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View Full Version : Is it OK to Dry Fire an AR15?


Phil3
11-04-2009, 8:49 AM
The title says it all...safe to dry fire an AR15? I am new to ARs, but after each shot, the trigger is cocked, so it appears one must always effectively dry-fire the gun at some point (i.e., when finished shooting).

- Phil

Jicko
11-04-2009, 8:52 AM
yes

AmpedUp
11-04-2009, 8:52 AM
Yes its fine. Just need to make sure you don't dry fire a lower with no upper or BCG.

Group B
11-04-2009, 8:52 AM
Yes

1988
11-04-2009, 9:23 AM
Yes its fine. Just need to make sure you don't dry fire a lower with no upper or BCG.

Why ? Please explain.

Packy14
11-04-2009, 9:25 AM
Why ? Please explain.

you will crack your lower

bender152
11-04-2009, 9:32 AM
Why ? Please explain.

The hammer strikes the bolt catch and could cause damage.

WeekendWarrior
11-04-2009, 9:46 AM
WWRTW

reidnez
11-04-2009, 9:51 AM
The title says it all...safe to dry fire an AR15? I am new to ARs, but after each shot, the trigger is cocked, so it appears one must always effectively dry-fire the gun at some point (i.e., when finished shooting).

- Phil

Why do you assume that to be the case? Many rifles and pistols sit for years and decades cocked, and they function just fine. If it were a bad design, then all weapons would come with decocking levers.

It is usage (compression and expansion) that wears out springs, not constant compression. But even that is a rather moot point, as good springs last a very long time (thousands of rounds) and are cheap to replace in any event.

It's quite fine to dry-fire an AR, and in fact snapping in is a very good way to practice shooting positions and trigger control at home. When I was a young Marine recruit, we snapped in a couple thousand times before we were given live rounds on the range. Just make sure you thoroughly clear the weapon (by sight and feel) multiple times before you do it. Don't even have live rounds in the same room.

Phil3
11-04-2009, 10:20 AM
As a matter of practice, I don't store weapons in a cocked state. I could so, as you state, and be safe with the safety on, when I load with a mag at soime future date. But, just my preference, I don't want the weapon cocked when not being used.

I have heard of magazine springs for pistols weakening by being left in a loaded (compressed) state for prolonged period, but I was not considering that with regards to the AR.

I will use dry snapping at home to practice. That is helpful.

- Phil

MasterYong
11-04-2009, 11:01 AM
no facepalm image yet? CGers... ima disappointed in you!

i'm actually surprised every has said yes. Usually with these threads there are a hundred people on both sides of the fence regardless of the weapon in question...

Fate
11-04-2009, 12:46 PM
I have heard of magazine springs for pistols weakening by being left in a loaded (compressed) state for prolonged period,
This is an old wives tale.

Phil3
11-04-2009, 12:52 PM
This is an old wives tale.

There must be a lot of wives out there...but have seen no compelling evidence to prove springs whilst remaining compressed. At least other than the fact that every vehicle on the road is supported by springs and precious few of them have sacked out after holding up a ton or two (or three) for a decade or more. - Phil

shark92651
11-04-2009, 1:01 PM
The hammer strikes the bolt catch and could cause damage.

This is true. I've seen a bolt catch snapped in half from dry-firing a completed lower just a few times without an upper in place.

high_revs
11-04-2009, 1:18 PM
that's what i heard/read in the past too. i used snap caps. for example, my rra 2-stage trigger instruction says test the trigger but don't let it hit the bolt catch. so i have a finger on it ready to catch it since i don't have an upper on. it's not often i'll dry fire anyway even with upper on unless i put my snap caps in there.

even then, don't you still get some unnecessary wear with snap caps?

bigger hammer
11-04-2009, 1:27 PM
I know of MANY guns that won't be harmed in slightest by decades of dry firing.

I know of many guns that WILL be harmed by being dry fired, some in a surprisingly small number of trigger pulls.

I know of ABSOLUTELY NO GUNS that will be harmed by dry firing with a snap cap in place.

For me; snap caps are a cheap investment AND they make completely sure that a live round is not in the chamber when the trigger is pulled. This forum and the Net are full of "aw *****s" from people who have made that mistake.

Greg-Dawg
11-04-2009, 1:52 PM
even then, don't you still get some unnecessary wear with snap caps?

That's why you get more than one snap cap.

But I still have some snap caps that have been cycled and dry fired for 90K times; they're still good to go.

jmlivingston
11-04-2009, 7:10 PM
In the military we dry-fired our M16's all the time, frequently for hours a day. Never had a problem with it.

Milsurp Collector
11-04-2009, 7:23 PM
There must be a lot of wives out there...but have seen no compelling evidence to prove springs whilst remaining compressed. At least other than the fact that every vehicle on the road is supported by springs and precious few of them have sacked out after holding up a ton or two (or three) for a decade or more. - Phil

Good article about magazine spring myths http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0BTT/is_163_27/ai_99130369/

russ69
11-04-2009, 7:51 PM
Springs will only "weaken" if the wire is compressed to the yield point of the metal. No modern design will do that. Temper can be lost due to heat cycling (annealing) but temps would have to be higher than what a human would be able to survive in. Cocked is OK.

Thanx, Russ

HK Dave
11-04-2009, 8:03 PM
you will crack your lower

What he said.

If the rifle is complete... dry fire until your fingers turn blue. :)

If your pin magically breaks... order a new one at $7

http://www.bravocompanyusa.com/Firing-Pin-AR15-p/firing%20pin%20ar15.htm

ddimick
11-04-2009, 8:35 PM
You can dry fire just about any centerfire firearm all day long. The same cannot be said for rimfire. You're safe to dry fire your assembled AR15 in most of the common calibers, but consult the manufacturer before doing same with a .22 upper or conversion kit.

AlliedArmory
11-04-2009, 8:42 PM
yes it is fine to dry fire a AR15

TurnersGunslinger
11-04-2009, 9:22 PM
you will do no harm. the Marine Corps dry fires their 16's hundered's of thousands of times during drill, snapping in before rifle qual and nothing happens except it goes click.