Idea came to me today

Idea came to me today

This is a discussion on Idea came to me today within the General Firearm Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; So I was thinking of getting some snap caps. No reason really other then to just have them. Then it came to me. What if ...

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  1. #1
    Senior Member Array 031131's Avatar
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    Idea came to me today

    So I was thinking of getting some snap caps. No reason really other then to just have them. Then it came to me. What if I just used spent brass in place of snap caps?

    Now bare in mind I had revolvers on my mind at the time. Not sure how well a semi auto would chamber that out of a mag.

    So tell me why or why not, would it work just the same?


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    VIP Member Array maxwell97's Avatar
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    Hmm, not sure, but I THINK it would work okay. The thing about the snap caps is they don't dent, so the pin is hitting a "fresh primer" every time. The indent in the spent case would let the pin travel a little further, and probably wouldn't give as much, so it might not be as good.
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    VIP Member Array nedrgr21's Avatar
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    The center portion of the case where the primer would be is buffered by a spring or resilient rubber material to resist the strike of the firing pin vs the pin slamming into end of the firing pin channel which would happen with either nothing there or an already dented primer in its place.
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    I'd say probably 3/4 of the automatics out there won't reliably chamber a spent case, unless the case has been resized and the chamber has been throated. My gunsmith shows of his throating with .45 empties as a parlor trick.
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    Distinguished Member Array Brady's Avatar
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    What nedrgr21 said.
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    If you insist on cheaping out, you can probably get away with knocking out the primer in a spent casing and filling the pocket with hot glue, at least for a revolver.


    For me, it's not worth the effort. I'll always stick with A-Zoom snap cap. They're cheap insurance and make for some great practice clearing failures (Have a friend load a couple of them randomly in your mags the next time you go to the range). As long as you don't go overboard chambering/ejecting them in a semi-auto which chews them up over time, they last for thousands of uses.

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    Senior Member Array 031131's Avatar
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    Thanks for the insight.

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    Distinguished Member Array Oldpsufan's Avatar
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    I bought a .22 revolver and I do use spent cartridges for dry fire, but of course you are talking about a centerfire. I have snap caps for my 9mm's, but the thing I don't like is having to manually rack the slide. I'd rather use live ammo at the range.
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    VIP Member Array glockman10mm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gasmitty View Post
    I'd say probably 3/4 of the automatics out there won't reliably chamber a spent case, unless the case has been resized and the chamber has been throated. My gunsmith shows of his throating with .45 empties as a parlor trick.
    That's one of the first things I do. I carry a spent 45 case in my pocket if I know I'm going to purchase a 1911, and with permission, I load it in the mag and with the piece in slide lock, insert the mag and hit the slide release.

    Both my Colts will do this, but ironically, my Glocks won't.
    So I don't know how much it really means, but it does make one feel better before the purchase.
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    VIP Member Array dukalmighty's Avatar
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    One problem with repeated hits on a primer is that the firing pin can eventually punch a hole in them.
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    Quote Originally Posted by 031131 View Post
    So I was thinking of getting some snap caps. No reason really other then to just have them. Then it came to me. What if I just used spent brass in place of snap caps?

    Now bare in mind I had revolvers on my mind at the time. Not sure how well a semi auto would chamber that out of a mag.

    So tell me why or why not, would it work just the same?
    Make up some of your own dummy cartridges, instead of a primer use silicone, instead of power use sand etc., use the bullet of your choice that feeds in your autos.
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    Member Array BeefyG's Avatar
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    I thought I had read on here somewhere that all modern semi autos and most revolvers would be fine dry firing without protection for the firing pin? Is that wrong? I've been putting off buying dummy rounds from stiactionpro because they don't protect the firing pin and had been planning on starting a thread to ask that question.

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    Distinguished Member Array Nmuskier's Avatar
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    You'll want to remove the primer. You can replace it with a piece of dense rubber or eraser cut to fit and epoxied in. You can also pull a bullet and epoxy that in place so the round will chamber.

    Drill a hole sideways through the case to permanently mark it as inert.

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    Member Array floggindave's Avatar
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    Wait, are snap caps NOT supposed to indent from the firing pin? I bought a set at academy and they've all got an indention from the firing pin in my xdm.

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    VIP Member Array maxwell97's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BeefyG View Post
    I thought I had read on here somewhere that all modern semi autos and most revolvers would be fine dry firing without protection for the firing pin? Is that wrong? I've been putting off buying dummy rounds from stiactionpro because they don't protect the firing pin and had been planning on starting a thread to ask that question.
    My understanding is that dry-firing is fine for limited use, but for extensive dry-firing (as in training or smoothing out the action), it's still better to have them. Even if the mechanism is designed to dry-fire without damage, it's principally designed to hold up to hitting a primer.

    Rimfire guns, modern or otherwise, should not be dry-fired without some kind of dummy round in place.
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