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Thread: Dry firing question

  1. #1
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    Default Dry firing question

    Hello, folks:
    I just purchased a Ruger Super Redhawk in 454. I've shot handguns a fair amount, but mostly single action revolvers and auto's. I don't have much double action time so thought it might be helpful to get in a little dry firing to get used to the trigger before it gets warm enough to go out and burn up some ammo. The manual says dry firing is fine, but I've always heard otherwise. I suppose I should take their word for it but would it be better to use snap-caps? Thanks!....Louis

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    Member Darreld Walton's Avatar
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    Default Use the Snap Caps

    The less damage you do, whether knowingly or not, the more reliable your piece will be.
    My first handgun was a brand spanking new Colt Trooper Mk III with the novel floating firing pin and transfer bar arrangement...at 16, I burned up my summer's wages just getting the thing and one box of shells, so i spent a LOT of time dry firing it. Problem was, that come that first fall, when I pulled it out to bust a big Buck Snowshoe, it didn't go bang. Emptied the piece, then pulled the trigger with the cylinder open, and noticed....nothing. Where there was supposed to be a firing pin tip protruding through the frame was nada, zip, zilch. Colt happily replaced the busted piece, but it was still out of service for the length of time to ship, repair, and ship again.
    I always figured it was a good thing that I learned the lesson on a rabbit and not Mr. Griz....

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    Member Rick P's Avatar
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    Default

    Agreed why chance it, besides you'll get tighter groups if you cock the hammer like you would for a single action anyway.

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    Louis:
    My suggestion, is that you make your own "Snapcaps".

    Decap the primer on a fired case, and replace it with a chunk of rubber from an old tire.

    You can buy "Snapcaps" from A-Zoom.
    Smitty of the North

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    I am a firm believer in dry fire. These guys are giving good advice, snap caps or at least a spent primer is a good practice, but I'll tell you, if dryfiring damages a gun, any gun, I don't want it. Any gun that can be damaged by dry firing isn't worth draggin' home.

    It does not hurt any modern gun. When I bought my first Freedom Arms revolver, the owners manual said do not dry fire. I called Freedom Arms and asked for their mailing address to send it back. After some discussion, which included them agreeing to replace any broken parts as a result of my dry firing, I agreed to keep it and they, at least verbally retracted their "do not dry fire" warning. After about 500 dry snaps on an empty chamber, I grew tired of trying to break it. It has never failed me, and that was thousands of rounds ago.

    If you have concerns, it is a simple matter to use spent brass to absorb the hammer fall, especially in a revolver. Dry fire is so valuable as a conditioning technique that I would always recommend it for anyone and any gun. This a vital and integral part of any firearm training program. Pistol, revolver or bolt rifle. The only exception to this would be with break action guns, particularly side lock doubles, I would use snap caps there.
    Is there nothing so sacred on this earth that you aren't willing to kill or die for?



  6. #6

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    not aplicable in your case but some huglu shotguns have brazed in fireing pins, that is a gun I would not dry fire too often

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    Member BucknRut's Avatar
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    I took a personal protection class with a retired state trooper here in Michigan and he was a firearm guroo if I ever saw one. The thing that sealed the "dry fire" deal for me was two exact same 44 mag s&w's he had. One had a trigger job done and the other he dry fired approximately 5,000 times (he counted how many he did per minute, then would pull the trigger for an hour each night while watching TV, then calculated). There was an amazingly distinct difference in the pull. Even with my eyes closed, I could clearly determine what arm I was handling. Not to mention the workout your trigger finger gets and how well you "feel" the pistol. I can't speak for other rifles and such, but as for pistols, I am sold.

    So Murph, you are saying that bolt action rifles should be okay to practice this as well?

  8. #8

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    Murphy is right.Replace it if there was ever a problem.Very good way to learn is to dry fire.Sight alignment and trigger control thats the key to shooting.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BucknRut View Post

    So Murph, you are saying that bolt action rifles should be okay to practice this as well?
    Absolutely! I dry fire my bolt guns hundreds of times before we ever go to the range.

    I have a training ritual that involves a lot of this. I teach a one handed hold, and cycle the bolt with the butt at the shoulder until the student can't do it wrong. The left hand grasps and pulls the rifle rearward to the shoulder snug with the right hand held high, then grasp the bolt and cycle then shoot then cycle then shoot, until this becomes smooth and natural. This is to develop the skill to deliver 5 aimed shots in 60 seconds from standing position into an 8" target at 100 yards. This is basic step one skill level for all my students.

    If you can't do it dry firing, you can't do it with ammo.

    An amateur practices until he can do it right.
    A professional practices until he can't do it wrong.
    Is there nothing so sacred on this earth that you aren't willing to kill or die for?



  10. #10

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    It won't hurt it. If you are worried get the snap caps but it should be fine. With todays guns dy fire away unless the manual tells you different.

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    the reason the manual says dry-firing is ok, is because it's a ruger. if you can break one of their revolvers, i'd like to know how. the way they're built allows dry firing without consequence - yes, they're built like tanks. i've been dreaming of a super redhawk for quite a while, but i'll be getting by with my gp100 for now.

    if you want more, do some searches on cowboy action shooting. you will find that there are dozens of companies making single action revolvers, but all of them need to be tuned before extended heavy use (which they get at matches) except one - ruger. they really are tough. not dainty by any means, and not always considered to be good looking, but extremely durable and easy to shoot.

    dry fire it and have fun. if you ever do have any problems, ruger has excellent customer service and warranty repair.

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    FWIW, the USMC spends days and days doing nothing but dry firing before you go on the range to shoot live ammo for marksmanship qualification. I can't ever recall seeing a firing pin break because of it.
    The Marines I have seen around the world have the cleanest bodies, the filthiest minds, the highest morale, and the lowest morals of any group of animals I have ever seen. Thank God for the United States Marine Corps! (Eleanor Roosevelt, 1945)

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    Thanks, folks for the great words of wisdom. I am also a firm believer in dry firing, even though I was always hesitant to do it with real firearms. I got plenty of dry firing with my first handgun, which was a CO2 pistol which helped immensly. Even when I was leery of pulling the trigger on an empty gun, just practicing aiming and holding steady on target helped a lot. A steady hand and smooth trigger pull is where it's at. Like Murphy said, if you can't do it empty, having live rounds in the gun isn't going to help.

    I think I may get some snap-caps just for a placebo to settle my doubts....Taboos one hears all his life don't just go away....the next step will be to convince myself it's okay to carry the gun with all six chambers loaded!....Louis

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    Red face Room for different opinion?

    Folks,

    I realize I am setting myself up for some serious abuse here but I'd like to explain why I prefer not to dry fire my weapons.

    All of my weapons are assumed to be loaded all the time. Every time I squeeze the trigger the weapon will go BANG! and a hole will appear downrange in my target. I cannot accept the idea of squeezing the trigger without feeling recoil, hearing a bang, and putting a hole in something. Trigger pull means a round will fire and a projectile will exit the barrel every time.

    Dry firing could result in complacency in weapon handling, holes in televisions, mirrors, light switches, etc., not to mention a whole lot of embarassment and explanations to spouse or the local constubulary.

    I know I am unique with this opinion but I'm probably not going to change my attitude at 60. I just thought it worth mentioning that there is one more facet to the dry firing issue.

    Respecting your opinions,
    Dan

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    Default dry firing

    Its physicis. Dry firing does damage to ALL weapons.

    Less damage occurs with snap caps and something to absorb firing pin energy.

    Swing at a punching bag with all your might.

    Swing at the same bag with all your might and miss. Feel the difference?

    Its simple physics 101. Dry fire with a snap cap and you will do less damage than empty chamber dry firing.

    Every part of every mechanical device has a cycle life.

    Things work harden and stress fracture...it's life and physics on planet earth.

    For those who dry fire rifles, shotguns, and pistols alot>>> I see broken firing pins in your future

    ....and those who do it without snap caps >>>I see it sooner and more often for you.

    If your firing pin dosent break then your firing pin hole will enlarge. Get ready for that pierced-blown primer fun fest you lucky dog. Its really fun in a rifle when everything goes white as your engulfed in a smoke cloud wondering "am I in heaven?".

    I have replaced firing pins for people in;
    Rem 870 shotguns.
    AK47 rifles.
    AR15 rifles.
    M1A rifles.
    M1 garand rifles.
    Rem700 rifles.
    Win M70 rifles.
    1911 pistols.
    M9 pistols.
    And on and on and on cause no make or model is immune.

    Dry firing is like red-lining your engine in neutral.

    jedi.
    Last edited by null20071; 03-03-2007 at 14:13.

  16. #16
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    Default Dry firing question

    I would trust the engineers at Ruger.

    The guns and actions ruger designs go through intense durability testing before they are deployed to the market/public.

    If Ruger publicaly announces it is acceptable to dry fire your handgun, I would do it as often as I wanted. I recently bought the 454 Ruger Alaskan and seen the same information on dry firing as you have in the Ruger provided instruction booklet.

    I'll bet if you called Ruger and asked one of the engineers, they would tell you exactly how many dry firing cycles your hand gun is capable of, for they probaly have tested these to failure on numerous occasions. or they wouldn't have taken the liability risk to make these statements, publically.

    At worst, if something goes wrong, Ruger would have to fix it free of charge.

    Good Hunting,

    KatzMO

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    Default fix it?

    Quote Originally Posted by KatzMO View Post
    I would trust the engineers at Ruger.

    The guns and actions ruger designs go through intense durability testing before they are deployed to the market/public.

    If Ruger publicaly announces it is acceptable to dry fire your handgun, I would do it as often as I wanted. I recently bought the 454 Ruger Alaskan and seen the same information on dry firing as you have in the Ruger provided instruction booklet.

    I'll bet if you called Ruger and asked one of the engineers, they would tell you exactly how many dry firing cycles your hand gun is capable of, for they probaly have tested these to failure on numerous occasions. or they wouldn't have taken the liability risk to make these statements, publically.

    At worst, if something goes wrong, Ruger would have to fix it free of charge.

    Good Hunting,

    KatzMO
    How will ruger "fix it" if it costs you the hunt of a lifetime?
    How will ruger "fix it" if it costs you the trophy of a lifetime?
    How will ruger "fix it" if you need that revolver to work in an attack to save your life?
    Everything breaks eventually...why abuse equipment?
    The military dry fires alot because they got Armorers on call 24-7 and millions of spare firing pins.
    Even engineers make mistakes....ever heard of a recall?
    Ever heard of Morton-Thiocol and the o-rings that were deemed fine by engineers?
    For those who split wood with a sledge and steel wedge.
    Ever see a wedge get peened over and work-hardened till it chips off around the edges and gets splits and fissures(indications of discontinuity)?
    So how is a firingpin stronger than a steel wedge?
    Earth-physics-law....deal with it. It's here to stay.

    jedi

  18. #18
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    Default Dry Firing

    Whoa easy now. Looks like I hit a nerve.

    As a matter of fact, I haven't heard of any recalls on any Ruger side arms for dry firing, Thanks for proving my point. If it happens, I'll probably be the 1st to know.

    Yes I have heard engineers can make a mistake, but that is why they perform reliability, endurance, static and fatigue test to prove their design before any design goes to market.

    I'll bet the engineers at Ruger dry fired their design hundreds of thousands of times during durability test before they made this statement publically.

    And there are hundreds of thousands of Ruger enthusiast dry firing their side arms day after day, time after time. They have been doing it for years. Click, click, click, click.

    We might think about challenging the guys at "Guns and Ammo" to do a test for us. They put some guns through some pretty harsh endurance test.

    If by chance your gun fails to fire from dry firing and it cost you a trophy or a hunt of a life time, it wasn't meant to be.

    As for your side arm not firing in a life or death situation due to the practice of dry firing, well, we'll have to ask the man above why he wanted you at that time.

    But because I have some boyscout in me, "Be prepared", I always carry a my Ruger 454 Alaskan as a back-up. Not as my primary kill gun.

    In dangerous game territory, I hope one isn't hunting alone, either. In your case, maybe your guide doesn't dry fire and you'll be OK.

    In good humor. Good hunting,

    KatzMO

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    Sorry, folks. I didn't intend to start up a heated controversy with my question. There, has been, however, some well thought out answers on both sides of the issue and I've been getting a lot out of this.

    All things considered, the way I look at it is that, yes, guns are mechanical devices, which, like all things mechanical, are prone to wear and an occasional failure. Apparently, some are more prone to this than others.

    In the world of man and machines, though. It has been my observation that it is the human element that is more prone to be the weak link. I've seen many more stranded motorists that had manuvered their way into a ditch than those left there by a mechanical problem. I've seen many more airplanes upside down in the weeds that were put there by pilot error than those that had experienced an engine failure. Likewise, I'm sure there were many more bullets that didn't make it to their intended mark because of poor gun handling than a mechanical problem.

    I figure the best I can do is improve my chances by working on my skills, and I can do that best by dry firing when I don't have a chance to make it to a range. It could cause a little more wear, but with snap caps, that will be minimized....Louis

  20. #20

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    Surprised no one mentioned this, but definitely don't dry fire rimfires. I too, believe it is okay to dry fire for practice, I just don't think you need to take it to extremes or do it all the time. It certainly will decrease the life of your gun, and I don't think those snap caps do much to protect anything, they are a gimmick.

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