View Full Version : Dummy rounds

January 3, 2012, 12:17 PM
One of my main home defense guns is my SR40, I also carry it from time to time. The only problem I have when training with this gun is it won't malfunction, so I have know practice clearing them should one ever happen. I was think about loading up some rounds with no powder and just keeping the old primer in or not putting a primer in at all. These would he randomly thrown in with my practice ammo so I never know when one will pop up. Has anyone ever tried this before?

Ofcourse this would pretty much only cover missfires, so any other suggestions for simulating malfunctions would be great.

These rounds would be treated as live ammo and mixed in with practice rounds for safety reasons. I carry factory ammo so they would never be mixed in with those.

Any thoughts?

January 3, 2012, 12:33 PM
I use dummy rounds all the time in my High Power and GSM Clinics. Normally we have classroom training prior to shooting.

In demonstrating and practice loading dummy rounds come in handy. Simply don't let live rounds in the class room.

I make up dummy rounds by removing the decapper from the sizing die, leaving the spent primer in and stuff in a bullet without powder.

To mark them so one can instantly see they are dummy I drill holes in the brass. I tried painting them but often the paint jams up things.

They make dummy rounds for dry firing. If its for one guy and one gun they are great. If you have a class of 4-8 students practicing loading 'n such they are expensive.

Tom Servo
January 3, 2012, 12:58 PM
The only problem I have when training with this gun is it won't malfunction
For a moment, I chuckled to myself and said, "that's a problem?"

Snap caps are my recommendation for malfunction simulation. Kraig's suggestion is a good one, but I've seen dummy rounds and live ones get mixed up. It's a bit harder to confuse snap caps with live ammo.

January 3, 2012, 01:03 PM
I second the snap caps over the dummy rounds. I've read one report too many of people mixing up the ammo, and shooting training partners in FOF classes.

It shouldn't happen, but it does.

One report I read involved a USMC Force Recon SSGT, who shot a fellow trainee, and was subsequenty court-martialed and convicted of either manslaughter or negligent homicide - for allowing training ammo and live ammo in the same space.

January 3, 2012, 01:09 PM
That's the instructors fault. I inspect everything in my classes. And if a gun isn't actually being used, meaning pointed down range, ready to shoot or dryfed it has a ECI (Empty Chamber Indicator) or you leave.

January 3, 2012, 02:08 PM
I'm not sure if I was clear or not. These would be mixed in with range ammo, and treated as live ammo. I want them to look like my normal range ammo so I will not be expecting the malfunction.

If I were to teach someone I would use snap caps or drill holes in the brass.

January 3, 2012, 02:17 PM
But you will still recognize them by weight. It's better to just get someone else to load your mags -- ask them to randomize the dummies. Plus, with a brain doing it, you can end up with cool special cases (two ftfs in a row?!?).

Sent from my Ally using Tapatalk

January 3, 2012, 02:21 PM
When I go the range I see where people have shot the wall, the ceiling, the booth partitions.

I thought those were dummy rounds. :D

January 3, 2012, 02:39 PM
So if i inderstand the issues here they are

Resembling live ammo visually allows you to fool yourself when loading but unintentional mix ups later on can be dangerous.

Marking home made dummy rounds externally takes away the "surprise" because you notice when you load them.

Snap Caps that do not resemble live rounds by sight or touch help remove some mistakes but would not surprise you when training.

So my vote is for making dummy rounds that feel like your ammo but are marked as much as possible. As you load you could hold a few in your hand then look downrange. You'd know the dummy round was in there but not exactly where in that set of 3 or 4. You could periodically recolor the dummy rounds using bright colors - nail polish on the bullet? I don't know if an aggressive crimp would prolong color longevity by making it smaller but you get the idea.

Glenn E. Meyer
January 3, 2012, 03:01 PM
I've done classes, matches and tests with snap caps to test your malfunction procedures. I don't like the idea of using anything that looks like a real round. So, put rounds in a bag, shake them and load without looking. It isn't that hard.

Get a standard pack and you can do this with a few mags.

Or if you shoot with a buddy, have them load and hand it to you. We do that quite a bit.

Willie Lowman
January 3, 2012, 05:32 PM
other suggestions for simulating malfunctions

Get a junk mag and enter it randomly into your gear. A weak mag spring will cause malfunctions other than a "misfired" round that the dummy/snap cap will. You can bend a feed lip or put your dummy round in the mag backward. You can create all kinds of malfunctions by monkeying around with an old mag.

January 4, 2012, 08:50 AM
I make up dummy rounds as well, but I de-cap as well as no powder. That way one can not wonder later on if there is powder in the round that did not go off for some reason.

January 4, 2012, 09:53 AM
The biggest issue I always had with the dummy rounds is, its very hard to tell them apart from live rounds, especially when they are in the gun. The chances of a mix up are just way to high and easy.

Another issue with the dummies is, they dont hold up very well or long, and soon are trouble themselves. Constant chambering, ejecting, and falling to the ground and bouncing off things, just beat them up. Most notably, the bullet set back (and no matter how hard you crimp them) and the rim of the case being chewed up by the extractor. With the better snap caps, the rims seem to hold up a lot better to abuse, and just due to how they are made, you dont have the setback issue.

January 4, 2012, 11:36 AM
I don't really see the danger when they are treated as live ammo and are not kept with your SD ammo. Even with snap caps or an empty chamber I still follow the rules out of habit.

January 4, 2012, 11:55 AM
MrDontPlay, the whole point is he wants to mix them with his live ammo, for malfunction training.

As long as he only ever uses it at the range, no problem.

However, if he ever uses them for dry-fire away from the range, there could be a huge problem. Similarly, should he use the gun for carry, and accidentally mix in one of his (purportedly) identical dummy rounds, he could have a self-induced malfunction at a very bad time.

I don't see the advantage to these. Let somebody else load the magazines, and use snap caps, when he wants to do malfunction drills.

January 4, 2012, 12:54 PM
Every training agency I've worked with over the last 10 years or so uses the Saf-T-Trainer plastic dummies.


Having any kind of dummy round that can easily be confused with a loaded round is not a real smart idea. There might be "almost no possibility" of it getting mixed up at a bad time, but there is also "almost no possibility" of you needing your weapon or having an accidental discharge. There's a reason the word "ironic" is in the english language ....

January 7, 2012, 03:02 PM
I thought this was a post about me. Sorry, carry on.

January 16, 2012, 02:25 PM
Whenever I go to the range, and sometimes even for IDPA matches, I'll load one or two snap caps into a few of my mags, in a random position. All my mags are identical, and loading from my belt I never get the chance to cheat and see the dummies, so it makes for a good drill for that type of failure. Tap rack bang.

January 16, 2012, 04:25 PM
Hope this doesn't strike others as unsafe practice but it works for me :

I just use fired brass. Have someone else load your mags.

January 16, 2012, 04:29 PM
Or purposely use the most unreliable ammo you can find?

Superhouse 15
January 17, 2012, 08:43 AM
You could fill the case with silicone. It will add weight and keep the bullet from crushing into the case.

January 18, 2012, 01:54 PM
jephthai, you can recognize a difference of 4 grains(that's how much the powder charge in my target 9mm loads weigh)? I don't think that's likely but I might be just insensitive.