The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > Hogan's Alley > Handguns: The Semi-automatic Forum

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old December 28, 2012, 11:16 PM   #1
Join Date: August 25, 2012
Posts: 58
Dry firing?

Okay, I'm a complete novice with handguns. I took the required class but have yet to send in the permit paperwork. I just haven't had the $$$ to do so.

Anyway, I pretty much always grew up with the thought that dry firing guns was bad for them.

But this doesn't appear to be accurate for handguns. Can somebody please elaborate?
monkeyfist is offline  
Old December 28, 2012, 11:23 PM   #2
Senior Member
Join Date: September 9, 2008
Location: Woooooshington
Posts: 1,797
You can dry fire a centerfire handgun all you want. Only rimfire handguns have a precaution against it... although many rimfires will tolerate it well.
With some centerfire handguns there are precautions against dropping the slide on an empty gun... best to use snap caps. Read your owners manual to determine what is best for your particular firearm.

Happy New Year!
Shoulder Drive Nicholson Club
Creeper is offline  
Old December 29, 2012, 06:06 PM   #3
Walt Sherrill
Senior Member
Join Date: February 15, 1999
Location: Winston-Salem, NC USA
Posts: 5,820
As Creeper indicated in his response, with centerfire pistols, you're generally OK dry-firing, and it should generally be avoided with rimfire weapons. But, there are exceptions.

Ruger rimfires have firing pin stops, and unless that part is worn or broken, they allow dry-firing. (In fact, you MUST dry fire when field stripping and reassembling the weapon.) Some centerfire guns shouldn't be dry-fired - as is the case with two of the newer Kel-Tecs [the P3AT and PF9], the Beretta Tomcat, and a few other guns. Check the owner's manual. With some rimfires, the chamber wall can be damaged; with some centerfire guns, the firing pin or firing pin block assemblies can be damaged.

If you don't have a manual for your gun, check one of the many websites that has copies... Here's an excellent site:
Walt Sherrill is online now  
Old December 29, 2012, 06:12 PM   #4
Senior Member
Join Date: February 27, 2009
Posts: 392
A co-worker bought a Taurus 85 and brought the manual into work for me to read.

It states do not dry fire.

rmocarsky is offline  
Old December 29, 2012, 06:27 PM   #5
Senior Member
Join Date: July 21, 2011
Location: Idaho
Posts: 7,639
dry firing with 22 calibers is normally discouraged. most centerfires are ok to dry fire and dry firing is a very well accepted practice when trying to build and maintain trigger discipline. many discourage young people from dry firing because of the off chance that they may try it someday without checking to make sure it's empty first and having an accidental discharge.
ignore my complete lack of capitalization. I still have no problem correcting your grammar.
I never said half the stuff people said I did-Albert Einstein
You can't believe everything you read on the internet-Benjamin Franklin
tahunua001 is offline  
Old December 29, 2012, 07:03 PM   #6
Senior Member
Join Date: June 15, 2008
Location: Georgia
Posts: 8,102
There are very few modern guns that will be hurt by dry firing. If in doubt check the owners manual or call the manufacturer. Many older rimfires should not be dry fired. Revolvers with hammer mounted firing pins should be dry fired very little, as well as many double barreled shotguns. Almost all other centerfire handguns and rifles won't be hurt at all and many owners manuals actually encourage it.

I've been dry firing almost every gun I've ever owned, many for close to 40 years, with 100's of thousands of dry fire cycles with no issues at all. I only own 1 centerfire that dry fring is not recommended, a Kel-Tec P-3AT.
jmr40 is offline  
Old December 29, 2012, 10:47 PM   #7
Senior Member
Join Date: October 31, 2009
Location: Ohio
Posts: 779
Many settle on this compromise: dry fire with A-zoom snap caps. When you have them in, go ahead and dry fire all you want. You may be able to use empty brass for 1 or 2 dry fires but the old primer gets dented in to the maximum and doesn't cushion the firing pin after that. I have tried all kinds of things as a substitute but they don't last more than a couple strikes or are really too soft to cushion the pin even if they remain intact/untorn.

Action proving dummies: don't attempt to use these as snap caps. If you look at the bottom of them there is nothing to cushion the firing pin. Their primary purpose is to see if the gun will load/chamber/extract/eject an object shaped like a live round.

A-zooms are more expensive than plastic ones but one snap cap will pretty much last you until you misplace it. I think it says 600 or 6,000 dry fires I don't remember. I've had mine for years and still dry fire from time to time with them.

I think the cz75b is another you want to use snap caps for: I've been told that the firing pin hits a roll pin if it's not stopped by something.

Watch out though: a lot of negligent discharges happen when dry firing. An instructor advised me to remove all ammo from the room before beginning a dry fire practice session.
dyl is offline  
Old December 29, 2012, 10:53 PM   #8
lee n. field
Senior Member
Join Date: October 12, 2002
Location: The same state as Mordor.
Posts: 4,647
Anyway, I pretty much always grew up with the thought that dry firing guns was bad for them.
Now-a-days, not so much. Most are OK, only a few are not. Check the owner's manual.

Those I know that you should not dry fire are Taurus revolvers, and the Kel Tec PF9.
"As was the man of dust, so also are those who are of the dust, and as is the man of heaven, so also are those who are of heaven. Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the man of heaven. "
lee n. field is offline  
Old December 30, 2012, 11:19 AM   #9
Senior Member
Join Date: April 3, 2011
Location: to close to other houses
Posts: 1,170
My kimber 1911s say in the owner book TO dry fire them to let down a cocked hammer. It goes on to say that on an unloaded pistol dropping the hammer by "ridding" it down from full cock can damage it and if the hammer is cocked with the pistol unloaded, the only acceptable way to let it down is to dry fire. Though for practicing trigger control and more than average dry firing, snap caps never hurt anything I use them in my uberti '73 SAAs
BerdanSS is offline  
Old December 31, 2012, 03:23 PM   #10
Senior Member
Join Date: December 14, 2004
Location: Northern Indiana
Posts: 6,073
I advise against dry firing any guns. It puts different stress on the firing pin than it was designed to put up with.
The deceleration of the firing pin is slower when it hits the primer VS stopped by the body hitting the frame. Also the pin that normally strikes the primer sees a negative force rather than a positive force when dryfiring.
Will several hundred times hurt a gun, no. Several thousand, who knows. But if you’re going to train, or build up your trigger finger buy some snap caps, much cheaper than replacing the firing pin. The other advantage with snap caps you can load them in the middle of a magazine and practice clearing a failure.
9mm, package of 5, 12.99$.
It was a sad day when I discovered my universal remote control did not in fact control the universe.

Did you hear about the latest study.....5 out of 6 liberals say that Russian Roulette is safe.
Ozzieman is offline  
Old December 31, 2012, 04:31 PM   #11
Senior Member
Join Date: July 21, 2011
Location: Idaho
Posts: 7,639
US Navy puts all recruits through a dry fire battery before ever giving them a live round. there are several techniques which naval small arms instructors are encouraged to use on recruits needing extra instruction including
1.the coin test: balance a coin on the muzzle end of the gun and order dry fire. the idea is to get good enough that the coin does not flip off when the trigger is pulled.
2. pencil test, order a recruit to put a pencil(sharp end out) down the barrel up the gun and stand inches away from a scaled down paper target and order to fire. the idea being that the firing pin will launch the pencil with just enough force to punch through the paper and show the recruit just how far off he is making it by flexing his firing hand.

3. just plain old dry firing.

all are part of the Navy Small Arms Instructors Toolset. a course I took while bored on duty days.
ignore my complete lack of capitalization. I still have no problem correcting your grammar.
I never said half the stuff people said I did-Albert Einstein
You can't believe everything you read on the internet-Benjamin Franklin
tahunua001 is offline  
Old December 31, 2012, 07:24 PM   #12
Senior Member
Join Date: November 18, 2007
Location: Tuscaloosa, AL
Posts: 479
Refer to your service manual. Most are ok to dry fire, but some say don't. To be on the safe side, just buy some snap caps and have fun.
AdamSean is offline  

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 10:33 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2016 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent:
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.07826 seconds with 9 queries