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Will dry firing hurt my gun? I'm a little confused.

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by PistolNewbie, May 3, 2007.

  1. PistolNewbie

    PistolNewbie Well-Known Member

    :confused: I have read a lot on this site saying you should practice by dry firing your pistol. The instruction manuals tell you not to dry fire the weapon. :uhoh: Is this because of a safety/liability issue or can you actually harm the gun? If there any difference of the effect on the gun as to whether it is rimfire or centerfire? Any advice greatly appreciated! :)
  2. Nil

    Nil Well-Known Member

    It'd help if you listed what kind of gun you had.

    I believe most, if not all, centerfires are fine to dryfire. With rimfires, it tends to depend on the individual model of the gun.
  3. usmarine0352_2005

    usmarine0352_2005 Well-Known Member

    I've always been told certain guns can handle it, and certain guns can't.

    More then likely if you are doing it alot, I'd use snap-caps.

    Snap-Caps are round replica's with a spring that allows the hammer to fall on a cushioned primer.

    You can get them for any caliber.
  4. PistolNewbie

    PistolNewbie Well-Known Member

    The 3 guns I am questioning are a Ruger Mark II, Ruger Single 6, and Browning Buckmark.
  5. +1

    Depends on the firearm but most certerfire pistols should be fine.

    Purchase snap caps and put your mind at ease ... dry fire practice is essential.
  6. p85

    p85 Well-Known Member

    Not sure of the Ruger Single 6 or Browning Buckmark but the ruger shouldn't be a problem. My mk III has to be dry fired before you can take it apart for cleaning. The instructions tell you to.
  7. Nil

    Nil Well-Known Member

    The Ruger MkII should be fine. I'm not familiar enough with the other two to comment.
  8. Slamfire

    Slamfire Well-Known Member

    There is such a thing called metal fatique. And depending on the thickness of metal, the force by which it bends, the fatique life of a part can be very short, or infinite.

    Generally speaking gun parts do not have an infinite fatique life, but the design limits I do not know. I do know that as a competitive shooter, dry firing is important, and if a firing pin breaks, well you gotta replace it.

    As for your pistols, a Ruger Mk II 22lr has quite a robust firing pin. It is designed so it does not bump or damage the breech (some old rimfires hit the breech wall), and I really doubt that you will dry fire it enough to bust it.

    Same basic opinion on your Ruger Single six. I have a Ruger SuperBlackhawk, bought it in 1982, I have dry fired it thousands upon thousands of times, no problem.

    I have dry fired Smith and Wesson revolvers some ungodly number of times. No problem. :D

    My Charter Arms Bulldog will bust a firing pin faster than you can say Boo!. :barf: I do not dry fire that pistol.

    My M1894 Marlin busted its firing pin. I don't dry fire that anymore.

    Mauser rifles can be dry fired, well I have no idea the service life of a Mauser firing pin. I purchased a match Mauser, the guy told me he must have dry fired it 50,000 times, and it is on its second barrel.

    M1903 Springfields should never be dry fired. Absolutely rotten firing pin design. I have had at least three strikers break, couple collars break, two or three cocking pieces broke. Had a firing pin break during a rifle match. The firing pin was sticking out through the bolt face as I loaded the rifle. I was lucky that a primer did not go off as I pushed the bolt forward. I would have had a rifle bolt through my forehead. :fire:

    M70 Winchester firing pins are robust. Pre 64 firing pins seem to last forever, but I have know people who had Classic M70 firing pins fail around the cocking piece.

    M1 Garand and M1a firing pins will break. Takes time, buy a couple and stock up.

    The FN/FAL firing pin is fragile, I broke one, and I do not recommend dry firing that weapon.

    A AR15 can be dry fired thousands of times, and the firing pin is cheap.

    Most Service rifles are robust. Lee Enfields, Arisaka's, Mosin Nagants, M1917 can be dry fired till the cows come home.

    I have not broken a K31 firing pin, but I don't dry fire as it is a two piece design, and based on my M1903 experience, I don't trust them.
  9. RH822

    RH822 Well-Known Member

    Do not dry fire a rim-fire without using snap caps, otherwise over time you will damage the firing pin.

  10. Glockman17366

    Glockman17366 Well-Known Member

    An occasional dry fire to strip the pistol for cleaning is one thing, but to continously dry fire may be detrimental to your gun. Snap caps aren't expensive...go get some.
    My personal opinion is, if it's it's got a hammer, use snap caps (this includes concealed hammer revolvers). The only ones I'm not sure about are striker fired, such as Glock. I do dry fire them for disassembly, but that's about it.
  11. Lurper

    Lurper Well-Known Member

    90+% of centerfire pistols are fine to dry fire. Rimfire is a different story. What happens is the firing pin hits the breech and after time dents it, pushing metal toward the chamber. This will eventually keep you from being able to fit a cartridge into the chamber. Some of the revolvers don't have that problem because the way the cylinder is machined.

    To be safe, check the edge of the chamber where the firing pin hits. If you see a mark, dont dry fire it. I use an empty cartridge case when I dry fire my 422 (not that often). I have dry fired my 1911's literally hundreds of thousands of times over the years w/ no problem and I never use snap caps.
  12. RNB65

    RNB65 Well-Known Member

    Snap caps, my man, snap caps.
  13. hexidismal

    hexidismal Well-Known Member

    When people ask about dry firing and its effect on their guns.. I always say that it's probably ok, but not on rimfires or possibly on some older revolvers with hammer mounted pins. More importantly though, why would you when snap caps are cheap and easily available ? It's also not very hard to make your own, though I personally haven't done it.
  14. whitetiger7654

    whitetiger7654 Well-Known Member

    Do Not Dry fire your rimfires.
  15. zero_chances

    zero_chances Well-Known Member

    Could you use a fired .22 lr casing as a snap cap? Seems like it wouldnt be any different than a snap cap or firing, and a whole lot cheaper. Just make sure you rotate it so it doesnt hit an already made dimple.
  16. Trebor

    Trebor Well-Known Member

    The Ruger Mk II has a "stop" that keeps the firing pin from hitting the edge of the breech during dry-fire. That makes the Mk II (and probably also the Mk III) one of the few rimfires that is safe to dry fire without damaging the gun.

    I'm not familiar enough with the Single Six to say one way or the other. Call Ruger and ask.

    I'm pretty sure that dry fire is counterindicated for the Buckmark though.
  17. Lupinus

    Lupinus Well-Known Member

    as a general rule rimfires are a no no and modern centerfires are ok. Agian, this is the general rule. If you are worried get yourself some snap caps.
  18. helpless

    helpless Well-Known Member

    Like everyone else here has said. I have had different experiences with different firearms. Some have destroyed firingpin springs and some have damaged firing pins themselves. Others have been fine for hundreds of dryfires. To be safe I would use snapcaps. I didnt used to think so but then I ended up having problems that I can directly contribute to dryfiring. I guess you learn.
  19. Im283

    Im283 Well-Known Member

    As for the Ruger Single Six, (mine is a .22LR/WMR) but the following applies to all Ruger single sixes.

    On page 15 of the owner manual it states:"The Ruger New Model revolvers can be dry fired without damge to the firing pin or other components"

    Is yours a new model?

    You can tell a new model by the hammer. A New Model has two positions on the hammer, all the way cocked, or all the way forward. Earlier models have four positions of the hammer.

    Hope this helps.
  20. Trope

    Trope Well-Known Member

    The firing pin on my buckmark does not hit the breech face when dry fired, but I still do not dry fire it. Instead, with the low recoil and low cost of ammo, I just take it to the range and run a few dollars of ammo through it for practice ;) .

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