Dry Fire and Slide Releases

Discussion in 'Gunsmithing Forum' started by renoboyd, Jan 22, 2014.

  1. renoboyd

    renoboyd New Member

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    So I preface my question with this;

    I am directing this question to the experts here. Please, I have heard forever from enthusiasts, I truly need to ask this of the gunsmiths who have SEEN PERSONALLY the answer to my question. And prefacing that I have been shooting handguns for decades now. It was and is my understanding that modern centerfire handguns can be dry fired, and slides can be released dry (without ammo) by use of the release lever without consequence or harm to the gun. I understand there is a limit to this, I dont mean forever, like 100k times, but within practice drills. Has anyone seen damage caused by doing either of these? If so can you share what you saw? I dry practice now and then, and had "an enthusiast" get severely tweeked as I did, saying that it will (not might, not over time) damage the gun to dry fire it, and will damage the gun to release the slide lever without ammo in it...:confused:
     
  2. hmh

    hmh New Member

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    I am not a gun smith but many of the gun smiths on here will agree it depends on the gun. I had a Beretta tomcat that the firing pin broke because of minimal dry firing. I also have a 1911 that I have dry fired many times with no issue.
     

  3. danf_fl

    danf_fl Retired Supporter

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    I've replaced enough parts that I don't let the slide slam forward without a round ready to go into the chamber (on any semi-auto).

    I've dressed many slide stop areas on slides because people have used the stop as a release.

    I use to tell my kid, "Just because you can do it, does it make it right?".
     
  4. mountainman13

    mountainman13 New Member

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    These functions are designed to include a round. Not having one puts added stress on Parts.
    How quickly this will have a negative affect depends on the gun.

    better judged by twelve than carried by six.
     
  5. renoboyd

    renoboyd New Member

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    So, I have taken many handgun training courses, every one of them uses dry fire practice (including the dry slide release). I take it that each of you would agree that the dry fire practice can and likely does damage to the gun?
     
  6. mountainman13

    mountainman13 New Member

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    Snap caps were made for a reason.

    better judged by twelve than carried by six.
     
  7. Gonzilla

    Gonzilla New Member

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    Agree - Cheap insurance against Murphy's Law :D
     
  8. Mercator

    Mercator Active Member

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    Dry firing a modern centerfire semi-auto is safe. Snap caps are not required, but they are handy in testing the cycle (feeding and ejection). I have heard personally from trained professionals that they dry fire their own handguns thousands of times at home for practice. I don't do that because I don't feel the need and it is boring as heck.

    Safe does not mean accident-proof. I don't know of any evidence that guns break down from dry firing any more than from firing live ammo.
     
  9. danf_fl

    danf_fl Retired Supporter

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    Some firearms require something like a snap cap or live round to stop the firing ping from going too far forward.

    Grab a rim fire .22 SA revolver and dry fire 100 times.
     
  10. Mercator

    Mercator Active Member

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    I wrote center fire.
     
  11. mountainman13

    mountainman13 New Member

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    Either way the system is designed to include a round in the equation. You are putting added stress on the system.

    better judged by twelve than carried by six.
     
  12. KG7IL

    KG7IL Active Member

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    I would be more concerned about inserting a round directly into the chamber and let the slide slam shut on it. (1911 specific? dont know).

    The extractor shapes are often designed to catch a round coming out of magazine into battery, not slamming over the rim.

    I don't hesitate to dry fire.
    I will also perform an empty chamber slide release, I just don't do it alot.

    1911 Steel Upper, Alloy Frame.

    Accidents, Breakage and Malformations happen. Weigh your actions based on your acceptance of risk.
     
  13. Mercator

    Mercator Active Member

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    Slide release on empty is okay, just need to remember to pull it back first, then lower the slide stop. Depressing the stop under the recoil spring pressure is not good for it when done a lot.
     
  14. danf_fl

    danf_fl Retired Supporter

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    Most semi autos are designed to feed from the magazine.
    Most snap caps will feed from the magazine.

    Having the extractor slam over the casing rim creates jobs for gunsmiths.
     
  15. renoboyd

    renoboyd New Member

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    Yea, you see why I am a bit confused. Not rimfire for sure, I know firing pin damage there. And not older guns, modern center fire. My take on it is; Dry firing can hasten wear on the firing mechanism, but will not do it per se. Same with slide release without ammo, though it CAN cause some wear, and faster than normal use, it does't cause its own damage, just makes wear in those areas happen faster. But again, that was my impression to start with. Thats why I tend to ask gun smith types if anyone has seen damage caused by these acts alone.
     
  16. KG7IL

    KG7IL Active Member

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    Just remember the sample they have for a frame of reference.

    They see the broken ones, They don't see the millions that have suffered no damage.

    I think they may well be versed in which models are the worst for this type of repain.
     
  17. renoboyd

    renoboyd New Member

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    models?

    So, is there a model that damage may be more apt for (aka 1911's or something>?)
     
  18. Mercator

    Mercator Active Member

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    Honestly, not a gunsmith, only a certified armorer. That's how I was taught. I absolutely don't insist on having the last word, I only offer what I know or believe to be true.
     
  19. jimmiep

    jimmiep New Member

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    Dry firing a semi auto won't hurt the weapon any more than dry chambering will. I'm a gunsmith and we all dry fire weapons to safely check for proper function. If you worry about hurting the weapon or dry fire a lot, buy yourself some dummy rounds. Your not going to hurt the weapon unless it's parts are old and week. If the parts fail, they were going to fail anyway.
     
  20. renoboyd

    renoboyd New Member

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    Hey, thanks everyone.