The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > Hogan's Alley > Handguns: General Handgun Forum

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old June 15, 2005, 12:40 PM   #1
Porkchops
Senior Member
 
Join Date: April 29, 2005
Posts: 105
A-Zoom Snap Caps -- problem

I just bought a pack of 5 A-Zoom 9mm luger snap caps.

I got them to practice loading and firing quickly, as well as to protect the firing pin in my Sig P229 (not sure if it's even necessary in a centerfire, but thought it would be good anyway).


Here's my problem. Supposedly these A-Zoom things are great, but I've got a major problem with them already: the outer wall of the A-Zoom cartridge has a threaded, almost miniature "washboard" texturel, instead of being smooth like a real cartridge.

Why on earth they manufactured them this way, I can't figure out. The problem is that I can't practice loading several of them in my magazine, because these "washboard-like" walls act almost like a file on the bottom edge of the cartridge. After only a few uses, the "precision" machined edge on the bottom ridge is getting chewed up.



Anyone else notice this? Are these things not meant to be used to practice quick-loading a magazine (I like to quick load, then slap the mag in and see how quickly I can get a shot off)?

Is there a better alternative?

Anyways, these little pieces of crap weren't cheap, so I'm just wondering what other people recommend
Porkchops is offline  
Old June 15, 2005, 01:13 PM   #2
IanS
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 7, 2000
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 2,632
Yep, I noticed that too. After using them a few times I noticed a lot of scuff marks and rough edges. The "case" is supposed to be made of soft aluminum but I still fell uneasy about using them. I tossed them and went back to the red plastic snap caps.
IanS is offline  
Old June 15, 2005, 02:29 PM   #3
Dave R
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 7, 2000
Location: Idaho
Posts: 6,073
The problem with the red plastic snap caps is that their "primer" will crater after only a few firings. 20? 100? somewhere in there. Once the primer area craters, you're not protecting your firing pin at all.

I agree, the A-zooms are pretty rough. But they'll protect your firing pin for many more snaps. 000s? I dunno, I haven't worn one out yet.

So the A-zooms are probably better for dry-firing. They'll protect your pin longer. But the red plastic ones are probably better for doing ammunition handling drills.
__________________
I am Pro-Rights (on gun issues).
Dave R is offline  
Old June 17, 2005, 03:23 PM   #4
Seven High
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 11, 2004
Posts: 481
Snap caps

I bought some .308 A zoom snap caps for my FAL. They are quite a bit shorter than the 762x51 rounds that are normally used.
Seven High is offline  
Old June 18, 2005, 08:46 AM   #5
rabbitinthemoon
Junior Member
 
Join Date: November 6, 2004
Posts: 4
I bought a pack of A-Zoom .40 SW and they were rough as well. But after stripping them out of the magazine a couple of times they "smoothed" out real nice. The metal is soft so don't worry about hurting your gun.
rabbitinthemoon is offline  
Old June 18, 2005, 09:09 PM   #6
Dog Confetti
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 12, 2005
Location: New Mexico
Posts: 212
Snap-caps are WAY too expensive...I order dummy rounds from eaglewolf.com (I don't know if that's the exact site, but a search will turn it up)...they've got some good nickle-cased dummy rounds for ~50 cents apiece.
Dog Confetti is offline  
Old June 19, 2005, 06:00 PM   #7
liliysdad
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 7, 2004
Posts: 1,144
Ive never even owned a snap cap...seems to me to be an answer to an unasked question, unless you own a CZ, Star, etc that will actually BREAK if dry-fired.
liliysdad is offline  
Old June 20, 2005, 12:18 AM   #8
XavierBreath
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 6, 2002
Location: North Louisiana
Posts: 2,800
Yep, the AZooms have ridges. They are made of aluminum. I use them for dry firing, function checks, and failure drills. I've been using the same ones bfor over three years. The anodizing (or whatever it is) is worn in places, and the rims are kind of chewed up, but the snap caps function fine.
__________________
Xavier's Blog
XavierBreath is offline  
Old June 20, 2005, 01:57 PM   #9
cje1980
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 15, 2004
Location: Colorado
Posts: 1,385
I've used the A-Zoom snap caps and haven't had problems with them, though I agree that the edges are rough. They are the sturdiest snap caps I've ever used and have helped my shooting a lot. They are also great for tactical drills and point shooting practice.
cje1980 is offline  
Old June 20, 2005, 03:10 PM   #10
Trip20
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 21, 2005
Location: WI
Posts: 2,181
I think they're just made to DRY FIRE. As in, do not even put them in the magazine... Instead just place one in chamber, close action, and pull trigger.

If they were made to function through the magazine/action - I'd assume they'd be made a little different.
Trip20 is offline  
Old June 20, 2005, 06:17 PM   #11
HankC1
Senior Member
 
Join Date: April 4, 2005
Posts: 322
I believe some guns do not like loading directly in chamber since it add more stress to the extractor. That is really the reason I go with A-zone instead of the plastic ones. I have both and mag lips would wear the plastics ones fast.
HankC1 is offline  
Old June 20, 2005, 08:55 PM   #12
Trip20
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 21, 2005
Location: WI
Posts: 2,181
+1 on the extractor.... but you don't exactly have to let the slide slam home and let the extractor take the abuse. You can ease the slide forward on the snap cap and let the extractor slip over the cartridge rim fairly easy.
Trip20 is offline  
Old June 20, 2005, 09:17 PM   #13
Porkchops
Senior Member
 
Join Date: April 29, 2005
Posts: 105
For me, it's not the mag lips that are chewing the thing up -- it's when I try to load several snaps into the same mag. The rim of one snap grinds across the ridged walls of the already-loaded snap-cap. This tends to wear the edge of the loaded snap and chew up the rim of the one being loaded.

Oh well...I figure I'll use them for just dry firing. If I load just ONE into the mag and bring it into the chamber via mag, then all is fine.

For quick loading practice, I'll just go to the range, and fire off live shots.
Porkchops is offline  
Old June 23, 2005, 09:53 PM   #14
clu
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 19, 2005
Location: Maryland
Posts: 181
Quote:
I tossed them and went back to the red plastic snap caps.
Quote:
The problem with the red plastic snap caps is that their "primer" will crater after only a few firings.
I think the red plastic ones he is refering to have springs in them like these
https://www.berettausa.com/proshop/m...Product_ID=365

There are also ones that are all plastic with no springs and are orange in color like these
http://www.makarov.com/graphics/cz50...-t-trainer.jpg
clu is offline  
Old November 27, 2013, 05:14 AM   #15
Jimmy96a1
Member
 
Join Date: September 18, 2013
Location: Minnesota "Nice!"
Posts: 43
beware A zoom snap cap users!

I bought a 5 pack of the .40 s&w snap caps.. within 2 weeks of 20 minute daily use my beretta had chewed them litteraly to bits! And whats worse is i now have alluminum shavings everywhere, and worse yet the rim where the bullet meets the case on the snap cap is shaved off and now in my barrel. And since i didnt notice for a while ive got a red alluminum ring down in my chamber thats been stamped in good and proper from loading these snap caps, not only will it not come out with cleaning nor a plastic dental pik. Im going to see the smith tommorow and i already xontacted pachmayer. Anyone care to see if their A zooms are also doing this? I almost bet everyone can at least see the silver on thier snap cap where the bullet meets the case. If its silver check your barrel!
Jimmy96a1 is offline  
Old November 27, 2013, 07:55 AM   #16
TimSr
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 8, 2013
Location: Rittman, Ohio
Posts: 488
Quote:
Ive never even owned a snap cap...seems to me to be an answer to an unasked question, unless you own a CZ, Star, etc that will actually BREAK if dry-fired.
I'm with you. More guns than not can be dry fired. On thos rare occasions I need one I use a spent casing.

Sanp caps are to cushion the firing pin and are not meant to be loaded in magazines or used as dummies. The don't look, feel, or act like real catridges, so they don't make for good practice in preparing for them.
TimSr is offline  
Old November 27, 2013, 08:07 AM   #17
Derbel McDillet
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 6, 2013
Posts: 248
I don't use snap caps.

I use ST Pro Action Trainer Dummy Rounds - http://www.stactionpro.com/action-tr...10e7109bccd6b1

I buy 50 rounds at a time (9mm) from Law Enforcement Targets - http://www.letargets.com/estylez_ps....10000%7e081100

Good luck.
Derbel McDillet is offline  
Old November 27, 2013, 08:38 AM   #18
AK103K
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 1, 2001
Location: PA -- In the shadow of the Shade
Posts: 7,998
Quote:
Ive never even owned a snap cap...seems to me to be an answer to an unasked question, unless you own a CZ, Star, etc that will actually BREAK if dry-fired.
Having personally had a firing pin brake a on a heavily dry fired (and shot) M1A, it can happen with anything.

Quote:
I'm with you. More guns than not can be dry fired. On thos rare occasions I need one I use a spent casing.

Sanp caps are to cushion the firing pin and are not meant to be loaded in magazines or used as dummies. The don't look, feel, or act like real catridges, so they don't make for good practice in preparing for them.
Any gun can be dry fired, its just if you do it enough, sooner or later, something is going to go.

I dont know how much all yall dry fire, but I do it hundreds of times daily, with a number of guns, and everyone has a snap cap or dry fire insert in it. I havent had anything else break now, in the 30 or so years of daily dry firing Ive done since, with caps in place.


Snap caps also serve a couple of other another purposes. First and foremost, they add an added safety level to dry firing, as you cant have a loaded round in the chamber, if youve placed a purpose made snap cap there (one that doesnt look like a loaded round). Homemade dummies or caps using a brass or nickle case dont offer the same level of safety, as you cant tell them from a live round in the chamber.

Snap caps also work well for failure drills. Dummies can work here too, but my experience has been that over time, the bullets set back and can become an issue and even a danger, depending on the gun.

I primarily use A Zooms. They have worked the best of all the others Ive tried. The seem to be the only ones that are correctly sized across the board. My only complaint is, I wish they were a brighter color. I use them to the point they get "really" beat up (and yes, they do get beat up), and start to fail, which usually means they wont extract. Even those serve a purpose in the action drills category though.

If youre using A Zooms, and they are getting chewed up (by that I mean shaving metal, not just wearing the color) in your chamber, I would look closely at your chamber and see if something isnt wrong there. Something doesnt sound right. Thats not saying you didnt get a bad batch of caps, but if they "all" do it, then something is wrong with your gun. The rims really dont count here, as the extractor will continue to chew them up over time, just like it does with brass cases. I have the same problem with my handgun brass that gets constantly reloaded.

Ive used the old red plastic/brass caps up until the A Zooms showed up. They are very short lived, and often not correct in size. I had the .308 cases get stuck in the chambers of both autos and bolt guns on numerous occasions. Their biggest problem is, that spring loaded primer is quickly disabled and sticks up inside the case, offering no protection.

Early on, I tried making my own out of empty cases, and using various things in the primer pocket. As I said earlier, the bullets always come loose, and become an issue, as well as what ever was used in the primer pocket, falls apart, and the pieces get everywhere in the action and firing pin channel.
__________________
“The enemy is anybody who's going to get you killed, no matter which side he is on.”
― Joseph Heller, Catch-22
AK103K is offline  
Old November 27, 2013, 08:59 AM   #19
Destructo6
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 18, 1999
Location: Nogales, AZ USA
Posts: 3,808
A zooms are turned aluminium, so the ridges are most likely from the machine tools.

I use them daily to demonstrate proper loading and unloading: they get beat pretty quickly - too quickly to justify buying them for myself.

They work very well to rid folks of a flinch: load up a whole mag of snap caps along with 1 live round. Then add more live rounds as the flinch starts to go away.
__________________
God gave you a soul.
Your parents, a body.
Your country, a rifle.

Keep all of them clean.
Destructo6 is offline  
Old November 27, 2013, 10:35 AM   #20
thedudeabides
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 22, 2012
Posts: 1,009
I use them in 1911s. I've seen the paint get chipped off of them, but never the aluminum shavings.
__________________
OK, so not all plastic guns are bad
thedudeabides is offline  
Old November 27, 2013, 11:30 AM   #21
breakingcontact
Junior member
 
Join Date: October 25, 2012
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 736
Re: A-Zoom Snap Caps -- problem

I mix them in with my range mags to do malfunction clearing.
breakingcontact is offline  
Old November 27, 2013, 11:36 AM   #22
Constantine
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 5, 2010
Location: Miami, Florida
Posts: 5,188
There's a guy on ebay that makes them with brass and puts a lead bullet in along with a rubber primer. They've lasted me over a year.
__________________
Sáncte Míchael Archángele, defénde nos in proélio, cóntra nequítiam et insídias diáboli ésto præsídium. Ímperet ílli Déus, súpplices deprecámur: tuque, prínceps milítiæ cæléstis, Sátanam aliósque spíritus malígnos, qui ad perditiónem animárum pervagántur in múndo, divína virtúte, in inférnum detrúde. Ámen
Constantine is offline  
Old November 28, 2013, 11:08 AM   #23
44 AMP
Staff
 
Join Date: March 11, 2006
Location: Upper US
Posts: 11,499
Quote:
Dummies can work here too, but my experience has been that over time, the bullets set back and can become an issue and even a danger, depending on the gun.
I have to wonder what experience makes a dummy round a danger, "depending on the gun?"

The "problem" with snap caps is that they are NOT dummy ammunition, and are being used that way. So, of course, they don't hold up well.

Also properly made dummy ammo will not suffer bullet "setback". (properly made ammo won't, either, but that's another discussion)
__________________
All else being equal (and it almost never is) bigger bullets tend to work better.
44 AMP is offline  
Old November 28, 2013, 11:29 AM   #24
AK103K
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 1, 2001
Location: PA -- In the shadow of the Shade
Posts: 7,998
Quote:
The "problem" with snap caps is that they are NOT dummy ammunition, and are being used that way. So, of course, they don't hold up well.
The A Zooms Ive used, have held up better than any of the dummies Ive used. The anodizing may wear, and they may get ugly, but they still work for a good long time, and usually a lot longer than the dummies ever did.

The old red plastic are another issue, and I agree, you dont get much use out of them.

Quote:
Also properly made dummy ammo will not suffer bullet "setback". (properly made ammo won't, either, but that's another discussion)
Loaded ammo isnt usually chambered over and over and doesnt usually have the issue. Not that I havent seen factory ammo setback on the first chambering either.

Dummies on the other hand, are chambered and ejected constantly, and its been my experience, even with heavily crimped bullets, they will over time, loosen up and set back in the case, and in some instances the bullet will move forward out of the case. Ive had that happen in an M1A while dry firing, and on ejection, the case came out minus the bullet, and the bullet was lightly set in the throat. Hence my comment "depending on the gun".
__________________
“The enemy is anybody who's going to get you killed, no matter which side he is on.”
― Joseph Heller, Catch-22
AK103K is offline  
Old November 28, 2013, 02:02 PM   #25
BigD_in_FL
Junior member
 
Join Date: December 20, 2012
Location: The "Gunshine State"
Posts: 1,981
Azooms are training rounds, not snap caps. I have them in 3 shotgun bore sizes and several pistol cartridges - mine are smooth and I have had no issues with mine.

Perhaps the OP got a bad batch?
BigD_in_FL is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 05:26 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2014 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.11746 seconds with 7 queries