Is dry firing bad for my firearm? – UWK Case

    what is dry firing?: dry firing is when you fire a gun with no ammunition in the chamber. you pull the trigger and the hammer hits with a *click* and a *clack* but no hit or shot.

    For a long time, it was believed that dry firing damages a gun. It was a case of live fire, or keeping fire.

    Reading: What is dry firing

    for many years, this was accurate. Decades ago, firing pins were made of a less solid material, so it didn’t take long for them to fail on an older pistol or rifle. that’s why it was commonly held that if there are no bullets in the chamber it means you are going to damage the gun when you pull the trigger.

    With today’s innovations in firearms technology and advances in metallurgy, common wisdom has changed and we’re here to bring you up to date.

    the 3 main categories of dry fire

    Whether or not dry fire damages your weapon depends on the type of weapon. we’ve divided them into three broad categories:

    • rimfire pistols
    • centerfire pistols
    • modern firearms

    this is our personal opinion: be sure to do your own research on your specific model or consult a specialist to be sure.

    dry-firing rimfire pistols can damage the firing pin

    There is broad agreement among weapons experts on one aspect of dry fire practice:

    do not dry fire a rimfire pistol

    With this type of pistol, the firing pin is positioned to strike the brass rim of the cartridge. brass is a softer metal than steel. when dry firing a rimfire pistol, the firing pin will hit the much harder steel on the chamber face, transferring a tremendous amount of force.

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    The hammer may not be damaged if you dry fire infrequently (or may not), but it has been proven that excessive dry firing of rimfire weapons will “pierce” the hammer. Hammering is the formation of a dent, or microgap, where the firing pin strikes the muzzle of the chamber.


    A frequently dry fired rimfire pistol is prone to miss and miss. The last thing you want is for your gun to be unreliable when your safety could depend on it.

    is it bad to dry fire a centerfire pistol?

    Dry firing most centerfire rifles and handguns is generally safe. there are a few exceptions, like older pistols, and the key is the durability of the firing pin.

    rimfire & centerfire guns

    When dry-firing, the firing pin on centerfire rifles and some semi-automatic weapons travels until it reaches the end of the channel. this excessive travel can cause the pin to strike the frame with tremendous force, causing damage to the firing pin. if the firing pin is brittle, it’s only a matter of time before it breaks. the firing pins on some older centerfire pistols are softer than those on their modern counterparts and tend to break or chip after a few dozen dry shots.

    Generally speaking, centerfire weapons are safer to dry fire than rimfire weapons, but each weapon has its own nuances that vary from model to model.

    Dry firing with a modern firearm: low risk, but why take the risk?

    Most would agree that dry firing a modern weapon is not a big deal. modern weapons are made of better materials: improvements in metallurgy, design, and technology mean that components have become more robust and durable. This means you can pull the trigger and fire modern weapons more confidently than older firearms. a modern weapon can withstand thousands of instances of dry fire.

    but why take that risk? firearms were designed to be fired with a cartridge in the chamber, so every time you dry-fire you are taking a risk, however small.

    snap caps: the safe way to dry fire

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    firearms are designed for live fire. the mechanics of a firearm is based on the action of throwing the hammer into the detonator, creating the explosive force of ignition that propels the bullet out of the chamber at high speed. all of this happens in a fraction of a second when you pull the trigger.

    When firing out of ammo, the striker hits something hard to stop it.

    enter: snap caps.

    Snap-on hoods allow you to fire almost any weapon and eliminate the risk of damage. snap-on caps cushion the impact of the firing pin. these dummy rounds substitute for the damping effect provided by the real rounds. they are relatively inexpensive, especially compared to the hassle of replacing or repairing your firing pin.

    Snap caps for dry firing

    final thoughts on dry cooking

    Most modern centerfire pistols are perfectly fine to dry fire if you want to clear the gun, drop the hammer or firing pin, or just test the trigger. but if you want to be 100 percent sure you’re not damaging your firearm, you should definitely use snap-on hoods.

    Use snap caps for dry firing

    When it comes to rimfire pistols, you’re taking a big risk if you dry fire them without using dummy rounds (made from softer metals like brass or aluminum) or snap-on caps to protect your firing pin.

    Of course, it goes without saying that all responsible gun owners only dry fire their firearms when they are sure the gun is unloaded and pointed in a safe direction.

    Whether you’re handling a firearm at the gun store, or your friend’s gun at the shooting range, it’s good practice and good etiquette to ask the owner’s permission before pulling the trigger on a gun you don’t has round in the camera. always treat each firearm as if it were loaded with live ammunition.

    If you’re interested in other ways to care for your gun, be sure to check out our guide to preventing gun rust and the best gun case to store it in.

    Shop d-tap pistol cases

    See also: James H. Johnson – Perrier & Lacoste, L.L.C

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