Snap cap practice...

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    Member Array darebear's Avatar
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    Snap cap practice...

    I hope this question fits in this section. If not then I'm sorry, please move.

    I like to do dry fire practice with my DA/SA trigger because I can only get to the range about once a month. But that requires me to unload my gun then insert my mag full of snap caps then go to town. Should I just cycle the rounds in my carry mag and if so how often should I chamber the same round (my carry load is 230 grain Winchester Ranger if that matters at all). How do you guys do it? How should I do it?

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    Senior Member Array TSiWRX's Avatar
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    I'd get a couple of spare magazines.

    Springs "weaken" via cycling, so that's one concern of repeatedly loading and unloading the magazine - but as what most avid range-goers or training-class-addicts will tell you, you'll want to keep your "range/class" magazines separate from your "social" ones, not for just the wear, but also because a range/class mag is often exposed to the roughest use, abuse, and elements. So, having separate sets becomes cheap insurance (don't just buy a few fresh mags and automatically assume they're good-to-go, though: "prove" them in your gun, using your chosen SD/HD ammo, before you place your trust in them), as next to ammo failure, magazine failure is among the most common causes of malfunctions in an auto-loading pistol.

    I have a couple of "SD/HD only" magazines for each of my firearms (given that, for a carry pistol, for example, you'll want one in the gun, and at least one carried spare, plus at least one more spare in case one of the two does malfunction, say, at your own-deemed "proving" interval exam), and a load of "class and range" magazines for them, each clearly marked.

    As for the chambered round, I tend to simply set aside the round that I jacked out of the chamber, putting it into a separate ammo box for range use. That way, I have a decent supply of range-use SD/HD ammo on-hand, so that I can stay familiar and in-practice with the good stuff, since it does shoot differently from range-fodder.

    There numerous reasons as to what may cause set-back, but even so, the "just once chambered" practice that I use is typically seen as a bit excessive, even by the most conservative in our community. Usually, shooters will rotate twice or even three-times chambered rounds to the bottom of their carry magazines, marking the casing with permanent marker so that the next time they see it come to the top, they'll know it's time to retire that round to range-fodder status.

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    Member Array darebear's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TSiWRX View Post
    I'd get a couple of spare magazines.

    Springs "weaken" via cycling, so that's one concern, but as what most avid range-goers or training-class-addicts will tell you, you'll want to keep your "range/class" magazines separate from your "social ones," not for just the wear, but also because a range/class mag is often exposed to the roughest use, abuse, and elements: so having the separate sets becomes cheap insurance (don't just buy a few fresh mags and automatically assume they're good-to-go, though: "prove" them in your gun, using your chosen SD/HD ammo, before you place your trust in them).

    I tend to simply set aside the round that I jacked out of the chamber, putting it into a separate ammo box for range use. That way, I have a decent supply of range-use SD/HD ammo on-hand, so that I can stay familiar and in-practice with the good stuff, since it does shoot differently from range-fodder.

    There numerous reasons as to what may cause set-back, but even so, the "just once chambered" practice is typically seen as a bit excessive, even by the most conservative in our community. Usually, shooters will rotate twice or even three-times chambered rounds to the bottom of their carry magazines, marking the casing with permanent marker so that the next time they see it come to the top, they'll know it's time to retire that round to range-fodder status.
    I like your idea... as far as the ones that cycle the rounds where should I mark the bullet? And with what? Will a sharpie do?

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    Senior Member Array TSiWRX's Avatar
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    ^ That, I'm afraid, you'll have to ask those who have marked their rounds. That's not my standard practice, so I can't say, for certain. :embarrassed:

    Of the last year or so, in virtually every gun-community online, there's a couple of active threads going that specifically talk about bullet set-back. That's where you'll typically see the different ways different shooters address this concern - and IIRC, the ones we've had here on DC.com also had a few members offering up their "mark the chambered round" advice. Those would be the people to ask.

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    Senior Member Array canav844's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by darebear View Post
    I like your idea... as far as the ones that cycle the rounds where should I mark the bullet? And with what? Will a sharpie do?
    I mark side and back of case after each ejection, basically a quick line that hits both with a sharpie, sometimes handling the side fo the case I can wipe off a fresh mark, I dount touch the bottom and I don't carry reload or handload SD ammo On my .40S&W rounds I'm sensitive to the setback issue, so two ejections (i.e. two marks) and it goes into the range box. This means I shoot what I carry at a minimum of several rounds per range trip and that I need not worry about checking for setback as I come in well before it should be an issue

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    You didn't say what type of gun you have. If it's a 1911 you can buy really cheap magazines for practice only. Just make sure you mark them, so you don't get them mixed up with your carry magazine. As for bullet setback. You can make a cheap go/no go gauge using a piece of inexpensive hard plastic. Measure out the loaded cartridge length and cut it out. you can then quickly run your rounds through it to see if there has been any setback to them.
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    I don't get too concerned about mag springs wearing out; it takes a lot of wear and tear and they're inexpensive to replace. Personally, I've never had to replace one because of failure. Still, if it makes one feel better, pick up a cheapo spare for practice only. Mark it with red paint and set it aside for your snapcap drills.
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    VIP Member Array Guns and more's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by darebear View Post
    I like to do dry fire practice with my DA/SA trigger
    Me too. I keep a magazine with just snap caps. Since a snap cap won't cycle the slide, I just cock the hammer.
    Normally, I'll put three in a magazine, rack one into the chamber and click away. By not filling the magazine, I don't stress the spring very much. If you manually eject one, you'll have another to take it's place. Then drop the mag and replace the snap cap.

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    Senior Member Array TSiWRX's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldVet View Post
    ...pick up a cheapo spare for practice only. Mark it with red paint and set it aside for your snapcap drills.
    ^ That's a good one that I forgot to add.

    My practice magazines are clearly marked with tape (in case I wanted to put them back into rotation).

    Also, it's important to be doubly aware of your safety measures, for such practice. Each of us have different steps we take, so I won't go into detail about what I do, but rest assured that I make certain - then re-check and then check yet again - any time I go from street/range/class to at-home-dry-fire-practice mode.

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    Member Array darebear's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by archer51 View Post
    You didn't say what type of gun you have. If it's a 1911 you can buy really cheap magazines for practice only. Just make sure you mark them, so you don't get them mixed up with your carry magazine. As for bullet setback. You can make a cheap go/no go gauge using a piece of inexpensive hard plastic. Measure out the loaded cartridge length and cut it out. you can then quickly run your rounds through it to see if there has been any setback to them.
    Sorry it's a HK45C

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