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Does repeated dry firing damage the gun?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by vito, Feb 2, 2013.

  1. vito

    vito Well-Known Member

    While I feel pretty comfortable shooting my various S&W revolvers single action, I am not as confident when firing double action (which is my only choice with my Model 640). I thought it would be useful to really practice dry firing, if nothing else than to only fire live rounds gets expensive and is only possible when I get out to the range. My concern was about repeated dry firings, and if this would damage the gun. I was especially thinking about my Model 617 since I had always heard it was not a good idea to ever dry fire a 22lr handgun.
  2. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator

    Dry fire is JUST FINE for almost all modern firearms. Rimfires may be damaged that way (check with the manufacturer) and I really wouldn't do it (unless the maker specifically says it is ok) but centerfires are safe.

    Dryfiring is just about the best way to get your handgun skills closer to where they should be!
  3. mesinge2

    mesinge2 Well-Known Member


    But read the manual. Some guns are the exception. I know this is in the revolver section but the Ruger SR9 for example states to not dry-fire without snap caps.
  4. jmr40

    jmr40 Well-Known Member

    As a general rule I agree with Sam1911. I dry fire "MOST" of my guns a lot. Never owned a snapcap, and have never had a problem. But there are some where dry fire should be limited, or not at all. The S&W revolvers with hammer mounted firing pins are one of the ones that I'd dry fire, but would probably limit the number of times. Newer revolvers with the floating firing pin will not be effected.
  5. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    This directly from S&W FAQ:
    Can I dry fire my S&W handgun?

  6. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator

    As a general rule, dry firing rimfire pistols isn't a good idea. When you consider that the rimfire cartridge's priming compound is ignited by the firing pin crushing the rim of the case between itself and a flat surface (edge of the chamber), repeatedly striking that surface, without the case rim to cushion the blow, would tend to create a depression that could lead to misfires.

    CF handguns don't have the same issue?
  7. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    Most modern rimfires are designed so the firing pin cannot ding the chamber when dry-fired.
    Including all modern S&W revolvers & pistols.

    S&W rimfire revolvers just may break firing pins if dry-fired a lot is all.

    If it breaks, it can fly forward far enough to ding the chamber though.

  8. carbonyl

    carbonyl Well-Known Member

    The RUGERĀ® SR-SERIES pistols can be dryfired
    without damage to the striker or other components as long as an empty
    magazine is inserted.
  9. marksg

    marksg Well-Known Member

    Manual says you can dryfire an SR9 as long as an empty magazine is inserted.

    Oops, carbonyl beat me to it
  10. carbonyl

    carbonyl Well-Known Member

    All Ruger double action revolvers and new model single action revolvers can be dry fired.
  11. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Well-Known Member

    Mark III Colt revolvers should not be dry fired. I also would not dry fire any of their 22 revolvers, ever.
  12. BADUNAME37

    BADUNAME37 Well-Known Member

    As in most things, it all depends on what you mean by "repeated."

    If you mean dry-firing the cylinder holes once a week, more than likely no problem. Most likely, even once a day, no problem. If you mean doing it 1,000 times a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year, then, yes, there will be a problem.

    That's what Snap Caps are for.
  13. Fryerpower

    Fryerpower Well-Known Member

  14. BADUNAME37

    BADUNAME37 Well-Known Member

    My .22 Ruger Mark II has a crosspin in the bolt that prevents the firing pin point from hitting the chamber. If I were to accidentally leave that pin out then dry-fire my gun, one shot would most likely ruin the firing pin and possibly the outer edge of the chamber as well.
  15. kbbailey

    kbbailey Well-Known Member

    I stuck a firing pin in full forward position in my sp101 by dry firing. Finally freed it up with plenty of lube.

    ^^use 'em^^
  16. tomrkba

    tomrkba Well-Known Member

    It depends upon the design of the gun. I dry fire Glocks and 1911's all day long without a Snap-Cap. I dry fired my SIG P220 (new model, milled slide) less than 100 times and snapped the slide pin (which had been changed by SIG from a roll pin). I have no qualms about dry firing a P220 with roll pins with nothing in the chamber--I did it tens of thousands of times with my first P220. My Ruger revolvers all work fine with dry fire on an empty chamber. I never the hammer of any rimfire gun fall on an empty chamber if at all possible. I never dry fire them for practice.

    However, new S&W revolvers with frame mounted pins cannot take the stress. I broke one on my 625 from dry fire and two on my Model 27 (the one with eight shots). The gun had been dry fired in the store and the pin shattered on the second shot on the first range trip. S&W replaced it and I broke it dry firing a second time a few hundred trigger pulls later. (This led to the conclusion regarding the first pin.)

    I now use AZOOM Snap-Caps for all dry firing. The reason I use them is for safety and incidental reduced stress on the gun. Using a Snap-Cap forces me to open the action, verify the gun is empty, and insert an inert Snap-Cap into the chamber. This guarantees the gun will not discharge. I made this part of my dry firing procedure and it seems to work well.
  17. mesinge2

    mesinge2 Well-Known Member

    I read that too, but I called Ruger to verify and they said to use snap caps.

    Do you think they are just trying to CYA?
  18. washambala

    washambala Well-Known Member

    In an auto or shotgun or lever action or other firearms that eject spent casings as a normal course of shooting, snap caps can be kind of a pain. But in a revolver, I never saw a reason not to use em. You put em in and dry fire for hours. Dont have to pick them up and reload every 5 or 6 shots like if you were using a levergun. Makes it a lot more appetizing.
  19. 460Shooter

    460Shooter Well-Known Member

    +1 to this. I'd be a pretty bad shot if I didn't dry fire, and "play" with my handguns at home. I saftey check the heck out of them so no one needs to inform me that "playing" is showing a disregard for safety. It really helps with speed as well.
  20. Deer_Freak

    Deer_Freak Member.

    Kel Tec says no dry firing in the owners manual for P-11 and P-3AT

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