View Full Version : Dry-firing an 870

August 22, 2001, 07:04 PM
I dry-fired my Glock (at least I used to) a bunch when I was learning trigger control and such.
With the Glock, there was no need for snap caps or anything like that.
What is the deal with the 870?
What can I damage by excessive dry-firing?
I know this is a rugged gun but is there an inherent weakness in this area?
Thanks team,

August 22, 2001, 07:53 PM
If there is a problem with it I'm living on borrowed time.

I don't know the real answer.


August 22, 2001, 08:35 PM
Well, my daddy told me his daddy told him his daddy told him...that long, slim firing pins like those typically found in repeating shotguns can break unexpectedly at an inopportune time if the firing pin isn't cushioned by something at the end of its intended travel.

On the other hand, I don't recall hearing about many broken firing pins, so it may be just an old story...probably depends on specific issues like steel, temper, the design, and of course how often you snap it. Oh, yeah, on luck, too! :)

Dave McC
August 22, 2001, 09:17 PM
At an armorer's segment at a Instructor's school long ago, I was told that 870s dryfired in very cold weather might break the firing pin. I've run across ONE privately owned 870 that did exactly that, according to the usually reliable owner, an old friend.

Snap caps will eliminate any chance of this happening, IF they can hold up to the dry firing. Some don't, including those common red/clear ones.

I've seen homemades from dummy cartridges, with ink eraser "Primers" that did. Those $25 jobs from Orvis will also.

Since a firing pin is easy to swap out, buy a spare, watch a gunsmith you trust install it, and you're prepared....

August 22, 2001, 10:43 PM
Got a friend who was an armorer for a large mid-west police dept. He told me that in 15 years, he had NEVER seen an 870 firing pin broken, except one case of a gun that had been used in the academy as a classroom trainer for demonstrating how to clear and safe a gun. He said it was one of the first 870's ever made, and had been dry fired god knows how many times over about 50 years.

He said he had never seen a duty 870 pin broken. He also said that his 870 repair part inventory could have been kept in a shoe box, with room enough left for a burger and fries.

Most of his repairs were for broken stocks, sights, and trigger guards.

I don't think you need to worry about it, but if it does, buy a spare.

August 23, 2001, 07:36 PM
I called Remington about this same question and they said it was safe to dry fire all of their shotguns.

Gary H
August 24, 2001, 10:07 AM
I believe that rimfires are the main "do not dry fire" guns.