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Ive been accustomed to guns pretty much my whole lofe but Ive never really spent time w any one who I would consider truely Knowledgeable about them. So I know the basics but Ive never really been taught the more intricate details of owning and operating firearms.

So here is my question.

I have always been told not to dryfire, but no one has ever really told me why not. I mean I get it w a rim fire your fireing pin could possible hit the steel in the chamber and get distorted. then it would not strike the shell in the right way and you may not be able to fire.

but on a center fire, I just dont see the harm and need someone to explain it to me.
 

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As a gunsmith, I have replaced several firing pins due to dry firing. It depends on the design of the weapon. I personally use a snap cap to test an action on all firearms.
 

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Basically because there is no resistance
against the pin, and it can be pushed
further than needed, eventually causing wear
or wallowing.
New and modern firearms can be dry fired
but it still depends on the gun.
Back to basics....read the manufacturers manual.
If they say OK...then OK.
Me, it's not a habit I can cotton to.
 

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Just to go a little further with an example, some firing pins have a slot cut with a retaining pin. The firing pin should only travel far enough to strike the primer. With no cartridge in the chamber, the firing pin is free to collide with the retaining pin resulting in dammage to the firing pin or retaining pin or both. Firing pins are hardened steel and will often break when incorrectly stressed. Also the retaining pin can be bent resulting in a pierced primer or lockup of the firing pin.
 

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As ozo posted, Read the manual, If the factory says OK, have at it. I have known competitive shooters who have dry fired for hours with no ill effect on their S&Ws. Now just a little bit in left field., there are surplus hand guns that use very brittle steel for firing pins, on those, dry firing will break the firing pins very quickly. I use snap caps anyway, just to make sure.
 

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I have guns that say you can and guns you shouldn't. Doesn't matter, I put Snap caps in any gun I am going to dry fire partly for the guns sake and partly for safety. I have to make sure the gun is empty before I can put in the snap caps so that eliminates putting a hole through my bedroom wall into my bathroom.

Or as my old buddy Wayne said once when he was dry firing his empty 9MM, "Oh crap, that's a brand new TV." Twice he forgot that taking the magazine out does not clear the chamber. Really a smart guy but he had his moments. :D
 

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Not exactly related to dry firing, but close. One afternoon back in the '70s a local detective walked into our gun shop wanting to know if the used Walther PPK .380 he'd just bought had sufficient OOMPH! to discharge a round. Told him to take it to the police range and give it a try. Nope, he wanted to know now. No big deal really, just remove the magazine, clear the chamber, point the pistol upwards, slide a No.2 pencil down the barrel eraser end first, and pull the trigger. The resulting firing pin slap against a fresh eraser will propel the pencil about five feet into the air. Having demonstrated this, he was satisfied and off he went happy as a clam. Story as related to me later was he arrived at work, removed the PPK's mag, pointed it towards the ceiling, grabbed a pencil from someone's desk, slid it eraser first down the barrel, and with an exclamation of "Hey, watch this...!" discharged the chambered round. Don't know about the projectile, but the pencil's probably still in low orbit.
 

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Don't know about the projectile, but the pencil's probably still in low orbit.
And thus was born another convert to snap caps....assuming he ever got his gun back. :D
 

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Nothing silly about that question.

Some modern firearms HAVE TO be dry fired, just to be able to clean them. (like Glocks) With others, the manufacturers recommend dry firing them after cleaning and reassembly.

The design and metallurgy of modern firearms isn't what it used to be. I use snap caps (or an empty shell) for older firearms and rimfires.

Because I shoot competition I have to dry fire EVERY firearm I use in the match. No problems ..... yet.
Have talked to a LOT of people that have shot for years, and never had a problem. Not saying they won't, just that they haven't.
 

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Ozo's comments are great! I don't remember if it is Sig or some other manufacturer, but one of them use to state in the owner's booklet that dry firing their pistols voided the warranty. I have not read those little booklets in a couple of years, so I don't know if it's still there or not.

Oh, they also said that releasing the slide on an empty chamber also voided the warrenty. Had trouble convincing customers of that one.
 
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