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View Poll Results: will it hurt a pump action shotgun to dry fire it without snapcaps?
yes 9 37.50%
no 15 62.50%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 24. You may not vote on this poll

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Old January 16, 2016, 05:49 PM   #1
Killabee-23
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is it okay to dry fire my pump action shotgun without snapcaps?

hey guys i was just curious as to what you opinion was on dry firing a pump action shotgun without snapcaps. i have talked to several people and some say its okay and some say its not. but i wanted to get some of your opinions so please let me know do you think its okay to dry fire a pump action shotgun without snapcaps or do you think its to bad for the gun to do it? let me know fellas
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Old January 16, 2016, 08:19 PM   #2
Sarge
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My best advice is to contact the manufacturer, assuming they are still in business, and go with their recommendation.
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Old January 16, 2016, 08:19 PM   #3
jmr40
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It really depends on the gun. Most modern center fire rifles, handguns and shotguns won't be damaged, but some will. It depends on the individual guns design. Many older guns could be damaged and I think this is where the over cautious advice comes from. Rimfires are sometimes OK, others not. Most people don't recommend it with expensive doubles. I've never seen anything in an owners manual advising against it with any pump.

FWIW, I've dry fired Remington 870's thousands of times with no ill effects. I've owned most of the other pumps and done the same. I just don't have as much experience with the other brands.
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Old January 16, 2016, 10:33 PM   #4
Killabee-23
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its actually a mossberg maverick 88. i was going to get the 500 but just didnt really see how its was worth the extra 150/200$ i mean the only real difference is a cross bolt safety and a pinned for grip and it can receive chokes. and yes the 500 has a little bit better fit and finish but there not much different at all. i have owned mossberg 500's a couple remington 870's and just recently got rid of a couple of em and got the maverick 88 and its been great so far. it has a 8 round cap and can fire 3 inch shells i have no need for chokes or 3 1/2 inch mags i dont think anybody does really lol.
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Old January 17, 2016, 12:54 AM   #5
gyvel
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The only ones that really shouldn't be dry fired are a Stevens 520 or 620.
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Old January 17, 2016, 04:21 PM   #6
Bill DeShivs
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Why would you want to dry fire your shotgun?
Dry firing any gun causes metal fatigue. On some guns this fatigue is minimal. On others it sets up stresses quickly. A firing pin on a shotgun has limited travel, and is stopped by one of two things- the tip of the pin hitting a soft copper alloy primer, or the shoulders of the pin hitting the end of the fpin channel-with no cushioning. The latter can cause work-hardening of the firing pin-leading to failure.
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Old January 17, 2016, 08:38 PM   #7
gyvel
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Quote:
Why would you want to dry fire your shotgun?
Dry firing any gun causes metal fatigue. On some guns this fatigue is minimal. On others it sets up stresses quickly. A firing pin on a shotgun has limited travel, and is stopped by one of two things- the tip of the pin hitting a soft copper alloy primer, or the shoulders of the pin hitting the end of the fpin channel-with no cushioning. The latter can cause work-hardening of the firing pin-leading to failure.
It depends if the OP is talking about dry firing one time to relieve tension on the hammer spring, or doing repeated dry firings for practice.

In the first case, no, it won't hurt to dry fire that one time; In the second case, what BillDeShivs says is true.

In either case, snap caps can't hurt anything, and may help.
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Old January 17, 2016, 11:47 PM   #8
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check the owners manual it should be in there. if not call the mfg. they should know best.
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Old January 19, 2016, 09:18 PM   #9
johnwilliamson062
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Everything Billdeshivs said is certainly true in the context of "it's possible".
I don't think I have ever dry fired a shotgun for practice and I am big on dryfiring pistols and rifles. I would not begin to worry about damaging a Maverick 88 by dry-firing though.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Work_hardening

I have some experience with inconel and other alloys work hardening. I have heard of black smiths hammers shattering after work hardening. I have not heard any reports of it in anything close to the impact of a light spring propelled firing pin's shoulder against the end of he channel. I'm not an expert and I would be surprised if it occurred, but work hardening can be as odd as chatter, so it is certainly possible.
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Old January 20, 2016, 10:42 AM   #10
g.willikers
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When our local action pistol matches had shotgun side matches, I used to dry fire my pump quite a lot for practice.
Never had a problem and it always went bang.
Doesn't mean there couldn't be a problem.
But of all the dry firing my shootin' irons have seen, there's been nary a failure of any kind.
So, from my own experience, don't sweat it.
Find something else to worry over.
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Old January 20, 2016, 07:04 PM   #11
Arizona Fusilier
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Because of the nature of shotgun shooting; clays, hunting, or defense..... I don't see any value in dry-firing shotguns for practice.

On the other hand, I like to release all that spring tension etc. before things go back in the safe for 6 months, and will dry-fire my over-and-unders then.
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Old January 20, 2016, 07:14 PM   #12
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Shotguns with flat springs generally need the springs to be released from tension, (and using snap caps to do so). Coil springs aren't as susceptible to taking a set, but I still use a snap cap to release the tension before putting it back in the safe.
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