Skip to comments.Seeking FReeper Opinion: Is It Safe To 'Dry Fire' Firearms?
Posted on 05/10/2011 8:26:46 PM PDT by KoRn
FR has to be one of the better places I know to ask a question regarding firearms. I was just looking for a definitive answer - Is it safe to 'dry fire' a firearm without doing any harm to the gun?
All throughout my growing up, I was told that dry firing a gun was a big 'no - no', with people saying that it would damage the gun. After doing some reading here and there, I've found that this may not be the case, and it's perfectly fine to dry fire a gun without worry. As anyone would expect, I found nothing but contradictory information searching Google, with some folks saying dry firing is ok, and others not.
I recently purchased a Ruger LCR .357 Mag, and in the owner's manual, it read that it was ok to dry fire the pistol.
Any advice would be much appreciated.
Snap caps are your friend.
Dry firing is okay for center fire firearms.
Avoid dry firing rim fire firearms.
It’s safe to dry-fire with one exception: when you’re in a gunfight.
My NRA instructor said to “dry fire” all you can. Practice, practice, practice.
This is very dependent on what type of gun it is. When in doubt, see post #3.
Yes and use snap caps.
THIS is the correct answer
I’m pretty sure I have to dry fire my .22 after re-assembly, or it would be stored with a spring compressed. Its rimfire....I have no idea if this hurts it, so I don’t do it often...but I don’t see a way around it.
The answer is that it depends largely on the age and style of the gun.
You don't want to be dry-snapping rim-fire guns (mostly 22's) for obvious reasons.
In the case of normal center-fire weapons, you have to consider advances in metallurgy over the last century.
Military surplus weapons like Mausers made prior to WW-II can be hurt by dry-snapping, particularly the firing pins can be hurt. I don't know exactly where the dividing line is but anything modern, say, made after 1980 or thereabouts, is not going to be hurt by dry snapping.
Sure it is, but what fun is that?
Even a 22 isn’t going to be hurt by dry snapping it after cleaning to decock the hammer...
If it’s a centerfire with hammer, generally won’t hurt the firearm. If it uses a firing pin (.380 semi, etc), don’t do it. You can damage the firing pin.
If Ruger says it is Ok for the LCR then it is OK for the LCR.
I would not make a habit of it because many older guns can have brittle firing pins that will break from dry firing.
In general, you can dry-fire center-fire firearms without harm, but you should not dry-fire rim-fire arms without a snap cap or spent piece of brass under the firing pin. If you dry fire a rimfire gun enough, you will either peen out the face of the pin, or possibly break the firing pin.
That said, using snap caps in all firearms to dry fire is ultimately preferred.
PROBABLY won’t hurt, but... (and it’s a big but) why take a chance? Use a snap cap - that’s what they’re for.
You know, you can go to your friendly gun store and buy plastic .38/.357 rounds to put in your gun.
That is the better answer, best not get in the habit of dry firing arms.
People that I have known a long time that do it, eventually will do it to one they shouldn’t have. As it happens, it tends to be a new weapon or a friends that they damage.
It is kind of like the difference between a mfg rule and the shooters bible.
Mfg: Never point a loaded fire arm at another person
Shooters Bible: Always treat a fire arm as loaded
Technically or what is good practice.....that is what you need to know.
What used to happen with older weapons was that the firing pin would eventually elongate and could end up going through primers. Again it won’t happen with decent modern weapons.