Do you think it's bad to dry fire a gun?

Do you think it's bad to dry fire a gun?

This is a discussion on Do you think it's bad to dry fire a gun? within the General Firearm Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; An employee at my local range asked if he could hold my new S&W 442 and repeatedly dry fired it (10-12 times). Do you think ...

View Poll Results: Do you think it's bad to dry fire a gun?

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  • Yes, always.

    2 2.44%
  • Yes, use snap caps or spent ammo instead.

    16 19.51%
  • Yes, but only on older guns or revolvers.

    16 19.51%
  • No, as long as you don't make it a habit.

    16 19.51%
  • No, I've never had/heard of it causing a problem.

    24 29.27%
  • Other (please leave a comment)

    13 15.85%
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  1. #1
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    Do you think it's bad to dry fire a gun?

    An employee at my local range asked if he could hold my new S&W 442 and repeatedly dry fired it (10-12 times). Do you think dry firing is bad in modern guns? Better for one type of gun vs. the other (e.g. semi-auto handguns but not revolvers)?

    Please vote (above) and leave your comments.


  2. #2
    Member Array Eaglebeak's Avatar
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    For older or el-cheapo revolvers with the "firing pin" being a fixed spur on the face of the hammer or any firearm that has a separate firing pin which makes direct contact with the round's primer when the hammer is down - YES, it is NOT good to dry-fire them because repeated hammer impact against the frame can eventually pean it down enough to allow the hammer (and fixed or "direct contact" firing pin) to move far enough forward to penetrate the primer upon impact (major not good).

    For a modern, good quality firearm with a separate, spring-loaded "inertia driven" firing pin (too short to contact the primer when hammer is full down), then dry-fire away to your heart's content because you'll probably wear out the action or drop dead from old age before creating any potential safety issues.

  3. #3
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    It really depends on the firearm; I would venture to say most modern firearms may be safely dry fired with no ill effects. Now with older firearms especially striker fired ones it would be best to use dummy rounds to protect the firing pins, most 22s should never be dry fired since the firing pin may strike the chamber causing damage to it or the chamber.
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  4. #4
    Distinguished Member Array Arborigine's Avatar
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    Depends on the gun. Ruger says you can dry fire an LCP all you want with no fear of damage. I won't do it with my Colt 1911 without a snap-cap.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by msgt/ret View Post
    It really depends on the firearm; I would venture to say most modern firearms may be safely dry fired with no ill effects. Now with older firearms especially striker fired ones it would be best to use dummy rounds to protect the firing pins, most 22s should never be dry fired since the firing pin may strike the chamber causing damage to it or the chamber.
    Sounds like a G19 should not be dry fired (striker) but a new revolver can (S&W 442).

  6. #6
    Senior Member Array IAm_Not_Lost's Avatar
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    FAQs - Smith & Wesson

    Can I dry fire my S&W handgun?
    Q: Can I dry fire my Smith & Wesson?

    A: Yes, except for the .22 caliber pistols which includes models 22A, 22S, 422, 2206, 2214, 2213 and 41.

    .22 caliber revolvers such as models 17, 43, 63, 317 and 617 also should not be dry fired.

    Q: Why can't I dry fire my .22 pistol or revolver?

    A: Dry firing a S&W .22 pistol or revolver will cause damage to the firing pin.


    At least that's what S&W says about it, but as I answered in the poll, I wouldn't make a major habit of dry firing, but 10-12 is not going to do a thing. For some reason whenever I think of dry firing I picture a soccer player about to kick a ball and then someone yanks it out and then all that force has no where to go, and then you end up injured.
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  7. #7
    VIP Member Array dukalmighty's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by IAm_Not_Lost View Post
    FAQs - Smith & Wesson

    Can I dry fire my S&W handgun?
    Q: Can I dry fire my Smith & Wesson?

    A: Yes, except for the .22 caliber pistols which includes models 22A, 22S, 422, 2206, 2214, 2213 and 41.

    .22 caliber revolvers such as models 17, 43, 63, 317 and 617 also should not be dry fired.

    Q: Why can't I dry fire my .22 pistol or revolver?

    A: Dry firing a S&W .22 pistol or revolver will cause damage to the firing pin.
    The reason why 22's should not be dry fired is because they strike the rim of the case,I have dry fired all my modern centerfire firearms,I remember something about 1911's with custom trigger jobs shouldn't be dryfired,one of our 1911 experts can either explain why,or refute my statement
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by dukalmighty View Post
    The reason why 22's should not be dry fired is because they strike the rim of the case,I have dry fired all my modern centerfire firearms,I remember something about 1911's with custom trigger jobs shouldn't be dryfired,one of our 1911 experts can either explain why,or refute my statement
    That makes sense, thanks.

  9. #9
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    Your firearm was not harmed by dry-firing it. In fact it usually helps smooth out the action. Most centerfire revolvers benefit from some good, honest, dry firing. It smooths out the action and mechanically removes small machining and casting burs and helps to mate interacting parts.
    No Snap-Caps needed unless they make you feel better.

    The little KelTec semi-autos should not be dry-fired as per the instruction manual.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by IAm_Not_Lost View Post
    FAQs - Smith & Wesson

    Can I dry fire my S&W handgun?
    Q: Can I dry fire my Smith & Wesson?

    A: Yes, except for the .22 caliber pistols which includes models 22A, 22S, 422, 2206, 2214, 2213 and 41.

    .22 caliber revolvers such as models 17, 43, 63, 317 and 617 also should not be dry fired.

    Q: Why can't I dry fire my .22 pistol or revolver?

    A: Dry firing a S&W .22 pistol or revolver will cause damage to the firing pin.


    At least that's what S&W says about it, but as I answered in the poll, I wouldn't make a major habit of dry firing, but 10-12 is not going to do a thing. For some reason whenever I think of dry firing I picture a soccer player about to kick a ball and then someone yanks it out and then all that force has no where to go, and then you end up injured.
    Thanks for digging that up. I like your analogy.

    Quote Originally Posted by QKShooter View Post
    Your firearm was not harmed by dry-firing it. In fact it usually helps smooth out the action. Most centerfire revolvers benefit from some good, honest, dry firing. It smooths out the action and mechanically removes small machining and casting burs and helps to mate interacting parts.
    No Snap-Caps needed unless they make you feel better.

    The little KelTec semi-autos should not be dry-fired as per the instruction manual.
    Good to know, thanks.

  11. #11
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    It really depends on the gun. Older guns it could be a problem. Especially revolvers with the firing pin built into the hammer. Most modern firearms, whether semi auto or revolvers, it isn't a problem. A safe rule to follow is, if in doubt, use snap caps.
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  12. #12
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    Granted, it probably didn't hurt the gun, but someone 'looking' at your gun and doing so 10 -12 times is just disrespectful. What was the point?

    He would have gotten one of these looks from me , and I'd be done with him.
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  13. #13
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    As long as it doesn't cause a problem in your particular gun, it is wise to dry fire. Dry fire practice helps you to "learn" your trigger.
    I shoot quite a bit, (just over 15,000 rounds through my P220) but I dry fire much more than I shoot.
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  14. #14
    Member Array Ishmael's Avatar
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    Let me answer your question with another: is there any reason for dry firing without snap caps other than "don't happen to have snap caps on hand"? (This is a serious question.) Because if not, and given the stories one hears about broken firing pins, it doesn't seem worth the risk.

  15. #15
    VIP Member Array TWO GUNS's Avatar
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    It all depends on the gun that you are dry firing . I dry fire 1911's all the time. My other handguns I use snap caps.
    Have Fun and Shoot Straight !!

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