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Old November 7, 2017, 09:40 PM   #1
dyl
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Snap Cap modification to try

Just reporting a snap cap modification I read somewhere a while ago. It couldn't have been a high traffic site or else I would have remembered where to.

This was specifically for A-Zoom snap caps. There is a concern of wear and tear from extractor claw marks and gouging the aluminum from partial extraction to reset the striker. Some people get shavings of red aluminum - big deal, wipe them out. I'm actually not so worried about that as I am the snap cap wearing out at the faux "case mouth" where it headspaces off of with repeated use. It hasn't happened to me yet, but if the case mouth gets battered, the primer cushion won't provide as much cushioning as it won't be pressed back against the breech face. But that's just me being fussy.

The trick: file/grind off a portion of the case rim so that the extractor claw can NOT grab it. The snap cap will stay in the chamber, you are free to reciprocate the slide full power.

Pro: you won't train yourself to do a quasi press-check to re-cock the striker which doesn't have any business in your muscle memory. You could be doing a full power tap-rack-bang (well...click, not bang unless you're at the range). Loading the snap cap could bypass the magazine, just drop into chamber. Maybe less wear to the unit.

Con: Getting the snap cap out would mean a fingernail or a pencil down the barrel. And you had to grind away that pretty red annodization.

I haven't tried it yet, but theoretically it should work. I hate gingerly resetting the striker. It just seems out of place to me. I suppose it does force one to slow down.
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Old November 7, 2017, 10:36 PM   #2
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I wonder how many guys will try to fire a live round with the snap cap still chambered.

Neat trick
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Old November 8, 2017, 09:23 PM   #3
dyl
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Voodoo Mountain - well then, that would be a great chance to clear a double feed. Which is something you would NOT want to have to do in your carry gun. I see your point!
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Old November 9, 2017, 03:21 PM   #4
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I just reloaded a couple of home-made snap caps (9mm). Dead primer, no powder, bullet painted black.
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Old November 9, 2017, 05:34 PM   #5
Smoke & Recoil
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The home brew snap-cap using a spent primer will fail by way of constant impact from the firing pin.
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Old November 18, 2017, 12:20 PM   #6
ken grant
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I also make my own snap caps/ dummy rds.
Size , de-prime , seat bullet , fill primer pocket with Silicone Sealer and let set up .
Lasts for 1,000's of dry fire or ball & dummy drills .
I have made them for all my pistol calibers plus 7.62 X 51 and 5.56 .
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Old November 18, 2017, 01:27 PM   #7
AK103K
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Ive been using the AZoom's, pretty much daily with some guns, for a couple of decades now, and have found them to be the best snap caps by far. They cost a little more than the others, but they are well worth the few extra bucks.

For the most part, Ive never really had an issue with the rims being so chewed up to the point they wouldnt extract, but I usually replace them when they start getting to that point. "That point", is generally a bazillion snaps or so down the line though. Unlike the red plastic "Tipton" type, and others.

Nor have I ever had the "case mouth" chewed up enough to affect function. The "primer" has never degraded, fallen apart, or appeared to have been pierced either.

There was a time I tried making my own, using a case, with a new bullet set and some silicone in the primer pocket, but they never lasted very long. You also have to worry about bullets coming out and getting lodged, and pieces of the "primer" doing the same. I also dont like using things that look just like live ammo when in the gun.

Snap caps are just another level of safety, and its better they are instantly identifiable as such. Homemade dummies and snap caps are too easily mistaken for something else, and vice versa, and just asking for trouble.
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Old November 21, 2017, 11:01 AM   #8
doofus47
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Are there any legal ramifications to modifying your snap caps?

I'm just kidding.
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Old November 21, 2017, 11:59 AM   #9
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The comments about the best types of snap caps seems to go on without hard data. Some people swear by A-Zooms, and others insist that the spring-loaded "primer" of Tiptons is better for the firing pin. Arguments for both sides make sense. I have used both, both have showed wear, and none of my guns have ever broken in a way that made me think a snap cap let me down. I'm not willing to say which is better, but I think both types need to be replaced periodically.
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Old November 21, 2017, 01:12 PM   #10
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I dont think snap caps are necessary for most center fire pistols and revolvers.

We all know that dry firing is critical to good pistol/revolver marksmanship there are ways to improve dry firing.

As I mentioned before, I like the use of laser sights for dryfiring as it shows where the would be group would land on the target.

A while back I picked up one of those I Target systems that allow the groups from dry firing to be recorded on the cell phone. They work pretty good.

Its not necessary to use the cell phone with the system. The I Target used a cartridge that fires a laser dot onto the target. It looks different enough that you cant mistake a live round for dryfiring.

The soft rear center of the I target snap cap works as any other snap cap but it also triggers the laser light.

Something worth looking into.

https://www.itargetpro.com/collections/frontpage
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Old November 21, 2017, 02:12 PM   #11
Bill DeShivs
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I have said this at least a hundred times on the forums-

Using silicone, hot glue, rubber, etc. in a primer pocket gives you absolutely NO protection for your firing pin. Use real snap caps.
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Old December 27, 2017, 07:33 AM   #12
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I can't really see this improving "muscle memory" type training but.....

Being able to duplicate FTE malfunctions at will can have the advantage of helping to properly diagnose problems. Having one or two snapcaps with the rim shaved off might actually be a useful thing to have in the tool box.
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Old December 27, 2017, 02:31 PM   #13
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I have never used snap caps as a part of training.. I wouldn't spend hours and hours (dry firing). If I want to train, I go to the range.
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Old December 27, 2017, 04:27 PM   #14
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Quote:
I have never used snap caps as a part of training.. I don't sit around dry firing and when I want to train, I go to the range.
Dry firing, laser practice, etc is where you should hone your technique.

Live firing at the range is the exam after the lesson.
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Old December 27, 2017, 06:01 PM   #15
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I did buy a few snap caps a while back ------but sitting in the house...ideal conditions...and NO recoil led me o believe I may BE Training IN Bad Habits

Snap caps are ONLY used to orient myself to different weapon trigger ...OR prove function -----as I cycle my collection out of and into storage

Many will argue their value.... for various reasons ----and what ever works for you is OK for me

I do exploit all sorts of lasers and devices for many reasons... but to fully train for shot alignment, trigger pull, and the host of other factors of seeing, drawing, chocking, sighting, follow up, drop to cover...reacquire target, assess situation, continue or cease fire....seems to me the reliance on snap cap devices is marginal...

yes there is a argument about training proper trigger pull....

BUT for 10 rounds of a 20 round box of XX ammo...this skill can be learned at a range and the muscle memory WITH RECOIL....is longer lasting IMO
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Old December 28, 2017, 02:50 AM   #16
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Back in ancient times when all new police hirees carried a S&W Combat Magnum ( lots of power needed to subdue errant dionasaurs) I spent uncountable hours developing a smooth trigger pull and correct sight picture. I quickly became active in PPC or practical Police course shooting, joined the dept. pistol team and we quickly advanced to one of the best teams in the state even though from a small department and limited resources.
I am suggesting that constant work on sight picture, trigger squeeze, follow through etc while dry firing was the key to my success in competitive shooting and confidence I could use the weapon properly if need be.
I use snap caps in all of my Spanish firearms and have yet to break a pin as a result.

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Old December 28, 2017, 05:13 AM   #17
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I'm sure there are many competition shooters that use snap caps and others that don't. They certainly have their rightful place. Although I think I will stick to using actual snap caps instead of making them. I just don't see any modification like the OP was suggesting to be something to do for any reason other than as a diagnostic tool.

As for their use:
It's like quiting smoking. Some people can quit by going cold turkey and some require the gum. The patch worked for me. The idea is to find a way to hone your skills and do it in a safe and responsible manner. I have them, like them, and would encourage their use.
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Old December 28, 2017, 02:00 PM   #18
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Quote:
Dry firing, laser practice, etc is where you should hone your technique.
Live firing at the range is the exam after the lesson.
I guess I am just lucky to have somehow managed to achieve any sort marksmanship skill without sitting around all day dry firing an empty weapon.
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Old December 28, 2017, 04:44 PM   #19
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I have been shooting for over 50 years and I still find dry fire practice to be helpful. There are gradations between never practicing dry fire, as you profess, and spending entire days doing it, as you assume others to do. If you don't want to practice with snap caps, no one is forcing you to. A lot of people benefit from it, though, and your contempt for those who do is kind of puzzling.
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Old December 29, 2017, 09:29 AM   #20
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contempt is the wrong word

I simply think that there is a point of diminished returns which can be crossed and this subject has seemingly been romanticized into something well beyond it. That's just my take on it and if my comments have given anyone a reason to at least consider where "diminished returns" might exist, maybe it helps them in the long run.
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Old December 29, 2017, 08:12 PM   #21
James K
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For many years I made my own dummy rounds by loading sized cases with a piece of plastic (to fill the powder space) and a bullet. I used pieces of nylon rod for primers to protect the firing pin. If necessary, I also ground off the section of rim the extractor would engage so the case would not be ejected when the gun was operated to recock the hammer/striker. In many "shots" fired in practice, I never accidentally loaded a live round (how?) or shot holes in the wall.

Jim
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Old December 29, 2017, 09:49 PM   #22
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Quote:
I have said this at least a hundred times on the forums-

Using silicone, hot glue, rubber, etc. in a primer pocket gives you absolutely NO protection for your firing pin. Use real snap caps.
And I've read a good portion of those posts, Bill ..... still have yet to break, or even hear of, a broken firing pin due to using homemade caps ..... and been doing it for years .... in fact most, if not all of the broken firing pins I read about are recent new production guns just out of the box ....
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