View Full Version : To dry-fire, or not to dry-fire....

February 2, 2009, 11:38 PM
I've heard that it's good to dry-fire one's weapon to get used to the movements involved in going from one round to another. (I've got a bolt-action.) I've also heard that dry-firing is bad for the weapon.

....What the heck...?? :confused::confused::confused:

I'm new to the gun-owner scene, so I'm not too sure yet about what's up and what's down. What's the deal on whether or not to practice dry-firing?

February 2, 2009, 11:40 PM
Unless you are talking about rimfires, (22s) dryfiring wont hurt your rifle.

February 2, 2009, 11:41 PM
.22s are bad to dry fire because the firing pin hits the solid metal of the breech rather than the soft brass...

Along the same lines, Ive been told never to drop the slide on an empty chamber in a 1911...what about that?

B. Lahey
February 2, 2009, 11:44 PM
Yeah, it's fine for the vast majority of centerfire arms and a small minority of rimfires too (mostly high-end target rifles). It's great practice.

February 2, 2009, 11:48 PM
If you're worried about it, find some snap caps. Helps to practice loading/unloading/malfunction clearing. They are plastic ammunition replicas. They load just like regular ammo, but are safe for dry fire. Great product.

February 3, 2009, 01:17 AM
Or just load a spent cartridge into the chamber...

February 3, 2009, 01:21 AM
Get some Snap Caps. I think they also make them for rimfires. As said before do NOT dry fire a rimfire. The firing pin is hardened. The breech face is not.

February 3, 2009, 02:48 AM
Along the same lines, Ive been told never to drop the slide on an empty chamber in a 1911...what about that?

You can batter a good trigger job and ruin it unless you pull the trigger before dropping the slide. That keeps the hammer from battering the sear--which is what happens when firing the gun. That way, you just put unnecessary wear on the frame.

However, you obviously DO NOT want to get into the habit of placing finger on trigger of any gun before dropping the slide. Solution is to not be dropping the slide, except when loading, since rounds in the magazine cushion the slide enough to avoid problems.

When Wilsons test a gun for hammer follow on a combat pistol with nice trigger job, they drop the slide with one rd. in the magazine-- with trigger pulled, and once without pulling the trigger. If it passes that test, it won't follow during normal operation of the gun, since the finger would be on the trigger when the gun cycles, and, as mentioned, the slide slows down as it loads.

Real light trigger jobs (like two lb.s), on some competition 1911's are a whole other subject. They're difficult to do and easy to ruin.

Best way to drop the slide on a 1911 is with a full magazine. Lot's of cushion that way.:D

Modern .22 rimfires, many of them, will cause no damage by dryfiring, since the firing pin is stopped before it hits the edge of the chamber. Dinging the edge of the chamber is a bigger problem than damaging the tough firing pin on most .22's. Not saying it's recommended you dry fire any .22.

As far as using empty cases, they only last for a few firings. Better than nothing. I don't use the kind with the spring and brass "primer", I don't like the filings in the workings of my guns--especially revolvers. Look close, you'll see what I mean. I prefer A-Zoom.

I've been dry firing rifles for a long time without problems. Not to say that some A-Zoom dummy rounds wouldn't be a better idea.

February 3, 2009, 02:57 AM
Some things worth noting:

Many unintentional/negligent discharges happen while dry-firing. It's wise to take safety precautions to the extreme. Here are some good safety guidelines for dryfiring. http://www.corneredcat.com/Practice/dryfire.aspx

Second, there's dry-firing and there's dry-firing.

If you are asking about occasional dry-fire practice or about snapping your gun to check function after cleaning/assembly then the answer is that you'll never have an issue as long as the manual doesn't warn against it.

But if you plan to start an intensive dryfire program involving a good bit of daily practice then it's probably wise to invest in some good snap caps.

February 3, 2009, 08:38 AM
Awesome. Thanks guys - that solves that. :cool:

June 4, 2009, 10:29 AM
Check this system for dryfire practice:

June 4, 2009, 11:45 AM
Unless you are talking about rimfires, (22s) dryfiring wont hurt your rifle
Thats usually the case but I know that some times there is an exception,
I emailed keltec asking if I should be dry firing my p3at and they told me no dryfire in any of thier firearms without snapcaps, I have heard of a few other modern guns were that is also the case, I could be wrong here but If I recall you shouldn't dryfire any older firearms without the use of a snap cap, best to consult the manufacturer IMHO.

June 4, 2009, 05:11 PM
There are several levels you need to know before you start dry firing away like a mad man.

1) Safety - as mentioned above. This method for a new shooter can get you into lots of trouble. You really need to seperate yourself from the ammo and the gun. There are lots of advice as how to avoid this but one sloppy day you can really hurt something you really didn't want to. All it takes is one "oops." Trust me it can happen to the best and most experienced of us.

2) Why/How: If you don't know what or why your are dry firing you won't really benefit. All you are doing is going through the motions of what? Why? How? You really need to read up on what your suppose to do and what your suppose to learn. Muscle memory is great but picking up the wrong memory is worse (bad habits).

3) Every gun and shooter will look at dry fire in different perspectives. Overall, modern centerfire guns can handle dry fire well. When you talk about endless dryfire in the ten's of thousands of times then you'll just wearing metal parts down. Consider using snap caps or other methods if you are looking for extended dry fire sessions. If you are dry firing a couple of hundred times or less - practice away (which is most of us).

Good luck! Be safe!

June 4, 2009, 05:32 PM
I dry fire them all. If they break I don't want to own them. Although I don't dry fire much, I've yet to visually damage a firearm yet.

June 5, 2009, 04:48 AM
There all good but .22 and the CZ-52. If I remember correctly.

These are the two that I know of that are no-no on the dry fire. Does anyone know if there is anything else in particular beyond this that I am either forgetting or haven't heard of?

June 5, 2009, 10:16 PM
I would be cautious about dryfiring older/antique firearms.

I would never dryfire someone else's gun (including one at the store) without getting permission first.

Otherwise I let the manual/maker be my guide. If the manual/maker says don't do it then I don't--or I use snap caps when I do.

My CZ75B actually came with 2 or 3 snap caps with a small plastic bag of replaceable hard rubber "primers" from the factory. I took that as a recommendation to use them when dryfiring, but it could just be that they figured they'd come in handy.

Senator Vitaman
June 5, 2009, 10:19 PM
modern .22 rimfires, many of them, will cause no damage by dryfiring, since the firing pin is stopped before it hits the edge of the chamber. Don't believe it. I broke a firing pin on a gun the manufacturer said was safe to dry-fire. Always use snap caps.