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Question on dry firing

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by kamagong, Apr 22, 2008.

  1. kamagong

    kamagong Well-Known Member

    I'm a big practitioner of dry-firing. I believe that it has improved my marksmanship greatly at no cost. It also taught me to shoot with both eyes open and is a fun way to pass the time when I'm bombarded by all those idiotic commercials they have on tv these days. I have a question though and it is one that I don't ever remember reading about on these board. I rack the slide of my 1911s to dry fire, I don't thumb the hammer. Continually racking the slide has to fatigue the recoil spring, but how much does this practice do so? I know that a person should change the recoil spring every 2500 rounds or so, but how often should I replace the recoil spring taking dry fire practice into account?
  2. 1SOW

    1SOW Well-Known Member

    I really don't know, but unless you are Superman, a few hundred more slide uses shouldn't be too significant. I dry fire my CZ75 a lot with no noticeable effects
    One comment: I've read that "Releasing the slide on an empty 45" has a history of causing problems. The threads I've read, said if you release it slowly it won't hurt the slide. I think some of the threads were here at THR.
    Also centerfires do need a snap cap to prevent damage/problems with the firing pin +. If you're jacking the slide, you would have to have mags of snap caps or do a lot of reloading them.
  3. Yosemite**Sam

    Yosemite**Sam Well-Known Member

    All good info +1.
  4. The Lone Haranguer

    The Lone Haranguer Well-Known Member

    Your hands and arms will give out long before that recoil spring will. :) You can only draw a slide back so fast with just your hands, at but a tiny fraction of the speed that firing a cartridge would.
  5. equitytrader

    equitytrader member

    Whatever spring company came up with this myth about recoil springs needing to be replaced every (insert number here) rounds had their stuff together - a lot of people are falling for it. These are also the same people worried about keeping magazines unloaded when not in use, or replacing those evil plastic guide rods with steel ones.

    Dry fire it all you want, you won't hurt anything.
  6. 32winspl

    32winspl Well-Known Member

    Dry firing a good quality 1911 will not hurt it. I have done it literally hundreds of thousands of times with zero damage to the firing pin (either end), or the pin hole. HOWEVER, if you have a lightened trigger pull (pretty much anything under 3 1/2 lbs), DON'T drop the slide on an empty magazine with the trigger forward. I got this warning from John Shaw in person. (He was 3time 3-gun champion, and winner of Bianchi Cup, Steele Challenge, and all the other big shoots in the late 70's and early 80's; and a contemporary with Bill Wilson, John Pride, Brian Enos, Chip McCormick, Jim Clark, and others.)
    When I asked what the difference between "dropping the slide" empty vs just shooting the pistol, he explained that when you're shooting the pistol and the slide is cycling, the trigger is to the rear, and all the trigger parts (sear, hammer-engagement hook, etc) are all out of battery. When you drop the slide on an empty magazine (or no mag) and the trigger is in the ready position, the hammer, sear, and related parts can bounce around against each other. On a finely adjusted trigger group, there are only a few ten-thousanths of mating surfaces in touch, and that "bouncing around" can eat that up, ruining a good and consistant pull, or allowing the hammer to follow the slide forward. Dropping the slide (trigger forward) on a loaded mag or one with a snapcap in it, the forward velocity of the slide is slowed by the force required to strip the round from the mag, plus the force required to accelerate the stationary round.
    So unless you're going to use the heavy, spring loaded snap caps; or drop the slide with the trigger pulled, I'd reccomend thumbing back the hammer for dryfire practice. Other people here may have other suggestions, but I have and will continue sticking to the advice of Mr. Shaw.
  7. equitytrader

    equitytrader member

    I'll second everything 32winspl said. It's funny how the people that worry about dry firing are the ones that let empty gun slides slam shut - I suspect it to be the main reason for CZ 75 slide locks 'always' breaking.
  8. kamagong

    kamagong Well-Known Member

    Who's worried about dry firing? I am a habitual dry-firer, as I said I do it all the time. I was just wondering how much it accelerates the wear on the recoil spring. I want to know if it is necessary to replace it earlier because of the dry-firing.
  9. Oro

    Oro Well-Known Member

    Racking the slide is not the same as the slide recoiling after a discharge. The forces involved are minuscule in comparison. Don't count any of your dry firing as wearing out your springs. You judge when to replace springs based on your ejection pattern or functionality. There are many more variables in your ammunition selection (bullet weigh, powder charge, powder characteristics) that influence spring wear. There are those who do say "I change my springs every 3,000 rounds" or similar. These are usually folks who are doing a massive amount of training or competitive shooting, have calibrated their loads and equipment from experience and know when it's time. Or it's folks just copying that because they don't know any better. Learn to watch your ejection patterns and monitor your functionality.

    Dry fire all you want and don't worry about it. And don't worry about snap caps - that's a myth from long ago, that of course snap-cap makers don't want you to know about. It's important with rim-fires, but it doesn't apply to most all center fire designs. You will find if you actually look, most manufacturers will state that with centerfire guns, dry firing is fine - this is true of S&W, Dan Wesson, and others.

    PS - a much better way of dealing with the commercials is a DVR. Man, once you use it you won't go back for love or money.
  10. Auburn1992

    Auburn1992 Well-Known Member

    I've heard that dry firing only hurts .22s
  11. Black Majik

    Black Majik Well-Known Member

    That wasn't even close to his question.

    He's asking whether or not racking the slide to cock the hammer causes increased wear on the recoil spring due to the constant cycling of the spring.
  12. 1SOW

    1SOW Well-Known Member

    Why rack the slide to dry fire?
  13. Spartacus451

    Spartacus451 Well-Known Member

    If you rack the slide and hold the trigger to the rear you can catch the reset and better simulate live fire.

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