I got a great question from Richard on Facebook yesterday–“Lots of Dry fire could damage the pistol.? Right” This is one of the most common questions about dry fire. And for good reason. People spend hard-earned money on firearms and don’t want to hurt them.
Keep in mind that ANY time you use something mechanical, you’re causing wear, however small. And enough wear causes damage.
But let me back up a step.
Let’s start from the fact that we know that the more we practice at something, the better we can do it under stress.
So, we know we need to practice…the question is how to do it in the way that maximizes performance in the shortest amount of time spending the least amount of money.
Dry fire is the best answer to that question but again, any time you do something mechanical, there is wear…sometimes a tiny bit and sometimes a lot.
With rimfires, like a .22, you should never dry fire without a snap cap and I’ve yet to find a snap cap that survives for very long.
With 1911s and some other hammer fired pistols, the firing pin will elongate after several thousand rounds if you don’t use a snap-cap, may start puncturing primers, and needs to be replaced. It’s still WAY cheaper than a few thousand rounds of ammo and having to replace a barrel to do the same training with live fire. A very popular solution is to just use a snap cap and your firing pin won’t elongate as quickly (again…ALL mechanical things have wear with high volume use)
On quality striker fired pistols designed for combat, like Glock, S&W M&P, Xd, etc. most manuals explicitly say that you can dry fire them. Using a snap cap is still a good idea.
Other pistols that come from Eastern Bloc countries or South America may not stand up to ANY kind of high volume, whether dry fire or live fire. Some less expensive US made guns don’t stand up very well to high volume use. If you’re concerned, check your manual. If you don’t have a manual, do a google search for the manual and you can view it online. As an example, if you have a 3rd generation Glock 26,
do the following Google search
Glock 26 gen 3 manual pdf
Even on a striker fired pistol, wear will happen on the trigger mechanism with high volume dry fire. Some people call that a trigger job and pay good money to have a gunsmith do it.
I personally do a couple of things…
First, my main dry fire training tool is a laser pistol. > www.DryFirePistol.com It lets me do high volume training without having to worry about a safe backstop or securing the tool when I’m not using it because it’s not capable of firing live rounds.
Second, when I’m training on something other than a Glock platform, whether it’s an AR or another pistol, I use my newly patented (and soon to be released) snap cap that you can put in the chamber without taking the gun apart, will stay in the chamber when you rack the slide, and provides a clear visual indication that the chamber is blocked.
So, if damaging your pistol was keeping you from doing dry fire…or as much dry fire as you know you should be doing, don’t let it stop you anymore.
And, for some of the best dry fire training drills available…that go WAY beyond old-school, boring dry fire drills and will get you covering basic skills, advanced skills, concealed carry skills, low light drills, and more, check out DryFireTrainingCards.com
If you’re one of the 50,000+ shooters who already have Dry Fire Training Cards and want to amp up your training, then add in Dry Fire Fit. They’ll get you executing the fundamentals of marksmanship from awkward positions and build your ability to put fast, accurate rounds on target while moving, after being knocked to the ground, under, around, and over cover, and help you practice integrating using the pistol to shoot and using the pistol as an impact weapon.
Questions? Comments? Fire away by commenting below: