Long Island Shooters Forum banner
1 - 16 of 16 Posts

·
Still a David Crockett kid
Joined
·
2,826 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Are snap caps neccesary or just a waste of $
I know not to dry fire a rimfire but did it countless times when I was a kid
So has anyone ever broken anything by not using snapcaps ?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,060 Posts
i never broke anything not using snap caps. but i still have them for every caliber i own, well except for a certain 10 gauge. the guns do sound very different when you fire them into a snap cap compared to nothing. i like them as when i buy a new gun it helps practice the functions and test the actions.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
527 Posts
I was under the impression that only older rimfires were at risk for damage from the firing pin striking the chamber, but that more modern models control the over-travel to prevent this. I have an original Hamden High Standard Supermatic Citation and always throw a fired case into the action before I drop the hammer to safe it. Dunno if I need to, but better safe than sorry. A metal snap cap would probably be better. I have a circa 1985 Ruger Mark II and I just drop that on the empty chamber and never think about it. I find that snap caps are also very useful for training - the 'ball and dummy' exercise where you feed an inert "round" into a semi-auto and observe the motion of the firearm (if any) as the shooter pulls the trigger on what they expect is a live round. They also can be used to create unexpected "malfunctions" such as for for the tap-rack-bang (or tap-rack-evaluate) and rip-replace-tap-rack-evaluate/bang drills.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
527 Posts
From American Hunter (July, 2011):
The Question: Will Dryfiring Your Rimfire Damage It?
"Never dry-fire a rimfire," my father commanded. "It will wear out the firing pin, and then I will wear you out." Since then I've tested many theories, but never that one. (Perhaps I'm not as mad as I look!)
Logically it makes sense: Since a rimfire's firing pin strikes the steel breechface when dry-fired (rather than striking air like a centerfire or the soft brass of a cartridge), the firing pin or chamber rim could wear down. Many shooters believe this, but few can produce evidence of damage because most are afraid to dry-fire their beloved rimfires. Furthermore, manufacturer statements about dry-firing conflict because different brands of guns are made in different ways.
So I want to know:
1. Will dry-firing damage rimfire guns?
2. If so, is the damage cosmetic and/or functional?
3. If so, how many dry-fires will hurt a gun?
4. If so, will all rimfires be damaged in the same way?
The Test:
Using two new test guns, a Henry pump-action .22 rifle and a Browning Buck Mark II .22 pistol, I inspected each guns' firing pin and chamber under a microscope. I recorded the surfaces of each via photography. Next I fired each gun 500 times, counting misfires and malfunctions. I inspected the chambers and firing pins for visible damage. Next I dry-fired each gun 500 times, and inspected. Then, I dry-fired each gun another 500 times for a total of 1,000 dry-fires each, and inspected. Finally, the guns were fired 500 additional times apiece, noting misfires and malfunctions. Then I compared all data.
Conclusions
In comparison photos ofbefore-and-after 1,000 dry-fires of the Henry's chamber, slight marring of the breechface/barrel sleeve (where the firing pin strikes when dry-fired) was evident. The Browning's chamber showed no marring from the firing pin, but showed slight wear from the extractor repeatedly striking the rim of the extractor slot. Neither gun's firing pin exhibited visible damage. Indentations on fired cartridges from both guns were identical before and after dry-firing, indicating no functional damage. The Henry had two misfires out of 500 shots before dry-firing, and one misfire out of 500 shots after dry-firing. The Browning had no misfires before or after dry-firing; thus, I conclude no functional damage was incurred on either gun after dry-firing 1,000 times.
However, because slight wear was identified after 1,000 dry-fires on both guns, it can be assumed that more dry-fires would cause additional wear that could eventually hamper functionality.
The Answer:
1. My dad was right ... but not absolutely: Dry-firing a rimfire many times can damage it, but if done occasionally it probably will not. So don't freak out if someone dryfires your new pistol a couple of times.
2. Over the course of 1,000 dry-fires, slight cosmetic damage is likely to occur.
3. Like actual firing, it is impossible to know exactly how many dry-firings will cause damage.
4. If damage occurs at all, it will likely occur differently and to varying degrees in different models of rimfires because they are manufactured with some having safegaurds for dry-firing.
What Manufacturers Say:
Anschutz does not recommend dry-firing its rimfires. It says frequent dry-firers should install its special firing pin. The company alsonotes that on most guns other parts, like springs, usually wear out before firing pins; the majority of its guns returned for damage from dry-firing come via Chinese and Japanese competitors, as these countries are known for dry-firing because places to actually fire a gun there are rare.
Ruger says dry-firing the company's 10/22 rifle will not damage it.
Henry Repeating Arms says shooters can dry-fire its guns all they want.
Smith & Wesson says dry-firing can damage rimfires.
Browning confirms dry-firing won't damage firing pins or chambers of its newer guns. (Rest assured, my Buck Mark is still under warranty, anyway!)
If your father's gun is long past its warranty, never fear: Brownells sells a ".22 Chamber Ironing Tool" that's used only for smoothing nicks in the chambers of rimfires caused by dry-firing. Since 1994 they have sold 2,645 of them!
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
11,831 Posts
I prefer snap caps to spent shells. Obviously we treat all weapons as loaded but using an empty that looks just like an unfired round seems like a bad idea to me. Mistakes can and do happen. Use a snap cap or at least change the color of the empty casing.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
625 Posts
From American Hunter (July, 2011):
The Question: Will Dryfiring Your Rimfire Damage It?
"Never dry-fire a rimfire," my father commanded. "It will wear out the firing pin, and then I will wear you out." Since then I've tested many theories, but never that one. (Perhaps I'm not as mad as I look!)
Logically it makes sense: Since a rimfire's firing pin strikes the steel breechface when dry-fired (rather than striking air like a centerfire or the soft brass of a cartridge), the firing pin or chamber rim could wear down. Many shooters believe this, but few can produce evidence of damage because most are afraid to dry-fire their beloved rimfires. Furthermore, manufacturer statements about dry-firing conflict because different brands of guns are made in different ways.
So I want to know:
1. Will dry-firing damage rimfire guns?
2. If so, is the damage cosmetic and/or functional?
3. If so, how many dry-fires will hurt a gun?
4. If so, will all rimfires be damaged in the same way?
The Test:
Using two new test guns, a Henry pump-action .22 rifle and a Browning Buck Mark II .22 pistol, I inspected each guns' firing pin and chamber under a microscope. I recorded the surfaces of each via photography. Next I fired each gun 500 times, counting misfires and malfunctions. I inspected the chambers and firing pins for visible damage. Next I dry-fired each gun 500 times, and inspected. Then, I dry-fired each gun another 500 times for a total of 1,000 dry-fires each, and inspected. Finally, the guns were fired 500 additional times apiece, noting misfires and malfunctions. Then I compared all data.
Conclusions
In comparison photos ofbefore-and-after 1,000 dry-fires of the Henry's chamber, slight marring of the breechface/barrel sleeve (where the firing pin strikes when dry-fired) was evident. The Browning's chamber showed no marring from the firing pin, but showed slight wear from the extractor repeatedly striking the rim of the extractor slot. Neither gun's firing pin exhibited visible damage. Indentations on fired cartridges from both guns were identical before and after dry-firing, indicating no functional damage. The Henry had two misfires out of 500 shots before dry-firing, and one misfire out of 500 shots after dry-firing. The Browning had no misfires before or after dry-firing; thus, I conclude no functional damage was incurred on either gun after dry-firing 1,000 times.
However, because slight wear was identified after 1,000 dry-fires on both guns, it can be assumed that more dry-fires would cause additional wear that could eventually hamper functionality.
The Answer:
1. My dad was right ... but not absolutely: Dry-firing a rimfire many times can damage it, but if done occasionally it probably will not. So don't freak out if someone dryfires your new pistol a couple of times.
2. Over the course of 1,000 dry-fires, slight cosmetic damage is likely to occur.
3. Like actual firing, it is impossible to know exactly how many dry-firings will cause damage.
4. If damage occurs at all, it will likely occur differently and to varying degrees in different models of rimfires because they are manufactured with some having safegaurds for dry-firing.
What Manufacturers Say:
Anschutz does not recommend dry-firing its rimfires. It says frequent dry-firers should install its special firing pin. The company alsonotes that on most guns other parts, like springs, usually wear out before firing pins; the majority of its guns returned for damage from dry-firing come via Chinese and Japanese competitors, as these countries are known for dry-firing because places to actually fire a gun there are rare.
Ruger says dry-firing the company's 10/22 rifle will not damage it.
Henry Repeating Arms says shooters can dry-fire its guns all they want.
Smith & Wesson says dry-firing can damage rimfires.
Browning confirms dry-firing won't damage firing pins or chambers of its newer guns. (Rest assured, my Buck Mark is still under warranty, anyway!)
If your father's gun is long past its warranty, never fear: Brownells sells a ".22 Chamber Ironing Tool" that's used only for smoothing nicks in the chambers of rimfires caused by dry-firing. Since 1994 they have sold 2,645 of them!
Awesome info, thanks!

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

·
The Artist formally known as AR_Guy
Joined
·
6,875 Posts
I have them for several guns, not really needed for dry fire but nice for function testing or practicing to reload shotguns.

Most of the rimfire snap caps on the marked are NOT FOr DRY FIRE, only for action testing. The front of the packages say this. The aluminium cases are pretty hard but can get chewed up by the firing pin. I don't use them for dry fire. I use a spent case that always show up on the bottom of my thumbler. Even those will get almost split by repeated use and will need to be driven out of some guns with a cleaning rod.

Cheap option for rimfire is ribbed plastic anchors you can find at Home Depot or Lowes. A pack of 100 costs less than $8 and they will load from some magazines. Use the 4-6 size.
http://www.amazon.com/s/?ie=UTF8&keywords=ribbed+plastic+anchors&tag=mh0b-20&index=aps&hvadid=7007792498&hvqmt=p&hvbmt=bp&hvdev=c&ref=pd_sl_33pdjz9f5w_p
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,857 Posts
If you're not practicing malfunction drills and one handed reloading drills with snap caps

You're doing it WRONG.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,857 Posts
Sure but I find them to jam and not feed reliably. Plus the brass bends during certain drills so being reusable and durable isn't a strong suit.

My snap caps are pretty worn and torn up from my usage.
 

·
Pistol Expert
Joined
·
789 Posts
can I use the spent casing instead of snap caps?
I use spent .22LR and Magnum cases as snap caps. They hold up better than those plastic snap caps. I've used spent 12 gauge shells as well.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,546 Posts
can I use the spent casing instead of snap caps?
Spent casings will likely have swollen slightly from firing, and will be a much tighter fit while cycling. Ever try to get a stuck case out? Imagine that, but while feeding and extracting. Especially if you're using a firearm other than the one that fired that specific case.

Snap caps are totally worth their cost. They're good for peace of mind while dry firing, could never accidentally be confused with live ammo, are great for function checking, and can be mixed in to a mag for failure to fire practice. Definitely recommended.
 
1 - 16 of 16 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top