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0303-22 Smythbuster - Don't Dryfire Guns_Thumb

Smyth Busters: Is Dry Firing Bad for Your Guns?

Author Caleb Savant
one year ago

   Today's myth runs like this: It's bad for your firearms to dry fire them. So don't do it. Ever. For any reason. Period. But is that really true? @CalebSavant and Steve give us the straight dope on dry firing, and the answer is..... It depends on the gun and its manufacturer's recommendation. Some older guns have barrels made of relatively soft steel and long firing pins with unrestricted travel. Dry firing CAN damage the mouth of the chamber IF you don't use a snap cap. That is case with pretty much any old .22 rimfire gun. When the firing pin hits the rim of the cartridge to detonate the priming compound, the rim protects the chamber. But if there's no cartridge in the chamber, that firing pin wallops the edge of the chamber and can damage it. Dry firing is typically safe to do with centerfire guns, though Steve prefers not to dry fire revolvers with the old-style hammer nose firing pin. That's not a problem with modern Smith & Wesson revolvers that don't have the hammer nose. Most modern striker-fired guns from mainstream manufacturers are safe to dry fire, but always check to be sure. Any Henry or Ruger can be dry fired - even the Ruger Wrangler .22 LR revolver (per its manual) - as can modern Smith & Wesson centerfire revolvers and semi-autos. A-Zoom and Carlson's make .22 Long Rifle snap caps, but Steve has a Thrifty Tip about very inexpensive .22 rimfire snap caps. (Cough! Drywall anchors. Cough!) In a pinch, you can even use a spent case, but just make sure there is NO live ammo anywhere in the vicinity. If you haven't arrived at the concluded yet, the myth is BUSTED. It's OK to dry fire many firearms. Just check your owner's manual to make sure your gun is one of them.


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