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Old December 27, 1999, 10:09 AM   #1
Join Date: December 23, 1999
Location: Burlington, CT, USA
Posts: 39
Will dry firing a gun damage the firing pin?
I've heard yes and no by many people, who's right?
Does the type of gun matter? O/U shotgun? Paraordnance P14? Ruger 10/22? AR-15?
(I don't mean thousands of times but an occasional snap, perhaps to store a gun without tension on hammer spring.)
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Old December 27, 1999, 09:15 PM   #2
George Stringer
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Zardoz, dry firing most centerfire firearms won't hurt a thing. But as sure as I say that you'll break your firing pin. Cheap insurance comes in the form of snap caps but the occasional dry fire as you mentioned won't hurt anything. Never dry fire a rimfire. George
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Old December 28, 1999, 09:20 AM   #3
Join Date: December 23, 1999
Location: Burlington, CT, USA
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Goerge; what will happen to a .22 rimfire if I dry fire the trigger to store in without tension on the hammer springs?
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Old December 28, 1999, 04:07 PM   #4
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Please correct me if I am wrong, but I'm fairly sure Sig Sauer specifically recommends no "dry firing" of their "P series" semiautomatics. That, in fact, is one reason they frequently suggest mandatory use of the "decocker".
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Old December 28, 1999, 06:31 PM   #5
James K
Join Date: March 17, 1999
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Hi, folks,

I'll second George and even say that dry firing a properly designed rimfire gun will not hurt anything. The concern there is not that the firing pin might be damaged, but that the firing pin will strike the edge of the chamber and peen it so that a round won't chamber. Still, if designed right, with a solid firing pin stop, this will not happen. With older guns, especially the old "cat rifles", dry firing is harmful.

Most makers of pistols with a decocking device say not to dry fire or let the hammer down for safety reasons, not concern about harming the gun. The decocker blocks the firing pin so it is safer than dropping the hammer (yes, Virginia, people have dropped the hammer on a live round when they thought the gun was empty) or letting it down with the thumb.

If you have that type of gun, get used to using the decocker; it is the best route for safety.


[This message has been edited by Jim Keenan (edited December 28, 1999).]
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Old January 8, 2000, 10:59 AM   #6
Ruger guy
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Ruger says in their 10/22 instruction manual to dry fire the gun to get used to it and to do it until you are totally comfortable with the basic operation. My son pointed this out to me when I caught him doing it and told him never to dry fire a rim fire.

However, Taurus says to always use snap caps when dry firing their revolvers because the floating firing pin can be damaged.

My baby eagle manual doesn't mention it at all.

I guess it depends on the individual gun.
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Old January 9, 2000, 06:25 AM   #7
Unkel Gilbey
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Join Date: February 26, 1999
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I think that as a rule of thumb, it is a good thing to NOT dry fire any rimfire. I say this because there are hundreds of different rimfires out there rifles and pistols, and some you can safely dry fire, and some you shouldn't, etc. Why not load a fired case and snap on that? It works really well in a revolver, and also in bolt actions where you can manually cock the hammer/striker. This way, you can dry fire, and have the means of protecting the chamber with that old shell.
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