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Dry Firing a 1911

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by TEX, Aug 16, 2011.

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  1. TEX

    TEX Member

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    Have a friend that tried IDPA and said he didn't like the idea of dropping the hammer on an empty chamber because it could elongate the firing pin causing it to go full auto. I am always in favor of using snap caps when doing a very high volumn of dry firing, but I would think that 6-10 dry fires a mtach would not be enough to damage the firing pin on a 1911. Was this maybe a problem with older guns when the metalurgy was not as godd as it is now? I know certain pistols like Kel Tecs don't lie to be dry fired at all.
     
  2. NOLAEMT

    NOLAEMT Member

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    wont hurt a thing.

    you can dry fire a 1911 all day long every day and it would still take years before anything bad happened, if ever.
     
  3. brickeyee

    brickeyee Member

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    A metal rod will not get longer no matter how many times you strike one end.
     
  4. ny32182

    ny32182 Member

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    He'll get over it quickly if he continues with IDPA.

    Many, many IDPA shooters will put tens of thousands of dry fires a year on their gun. Not a problem to report. :rolleyes:
     
  5. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator Staff Member

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    Other things might be happening, but causing the firing pin to get longer isn't one of them
     
  6. 451 Detonics

    451 Detonics Member

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    I know my 1911 that I got for graduation was dry fired nightly by my father and then by me for man years...never any harm done.
     
  7. jgiehl

    jgiehl Member

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    That makes two different reasons to go full auto.
    Your friend said a long firing pin would make full auto.
    My brother in law told me filing down the firing pin would make full auto.
    Realistically, length of the firing pin is in no way tied to full auto.
    Too long would jam into the primer and make holes in it.
    Too short would not make contact.
    You can dry fire anything except rimfires if I'm not mistaken.
     
  8. TEX

    TEX Member

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    That's what I thought. No harm done if dry firing. He says he got that info from someone wit hyears of experience that should know. Probably a gun counter commando.
     
  9. Drail

    Drail Member

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    The only effect dry firing will have on a 1911 is the rear end of the firing pin can become mushroomed if the pin is made from soft steel. This will not cause full auto but can cause the pin to stick in the firing pin stop. It is possible for a gun with the pin stuck forward enough to fire a round that is dropped into the chamber manually and the slide is released forward. It cannot chamber a round from the mag with the pin sticking out of the breechface. A mushroomed pin can be easily chucked into a drill and turned back down although I would replace it with a better quality pin. Filing down the disconnector can get you into full auto.
     
  10. Heretic

    Heretic Member

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    If your worried about going full auto with a 1911, the only thing you have to worry about is excessive wear on the disconnector.



    P.S. I've never actually seen one wear out, but ...could happen.
     
  11. The Lone Haranguer

    The Lone Haranguer Member

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    :scrutiny: I think that is physically impossible.

    The only things I can see happening - and with an immense amount, at that - might be increased wear on the firing pin spring, or repeated impacts on the firing pin stop could crack it. (Jan Libourel, former editor of Gun World and Petersen's Handguns, once reported this, but since that gun had a considerable amount of live fire as well, he could not say if the dryfiring actually caused it. And this is an easily replaced part.) If a very large amount of dryfiring is being contemplated, just use a snap cap. A few random dry snaps here and there won't hurt a thing.
     
  12. cpirtle

    cpirtle Member

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    There are a few centerfire handguns I've seen that the manual specifically says not to dry fire. I've never been curious enough to inquire as to why. Two that come to mind are the new Coonan 357 and Freedom Arms revolvers.

    As for dry firing a 1911, others have covered that well but I'll add that it's more detrimental to drop the slide on an empty chamber. Interesting how myths of dry firing persist but half of the yahoo's I see handling a 1911 at a show slingshot the slide. I see it a lot at IDPA after showing clear too.
     
  13. possum

    possum Member

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    I shoot 25-30k rounds a year, and I dry fire about 1.5 times that much in everything including 1911's. you will be fine it will not hurt it.
    I bet your friend would do better at IDPA if he spent time dry firing.
     
  14. jonnyc

    jonnyc Member

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    Well...when I dry-fire my Sistema 1911A1 the tip of the FP gets stuck in the hole. Yes, I have:
    -cleaned the FP
    -cleaned the hole
    -cleaned the channel
    -put a new spring in
    -tried another FP
    -finger spun a drill bit through the hole (both directions)
    -cleaned the retainer plate.
    Any other suggestions while we're still on the subject?
     
  15. BCRider

    BCRider Member

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    I wonder if your buddy is confusing dropping the hammer with "dropping" or releasing the slide with no magazine or rounds in the mag. Much has been written on dry dropping the slides on 1911 but I've never seen much of anything about the firing pin from dry firing.

    As for dropping the slide on an empty gun I do know that 1911's make a much more brittle and "glass like" CLACK! when the slide meets the barrel than any other semi auto I have. Based on this harsh "hammer on an anvil" like sound I ease my 1911 slides either with my other hand or at least by pushing my trigger finger strongly against the slide to cause drag to slow it down as it slides forward after showing clear. And in fact it's become habit on all my semis to do this one handed with the trigger finger pushing quite hard against the slide at meets.
     
  16. SwampWolf

    SwampWolf Member

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    You can add Taurus da revolvers to your list.
     
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