View Full Version : Having snap caps in mag, considered loaded?

04-19-2008, 10:18 AM
Question, consider you're traveling to the range with gun "unloaded" in locked case in the back of your Nissan Xterra trunk. Live ammo is in separate area, but gun has magazine with snap caps.

How's that work if an LEO pulls me over? Legal?

By the way, snap caps are great for practicing.


04-19-2008, 10:30 AM
Up here in San Jose, he told me of a person at a traffic stop. Officer checks the firearms, sees the snap caps, and arrests. Took a while to prove that they were not live ammo an only inert.

Now, I use them at home for my rimfires, but take them out when I am done dryfiring. Or, I use them for flinch and TRB drills at the range.

04-19-2008, 10:45 AM
That reminds me of when I first took my Marlin 795 out a few weeks ago.

I get to the range and start loading the magazine, "WTF, only four are loading?!" I'd left six snap caps in the magazine from when I was giving it a function check after I bought it.

04-19-2008, 11:03 AM
It's all around easier just to make sure the magazine isn't in the gun and there isn't one in the chamber.

If the snap caps are in the magazine and the magazine is in the gun, then you are relying on the police officer to know both the law and what snap caps are.

04-19-2008, 11:34 AM
I figured. I've always wondered about it. Thanks for the replys.

04-19-2008, 1:13 PM
Aside from a cop freaking out, I think SnapCaps can be dangerous because it may lead to a casualness - "hey, just snap caps, it's unloaded".

I think SnapCaps should be used for specific function testing and then locked away.

I think you want to be mentally attuned to seeing/thinking "empty chamber" vs. "full chamber", "empty mag" vs. "full mag" and not worry about further differentiation of ammo types.

04-19-2008, 5:31 PM
I use snap caps all the time at home. I practice all the time with them. I've learned to not confuse them with live ammo.

I don't take them to the range (or outside) ever.

I don't trust a police officer to know that water is wet, let alone what a snap cap is.

04-20-2008, 5:40 PM
Legal issues: a cop who hasn't been through any training at all and should never be on the force MAY not recognise a snap-cap, and may assume it's live ammo.

They could arrest you, however you will win at trial. (and the cop will look like an idiot)

Asside from not being good practice to mix snap caps and live ammo (ever), you're legally clean but risky.

04-20-2008, 8:22 PM
snaps caps are not ammunition. I am suprised the Officer did'nt recognize the snap caps considering we spend hours training with them.

I know of a live cartridge that got mixed in with the dummy rounds and well....there was a true AD into the wall. Good thing everyone kept to the rule all guns are always loaded.

04-20-2008, 9:13 PM
On a stop if a LEO is in that situation, Tell them EXACTLY what you have and what it is. They may put you in the back or front seat pat you down first, for safety, they may contact their on duty chain if they don't know what it is or what to do before telling you anything, best not get into that situation and keep it all unloaded.

04-20-2008, 9:49 PM
snaps caps are not ammunition. I am suprised the Officer did'nt recognize the snap caps considering we spend hours training with them.
Yeah that would absolutely come up in trial...