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

Dry Fire Practice

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by salesguy, Aug 7, 2009.

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

    salesguy Member

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2009
    Messages:
    22
    Location:
    Georgia
    How many times can one dry fire a firearm without causing damage? I am thinking of dry fire practice on the days I can't get out to the range. Probably no more than 10-20 reps. What's your take? ( I was always told to never dry fire anything from people who knew very little about guns)
     
  2. Japle

    Japle Member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2005
    Messages:
    915
    Unless it's an old .22, the limit is 873,981,082 per year.

    Seriously, with very few exceptions, you can't hurt a modern centerfire gun by dryfiring it.

    What gun are you asking about?
     
  3. buck460XVR

    buck460XVR Member

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2007
    Messages:
    6,039
    snap caps
     
  4. jmr40

    jmr40 Member

    Joined:
    May 26, 2007
    Messages:
    10,395
    Location:
    Georgia
    Depends on the gun. Not a good idea on most 22's or most double shotguns. Most centerfire pistols and rifles will not be hurt. I have a 37 year old Remington 700 that has been dry fired at least 10,000 times with no problems. Dry fire practice can be a good teacher.

    My Kel-Tec specifically says not to dry fire and I think Smith revolvers with the firing pin on the hammer should be dry fired sparingly. I've never used snap caps, but guess it would not hurt, and you may feel better for it.
     
  5. salesguy

    salesguy Member

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2009
    Messages:
    22
    Location:
    Georgia
    Primarily Glock 30 which is my daily carry. Occasionally the P3AT.
     
  6. Mad Magyar

    Mad Magyar Member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2005
    Messages:
    1,967
    Location:
    Arizona
    IMHO, please....A waste of time.....Why? YOU KNOW that the pistol is not going "Kaboom" & NO RECOIL-NO NOISE! You can be smooth and be really good dry firing; but forget it...Go out to the range for real practice...:)
    I recall Massad Ayoob downplayed my point and others about "mirror practice" for the draw-presentation phase as a waste of time. I feel you can add dry-firing to that scenario:cool:....
    Before some of you go ballistic, I'm not saying any of you should-not; that's up to you! I believe any activity should have some positive evidence to sustain doing it....I don't believe there is.....
     
  7. The Wiry Irishman

    The Wiry Irishman Member

    Joined:
    May 22, 2006
    Messages:
    1,178
    Location:
    West Lafayette, Indiana
    Dry firing builds up muscle memory that prevents you from flinching etc when your gun is going to make recoil and noise. My groups shrunk dramatically when I started serious dry fire practice.

    I really wouldn't worry about damage at all. It'll take a lot of dry firing to break something, and its usually firing pins that break, and they're cheap.
     
  8. AK103K

    AK103K Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2002
    Messages:
    5,774
    I dry fire everything I tend to use, all the time. You dont have to have a bang and recoil to benefit from it, and you WILL benefit from it.

    I use snap caps too, and besides taking away any worries about damage, it adds a safety level, as you have to clear the gun and put it in.

    In 45+ years of doing it, I've broke exactly "1" firing pin. That was a GI firing pin in a heavily shot and dry fired M1A.
     
  9. donato

    donato Member

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2008
    Messages:
    215
  10. Malamute

    Malamute Member

    Joined:
    May 12, 2004
    Messages:
    3,114
    Location:
    Rocky Mts
    Winchester levers, and Marlin levers can break the tip off the firing pin from dry firing. Ruger transfer bars can break. I've broken 3 in 2 different Ruger SA's. A local gunsmith said he's replaces a few also.

    I've dry fired several Smith centerfire revolvers untold thousands of times with zero problems. They have the firing pin in the hammer.

    Snap caps are best, and help avoid the problems. Dry firing is a very good way to stay tuned up.


    Ruger transfer bars.

    IMG_0453.gif
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2009
  11. dmazur

    dmazur Member

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2007
    Messages:
    2,263
    Location:
    Pacific NW
    It's probably worth mentioning that a laser sight can be used in conjunction with dry-fire practice to see if you are "pulling" the shot off to one side.

    The laser sight isn't allowed in IDPA, of course, but it can still be used for practice.

    I found out that the "feedback" from the dot was very helpful in developing a consistent trigger release that then applied to iron sight use.
     
  12. sniper5

    sniper5 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2007
    Messages:
    735
    Location:
    **********
    One reason I like revolvers for teaching: You can throw a dead "bean" or two in the cylinder and the person shooting doesn't know where they are. Then watch their front sight for movement like a hawk. That's how I like to progress from dry fire to live fire. And the exercise repeats as the power level of the cartridges goes up. Very hard to integrate dead cartridges into the routine with an auto. Although I like autos I find it easier to teach with a revolver. And it won't kill ANYONE to learn how to shoot a revolver well whether they plan to use one for SD or not.
     
  13. AK103K

    AK103K Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2002
    Messages:
    5,774
    Not at all, just throw a snap cap or two in the mag. Its also adds a level and helps with stoppage drills.
     
  14. sniper5

    sniper5 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2007
    Messages:
    735
    Location:
    **********
    I do the snap cap thing when I want to create a stoppage. But I don't like to start a newbie with that much stuff all at one time. I would rather work on the basics first and then throw in the other drills later.
     
  15. OurSafeHome.net

    OurSafeHome.net Member

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2009
    Messages:
    220
    Location:
    National Training Vendor
    Mad Magyar:
    So I guess the thousands of Marines that I have directed to spend tens of thousands of hours dry-firing did NOT produce the finest marksmen in the world.

    IMEO (In My Expert Opinion) Dry-firing is very valuable, and is sometimes more valuable than live fire practice.
     
  16. Mad Magyar

    Mad Magyar Member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2005
    Messages:
    1,967
    Location:
    Arizona
    When you exaggerate like that; all of sudden your IMEO becomes incredulous!
    Give me any young person, or old for that matter, for one 3 hr. session with a .22 caliber and .45acp on the firing line. I'll show more results than all the thousands of clicks or hours spent on dry-firing: guaranteed....:)
     
  17. OurSafeHome.net

    OurSafeHome.net Member

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2009
    Messages:
    220
    Location:
    National Training Vendor
    No exaggeration.

    4 platoons of 60 recruits = 240 recruits/series
    4 series each week = 960 recruits/week
    960 recruits x 10 hours of dry-firing = 9600 man hours of dry firing IN MY FIRST WEEK AT RR DET PARRIS ISLAND.

    IMEO, yes, my EXPERT opinion. I have a badge that says "Rifle Expert" right on it, and it sports a bar that says "5th Award", too.

    You wanna put your ONE person with only "live-fire" training against the 50+ Marines that will qualify as rifle experts out of my 960?

    I'll take that bet any day of the week. ;-)
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2009
  18. AK103K

    AK103K Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2002
    Messages:
    5,774
    My kids started dry firing their Chipmunks long before they ever fired their first live round. That first live round was in the bull at ten yards offhand when they did fire it, as were most of the rest of the rounds fired that day. Both were 4 years old at the time. They didnt learn to shoot in three hours, they started the day they were born and worked at trigger and breath control, as well as proper field positions, from the time they could hold the gun.


    I dont know what your experience with firearms and marksmanship is, but it seems to be very different than anything I've encountered in a lot of years of all types of shooting, including years of high power shooting. Dry firing is the norm in every aspect of the shooting sports I've encountered, and its ALWAYS produced benefits for me, and most anyone I've shot competitively with, as well as novices. I dont know of any discipline with in the sport or trade, that doesnt do it. Just for enlightenment's sake, what are you basing your thoughts on?
     
  19. The Wiry Irishman

    The Wiry Irishman Member

    Joined:
    May 22, 2006
    Messages:
    1,178
    Location:
    West Lafayette, Indiana
    That may be, but if my experience is any indicator, once they learn the basics their groups won't start to shrink dramatically until they start pointing and clicking at home.
     
  20. jmr40

    jmr40 Member

    Joined:
    May 26, 2007
    Messages:
    10,395
    Location:
    Georgia
    To deny the benefits of dry fire practice is silly at best. You may debate that it may damage the gun, but even if it does the benefits outweigh the problems it may cause.

    As I stated in an earlier post in this thread, I own a rifle that has been dry fired at least 10,000 times since being made in 1974. If it breaks tomorrow it would have cost me $10,000+ in ammo costs to get that much triggertime.

    There is no telling how many hundreds of thousands of times I have dry fired guns in my lifetime. During hunting season I dry fire the rifles I plan to hunt with on almost a daily basis to stay in practice.

    Live firing is needed, but dry firing will allow a new shooter, or even an experienced shooter get used to a particular firearms trigger without worrying about recoil. Same principal as shooting a lot of 22's and working up to heavier recoiling rifles.
     
  21. sokygunner

    sokygunner Member

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2009
    Messages:
    89
    Dry fire practice is NOT A WASTE OF TIME...most firearms training for federal law enforcement starts with standing in a classroom with snap caps in your weapon practicing trigger pulls while holding a perfect sight picture. I strengthens hands and creates muscle memory while making you very relaxed with the idea of pulling the trigger. The idea is also to promote propper technique with grip, stance, breathing, trigger pull with no recoil. The same reason people start shooting in their back yard as a kid with a .22, any dumb ass who gives there kid .38, .45, or anything bigger than a .22 to start them off is just going to mess them up from the start and teach them to flinch because in their mind recoil is coming. Dry fire practice is a tried and true method of refining skills. On the subject of damage to the gun and snap caps, it depends on the gun. A sig or a 1911 with a titanium firing pin can handle endless dry fires without damage, a beretta 92 can break the pin in as little as 20 dry fires...it has happened, I have seen it, it has happened to my beretta, and if you read the manual it says NOT to dry fire without a snap cap. Buy a pack of snap caps for a few bucks and don't break your gun...worst part is you can break a firing pin and not know it and carry the gun thinking it is fine when really it has a broken firing pin and will not fire...I've seen that one happen too. Dry fire practice with snap caps loaded in the mag is great for refining your technique and focusing on the basics as well as giving you a chance to practice things such as "Tap/Rack" to clear a malfunction. Masaad Ayoob is probably a very nice guy but his experience is limited to writing books about gun fights, not being in one, I've been in them and I've been taught how to shoot both on my own as a child and from the government. Guess what, Dry fire is a very good tool. Anybody who gets their information on gun fights and calibers as man stoppers and crap like that from Ayoob is only reciting what they read in a gun magazine while they probably dream of doing a felony stop on somebody and getting in a gun fight while being a bad ass cop of some sort...those who have actually been in gun fights, arrested people, been in car chases, and worn a badge don't really listen to a damn word Ayoob says, our instructors are better than he is and we are better than he is. He may have carried a badge for a while but he rides on a reputation in gun magazines and has for years. Get your snap caps, put a target up on the wall, and practice the fundamentals of shooting, once you train yourself to do it through repetition it will automatically come out right when you really have to do it.
     
  22. Justin

    Justin Moderator Emeritus

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2002
    Messages:
    19,285
    Location:
    THE CHAIR IS AGAINST THE WALL
    Mad Magyar, out of the people you've trained, how many have become A-class or better USPSA shooters, sharpshooter or better bullseye pistol, high power, or smallbore rifle shooters, or have received high marks in marksmanship certification programs affiliated with police, military, or 4H?

    Thanks.
     
  23. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2007
    Messages:
    34,115
    Location:
    Central PA
    Justin's spot on!

    When the Master and Grand-master class shooters from just about every discipline mention hours of dryfiring practice to perfect their trigger control and follow-through -- and when all the competition instructors accross those disciplies tell their students, "Now, go home and dryfire ?,??? times a night," I guess I'll listen to them.

    Back to the original poster's questions: Most center-fire guns can be dry-fired without damage. When in doubt, read the owner's manual and/or call the manufacturer. Unless you're shooting something old and rare, go for it. A new firing pin might cost you $6 or so -- if it breaks after 5,000 or 50,000 strikes. So keep a spare... The benefits are worth it.

    -Sam
     
  24. Mad Magyar

    Mad Magyar Member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2005
    Messages:
    1,967
    Location:
    Arizona
    Some, no specific number. My instruction-drills are for CQC utilizing the CC for the average citizen, not specifically for bulls-eye competition. My multiples target are a Kill-Zone of 10" x 16" and not a 3" spread. Apples to oranges. After all, for 99.9% of those that are reading this: their weapon is far more accurate than the one holding it. It's a futility that we all must face...
    Here what I see looking over the general replies: an apologetic, rationalized excuses substituting "live fire" for "dry-fire" as the more important element in shooting. Personally, I think this a dangerous disservice to many who delude themselves thinking they can "type these keys" 24-7, practice at home, thinking when "hell breaks loose": I'm ready.. I find it disturbing that hardly no one is giving "live fire" it's proper due??
    YOU WILL NOT cure "flinch" and "trigger-jerk" snapping away at home.....If you believe this: keep doing it...What this tells me is that many posters are not firing regularly, or not at all; not fully realizing that "noise & recoil" are the bane for most shooters...You can't substitute that in your living room...
    A few of you mentioned the top-echelon competitive shooters. Do you know how many "live rds" they go through in preparation for a big-match?
    BTW Sokygunner, I didn't say M. Ayoob down-played dry-fire; I mentioned "mirror training" and that this subject might well be included...
    Anyway, I stated my opinion and appreciate all the constructive criticism of it...:)
     
  25. Justin

    Justin Moderator Emeritus

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2002
    Messages:
    19,285
    Location:
    THE CHAIR IS AGAINST THE WALL
    Fail.

    At no point did I say that dry fire training was a substitute for live fire. Nor are any of rankings I listed the sort only able to be acquired by "top-echelon competitive shooters."

    You'll note that I asked for A-class or Sharpshooter rankings, not Grand Master or High Master.
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page