Newbie question for dry-firing handguns

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  • dwsintxs

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    0   0   0
    Nov 8, 2013
    Addison, TX
    Forgive me if this has been covered ad nauseum before, and I'm pretty sure it has, but I looked and looked for a thread and couldn't find it.

    I am new to shooting in the past year. I have 4 handguns, no long guns or shotguns. Went to my CHL class, but have not yet received my plastic.

    My guns: Citadel 1911 .45 - Taurus 708 slim 9mm - Beretta .32 - Para Ord 1911 .45 3.5"

    My question is: Are these guns okay to dry fire while practicing sighting and trigger pull at home?

    I have asked a gunsmith with 30 years experience and he says they're all okay to dry fire. The owners manuals say they're not.
    Seems like everyone I ask gives a different answer.

    I have been told to get snap caps, but the gunsmith at the store where I almost bought the snapcaps told me I would never harm the guns by dry firing them. (He looked at each gun while I was there)

    Anyone want to clue me in on this?

    Thanks in advance for your help!


    Omnipotent Potentate for hire.
    Lifetime Member
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    15   0   0
    Oct 4, 2013
    Gunz are icky.
    Dry fire isn't recommended. Especially older antique firearms. New modern guns are better about it.
    That said, a small amount of snapping is fine.
    Endless hundreds/thousands of snaps isn't.
    Best thing to do is get yourself some good quality Snap Caps( A-Zoom makes good ones) and use them.
    These also can be used for training clearing jams, reloading mags in action, etc.


    Rating - 0%
    0   0   0
    Nov 8, 2013
    Addison, TX
    The Citadel is great, and very accurate, but it freaked me out when that front sight fell off.

    Remember that I am a newbie to shooting, so, me saying the Citadel is great may not mean jack-squat.

    Now, that Para Ord 1911 .45 3.5" is my favorite of the guns I own. That thing is very accurate. I've put about 500 rounds through it, and seem to be hitting center with almost every shot at 7 yards. It has to be more the gun than me though, because like I said, I am VERY new to shooting. But it is very easy to hit center most of the time. Of course, it has the tritium sights and the Citadel has factory sights and they're very hard to see.
    That Para makes it seem like it's impossible to shoot badly. It kicks more than the Citadel though.


    TGT Addict
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    Oct 22, 2008
    DFW Keller
    I'm somewhat anal about this. If your gun has an exposed hammer, just put a foam ear plug under the hammer, or use a snap cap. Striker fired, you can put a snap-cap in the chamber and half-rack the slide (not eject it but cock) and click away.

    Will not doing these things hurt your gun? probably not unless you do a very lot of trigger pulls. Hey, I still change my oil every 3000 miles :)


    TGT Addict
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    Jan 24, 2011
    Grid 0409
    The only firearms I know of that advise against "dry" fire are some .22 LR guns.

    I have dry fired my M1911s with no ill effects whatsoever. My first pistol instructor made us "shoot" sharpened Number Two Pencils from our M1911's. With magazine removed and pistol cleared, Cock the hammer, insert pencil into the bore, stand about 6 to 8 inches from a target nailed to a wall, aim, and press the trigger. The firing pin had enough energy to expel the pencil, and in very short order, our instructor could correct any sight alignment and trigger control mistakes we made.

    We were not allowed to live fire, until the pencil strikes on the target measured less than 1/8 inch.

    Several companies make dummy rounds for dry fire. They are expensive, and I have only bought dummy rounds for my rim fires.

    For center fire hand guns, I want some feed back, so the sharpened pencil works well. If the bore is too small for a pencil, find a hardwood dowel rod that fits. Sharpen the pointy end, and leave the other end square. "Shoot and See" targets work well with sharpened dowels.


    One of the idiots
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    3   0   0
    Apr 9, 2013
    Guns with a magazine safety may not particularly care for dry fire without an empty mag in the well too (aka Ruger).


    Nothing warms my heart like the smell of gunpowder
    TGT Supporter
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    3   0   0
    Aug 31, 2013
    Grand Prairie, TX
    I have SnapCaps and also Saf-T-Trainers. I prefer the Saf-T-Trainers since they are VERY bright orange and can't be mistaken for real ammo.
    I almost never dryfire without either of those loaded.


    Lifetime Member
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    14   0   0
    Oct 15, 2009
    Lampasas, Texas
    I dry fire everything also except rimfires. If it breaks or wears out that tells me something about the gun.



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