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View Full Version : Why is dry firing bad???


J.D.Allen
10-06-2011, 8:15 AM
I've read about many pistols which are not supposed to be dry fired, or at least not in certain conditions, like the SR9 which (I could be wrong) isn't supposed to be dry fired without the magazine in place. With others I've heard that you're just not supposed to do it "too much", or use snap caps. I've always wondered why. What's the difference between the firing pin striking something or not striking something?

G60
10-06-2011, 8:17 AM
It's not.

Coded-Dude
10-06-2011, 8:19 AM
It is absolutely damaging to the firing pin of a rimfire to be dry-fired. Centerfire, not so much.

this

ZombieTactics
10-06-2011, 8:19 AM
I've read about many pistols which are not supposed to be dry fired, or at least not in certain conditions, like the SR9 which (I could be wrong) isn't supposed to be dry fired without the magazine in place. ...

In the case of the Ruger SR series, repeated dry-firing can cause a gritty trigger mechanism owing to the way the magazine disconnect feature is implemented.

redking
10-06-2011, 8:21 AM
In a rim fire the pin slams against the chamber and wears it down to the point it will no longer fire.

Same thing in most shotguns as far as I know.

In a center fire rifle or pistol i've been told it simply wears the mechanisms but at a much much much slower rate.

so you wouldn't want to do it in your ww2 1911 or your p38

but I don't think it would be a problem in anything new.

except maybe a glock. those things just fall apart ;)

J.D.Allen
10-06-2011, 8:21 AM
Hmmm...so there's no reason for me to invest in snap caps then???

Bhobbs
10-06-2011, 8:23 AM
Hmmm...so there's no reason for me to invest in snap caps then???

Not true. They are great for function testing a firearm. After you field strip or work on a firearm you could load a few in a mag to make sure it feeds, extracts and ejects properly.

robcoe
10-06-2011, 8:27 AM
I've read about many pistols which are not supposed to be dry fired, or at least not in certain conditions, like the SR9 which (I could be wrong) isn't supposed to be dry fired without the magazine in place. With others I've heard that you're just not supposed to do it "too much", or use snap caps. I've always wondered why. What's the difference between the firing pin striking something or not striking something?

In the case of the SR9 it is fine to dry fire as long as the magazine is in place. As for others, it really depends on the gun, for example, my 1911, no problem, same with every gun I own actually(Unless it was for a very specific purpose I would not want a gun that could not be dry fired).

Hmmm...so there's no reason for me to invest in snap caps then???

Actually I have at least a few snap caps in every caliber I own, great for function testing without worrying about a round accidentally going off.

LDSGJimbo
10-06-2011, 8:27 AM
However there really are no good rimfire snap Caps which is where they are needed most.

Sent from my motorola with tapatalk.

bsg
10-06-2011, 8:33 AM
if you have one... i wouldn't advise you dry fire a Raven; the Raven was/is known for having a brittle firing pin. there are replacement firing pins available that can rectify that.

esartori
10-06-2011, 8:33 AM
I snapcaps are great. Not only do they help trigger practice, but you can also use them to find and fix your flinch. As mentioned, can also help for practicing failure drills, function tests, etc. Definitely a good investment considering its only a few dollars.

sholling
10-06-2011, 8:38 AM
As others have said dry firing a rimfire is a bad idea. On the other hand it's not a problem with most centerfire pistols. There have been a few exceptions like early M&Ps that experienced broken firing pins when dry fired excessively. Snap-caps are a good idea if you're going to dry fire over and over and over as some do but keep in mind that they do wear out over time. Personally I've never been a fan of obsessive dry firing but some people do it for hours at a time.

Bug Splat
10-06-2011, 8:41 AM
Ever since breaking a firing pin while dryfiring (and not realizing it) I never dryfire without snap-caps. I have dryfired dozens of guns for years without a problem but it only takes one time to destroy your trust. I feel better using them.

darkgrue
10-06-2011, 9:01 AM
In a rim fire the pin slams against the chamber and wears it down to the point it will no longer fire.

Not true in the general sense. In a rimfire, the problem with dry-firing came from the striker hitting the breechface, which could result in the breechface being marred and the firing pin being damaged as well. Generally, it's the breechface that's damaged critically before the firing pin is damaged, but both are at risk if it's not designed to handle dry firing.

But a lot of modern rimfires can be safely dry-fired. For example, the (current production) Ruger 10/22 manual (http://www.ruger.com/products/_manuals/1022.pdf) states that "The rifle can be “dry fired” for practice as long as it is empty and pointed in a safe direction."

I found an article online (although it wasn't dated), that said they'd contacted various manufacturers and got varied responses: Anschutz does not recommend dry-firing its rimfires, and recommended installing a special firing pin for frequent dry-firing. Ruger said the 10/22 could be dry fired without damaging it (the article only mentioned the 10/22, but I believe this is also true for Ruger's recent-production handguns as well). Henry said dry-firing is fine. Browning said it's fine for newer guns. However, Smith & Wesson said that dry-firing could damage rimfires.

So, really depends on the firearm, and where in its production life it is.

Same thing in most shotguns as far as I know.

In a shotgun, the firing pin cannot hit the breechface, but the pin will impact the end of the firing pin channel. In older shotguns, this could result in damage to the receiver, or the firing pin shattering.

Again, depends on the firearm. I don't dry-fire my 1956 Superposed for exactly that reason.

In a center fire rifle or pistol i've been told it simply wears the mechanisms but at a much much much slower rate.

so you wouldn't want to do it in your ww2 1911 or your p38

Agreed, older firearms probably shouldn't be dry-fired (until you've verified they were designed to do so, and that there are no issues with doing so).

AR-15 lowers should never be dry-fired without an upper and BCG in place (the hammer will impact against the bolt catch and is likely to crack the lower).

Dryfiring in preparation for a round is pretty common at the highpower and carbine matches I've attended. Admittedly anecdotal, but I haven't seen anyone reluctant to dry-fire their Garand.

but I don't think it would be a problem in anything new.

Probably true, but worth checking with the manufacturer.

except maybe a glock. those things just fall apart ;)

:wacko:

Head416
10-06-2011, 9:06 AM
I snapcaps are great. Not only do they help trigger practice, but you can also use them to find and fix your flinch. As mentioned, can also help for practicing failure drills, function tests, etc. Definitely a good investment considering its only a few dollars.

^ this! Mix them in a mag with live ammo and watch what happens. Though you might want to make sure nobody is looking when you do it the first time! :D

PRCABR4Christ
10-06-2011, 9:19 AM
Most modern guns are made to be able to dry fire, the only guns I would not consider dry firing would be an old .22....someone mentioned a WWI 1911 and a P38? There is no worries with dry firing them :)

Turo
10-06-2011, 9:24 AM
In a some rim fire guns the pin slams against the chamber and wears it down to the point it will no longer fire.

Same thing in most shotguns as far as I know.

In a center fire rifle or pistol i've been told it simply wears the mechanisms but at a much much much slower rate.

so you wouldn't want to do it in your ww2 1911 or your p38

but I don't think it would be a problem in anything new.

except maybe a glock. those things just fall apart ;)

Fixed it for you. In half of the .22lr firearms I have, there's a block that doesn't allow the firing pin to hit the edge of the chamber if there's no round in there.

Coded-Dude
10-06-2011, 9:25 AM
Most modern guns are made to be able to dry fire, the only guns I would not consider dry firing would be an old .22....someone mentioned a WWI 1911 and a P38? There is no worries with dry firing them :)

22 is rimfire and you should never dry fire one(new or old).

redking
10-06-2011, 9:48 AM
Not true in the general sense. In a rimfire, the problem with dry-firing came from the striker hitting the breechface, which could result in the breechface being marred and the firing pin being damaged as well. Generally, it's the breechface that's damaged critically before the firing pin is damaged, but both are at risk if it's not designed to handle dry firing.

But a lot of modern rimfires can be safely dry-fired. For example, the (current production) Ruger 10/22 manual (http://www.ruger.com/products/_manuals/1022.pdf) states that "The rifle can be “dry fired” for practice as long as it is empty and pointed in a safe direction."

I found an article online (although it wasn't dated), that said they'd contacted various manufacturers and got varied responses: Anschutz does not recommend dry-firing its rimfires, and recommended installing a special firing pin for frequent dry-firing. Ruger said the 10/22 could be dry fired without damaging it (the article only mentioned the 10/22, but I believe this is also true for Ruger's recent-production handguns as well). Henry said dry-firing is fine. Browning said it's fine for newer guns. However, Smith & Wesson said that dry-firing could damage rimfires.

So, really depends on the firearm, and where in its production life it is.



In a shotgun, the firing pin cannot hit the breechface, but the pin will impact the end of the firing pin channel. In older shotguns, this could result in damage to the receiver, or the firing pin shattering.

Again, depends on the firearm. I don't dry-fire my 1956 Superposed for exactly that reason.



Agreed, older firearms probably shouldn't be dry-fired (until you've verified they were designed to do so, and that there are no issues with doing so).

AR-15 lowers should never be dry-fired without an upper and BCG in place (the hammer will impact against the bolt catch and is likely to crack the lower).

Dryfiring in preparation for a round is pretty common at the highpower and carbine matches I've attended. Admittedly anecdotal, but I haven't seen anyone reluctant to dry-fire their Garand.



Probably true, but worth checking with the manufacturer.



:wacko:

Thanks for clearing that up, I don't know much about the actual mechanics of guns, just what my daddy taught me :o

AragornElessar86
10-06-2011, 11:24 AM
The other consideration is that really all you're worried about is your firing pin, which is like a $12 part and maybe 10 mins to replace on the majority of firearms. Oh, and for those of you who can't find rimfire snap caps, just look on the ground after you take your rimfire out for a range day. :thumbsup:

viet4lifeOC
10-06-2011, 11:40 AM
I found some and was going to buy a pack of .22 snap caps. Bought it from a salesperson behind the display case who recommended it to me. At checkout..the cashier/salesperson recommended that I dont buy it because the snap caps wouldn't prevent damage to the .22 gun.

So...can you dry fire a .22 with snap caps?

Thank you....very informative thread

PRCABR4Christ
10-06-2011, 11:49 AM
22 is rimfire and you should never dry fire one(new or old).

actually, modern .22 rimfires are perfectly ok to dry fire, older ones are not unless you know it has a block preventing firing pin damage

Zartan
10-06-2011, 11:50 AM
I found some and was going to buy a pack of .22 snap caps. Bought it from a salesperson behind the display case who recommended it to me. At checkout..the cashier/salesperson recommended that I dont buy it because the snap caps wouldn't prevent damage to the .22 gun.

So...can you dry fire a .22 with snap caps?

Thank you....very informative thread

I'd say they're more of a dummy round than a snap cap. Once you use it a few times, the rim of the dummy round will start to get all pitted and mashed up. It serves it purpose.

caoboy
10-06-2011, 11:53 AM
For rimfire I just take a handful of spent cases home with me if I need to dry fire.

nrgcruizer
10-06-2011, 5:06 PM
I had a cheap .25 ACP Raven once. It was a striker pin. I dry fired the living heck out of it and the tip of the firing pin broke. Needless to say, I can chamber a round. But since the tip was gone, it never fired.

Dry firing is like a whiplash motion. There's no surface for the firing pin to disperse the energy on from a forward motion.

When they issued me my M16, I dry fired it all day long to practice trigger pull & breathing discipline. No snap caps or anything. So did 52 other guys in my platoon. Nothing ever happened to our firing pin.

One would have to consider the make & quality of the firearm to dry fire. Snap caps are great insurance to have a surface to transfer the energy to when dry firing.

orangeusa
10-06-2011, 5:15 PM
Except for 22LR's, I wouldn't own a gun you can't dryfire at least a couple hundred times w/o damage.

I was told my Ruger P series and I was told Beretta 92/96 couldn't be dry fired w/o damaging it - FUD.

831Shooter
10-06-2011, 6:24 PM
22 is rimfire and you should never dry fire one(new or old).

Simply not true.. Entirely depends on the gun.

As a general rule, if you do not know for sure, I would not dry fire a rimfire until I did find out for sure.

READ YOUR MANUALS!

From the Ruger 10/22 manual:

"The rifle can be “dry fired” for practice as long as it is empty and pointed in a safe direction."

From the Ruger website FAQ:

Can I dry fire my Ruger rifle?

"Yes. All Ruger rifles can be dry fired without damage, and dry firing can be useful to familiarize the owner with the firearm. However, be sure any firearm is completely unloaded before dry firing!

Can I dry fire my Ruger P-Series and .22 pistols?

Yes. All Ruger pistols can be dry fired without damage, and dry firing can be useful to familiarize the owner with the firearm. However, be sure any firearm is completely unloaded before dry firing!

Chief-7700
10-06-2011, 6:42 PM
1911's can be dry fired all day long with no harm to the firing pin. The advantage of a 1911 over a Glock is you just cock the hammer and not rack the slide.

Turo
10-06-2011, 6:45 PM
1911's can be dry fired all day long with no harm to the firing pin. The advantage of a 1911 over a Glock is you just cock the hammer and not rack the slide.

Trying to start something are we?

tacticalcity
10-06-2011, 6:52 PM
It isn't bad. It is a critcal step in mastering any firearm. It's how you become a better shooter. 90% of your trigger control mastery comes from dryfire.

It's an opinion that applies to rim fires but is mistakenly applied to centerfire guns. Damage to centerfire guns from dryfire (or atleast attributed to dryfire whether it is true or not) is very rare. But even if it would break your gun the 100,000,000th time every time it would still be worth it. Because without it, you will get yourself killed in a firefight. You can replace gun parts and even entire guns. You can't replace yourself once you're dead.

I've dryfire practiced daily for the last 10 years. Never had an issue or caused damage to my firearms.

Chief-7700
10-06-2011, 6:53 PM
Trying to start something are we?

No just stating facts.

TheExpertish
10-06-2011, 6:57 PM
It isn't bad. It is a critcal step in mastering any firearm. It's how you become a better shooter. 90% of your trigger control mastery comes from dryfire.

It's an opinion that is a hold over from rimfires. Damage to centerfire guns from dryfire (or atleast attributed to dryfire whether it is true or not) is very rare. But even if it would break your gun the 100,000,000th time...it would still be worth it. Because without it, you will get yourself killed in a firefight. You can replace gun parts and even entire guns. You can't replace yourself.

I've dryfire practiced daily for the last 10 years. Never had an issue or caused damage to my firearms.

Couldn't have said it better myself. I was taught to dryfire for trigger control from day 1. My H&K can be dryfired, but someone somewhere heard of a friend who's cousin broke the firing pin while dryfiring. If it breaks I'll send it to H&K for a new pin. If you're that worried get some snap caps. They're useful as well in practicing clearing malfunctions.

tbhracing
10-06-2011, 7:07 PM
I gotta ask- What about German Sig P226? Is it safe to dry fire those?

GM4spd
10-07-2011, 4:07 AM
Do not dry fire a Colt 22 conversion unit or Service Model Ace---this
is the result:(

http://www.fototime.com/6654002C96C326E/standard.jpg

nrgcruizer
10-14-2011, 12:06 PM
No just stating facts.

You don't need to fully rack a Glock to lock the striker pin back. It can be done with one hand and all you need is to rack the slide about .50 inch.

Ultimate
10-14-2011, 12:17 PM
Guns with a firing pin stop pin (yeah its confusing to say) can damage their stop pin and the firing pin will not return to the ready to fire position. Nothing 10 to 15 dollars max wont fix but its just a heads up. Also it takes a whole lot of dry firing to damage the stop pin.

Guns without it normally strike the back of the breach face which can lead to premature wear on the firing pin stop block (integrated to the firing pin and designed for that purpose) or in some quality check snafus can break the breach face.

Rim fire firearms are a whole other matter because there is so many different designs some can strike the chamber while others do not.

scootle
10-14-2011, 4:59 PM
Oh, and for those of you who can't find rimfire snap caps, just look on the ground after you take your rimfire out for a range day. :thumbsup:

For rimfire I just take a handful of spent cases home with me if I need to dry fire.

I'd be very careful doing this... spent rimfire cases are very soft and can easily be deformed while dry firing to the point that the extractor can no longer pull them from the chamber properly when you want to remove the empty casing... which can be a bit of a pain.

For most centerfire pistols, dry fire is OK... something you should NOT do on any firearm is allow the slide to slam home on an empty chamber (e.g. if you are practicing reloads on empty magazines). The presence of a cartridge or snap cap in the chamber helps to cushion the impact as the slide slams home.

As a practice, you have to be careful when dry firing that you don't develop or reinforce other bad habits in the process... ;)

osxgp
10-14-2011, 7:19 PM
I think it is bad to dry fire a gun because it is metal slamming against metal. Without the primer to soften the blow, it can wear down. Not to mention, the firing pin tends to be forced to go farther than intended. However, most modern guns dont have that issue. When in doubt, use snap caps or some kind of dummy rounds.

KracknCorn
10-15-2011, 7:03 AM
Dry firing a cz-75 sp01 is bad because the firing pin is held in place by a roll pin. Repeated dry fire will break that roll pin eventually... but hey, it's a roll pin and easily replaced. Or you can get a solid pin. Shadows I believe are held in by a plate, like a 1911, so you can dry fire those all day.