Armory, Self Defense, And EDC > Firearms Advice For Beginners

Dry firing: okay or not

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I bought a Mossberg 500a from a friend and was curious if doing dry firing practice would damage the gun somehow.
I've seen conflicting reports and was curious what you all thought. What about on an M&P 15/22? thanks.

This probably a bigger deal than I have made it, but here are my thoughts.  With rimfire weapons it is conceivable for the pin to hit the breech without a round in the chamber.  Striking that harder metal could damage the pin or pit the breech.  With centerfire weapons it should be less of a problem because the pin should not hit anything.  Now with military style models I suppose it is possible the pin would break against the bolt with more force than when a round is in the chamber and maybe that is bad.  We dry fired our weapons in both Iraq and Afghanistan daily when clearing them with no negative impact that I am aware of.
I don't know where your shotgun falls into this, but with newer ones at least the pin should be fairly well centered and not striking anything when dry.  If you are concerned you can find things called snap caps online and put those in the chamber when training without an actual round in the chamber.

As a blanket statement...Most modern firearms are safe for limited dry fire use.

  Now the hi volume dry fire will peen the breach face and or firing pin as MORE stress is put on these parts by dry fire than by firing shells. The firing pin will vibrate and can harden and or crack due to length and weight (plus inertia)  going out of design limits, also the breach face that the pin passes through can suffer from this uncontrolled travel distance and vibration.

For your shotgun ,I would use a snap-cap or at least an empty shell to cushion the power of the firing pin. Limited use of dry fire should be fine,but to what limit? The stress of being used out of design limits,though it sounds simple,is a lot ...and this is a device that you depend on.

There are some nice ($25) sub-caliber adapters that fire pistol and or rifle rounds that may also be a good option.

I bought snap caps for all of my calibers for when I practice at home. Usually around $10/gun gets you a few so you can work on basic reloads, jams, etc.

Also keep in mind that every time one clears a military weapon snapping the trigger on the empty chamber is the last step in the operation.  It has been since the days of the '03 Springfield.

Most military weapons are dry fired more than they are live fired and no one worries about the firing pins.

Only time I worry about doing it is when using a .22, and even then I have to weigh the damage to the chamber rim against the stress on the springs and parts from remaining constantly under compression.


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