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Old March 4, 2008, 02:15 PM   #1
Join Date: February 16, 2008
Location: Knoxville, TN
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Dry firing practice

I own 3 semi autos (Springfield XD 9, Walther P99 .40, and a Walther P22). I shoot the Springfield and the P22 fairly well but I shoot low and left with the P99. I've been practicing the trigger pull by dry firing at home but I was wondering if it is better to practice with dummy ammunition (like from to protect the firing pin. Does anyone have any experience with dummy ammunition? Do I even need to use it? If it is reccomended that I use dummy ammo, which kind is best? Thanks for helping a noob!
Guns owned: Glock 26, Springfield Loaded 1911
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Old March 4, 2008, 02:24 PM   #2
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The very best practice you can get is with real ammunition, but most of the guys I know will tell you it won't hurt to dry fire a modern weapon. As far as I am concerned, I grew up with a Dad that would have tanned my hide if he ever saw me dry fire any weapon. I would go with a dummy round if you intend to dry fire whether it needs it or not.
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Old March 4, 2008, 05:18 PM   #3
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if i'm at the range and finishing up i'll often pop in a snap cap, pull the trigger a couple times, before i put the gun away. obviously, it can't have a live round chambered if it's got a snap cap in it. so it's a sort of safety measure.
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Old March 4, 2008, 05:40 PM   #4
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So with a snap cap you just fire it (while at the range of course) then you can just re-use it at home since its spent?
Guns owned: Glock 26, Springfield Loaded 1911
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Old March 5, 2008, 03:41 PM   #5
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Snap caps are dummy rounds. You practice cycling and pulling the trigger but the gun will not go bang.

Snap caps have a rubber piece that takes the place of the primer. It gets struck by the firing pin.

If you practice dry firing - make sure you triple check the gun to make sure there is no live ammo in the magazine.
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Old March 8, 2008, 09:38 AM   #6
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Am I right in thinking that the P22 is the only one of the three not to dry fire; rimfire not suitable for that type of action?
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Old March 8, 2008, 10:04 PM   #7
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Pretty much the general rule would be that any of the center fire "modern" guns are okay to dry fire. However, any of the rim fire rounds (.22, .17, etc) you wouldn't want to dry fire to prevent the firing pin from hitting the edge of the chamber. You can just use those orange dummy rounds to prevent that. Hope that helps.

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Old March 8, 2008, 10:40 PM   #8
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“Dry Fire, Dry Practice, Dry Firing”

By: Tom Perroni

The motivation from this article came from a discussion I had with several firearms instructors. We were discussing the fact that some of the veteran officers who had recently come to the range to qualify were having problems with low scores. The same officers fresh out of training had much higher scores.

So the question was asked to the veteran and rookies: How often do you practice? The answer was not very often… The follow up question was how come? The answer was that going to the range was expensive and the officer simply did not have the funds available to practice on his or her own time. I was shocked since most of the training at my Academy is for Law Enforcement and Private Security. These folks are paid to deal with Deadly Force situations. And the Handgun is the most important tool of their trade. With their lives and the lives of the public at stake they should be at the very least proficient with this tool.

So my follow up question was have you ever heard of or practiced Dry Firing or Dry Practice? I was again surprised by the puzzled looks on the faces of these officers. One officer finally said, “What is Dry Firing?”

Dry Fire – This when the trigger is pulled without live ammunition in the firearm. This method of training can be done just about anywhere and costs absolutely nothing. In this Instructors opinion it is vital to anyone who uses or carries a handgun. Essentially you are doing everything you would do at the range except your handgun is empty. (NO AMMO) The most important single fundamental skill in shooting - Trigger Control – is one which can best be improved off the range in dry practice. As I have stated in past articles there are (7) fundamentals of Handgun shooting which all can be practiced with Dry Fire.

Tips to get you Started

1. Safety: This is the most import facet of Dry Fire practice! Make sure the Handgun is UNLOADED! Make sure that all live ammo is out of the room or area you will be training in. Also make sure you have a suitable backstop. The use of snap caps is up to the shooter. Some people feel they protect the firing pin. However you can fire most modern firearms without causing any damage to the fringing pin or the action of the handgun. Consult your owner’s manual to be sure.

2. Targets: This is left up to the individual. You may use anything you like B-27 or an FBI –Q or life-size human target or a 3X5 index card or a spot on the wall; you will however need a reference point to aim at. This is important.

3. What should be practiced? I suggest practicing everything you do at the range - all seven fundamentals of marksmanship:

1. Stance
2. Grip
3. Sight Alignment
4. Sight Picture
5. Trigger Control / Press
6. Breathing
7. Follow Through

Also the draw which has (5) points, as well as reloading and safe high speed gun handling. There are several types of Reloads that can also be practiced.

A. 5 Points to the Draw

1. The firing hand secures a firing grip on the handgun while the support hand touches flat to the abdomen
2. The handgun is lifted straight up until it just clears the top of the holster. The trigger finger is straight on the Handgun. The support hand is still flat against the abdomen. The hand and the forearm are in line with the handgun.
3. The firing side elbow drops and the muzzle points directly toward the target. The support hand is still flat against the abdomen. The trigger finger is straight.
4. The handgun starts toward the target and the support hand establishes the proper grip. The muzzle never covers any part of the body. The trigger finger is still straight. The hands come together fingers over fingers and thumb over thumb
5. The handgun is at eye level and the finger is on the trigger.

Then we place the handgun back in the holster in the exact reverse order while maintaining eye contact with the target. “Do not look at the holster.”

B. Speed Reloads: These drills help develop muscle memory. Press the magazine release to drop the magazine while at the same time with the non shooting hand grab the fresh magazine from its pouch, indexed with your finger, and insert into the magazine well. If this is done correctly the magazines will pass each other in mid air.

C. Tap-Rack-Asses this drill clears malfunctions and or Jams and effectively “resets” the firearm.

Tap- means to smack the bottom of the magazine firmly enough to lock it into place or dislodge any bind in the magazine.

Rack- is a cycling of the slide to eject any hammered or dead casing or to re-chamber a new cartridge following a malfunction.

Assess- means being prepared to commence or resume fire as required by assessing the situation.

(These maneuvers most be able to be performed flawlessly and subconsciously any time the shooter experiences a failure to fire or malfunction)

3. How often should I practice “Dry Fire”?

Practicing the above drills for 10-15 minutes each day will greatly benefit the shooter. I have seen marked improvement in students who practiced these drills for just 2 days. However please remember Handgun Skills are like buying a car: if you do not make your payments the car will be repossessed. If you do not practice the new handgun skills you paid for they will also be repossessed.

In conclusion remember smooth is fast, and speed is economy in motion; Accuracy always takes precedence over speed. As John Skaggs from the Chapman Academy says “You should own two guns . One you wear out dry-firing and the other you shoot with.”

I urge you to spend the minimal time required to develop your “Dry Fire” skills with this cost-free method that will improve your life saving skills.

Stay Safe & Shoot Straight!

Tom Perroni
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Old March 9, 2008, 12:14 PM   #9
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Dry firing is critical to skill

With the exception of most rimfire arms, if your weapon is not capable of sustaining unlimited dry firing, you have the wrong weapon.
The United States Marine Corps: Providing the enemies of America the opportunity to die for their countries since 1775. Semper fi.
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Old March 12, 2008, 12:06 PM   #10
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You can dryfire the P22 as long as the safety is on.

The safety blocks the hammer from striking the back of the firing pin, so there is no way to damage your firing pin. Just be very sure to be positive the safety is on so you don't damage it.

As always, triple check the pistol is clear and dry fire in a safe direction.
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Old March 18, 2008, 04:18 AM   #11
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Dry-Firing a P22

The P22, when on safe, not only physically blocks the hammer from striking the firing pin, but also prevents the firing pin from moving forward. There is an internal catch on the firing pin in addition to the part that blocks the hammer.
I discovered this when cleaning mine. The front of the firing pin collects a lot of crud, so I like to push a thin flat-bladed screwdriver against the rear of it to push it forward and get all the front surfaces. This does not work unless I put it on fire.
If you own one, try it and you will clearly see what I'm talking about.
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Old March 25, 2008, 06:15 PM   #12
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Murdock has the answer. If dry firing causes your pin to break, then so will live firing . With rimfires an empty case is probably a wise idea.
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Old March 25, 2008, 10:00 PM   #13
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I was having a like problem with my P99, so I really took some time and look at the sights and noticed with the small back strap, my front sight was to the left in my natural stance. So I change to the medium back strap this helped it naturally move more towards the center, but not completely. So I adjusted the windage one click counterclock wise. Today my groups were just about dead center. All I did was close my eyes, naturally draw and come to my natural stance. When I opened them I could see I was off a little and made my adjustments.
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