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Old January 27, 2011, 05:04 PM   #20
Join Date: March 4, 2005
Location: Ohio
Posts: 13,648
Originally Posted by microgunner
I don't know how this no dry fire myth started.
My dad had a FIE .380 years ago that he dry-fired just once. It made a "tink" sound when he did, and the tip of the firing pin fell out. Snapped right off. But that kind of event aside, I think the concern comes mostly from .22 rimfire guns that don't have a practical firing pin stop or have one that allows tolerances to get loose. These can break or slam the firing pin nose into the chamber's rim recess and peen the metal in and out into the chamber. Brownells even sells a special tool for ironing these damaged chambers out, because if that happens it interferes with chambering and fails to support the rim well enough for consistent ignition. It's just inherently easier for a centerfire not to strike anything, even when parts wear loose. The rimfire has only a few thousandths to play with.

So, it's not a bad practice to use snap caps. particularly on rimfire guns. Even in 1911's, which can usually take one heck of a firing pin beating, those orange snap caps make a good quick way to identify a safe chamber or a magazine filled with dummies for clearing exercises.


When I was still active in bullseye pistol match shooting, the rule of thumb was to dry fire three times for every live round you put down range. In those matches, with a couple of relays, you can spend most of a day just getting 270 rounds down range, so it didn't take much doing to triple that count during the week at home, while waiting for next weekends match day to roll around.

In later years, when I starting visiting Gunsite, they taught a whole dry fire gun handling procedure that involves not only emptying the gun and or/using dummies, but locking your ammunition in a box so you can't get confused about the condition of the firearm. When you start working dryfire practice into presentation practice and magazine speed change practice, the feedback you get on front sight movement at hammer fall is especially useful to avoiding developing a bad trigger yanking habit.
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