Midway USA, Cheaperthandirt.com, etc.).

I've found dry fire practice to be an essential part of my training. I think you'll find most serious autoloader practictioners incorporate dry fire sessions into their regimen on a regular basis.

A critical element to dry fire practice is remembering that the 4 RULES still apply! Never point the muzzle at anything you are unwilling to destroy, even during dry fire. Your dry fire practice area should involve pointing at an object that would stop a live round. I practice in my basement.

Most folks will tell you to avoid even being in the same room where ammo' is kept during dry fire sessions. Given my space limitations, I clear the weapon, lock every live round up during dry fire as part of the routine. Another piece of good advice that was given me is to make sure that when you stop, you stop!! Don't stop your practice...then decide to go back to it for just one more set of draws, reloads, DA trigger presses, SA trigger presses, safe reholster, etc. When you've had enough, stop...it's safer that way.

Of particular benefit is the opportunity to practice in dry fire, activities that may be prohibited at some indoor ranges. Many prohibit rapid reloads, draw from holster, etc. Dry fire lets you work on those gun handling techniques with an added measure of safety prior to attempting them live fire at a location which permits them. I started competing in IDPA this year after about 2 years of restricted bench shooting...the bench shooting was essential to shot placement, but dry fire let me prepare for many of the gunhandling activities that IDPA requires that the ranges I shot at forbid.

Good luck &

Safe shooting,

CZ52'

Penforhire
June 14, 2004, 07:53 PM
And the Ruger MkII .22 rimfire has a firing pin stop that lets you dry fire as much as you want, instead of a dry fire trigger selector. In fact you have to dry fire every time you do a takedown cleaning.

But I've heard the "no dry fire" warning as a child too. I use A-Zoom snapcaps in my centerfires just to be cautious.

horge
June 14, 2004, 08:29 PM
Hi, AZ Jeff :)

You mentioned Glocks as being safe to dry fire, and by that presume you mean, safe to dry-fire sans snap-caops or dummy rounds. I have to point out one particular case of breechface failure due to dry-fire, illustrated in the 8th, 9th and 10th posts of this thread in the BoG subforum:

BOG Collection of KB's and Breechface Failures (http://www.glocktalk.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=164135)

In the pics of the Glock G17 (in thread posts # 8,9 and10) the striker's shoulders have pushed the breechface out, with metal shear on the circular periphery

Then again, the owner, who goes by the online handle 'homogenizer', seems well-known for his ability to dryfire several brands of pistol into oblivion :D

A snap-cap might have relieved the damaging stress on the breechface, but then proper gun construction and design from the start might have served better.



horge

Plinkerton
June 14, 2004, 11:16 PM
I have found it much easier, and less worrysome to just buy some good snapcaps, and go at it. I don't care if it's okay, or not okay for my particular gun, I buy snapcaps, and then I never have to worry about it. It just seems like an easier alternative. I don't think I will ever dry fire a gun without snapcaps. It makes me cringe every time I do it... :scrutiny:

AZ Jeff
June 15, 2004, 10:53 AM
Hi, AZ Jeff

You mentioned Glocks as being safe to dry fire, and by that presume you mean, safe to dry-fire sans snap-caops or dummy rounds. I have to point out one particular case of breechface failure due to dry-fire, illustrated in the 8th, 9th and 10th posts of this thread in the BoG subforum:

BOG Collection of KB's and Breechface Failures

Horge wrote:

In the pics of the Glock G17 (in thread posts # 8,9 and10) the striker's shoulders have pushed the breechface out, with metal shear on the circular periphery

__________________

Horge, those failures of Glock breechfaces are interesting, but not necessarily conclusive evidence of it being bad to dry fire a Glock. In other words, we cannot PROVE that the dry firing cracked the breech. In fact, in at least one of the pics you cited, the crack follows the radius of the rim of the cartridge where it contacts the breechface. That suggests the crack is caused by the cartrdge head pushing against the breechface (as it should upon firing), and the breechface being excessively hard, and thus cracking due to the stress.

I will go on record as saying that dry firing a Glock is NOT harmful to the pistol, WHEN the pistol is within DESIGN SPECS. The ones you showed probably were not, in that they were over-hardened in the breech area.

Realleycat
June 15, 2004, 11:46 AM
I would think that letting a slide "Slam" shut on an empty gun would do more damage than dry firing????

odysseus
June 15, 2004, 04:49 PM
Follow the 4 rules of safe gun handling.

Buy and use good snap caps.

No worries. :cool:

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