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Old November 25, 2005, 06:49 PM   #1
samoand
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Dry shooting: wear and tear?

Gentle folks,
Is there any reason to use less expensive guns for dry shooting practice? i.e. does it contribute at all to any aspect of wear and tear? Apparently there is no wear to barrel; but what about pin, spring, or any other components - considering that during such practice a firearms can be "dry fired" hundreds (or even close to thousand) times per session.

On a slightly different note: do you have a strong opinion about dry shooting practice in general?

Best regards to all !

Cross posting to "The Smithy"...
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Old November 25, 2005, 08:05 PM   #2
aspen1964
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..dry-firing is the same as firing but without ammo...however, use an empty shell or a snap cap so as not to damage or wear the firing pin/hammer, etc.
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Old November 25, 2005, 08:26 PM   #3
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I typically use the gun I own that has the worst trigger pull for my dryfire practice.

Coincidentally, it's relatively inexpensive. I still take precautions to prevent firing pin breakage.
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Old November 26, 2005, 02:12 AM   #4
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You can purchase a package of snap caps online for around ten bucks. Worthy investment for dry firing!
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Old November 26, 2005, 10:54 AM   #5
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I third the snap caps. They may seem expensive at first but they are well worth the money. For a few dollars more you can get the ones that you can remove and put in a new center when it starts to wear out (I think I saw some on CDNN or at my local gun shop, forget which).

As for the fired casing, we had a person here that was doing that and it jammed his slide so I wouldn't go that route. I've never tried it but I believe what happened to the member and will take that as advice not to do so.

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Old November 26, 2005, 01:05 PM   #6
liliysdad
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Unless the gun has a design issue with dryfiring, such as a rimfire, CZ52, CZ75, Star model B, etc, snap caps serve no purpose.
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Old November 26, 2005, 01:15 PM   #7
SIGSHR
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I use snap caps regularly. Regarding the wear and tear I think actual firing
is much harder on the guns than dry firing.
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Old November 26, 2005, 02:00 PM   #8
gdeal
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Firing

Yeah when I was first training I was told to put a round in every other cylinder. So three shots live and three shots dry. No problem. Right, dry firing is no worse for the gun than real firing.
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Old November 26, 2005, 02:45 PM   #9
USP45usp
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Quote:
Unless the gun has a design issue with dryfiring, such as a rimfire, CZ52, CZ75, Star model B, etc, snap caps serve no purpose.
True, but if you get into the habit of using snap caps, then if a gun comes out that does have a design issue, it won't matter .

But, Liliysdad is correct, most modern designs have no problem with dry firing on an empty chamber but some still do and to me, it's worth the money for your investment.

Your owners manual should state if dry firing without a snap cap is okay or not .

Wayne
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Old November 26, 2005, 06:19 PM   #10
samoand
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Thanks!

Thank you all for your responses.

Best regards, and safe shooting.
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Old November 27, 2005, 11:29 AM   #11
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Quote:
On a slightly different note: do you have a strong opinion about dry shooting practice in general?
I have two very strong opinions about dry firing.

First, I believe that dry firing is very beneficial for most shooters. I've watched enough people learn to shoot now that I can tell you from observation that those who regularly practice dry firing at home learn to shoot faster and more easily than those who do not. Because dry firing is both less expensive and more convenient than even the closest range, it allows you to get in more practice than you otherwise would and that's always a good thing. I will even go so far as to opine that there is no way one can safely learn to draw or reholster other than to do so with an empty gun at first. Whether your goal is simply becoming familiar with the mechanical function of your gun and carry equipment, or working out the details of stance and sight alignment, or perfecting a smooth trigger pull, dry fire can help you reach that goal.

Second and more important, I believe that without an almost obsessive attention to safety, dry fire is very dangerous. If it is going to be done safely, you really need to have a consistent and unbreakable routine that you will always follow, no matter what.

There are safe dry firing practices, and unsafe ones.

Too many people become complacent and chuck the Four Rules out the window simply because they need to get some dryfire practice in. Foolish! The purpose of dry firing is to engrain certain physical habits into your memory -- so deeply engrain them that your body will automatically behave that way under stress. You do not want to engrain poor safety habits. Dry firing without following the Four Rules is worse than not dry firing at all, because it accomplishes the exact opposite of its intended purpose. So here are the Four Rules and how they apply to dry fire practice.

"All guns are always loaded" means that you always treat your firearm with the respect due a loaded weapon. When you follow this rule, even when you have just checked to see that your gun is unloaded, you still treat the gun with the respect due a loaded weapon. All other safety rules follow from this one cardinal rule.

(Oh, there are people who believe that merely checking to see the gun is unloaded means you can then treat it like a toy -- that you can point it at your friends to pose for a picture, or at your training partners for disarming practice, or at a flimsy interior wall to check trigger function. A foolish, foolish idea that kills a certain number of misguided simpletons every single year...)

Rule Two, "never point the gun at anything you are not willing to destroy," simply states the logical consequence of Rule One. When you choose a direction for dry fire, you choose a direction in which you would be willing to fire a loaded weapon. You don't point it at your dog, at the big-screen TV you can't afford to replace, at a friend, or at an heirloom vase. You point it at something that would stop a bullet and that, if shot, would result in only minor property damage.

One of the reasons people dry fire is to learn Rule Three, "keep your finger off the trigger until your sights are on target." This rule needs to be contained not just in your thinking brain, but in your body's physical response to holding the gun in your hand. It should take a conscious effort to put your finger on the trigger; you should never, ever, ever find your finger resting on the trigger or within the trigger guard when you didn't consciously put it there on purpose. Intelligent dry fire helps to build in that response.

Rule Four, "be sure of your target and what is beyond it," is particularly important when dry firing. Because you are following Rule One, you know that the gun in your hand is a deadly loaded weapon. So you are not going to shoot it at a flimsy interior wall which you know will not stop a bullet, or at your own reflection in the bathroom mirror with your baby's crib on the other side of the wall. You won't fire at the TV when your wife is fixing dinner on the other side of the TV. Instead, you'll set up a useful target with a safe backstop.

So that's the Four Rules. Here's my routine.

When I dry fire, I get all the ammunition out of the room and out of sight and I even go so far as to lock the door where the ammunition is kept so that it takes several deliberate steps to get the ammunition back together with the gun. A lot of NDs happen because people thoughtlessly reload a gun before their brains have kicked back into gear. So I put a few conscious steps between gun and ammunition.

Keeping the gun pointed in a safe direction, I check and double check that my gun is unloaded. Remove magazine. Rack. Rack. Rack. Lock the slide open. Look down the magazine well and into the empty chamber. Poke a finger into the mag well. Poke my pinkie finger into the empty chamber. Leave it locked open.

I turn the ringer off the phone and make sure the front door is locked & bolted. I don't want any interruptions.

I check again that my gun is unloaded and that the ammunition is locked away.

Then and only then do I tape up my target on my brick fireplace. The brick would stop a bullet and I wouldn't mind a dent in it. If I didn't have a fireplace, I would use a basement wall, or the end of a jam-packed bookcase, or an old bulletproof vest. For a time, I even used a large bucket of sand disguised by a wicker basket with a fake houseplant in the top. But I wouldn't point at a TV (doesn't necessarily stop a bullet, though it might) unless something more substantial were behind it.

I check again that my gun is still unloaded.

Then I do my dry firing.

When I'm done dry firing I take the target down immediately, before I reload the gun.

When I reload the gun, I say aloud, "This gun is loaded. It will fire if I pull the trigger. This gun is loaded, this gun is loaded, this gun is loaded." I say this the entire time I am reloading the gun. I always say it aloud, repeatedly, so that my thick skull has no excuses.

Some people suggest locking the gun up after dry firing, because you've just trained yourself that the gun won't fire when the trigger is pulled. That's probably a good idea, but I dislike leaving my gun inaccessible. So instead I put the gun back on my hip, and leave the house.

I thus stay out of the room where I was dry firing for at least an hour or two. The target goes down before I reload the gun, so I don't have the temptation to try "just one more dry fire" after I've reloaded, and I stay out of the area until my conditioning to fire there has been replaced by conscious thought.

If I am interrupted at any point in the above sequence, I habitually start over from the beginning -- especially the bit about rechecking to make sure that the gun is still empty.

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Old November 27, 2005, 04:06 PM   #12
USP45usp
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Pax = sound advice.

Too many threads on ND's here and elsewhere to discard the advice just given.

Here's something that I used to do, I had a magazine that was painted that had snap caps only. After I ensured the gun was cleared, three times (that seems to be the "magic number") I would insert the painted mag into the gun and practice.

Wayne
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Old November 27, 2005, 08:45 PM   #13
samoand
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> Pax = sound advice.

seconding that... I have caught myself acting on wrong instincts after dry firing. Luckely, I also always obey other rules of safe gun handling - so there's never been an accidental discharge in my life (knocking on wood here).
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Old December 2, 2005, 10:23 AM   #14
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Dry Firing A Hand-Gun - Question

I am turning 21 in January and I'm planning on buying my first hand gun, which is going to be a Ruger P89. I read a post in this forum that suggested Dry Firing to help with Recoil / Comfertablity / Controlability / Trigger Pull, Etc. Growing up I was under the impression that Dry Firing any type of Gun was actually bad for the gun. Is it ok to Dry Fire a gun alot as Practice? Because that's what it seemed like they were trying to say in the post. Any extra information you care too respond with would be Greaty Appreciated. Thank You..
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Old December 2, 2005, 10:28 AM   #15
Weeg
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"Snap Caps"

Most Gun places sell them...It's dummy round with a semi-solid thing in the primer pocket...Cushions the firing pin strike.

They make them in all calibers

.
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Old December 2, 2005, 10:49 AM   #16
bclark1
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the transfer-bar or striker systems employed by most modern handguns make them safe to dry fire, check your manual when you get it, i've never had a ruger semi but i've got a ruger wheelgun that is statedly safe to dry fire, and all my semis are safe to as well.
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Old December 2, 2005, 10:52 AM   #17
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Thanx for the help. Anyone know the specifics on that for the P89? If it's safe or not?
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Old December 2, 2005, 10:55 AM   #18
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To be safe, "Snap-Caps" are indeed the way to go. Even with the firing pin spring to help dampen the force, why chance any damage. The P-89 is a solidly built auto, hope you enjoy it...
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Old December 2, 2005, 11:08 AM   #19
tjhands
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It probably won't hurt your gun to dryfire it - even a lot, but snap caps are a $7 investment that pays for itself in peace of mind. They are also useful as a live-shooting aid when you have someone load up a magazine filled randomly with live rounds and also with a few snap caps. You, the shooter, won't know if the next shot will go BANG or just a click, so when the clicks happen, you can see if your hand jerks or wobbles in anticipation of recoil, which is bad. It's good to train yourself to hold steady for every shot. That will improve your skills by manyfold.
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Old December 2, 2005, 08:30 PM   #20
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Are Snap Caps safe for indoor use? Are they safe to practice with in an open area outside or are they strictly for the range because someone was talking about aiming at your TV and firing snap caps, lol.
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Old December 2, 2005, 08:38 PM   #21
Weeg
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Quote:
Are Snap Caps safe for indoor use?

YES


Are they safe to practice with in an open area outside or are they strictly for the range because someone was talking about aiming at your TV and firing snap caps, lol. [/QUOTE]


They do not have any kind of charge whatsoever...They are shaped like the respective cartridge, and have a semi-solid primer (that doesn't go "BANG") to absorb th efiring pin strike.

The only sound you hear is that "click" of the hammer falling.

.
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Old December 2, 2005, 08:43 PM   #22
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Thank you very much...Dave Haven also said "In fact, Ruger recommends dry-firing to familiarize oneself with the firearm." Do you think that means with Snap caps or with out? Either way I will use the snap caps because I want to keep my gun in excellent shape.
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Old December 2, 2005, 10:11 PM   #23
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oh, yeah....

And happy birthday and congratulations. A VERY big day. My middle son turns 21 in July. I think I'll plan to be on the other side of the world that day....

But seriously, congratulations, and as we Orthodox Christians say, "God grant you many years."

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Old December 5, 2005, 10:29 AM   #24
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Thank You. It sucks that snap caps are rather expensive. I mean $14 for 5 caps is rediculous. I can get a 1000 bullets for $120 and I can get like 40 snap caps for that, lol. Oooo wait....lol....Are snap caps re-usable? That would make a lot more sense, haha.
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Old December 16, 2005, 08:25 PM   #25
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snap-caps are for wheel guns that have the fireing pin attached to the hammer. most modern handguns dont need snap-caps. they also dont hold up very well in semi-autos. like I said there made for wheel guns there not intended to be cycled through the action of a semi-auto pistol.
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