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Old November 10, 2012, 06:37 AM   #1
kcub
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fired casings as snap caps

Will they harm a revolver's firing pin?

I have a Colt SAA in .44-40, haven't seen snap caps in that caliber.
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Old November 10, 2012, 08:13 AM   #2
biganimal
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striking the wasted primer shouldn't harm the pin but getting fired cases back in a cylinder might be difficult at times.
my snap caps are homemade by decapping and resizing cases and putting a piece of pencil eraser in the primer pocket
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Old November 10, 2012, 08:55 AM   #3
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Wont harm them initially...but the spent primer of a fired cartridge will not be much use after two or three hits strikes as it will have dented and deformed to the point of being useless in the capacity of a snap cap. Snap caps have a spring or a elastic material inside of it which ensures the "faux-primer" returns to the proper depth/position to protect the firing pin.

Natchez, Brownells...even Amazon sells 44-40 snap caps.
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Old November 10, 2012, 11:17 AM   #4
rrruger
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Quote:
my snap caps are homemade by decapping and resizing cases and putting a piece of pencil eraser in the primer pocket
What a great idea!
what adhesive did you use to keep your rubber "bumper" in the primer socket?
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Old November 10, 2012, 11:28 AM   #5
davem
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If you are planning on doing a lot of dry firings then get a set of snap caps. I hate spending money but there are a few things where the expenditures are justified and this would be one of them. The cost is minor and they protect the firing pin. If you just want to dry fire a couple of times then a spent case is ok.
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Old November 10, 2012, 04:41 PM   #6
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Quote:
Quote:
my snap caps are homemade by decapping and resizing cases and putting a piece of pencil eraser in the primer pocket
What a great idea!
what adhesive did you use to keep your rubber "bumper" in the primer socket?
A pencil eraser wont stand up very well to repeated hits. You can easily tear an eraser with your fingernail...what makes you think it will stand up to repeated hammer hits?
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Old November 10, 2012, 05:09 PM   #7
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Quote:
A pencil eraser wont stand up very well to repeated hits. You can easily tear an eraser with your fingernail...what makes you think it will stand up to repeated hammer hits?
oh just thirty years of experience.

try it before you say it won't work.
the erasers I use are the bar style cut with a plug cutter and glued in with super glue. in the old days I used the wife's nail polish as glue. sometimes I used the erasers that were designed to erase ball point pen ink but they are hard to find now a days.
these home made snap caps usually last for about 85 to 100 strikes. I use em when doing a trigger job, to verify mechanics, and sometimes to get used to the pull. I am a cheap bastard and these caps are lots cheaper than store bought one.
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Old November 11, 2012, 09:01 AM   #8
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oh just thirty years of experience.

these home made snap caps usually last for about 85 to 100 strikes.
85 strikes is not very durable. I have a set of A-Zooms that each easily have 300 strikes on them and there is virtually zero noticeable wear on their strike face or their aluminum bodies. The low cost of A-zooms (less than $2 per snap cap) makes building my own less durable snap caps just not worth the time or effort.
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Old November 11, 2012, 10:19 AM   #9
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I use silicone in the primer pocket and it has worked out ok for me. Only about one hundred strikes and still looks good. I don't think dry firing without anything in the chamber is a problem. My experience on a civilian rifle team and in the marines has shown no problems dry firing.
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Old November 11, 2012, 10:41 AM   #10
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I'd imagine hot-glue would also be an easy way to fill in the primer pocket. Seems like it'd have closer consistency to the acrylic/whatever that the "official" snap caps have. It'd be real easy to repair/refill as well (and you could easily melt it out to reuse the brass as it was intended)

TCB
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Old November 11, 2012, 11:21 AM   #11
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I didn't know they made .44-40 snap caps, should have Googled 1st.
Oh well, thanks for the edification.

I have Googled .44 Russian snap caps to no avail. Too bad as it would work in .44 special and magnum as well.
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Old November 11, 2012, 03:57 PM   #12
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Are these what you are looking for?
44-40 snapcaps

Cheers
G
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Old November 11, 2012, 08:36 PM   #13
Bill DeShivs
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Hot glue, silicone and erasers offer practically no resistance to the firing pin. It will simply pierce the soft material. Don't waste your time trying it. A brass plug, siliconed in the primer pocket will work, but it's probably easier and cheaper to just buy snap caps.
And I have a lot more than 30 years of experience to back that up!
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Old November 12, 2012, 03:23 AM   #14
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Quote:
fired casings as snap caps
"Honestly Officer, I thought they were the empty ones".
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Old November 12, 2012, 06:58 AM   #15
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Folks spend $400-$1200 for a weapon and then 'cheap out' on maintenance items. Sorta like my antique Corvette buddies that get the Chinesium water pumps and then wonder what happened when they fail.
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Old November 12, 2012, 08:23 AM   #16
38Mike
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Plus two, three, four.....on spending a FEW bucks on a bag of A-Zoom snap caps for dry fire practice...

Mike
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Old November 12, 2012, 08:35 AM   #17
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Quote:
Quote:
fired casings as snap caps
"Honestly Officer, I thought they were the empty ones".
And then there is that...

Good point.
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Old November 12, 2012, 09:11 AM   #18
Mike Irwin
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I used a plug cutter to cut pieces out of the sidewall of an old tire and used that for my snap cap material.

Quite durable, but the tire was very hard to cut.
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Old November 12, 2012, 05:42 PM   #19
Glenn Dee
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Only problem I see with using spent rounds as snap caps it mistaking a loaded firearm for an unloaded one or vice versa...
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Old November 13, 2012, 02:39 AM   #20
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Quote:
85 strikes is not very durable. I have a set of A-Zooms that each easily have 300 strikes on them and there is virtually zero noticeable wear on their strike face or their aluminum bodies. The low cost of A-zooms (less than $2 per snap cap) makes building my own less durable snap caps just not worth the time or effort.
Understandable. ...if you don't think it's worth it, you're welcome to that opinion. But, it doesn't make biganimal's opinion any less valid.
If he's happy with the life he's getting out of his $0.03 solution, that's all that really matters.


Quote:
Only problem I see with using spent rounds as snap caps it mistaking a loaded firearm for an unloaded one or vice versa...
They have fired primers, no powder, and no bullet.
As long as you don't put your HD revolver away with a cylinder full of fired cases, you don't have to worry about mistaking the struck primers for loaded rounds in low light, at 1 am.
As for the loaded firearm being mistaken for an unloaded firearm... I think we have rules for that:
1. All guns are always loaded. Even if they are not, treat them as if they are.
2. Never let the muzzle cover anything you are not willing to destroy. (For those who insist that this particular gun is unloaded, see Rule 1.)
3. Keep your finger off the trigger till your sights are on the target.
4. Identify your target, and what is behind it. Never shoot at anything that you have not positively identified.
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Old November 14, 2012, 12:02 PM   #21
johnwilliamson062
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I use a spent cartridge on my 22 bolt gun. It seems to work well. Protects from chamber peening at least.

I wouldn't bother with all that for 85 shots either. If I am dry firing I could do that or more each session. My guess is I do far more as with dry firing I really just concentrate on trigger pull mechanics.
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Old November 14, 2012, 04:55 PM   #22
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Years ago, I managed to find some round nylon rods in two sizes, one just right for large primers, the other just a tad oversize for small primers. I file the end a bit for the small size. They work fine for snap caps; when one looks a bit worn, I just cut another piece off the rod. The rods started out 2 foot long; I expect to have enough to last me for the rest of my life.

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