Quantcast
  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Dry fire a revolver?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by colorado_handgunner, Jan 18, 2012.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. colorado_handgunner

    colorado_handgunner Member

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2008
    Messages:
    538
    Location:
    Florence, SC
    Just a question from a revolver noob. Is it ok to dry fire a revolver without snap caps? What do you all say? Thanks.

    Sent from my Customized Thunderbolt
     
  2. bikemutt
    • Contributing Member

    bikemutt Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2010
    Messages:
    4,065
    Location:
    Renton, WA
    I've been told by reliable sources that dry firing revolvers with hammer-mounted firing pins is a bad idea. I don't know about the newer designs.

    Really though, considering the cost of gunsmith services and parts, or worse the outrageous cost to ship a handgun back to a manufacturer for repair, the point has become moot for me; snap caps are a bargain at twice the price.
     
  3. Starter52

    Starter52 Member

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2005
    Messages:
    1,709
    Location:
    Northeast USA
    I've been dryfiring my centerfire revolvers for 30+ years. I avoid the MKIII Colts because I've been told this is harmful, but everything else is OK by me. No snap caps.
     
  4. briansmithwins

    briansmithwins Member

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2005
    Messages:
    4,063
    Ruger revolvers I would dry fire with abandon. It's the best way to break them in.

    I agree to keep the dry firing of hammer mounted firing pin revolvers to a minimum.

    BSW
     
  5. JFrame

    JFrame Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2002
    Messages:
    1,420
    Location:
    Next to a reclaimed patch of swampland called D.C.

    I agree with bikemutt -- the $10-15 one would spend for any caliber of Snap-Caps is pretty incidental to the value they provide. And if you buy a six-pack of .38's, they can also be used with any .357. I have the A-Zoom Snap-Caps in .38, .357, and .45 Colt (I got the .357 to practice more realistic loading and function drills).

    I've also heard of people making their own Snap-Caps with carved-down pencil erasers glued into brass casings where the primers would go...


    .
     
  6. Trad Archer

    Trad Archer Member

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2010
    Messages:
    274
    Manual on my Ruger GP100 says it's okay to dry fire.
     
  7. BRE346

    BRE346 Member

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2011
    Messages:
    217
    Location:
    South Texas
    Dealers often have a plastic disc on the back of the cylinder for custmers to dry-fire into. I cut out one from a cereal box. Works fine.
     
  8. rikman

    rikman Member

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2004
    Messages:
    822
    Location:
    People's Republic of IL
    I was told by a S&W gunsmith that dry firing is a great way for an action job. Hasn't hurt any of my wheel guns...
     
  9. bikemutt
    • Contributing Member

    bikemutt Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2010
    Messages:
    4,065
    Location:
    Renton, WA
    Any mention of snap caps? That being the OP's question.
     
  10. Bobson

    Bobson Member

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2011
    Messages:
    4,209
    Location:
    Snohomish County, Washington
    I was under the impression that it's okay to dry-fire anything except rimfire rifles/handguns, but I'm no expert, and I'm not sure my source was either. Personally, I would pick up some snap caps just to be safe.
     
  11. TennJed

    TennJed Member

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2010
    Messages:
    3,454
    I may be wrong but isn't "dry firing" pulling the trigger without ammo or snap caps? (empty chamber)
     
  12. TwoEyedJack

    TwoEyedJack Member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2011
    Messages:
    489
    Location:
    Southwest Idaho
    One of my buddies had one of those pot metal Jennings. He dry fired it and the firing pin shot out of the barrel. oops.
     
  13. rikman

    rikman Member

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2004
    Messages:
    822
    Location:
    People's Republic of IL
    Bike mutt

    The S&W smith never mentioned them. I also have a friend that's a smith their & he's never mentioned having to use them either.

    Rikman


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  14. iLikeOldgunsIlikeNewGuns

    iLikeOldgunsIlikeNewGuns Member

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2011
    Messages:
    661
    I wouldn't dry-fire a .22lr,

    otherwise, first check the manual, and if there's any question, call the manufacturer. Most centerfire revolver's are ok to dry-fire, but as others have mentioned, you can't go wrong with the cost and use of snap-caps.
     
  15. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2006
    Messages:
    22,131
    Location:
    Northeast PA, USA
    While it's true you can dry fire most centerfire revolvers without snapcaps I feel that means firing the revolver a few times, not several hundred times. If you are practicing by dry firing your revolver I would use snapcaps. When I first started shooting revolvers I did a lot of dry firing, somewhere in the 500X range a night and I would not do that to any revolver without using snapcaps... That's just how I feel, no reason to abuse your revolver.
     
  16. bikemutt
    • Contributing Member

    bikemutt Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2010
    Messages:
    4,065
    Location:
    Renton, WA
    Good point.

    I suppose it should be three-state:

    Live-fire (duh)
    Dead-fire (non-live, ie: casings, snap caps, etc)
    Dry-Fire (empty-chamber)
     
  17. MrBorland

    MrBorland Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2007
    Messages:
    4,334
    Location:
    NC
    Code:
    
    
    Lordy. I expect such malarky from a guy at a gun show, but from S&W? :eek: There are manifold benefits to dry fire, but it's no substitute for a good action job by a good gunsmith.

    ArchangelCD makes a good point - that there's dry fire, and there's dry fire.

    I have a 3" M65 with a hammer mounted firing pin, and the smoothest action right from the factory I've ever felt. I've dry fired it a number of times without snap caps, but I'd use snap caps for anything more.

    OTOH, I have several thousand trigger pulls on my newer 686 (frame mounted firing pin) without the use of snap caps and no trouble to date. YMMV, of course. ;)
     
  18. Drail

    Drail Member

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2008
    Messages:
    5,378
    BRE346, those yellow discs are to show "unloaded and clear" when the cylinder is closed. They are NOT meant to be used for dry firing. Any revolver that suffers firing pin breakage from dry firing would have had the same thing happen if fired with loaded rounds. Firing pins break from poor fitting or misalignment or bad heat treating. In live fire the pin strikes the primer. In dry fire the hammer strikes the frame. Which part do you think is weaker and will break first? I have repaired and dry fired S&W revolvers with hammer mounted firing pins for 25 years and have NEVER seen one break because the owner dry fired the gun. The few that I did replace broke because they were improperly fitted when manufactured. If using snap caps makes you sleep better at night then use them. But you're not going to prevent a broken firing pin by doing so. If it's misaligned or too brittle it's going to break whether you dry fire or not. Attempting to do an "action job" by dry firing is about like washing a 747 with one Q tip. What actually happens is that your hand becomes stronger from cycling the action hundreds of times and it "feels" like it is much easier and lighter and smoother. It's not because the action was improved. It's because your hand got an action job.
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2012
  19. Revolver218

    Revolver218 Member

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2011
    Messages:
    47
    I believe S&W doesn't have any problem with dry firing their handguns with one exception......they DO NOT recommend dry firing any .22 LR revolver. I have a Smith 63 and 617 and won't dry fire either of them. I also have snap caps for all others and wouldn't dry fire w/o them. Cheap insurance.
     
  20. CraigC
    • Contributing Member

    CraigC Member

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2006
    Messages:
    14,755
    Location:
    West Tennessee
    What he said!
     
  21. Drail

    Drail Member

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2008
    Messages:
    5,378
    I think you're still missing the point that if your firing pin is going to break it is not because you did not use snap caps. If the pin has a defect either from fitting or was not hardened correctly it will break at some point whether firing live rounds or from dry firing. Using snap caps is not going to change that. :banghead: And Revolver 218 made a very good point, rimfire guns are in a completely different class. I don't recommend dry firing them with or without snap caps.
     
  22. JFrame

    JFrame Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2002
    Messages:
    1,420
    Location:
    Next to a reclaimed patch of swampland called D.C.


    Rimfires are uniquely different from centerfires in that, without a loaded round, the firing pin will strike the opposing chamber or cylinder. As such, a snap cap (or empty casing, with an undented portion of the rim at the striking point of the firing pin) WILL make a difference, because it will serve as the cushion between the opposing pieces of metal that are not intended to strike each other.

    The only problem I've found with rimfire snap-caps is that, AFAIK, they don't make any that can take the beating of a centerfire snap-cap (e.g., A-Zoom). The rimfire snap-caps tend to get chewed up very quickly, necessitating regular replenishing (or, as I said, just using empty casings, and rotating the casings to expose a portion that is still un-dented).


    .

     
  23. iLikeOldgunsIlikeNewGuns

    iLikeOldgunsIlikeNewGuns Member

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2011
    Messages:
    661
    ^^ I can testify that this last post is very true :)
     
  24. X-Rap

    X-Rap Member

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2006
    Messages:
    6,651
    I only dry fire guns with Milspec/TDP firing pins and hammers and only if I can meticulously clean them afterwords.:rolleyes:

    Seriously, I won't dryfire a 22, the firing pin on some will ding the edge of the chamber causing FTF.
    I am not aware of any modern cf revolvers or autos that I own that can't be dryfired and you will be a better shooter for it.
    If snapcaps make you feel better then have at it, just remember if you buy a used gun from me or someone of my ilk you are getting one that has had the hammer dropped a few times.:evil:
     
  25. BADUNAME37

    BADUNAME37 Member

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2008
    Messages:
    4,434
    I have dry-fired a number of S&W revolvers I have owned over the years, that's how I smoothed out the double-action trigger! I have never had any problem dry firing S&W revolvers without snap caps or anything else for that matter.
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page