Dry Firing? Bad or OK? - The HuntingPA.com Outdoor Community
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post #1 of 24 (permalink) Old 09-28-2018, 11:27 AM Thread Starter
WOL
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Dry Firing? Bad or OK?

I was always taught to NEVER dry fire a rifle. That I could damage the firing pin. Is this true? Now that I think about it, it's probably not that bad. I also never store a rifle in the cocked position. I hold the trigger down and let the bolt close slowly. I was told that it relaxes the spring, for longer life. When ever I do practice squeazing the trigger, I always have an empy case in.

So, can it harm a rifle to dry fire?

Last edited by WOL; 09-28-2018 at 11:40 AM.
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post #2 of 24 (permalink) Old 09-28-2018, 11:34 AM
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Just buy some snap caps and dryfire away.
bohunr and Pahack like this.

When you are up to your butt in alligators, it is hard to remember your intent was to drain the swamp. Stay focused!
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post #3 of 24 (permalink) Old 09-28-2018, 12:03 PM
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When I was a kid, I'd dry-fire my old man's Mossberg 500 just to see how fast I could work the action. The gun is now tucked in the back of my safe, because it tends to fire when I don't expect it to, likely because of the dry-firing. I've also heard of firing pins being broken by dry-fires, mainly with O/U and SxS guns.

I tend to err on the side of caution, and have snap caps in almost all of my guns anymore. Seems a pretty cheap way to help protect my investment.

"Well boy, you ain't gonna git nothin' layin' in that bed." ~My ol' man
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post #4 of 24 (permalink) Old 09-28-2018, 12:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WOL View Post
I was always taught to NEVER dry fire a rifle. That I could damage the firing pin. Is this true? Now that I think about it, it's probably not that bad. I also never store a rifle in the cocked position. I hold the trigger down and let the bolt close slowly. I was told that it relaxes the spring, for longer life. When ever I do practice squeazing the trigger, I always have an empy case in.

So, can it harm a rifle to dry fire?

I must be in archery mode because I screamed NOOOO when I saw the thread title on new posts.
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post #5 of 24 (permalink) Old 09-28-2018, 01:48 PM
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When firing, the energy of the hammer hitting the pin is transferred to the pin hitting the primer. That primer collapsing (dent) to fire the charge is where the energy goes.

When dry firing, and striking air, that energy has nowhere to go, so it is released back into the metals of the pin (directly) and bolt (indirectly).

Probably once or twice will not damage things. Long term dry firing probably will.

"The trouble with our liberal friends is not that they're ignorant: It's just that they know so much that isn't so." - Ronald Reagan
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post #6 of 24 (permalink) Old 09-28-2018, 02:11 PM
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I was always told dry firing centerfire rifles does no harm, but don't dry fire rimfires or shotguns. Centerfire actions are built much heavier. This has always been my policy, and has served me well. If worried about it, buy some snap caps, but they are a waste of money for centerfire rifles, in my opinion.

I too always store my rifles with the tension relieved on the spring. I don't know if it makes a difference, but can't hurt.
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post #7 of 24 (permalink) Old 09-28-2018, 02:12 PM Thread Starter
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I must be in archery mode because I screamed NOOOO when I saw the thread title on new posts.
I'm not even in archery mode yet due to my son playing varsity football and not being able to get to camp. I just thought of this because I was on the phone with Ruger and looking through the manual. I have a 6.5 Creemoor that I wanted to have ready for my dad to use in rifle season and it has extraction issues.

Last edited by WOL; 09-28-2018 at 02:28 PM.
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post #8 of 24 (permalink) Old 09-29-2018, 07:56 AM
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The concept is not much different from why you should not dry fire a bow.
When you fire a loaded gun, the firing pin’s mechanical energy goes into deforming the primer cap. When you dry fire, there is nothing to absorb the pin’s energy so the mechanical parts that make up the firing pin are subject to damage.
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post #9 of 24 (permalink) Old 09-29-2018, 08:12 AM
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When I was a kid my dad bought me a Remington 870 16 ga pump and one day while snapping-in the firing pin broke in half and part of it flew out the barrel. Gunsmith said to never do that without a dud round in the chamber. Metal fatigue.

When I was in the Marine Corps we snapped-in constantly with our weapons and without any snap caps; no problem. No, we did not snap-in with grenades, just a point of clarification here.....

I now snap-in almost daily with my ,45 ACP. Always use a snap-cap; no problem.

Good night Chesty, wherever you are......
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post #10 of 24 (permalink) Old 09-29-2018, 10:05 AM
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You can buy snap caps in most caliber, rifle and pistol. You can buy enough to load the magazine in your rifle and dryfire, jack out the snap cap, jack another in and continue till the mag is empty. Same with shotguns. Just a sample of what is available. https://www.amazon.com/s/?ie=UTF8&ke...21kilch0_b_p37

When you are up to your butt in alligators, it is hard to remember your intent was to drain the swamp. Stay focused!

Last edited by Woods walker; 09-29-2018 at 10:08 AM.
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