What Is Dry Fire Practice?
Dry fire is the practice of “firing” a firearm without ammunition. That is, to pull the trigger and allow the hammer or striker to drop on an empty chamber. Dry fire practice will help refine your trigger control. It will pay off with huge dividends when you go back to the gun range. Dry fire techniques are discussed further below.
Most modern firearms are mechanically safe to dry fire, however certain firearms can easily be damaged if the firearm’s trigger mechanism is fired on an empty chamber. Damage can be prevented by using simulated ammunition generally referred to as “Snap Caps”, discussed further below.
What Guns Are Safe To Dry Fire?
Firearms that can be damaged by dry firing include, but are not limited to:
- Hammerless double barrel shotgun.
- Any rimfire (.22LR, 17 HMR, .22WMR, etc.), although it is probably okay with a modern Ruger 10/22.
- Hammerless revolvers (Smith & Wesson 642/442)
- Any older or antique firearm.
Guns that are safe to dry fire include:
- Springfield XD
- Modern revolvers with a transfer bar rather than an exposed firing pin on the hammer.
- All modern Smith & Wesson handguns, except for rimfire (although I have had a hammerless model 642 .38 Special that suffered internal damage that a gunsmith blames on dry firing).
Use Snap-Caps To Protect Your Firearm While Dry Firing:
How To Dry Fire:
Before discussing how to dry fire practice, it is absolutely important to follow theses safety rules:
- Triple check your firearm to be sure that it is unloaded.
- No ammunition in your practice area, whether loose, boxed or in magazines.
- Your practice area should allow you to point the gun in a safe direction.
- When your dry fire routine is over, IT’S OVER.